Chocolate Week is back for its ninth consecutive year to celebrate the world of fine chocolate and chocolatiers. With a huge variety of events occuring all over the UK, this year is set to be bigger and better than ever! To celebrate, FOUR gives you three different recipes from French pâtissier and celebrity chef Eric Lanlard, celebrated chocolatier Paul A Young and British chef, TV personality and self-confessed chocoholic - the delightful Gizzi Erskine. Enjoy!
Double Baked Chocolate Meringue Brownie
From Chocolat by Eric Lanlard published by Mitchell Beazley
For the brownie
250g (8oz) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
350g (11½oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
300g (10oz) light muscovado sugar
5 large eggs, separated
For the chocolate meringue
4 egg whites
225g (7½oz) golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cornflour
50g (2oz) pure cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F/ gas mark 4. Grease a 22cm (8½in) diameter spring form cake tin and line with baking paper, making sure it is at least 5cm (2in) above the rim of the tin.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Add the sugar, stirring until it has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks.
In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold a couple of tablespoons of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
In a large, clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, adding the sugar a little at a time, then add the vanilla extract. Sift the corn flour and cocoa powder together, then fold into the meringue until the mixture is even and glossy.
Remove the chocolate brownie from the oven and cover the top with the meringue. Return to the oven for a further 25 minutes, or until the meringue puffs up and a crust forms on the top but the centre is still soft. Leave to cool in the tin. The centre will collapse slightly. Serve warm with crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.
"This is an incredible recipe! The texture of the two contrasting layers, one gooey and rich and the
other crunchy with a marshmallow centre, makes this recipe really special." - Eric
Recipe taken from Chocolat by Eric Lanlard published by Mitchell Beazley
Hot Chocolate & Basil Fondants
From Adventures With Chocolate by Paul a Young Published by Kyle Cathie
For the filling
100ml double cream
15g basil leaves
200g white chocolate
For the fondants
75g Caribbean 66% dark chocolate or nearest alternative, broken into pieces
3 medium free-range eggs
75g golden caster sugar
70g plain flour
For the moulds
25g plain flour for dusting
Bring the cream and basil to a simmer. Remove from heat and blend with a hand blender, pour over the white chocolate and whisk well until melted, pour into a plastic container and refrigerate for at least an hour. Scoop teaspoon sized balls of ganache.
Melt the butter then add the dark chocolate and mix well until melted. Whisk the eggs and sugar lightly and pour onto the chocolate, whisking well. Add flour and mix until smooth.
Brush 4 ramekins with melted butter and dust with flour. Fill each by one third and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Place a ball of ganache into each ramekin, fill with the remaining chocolate mix. Chill for 1hr.
Cook in a pre-heated oven 180C/350F/gas 4 for 9 minutes. Serve immediately by turning each fondant out onto a serving plate.
Not one for the faint hearted. If you can't handle this recipe however, try and make Paul A Young's event on October 16th in London - An Evening of Fine Tequila & Fine Chocolate. For more information, visitwww.chocolateweek.co.uk
Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A. Young (Kyle Books, £14.99)
Earl Grey Chocolate Fudge Cake
Divine & Gizzi Erskine
For the cake
6 Earl Grey teabags
150ml boiling water
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
3 large free-range eggs
150g soft dark brown sugar
100g light Muscovado sugar
250g self-raising flour
120g Divine Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
For the Earl Grey cream
4 Earl Grey teabags
100ml boiling water
3 tablespoons light Muscovado sugar
250g cream cheese
For chocolate icing
150g Divine Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
100ml double cream
3 tablespoons honey
For the Earl Grey dust
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
1 Earl Grey teabag
Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas 4. To make the cake, place the Earl Grey teabags in a cup and cover with the boiling water. Leave the tea to stew for 5 minutes, and then squeeze out the teabags and discard, leaving a really strong tea to cool a little.
Grease and line a 22-23cm spring form cake tin with butter and a disc of greaseproof paper. Place all the cake ingredients, including the tea, into a food processor and blend until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the cake tin and level out the surface. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until you can stick a metal skewer into the centre and it comes out clean. Leave to cool in its tin, covered with a clean towel, for two hours.
The Earl Grey Cream
Place the Earl Grey teabags in a small pan and cover with the boiling water. Leave the tea to stew for 5 minutes, and then remove the teabags, squeezing out the liquid as you go. Add the sugar to the tea, bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes or until syrupy. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then whisk into the cream cheese.
Slice the cooled cake in to 3 horizontal layers. Spread the bottom layer with half the Earl Grey Cream. Replace the middle layer of cake. Spread over remaining cream and replace the top.
The Chocolate Icing
Melt the chocolate for the icing in a microwave with the double cream and honey, stir until blended, leave to cool. Pour the chocolate icing over the cake. Using a spatula, gently tease the icing around the edges until the whole cake is iced. It looks beautiful if you draw swirls through it.
The Earl Grey Dust
Melt the sugar in a small dry frying pan. Once it has started to caramelise, empty out the teabag into the caramel and stir the loose tea leaves through. Take off the heat immediately and pour onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then grind up in a pestle and mortar until it becomes golden and dusty. Sprinkle over the top of the cake and serve.
"If Victoria sponge is the queen of cakes, then chocolate fudge cake has to be the king! Infusing a chocolate cake with a hint of Earl Grey tea adds an aromatic ting to its fudgy excellence- making it a true object of desire. If you’re pushed for time, skip the Earl Grey gold dust, but you can see how beautiful it looks and how it turns a simple chocolate cake into a masterpiece." - Gizzi