Delice de chocolat with apricot sauce

I made this for dessert on New Year’s Eve. It was a bit time-consuming but well worth the effort. Continue reading


Christmas Day dessert

This is basically an individual chocolate cheesecake.

There aren’t many ingredients, so it is quite simple, but looks pretty impressive.

The base is made with liquidised Digestive biscuits mixed with butter and cooled.

For the filling you need:

Stoned prunes, I prefer Pruneau d’Agen, soaked in brandy overnight
A tub of mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
Half a bar of good quality plain chocolate
2 tablesppons of double cream

Place some chef’s rings on a flat base, a plastic chopping board is ideal and press some of the ground digestive and butter mixture into each one.

Then place a few prunes into each ring.

Take the soaking brandy and add the caster sugar, warm on the hob and flame off the alcohol. When the flames have died down, melt most of the chocolate (but save some for grating on top later) and stir in the cream and keep stirring until you have a smooth glossy sauce.

Allow this to cool slightly and add in the vanilla extract. Then mix this into the mascarpone and beat well until it is stiff and smooth.

Pour this mixture into the rings and cover with clingfilm and chill for several hours.

To serve, place each ring onto a plate, you will need to use a spatula, I think, and grate the remaining chocolate over the cheesecakes.

To unmould, I used a knife to loosen the cheesecakes, making sure I separated the base from the ring, and carefully lifted the rings off.

These are really very rich and luxurious so matching them with wine isn’t easy.

To keep a south-western French theme going I served a chilled bottle of Monbazillac, a rich, honeyed dessert wine from the Bergerac region.

Apple pudding

This was something of an experiment.

I caramelised peeled, cored and sliced Egremont Russets in muscovado sugar and butter in an oven-proof dish and then left them to cool.

I made a topping from two eggs, a 250 ml tub of cream, some demerara sugar, vanilla extract and fresh breadcrumbs, all whisked together and poured over the top.

This was then baked in the oven until the top was golden and somewhat souffléed (it later sank again!).

I served the pudding at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream and some of the caramelised juices drizzled over the top.

Altogether a success!

Chocolate mousse

I did a pudding tonight, a simple one that I love.

It was a chocolate mousse and the recipe is so easy.

You need;

A standard bar of good quality dark chocolate
4 large separated eggs
An optional tablespoonful of alcohol (cognac, rum, whisky etc) I use Kahlua tonight
A knob of unsalted butter
4 serving dishes

You melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water with the alcohol and the butter. and once it is all amalgamated and slightly cooled, stir in the egg yolks.

Then you beat the egg whites to stiffish peaks and fold them into the chocolate mixture, making sure that everything is nicely smooth and there are no white bits left. Use a metal spoon or a palette knife and make sure you keep as much air in as possible.

Then, share the mixture between the four dishes and chill in the fridge until the mousses are set.

That is it. Simple.

I served the mousses with some raspberries dusted with icing sugar on the side.

A delicious dessert.