Make it: Mind-blowing chocolate bourbon cake

All photos courtesy of Green & Black's Organic Chocolates

All photos courtesy of Green & Black's Organic Chocolates

Rita DeMontis, National Food Editor, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:16 PM ET

 

Valentine's Day may have come and gone, but I'm sure not our desire for....chocolate. If there's one food that defines the love season, it would have to be this delicious treat. It's good to go organic, dark and smooth, but I do enjoy a chunk of milk chocolate, or one infused with caramel and salt.

From a health perspective, dark chocolate's the way to go: Past studies have also shown benefits from chocolate related to lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke, insulin resistance as well as the effects of aging. Dark chocolate in particular is full of flavonols known to help in cognitive tasks, including memory.

The reality is — it's the dark chocolate, the kind with higher percentage of cocoa, where the health benefits come from. That said, a small piece of great quality organic chocolate goes a long way in putting a smile on your face.

Here's a selection of excellent, elegant recipes that you can whip up as a "sorry I forgot the cards and flowers" — and keep them around for future entertaining ideas. All recipes courtesy of Green & Black’s Organic (greenandblacks.com/ca).

5-Minute Chocolate Pot

  • 7 oz. (200g) organic dark 70% chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) boiling water
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) 35% whipping cream

Melt chocolate in a microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, making sure bowl doesn’t touch water. Remove from heat. Add hot water (you can use water from pot) to chocolate and vanilla. Water must be added slowly and gradually to keep chocolate from splitting. Add whipping cream and stir to combine ― texture should be like that of light custard. Pour into espresso cups and leave to set in a cool part of kitchen for at least 45 minutes before serving. Makes six serving.

TIPS:

Try varying chocolate flavour by using one bar of organic dark 70% chocolate and one bar of organic milk chocolate. For an extra decadent touch, top each cup with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and chocolate shavings

Chocolate Bourbon Cake

  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick/125ml) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 5 1/2 oz (137.5g) organic dark 70% chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. (60 ml) all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 Tbsp. (7.5 ml) high quality bourbon
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dark brown sugar
  • Whipped cream, to serve

Position a rack in top third of oven and preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Thoroughly butter an 8-inch round, 2-inch (20 by 5cm) deep pan. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, allowing it to sizzle and get very hot. Remove from heat, add chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in eggs and bourbon, continuing to whisk until combined. Stir brown sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture to combine. Slowly stir chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake 25 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. Unmold cake onto a serving plate and serve with whipped cream. Serves 8-10.

 

Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Layered Pot

Created for Green and Black's Organic by Nick Malgieri

  • 7 oz. (200 g) cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) 35% whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp. (1.25 ml) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) shelled pistachios
  • 2 oz. (50 g) graham crackers
  • 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 oz. (75 g) organic dark 70% chocolate, shaved or finely chopped

In a small pot, simmer cranberries, sugar and water until cranberries are soft but not collapsed. Set aside to cool. Whip cream until soft peaks form, then add confectioners’ sugar and continue to whip until light, fluffy, and voluminous. Process pistachios in a food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add graham crackers and continue to process until they are of same consistency. Mix melted butter into mixture.

To assemble: in 6 glasses layer 1½ Tbsp. (22ml) of pistachio mixture, followed by a single layer of cranberries, then about 1½ Tbsp. (22ml) of whipped cream, and finally a good layer of shaved dark chocolate so that cream is well covered. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Serves 6.

Dishwasher Chocolate Martini

Detailed and a little on the complicated side, this cocktail is perfect for any occasion.

  • 3 cups or 750ml bottle favourite vodka
  • 2 100g (8oz) dark 70% chocolate bars
  • 2 tsp. (10ml) sugar syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.25ml) pure vanilla
  • Ice

Chocolate Vodka

Prepare chocolate vodka several hours in advance or night before. Pour 1 cup (250ml/8.5 fl oz) of vodka reserving for later. This will leave 2 cups (500ml/17 fl oz) in bottle. Break up chocolate and feed into bottle, reserving some chocolate for garnish. This should bring vodka back to level when it was full. Make sure to not overfill as liquor will expand a little in dishwasher. Put the lid back on and wrap saran wrap around lid and bottle neck.

Place bottle in dishwasher and run it through a normal wash cycle. This will melt chocolate into vodka. After wash cycle give bottle a good shake. If the chocolate is not fully melted run the wash cycle a second time. Once chocolate is fully melted, allow vodka to cool down at room temperature. Place bottle in freezer for a few hours or leave overnight.

Making Martini

Fill your martini glass with ice to chill. Grate reserved chocolate onto a large plate. In a cocktail shaker, pour 70ml (2 fl oz) of chocolate vodka. Add sugar syrup and vanilla extract and a handful of ice. Shake vigorously. Discard ice from glass. Dip rim of glass into grated chocolate and double sieve martini into glass and serve.

TIPS:

The amount of sugar syrup you add should be according to your taste. If you made the vodka with a sweeter chocolate such as organic milk, white or butterscotch, you may want to reduce or omit the syrup. Substitute vodka with gin or white rum. Makes: 10 servings


Videos

Photos