To paraphrase a favourite quote “Chocolate has replaced sex in my life now – I can’t even get into my own pants.” (Anonymous)
This quote was about food in general, but for many like myself, chocolate is the specific indulgence causing my undoing (of my belt). Chocolate seems to be taking over my life. At VictorsFood we have developed a chocolate cooking class and a team building chocolate class. And I just came back from Paris where the chocolate scene is one of the most indulgent in the world.
Standing in the chocolate shop of Jean-Paul Hevin (rhymes with ‘heaven’?), the most famous chocolatier in the world, has to be one of the most breathtaking food moments of my life. The shop is a jewel box; open the lid and the rich world of chocolate surrounds you – precious truffles, chocolate cigars, stiletto high heels of chocolate and unbelievable treasures. Beneath the glossy exterior, however, there is a lot to learn about the deeper mysteries of these gems.
It’s an adventure learning about the various grades of chocolate, why the fat content is most important for different uses, and which chocolate produces the best outcome for what you’re making. It’s very similar to our team building events, where the outcomes derive from the quality of the ingredients, having the right ingredients and, of course, the person making it – their knowledge and passion for what they do.
Paris chocolatiers are noted as some of the best in the world. They treat chocolate as an art form – an ecstasy of sensation and a refinement of flavour. Other great stores in Paris for chocolate are Patrick Roger, Pierre Herme and Pierre Marcolini, Belgium’s most acclaimed chocolate artist.
Sex OR chocolate? Why not have both – who said we can’t have it all? My chocolate chilli truffles have always been swooned over (you can find the recipe here on my blog). These chocolate earthquake cookies (recipe below) are pretty damn good if you want a quick fix. Tell me about your favourite chocolate confection, or savoury, or chocolate shop…
Chocolate Earthquake Cookies
350 gm dark chocolate
70 gm unsalted butter
100 gm (1/2 cup) Sugar
60 ml (4 tbsp) Baileys
1 tsp instant coffee
120 gm (3/4 cup) flour
2 tsp baking powder
100 gm (1 cup) almond meal
1 cup of icing sugar, sieved
- Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Stir until melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Place the eggs in a bowl. Whisk, adding sugar gradually. Continue whisking for 5 minutes or until the mixture is pale, thick and doubled in volume. Fold in cooled chocolate until combined.
- Mix the Baileys and instant coffee together. Fold into the chocolate mixture.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together. Sieve and fold into the chocolate mixture.
- Fold into the chocolate mixture. Cover the bowl with cling film and cool in the refrigerator for 2rhs-overnight.
- Roll the cold chocolate mixture into balls 3 mm in diameter (20 gm). Roll the balls in the icing sugar till coated completely.
- Place the balls 5 cm apart on a tray covered with greaseproof paper. Bake at 190?C for around 8 minutes. The centre should still be moist and soft.
Note: Cool on racks and serve.
Makes 50 cookies