chocolatecake

DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL

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(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce to make this Dark Chocolate Tart).

Chocolate is one of my favourite ingredients to bake with and this deliciously easy tart is no exception.  I used dark chocolate as it pairs amazingly well with the Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce from #PresidentsChoice.

When I received this month’s box I was delighted to see 2 ingredients that I really love, which are Passion fruit and Caramel.  The PC Black Label Passion Fruit Condiment is quite heavenly in the sense that it works well as a vinaigrette poured onto salad or glazed on your BBQ shrimp.

 

The Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce is the perfect consistency of a runny caramel speckled with flecks of toasted sesame seeds (genius!) and pairs well with so many desserts including pouring it on your favorite ice cream, spread on crepes and my personal favourite used as a filling for a dark chocolate tart.

When I opened  jar of toasted sesame caramel, I was amazed how smooth the texture was and the right amount of sesame. Instantaneously, a thought of a traditional chocolate tart with caramel center emerged and I became challenged to make a tart that would compliment the sesame flavor. The idea of using dark chocolate was my first option as it is not overly sweet and would complement the sweet caramel. The toasted sesame hardly gets the attention it deserves as it flavor is not overbearing. The caramel sauce inspired me to decorate the tart with a hard set caramel, but can be served on its own or dusted with cocoa powder.

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Another suggestion if your willing to take a chance is to add espresso and cinnamon to the tart mixture.  I have fond memories of travelling through Italy and being served a dark chocolate square with my shot of espresso. The espresso’s bitterness is followed by a sweet but not having the fatty texture of milk chocolate to remove the after taste of the espresso. In this recipe, I have added both ingredients.

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As we roll into the second month of #PlayWithYourFood #PCBlackLabel campaign with #PresidentsChoice, I want to share some exciting news!  President’s Choice has offered to giveaway a #PCBLACKLABEL BLACK BOX for you to win on my Instagram account! You can win 2 delicious #PCBlackLabel products in addition to a $50 gift card! How exciting is that?  In order to enter the contest, you will need to go to my Instagram page.

The contest will run until June 28th at which time a winner will be selected randomly. Good luck!  *This contest is open to Canadian residents only.

Whether you’re a home chef or an aspiring foodie, the PC Black Label Collection makes it easy to unleash your culinary curiosity and get creative. Discover the entire collection and be inspired to #PlayWithYourFood at pc.ca/blacklabel.

 

DARK CHOCOLATE TART WITH TOASTED SESAME CARAMEL RECIPE

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*  This recipe makes enough for a standard 8 to 9 inch round tart pan.

It’s important to use a spring form pan (or tart ring) with a removal base for easy baking and removal of the tart and source out high quality ingredients as it produces the best flavours and will quickly get noticed by your guests.

The steps are very straightforward and relatively easy to put together.  Just be sure to chill the tart dough until its firm enough for you to roll out. Once it’s baked, be sure it is completely cooled before adding the caramel sauce.  Finally, another important note is to ensure that the caramel is hardened (slightly) or really cold before adding the layer of chocolate ganache otherwise the chocolate will mix into the caramel.

Ingredients:

Tart Shell:

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground espresso

Chocolate Ganache (Recipe below)

1 jar of  PC BLACK LABEL Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce

Instructions:

  1. Whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Chop the butter and add it to the flour bowl mixture, crumbling it into the flour making pea sized crumbs.
  3. Work the ingredients quickly until they come together creating a pliable dough.  Do not over mix, you should still see little pats of butter throughout.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk and flatten
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup cold whipping cream
2 cups dark chocolate, chopped

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, warm the cream until just boiling – about 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave.
  2. Carefully remove and add the chopped chocolate.
  3. Let it sit for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk gently until incorporated and set aside.

Bake the Tart:

Preheat oven to 375°F

Butter an 8″ or 9″ spring form pan or tart ring and set aside.

  1. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1″ thickness and line the tart ring or pan. Ensure you bring up the dough on the sides that’s deep enough to hold the caramel filling and the chocolate ganache, approximately 2-3 inches in height.
  2. Use a fork and gently indent the dough all over to create tiny little holes.
  3. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until cooked through.
  4. With the back of a spoon, push down the base of the tart to ensure it is flat and no holes remain (they should be baked through).
  5. Let the tart shell cool completely.

Assembly:

  1. Pour the caramel in an even layer in the tart base and refrigerate or freeze until set and it’s no longer runny.
  2. Once chilled completely, remove and pour the chocolate ganache over top the caramel and smooth out with a spatula quickly as it will start immediately.
  3. Return to the refrigerator until completely set.
  4. Remove 20 minutes before serving and use a hot knife to slice through the tart.  Rinse the knife and repeat.  This ensures you get clean slices each time you cut into it.

Enjoy!

If you make this recipe please share and use my hashtag, #hautesucre on the social media channels, as I would love to see them!

 

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(This post is sponsored by President’s Choice.  I used their PC Black Label Toasted Sesame Caramel Dessert Sauce to make this easy Dark Chocolate Tart.)

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Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins 

Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe

Whether you call them muffins, cupcakes or banana bread, they’re all delicious!  We had a debate as to whether or not these classified as muffins and my now 7 year old was quick to point out that there was no icing so indeed these were muffins. Ha ha!  Nothing like the wisdom of a 7 year old to put it straight sometimes.

This is a quick 5 minute, one bowl recipe and you can even have your kids mix it all up together.  It’s best to have all the ingredients ready if you plan to do that.  You can also make this into a quick bread recipe, although the bake time will be doubled .  I like them as muffins as they bake quickly and are great for quick snacks and lunch boxes.

I’ve added the pecans as an additional, optional topping but they taste good without them too as I made half a batch without.  You can also replace with hazelnuts or walnuts for a different flavour.

I used Lindt dark chocolate couveture callets and left them whole as they are wonderful melted through when you take a warm bite, as you can see in the photo below.

I also added Callebaut white chocolate callets that look more like chocolate chips.  I prefer this brand as it has a nice balanced sweetness that goes well with baked goods.  This being said, you can use whatever you have in your pantry i.e. regular chocolate chips, but the taste of the chocolate is really amplified with couveture.

I hope you enjoy them and if you do make this recipe, please share and use my hashtag, #hautesucre on the social media channels, as I would love to see them!

Keep an eye out as I will be hosting a giveaway over the next few days…stay tuned!

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins Recipe

Makes 12 

Bake @350°F for 30 min


Ingredients:

2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate, chopped
Pecans (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 12 muffin cups
  2. In a large bowl mash the bananas and whisk in the butter, olive oil, sugar and maple syrup.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and whisk gently until combined.
  5. Fold in the dark chocolate and white chocolate.
  6. Scoop 1/3 cup of batter into each lined cupcake cavity and top with pecans if desired.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack or eat warm with a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

1 zucchini, shredded
Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plain 2% yogurt

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (or extract)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)

1/2 cup Guittard super cookie chips or any other dark chocolate,  chopped

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F, prepare 12 baking cups or cupcake liners

1. In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well.

2. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients and mix slowly, careful to not create any air bubbles.

3. Add the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and gently fold into the batter.

4. Measure 1/4 cup of batter into each baking cup for 12.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let completely cool.

6. Dust with powdered sugar or top with your favourite buttercream.
Enjoy!

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Aquafaba Meringue:

1/2 cup of strained chickpea water (from a can)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean

1. In a stand mixer, whisk the aquafaba, salt and cream of tartar on medium until frothy.

2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue mixing on high speed until you reach a meringue consistency, approximately 15 minutes.

3.Add the vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Pipe or spoon the meringue over the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
Enjoy!

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Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Bûche de Noël

Are you looking for the perfect holiday dessert?  Look no more!  I created this exquisite Chocolate Bûche de Noël just in time for the Holiday season!
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A very simple and elegant cake to put together and you can make some of the components ahead of time.  From start to finish, if you have all the ingredients on hand; it shouldn’t take more than a few hours to prepare and decorate.
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A few notes about this cake: I make many cakes for the holiday season and there is no limit to the variations possible.  I like to add rum and/or a shot of espresso to my simple syrup as it goes very nicely with chocolate.  If you don’t like alcohol, leave it out as I have in the recipe below. Also, try to use the best cocoa and chocolate couveture possible as the flavours are very pronounced in this type of cake.
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I hope you enjoy the recipe and please leave a note in the comments if you try it as I would love to hear from you.
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Wishing you a safe and happy Holiday Season, Enjoy!

Asima 🙂

Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Bûche de Noël 

Serves 8

Bakers half sheet (13 x 18) lined with parchment paper or silpat

Preheat oven to 400F

Ingredients:

Chocolate Sponge Cake:

3 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

80 grams of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

30 grams of cocoa

Method:

In a small bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and set aside.

In a stand mixer or large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar on high speed for 8 minutes until tripled in volume and you have a thick ribbon-like texture.  Whisk in the vanilla and then slowly incorporate the flour mixture by folding it into the batter with a spatula with quick movments and becareful not to deflate the batter.

Spread the batter evenly on the lined baking sheet and bake on 400F  for approx 6 minutes.  Allow it to cool while you prepare the buttercream.

Flip the sponge over onto a clean parchment sheet, set aside until you’re ready to assemble.

Chocolate Buttercream Filling:

120 grams or 3/4 cup chocolate couveture melted

115 grams of softened butter

125 grams icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

In a stand mixer or a large bowl, whisk the softened butter and icing sugar for a few minutes until no lumps remain.  Add the vanilla and cooled melted chocolate and whisk until combined. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Simple Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup boiling water

coffee extract or one shot espresso

Method:

In a small pot bring the water and sugar to a boil.  Take it off the heat and allow it to cool slightly.  Add the espresso or coffee extract and set aside.

Chocolate Ganache/Glaze:

1.5 cups of dark chocolate couvture melted

3/4 cup heavy cream (35%)

8 Ferrero Rocher Chocolates or more (to decorate the top)

Method:

In a large heatproof glass bowl boil the heavy cream (microwave on high for 2 minutes) or bring to a gentle boil in a small pot.  Add the chopped chocolate and let it stand for 1 minute.  Whisk until the chocolate has completely melted and the mixture is smooth and silky.

Assembly:

Working with the sponge cake first leaving it on the parchment. With a pastry brush, gentlely brush the syrup all over the cake until it is absorbed.  Spread the prepared buttercream evenly across the entire sponge.

Starting lenthwise with wet hands, start rolling the cake towards the opposite end keeping it fairly tight, but not so tight that the filling comes out.  Roll it over and ensure that the end seam is underneath.

If you have any syrup left, you can brush the remaining on the top of the cake.

You have two options here.  You can either simply glaze or ganache style frosting and decorate the cake into a log.  Glaze the cake while the chocolate is warm by pouring the warm ganache over the cake using a cake rack with a ladle and allowing it to cool and then frosted it again with an offset spatula as the ganache firms up.

Just before the ganache hardens, adorn the top with whole pieces of Ferrero Rocher Chocolates so that each cake slice will have a piece on top. You can further design the cake however you like with crushed Ferrero Rocher Chocolates on the top or around the bottom.  Dust the set cake with icing sugar (optional).  Enjoy!