Say It With Chocolate – Four Mouth Watering Recipes
A piece of chocolate can be so much more. It can be a way to say: “I love you”, “Please forgive me” or “I was thinking of you.” And it can be the one thing that lightens up an otherwise gloomy winter night.
Festive Chocolate Bark
Making chocolate bark at home is a whole lot of fun. They make great gifts and it’s also a great weekend activity with kids. Some of my favourite toppings are nuts, dried fruit and berries, candied citrus and flaky sea salt – and pomegranate arils that look like jewels. Go as classic or wild as you like!
Makes 1 bark.
250 g / 9 oz chocolate
toppings of choice
Finely chop the chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate over a water bath: place the chocolate in a heatproof medium-
size bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is almost melted. Take the bowl off the heat and set aside for a couple of minutes.
Pour the melted chocolate on to the prepared baking sheet. With an (angled) spatula, spread the chocolate out into an even layer, about ½ - cm / ¼ - inch thick. Sprinkle with toppings of choice. Transfer into the refrigerator to harden for about 15 minutes or let harden at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours.
Once completely hardened, break up into pieces. Cover and store in the refrigerator (if chocolate is not tempered) or at room temperature (if tempered). If using fresh toppings, like pomegranate arils, it is best to enjoy the chocolate on the same day.
Chances are high that you have never heard about this Italian coffee drink from the southern region of Apulia. An espressino is like a small cappuccino served in a shot glass. A wonderful way to end a cosy winter meal!
For 1 drink, make 1 shot of espresso and pour it into a shot glass. Sweeten the espresso if desired. Top with an equal amount (2 tbsp) frothy milk. You can use whole milk or a plant - based alternative, such as oat milk. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top and enjoy.
This French classic is one of the most rich, chocolatey desserts of all time. Using the best chocolate and eggs you can get hold of is key to a mousse of your dreams. Note: infants, the elderly, people who are pregnant and other high-
risk groups should be careful when eating raw eggs.
6 to 8 servings
200 g / 7 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
4 eggs (EU M / US L), at room temperature
2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
500 ml / 2 cups whipping cream, whipped
Finely chop the chocolate. Separate the eggs into yolks and whites.
Melt the chocolate over a water bath: place the chocolate in a heatproof medium-
size bowl.Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is almost melted. Take the bowl off the heat and stir gently until smooth. Set aside to let cool while you prepare the eggs.
In a grease-free, dry, medium-size bowl, whip the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form.In another medium-size bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy. Set aside.
Stir the beaten egg yolks into the melted chocolate. Add one- third of the egg whites and, with a whisk, stir until incorporated. Carefully fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula just until no white streaks remain. Make sure to scrape along the bottom of the bowl as well.
Spoon the mousse into 6 to 8 individual ramekins, glasses or small bowls (or one bowl if you want to serve it family-style). Cover with plastic or beeswax wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 4 days.
Serve with a very generous dollop of whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.
Good chocolate muffins are hard to resist. Sprinkling them with sea salt flakes and dried flowers makes them the highlight of any dinner party. Use whatever edible dried flowers you have to hand, such as hibiscus, rose, cornflower and lavender. The recipe calls for buttermilk, which is also easy to make at home. If you live in Scandinavia, you can use filmjölk.
Makes 16 to 18 medium-size muffins.
170 g / 6 oz bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao)
90 g / 3 oz bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao)
115 g / 1 stick unsalted butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
250 g / 1 ¾ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp fine sea salt
175 g / heaping ¾ cup granulated sugar
250 ml / 1 cup buttermilk
To sprinkle on top:
sea salt flakes
edible dried flowers
Set the oven to 175°C / 350°F. Line the inside of 16 to 18 muffin cups or tray with muffin liners.
Finely chop 170 g / 6 oz of the chocolate. Melt and set aside to cool. Roughly chop 90 g / 3 oz of the chocolate and set aside. Melt the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a medium-size bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer at high speed, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Turn the speed to low, and gradually add the buttermilk, melted butter and melted chocolate. At this point, the batter may look curdled. Do not worry, as this is normal. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Divide the batter among the muffin liners, filling each ¾ full. Top with the
coarsely chopped chocolate. Bake on the middle rack for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean.
Sprinkle with the sea salt flakes and dried flowers, if preferred, while the muffins are still hot and the chocolate gooey.
Recipes and photos: Sini Kramer
This feature was first published in Laine issue 13