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Friday, February 26, 2010

What’s Black, White and Deliciously Sweet?!

What is black and white chocolate? Black meant for milk, semi-sweet, dark chocolate combining with either white chocolate or plain white on any types of dessert. Great contrast for looks and flavor, too!

Enjoy the recipes!

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Laura Calder’s Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

5 ounces dark chocolate

4 egg whites

2 tbsp. sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp. orange zest

1 tbsp. Cointreau

Directions:

Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler) until smooth. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, sprinkle over the sugar, and continue beating to a stiff meringue, a minute or two longer.

Beat the yolks with the orange zest and Cointreau in a bowl.

Whisk the chocolate into the yolks. Fold in a spoonful of the whites, then pour the chocolate onto the remaining whites and fold gently to combine evenly. Pour the mousse into a serving bowl. Wrap well with plastic, and refrigerate at least a few hours. Serve garnished with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a little orange zest.

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Black and White Chocolate Petit Fours

Ingredients:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Pinch salt

Dash vanilla

1 extra-large egg white

2 cups cake flour, sifted

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix at low speed. When combined, add egg white then barely incorporate the flour.

Divide the mixture in half. Add the cocoa powder to one half and the cornstarch to the other half. Place each batter a separate pastry bag, then place both bags inside a larger pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch star tip.

Pipe rosettes or drops onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

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Black-and-White Chocolate Truffles 

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream

10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces

8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the cream, stirring. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil.

Place 6 ounces semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the cream mixture and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir the mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small scoop or melon baller, scoop teaspoon-size balls of the chocolate mixture onto the pan; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a double boiler, melt the white chocolate over simmering water, stirring until smooth; remove from the heat. (Keep the water simmering in case the chocolate hardens.) Using a fork, coat each truffle with the white chocolate. Set them on the baking sheet. Refrigerate to harden.

Rinse and dry the bowl, return to the simmering water and add the remaining 4 ounces semisweet chocolate to melt. Pour into a large, resealable plastic bag, make a tiny snip in one corner of the bag and pipe zigzags of dark chocolate over the truffles. Refrigerate overnight.

Yield: 30 Servings

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Black-and-White Cake

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large egg whites

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray, and dust with 2 teaspoons flour.

Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave at high for 1 minute or until butter melts. Add sugar, stirring with a whisk. Add vanilla and egg whites; stir well. Stir in the buttermilk, salt, and baking soda. Lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour, stirring just until blended (do not over stir). Spread half of batter into prepared pan. Add cocoa and almond extract to remaining batter; stir well with a whisk. Slowly pour the chocolate batter over batter in pan.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

YIELD: 9 servings (serving size: 1 cake square)

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Checkerboard Cake

Ingredients:

3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

4 large eggs

1 1/3 cups (320 ml) milk, divided

1 tablespoon (12 grams) pure vanilla extract

4 cups (400 grams) sifted cake flour

2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons (30 grams) baking powder

1 teaspoon (5 grams) salt

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces

Ingredients for ganache:

9 ounces (250 grams) of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

Place the chopped chocolate in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the chocolate to a stainless steel bowl. 

Meanwhile, place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand about 5 minutes. Stir gently and, if necessary, strain through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Stir in brandy. Allow to cool until ganache is lukewarm and pourable.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Grease, or spray with a non-stick vegetable spray, a set of three 9 by 1 inch (23 x 2.54 cm) checkerboard cake pans, line with parchment paper, and then grease and flour again. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together the 4 large eggs, 1/3 cup (80 ml) of milk, and 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and beat to combine. Add the butter and remaining 1 cup (240 ml) milk and beat on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat to incorporate the ingredients.

Divide the batter in half, placing each in a separate bowl (in one of the bowls have a little more than half the batter). Stir the melted chocolate into the smaller amount of batter until it is thoroughly combined. Fill two large pastry bags, fitted with large round tips (about 3/4 inches (2 cm) in diameter, one  with the chocolate batter and the other with the white batter.

Place the divider rings in one of the prepared pans and pipe batter into each section, alternating batter colors (for example - outer and inner ring yellow, middle ring chocolate).  The batter should fill the pan about half full. Using the back of a spoon, smooth the batter. Now carefully lift out the divider. Wash the divider before placing in the next pan. When piping batter for the second layer, alternate the colors, i.e. if you started with yellow for the outside ring, start with the chocolate. Pipe batter into the third pan exactly like the first pan.

Note: You will end up with two pans having the same color pattern and one the opposite.

Bake about 20 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center. The cakes should start to shrink from the sides of the pans only after removal from the oven.  

Note: Be sure that you do not over bake this cake or it will be dry. 

Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife or spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack. To prevent splitting, reinvert so that the tops are up and cool completely before covering with Ganache.

Note: When stacking the layers of the cake, make sure the bottom and top layer are the same pattern so you end up with the checkerboard pattern when you cut the cake.

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Place one layer on a cake circle (top side of cake down on the cake circle so you get a nice flat top) and put on a wire rack. Spread with a thin layer of ganache (you want a very thin layer of ganache so it does not interfere with the checkerboard pattern). Place the second layer (top side down) on top of the first and spread with another thin layer of ganache. Top with the last cake layer (top side down). Pour the rest of the ganache on the top of the cake and with a spatula gently spread the ganache so it drips down the sides of the cake. Use leftover ganache to cover any missed spots. Once the ganache has set gently transfer the cake, using a large offset spatula, to a platter or cake stand.

Store 2 days at room temperature or 5 days refrigerated although this cake is best eaten the first day.

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The checkerboard cake can be challenging to design both colors together, don’t you think?!

Hope you enjoy them!

Happy chocolate day!

 

 

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