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Jun 17, 2005 10:15 PM

Chocolate Challenge

  • d

I'm a good cook, but not much of a baker. With very few exceptions, my idea of a great dessert is something that requires minimal effort on my part, beyond washing and cutting up some fruit or, when push comes to shove, using a cake mix. However, for reasons too silly to explain, I *have* to come up with something using a specific ingredient: a 4-ounce bar of Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate. It would be nice if it didn't have any nuts in it, but peanuts would be acceptable. I'm at a loss. The only thing I can come up with is individual molten chocolate cakes. I've succeeded at this one using Valhrona bittersweet chocolate before. I don't know if there's much difference between the brands. Anybody have an opinion or suggestion for this pastry-challenged soul? By the way, I have no problem using ready-made pie dough or one of those pre-made crusts, if that's something that might come into play. The only requirement is the above-mentioned bittersweet chocolate, but I don't have to use the whole bar if I don't want to. HELP!?

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  1. something simple; roll strips of chocolate up in store bought puff pastry. Brush with eggyolk and sprinkle with sugar. (and maybe cinnamon) Now you have suprisingly good chocolate croisants.

    1. Take your pre-made crust if you have one, bake if it isn't pre-baked; melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler (or, carefully, in a heavy saucepan--don't let it get too hot and especially don't let any liquid get in it!), then use a pastry brush (or scraper/spatula) to "paint" the inside of the crust with the chocolate. Let the chocolate cool/harden. Then add: some custard (creme anglaise) OR whipped cream, then fresh fruit. Or, you can just add the fruit...could be sliced bananas, berries, kiwi, apricots, etc. or a combination. Optional: make a glaze of warmed apricot (or other fruit) preserves, adding a splash of liqueur if desired, and pour evenly over the fresh fruit. Chill until ready to serve.