Cooking with chocolate

In the second of our two blogs to mark World Chocolate Day, FudgePots  suggests a few things to do with chocolate.

The first thing is to say: buy the best. Cheap cocoa powder makes cheap-tasting chocolate cake. We use plenty of top-quality, Fairtrade and organic cocoa to make our dairy Rich Chocolate and vegan Choco Coco fudges.

 And the second thing is: be generous. To make our chocolate fudge extra chocolatey, we hatched a cunning scheme to take the original recipe, and then double the amount of cocoa powder. Surprise, surprise — the result is a seriously chocolatey fudge!

Cooking chocolate

Chocolate comes in two cookable forms: bars and cocoa powder. A cooking bar must be at least 60% cocoa. It makes no difference whether it is labelled bitter, dark, plain, luxury, pâtissier’s or cooking. Valrhona has arguably the reputation for being the best. Cooking chocolate bars should look as flawless and glossy as the best designer chocolate bars; don't buy dull or dusty-looking chocolate.

 To melt chocolate, place it in a bowl set over a pan of cold water and gently heat to a slow simmer. Stir, stir, and stir again to keep the chocolate silky smooth.

Dishes

Shell Pour melted chocolate over ice cream or sorbet and freeze it, to form a crisp shell.

 Sauce Mix double cream into melted chocolate and pour over stewed pears, pancakes, cakes or puddings. Mix thoroughly to achieve a uniform colour, or just a bit to get swirl patterns (very pretty).

 Orange truffles Easy! Melt dark chocolate and mix with cream to form a ganache, along with orange zest and a little orange juice. Form into bite-size spheres and roll them in cocoa powder. For celebrations, buy edible gold sheet and use tweezers to press shreds of gold onto the surface of the truffles.

 Cakes Most cake recipes won’t suffer unduly if you replace a few spoonfuls of flour with cocoa powder, and maybe a few drops of chocolate essence. Search online for beetroot chocolate cake: the sweet beetroot adds depth and a beautiful dark colour.

 Sourdough au chocolat Bake whole chocolate chunks into sourdough bread.

 Fondants & tarts Search online for a recipe that suits you. Fondants generally call for the addition of egg yolks. If you whisk up the whites, it may result in soufflé.

 Mole This South American savoury sauce can be highly piquant, loaded with chilli, or sweet and sour. It is good with strong meats such as venison or game, but can also go with poultry.

 Ice cream Liven up chocolate ice cream by crumbling in Italian biscotti/cantucci or amaretti biscuits, or FudgePots Ginger Snap fudge.

The family’s favourite ice cream bombe with chocolate shell, dusted with edible glitter

The family’s favourite ice cream bombe with chocolate shell, dusted with edible glitter

Ice cream bombe Line a bowl first with clingfilm and then with slices of cake and raspberry jam. Fill it with ice cream(s), clingfilm the top and freeze overnight. You can mix fruits and nuts into the ice cream beforehand if you like. Next day, melt two posh bars of chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir it, to make it smooth. Turn the bombe out onto a cake stand, and pour the chocolate over it. Serve straight away, or return to the freezer.

Chocolate fudge sauce

You can heat any flavour of FudgePots fudge, with a little water, in a saucepan to create hot fudge sauce — FudgePots use all-natural ingredients that don't degrade when recooked, so it is perfectly safe to do this. For the ultimate Chocolate Nut experience, pour hot Chocolate fudge sauce over vanilla ice cream, and scatter chopped hazelnuts on top. Alternatively, enhance chocolate ice cream with Ginger Snap fudge sauce.