What better way to delight your sweetheart this Sunday than with more than a box of chocolates, but rather a chocolate creation made by you to show just how much you care?
Here are four chocolate-themed recipes from the chefs at Capsicum Culinary Studio, that are guaranteed to impress your loved one.
Flourless chocolate cake
Chef Eoin Shiell
You’ll need: 675g dark chocolate; 350g salted butter; 9 eggs; Spray & Cook; cocoa powder for dusting; foil
Preheat oven to 220°C. Spray a cake or bread tin well with Spray & Cook and dust with the cocoa powder, making sure to cover the entire surface area of your tin.
In a bowl over a double boiler, whisk eggs over a medium to low heat until the mixture starts to take on a custard-like consistency. Make sure you are whisking constantly and that the water in the pot never makes contact with the base of the bowl. Your sabayon is ready once there are no longer bubbles visible in the custard.
Strain the egg mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside. Melt the chocolate and butter in a separate bowl over the double boiler, stirring occasionally.
Stream the melted chocolate mixture into the sabayon while whisking until both mixtures are well incorporated. Strain again.
Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and gently tap the tin on your counter to level out the mixture.
Place the tin in a deep tray and pour hot water that it comes to about halfway to the height of the tray. Cover the tin with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 5-10 ten minutes. The cake should be set but be slightly wet in the centre, you can use a skewer to check.
Remove from the water bath and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and set in the fridge for at least eight hours before serving.
Warm the exterior of the tin by dipping it in boiling water to help remove the cake from the tin before slicing. Use a knife dipped in hot water to slice the cake.
*Chef’s notes: This flourless cake goes well with vanilla ice cream, peanut brittle and caramelised banana, or Chantilly cream with a berry compote.
Red Velvet chocolate chip cookies
Chef Lungile Makiza
Makes 22 cookies
You’ll need: 1½ cups all-purpose flour; 2 tbs cocoa powder; 1½ tsp cornstarch; ½ tsp bicarb of soda; ¼ tsp salt; 125g unsalted butter (room temperature); ½ cup of brown sugar; ¼ cup of white sugar; 1 large egg; 1 tsp vanilla essence; 2-3 tsp red food colouring; ¾ cup chocolate chips (dark, milk or white)
In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, corn starch, bicarb and salt. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg, vanilla and food colouring. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until fully combined.
Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Scoop equal size balls with a tablespoon and place in the lined tray about 5cm apart.
Bake the cookies for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool on the tray for about 10mins before transferring to a wire rack.
Ginger chocolate fudge
Pierre van Heerden
You’ll need: 115g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing; 6 pieces of ginger (in syrup); 300ml full cream milk; 150g plain milk chocolate, roughly chopped; 450g granulated sugar
Grease a square shallow dish. Dry the syrup off the pieces of stem ginger on kitchen paper, then chop finely.
Pour the milk into a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the chocolate, butter, and sugar. Heat gently, stirring all the time, until the chocolate and butter have melted, and the sugar has completely dissolved.
Bring to the boil and boil for about 10 – 15 minutes stirring occasionally, until a little of the mixture, when dropped into a small bowl of cold water, forms a soft ball when rolled between the fingers.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chopped ginger. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then beat the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon, until thick, creamy, and grainy.
Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared dish, leave to cool, then mark into small squares. Leave the fudge until cold and set, then cut up the squares with a sharp knife.
Decadent chocolate truffles
Pierre van Heerden
You’ll need: 175g milk chocolate, chopped; 3 tbs butter, unsalted; 4 tbs icing sugar; 50g ground almonds (optional); 50g grated chocolate (any kind)
Melt the milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in icing sugar and the ground almonds (optional).
Leave the mixture in a cool place until firm enough to roll into balls. Place the grated chocolate on a plate and roll the truffles in the chocolate to coat them thoroughly.
Place the truffles in paper sweet cases (mini muffin cups) and chill in the refrigerator.