As with most blogging events, SHF #13 crept up without me realizing it. The past few months have been hectic with hubby being sent to work out of town. However, I don’t complain much because 1) we always get to go with him since we’re homeschoolers and 2) he gets sent to places where I can shop for stuff that isn’t available locally. As the next two pics show, I’ve been on a chocolate-buying spree — we don’t know when we’ll get to go to these shops again so it pays to stock up. Hubby and I also have a habit of sharing a piece of chocolate after the dishes are done in the evening, so I try to keep an assortment in the pantry. Like other chocolates, dark ones vary in quality and mouthfeel — a couple were downright gritty and not pleasant at all on the tongue. Others, like the Valrhona, melt so smoothly in your mouth you almost want to swoon.
Dark Chocolate Assortment #1
For the 13th Edition of Sugar High Friday, our wonderful host, Kelli of Lovescool challenged us to try something different. Hunting for recipes in my cookbooks and magazines, I didn’t really find anything that struck me, so I went to manufacturer’s websites until I found Green and Black’s recipe for Konditor and Cook’s Chocolate Biscuit Cake. I’ve baked many chocolate desserts in the past, but I’ve never tried a no-bake recipe. Eureka!
Dark Chocolate Assortment #2
Konditor and Cook is apparently a much-loved bakeshop chain in the U.K., and since I don’t do many English recipes, this was something new to me as well. Lyle’s Golden Syrup is a regular in my pantry, but mostly used for making gingerbread in the fall and winter months. And I’ve seen Digestive Biscuits at my local grocery, but have never bought them. (After I got the amount needed for this recipe, my 3-year old snacked on the rest of the package.) For this recipe, I used a combination of Valrhona, Green and Black’s and Chocolove. I did make changes in the recipe: I am not a big fan of glacÃ© cherries, so I opted to use dried bing cherries, which I soaked in just the littlest bit of brandy for some added richness. I toasted the walnuts a bit on the stovetop until they were fragrant. I also didn’t bother with saucepans and such — my experience with chocolates has taught me that just a bit of care when using the microwave provides the same results, in less time and with a minimal amount of fuss. If you haven’t tried it, here’s how: break up your chocolate in largish pieces and put into a Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave 15-30 seconds at a time (longer if you know your microwave’s not too powerful), stirring after each interval. Stop when about 1/2-3/4 of the chocolate is melted — give it a final stirring; there will be enough heat to melt the rest of the pieces.
I used a slightly larger pan than called for in the recipe — 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ — the smallest loaf pan I have — which really made a difference in the presentation. Mine came out squatty. Next time I make this recipe I’ll opt to use one of those mini loaf pans so it comes out narrower and taller. But this was sooo easy — the only difficult thing about it was waiting the four hours it firms up in the fridge! The resulting “cake”‘s texture is somewhat a cross between fudge and ganache, and the flavor of the chocolate reminds me of my favorite brownie — luscious and utterly decadent.
Thanks so much for hosting Kelli! Great theme, and my family is quite thankful for this sweet, dark, delicious treat.