Chocolate makes these recipes stand out

Love chocolate? Want to prepare interesting dishes with it? Here are some for you then, sent to us by Delhi-based Chef Sakshi Tuli of Tandoori Nights Grand Catering Services.

Belgium chocolate cake

Ingredients

For the cake

1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 tbsp, melted)

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, broken into ½ ounce pieces

8 large egg yolks

3/4 cup granulated sugar

4 large egg whites

For the filling

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, broken into ½ ounce pieces

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tbsp

For garnish

Grated chocolate, cookie crumbs or chopped nuts for coating the sides of cake, if desired

Method for the cake

Lightly coat the insides of three 9 by 1 1/2-inch cake pans with melted butter. Line each pan with parchment paper, then lightly coat the parchment paper with more melted butter. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.

Heat one inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place the remaining butter and 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap. Allow to heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth, and hold at room temperature.

Place the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on high until slightly thickened and turn lemon-coloured, for about 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on high for an additional 2 minutes.

While the egg yolks are beating, whisk 4 egg whites in a large stainless steel bowl until stiff, but not dry, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the melted chocolate mixture into the beaten egg yolk mixture. Add a quarter of the beaten egg whites and stir to incorporate, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading evenly, and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow cool in the pans for 15 minutes. (During baking, the surface of the cakes will form a crust; this crust will normally collapse when the cakes are removed from the oven.) Invert the cakes onto cake circles, remove the parchment paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling

To prepare the dark chocolate cream, heat one inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place the semi-sweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with film wrap and allow to heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Transfer the melted chocolate to a stainless steel bowl and set aside until needed. Place heavy cream and sugar in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a well-chilled balloon whip. Whisk on high until stiff peaks form, about one and a half minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a hand whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated. Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold together.

Chunky vegetable chilli with dark chocolate sauce

Ingredients

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, chopped into chunks, and blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes

2 - 3 red peppers, chopped into chunks

200g mushrooms, white or brown, chopped

200g butternut squash, peeled, scraped and cubed

1 cups (250 ml) tomato sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

400 ml tin of red kidney beans

2 tbsp oil

40 g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely

For the spice mix:

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 - 1 tsp hot chilli powder (to taste)

1 tsp salt (to taste)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp celery salt (optional)

1 tbsp paprika (optional)

Method

Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the onion. Sauté for about five minutes, until softened, then add the spice mix, including salt.

Fry for two minutes, then add the chopped carrots, peppers, mushrooms and squash. Stir together to coat with all the spices for about two-three minutes.

Add the tomato sauce and paste, and simmer together for about 20 minutes. Add the beans, water and all. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, then stir in the chocolate until it melts. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, then take off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Serve over rice or with a chunk of bread.

Sakshi Tuli is the Executive Chef and co-founder of Tandoori Nights, Grand Catering Services. Sakshi, who has extensive catering experience, primarily with the ITC Group & the Taj Group of Hotels, is the backbone of Tandoori Nights. She developed an interest in cooking at a very young age and later on, it became a profession for her. She believes, through cooking you can bring colours into people’s life, and that cooking can fulfil all our senses when done properly.

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