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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

~Singularly Chocolate~ So dense, no lite can ever escape

This is the first thing I ever learned to make at culinary school!  Once a few years back, I made it for a family birthday party and I've been proud of it ever since.  My family makes a point of being able to consume large amounts of chocolate but this cocoa bomb chocolated out every one of them with only a small piece.  Still one of my favorite "all-out" recipes when you just want it to taste like it should!  Diet recipes be Damned I say! and you'll soon see why:

~Chocolate Decadence with Fresh Red Raspberry Sauce~
Printable Recipe

7 oz Dark Chocolate, Chopped (66% Cocoa)
7 oz Cocoa Block, Chopped (100% Cocoa)
9 oz Butter, Room Temp, Cut Into Small Pieces
5 oz Water
6 Bakers Sugar
5 Eggs + 1 Yolk, Lightly Beaten
3 oz Bakers Sugar

Raspberry Sauce

SPECIAL TOOLS: 9" Round Cake Pan with Parchment Paper Liner
                              Large Tray or Pan for Water Bath
                              Mesh Strainer

Preheat oven to 300f

Start by putting a pot with a large mouth on tho simmer as a double boiler.  You won't always need this but it's good to have ready if you do.  Chop your chocolate and add it along with the butter to a medium metal bowl.

NOTES - You can adjust the dark chocolate to cocoa block ratio without worry if you like a darker or lighter chocolate flavor.  Don't adjust the cane sugar levels too much because it may make your recipe taste like burn sugar or scramble the eggs.

Combine 5oz Sugar and 6oz Water in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Make sure all the sugar is completely dissolved as it can give you a gritty end result...  no fun there.  Bakers sugar works great for this since the grains are smaller and you have less impurities.  Once you have a god boil, remove the pot from heat and let stand 30 seconds to cool slightly.
Pour the hot sugar water SLOWLY over the chocolate and butter in 2 goes to melt.  Stir the entire time as too much heat in one spot may cause your chocolate to separate and become gritty and/or not set properly when baking.  The same thing happens when you get to a candy bar that has been in the sun too long:  mush with white gritty streaks of unstable fatty crystals.  This is very unlikely though if you're paying any attention to it at all so don't worry too much, just don't add all the water still at a boil at once.


When we add the liquid to chocolate, you are adding liquid to a stable emulsion of dry particles (the cocoa itself.)  The physics involved are actually quite similar to adding water to sand or dirt in that you need to add the right amount to reach a stable form.  If you add too little liquid you get clumps or moistened particles that cling together tightly mixed into dry powder.  This is especially true in chocolate where the particles are suspended in a mixture of stable and unstable fatty acids and crystals, making the particles adhere with greater tenacity. If we add too little water, we get wads of seized chocolate clinging to each other creating even bigger wads and so on and so on... the end result is a thick, gloppy and eventually hardening mass of un-useable chocolate.
The simple solution to this is adding enough liquid. Once the right ratio is achieved, you get an evenly distributed solution of dry particles in liquid, allowing the particles to move past each other and not cling and set so readily. This same principle is true in many different recipes like when you add water to flour before adding fat like eggs and butter (for better mixing), or mixing corn starch with water to allow for absorption into sauces. Science can be chocolate coated too it seems! Delicious, Delicious SCIENCE!!


Once all the liquid is absorbed, place the bowl over the simmering pot of water and stir gently until any clumps of chocolate and/or butter melt completely and the mixture becomes uniform and quite shiny.  The shininess is key here as is the temp:  You want to have the mixture at just the edge of hot to the touch or it can cool too quickly when you add the eggs. 
Once you've got the right consistency and temp, whisk together eggs and 3 oz of sugar.  Doing so any earlier can actually cause the sugar to scramble the eggs...  again, no fun at all.  Add the egg to the chocolate and return to the double boiler.  Cook until it becomes very shiny and reaches the same temp to the touch.  Strain through a mesh strainer into a clean bowl to remove any overcooked egg bits.  Pour into your parchment lined cake pan and bake in a water bath for 35-50 minutes or until the edges begin to set and the center is still relatively jiggly.  Remove from the water bath and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour (should be just warm) then cover with aluminum foil and place in the fridge to set at least 8 hrs or overnight.
 Serve with Raspberry Sauce, fresh berries, whipped cream.  I always like to add a tiny bit of fresh mint for color.

Another one of my favorite things EVER!  Definitely one for those occasions where the host of a party card says "bring a chocolate desert."  And how!  Its great as a simple at home thing but works very well as a fancy plated desert!  You can also add many different flavorings to the chocolate when you add the eggs like Grand Mariner or Creme de Menth.  As always:  Experiment and have fun!


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