The moelleux is a classic dessert from the French cooking repertoire. It requires high quality cooking chocolate, a correct balance of ingredients and some good timing to pull off a moelleux with the perfect molten centre oozing with chocolatey goodness. Taken from The Little Loaf, I believe this deserves a share on the eve of Christmas for all those looking for a quick and yummy make-ahead party dessert. You simply have to fill the dark, gooey mixture in small pudding basins or ramekins and freeze them until your last guest finds his way to the dining table. Pop the frozen treats into a preheated oven for some 10 minutes and you will have everyone drooling over the dessert course. Serve with a thick dusting of cocoa, a spoonful of freshly whipped cream and a raspberry or two to add to the ‘wow’ factor.

MOELLEUX AU CHOCOLAT

Ingredients:

175g good quality dark chocolate

25g salted butter, room temperature

75g golden caster sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of kitchen salt

25g all-purpose flour

Method:

  • Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 200 oC. Butter 4 x 160ml pudding molds or ramekins.
  • Line bases with discs of baking paper. Melt chocolate pieces over a bain marie, set aside to cool slightly.

  • Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and slightly fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Add the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Stir in flour until just combined and gently fold in melted chocolate.

  • The mixture should thicken at this stage. Divide the chocolate mixture between your prepared molds.
  • Bake on the preheated baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn out straight away and eat with ice cream.

  • The uncooked batter keeps well in the fridge for 1 week. If cooking from cold allow an extra 2 minutes.
  • The baking time may be adjusted for a slightly more molten or firmer moelleux au chocolat. Serves 4.

For the Love of Chocolate

COCONUT MILK SUGAR BUNS

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup full cream milk

1 egg, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups white bread flour

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/4 cup caster sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon active yeast

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoon demerara

Method:

  • Pour the coconut milk, milk, egg and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the flour, ensuring that the liquid ingredients are completely covered. Add the salt, caster sugar, butter and yeast.

  • Mix until it forms a soft ball of dough then knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave in a warm place for bout 1 hour until it doubles in volume. Lightly oil two baking sheets.

  • After 1 hour, punch down dough gently and divide into 12 equal pieces. Cover them with oiled plastic wrap. Take one piece, leaving the rest covered and roll it into a rope about 40cm long.

  • Curl the rope into a loose spiral on one of the prepared baking sheets. Tuck the end under to seal and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, spacing spirals well apart on the sheets.

  • Cover the dough spirals with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes until they are doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 220 oC/ 425 oF/ Gas Mark7.

  • Brush the buns with melted butter and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake them for 12 to 15 minutes until they turn golden in colour. Turn out on a wire rack to cool. Makes 12 pieces.

Home Bread Baking

Gourmet declares this as “one of the best ice creams ever” and I cannot agree more. The most blissful thing about this homemade dulce de leche ice cream is that the delicate caramel essence is not obscured by excessive sweetness. Not wastage of egg whites, no careful monitoring to get the correct custard consistency and no long hours of churning in the ice cream maker to do away with large ice crystals, this recipe is a keeper for stifling summer days.

DULCE DE LECHE ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 2/3 cups dulce de leche

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Method:

  • Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat.

  • Whisk in dulce de leche until it is completely dissolved. Whisk in vanilla extract and transfer to a metal bowl.

  • Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. Stir occasionally until cold, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm. Fold in pecans and transfer to an airtight container.

  • Put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts. Dulce de leche ice cream keeps for 1 week.

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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