Monday, September 7, 2009
A little while ago, I received an email from Emma at Bang PR. She offered to send me some samples of Green & Black’s Organic chocolate to try in my cooking and I just couldn’t say no! Green & Black’s use quality organic ingredients sourced from farmers who use biodiverse methods of growing cocoa beans to support a more environmentally sustainable ecosystem. So you can feel good about indulging in some chocolate every now and then!
I decided to use the Maya Gold – a dark chocolate blended with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and a hint of orange that was inspired by the Maya Indians in southern Belize. It was also the first UK product to be awarded with the Fair Trade Mark. This was my favourite – not too bitter, but richly flavoured and it hit all the right notes. It would make an absolutely killer hot chocolate, I’m sure. To complement the flavours in the chocolate, I made profiteroles filled with a Cointreau and vanilla crème, using my favourite fool-proof recipe for choux pastry and adapting the crème recipe from Gourmet Traveller magazine.
They were delicious, as you can imagine – crispy choux with a creamy interior, dipped into Maya Gold chocolate. Next time I would flavour the crème a little more intensely and cut back on the cream because the flavours were just a little too subtle. It needed a vanilla bean and maybe a cinnamon stick to stand up to the intensity of the chocolate. You could even add some candied orange peel to boost the flavour. But this was an absolutely delicious dessert, and my Dad loved it on Father’s Day. Thanks again to Emma for sending the fantastic Green & Black’s samples!
Profiteroles with Orange Crème and Maya Gold Chocolate
Makes 45-50 profiteroles
Orange Crème (adapted from Gourmet Traveller)
• 200ml milk
• 50ml Cointreau or Grand Marnier
• 6 pieces orange rind, removed with a vegetable peeler
• ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 egg yolks
• 3 tablespoons caster sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornflour
• 100ml thickened cream
• 100g unsalted butter
• 1 cup cold water
• 150g plain flour, sifted
• 4 eggs
• 100g Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate, melted
1. To make the orange crème, combine milk, 30ml Cointreau, orange rind, vanilla seeds and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and then remove from the head and stand for 15 minutes to infuse.
2. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk for 2-3 minutes. Add cornflour and whisk to combine Return milk mixture to the heat and bring just to the boil. Strain over egg mixture, whisking continuously and then return to pan. Whisk over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until thick and smooth. Transfer to bowl, cover closely with plastic and chill completely.
3. When cold, whisk to break up slightly. Add cream and remaining Cointreau and whisk until thick and smooth. Refrigerate until required.
4. To make the choux pastry, preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F) and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Combine butter and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Add flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
5. Add eggs to the mixture, beating vigorously to combine after each addition before adding the next. To make profiteroles, use either a piping bag or a spoon to make 3cm mounds on the baking tray.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Prick pastries with a skewer or the tip of a small knife and bake for an additional 5 minutes until golden and dry. Cool profiteroles on a wire rack before filling with orange crème. Dip into melted Maya Gold chocolate before serving.