metropol » chocolate

Tag: chocolate

Chocolate & almond butter swirl brownies


Makes 12

 

INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate batter
200g dark chocolate, chopped into 5mm chunks (150g for melting, the rest for the top)
100g coconut oil
100g white spelt flour
100g golden caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
2 organic eggs, or 8 tsp flaxseed
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste

For the almond butter batter
75g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 organic egg, or 4 tsp flaxseed
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
100g smooth almond butter

METHOD

Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and line a 20cm x 20cm brownie tin with baking paper.

For the non-vegan brownies:
For the chocolate batter, melt 150g of the chocolate (saving the rest for the top) with the oil in a small pan over a low heat. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour in the melted chocolate and give the batter another stir until the chocolate is mixed through. Make the almond butter batter by whisking together the sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, whisk again, add the almond butter, stir until well combined and set aside. The batter will be thick.

For the vegan brownies:
Follow the steps above, replacing the eggs with the flaxseed. For the chocolate batter, mix 8 tsp of flaxseed with 6 tbsp of warm water in a separate bowl. For the almond butter, mix 4 tsp of flaxseed with 3 tbsp of warm water in a separate bowl. For both mixtures, leave to thicken for 15 minutes before using.

Dollop alternate heaped spoonfuls of each batter into the tin. Once all the batter is in, use a butter knife to swirl it in figures of eight. Top with the remaining chocolate, pressing each piece slightly into the batter, then sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the brownies are just set with a little wobble and the almond butter swirls are golden. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin completely before cutting.

 

Recipe extracted from One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones. HarperCollins. RRP $54.99


 

Choc-tail masterclass


While the Easter holiday means different things to everyone, there’s no doubt the long weekend as we know it is about indulging with loved ones. So, Metropol has gone on an Easter egg hunt for the chocolatey cocktails to try this long weekend.

 

 

SHOOT THE EGG, NOT THE BUNNY
The ultimate adult chocolate egg is here, thanks to culinary writer Sara McCleary’s Easter egg shots. All you need is 30ml Kahlúa, 30ml vodka, 30ml Irish cream liqueur, 30ml full cream milk, one cup of ice. Blend ingredients until smooth and serve immediately in hollow Easter eggs with the tops sliced off.

A DREAMY CHOCOLATINI
Put that chocolatey spin on a cocktail classic. Add 60ml vanilla vodka and 30ml crème de cacao into a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake in a Bond-like fashion (not stirred) and serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an Easter egg, and “salt” the rim with sugar and cinnamon (or chilli for an extra kick).

HOT AND CROSSED
If you’re not so chocolate inclined, try a tipple inspired by the other Easter treat, a hot cross bun. Shake 40ml spiced gin, 15ml cinnamon and saffron spiced syrup, 60ml pressed apple and a lemon twist together. Pour into a martini or rock glass, leaving the lemon twist in, and garnish with star anise.


 

Taking the cake: Original Foods Baking Co


Celebration season is upon us, and every Kiwi knows you can’t turn up empty handed. Original Foods Baking Co. is here to save the stress of reinventing the salad, engineering an extravagant platter, or choosing the best bottle of wine.

Jaimee Ferris, Marketing Manager of Original Foods Baking Co., tells Metropol why this year you should put your name down for dessert, and choose from one of these delectable options:

BANANA SALTED CARAMEL: It’s banana cake, but not as you know it. Deliciously moist banana cake covered in rich, chocolate ganache and crowned with salted caramel drizzle, chocolate flakes and chocolate drops.

 

LEMON SUBLIME GOOEY CAKE: A citrus sensation. Luscious and light lemon cake with a surprise lemon curd centre. All covered in lemon flavoured cream cheese icing and crowned with a white chocolate flakes and freeze-dried blueberries.

 

CHOCOLATE DRIP: Decadent, delicious and oh so drippy! A classic combination of rich chocolate cake covered in smooth, vanilla cream cheese icing and dressed-up with chocolate ganache drizzle, chocolate drops and salted caramel crisps.

CHOCOLATE AND RASPBERRY DRIZZLE: Love at first sight, and first bite! Delicious, rich chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache, raspberry drizzle, freeze-dried raspberries, and finished off with chocolate drops.

 

CHOCOLATE DAZZLE GOOEY CAKE: Next level chocolate cake. A classic, rich chocolate cake with a surprise centre of molten chocolate. All covered in chocolate ganache and topped with dark chocolate buds. Chocoholics rejoice!

These cakes are perfect for any occasion and can be purchased from Countdown or ordered online from the Original Foods Baking Co. website.


 

Taking the cake


Traditional wedding cakes will always have their place, but if you’re looking for something which reflects the unique tastes and style of the newlyweds – why not forgo the fruitcake and white fondant for something a little different?

 

There are many ways to pay homage to the custom of a cake without being tied to traditional flavours or looks which may not align with what you had in mind for your big day.

Here are our picks for ways to mix up your nuptial confection choices so you can put a sweet end to your special day, your way.


CAKE BUFFET
Why settle on one or two cake flavours for your big day, when you could have them all? Create an indulgent sweet feast sure to satisfy the spectrum of palates on your invite list with a cake buffet. The serve-yourself table can be a fun and aesthetically pleasing way to add flavour variety, while simultaneously catering to any dietary requirements.


SAY CHEESE
For the savoury-leaning foodies, a cheese cake saves the day. By cheese cake, we mean wheels of cheese arranged atop each other like the tiers of a traditional wedding cake. Decorate your cheese cake with traditional wedding cake toppers like flowers, or opt for those which pair perfectly with fromage, like figs and grapes.


NO CAKE AT ALL
Cookie-cutter weddings may be undesirable for some, but cookies instead of cakes could well be the order of the day. Iced with personal messages or the newly weds’ initials, wedding cookies can even be cute keepsakes for guests to take home when wrapped. Or, instead of cookies, you could indulge in wedding macarons, wedding meringues or wedding cake pops.


LET YOUR TASTE BUDS DO THE TALKING
Of all the organising, decision-making and double (quadruple?) checking that goes into your big day, choosing which sweet treat you’ll serve has potential to be one of the most enjoyable. So why not let your taste buds do the research for you? Sample your favourite sweet treats and dessert dishes – and simply pick the one you just like the best.


DANCE FLOOR FRIENDLY
Many couples choose to cut and serve the cake about the same time as the celebrations move to the dance floor. Consider making this timing a feature and serve cake (or cake alternatives) which complement the post-dinner dancing. Think cupcakes, donuts or the popular French wedding dessert, croquembouche.


A NOD TO NOSTALGIA
Weddings are known as celebrations of the happy couple’s pasts, while toasting to a new future. So why not take this one step further by serving favoured culinary confections from your childhood. Some couples have served stacks of pancakes, cookie towers or even soft serve cones from foodtrucks.


 

Takes the cake


It’s long been said you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but with our roundup of the latest cake trends for the Romeos and Juliets of 2020, you might just be able to! These are some of the sweetest staples of the big day.

 

CROCHET CAKE: You’ll find crochet and macramé winding its way around three, four or even five tier cakes this year, its intricate delicacy creating an elaborate lace-like feature.

I THINK OF YOU FRONDLY: With the modern wedding leaning towards a natural and clean colour palette, many brides and grooms are swapping their bright, colourful blooms for crisp, elegant ferns to decorate their cake.

FESTIVAL OF FLAVOUR: We’re quickly swapping out the traditional flavours of vanilla or fruit cake for those that are a little more exciting and unexpected, like pistachio, pink champagne and even lime.

SAY CHEESE! Well that was unexpected, right? Yes cakes made out of stacked cheese wheels are actually a thing! So too are stacked doughnuts, macaron towers and tiered cookie cakes, as today’s matrimonial matches are thinking outside the box for alternative ways to take the cake.


 

Sweet like chocolate


Velvety tones of chocolate and caramel create a delicious bedroom retreat that is perfect for autumn. You won’t want to leave the comforts of your cocoon, as these cool combinations will give you Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory vibes (before things began to turn pear-shaped).

 

BO CONCEPT AUSTIN BED.

 

We’ve come up with ways to drizzle these tones into your sleeping quarters that’ll make you want to lick your lips.

Colour of choice: Cocoa-coloured walls are trending right now. Not only do they serve as a great backdrop for bold and bright colours but should you choose to go the opposite way and pair it with softer tones, the result is welcoming a feeling of comfort into your bedroom.

BO CONCEPT AMSTERDAM SOFA.

It’s all in your head(board): Thinking about adding a bit more oomph or oh la la to your bedroom? Try investing in a headboard (or if you’re feeling daring, try DIY). Why not try adding one in a chocolate shade? While it might resemble a chocolate bar, it’s the perfect bedroom centrepiece for those with a sweet tooth.

BOCONCEPT MANHATTAN WALNUT VENEER.

A match made in heaven: If you fall in love with the headboard, the addition of matching bedside tables might be just what you need to take your bedroom to the next level.

ADAIRS ARIES CUSHION.

 

Tempting textures: Master bedroom paint colours set the mood of the space, whether that’s invigorating or calming and, when it comes to the bedroom, it’s the latter you’re going to be seeking. The beauty of brown tones is they do just that, brown is after all, a neutral. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Texture is a way to give ivory, taupe, grey, or tan a boost. Choose a glossy paint or add a shimmery or opalescent paint finish. Complete with velvet throws and coarse rugs.

LINEN HOUSE DELUXE WAFFLE BRICK EUROPEAN PILLOWCASE

 

Decadent Chocolate Truffles


Truffles are an easy recipe that will reap many brownie points from your Valentine this year, especially when you personalise them with their favourite flavour combo.

 

 

INGREDIENTS
250g high quality dark chocolate (62 percent cacao or higher)
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

OPTIONAL FLAVOUR FUSIONS
Mint leaves (chopped with stems removed, about 1 cup)
Cinnamon and cardamom (1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods)
Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
Espresso powder (1 tablespoon) and coffee liqueur (1 tablespoon)
Hazelnut essence (1/2 teaspoon) and toasted chopped hazelnuts
Orange oil (1/8 teaspoon) and orange liqueur (1-2 tablespoons)

OPTIONAL COATINGS
Truffle coatings
Cocoa powder
Finely chopped hazelnuts
Finely chopped almonds
Chocolate sprinkles
Drizzle with melted chocolate

METHOD
In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (stir and scrape down the sides with a spatula every few minutes).

If you are using one of the optional flavour fusions, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let seep for an hour. Strain away any solids and return the cream to a simmer before proceeding with the recipe.

Ganache:
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a separate bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and add the vanilla. Allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth.

Allow the ganache to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours.

Use a teaspoon to roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands), then roll them in your optional coatings.

Place the truffles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put them in the refrigerator overnight.


 

A sweet empire


Oonagh Browne’s love affair with chocolate has been more rich, intense and satisfying than for most. In fact, she says, it saved her life. We catch up with the queen of chocolate about why she believes eight cacao beans a day keeps the doctor away.

 

 

Irish-born Oonagh had been climbing the corporate ladder in London after completing a business degree when her boss gave her “the greatest gift”.

“He told me that I would get to the top rung of that corporate ladder,” she explains.

Already unhappy in the corporate world, the conversation provided a moment of clarity and she realised reaching the top wouldn’t bring her any satisfaction.

Within nine months she had packed it in to travel.

Eventually ending up in Australia, she began training to be a yoga teacher. It was during her time here that she met Suzanne Johnson and Bernie Prior who would later open She Universe, the idyllic café perched at the top of Governors Bay.

It was when Oonagh decided to make chocolate for a charity event that she discovered an innate gift for the confection.

“It’s like some people who have this innate talent for painting,” she says. “I found that in chocolate. I fell in love.”

When Oonagh’s then-husband Declan suggested they move to Christchurch to help Suzanne and Bernie run She Café, the couple made a new home here, but their work in the café wasn’t to be, with a fire destroying it just three weeks after they arrived. It would remain closed for nine months.

So instead they started selling Oonagh’s chocolate creations at the Lyttelton Farmers’ Market, her Decadent Date chocolate and hot chocolate were instant hits with the locals.

When the rebuilt café opened, it was Oonagh’s creative chocolate flair that helped She Universe become a local Canterbury icon.

With the chocolate winning numerous awards, it was soon being supplied to outlets throughout the country and is now celebrating a move from Governors Bay to the new She Chocolaterie at Riverside Markets this year.

Post-quake though, Oonagh experienced severe depression or a ‘mental breakdown’.

“I was in the darkest place and nothing could help me, not even the support of amazing, wise friends,” she says.

Willing to try just about anything, she started researching natural antidepressants when she discovered cacao; the purest form of the very chocolate she was already in love with.

She vowed to have a cacao smoothie every day, combining it with another superfood maca which, combined with cacao, create a powerful antidepressant.

“Within 10 days I started coming out of the darkness and I started to have hope. I started to ‘see’ the thoughts rather than ‘be’ the thoughts and I soon learnt to master them,” she says.

“I started to delve into the health side of cacao and spend time on a cacao farm owned by a friend in Samoa. It was a profound experience as I discovered my depth of connection with this food. Cacao is one of the oldest foods, with the ability to heal our bodies and support us on so many levels.”

Cacao’s health properties are well-supported by science, with the powerful little bean not only packed with nutrients such as iron, magnesium and zinc, but also antioxidants for heart health and neurotransmitters which contribute to wellbeing and happiness. For Oonagh, it’s a daily medicine she swears by. “Eight cacao beans a day keeps the doctor away!”

Oonagh’s work in Samoa has expanded to Peru and the Solomon Islands, where she is endeavouring to reverse the damaging effect of global demand for chocolate for cacao farmers.

Since the commodification of chocolate, large companies have continued to drive the price of beans down, with the supply chain leaving many cacao farmers impoverished, despite hard labour.

The knowledge of cacao’s medicinal value has been lost, even to those who farm it and it’s no longer viable to be a cacao farmer, so young people are no longer staying on their farms.

Oonagh is putting heart and soul into getting infrastructure and training into these regions, enabling the farmers to earn more and encouraging young people to become cacao farmers.

One of the greatest impacts is teaching the farmers how to enjoy the bean themselves, creating cookbooks with recipes and teaching them how to make tea from cacao bean husks (known as Skinny Tea in the Solomons due to its ability to encourage weightloss) and even cacao face masks.

She’s passionately spearheading a cacao revolution.

“We want to connect the consumer and cacao farmer and close the gap, and for the cacao farmer, more than anything, to be empowered and proud of what they grow, but first they need to be earning a real income.

“Cacao was once honoured and revered, then we added sugar and it became something different; its time as a powerful medicine was forgotten, but now we’re experiencing a revolution; a cacao revolution.”

“I want people to know it’s the food of the gods.”