Treatsie Tuesday… on a Wednesday?! What is happening to the world?
I’ll tell you what is happening…
This girl is quite taken by a boy who asked her on a date yesterday. And naturally, she had to go out and find a perfect new top for her fancy date – completely forgetting about her blog readers. Selfish. Selfish, selfish girl.
But, I’m not going to lie – it was a little bit worth it. Dinner on the rooftop at a curiously delicious Italian restaurant with the man of my dreams? It was exactly what I needed. What we both needed. Time well spent.
Anyway – on to that teasing photograph you saw up top…
I mean, really? Can you see that decadence? It’s unreal, this scrumptious cake. No, wait – it’s not even cake. That is so incredibly misleading. It’s a truffle. In the shape of a rectangle. It has no flour, no sugar, no butter (don’t be scared). It’s purely chocolate and cream. That’s it, folks. A generous slab of ganache. Wowza!
Good Lord, this stuff is magic. I originally got the recipe from one of my favorite bloggers in the entire universe… Heidi Swanson from 101 Cookbooks. I always love her recipes because they’re earthy and rustic and full of vegetation. And her desserts always sway towards the whole food approach. Her recipes are typically full of nutrition – but of course, I’ve gotta be me and choose the most decadent dessert she has on her site. You can thank me later, after you’ve sunk your teeth into these bad boys.
Now, what you can’t really see here is that these slices are not exactly large. They’re more like the size of a pack of gum. The Extra kind. Or that fruity striped one with the zebra on the package we used to beg our parents for as kids. Even a slice that size is a bit much. This dessert is rich.
I stepped the “cake” up a notch by adding my own flavor infused whipped creams. I have mint, espresso, and orange. Never had orange and chocolate? Oh, you are so missing out! We need to remedy this.
First off – you’ve got to gather up those victims of yours: Chocolate (I used Baker’s Semisweet), Heavy Cream, Vanilla, Salt, and Cocoa Powder.
Before you do anything else, you need to get your pan ready. Now, let’s talk about the pan. This recipe only yields 2 cups. That’s not a lot. And if you want a deep slice like mine, you’ll have to use a mini loaf pan or something quite small. Here… I’ll show you.
You’ll need a pan about the size of two lemons. Or a tube of toothpaste. Or a cute owl trivet. Or a pair of shades.
However, you will need a pan that’s smaller than a dinosaur. But just by a smidge.
Okay. Take your mini loaf pan and grease it up with some butta. Then add a strip of parchment and seal it on the butter real good. Cut off the ends of your parchment.
Now you’re going to start in on the good stuff. Add the cream to a medium sized pot and heat over very gentle heat. You want the cream to just barely be hot when you touch it.
Then you’ve gotta get a double boiler heating. Chop up that chocolate and add it to a double boiler.
You want to melt the chocolate so it drizzles off a spoon in ribbons.
Once that’s melted and your cream is hot to the touch, add the chocolate into the cream, stirring constantly until they become one collective unit – a happy little marriage of deliciousness.
Pour your chocolatey batter into the prepared pan.
Cover it with a little plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge, preferably on top of your leftover beer-drenched chili. (I’ll post about this recipe someday. Mmm.)
Let that chill out in the fridge for at least four hours – but more is preferable. You don’t want to try and cut into it and have liquid chocolate everywhere.
Once it’s chilled enough to cut into slices, dust the top with cocoa powder and slice it into pretty rectangles.
Do you see how fudgy it is? It’s marvelous. It’s completely creamy and cool. Super chocolatey. It’s all things wonderful in this world.
You could totally eat it straight up like this. Maybe throw some fruit or nuts on top. I tried it with some fresh-picked blueberries and it was divine. However, I like to step things up a bit and challenge myself – so I tried making variations of whipped cream. I’ll show you the base instructions for the espresso whipped, then give you the substitutions to make the others.
Before you get started in on the ingredients, grab a bowl and stick in the fridge. This will chill your bowl to help the whipped cream set up real nice.
While the bowl is chilling, grab your victims: Whipping cream, brown sugar, vanilla, and instant espresso powder.
Pour the cream into your chilled bowl. Add in the vanilla, brown sugar, and espresso powder.
Now – you know what to do.
Whip it good.
(Sorry. I had to.)
You’re cream should be nice and thick, but light and fluffy. You know what I’m sayin’?
Be careful around this stuff. It will steal you away. It will bring you to new dimensions in the universe. It will keep you up all night if you have a lick after 7pm.
It will certainly captivate you. It has powers.
Now top that gorgeous slice of “cake” with a dollop of this magic and you’ve got yourself a gourmet dessert. So easy.
Say, what! (I try way too hard to be ghetto. Like 1990’s ghetto. Jeesh. Please help me.)
But seriously, though. Look at that. Mmm. With the hazelnuts? Yikes. I’m smitten.
Also, try it with mint whip.
Or orange whip.
Or, heck. Why not try all three?
Whatever you do, enjoy these beauties. Preferably with a friend. Because sharing is caring.
(You can find the recipes below)
No Bake Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
butter, to grease pan
8 ounces / 225 g 70% chocolate, well chopped
8 ounces / 225 g heavy cream
splash of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
cocoa powder, to serve
Lightly butter a mini loaf pan.
Barely melt the chocolate in a double boiler over gentle heat.
In a separate medium pan heat the cream over gentle heat. When the cream is very warm / hot to the touch, remove from heat and splash in a bit of vanilla. Just a little. Stir in the salt.
Pour the chocolate into the cream, and very slowly and steadily stir until everything comes together smoothly. Make sure the components aren’t at all separate. Pour into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled throughout, a few hours, or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove from the pan, let set at room temperature for ten minutes or so, dust with a bit of cocoa powder, and slice. Alternately, you can slice and serve from the pan.
Prep time: 10 min
Espresso Whipped Cream
1 cup chilled whipping cream
3 tablespoons golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Beat all ingredients in chilled medium bowl to soft peaks. (Can be made 4 hours ahead; cover and chill.)
Whipped Cream Variations
(Using Espresso Whipped Cream recipe as a guide)
For the Mint Whip: Follow instructions exactly, substituting white sugar for the brown, mint extract for the vanilla, and omitting the espresso. I added shaved chocolate pieces to my whip and fresh mint leaves.
For the Orange Whip: Follow instructions exactly, substituting white sugar for the brown, orange extract for the vanilla, and omitting the espresso. I added a good amount of orange zest to the whip as well.