You are currently viewing A Love Letter To Chocolate

A Love Letter To Chocolate

What’s better than getting a box of chocolates? How about being treated to a plateful of these delicious chocolate delights, prepared with love by your special someone? Editor Chad January shows you how to make it look easy…   

3-ingredient chocolate mousse and quick peanut honeycomb  

Serves 4 • Total Time 20 Min (Plus Refrigeration Time) 

For the mousse
4 slabs dark chocolate, chopped
200g white marshmallows, chopped
2 cups cream

For the honeycomb
½ cup peanuts, lightly salted and toasted
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup white sugar

For the mousse
1. Add the chocolate, marshmallows and half the cream to a large heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
2. Stir the ingredients until they have all melted, about 10–12 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
4. In a separate bowl, whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form.
5. Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture until its combined well and smooth.
6. Scoop into serving bowls or glasses and chill overnight until set.

For the honeycomb
1. Arrange the peanuts on a lined baking tray. Set aside.
2. Place the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not stir it.
3. Carefully tilt the pan from side to side to melt the sugar evenly.
4. Once the sugar turns a deep gold colour, add the bicarbonate of soda.
5. Stir to combine and pour onto the tray of peanuts.
6. Cool until honeycomb has set and hardened.
7. Break into shards and serve as a topping with the chocolate mousse.

My Funny Valentine: Show your date just how well you know them by adding their favourite flavours to this mousse. If they’re not a dark chocolate fan, simply swap it for milk or white chocolate. When you melt the chocolate and marshmallows, consider adding cardamom, chilli, cinnamon or a crush of sea salt flakes. Or pour in some coffee or liqueur to add a sophisticated touch.  

Top Tip: Dinner date about to knock? Don’t stress — this mousse is ready to serve whenever you need it.  

Double chocolate brownies with whisky caramel sauce

Makes 12 Brownies • Total Time 30-35 Min  

For the brownies
2 slabs milk or dark chocolate, chopped 
¾ cup butter, softened 
1 cup light brown sugar 
2 eggs, whisked 
1 tsp vanilla essence 
1 cup cake flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder 
2 slabs white chocolate, chopped  

For the caramel sauce
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup whisky
¼ butter, softened
salt pinch
½ cup cream

For the brownies
1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
2. Melt the milk or dark chocolate until smooth and free of lumps. 
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
4. Stir through the eggs and vanilla essence.
5. Gently mix in the flour and cocoa powder.
6. Carefully fold through the white chocolate.
7. Pour the batter into a lined and greased deep rectangular baking tray.
8. Bake for 15–20 minutes. The brownies should still have a bit of a wiggle if you shake the tin slightly.
9. Allow to cool completely in the tin.

Top Tip: When you remove the brownies from the oven, place the tin into ice water to shock it. This will stop the cooking process and produce a gooey fudge brownie.   

For the caramel sauce
1. Place the sugar in a dry pan and cook over medium heat until it starts to melt.
2. Continue cooking until the sugar has melted into a deep golden syrup. Swirl the pan from side to side to melt the sugar evenly.
3. Remove from heat and add the whisky, butter and salt. Stir vigorously.
4. Place the pan back on the heat, stir through the cream and cook for a further 2–3 minutes until completely smooth. Leave to cool.
5. Serve the brownies sliced and drizzled with whisky caramel sauce.

Top Tip: Stirring the sugar while it’s melting will make it crystalise instead of becoming smooth and silky.    

Rib-eye steak with chilli chocolate sauce  

Serves 2 • Total Time 20 Min

2 tbsp olive oil 

2 rib-eye steak  (about 200g each)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cornflour
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 slab dark chocolate, chopped
micro herbs for serving
radishes, sliced for serving
pink peppercorns for serving

1. Rub the steaks with olive oil, coating evenly, and generously season them.
2. Place a large pan over medium-high heat.
3. Add the steak to the pan and brown for 3–4 minutes on each side. This will cook it to medium-rare.
4. Add the butter and baste the steak using a spoon for 1–2 minutes. Remove from the pan. 5. Allow the steak to rest for 4–5 minutes.
5. Place the pan back onto the heat and cook the pan drippings for 2 minutes. Whisk in the cornflour.
6. Cook for 3–5 minutes while whisking.
7. Add the chilli, paprika and dark chocolate to the pan.
8. Cook the sauce for a further 2-3 minutes and season to taste.
9. Arrange the sliced steak on a platter. Garnish with herbs, radishes and peppercorns. Drizzle over the sauce.

Top Tip: Allow the steak to rest for half the amount of cooking time. It allows the meat fibres to relax and redistribute the juices, making for a more tender steak.  

Dark chocolate soufflé with white chocolate and cardamom sauce  

Makes 4 Total Time 30-35 Min (Plus 15 Min Chill Time) 

For the soufflé
2 tbsp butter, softened
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
2 slabs dark chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla essence
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar
¼ cup castor sugar    

For the sauce
2 slabs white chocolate, chopped
½ cup cream
pinch of ground cardamom

Top Tip: Swap the cardamom for nutmeg, cinnamon or citrus zest for some zing. 

For the soufflé
1. Butter the ramekins and sprinkle with sugar. Leave to chill in the fridge.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave over a period of about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir every 30 seconds until smooth. Cool slightly.
3. Whisk the egg yolks, vanilla essence and salt into the cooled mixture.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar to form soft peaks.
5. Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until all the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy.
6. Fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture until combined. Be careful not to over mix.
7. Chill the batter for 15 minutes and preheat oven to 200°C.
8. Spoon the batter into the ramekins and level the tops using a spatula.
9. Run the handle of a spoon around the edge of the batter to create an indent.
10. Place the ramekins into the oven and reduce the temperature to 190°C.
11. Bake the soufflés for 12–15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

For the sauce
1. Melt the white chocolate and cream over a double boiler and stir until smooth.
2. Stir in the cardamom.
3. Serve the soufflé in the ramekin and drizzled with the sauce.

Photography: Zhann Solomons

0 / 5. Vote count: 0