Not all that sinful, really

Not all that sinful, really

Not all that sinful, really

Chef Shajji shows you how to make some unique and artsy food out of the primary varieties of chocolate

Chocolate is a processed, typically sweetened food produced from the seed of the tropical theobroma cacao tree. Very few foods incite the kind of emotions chocolates incite in people. Passion for chocolates goes beyond and is different from love for “sweet” candies or desserts. After all few people crave caramel, whipped cream or bubble gum as much as chocolate. Chocolate is, well, different! For a true chocoholic, just thinking about chocolate evokes a pleasurable feeling.

And now there is growing evidence that, in small quantities, several varieties of chocolates may actually be good for you. Dark chocolate, for instance, is rich in flavonols, a type of anti-oxidants. These compounds help in lowering the blood pressure and protect against heart diseases, amongst other things. Chocolate, with all its health benefits intact, can be used in preparing multiple dishes.

Here are some unique recipes:

Broccoli chocolate soup

(A unique soup made with butter, tossed broccoli, finished with chocó cream and seasoned with tobascco sauce)

Ingredients: 100g broccoli, 20g white chocolate, 3 – 4 cloves garlic cloves, 20g onions, 1 sprig of celery, 1 sprig of leeks, salt and black pepper as per taste, 2g of thyme, 15g of unsalted butter, 10g cocoa powder, 30g cooking cream, 100ml vegetable stock.

Method: Saute onion and garlic in butter, with celery and leeks. Add sliced broccoli. Add the stock in sauted vegetables, bring it to boil and add the remaining ingredients. Then blend well with a hand blender. Finish the soup with chocolate cocoa cream.

Grilled pear chocolate salad

(A salad specially customised to cater to those who love raspberries and chocolates)
Ingredients: 1 pear, 30g frozen raspberries, 20g hazelnut paste, 20g iceberg lettuce, 25g processed cheese, 30ml olive oil, 30g dark chocolate, 10g refined flour, 10ml milk, 10g icing sugar, 10g cocoa powder, salt for seasoning, sage as per taste.

Method: Slice pear into three layers, marinate it with sage and seasonings, and grill it. Stuff the pear with seasoned lettuce topped with hazelnut paste, raspberries and cheese. For chocolate crisp, mix refined flour, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder forming batter. Spread the prepared batter onto baking sheet and bake till crisp. For amazing taste, serve warm.

Chocolate sponge prawns

(Torched king prawns with chocolate sponge and coca nib’s jelly - a starter which is indulgent, and appetizing for every occasion)

Ingredients: 1 king prawn, 3-4 garlic cloves, 2 lemons, a sprig of parsley, a little white wine, freshly ground salt and black pepper as per taste, 4 tbsp olive oil. For chocolate sponge, take 2 and half eggs, 75g sugar, 70g refined flour, 10g cocoa powder, 3g baking powder. For cocoa nib’s jelly, take 25g cocoa nibs, 50ml sugar syrup, 5g gelatin/agar-agar
Method: Place a small amount of oil in the pan and start to cook the prawns. When they begin to turn pink, add a glug of white wine. Peel and finely grate the garlic into the pan before the alcohol burns off (do not add the garlic before the wine or after the alcohol has burned off or it will burn too). Add the zest of both lemons and the juice of one lemon and leave to simmer until some of the liquid disappears.

Add the parsley and salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and serve with salad or potatoes. For making chocolate sponge, whisk egg with sugar to peak stage, fold in flour sieved with baking powder, pour the batter on greased baking tray and bake at 180 degrees for 7 mins. For cocoa nib jelly, boil sugar water to form sugar syrup, add melted gelatin, mix cocoa nibs, and set into trays. Torch the prawns before final plating of the dish.

CHOC-O-BLISS

Chef Shajji shows you how to make some unique and artsy food out of the primary varieties of chocolate

Chocolate is a processed, typically sweetened food produced from the seed of the tropical theobroma cacao tree. Very few foods incite the kind of emotions chocolates incite in people. Passion for chocolates goes beyond and is different from love for “sweet” candies or desserts. After all few people crave caramel, whipped cream or bubble gum as much as chocolate. Chocolate is, well, different! For a true chocoholic, just thinking about chocolate evokes a pleasurable feeling.

And now there is growing evidence that, in small quantities, several varieties of chocolates may actually be good for you. Dark chocolate, for instance, is rich in flavonols, a type of anti-oxidants. These compounds help in lowering the blood pressure and protect against heart diseases, amongst other things. Chocolate, with all its health benefits intact, can be used in preparing multiple dishes.

Here are some unique recipes:

Broccoli chocolate soup

(A unique soup made with butter, tossed broccoli, finished with chocó cream and seasoned with tobascco sauce)

Ingredients: 100g broccoli, 20g white chocolate, 3 – 4 cloves garlic cloves, 20g onions, 1 sprig of celery, 1 sprig of leeks, salt and black pepper as per taste, 2g of thyme, 15g of unsalted butter, 10g cocoa powder, 30g cooking cream, 100ml vegetable stock.

Method: Saute onion and garlic in butter, with celery and leeks. Add sliced broccoli. Add the stock in sauted vegetables, bring it to boil and add the remaining ingredients. Then blend well with a hand blender. Finish the soup with chocolate cocoa cream.

Grilled pear chocolate salad

(A salad specially customised to cater to those who love raspberries and chocolates)

Ingredients: 1 pear, 30g frozen raspberries, 20g hazelnut paste, 20g iceberg lettuce, 25g processed cheese, 30ml olive oil, 30g dark chocolate, 10g refined flour, 10ml milk, 10g icing sugar, 10g cocoa powder, salt for seasoning, sage as per taste.

Method: Slice pear into three layers, marinate it with sage and seasonings, and grill it. Stuff the pear with seasoned lettuce topped with hazelnut paste, raspberries and cheese. For chocolate crisp, mix refined flour, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder forming batter. Spread the prepared batter onto baking sheet and bake till crisp. For amazing taste, serve warm.

Chocolate sponge prawns

(Torched king prawns with chocolate sponge and coca nib’s jelly - a starter which is indulgent, and appetizing for every occasion)

Ingredients: 1 king prawn, 3-4 garlic cloves, 2 lemons, a sprig of parsley, a little white wine, freshly ground salt and black pepper as per taste, 4 tbsp olive oil. For chocolate sponge, take 2 and half eggs, 75g sugar, 70g refined flour, 10g cocoa powder, 3g baking powder. For cocoa nib’s jelly, take 25g cocoa nibs, 50ml sugar syrup, 5g gelatin/agar-agar
Method: Place a small amount of oil in the pan and start to cook the prawns. When they begin to turn pink, add a glug of white wine. Peel and finely grate the garlic into the pan before the alcohol burns off (do not add the garlic before the wine or after the alcohol has burned off or it will burn too). Add the zest of both lemons and the juice of one lemon and leave to simmer until some of the liquid disappears.

Add the parsley and salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and serve with salad or potatoes. For making chocolate sponge, whisk egg with sugar to peak stage, fold in flour sieved with baking powder, pour the batter on greased baking tray and bake at 180 degrees for 7 mins. For cocoa nib jelly, boil sugar water to form sugar syrup, add melted gelatin, mix cocoa nibs, and set into trays. Torch the prawns before final plating of the dish.

White chocolate snapper

(An aromatic dish presented beautifully with macadamia crusted snapper, topped with white chocolate beurre blanc sauce)

Ingredients: 70g refined flour, 2 large eggs, 300g macadamia nuts, 175g snapper fillets, salt for seasoning, freshly ground black pepper, 4tbsp olive oil. For white chocolate beurre blanc, take 50g onions, 4 tbsp olive oil, 10g chopped garlic, 30ml red wine, 15ml cooking cream, 15ml coconut milk, 50g white chocolate, salt as per taste, white pepper as per taste.

Method: Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lace flour in shallow bowl. Whisk using light, rapid sweeping strokes to thicken or thoroughly combine ingredients. Whisk eggs in small bowl. Finely grind nuts in processor and transfer to another bowl. Season the snapper fish with salt and pepper, and coat it with flour. Dip it into eggs, then macadamia nuts, coating completely. Heat 2 tbsp oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets over medium heat. Place 3 fillets in each skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to large baking sheet. Bake the fish until just opaque in center, about 7 minutes. Top with white chocolate beurre blanc and serve.

For the white chocolate beurre blanc, cook onions in olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes, adding garlic in the last minute. Deglaze with wine and reduce by half. Add cream and coconut milk and reduce by half once more. Remove sauce from heat and mount with white chocolate until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Destruction of chocolate 

(Consists of trio chocolate with bitter nibs, plated on chocolate wafer and drizzled with chocolate sugar)

Ingredient: 30g dark chocolate, 30g milk chocolate, 30g white chocolate, 50ml cooking cream, 100g whipped cream, 30g sugar, 10g refined flour, 10 ml milk, 10g icing sugar, 10g cocoa powder, 25g gelatin, 10ml mix berry puree, 20 ml raspberry puree.

Method: Melt the chocolates separately in microwave. Add in cooking cream to form ganache. Fold in whipped cream and add melted gelatine. Set in form of layering, and freeze.

For chocolate crisp, mix refined flour, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder, forming batter. Spread the prepared batter onto baking sheet and bake till crisp. Serve with a kennel of chocolate icecream.

Chocolate passion

(A treat of dark and white chocolate with passion fruit, specially made for chocolate lovers)

Ingredients: 50g white chocolate, 50g dark chocolate, 20 ml cooking cream, 25g unsalted butter, 20ml passion fruit puree, 1 spaghetti stick, 10 castor sugar, 20g cocoa butter.
Method: Melt white chocolate in microwave add cooking cream and butter. Add passion fruit puree to the ganache mixture. Then pipe the mixture into chocolate moulds and allow it to set in refrigerator. For chocolate spray, melt dark chocolate with cocoa butter, and spray on the set ganache. Before serving, decorate with chocolate stencil and spaghetti.


(An aromatic dish presented beautifully with macadamia crusted snapper, topped with white chocolate beurre blanc sauce)

Ingredients: 70g refined flour, 2 large eggs, 300g macadamia nuts, 175g snapper fillets, salt for seasoning, freshly ground black pepper, 4tbsp olive oil. For white chocolate beurre blanc, take 50g onions, 4 tbsp olive oil, 10g chopped garlic, 30ml red wine, 15ml cooking cream, 15ml coconut milk, 50g white chocolate, salt as per taste, white pepper as per taste.

Method: Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lace flour in shallow bowl. Whisk using light, rapid sweeping strokes to thicken or thoroughly combine ingredients. Whisk eggs in small bowl. Finely grind nuts in processor and transfer to another bowl. Season the snapper fish with salt and pepper, and coat it with flour. Dip it into eggs, then macadamia nuts, coating completely. Heat 2 tbsp oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets over medium heat. Place 3 fillets in each skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to large baking sheet. Bake the fish until just opaque in center, about 7 minutes. Top with white chocolate beurre blanc and serve.

For the white chocolate beurre blanc, cook onions in olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes, adding garlic in the last minute. Deglaze with wine and reduce by half. Add cream and coconut milk and reduce by half once more. Remove sauce from heat and mount with white chocolate until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Destruction of chocolate 

(Consists of trio chocolate with bitter nibs, plated on chocolate wafer and drizzled with chocolate sugar)

Ingredient: 30g dark chocolate, 30g milk chocolate, 30g white chocolate, 50ml cooking cream, 100g whipped cream, 30g sugar, 10g refined flour, 10 ml milk, 10g icing sugar, 10g cocoa powder, 25g gelatin, 10ml mix berry puree, 20 ml raspberry puree.

Method: Melt the chocolates separately in microwave. Add in cooking cream to form ganache. Fold in whipped cream and add melted gelatine. Set in form of layering, and freeze.

For chocolate crisp, mix refined flour, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder, forming batter. Spread the prepared batter onto baking sheet and bake till crisp. Serve with a kennel of chocolate icecream.

Chocolate passion

(A treat of dark and white chocolate with passion fruit, specially made for chocolate lovers)

Ingredients: 50g white chocolate, 50g dark chocolate, 20 ml cooking cream, 25g unsalted butter, 20ml passion fruit puree, 1 spaghetti stick, 10 castor sugar, 20g cocoa butter.

Method: Melt white chocolate in microwave add cooking cream and butter. Add passion fruit puree to the ganache mixture. Then pipe the mixture into chocolate moulds and allow it to set in refrigerator. For chocolate spray, melt dark chocolate with cocoa butter, and spray on the set ganache. Before serving, decorate with chocolate stencil and spaghetti.

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