It is believed that chocolate has been consumed by humans for between three and four thousand years. For most of this time, chocolate has not been of the sweetened, solid variety we are accustomed to but was consumed as a somewhat bitter liquid. It wasn't until the mid 1700s that chocolate was made into the form we are most familiar with, a molded bar with varying amounts of sugar.
Chocolate is made from the pod of the cacao tree that grows well only in the regions 20 degrees north or south of the equator, as the tree will not survive temperatures lower than 59 degrees. Even though cocoa is now grown in many countries that provide hospitable climates, the plant is thought to have originated in the Amazon basin. Since its discovery, chocolate has been a prized ingredient and is loved all over the world.
This simple base recipe will produce four different desserts or toppings. Good quality chocolate stands on its own, so even simple recipes are decadent. With only four ingredients, the chocolate stands front and center, so be sure to seek out the best quality chocolate.
The base recipe can be put together in a few minutes. The recipes for sauce and frosting far exceed anything store-bought and the ganache and truffles are easy and elegant and make a great finish to any meal.
Simple Chocolate – One Recipe – Four desserts
Makes Sauce, Frosting, Ganache, or Truffles.
The basic sauce takes less than 10 minutes to make and the other recipes are just as easy but require chilling time.
8 oz. dark chocolate, minimum 56% cacao
8 oz. whipping cream, minimum 32% butterfat
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1. Select good quality dark chocolate. Chop chocolate into small pieces.
2. Heat cream in a small saucepan to 165 degrees F. or just until you can see steam coming off the liquid. Do not boil. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Remove pan from heat.
3. Add chopped chocolate pieces and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir chocolate and cream until combined and smooth.
4. Add vanilla extract and salt.
Use this base for the following recipes:
After the chocolate has been incorporated into the cream, add the vanilla and salt and it is ready to serve. If you want a thinner sauce, add additional cream. Drizzle over ice cream or cake for a quick dessert. Can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a water bath. Do not microwave.
Place the cream and chocolate mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for three hours. With an electric mixer, mix until light and fluffy. When it is ready, the color will change to a light tan. Great for a quick cupcake frosting. Recipe can be tripled for a double layer cake.
Allow the chocolate mixture to cool, but still be liquid enough to pour. The cake that will be covered in ganache must be crumb coated first with butter cream frosting to make all the surfaces smooth. Chill the buttercream-frosted cake for several hours. To frost the cake with ganache, place the chilled cake on a cooling rack over parchment paper. With a large ladle, and working quickly, spoon the liquid cream and chocolate mixture over the cake. Do not touch the surface, and allow it to set up in a smooth glossy coating. Refrigerate the ganache-frosted cake until ready to serve. Add buttercream flowers, decorations, and writing as desired. Pour this ganache over brownies and chill for a fudgy, chewy topping that is more decadent than the usual grainy canned frosting.
Chill the chocolate and cream mixture for two hours. Use cocoa powder, powdered sugar, chocolate jimmies, or finely ground nuts as a coating. To give your truffles a savory pop, add a hint of chili powder or crystallized lemon rind. You will need about half a cup of the coating of your choice. Place coating in a small bowl. Using a small scoop or a teaspoon, scoop out small amounts of the chilled chocolate mixture. Working quickly with dry hands, roll into a ball and then place in the coating mixture. Place finished truffle on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate truffles for one hour before serving.
meta title: One simple recipe to create four decadent chocolate desserts
meta keyword phrases: chocolate ganache, chocolate frosting, chocolate truffles, chocolate sauce