I would hardly label this attempt as mastering. As the recipe title suggests [cheats], if you get it wrong it will still come out right!
Brilliant. I needed something that would boost my confidence, easing me into this accuracy challenge. To put the pressure of this challenge into perspective, here’s a saying my mum would recite to me when I was younger (and she still does occasionally now)….
“scratch-patch, rub-a-dub, near enough, good enough Bernice”
I can be an obsessive perfectionist with some things, and others (like cooking) accuracy and measuring is simply not my thing! If successful, this dessert challenge will teach me to be more accurate and precise when cooking. There is no better way to test that skill than cooking really intricate desserts.
The timing of this dessert challenge is probably not ideal… about a week after announcing I was going to master a long list of desserts using cream, butter and chocolate and all things sweet and full of fat, I accidentally discover I have around thirty gallstones, and have to have my gallbladder removed! For those not aware, the gallbladder is used to inject bile into the stomach to help digest fats… when you have gallstones (crystals in your gallbladder) you are meant to avoid fatty meals that might call on the gallbladder to have to ‘do its thing’. I’d been having small gall-stone attacks for several weeks, but didn’t know what it was. I have since been told that they are as painful as childbirth – I would have to agree after I had a four-hour attack on Friday (my worst yet), and I am still worn-out from it two days later! I am booked in to have it removed in two weeks, so please forgive me if I am a little quiet leading up to and after the operation.
Back to desserts, I cooked these fondants last weekend for a lunch we were hosting, and learned later that night that they should be placed on the ‘foods to avoid’ list when you have gallstones… but isn’t that what makes them SO tasty, all the butter, chocolate and ice-cream?
- ¼ cup (50g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
- ½ cup (55g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
- ¾ cup (90g) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 2 eggwhites
- 100g butter, melted
- 160g dark chocolate, melted
- 4 small squares dark chocolate, extra
Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
Place the flour, sugar, almond meal, eggwhites, butter and melted chocolate in a bowl and mix well to combine.
Spoon half the mixture into 4 x ½-cup capacity (125ml) lightly greased dariole moulds.
Divide the extra chocolate squares between the moulds and top with the remaining mixture.
Bake for 20–25 minutes or until cooked but soft in the middle.
Stand in tins for 5–7 minutes before turning out.
I served the fondant with icecream I had whipped-up. Using good quality vanilla icecream, I let it melt slightly, then added ground cinnamon and ground cardamon (to taste), stirred the icecream thoroughly, then placed it back in the freezer to re-freeze.
The garnish in the photo was also from the Donna Hay – Chocolate & Cinnamon wontons….
Chocolate and Cinnamon Wontons
16 wonton wrappers
2 tbsp butter, melted
16 small squares dark chocolate
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp fine sugar
Preheat oven to 180C.
Brush the edges of the wonton wrappers with a little butter
Place a chocolate square on one corner of each wrapper (in this photo I used half a Lindt ball, but a piece of dark chocolate worked better on a previous occasion).
Fold over the wrappers (on the diagonal) to enclose the chocolate, then press the edges to seal.
Place on a baking tray (preferably lined with non-stick baking paper to create less mess).
Brush wontons with butter and sprinkle with combined cinnamon and sugar.
I will try not to let me newly discovered medical condition stand in the way of my quest to master desserts… after all, I don’t need to taste the results of my baking, do I? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate test of my desire to achieve baking accuracy? We’ll see…
I’m off to select my next dessert – perhaps I should try a real [minus the ‘cheats’] chocolate fondant!!!