18 January 2014

Eamon Sullivan's Chocolate Delice

For Christmas last year (it feels funny calling it last year when it was less than a month ago), I volunteered to make dessert for my family's Christmas lunch. It was a toss up between a Bouche de Noel and a chocolate delice, both of which I have made for Christmas once before. After careful consideration I decided that chocolate is always the answer, so I went with the chocolate delice.

I used the recipe that I printed from the Masterchef website 4 years ago when I first made this. There were (numerous, apparently) errors in this recipe however, and I followed the instructions for cooking the creme brulee layer from Leave Room for Dessert's blog. Masterchef had left off any reference to cooking this layer at all. (When I had a look for the recipe to add the link, I had a bit of a read through, and Masterchef have since corrected the errors in this recipe!)

On Christmas morning, having finished the assembly of this masterpiece the night before, I was having another look at the post from Leave Room for Dessert, and found a comment from Eamon himself, saying that Masterchef made more than one mistake. He included a link to his own blog Eamon Eats, with the correct recipe and instructions. With some trepidation I followed the link to see what could be wrong with the recipe. There were only a few differences, but the main difference was in the chocolate cream layer. I had wondered why it was called chocolate cream when the consistency on my copy was more of a chocolate jelly (see Leave Room for Dessert for the recipe as originally published by Masterchef), and the answer was right there for me: left out of the recipe was the second step in making this element: folding the chocolate jelly stuff into whipped cream (and no white chocolate - I had thought 3 lots of chocolate in this section was a bit "death by chocolate.")

I won't re-write the whole recipe for you, just go to Eamon's blog and read through the whole recipe with all his tips before continuing.

The dessert consists of 4 main elements:
  1. A biscuit base
  2. A creme brulee layer
  3. Chocolate Cream layer
  4. Chocolate Glaze, all served on a
  5. Pool of salted caramel sauce
In my printed copy of the recipe I had made a note that a half batch made 8 desserts when using deep egg rings. I only owned 4 of these egg rings, so got my husband to search out more for me. Unfortunately he couldn't find the exact same ones, the new ones are not as deep, but it still worked out fine. I stuck with the original size recipe and made 16 delices. But they're so rich we only ever had half of one at a time (the kids could only manage one quarter at a time), which meant we were eating it pretty much until New Years.

My tips for making smaller, egg ring sizes

Biscuit base
Roll out your biscuit base rather thinly, making sure that you will fit in 16 egg rings on the finished size. Cook at no more than 170 degrees for around 5 minutes. Check and cook for a little longer if necessary, but you don't want it to overcook and get really crumbly. As soon as you have it out of the oven, press an egg ring into the biscuit to cut out the bases, but leave it intact for now.

Pressing out the biscuit bases
Creme Brulee
Find two baking dishes that will fit 16 egg ring shapes without too much wastage around the edges (my trays were a little too large and I ended up with a very thin layer, and lots of wastage.) Cook at 150 degrees for about 10 minutes. I didn't try to cook it in a water bath like Eamon suggests, but try to find baking pans that can fit in slightly larger dishes so you can cook with a water bath.

Chocolate cream
I have never used gelatine sheets, and since I don't use gelatine often, opted to use the powdered gelatine that I already had. I had to google the best way to use it, but for this recipe, I added 4 and a half tspn of powdered gelatine to about half a cup of cold water in a large glass jug, reducing the amount of water to mix with cocoa by this same amount. I let it sit for a while before I placed the jug in a small saucepan of hot water. Stir until the gelatine has fully dissolved.

You want the chocolate mixture and the gelatine to be around the same temperature when you add them together, so it's ok to warm the mixture before adding to the warm chocolate mixture.

Not having made this with the correct recipe, I can't give you any tips on mixing with the whipped cream, or how you're supposed to fold something that has set to a stiff jelly consistency into the whipped cream. If you've made this following the correct recipe, leave a comment below telling me how it went!

Cut circles in the creme brulee with an egg ring, and, using a palette knife, lift the creme brulee up and place over the biscuit rounds that you marked out earlier.

Creme brulee placed on top of the biscuit base
Place the egg ring over this, and lift both layers off your tray with the egg ring. Pour chocolate cream over this and refrigerate until set.

When set, use a knife around the inside edge of the egg ring to loosen from the ring, and place on a wire rack over a baking tray ready to pour the glaze over the top. Leave plenty of room between them so you won't have problems trying to get the almonds on around the edges like I did! Don't forget to drizzle the white chocolate over the top before you put the almonds on. I forgot to do this, and couldn't drizzle over the edges!

When serving, warm the caramel in the microwave until it is a nice pouring consistency.

That's it for my tips! If you think it might be too rich, start with a half serving, and give yourself a bit of time to start digesting all that chocolatey goodness before you dive back in for more and your body goes into shock from chocolate overload.

Maybe just one more tip: Serve with a sliced strawberry. Sorry I didn't get a photo of that, I was too busy eating it. Yummo!

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