Chocolate recipes always go down a treat. This week I am sharing my recipe for the chocolate bars that we serve as petit fours at the restaurant.
These bars contain three squares, the outer squares are filled with salted caramel and the middle one contains passion fruit curd.
Once you have mastered the art of tempering chocolate then you can get creative and try an assortment of fillings. Chocolate bar moulds are available from some kitchenware shops and also online. Again once you have grasped the tempering process you can use whatever shaped mould you like.
In recent years Scotland has started to produce some amazing chocolate. The ladies at iQ Chocolate in Stirling produce theirs using coconut blossom instead of sugar and Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh creates some really outstanding bars.
I use a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. The fillings in my bars are quite sweet and therefore they are balanced by a slightly bitter chocolate.
Tempering means improving the consistency, durability or hardness of a substance by heating and cooling it. Tempered chocolate is very glossy and has a firm finish. The process ensures that the cocoa butter in chocolate hardens in a uniform crystal structure. It is chocolate at its very best!
150g caster sugar
10g Hebridean sea salt
100ml double cream
Place the sugar in a heavy based pot over a medium heat.
Melt to a golden brown caramel.
Add the salt and stir.
Add the butter and stir until incorporated.
Stir in the cream.
Allow to cool.
Passion fruit curd
200ml passion fruit juice
200g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
Place the juice, sugar, yolks and eggs in a bain marie and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has reached 82C.
Leave this mixture to cool down completely.
Place the mixture in a blender with the butter and blend till smooth and shiny.
Store in the fridge.
For the chocolate
400g dark chocolate
Roughly chop 300g of the chocolate.
Finely chop the remaining 100g or process it in your food processor.
Place the roughly chopped chocolate in a bowl.
Half fill a saucepan with hot water and place the bowl over it, making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the water.
Gently heat the water, ensuring it does not boil.
Stir using a spatula so that the chocolate melts smoothly and evenly.
Check the temperature with a thermometer, when it reaches 55C-58C remove the chocolate from the bain marie.
Set aside one-third of the melted chocolate in a bowl in a warm place.
Add the 100g of finely chopped chocolate into the remaining two-thirds of the melted chocolate, stirring constantly until it reaches 28C-29C.
Add the reserved melted chocolate to increase the temperature (it should reach 31C-32C).
Stir until the correct temperature is reached.The chocolate is now tempered.
Pour the tempered chocolate into the moulds.
Tip out any excess and allow to set.
Fill the squares with the salted caramel and passion fruit curd and place in the fridge to set.
Once set, top with layer of tempered chocolate.
Allow to set before tipping out of the moulds.