Thursday, July 1, 2010
By Michael O’Meara, Oscars bistro Galway city
It would be hard to imagine a world without chocolate, with much of the world’s population declaring a serious addiction to this sweet food. Cultivated for over three thousand years in Mexico but now with West African countries producing the majority of the world’s crop. A major issue with many of the worlds chocolate supplies is that they are produced with child labour with the majority of the major manufacturers only placing token controls into place to address this serious issue.
There are many varieties of chocolate with the three main types being Milk, Dark and White chocolate. Dark chocolate has been singled out for having a variety of health benefits due to it containing a large number of antioxidants. Additionally the pleasant feelings often associated with consuming chocolate can be attributed to the presence of alkaloids such as phenethylamine and theobromine which are associated with the levels of serotonin in the brain.
Moving away from the scientific attributes of chocolate; to make an impressive chocolate cake try the following recipe:
Grease a 25 cm cake tin and then lightly dust it with flour
150g Caster sugar Place into a steel bowl over a hot water bath and whisk until light and creamy, remove from the heat and continue whisking until cold
120 g flour
30 g cocoa powder sifted together
60g butter at 37°C Fold the flour / Cocoa into the egg mixture gently, then add the butter again gently folding in but don’t mix too much
Pour into prepared cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 195°C for 25-30 minutes. Turn out on a wire rack and allow cool
For chocolate cake butter cream
5 egg yolks
175 g caster sugar
50 ml water
Place in a basin and whisk over a hot water bath until thick and creamy, remove from heat and whisk until cold.
250 g butter (unsalted)
Cream the butter and add to the egg mix a little at a time with a wooden spoon, beat well.
To make chocolate butter cream, simply melt 50 g good dark chocolate and mix into the butter cream.
To finish the cake, cut the now cooled sponge in half and fill the centre with butter cream then sandwich back together. Cover the cake with the remaining chocolate butter cream and decorate with fresh strawberries.