Thursday, October 20, 2005

SHF #13: Chocolate Flan and Chocolate and Chestnut Truffles

The theme for SHF#13 hosted by loveScool is dark chocolate. And although I am very busy these days, I just could not let this one pass by. When I attempt to verbalize the ultimate chocolate experience for me, not one but two words jump into my head: tortes and truffles. Since I already posted my favorite torte recipes (and just can not think of how I can improve or give them a twist), I decided to settle for a less intense chocolate dessert this time: Chocolate Flan. However, the mini flans I made were fast to disappear, and they only seemed to whet our appetite for more, more chocolate. The remedy in my kitchen for such a serious case of chocolate craving is a truffle. This time, I took up Kelli's challenge to give my favorite truffles a twist, and I incorporated chestnut puree in the recipe. (In my opinion, chocolate and chestnuts just can not go wrong together.) My chocolate craving is silenced for now, but I still cannot wait to see what others will cook up with this wonderful theme!

Chocolate Flan (recipe adapted from a Pillsbury booklet)

  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 c cream
  • 1 c milk
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into tiny pieces
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/3 c sugar, 2 tbs water and cream of tartar. Stir until the mixture begins to bubble. Let boil without stirring until the mixture starts to caramelize. When it turns a medium caramel color, pour it into the bottom of six 6-oz custard cups.

Combine milk, cream, chocolate pieces and 2 tbs sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla until thickened and light in color. Slowly add the chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs and blend well. Carefully pour the custard over the caramel-lined molds. Place the molds in a 13"x9" pan. Pour very hot water in the pan within 1/2 " of tops of molds. Bake at 325F for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the custards come out clean. Unmold and serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

Chocolate and Chestnut Truffles (recipe adapted from Cocolat)

  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 oz butter, cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbs lightly sweetened chestnut puree
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
Melt chocolate and butter with 1/4 c water on low flame. Stir continuously. Remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolk and chestnut puree, just until incorporated. Line the bottom and sides of a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined loaf pan and refrigerate, without stirring, until firm.

Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Unmold and cut into 3/4" squares. Round the squares with cocoa-dusted hands and roll them in more cocoa powder to cover. Truffles can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 10 days. Remove from the refrigerator half an hour earlier than serving time to soften slightly.