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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chocolate Shots - Summer Entertaining

Cayenne, Anise, Lavender and Praline Flavoured Chocolate Shots

This idea was inspired by hot chocolates served in France  - the rich, thick, melted chocolate kind - and something we tried at a wonderful Chocolatier in the distillery district in Toronto not too long ago called Soma.

I am not a big desert eater, especially in the summer, but a little taste of chocolate at the end of a meal seems to bring closure for me.  In Europe, they serve a piece of dark chocolate with your coffee or tea and this, for me, is usually all it takes to end a meal well.

I thought this might be fun at a barbecue with friends and Sarah thinks it would be a great idea for a wedding.  You can serve it with fresh fruit or a little ice cream.  The lavender chocolate was the resounding hit.  I also want to try it with Bailey's Irish Cream, coconut milk, orange - lemon-lime rind, etc.  There are so many possibilities to create different flavours.  The quality of the chocolate is important and I used 65% cocoa butter, dark chocolate.   This is very easy to do and once melted, the chocolate can be kept in a warm water bath until you are ready to serve.

You will need:  for 6 small shots

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk (3.8% fat)
  • 1/2 cup (75g) of good quality dark chocolate (65%)
  • 10 stalks of fresh lavender, washed, dried, torn in pieces and crushed with fingers to release as much flavour as possible
  • 1/2 tbsp of cayenne pepper flakes (this is quite spicy, you may want to use less)
  • 5 star anise, broken in pieces to help release flavour
  • 2 generous tbsp of crushed praline  -  this one was more about texture than flavour

  1. To make all the different flavours, you can follow the same procedure:
  2. Place the whole milk (1/2 cup - 120ml) in a small saucepan with the flavour you would like to infuse and heat over medium low heat until smoking but do not boil.
  3. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes to infuse;
  4. Return to heat to bring the temperature back up (do not boil) and pour over chocolate to melt, stir until well blended (it should have the texture of thick hot chocolate);
  5. Pour chocolate through a fine sieve and pour into shot glasses (praline does not need to be sieved - just pour directly into glasses - it will have some crunch);
  6. Place in a warm water bath until ready to serve.

Note:  to make with Bailey's Irish Cream, replace half the milk (or all of it depending on your tastes) with Bailey's and follow the same procedure.

Smile of the day!

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