Friday, September 19, 2008

Chocolate and Fruit

OK - we might as well get down to it because I KNOW I am in the huge minority here, but in general, I hate fruit and chocolate together. It's not so much the flavors, because that can be pretty good and I will get to that in a minute, but it's the textures - for example, a chocolate-dipped strawberry is just all wrong – the chocolate makes the strawberry taste sour, and the acid juiciness of the strawberry makes the chocolate go all grainy and nasty. Nope, nothing to like there. Other fruits fare similarly badly – I mean maybe banana isn’t so bad from the texture standpoint because it’s more creamy, but still, neither one enhances the other, really. And pineapple and other juicy and acid fruits produce the same results as the strawberries. And blueberries and chocolate – well that’s just wrong, because it puts two lovely things completely at war with each other and why why would you do that?? Chocolate and raspberries same thing – great apart, terrible together. . . .

BUT, BUT (and this was a big revelation for me) there are some fruit flavors, if not the actual fruit, that go actually really well with chocolate. Last year, for example, I made a chocolate chiffon cake with a blackberry coulis (I love that word – but I think it just means sauce!! – hee!!) ANYWAY – chocolate chiffon cake is like the end – it is SO good – way richer than angel food, but not super dense and heavy. It sat so pretty in a pool of blackberry sauce – sweetened of course so it didn’t fight with the chocolate – amazing!

AND, now, this year, I find that a lovely chocolate bundt cake flavored with orange essence and covered in an orange glaze is totally sublime! I mean who would have thought I would like something like that – la la la – it’s so great!

Pictures to come. . . . .

Chocolate Chiffon Cake
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 liquid melted butter
7 large eggs, separated
3/4 boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

One ungreased 10-inch tube pan

Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa, all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, and salt and beat 1 minute to mix. Make a well in the center. Add the oil, egg yolks, and vanilla and beat 1 minute or until smooth. Add the boiling water and mix again.

In another large mixing bowl beat the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter until just blended.

Pour into the tube pan, run a small metal spatula or knife through the batter to prevent air pockets, and bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Invert the pan, placing the tube opening over the neck of a soda or wine bottle to suspend it well above the counter, and cool the cake completely in the pan (this takes about 1 1/2 hours).

Loosen the sides with a long metal spatula and remove the cake from the pan. Invert onto a greased wire rack and reinvert onto a serving plate.

Serve with Blackberry Coulis and a dollop of whipped cream.

Blackberry Coulis

2 cups blackberries
1/2 cup sugar

Cook blackberries and sugar in small saucepan over medium heat until the fruit breaks down and the sugar is dissolved. Push through a sieve to strain out seeds, but press down hard so that the resulting sauce is thick with fruit puree. Yum.


Dani said...

i have to say, u r the 1st person i have heard say they don't like chocolate and fruit combos... i love a good chocolate fondue :)
that said, this recipe sounds amazing... can't wait for the pics :)

Kim said...

Lisa, you are so in the minority on this one. Are you sure you have had the right chocolate and fruit combos? Hope all is well.