I first found out about Divine Chocolate when Ivy Bakery started selling Divine Chocolate Butter Gooey Cakes and Divine Whoopie Pies. Daniellan had created these chocolatey desserts using the new line of Divine baking bars (70% Bittersweet Chocolate and 38% Milk Chocolate). Once I found out that Divine Chocolate is a Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45% owned by farmers in Ghana, I just knew that I had to try it.
Kuapa Kokoo, which means “good cocoa growers”, is the farmers co-op. The farmers have invested their Fair Trade income in building schools, sinking wells for clean drinking water to villages, providing mobile medical clinics for farmers in remote growing regions, and fostering women’s income generation projects to help women earn additional income for their families when the cocoa season is over. I wasn’t just buying a chocolate bar, I was directly enriching people’s lives.
And so when Divine Chocolate asked me to develop a recipe using their new baking line, I just knew I had to make something decadent and extra-special. The cacao beans are hand-harvested, slow-fermented and carefully dried by the family farmers…and I wanted to take the same care in using the creamy chocolate that they lovingly produced. I also loved the flavors of their specialty bars so wanted to feature those flavors in the dessert. At first I was drawn to the White Chocolate with Strawberries bar, but I tend to crave plump strawberries in the summer. (I’ll need to create another Divine Chocolate dessert in six months!) The 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange bar fit better with the holiday season–warm flavors for our chilly winter weather.
Just to make it interesting, I also decided to make the dessert gluten-free. I’ve become more thoughtful about gluten-free dishes and desserts ever since my friend Justin became gluten-free, and feels better than ever because of it. I’m not sure I can give up flour for good, but I’d like to at least be able to offer options for my gluten-free friends.
I have an unorthodox way of coming up with recipe ideas. The best way I can describe it is that I let the flavors percolate in my mind. I close my eyes and vividly imagine tasting the ingredients that I want to use…so vividly that sometimes I start to salivate. It’s similar to an athlete imagining the run over and over again so that it becomes muscle memory when he actually gets on the track. I also imagine textures and consider how they complement and contrast each other.
This Ginger and Orange Chocolate Bombe is essentially two desserts in one: Flourless Chocolate Cake and Ginger Orange Chocolate Mousse. They are delicious individually when you just want something easy to make, or you can go the extra mile and pull together the components to make something impressive. Imagine serving these delicious domes at your holiday dinner party! If you like the flavors and textures together but want to keep it simple, you can create parfaits by breaking up the flourless chocolate cake into chunks and layering them with the mousse. It’s texturally quite amazing when served chilled. It will seem like you have soft chocolate pieces instead of chocolate cake in the parfait.
I knew what the end goal was, but then had to figure out the execution. This took a few tries.
My favorite Chocolate Mousse is a sabayon style that uses the melted chocolate and slightly cooked egg yolks for structure. I find that this technique gives a rich, creamy and decadent result. Unfortunately, when I un-molded that mousse it fell flat and lost its shape. I felt as deflated as the mousse looked. That settled it…I had to use gelatin to help the mousse keep its shape, but not so much that the mousse lost its creaminess.
Pouring hot melted chocolate over a cold mousse is a bit difficult. I wanted a foolproof method to create gorgeous little bombes. So instead I opted to melt the chocolate and “paint” a shell in silicone half-sphere molds (I really like the Gastroflex molds), set the chocolate, then fill the chocolate shells (still in the molds) with the mousse and cover with the cake.
When I imagined dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate mousse enrobed in dark chocolate, it all seemed a bit too heavy to me. So to brighten it up, I added grated fresh ginger. If you want just a hint go with the 1/4 teaspoon. If you want it brighter and more obviously “gingery” add the full 1/2 teaspoon. There is ginger in the Divine chocolate bar, but adding the same ingredient in a different form really gives you depth of flavor.
In a future post I’ll explain how to temper chocolate. But for now, just be careful not to overheat the chocolate. It’s important to heat the chocolate in spurts, mixing it in between. Otherwise, you will get burned spots. I like to use the microwave to melt chocolate because it is easy. Additionally, it is more less risky. The double boiler method introduces the risk of steam getting your chocolate wet, which will seize the chocolate. You’ll know when it seizes–it becomes grainy and hard. At that point, salvage the chocolate by adding a good amount of hot heavy cream and turn it into hot chocolate. As the saying goes “When life hands you lemons make lemonade,” but I make hot chocolate.
What will you make with Divine Chocolate? Enter for a chance to win one of three Divine Chocolate gift packs.
- Leave a comment at the bottom of this post letting me know what you will make with Divine Chocolate (+1 entry)
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Winners will be chosen at random using random.org. Divine Chocolate is responsible for mailing the prizes. Limited to delivery to the 48 contiguous states in the US. Giveaway ends on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:59 PM.
Gluten-Free Ginger and Orange Chocolate Bombe
Makes 6 small bombes
Flourless Chocolate Cake
6 ounces Divine 70% Bittersweet Baking Chocolate
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, plus extra for the pan
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup Divine Cocoa Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon gelatin
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3.5 ounces Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger and Orange
3 ounces Divine 70% Bittersweet Baking Chocolate
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Place your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the refrigerator to chill. This will make it easier to whip up the cream for the mousse later.
Place the 3 ounces Divine 70% Bittersweet Baking Chocolate in a small bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate even though it does not look melted. Microwave on high for another 1 minute. Stir the chocolate. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate. Spoon the chocolate into the molds and use the back of the spoon to evenly coat the half spheres. Place the mold on a tray and put it in the refrigerator to harden.
To Make the Flourless Chocolate Cake
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9″x 13″ baking pan with foil and grease the foil with butter.
Place the chocolate and 1 stick of butter in a small bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate even though it does not look melted. Microwave on high for another 1 minute. Stir the chocolate. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate and set it aside for 10 minutes to cool.
Whisk the sugar, salt and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the melted chocolate. Sift in the cocoa and whisk together. Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 20 -25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If the batter forms large expanding bubbles while in the oven, just prick the bubbles with a toothpick during baking. It will flatten out when it cools. Let the cake cool and place the whole pan in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to harden (which makes it easier to cut and work with).
To Make the Mousse
Place the ginger orange chocolate in a small bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir the chocolate even though it does not look melted. Microwave on high for another 1 minute. Stir the chocolate. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate and set it aside.
Slowly sprinkle the gelatin in 1 tablespoon cold water and let it bloom and soak in the water for 5 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoons boiling water and stir to dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.
Place the heavy cream, vanilla and salt in the mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream into soft peaks. Slowly add the gelatin while whipping and continue for a few more seconds until it becomes stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate to make the consistencies more similar. Gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the melted ginger orange chocolate.
To Assemble the Bombe
Using a round cookie cutter that is the same size as the silicone mold opening, cut six rounds from the flourless chocolate cake pan. Set aside.
Leave the chocolate “shells” in the silicone mold and keep the mold on a flat tray. Spoon the chocolate mousse into the shells, leaving 1/2 inch space from the top of the chocolate shell. Evenly dot the grated ginger among all of the molds. Carefully press each cake round on top of the mousse. Place the mold back in the refrigerator and chill overnight to set the mousse. You can use the remaining chocolate cake and mousse to make parfaits.
Carefully un-mold each bombe and serve.