17 February 2010

Thomas Keller OREO

TKO – Thomas Keller Oreo Recipe

What makes these cookies so drop dead gorgeous is the sublime duo of salty chocolate cookies sandwiching a perfect white chocolate ganache cream. And for those of you who are less than ecstatic when it comes to white chocolate, not to worry, the taste is so subtle you will find yourself converted.

So it is no wonder that my colleague Claire was, and still is addicted to TKO‘s: Thomas Keller‘s ‘grown-up’ Oreo cookies. This my friends is no small food craving, we are talking about a woman making a bee-line to the Bouchon Bakery once a day, 5 days a week to buy not 1 but 2 of these pancake sized cookies. You are getting the picture here…

As  I apparently have not lived until I’ve tried a TKO, and short of asking Bouchon to FedEx me a care package, I thought I’d make them myself.  This is Thomas Keller’s original recipe from the ‘Essence of Chocolate‘ cookbook.

See link ‘Oreo‘ below for the recipe:




12 February 2010

In love with a tart!

CHOCOLATE TART : a great chocolate recipe

Valentine’s Day – whether you are a fan or not, it is always a good excuse to make something sweet. And what could be better than chocolate.

This is an ideal desert as it is simple, can be made in advance, and is sinfully delicious. The slightly sweet pastry has a buttery tender crumb combined with the rich, unctuous chocolate ganache filling, that is not too sweet nor too dark – it is a match made in heaven.

Though I must confess I have stage fright when it comes to making pastry.  This requires summoning up the courage to attack the recipe (yes attack… I am going into battle) who will win is anyone’s guess. But have no fear, here you are safe. This recipe is tried, tested and true.

The pastry tart shells are made in advance after which no more baking is needed. The chocolate ganache is just heated cream poured over chopped chocolate, then spooned into the pastry shells and left to set. For the original recipe using orange zest see The Ulterior Epiqure

See link ‘Chocolate tart‘ below for recipe:



9 March 2009


Chocolate lava cake

Molten chocolate lava cakes have become quite the talk of the town in recent years – slightly crispy exterior opening to reveal a melting chocolate heart! They really are the best of both worlds… a chocolate pudding & chocolate cake combined.

Though I have to admit that I have shied away from serving these lovely cakes at dinner parties, as the whole de-moulding process can go so terribly wrong – towers cracking, chocolate promenading, desert plates ruined.

It was Katya’s TEA CUP idea that solved the problem! Five to six cups (sturdy Ikea variety works best), are buttered & sprinkle with crystally demerara sugar, then covered with unctuous chocolate batter. After being perfectly cooked, they are served with a dollop of whipped cream & powdered with coco or spice.

The presentation is beautiful, the taste divine & gone is the impending doom of serving. You don’t even need to rush out & buy expensive fancy moulds to make this desert!

See link ‘Chocolate lava cakes‘ below for recipe:



26 November 2008



‘Crème caramel, tarte aux pommes, mousse au chocolat… ‘ the mouth watering desert song French waiters serenade you with at the end of each meal. I often choose the apple tart or am wooed into thinking I have room for the crème caramel… even when I don’t. The chocolate mousse normally passes me by, on direct route to my mother!

However,… you saw that word coming I know… that was until Alice gave me the secrets to her famous chocolate mousse. Now I admit that recipe tinkering has gotten the better of me on more than one occasion and this time was no exception. However after a rather unsatisfactory attempt at experimenting with cream & coco powder I went back to her original recipe. BLISS…. utter perfection – Olivier had gone speechless. Three simple ingredients DARK CHOCOLATE, EGGS & BUTTER…  to create a light, not too sweet, rich & chocolaty desert.



5 November 2008

Chocolate cookies


Much of my mental cooking is done in bed….  Some people count sheep to fall asleep…. “not I”, said the duck, (yes it is the barn yard theme today … ), I find myself mulling over the contents of our kitchen cupboards! Ingredients to be used, combined, obtained – dreamily preparing what to cook or bake the next day. A perfect obsessions for the insomniac cook!

Soba noodles, broad beans & chickpeas (which reminds me, I must make some hummus), to the vanilla beans, saffron and pecans, past the buckwheat flour (oooh crèps for breakfast!), almond meal & rolled oats, ah yes the new molasses (I have plans for you!) – and what this hiding in the corner…. 2 bars of Cailler’s Cacao Extrême 74% dark chocolate! How could these have gone undetected for so long! My cupboard radar must be off.

That got the wheels turning. The cookie jar was empty & my chocolate chip recipe has been asking for a make-over … well not in so many words… but there just never seems to be enough chocolate….

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Click the link ‘Chocolate cookies’ for the recipe:


Chocolat noir et blanc cardamon

{PETITS POTS DE CHOCOLAT NOIR ET BLANC A LA CARDAMOME} The dinner party…… a wonderful event, but for the host it can become a juggling act to create delicious dishes that are easy, made in advance and beautiful! Do not let the picture above fool you – this is an easy recipe, that is based on Trish Deseine’s ‘Petits pots de chocolat’ with a twist. I have wooed many a guest at the end of a dinner where the conversation goes quiet and everyone relishes in this heavenly desert.

The original recipe calls for only dark chocolate, which is sinful but as it is summer I felt the need to lighten things up – so I divided the recipe in 2 and created one rich dark chocolate cream layer and a 2nd delicate white chocolate layer with a hint of cardamon, finished with a dust of cacao.



3 July 2007

Earl Grey Chocolate Cake


As the story goes… when my mother was pregnant with me, she used to crave chocolate so badly that she would eat several bars a day! Yet dispite this early training, I came into the world without the ‘chocolate gene‘, and therefore never truly understood what all the fuss was about when it came to desserts like chocolate cake (cries of NO & SHAME!!!)

This was until my friend Evelyn sent me her recipe for “Flourless Chocolate Brownies“. With my mother’s birthday approaching and knowing her weakness for anything chocolate, I thought what better an opportunity than to try out what Evelyn described as the most deliciously, delectable chocolate dessert she had ever tasted.

Being without a brownie pan, I decided to turn the recipe into a cake, and instead of using only plain 70% dark chocolate, I substitute 3/4 “DOLFIN” Earl Grey Tea 70% dark chocolate . The only thing left to say is that after some 20 odd years I have finally found …… chocolate cake!