crystallised chocolate soil
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A two ingredient chocolate soil, I'll give you all the dirt today (ok couldn't resist) on how make it with the least amount of cleaning up.
With chocolate soil you can add crunch and texture to a plated dessert, make pot plant cupcakes, set up a garden scene for your cake or perhaps just sprinkle on your favourite ice-cream.
Flavour it up; you can use a flavoured dark chocolate i.e. blueberry, orange, mint etc for flavoured soil or add your own flavour by stirring in cinnamon, ginger, chilli flakes, a drop or two of peppermint oil or whatever takes your fancy.
We are aren't going to use a *candy thermometer, we are going to do this by eye... a photo will act as your guide.
Here we go...
100g (3.5OZ) Caster Sugar
75g (2.6OZ) Dark Chocolate roughly chopped (even if you don't usually like 70% dark chocolate, I would recommend using it here because your are adding sugar to counteract the bitterness)
Tools.... a wire whisk and a baking tray lined with non stick paper ready for you to tip your completed soil on.
On you stove top in a small to medium saucepan add the caster sugar, gently pour in 2 tablespoons of cold water. We are being gentle so we don't splash sugar crystals on the side of the pan.
Turn on your heat to high and you are going to just let it do it's thing without stirring, the sugar will dissolve and bubble and boil until you see "golden brown edges".
the center of the boiling sugar is still clear, the edges have changed to golden brown.
have your roughly chopped chocolate ready to go
Immediately remove saucepan from the heat and all at once whisk in the chocolate, along with any flavouring if using. Don't forget to whisk around the edges. Whisk until all the chocolate is coated, this doesn't take long ... a couple of minutes.
it starts to look like "soil" almost instantly
Yep, you're done, it's finished and ready to poured onto your non stick paper prepared baking tray to cool.
finished chocolate soil
Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze up to a month.
*I've adapted this recipe from Heston Blumenthal's chocolate soil... halved the sugar and made it a simpler soil. His recipe has many more elements and is part of his wickedly delicious tiramisu recipe. Check out Hestons tiramisu on SBS food.
Clean up tips: Remember how we cleaned up our sugar work saucepans? It's the same today, fill your saucepan with water, bring to the boil, empty the water out and wash as per usual. Clean your whisk the same way, boiling water will remove any stuck on crystallised chocolate.
*really want to, need to, use a candy thermometer... 135 cel or 275 F.
Happy Baking :)
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