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Tempt with White Chocolate Decadence, Chocolate Ganache Tart, Chocolate Ginger Pudding

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Here are three unique recipes using chocolate to indulge the sweet tooth of family and friends. They were created by Gary Mitchell, head chocolatier at Purdys Chocolatier in Vancouver.

White Chocolate Decadence

To be classified as chocolate, white chocolate has to have at least 20 per cent cocoa butter. This cake has a secret ingredient with white chocolate in both the cake and frosting.

Cake

85 g (3 oz) white chocolate, chopped

300 ml (1 1/4 cups) flour

175 ml (3/4 cup) sugar

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

1 ml (1/4 tsp) baking soda

75 ml (1/3 cup) buttermilk

50 ml (1/4 cup) butter, softened

4 large egg whites

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

White Chocolate Frosting

125 g (4 oz) white chocolate, chopped

125 ml (1/2 cup) cream cheese, softened

125 ml (1/2 cup) butter, softened

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

Topping

50 g (1 3/4 oz) dark chocolate

Maraschino cherries

Cake: Coat a 15-cm (6-inch) cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and lightly flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment, then spray and flour again.

In a heatproof bowl, melt white chocolate in microwave for 15 seconds, then stir. Repeat until half the chocolate is melted.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, buttermilk and butter. Mix on low speed with electric mixer until all dry ingredients are completely moistened. Stir in melted chocolate.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold batter into egg whites. Spread evenly in cake pan. Tap on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake in a 180 C (350 F) oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (cake does not develop a typical outside skin). Let cool in pan on a rack and then remove from pan.

Frosting: In a heatproof bowl, melt white chocolate in microwave for 15 seconds, then stir. Repeat until half the chocolate is melted.

In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in melted chocolate. Add butter and vanilla and blend thoroughly until smooth. Ice cooled cake.

Top with shavings made with dark chocolate and maraschino cherries.

Makes 1 single-layer cake.

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Chocolate Ganache Tart

Dark and milk chocolate combine in this elegant ganache tart, which can be topped with your favourite fruit and whipped cream.

Crust

125 ml (1/2 cup) butter

45 ml (3 tbsp) sugar

1 vanilla bean

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

300 ml (1 1/4 cups) flour

Ganache Filling

250 g (1/2 lb) dark chocolate

60 g (2 oz) milk chocolate

60 ml (4 tbsp) butter

50 ml (1/4 cup) whipping cream

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

Crust: In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, scrapings from inside of vanilla bean and salt. Set bean shell aside. Slowly add in flour until a soft dough forms. Sprinkle dough over bottom of a 23-cm (9-inch) tart pan with removable bottom. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom and sides of pan. Cover tart shell and let rest for 30 minutes in refrigerator. Prick bottom and sides of shell and bake in a 180 C (350 F) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on rack.

Ganache Filling: In a medium bowl, place both kinds of chocolate and butter and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine cream, salt and vanilla bean shell and heat gently over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is just at a simmer.

Remove vanilla bean. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and butter. Let sit for about 4 minutes, then stir gently until smooth. Pour ganache into cooled tart shell. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until set.

Top with fruit and whipped cream, if desired.

Makes 1 tart.

———

Chocolate Ginger Pudding

Candied ginger gives zip to this rich chocolate pudding, which will be a hit with family and friends.

125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar

125 ml (1/2 cup) cocoa powder

82 ml (5 1/2 tbsp) cornstarch

1 ml (1/4) tsp salt

925 ml (3 3/4 cups) half-and-half cream

100 g (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla

30 g (1 oz) crystallized ginger, finely chopped

Whipped cream, for garnish

In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt.

Into a large saucepan, pour cream and whisk in cocoa powder mixture. Warm on medium heat, whisking until pudding starts to bubble and thicken, about 4 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat and fold in dark chocolate, vanilla and ginger. Pour into ramekins and let cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Gary Mitchell, head chocolatier, Purdys Chocolatier, Vancouver.

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