Chocolate Bites with Chocolate and Avocado Ganache
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I don't understand it when someone tells me that they don't like chocolate. Its a strange concept for most let alone for a chocolatier such as myself. Creating chocolate has been my life and career for years and it is where I have learnt about the nuances of chocolate and how each type of chocolate has a different 'personality'. So, not only does the type of chocolate (dark, milk and white) affect how it melts, how creamy it is etc. but the different origins of the beans can also affect the various qualities of chocolate. For example, chocolate made with beans from Madagascar tend to have a sharper, red berry flavour than chocolate made with beans from Ecuador, which is more subtle. The typical commercial chocolate, however, is usually made from a mix of beans from different countries which have undergone a less delicate process. This results in the chocolate losing much of its cocoa flavour and so you
are left with an overriding flavour of 'sweet'. Commercial chocolate also tends to put people off dark chocolate because the beans used for these are usually over-roasted. This, therefore, results in a chocolate with an overriding flavour of 'bitter'.
Its not all bad news though! For baking, any chocolate works and you can still get some good quality commercial chocolate. Generally, for ganache or frosting you can still choose a chocolate that you really love the flavour of.
If, however, you want to test your skills, you can buy some varied origin chocolate and see if you can taste the difference. Good brands to try are Valrhona* or Guittard.* They have a large range to try. They are more expensive than the shelf brands but are totally worth it.
Now I could talk on and on about chocolate but I won't. Not today at least. That will be for another day...
I couldn't very well talk about chocolate without giving you a recipe so check out these chocolatey bites. Squidgy chocolate cake with delicious chocolate ganache and who'd have known that it had avocado in it as well. The creamy ganache isn't just and easy way to sneak in a 5-a-day though. The avocado also makes the ganache even creamier and it also adds a slight nuttiness to the flavour.
This recipe is also suitable for vegans. I have used banana to replace the eggs in the recipe and its the best. I am not vegan myself but this is my go to chocolate cake recipe because its so so good! You can use yellow bananas for this recipe so that it doesn't impact the final flavour but if you like a strong banana flavour you can use brown ones.
The tin I have used for this recipe is also quite unique and if you want to buy it here is the link>> Mini cakes baking tin* but if you already have this tin then you are already ahead of the game. I got my tin from Wilton and it is incredibly useful for making cute but impressive bakes. I also use it if I have a little bit of batter leftover that I don't want to go to waste. However, if you don't have this tin you can use this recipe to make fairy cakes, using the timings in the same way or as a traybake for which I have added instructions for as well.
Health fact and tips
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants which can help prevent heart problems, boost your mood and help with weight loss. Sadly, milk and white chocolate do not count here as they don't have a lot of cocoa solids left in them.
Avocados are jam packed full of vitamins and minerals and are, in fact, higher in potassium than bananas. They contain the, so called, 'healthy type of fat' which lowers cholesterol and helps maintain a healthy heart. Avocados are also high in fibre and I think we all know why that's beneficial...
Tip: use yellow bananas for this recipe so that the flavour of the chocolate stands out
Chocolate Bites with Chocolate and Avocado Ganache
Prep Time 20-25 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
115g Plain flour
145g Light brown sugar
10g Cocoa cocoa powder
Pinch of Salt
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1 small (about 80g) Banana (mashed)
145ml Non dairy milk eg almond
1/2 tsp Vanilla
85ml Sunflower oil
30g Dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan. Grease a mini bun tin with oil (or, if you are making a traybake, grease and line an 8inch by 4 inch dish).
In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder.
In a separate pan place the banana, milk, vanilla, oil and chocolate and warm on a low heat. Make sure you stir the mixture occasionally to stop the chocolate from burning. Once the chocolate has melted, add to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
Evenly distribute the mix in to the tin and bake for 10-15 minutes (25-30 minutes for a traybake) until they spring back when gently pressed. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
For the ganache
1 very Ripe avocado
100g Dark chocolate
50g Light brown sugar
Chop the chocolate into small cubes and place into a heat proof bowl.
Peel and de-seed the avocado. Blend the flesh until really smooth.
In a pan, bring the sugar and water to the boil, whisking occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar and water have started to boil, pour it over the chocolate.
Let the chocolate mix sit for around 20 seconds and then vigorously whisk the chocolate together until it becomes smooth and glossy (you can use a hand blender at this stage to get it really smooth). Stir the avocado into the still warm chocolate ganache and then allow to cool.
Once the ganache has set, place into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe the ganache over each bite in a circular motion to create a neat swirl. You also add a few individual piped stars to each bite and optional, grated, white chocolate. For a traybake you can spread the ganache over top and then cut the cake into 8 even pieces.