This dessert looks so impressive that it’s hard to believe that you’ve actually made it yourself with such little effort. It can be made up to 1 month in advance, leaving nothing for you to do on the day.
- 1 x 100g (4oz) bar of plain chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
- 150g (5oz) white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 225ml (8fl oz) cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 1 large egg white
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- good-quality cocoa powder, to dust
- fresh raspberries, to serve
Use a little water to dampen a 450g (1lb) loaf tin (the more square shaped, the better), then line with a double layer of cling film. Line 2 large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.
Melt the plain chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Spoon half the melted chocolate onto each sheet of baking paper and spread it out to the edges in a thin layer. Put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set.
Melt the white chocolate and 5 tablespoons of the cream in a separate heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once melted, give it a good stir and set aside to cool.
Whip the rest of the cream in a large bowl with the vanilla seeds until the cream is just holding its shape, then fold in the cooled melted white chocolate.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white and icing sugar until stiff peaks have formed, then fold into the white chocolate mixture.
Carefully peel the plain chocolate from the baking paper and break it up into pieces.
Place a couple spoonfuls of the whipped cream mixture into the prepared loaf tin and cover with a layer of the plain chocolate pieces. Repeat the layers until the loaf tin is filled up, finishing with a layer of whipped cream. Cover the top with cling film and freeze overnight (or up to 1 month). Any remaining pieces of plain chocolate can be put into a freezer-proof container and frozen separately to use for decoration.
About 1 hour before serving, transfer the loaf tin and reserved chocolate decoration to the fridge.
Of course this recipe is great with just parsley but experiment with a combination of soft fragrant herbs sauce as parsley, chives, tarragon or chervil depending on what’s available.
- 4 x 175g hake fillets, skin on and boned
- 1 tablesp. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 50g butter
- ½ lemon, pips removed
- 1 tablesp. chopped mixed herbs (parsley, chives and tarragon)
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the seasoned hake fillets, skin side down. Cook for a couple of minutes until the skin is just beginning to crisp, then add little knobs of butter to the pan around each hake fillet and cook for another couple of minutes until the skin is crisp.
Turn the hake fillets over and cook for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through. This will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Transfer to warmed plates while you make the sauce.
Add the rest of the butter to the frying pan and allow it to gently melt over a moderate heat. When it has melted, add a squeeze of lemon juice and the herbs, swirling to combine. Season to taste. Spoon this sauce over the hake fillets and serve with steamed broccoli and some sautéed new potatoes.
Above all be careful not to overcook the fish. To check, gently prod the thickest part of the fish with a small knife. If it is cooked, the flesh will look opaque and the flakes will separate easily. If it isn’t done yet, it will still have the translucent look for raw fish.
Other fish you could use: Whiting, haddock or trout fillets
Nutritional Analysis per Serving