Friday, 21 August 2015

Recipes: Willie Harcourt-Cooze

Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares some truly scrumptious chocolate recipes

Written by Willie Harcourt-Cooze

Macadamia Nut Brownies (pictured above) 

Being flourless, these are the lightest, melt in your mouth brownies imaginable.

Makes about 50

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

290g Venezuelan Rio Caribe 72 dark chocolate *
100g slightly salted butter
4 eggs
110g raw cane sugar
120g roughly chopped macademia nuts
*alternatively you can use 200g 100% cacao and add 90 extra grammes of sugar

40cm x 24cm baking tin

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease the baking tin and line with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl, set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water. Set aside to cool.

Whisk the eggs and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and creamy.

Fold in melted chocolate and butter until well combined, then fold in the chopped nuts.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the centre is just firm to the touch.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin. Slice into approximately 4-cm squares.

Hazelnut and Raisin Cloud Forest Chocolate Cake

This is a real crowd pleaser. If you make it in an old jelly mould and lightly dust it with icing sugar or cocoa powder, a very simple cake becomes a real beauty.

Cooking time: 35 minutes
Preparation time: 25 minutes

Serves 12



300g dark chocolate. Suggestion fruity Peruvian Chulucanas 70
60g raisins
40g whole hazelnuts roughly chopped
(Alternatively use 400g Willie's Cacao Hazelnut and Raisin chocolate)
250g unsalted butter
6 eggs
100g raw cane sugar

For the icing (optional)
250ml double cream
75g golden raw cane sugar
90g cacao, finely grated
Serve with whipped double cream

25-cm springform cake tin

Preheat the oven to 170˚C. Lightly grease the cake tin, then line with baking paper.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and doubled in volume. Stir in the melted chocolate and butter mixture.

Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until slightly risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin on a wire rack to cool.

To prepare the icing, place the cream and sugar in a pan over low heat and bring just to the point of boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cacao until melted and evenly mixed through. Set aside to cool.

When the cake is completely cold, place on a serving plate or cake board and spread the cooled icing evenly over the top and sides. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve. Don't store in the fridge as the cake and icing can become too hard.

Cacao bread

As I have always baked my own bread, it seemed only natural to mix cacao into a loaf. Try toasting this bread too, as it brings out the roasted flavours of the cacao even more.

Cooking time: 45 minutes
Preparation time: 40 minutes (plus rising time)

Makes 1 large loaf or 10 rolls



300g plain white flour
100g strong wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp easy-blend yeast
150ml full-fat milk
150ml water
75g 100% cacao, chopped. Suggestion, Venezuelan Carenero 100% cacao
75ml extra virgin olive oil
200g green olives, pitted and chopped
1 egg yolk, beaten or 1 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. fennel seeds

Sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the yeast. Warm the milk and water in a saucepan. Add the cacao and stir until it has melted.

Pour in the olive oil and mix well. Tip this warm liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Add more flour or warm water if necessary to reach the right consistency.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. You can also make the dough in a food processor or an electric mixer with a dough-hook attachment. Simply place the flour, salt and yeast in the mixer or processor bowl, then add the warm liquid and process for about 5 minutes.

Place in a little greased bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel, or place another large bowl upturned on top. Leave in a warm place for at least 2 hours to allow the dough to rise, doubling in size.

Tip the risen dough onto a floured surface and knock it back to its original size. Press into a large, oiled bread tin or divide into ten pieces and shape each into a small roll.

Place the rolls on an oiled baking tray. Lightly brush the top of the loaf or the rolls with either a little egg yolk or milk. Leave in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until well risen (almost doubled in size).

Preheat oven to 190C and bake the bread: 45 minutes for the loaf, or 15 minutes for the rolls. To test if the bread is done, tap it sharply on the underside- it should sound hollow. If not, return to the oven for a further 3-5 minutes and test again.

When fully cooked, turn the loaf out of the tin, or remove the rolls from the tray, and leave to cool on a wire rack.

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