No matter how far into “Martha Mode” I dive into during the holiday season, I’ll never be the type of baker who likes to spend hours intricately decorating cookies or cakes. Instead I prefer to focus on dedicating my time to creating an array of different sweets that cater more to the adult eye and palette.
In my typical fashion of serving everything family style, when hosting a holiday dinner or party, I normally like to set up a sweets table for people to help themselves to. However, in my house you won’t find any mounds of candies on display, the sweets table instead always offers an array of home-made goods.
Here I’m sharing 2 decadent chocolate dessert recipes that are both made with chocolate from Chocolats Favoris, a Quebec-based brand that has recently become available and opened stores in Ontario. Anyone who has baked with chocolate before will know that the selection can often be rather slim when searching for quality chocolate to cook with (that’s still affordable), and I really love that Chocolats Favoris not only has a great selection for home baking enthusiasts, but is a Canadian company too.
Now on to sweet side of cooking and the two dessert recipes that I’m sharing today. The first is an incredible Clementine & Almond Syrup Cake topped with chocolate icing that’s one of my favourite recipes from the Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Clementines are always present in my home over the holidays, and they hold a lot of significance at Christmas time. In my humble opinion, this cake is an absolutely exquisite dessert to serve as a compliment to your holiday feast.
The second recipe is for Chocolate Bark that’s not only simple and easy to make, but looks beautiful too. I also love that you can customize them any way you please and making Chocolate Bark can be a great option for a group activity or something to get kids involved with.
See below for how to make the Clementine & Almond Syrup Cake and Chocolate Bark!
Clementine & Almond Syrup Cake
Super fragrant and light in texture, this addictive cake will keep you coming back again and again for more. Moist and delicious, this will for sure be your next go-to dessert recipe for any occasion!
What You Need:
- 200g unsalted butter
- 380g caster sugar
- 4 clementines, zest grated, and juiced
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 280g ground almonds
- 5 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 100g plain flour, sifted
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Orange zest, cut in strips, to garnish
For the chocolate icing:
- 90g unsalted butter, diced
- 150g Chocolats Favoris Dark Chocolate Drops
- ½ tbsp honey
- ½ tbsp cognac
What To Do:
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease a 10” spring-form tin, and line the sides and base with baking parchment.
- Put the butter, 300g of the sugar (the remaining 80g is for the syrup) and citrus zest in a mixer bowl, and use a paddle attachment to combine. Do not work the mix too much or incorporate much air. Add half the ground almonds and continue mixing to fold through. Add the eggs gradually, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you go. Add the remaining almonds, flour and salt, and work until the mix is smooth.
- Spread the cake batter inside the tin and level with a palette knife. Bake for 50-60 minutes – a skewer should come out a little bit moist.
- When the cake is almost cooked, in a small pan bring to a boil the remaining sugar and citrus juices (the juices should add up to about 120ml; don’t use more), then remove from the heat at once. The moment the cake comes out of the oven, brush it all over with the hot syrup, making sure it all soaks through. Leave to cool. Serve it as it is, garnished with orange strips, or store for up to three days in an airtight container.
- To make the icing, put the butter, chocolate and honey in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until all is melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cognac. Pour the icing over the cool cake, allowing it to dribble naturally down the sides without covering the cake completely. Let the icing set, then garnish with strips of orange zest at the centre.
Basic Chocolate Bark
Here’s what you need for the foundation of a basic chocolate bark recipe which is all you need to start creating every and every flavour and ingredient combination your heart desires. My bark included toasted coconut, crushed pistachio, Cocoa Nibs and Dehydrated Marshmallows from Chocolats Favoris, and a few chili flakes.
What You Need:
- Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray
- Bittersweet, milk or white chocolate drops from Chocolats Favoris
- Toppings, according to your variation
What To Do:
- Coat a 9-by-12 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on ends.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring. Pour into baking sheet, and spread in an even layer.
- Immediately sprinkle with toppings over chocolate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, Peel off parchment, and break into pieces.
- Serve and enjoy.
For more information on Chocolats Favoris products and locations, please visit chocolatsfavoris.com