Cooking at Home / Pud

Valentines Chocolate Pot, with cherries in brandy, pistachio cream & brandy snap

 Some love Valentines day, some hate it. The way to tackle it for me, whether single or taken, is with chocolate. This Valentines chocolate pot is big enough for two and has delightful layers of smooth, rich chocolate, boozy sweet cherries, fluffy pistachio cream and crunchy homemade brandy snaps. For the full recipe see below.

For the Chocolate Pot
  • 50ml fat milk
  • 125ml double cream
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 60g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped

Gently heat the milk and the cream in a heavy based saucepan. In a separate pan, mix the caster sugar, cornflour and cocoa powder (use good quality stuff such as Fairtrade or Green and Blacks) with the boiling water to make a thick paste. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring as you go and then add the warm milk and cream. Put onto a low heat and whisk for about 7 minutes or until the mix goes thick like the consistency of mayonnaise. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate until it has melted. Pour into your chosen pot and set aside to cool.

For the Cherries

  • 1 punnet of fresh cherries
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 50ml brandy

Whilst the pot is cooling, pit the cherries, remove the stalks and put into a heavy based pan with the brandy and the icing sugar. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for about 30 mins until the moisture has been absorbed.

For the Pistachio Cream

  • 250ml whipping cream
  • A handful of pistachios, chopped
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar to taste

Whip the cream until light and fluffy. Chop the pistachios and fold into the cream with the icing sugar. Set aside.

For the Brandy Snap

  • Sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 30g plain flour
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Large pinch of ground ginger
  • Ice cream or whipped cream, to serve
  • Mixed berries, to serve
  • Icing sugar, to serve

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Fill a sink with 10cm cold water. Put the caster sugar, butter and syrup in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 3–4 minutes until all of the ingredients have melted and are blended.

Remove the pan from the heat and put it in the water for 1–2 minutes, stirring the mixture continuously, until cool, then remove from the water. Stir in the flour, lemon juice and ginger.

Drop 2 rounded teaspoonfuls of the brandy snap mixture onto each baking sheet, spacing well apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden, then remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, crush up and mix with chopped pistachios and chopped chocolate.

To Assemble

After an hour or so, top the chocolate pot with the cooled cherries. Spoon the cream onto the cherries and spread with a knife that has been put under boiling water to give a smooth surface. Top with two fresh cherries and the brandy snap mix.

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