Cookbook 94: Chocolate

I’ve been saving up Chocolate by Trish Deseine for a day when baking lots of chocolate was an excellent idea, and what better time than just before Scott’s birthday?  This book is a range of chocolate recipes, from relatively simple biscuits (see Shortbread below), sauces, spreads, cakes and more.

The instructions in the book are provided in both metric and imperial (metric only below) and the photos are very nice, though more showing off what the dish will look like than instructions all the way through the recipe.  The book does provide encouragement with some recipes, for the chocolate Swiss cake, the instructions clearly state that the cake will crack, and that is part of the recipe.

Despite all the chocolatey goodness in the book, it was hard to find something that was inspired me to cook it – which says a lot more about me than the book itself.  As the weather warms up I want to try some of the ice cream recipes herein, and may blog about those – depending on time.

Overall I give this 3 out of 5 stars.

Chocolate Shortbread


  • 300g flour
  • 85g sugar
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 250g very cold salted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
  2. Place the flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl, add the butter and rub in with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  This can also be done in a food processor.  Knead for 1 minute on a cold, lightly floured surface.  Press the mixture into the greased flan tin with the fingers.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes
  4. Remove from the oven, cut into triangles and sprinkle with sugar.  Leave to cool in the tin.

Notes on this recipe:

  • I used a food processor to make the dough, and both due to humidity and the recipe, there wasn’t enough butter to make the shortbread form into a dough that could be needed.  This is yet another recipe for shortbread that fails – leaving the shortbread recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly being pretty much the only one that works for me.  If you too have insufficient dough like substance, just add some ice cold water until it forms a ball.
  • I rolled this out, after dividing the dough in halves, into two circles and baked them on a baking tray in the oven.  I had used my flan tin for the next recipe.

Jean-Francois’ gooey cake


  • 250g chocolate
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 250g sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven or bain-marie.  Beat the egg yolks and the sugar until the mixture is pale.  Combine the two mixtures.  Whisk the egg whites into stiff peaks and fold them into the chocolate mixture.  :Pour into the flan tin and bake for about 20 minutes.  The cake will rise and then collapse again, leaving a raised crust around the edges.  Serve in the flan tin, still warm if you are short of time.

Notes on this recipe:

  • Note the absence of flour or any flour substitute in this recipe.  In essence, it is effectively a baked egg custard – so it does taste a little eggy, but not overpoweringly so.
  • It needs to be solid, we had to bake ours for an extra 10 minutes.  If the top doesn’t spring back when you lightly press it after the 20 minutes in the oven, put it back in for a little more.


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