Let me clarify, I don’t eat several bars of chocolate a day…heck I don’t even eat one bar. I’m a firm believer of everything in moderation…including chocolate. So maybe I’ll have a taste here and there. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. I mean really life’s too short Not to eat chocolate.
I was recently asked to review Green and Black's Organic chocolate for the blog. Being such a huge chocolate lover there was no way I was turning this opportunity down. I know what you’re thinking…"What’s the big deal; it’s only chocolate."
Green and Black is not your everyday run of the mill chocolate it’s an organic chocolate produced from beans grown mainly in the Dominican Republic and Belize. The beans are allowed to ferment for 5 days covered with banana leaves before they are transformed into chocolate. Oh and it's delicious.
The quality of the bean and the process used really shines through in the bars themselves. I was given both milk chocolate and a 70% dark chocolate to sample. I was extremely impressed with the milk chocolate. It was very creamy and intense; which I really liked. Definitely a good pop in your mouth, savor on your tongue type of chocolate. The dark chocolate was slightly bitter for my tastes. This is not surprising since it has 70% cocoa. It was perfect for baking though.
Speaking of baking I used my chocolate samples to make an Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake from the Green & Black's recipe archives. You want to talk intense…this cake is intense but it showcases the chocolate well. Since the cake is made with all dark chocolate I was a bit concerned at first that it might be too bitter to eat, but it was perfect. The cake alone reminds me of a dark chocolate fudge and then you add the icing....mmmm. A mixture of the dark and milk chocolate is whipped with butter to make an amazing chocolate buttercream. The combo of cake and icing is wonderful.
If you haven’t tried Green & Black's Organic chocolates yet I would highly recommend doing so. Eat it alone or try baking with it like I did.
Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake
31⁄2oz Green & Black’s Dark 70% chocolate, broken into pieces
11/3 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup ground almonds
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
11⁄4 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 extra-large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄2 cup buttermilk
For the icing
7oz Green & Black’s Dark 70% chocolate, broken into pieces
7oz Green & Black’s Milk chocolate, broken into pieces
18 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8in pans with sides about 11⁄2in deep and line each with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water, then set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt, then stir in the ground almonds. Using an electric stand or hand-held mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract to the eggs. With the beaters running, very slowly add the egg mixture to the butter and sugar, adding 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture during the process to prevent curdling, then add the melted chocolate and buttermilk.
Very gently fold in the remaining flour and divide the mixture between the pans.
Bake on the center shelf for 30 to 35 minutes, or until risen and firm to the touch. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the pan before turning on to cooling racks.
Once cold, remove the papers and slice each cake in half horizontally through the middle.
To make the icing, melt the chocolate following the method above. Set aside to cool slightly, then beat together with the butter. Using an offset spatula, spread evenly to sandwich the layers together and cover the top of the cake
**This recipe is for a 4 layer cake. I cut the entire recipe in half which is why my photo only shows two layers.
****NOVICA gift card winner is: Rivki from Healthy Eating for Ordinary People. Congratulations!****