In honor of Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY opening in a month, we thought we’d give you a head start on some delectable chocolate recipes you can make at home. We asked our renowned pastry chef Jamie Paultre for his three favorites, and here they are.
We don’t mean to brag, but—well, we do; yes, we’re bragging—chocolate first arrived in the American colonies in Florida. That’s right. The mouth-watering, life-giving force introduced itself on our shores via a Spanish ship in 1641. By the time the Revolutionary War rolled around, cocoa beans were a major American import considered a utilitarian staple in pantries across the New World. Soldiers had chocolate in their rations.
The Aztecs and Mayans, early pioneers in assigning value to cacao beans, used the fruit as currency. They also served liquid chocolate to human sacrifices prior to said fate to cheer them up a bit. Civilizations in other parts of Latin America and Mesopotamia used the beans and fruit for eating and drinking. The Latin name for the cacao tree translates to “food of the gods” and today, in the United States alone, chocolate generates a 4-billion-dollar-plus economy. The average American eats about a half a pound of chocolate each month.
We’re going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Roald Dahl’s classic tale of a poor boy lucking his way to a Golden Ticket might not have seen the same popularity had Willy Wonka owned a broccoli factory. Chocolate makes life delicious.
So, when we wanted to share some deliciousness with you to celebrate the brand-new Broadway production of Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY opening Oct. 8, our first thought was to track down the Straz Center pastry chef, Jamie Paultre. We asked him to reveal his three favorite recipes using chocolate as a main ingredient. He delivered these three whoppers, each requiring simple ingredients you may already have in your pantry.
1. Chocolate Flan Cake
Yield: 1 flan cake
|Caramel||Weight – grams||Volume|
|Sugar, granulated||200g||1 cup|
|Corn syrup||22g||1 tbsp|
- Bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil.
- Brush sides of pot with a brush to remove any sugar on the sides.
- Cook sugar mixture until amber color.
- Pour caramel evenly around the bottom of a bundt pan. Set aside to cool.
|Flan||Weight – grams||Volume|
|Condensed milk||800g||2ea – 14oz cans|
|Milk||560g||2 ¼ cup|
|Cream cheese||225g||8oz block|
|Eggs, whole||300g||6 eggs|
|Eggs, yolks||60g||4 yolks|
|Vanilla extract||14g||4 tsp|
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Blend using an immersion blender until smooth, being careful not to incorporate any air. Set aside.
|Chocolate Cake||Weight – grams||Volume|
|Cake flour||80g||2/3 cup|
|Cocoa powder||30g||1/3 cup|
|Baking soda||3g||1/2 tsp|
|Dark chocolate||115g||1/2 cup|
|Sugar, granulated||100g||1/2 cup|
|Eggs, whole||100g||2 eggs|
|Vanilla extract||7g||2 tsp|
- Melt together butter and chocolate. Set aside.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Whisk together buttermilk, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
- Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture.
- Mix the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture.
- Pour cake batter into the bundt pan.
- Fill the mold the rest of the way with the flan mixture.
- Bake in a water bath at 300 degrees F in a conventional oven. Cook until center reads 180 degrees F on thermometer, approximately 1.5 hours.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Place plate or serving tray with a lip on the bundt pan and flip to unmold.
2. Chocolate Passion Verrine
Yield: 12 2oz shot glasses
Chocolate Panna Cotta
|Chocolate Panna Cotta||Weight – grams||Volume|
|Milk||38g||2 ½ tbsp|
|Heavy cream||200g||7/8 cup|
|Dark chocolate||75g||1/3 cup|
- Place milk in a bowl large enough to hold chocolate and heavy cream.
- Sprinkle gelatin over milk, let bloom for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine sugar and cream in a separate pot and bring to a boil.
- If using chocolate bar/squares, chop into small pieces, then put into the bowl with milk and gelatin.
- Pour boiling hot cream mixture over the chocolate.
- Whisk till combined. Let cool to around 100 degrees F.
- Place 2oz shot glasses in a muffin pan at a 45 degree angle.
- Pour into glasses until it almost reaches one edge of the glass. Let set in fridge.
Passion Fruit Curd
|Passion Fruit Curd||Weight – grams||Volume|
|Passion fruit puree||170g||2/3 cup|
|Sugar, granulated A||50g||1/4 cup|
|Egg, yolks||95g||6 yolks|
|Eggs, whole||100g||2 large egg|
|Sugar, granulated B||50g||1/4 cup|
- Combine sugar A and passion fruit puree in a pot and bring to a boil.
- When almost at a boil whisk together yolks, whole eggs and sugar B in a bowl large enough to hold eggs and puree.
- Temper boiling puree into egg mixture.
- Return to medium heat and cook until thickened, while continuously stirring curd and scraping sides and bottom of pot.
- Once thick remove from heat and whisk in butter.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- Remove shot glasses from muffin pan and stand straight up.
- Pipe curd into shot glasses on top of the panna cotta, filling the glass the rest of the way.
- Let cool in fridge.
- Top with whipped cream
- Place piped chocolate decoration or chocolate shavings on whipped cream
3. Chocolate Caramel Tart
Yield: 1 9in tart
Hazelnut Pate Sable
|Hazelnut Pate Sable||Weight – Grams||Volume|
|All-purpose flour||125g||1 cup|
|Powdered sugar||20g||2 ½ tbsp|
|Butter, cold||120g||1/2 cup or 1 stick|
|Ground hazelnuts||50g||1/2 cup|
- Combine all ingredients until butter is incorporated.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out 3mm thick.
- Place in greased tart pan.
- Bake at 325 degrees F until golden brown.
- Let cool set aside for later.
|Caramel||Weight – grams||Volume|
|Corn syrup, light||40g||2 tbsp|
|Heavy cream||75g||1/3 cup|
- Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a pot.
- Bring to a boil. Brush side of pot with a wet brush to remove any sugar crystals sticking to side.
- Cook to 320 degrees F.
- Remove from heat and carefully whisk in butter and heavy cream.
- Return to heat and cook to 250 degrees F.
- Pour into tart shell. Let cool.
|Ganache||Weight – Grams||Volume|
|Heavy cream||200g||7/8 cup|
|Dark chocolate||200g||1 cup|
|Sea salt||As needed||As needed|
- Bring heavy cream to a boil.
- Meanwhile, if using a bar/square of chocolate cut it up into small pieces, then put into a bowl large enough to hold chocolate and heavy cream.
- Pour over dark chocolate.
- Whisk together until smooth.
- Pour over caramel.
- Let cool.
- Finely chop hazelnuts and toast them.
- Once chocolate is almost set sprinkle with sea salt. On the edge of the tart, sprinkle with the finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts.