The Spanish fell in love with chocolate and spread it around the world. A supreme chocolate cake is accompanied with an orange twist and a not-so-usual fennel parfait in what will prove to be a dinner party dessert dream. The Chefs' Line
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 350-400 ml condensed milk
- 600 ml thickened cream
- Fennel fronds, to serve
Candied orange zest
- 2 oranges
- 165 g (¾ cup) white sugar
- 160 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
- 80 g butter, chopped
- 2 egg whites
- 40 g (¼ cup) plain flour
- 40 g (⅓ cup) icing sugar
- 80 g (¾ cup) almond meal
- 50 ml Pedro Ximenez sherry
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Freezing time: overnight
For the fennel parfait, place the fennel seeds in a small dry frying pan and shake over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Place in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind into a fine powder.
Place the cream and condensed milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Stir in half the fennel seed powder and taste for flavour, adding a little more if desired. Transfer to a shallow container and freeze overnight.
For the candied orange zest, using a small sharp knife or vegetable peeler, cut the peel off the oranges in long strips. Cut off any white pith on the peel then cut the peel into thin strips. Place the sugar and 185 ml (¾ cup) in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange peel and simmer for 20 minutes or until the peel is tender and the syrup has thickened. Remove from the heat, stand until cool, then refrigerate until the syrup has thickened to a syrupy consistency.
For the cake, preheat the oven to 160˚C. Lightly grease 4 small ramekins or muffin holes.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl until soft peaks form. Fold in the flour, icing sugar and almond meal until just combined. Stir in the melted chocolate and butter, then the sherry. Pour the mixture into the greased moulds until about 5 mm from the top. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and stand for 5 minutes to cool before inverting onto serving plates. Scatter the cakes with candied orange peel and drizzle with a little orange syrup. Finish with a few fennel fronds and serve immediately with a scoop of fennel parfait on the side.
This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!