Saturday, 6 October 2012

Chocolate sauce - my way

When I feel like really indulging, I make chocolate sauce. It's so easy to make and it keeps well if you don't quite eat it all (but let's be honest, how often does that happen!).

The beauty of my chocolate sauce is its versatility. Really, the only thing you really must have is chocolate!

So, my ultimate chocolate sauce recipie would be the following:
Dark chocolate (as a rule, I use Whittakers, 70%, but if you wanted a less intense sauce, you could use milk chocolate)

Now, you're going to ask, how much of everything? Good question. I generally make it up as I go, but because I knew I would be asked, I measured everything out (kind of). Again, this is so flexible, you won't go wrong with adding a bit more or a bit less.

You want about 200g chocolate, 1/2 cup cream (if you want your sauce thinner, add more), a handful of marshmallows (the more you add the more gooey it will be - delicious), about one tablespoon each of alcohol/liqueur and vanilla, 50g butter.

I cook my chocolate sauce over a water bath (a bowl on top of a pot of simmering water). I plonk everything in, and just gently melt it all together. Make sure you give it a good stir as it melts.

When it has all melted together, lather it over ice cream, brownie, or whatever takes your fancy really.

Triple chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce? Don't mind if I do!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Venison salad

With my freezer full of delicious venison, I get to start having some fun with it - cooking it!

Tonight I cooked a beautiful back steak. Back steak is delicious and tender and requires very little cooking. In fact, if you over cook it, it will be dry and tough and reasonably unpleasant to eat. You want it still pink in the middle.

I'm a huge fan of fruit with meat, particularly with venison. Venison loves to soak up the flavours of a delicious sharp fruit such as blackberry or cherry. So, I made a tasty, tasty cherry sauce. I used the following ingredients, you can adjust it to suit.

1 large heaped tablespoon of cherry jam
a small handful of dried cherries
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
2 small dried chillies
one orange, juice plus pulp
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup of port/red wine (I used a mixture of both)
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tsp honey

I boiled everything in a small pot, reduced to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the sauce reduced and thickened. It will go beautifully glossy and syrupy. Strain before serving and add the cherries back into the sauce.

I wanted to keep it simple, so I made a lovely green salad with capsicum, grapes and carrot.

I added some roasted kumara and yams.

Now to cook my lovely back steak. I cooked it for four minutes per side. For a great tip (and crucial to perfect venison-cooking) turn on the timer so you don't overcook it! Because this was a whole steak, I cooked it for a bit longer than I would for a standard steak. Normally I have a two minute per side rule.

Then, time to rest it for at least five minutes, before slicing it up.

I piled the venison on top of my salad and drizzled over my sauce - just like a bought one!! :-)

Talk about delicious. I seriously could eat this every night. Best dinner in a long time I reckon!!!