I need no excuse to eat chocolate, in any form, it’s an almost daily necessity, or compulsion for me. So, on being invited to take part in the 2014 Godiva Chocolate Challenge by luxury Belgian chocolatiers Godiva, all thoughts turned to decadence, indulgence and of course, chocolate.
The challenge was to be 'daring and different' and to create a dessert 'whose presentation, creativity and texture reflects the craftsmanship and excellence of Godiva.' In my view, excellent quality chocolate should, as far as possible, be allowed to speak for itself and so my dessert is very simple to make, incorporating only very fresh eggs, sugar, vanilla, Italian mascarpone cheese and both white and dark Godiva chocolate.
I was first taught to make the mascarpone-inspired dessert ‘Tiramisu’ by my Italian brother-in-law many years ago. The authentic way to do this is to whisk fresh egg yolks with sugar and then to beat in the mascarpone cheese and then to separately whisk up the egg whites to add volume and lightness to the overall mixture.
My challenge entry could be layered up with ‘ladyfinger’ biscuits or sponges soaked in coffee and alcohol, and finished as a traditional Tiramisu with cocoa. Although it was during a meal at the restaurant of Casa Artusi in Forlimpopoli, Italy; the living museum of the cultured gastronomist Pellegrino Artusi, that I discovered the mascarpone mixture could be eaten alone as a ‘crema di mascarpone.’ And alone, it is incredibly good, too.
To the pillowy, white mascarpone mixture, I added some fresh vanilla and some melted white chocolate pearls. For an extra-decadent touch, I chose to finish my creamy dessert with some melted dark chocolate pearls. The combination of a chilled white chocolate dessert with a warm dark chocolate sauce produces an ideal texture, which is sure to both delight and inspire your guests.
Find out more about the 2015 Godiva Chocolate Challenge.