After two days of trekking along Venezuela’s rugged northern coast with my “compadre” Atanacio, we arrived at the remote village of Chuao. Surrounded by mountains and dense forests, the townspeople quietly produce some of the best cocoa beans in the world, using techniques passed down through generations. Just the sight of the beans drying in the sun of the church courtyard was worth the trip. Remember, when preparing this timbale, take your time when melting the chocolate – don’t go too fast or get it too hot. Chop the chocolate into small pieces, place them in a bowl set over barely simmering water and melt it slowly. It should remain nice and shiny.
-Bernard Guillas (From the ‘Flying Pans’ cookbook, available here)
Molten Chuao Chocolate Timbale
Mango, Lemon Ginger Confit
Lemon Ginger Confit
- 2 large Meyer lemons
- 2 tablespoons julienned peeled ginger
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup limoncello
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Bring 1 quart water to boil in large pot. Add lemons. Poach 30 seconds. Transfer to ice bath. Cool 1 minute. Return to boiling water. Repeat process three times. Cut lemons into 1/8-inch thick slices, removing seeds. Cut into small cubes. Transfer to saucepan over low heat. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to simmer. Cook 30 minutes or until syrup consistency.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, 72% cocoa
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
- 4 teaspoons cocoa nibs
- 1 teaspoon chopped basil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease four 4-ounce ceramic ramekins with softened butter. Coat each with 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Add chocolate and butter to large mixing bowl set over pot of barely simmering water, ensuring bottom of bowl does not touch water. Whisk until well combined. Beat eggs, egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until pale yellow and ribbony. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until well combined. Fold in flour, cocoa nibs and basil using rubber spatula. Divide batter into ramekins. Bake 9 minutes.
- 1 mango
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 4 sprigs flowering basil
Peel mango. Thinly slice using mandolin or vegetable slicer. Place slices in overlapping pattern among four serving plates. Invert cakes onto center of plate. Remove ramekins. Dust lightly with powdered sugar. Spoon lemon and ginger confit around. Garnish with flowering basil sprigs.
*Recipe by Chef Bernard Guillas