Blood oranges with whipped chocolate ganache, cream and sesame brittle
I originally wrote this recipe in collaboration with Abel & Cole who I am a big fan of. Everything I used for this recipe came from their incredible online offering and was delivered straight to my door. If you thought they were just a monthly vegetable delivery scheme you will be pleasantly surprised. They are my one stop shop for everything organic whether it be cleaning products, broccoli or butter. You can also find my recipe on their site here.
There is something romantic about the combination of chocolate and orange, even more so when using the ruby flecked blood orange variety (although this works just as well with classic oranges). Sesame brittle gives it that magical touch and a little whipped cream never goes amiss.
This recipe makes slightly more than you need although I admit it is not difficult to finish all of the ganache in one evening. The ganache is somewhere between a classic tart filling and a chocolate mousse. It is lighter than a tart ganache and silkier than a mousse; rich, smooth and deeply chocolatey. The addition of water here can cause some discomfort. Do not fret when the mix becomes stiff and grainy. Continue to add the water and it will soon become glossy. Add a splash of booze if you wish. I do like a little Cointreau as it marries very well with the citrus.
The sesame brittle keeps for well over a month and is a wonderful addition to an afternoon cup of tea. It also makes for a lovely edible gift if you can bare to give it away. If you are very short for time you could also just crush sesame snaps over the top. It will be equally delicious.
Serves 4 or 2 with a little extra
120g golden caster sugar
4tbsp organic honey
200g toasted sesame seeds
200g dark chocolate
150 ml boiling water
150ml double cream (plus 100ml for whipping)
a splash of amaretto or cointreau (if you like)
2 blood oranges
For the brittle.
Have two silicone baking sheets or large pieces of baking parchment ready. Place one silicone/parchment sheet onto a large baking tray.
Melt your butter in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat. Add your sugar and honey and stir using a wooden spoon to combine. Have a small bowl of cold water close by.
Allow the mixture to cook and bubble until it turns a darker shade of golden and begins to smell like caramel. This usually takes about 7 minutes. To test whether it is ready drop a little off the spoon into the cold water. If it is stiff and snaps easily it is ready. If it is still bendy it needs a little longer.
Once ready switch off the heat and pour in your sesame seeds. Stir quickly to combine and pour onto your silicone/parchment sheet. Place the other on top and roll over with a rolling pin until the brittle is about 3 mm thin and has stretched as far as the sheet. Remove the top layer and place the brittle in the fridge to set.
Once set break into shards and keep in an air tight container for up to 5 weeks.
For the rest
Place your chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and allow it to melt.
Once melted pour in your boiling water bit by bit whisking all the time until smooth and glossy. It will appear grainy and stiff at first. Do not worry.
Once smooth whisk in your double cream (and your splash of alcohol if using). Place in the fridge and allow to set for at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve whisk the remaining whipped cream until soft and thickened. Peel and slice your oranges.
Scoop roughly two tablespoons of the chocolate ganache into each serving bowl followed by one tablespoon of the soft cream. Arrange the sliced orange and a shard of the brittle. You can also crush a little extra brittle in a pestle and mortar (or by bashing it with a rolling pin) and sprinkle this over if you like.