Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Petit Beurre, Cocoa and Coconut Chocolate Balls

In between the primarily Indian cooking household, curry aromas, caramelizing onions on the stove and plain basmati rice to go with the multitude of curries and bhadgis, my childhood memories are laced with prominent memories of shakshuka my dad always made, decadent crust pizza my sister Ilana, a fourth out of six kids, always made, Israeli salads and petit beurre cocoa and coconut chocolate balls we all chipped in to form. Unlike this recipe we broke the petit beurre by hand not pulsed in a food processor.  It gave us more control over the size of the chipped biscuits and therefore the final product appearance. I do not think using a food processor detracts from the final result but you have to be careful not to pulse the biscuit to dust. Half the batch will be finer and half will be more of a rough chop.
In addition my mom as probably every single household in Israel makes this dessert with margarine so I am sticking to tradition, you most certainly can use butter.  Also I haven't added sweet wine to mine but it definitely adds a dimension. Unlike this recipe where I call for best wine, one you would drink, believe me when I say, for these chocolate balls, for best results, buy the cheapest cooked sweet wine, the one everyone snubs, Manischewitz! Maybe you can try half the batch with wine and half without. Chocolate and coconut are a perfect pairing in my book, especially given the honorary place coconut has in an Indian household. If you are not a coconut aficionado this dessert will tatse great even without. This is a large batch I will show you how you can use for multiple dessert recipes like the classic chocolate balls, a chocolate log and even use this as a pie crust or a base for an unbaked chocolate mouse cake. I used shallow tart mold to demonstrate. This post will cover the classic chocolate balls and log and a pic into what's to come. I am happy the chocolate balls became part of my son's childhood memories and they were on his list of must haves prior to him leaving to college this coming Saturday. His diet this week will be quite interesting as his wish list is quite random.

Chocolate Balls:
Ingredients:
About 1 lb Petit Beurre biscuits (500gr about1.1lbs)
1 cup Sugar
1 cup milk or water
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 stick (4oz) margarine or butter (113gr)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons sweet red wine (Maniscewitz), optional
Unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions:
1. Pulse Petit Beurre in a food processor for a rough chop in batches if necessary. Remove to a big bowl.
2. In a small sauce pan add milk and sugar and over low/medium heat dissolve the sugar stirring with a rubber spatula. Don't reach a boiling point.
3. Add cocoa powder to milk/sugar mixture still on lo/medium heat and continue stirring with a rubber spatula until mixed well. Don't reach a boiling point.
3. Cut margarine or butter into smaller pieces and add to milk/sugar/cocoa powder mixture on top of heat until dissolves and mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Don't reach a boiling point. Take off the heat.
4. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla and wine (optional) once milk/sugar/cocoa/margarine mixture is off the heat .
5. Pour wet mixture over the biscuits and fold with a rubber spatula until evenly coated.  Let cool a bit.
6. sprinkle a bottom of  rectangular storing container with a lid with some coconut flakes.
7. Pour coconut flakes for coating in a separate smaller bowl.
8. With damp hand (I wash and pat dry hands lightly) start forming chocolate balls to desired size (see pic) and put in coconut flakes bowl to coat with coconut all around. Line the coconut coated chocolate ball in the storing container. Put a tight lid on and refrigerate for few hours.
9. Chocolate Log: take some of the mixture and form in a log shape (see pic) on top of plastic wrap. You can decide how large or small you wish your log to be. When desired shape is achieved, wrap with plastic and store in fridge for few hours. When ready to serve slice and sprinkle with coconut flakes or serve as is.

Important note: I made about 16 chocolate balls, one small log and a small pie crust base from the entire batch.  You can make chocolate balls from the entire batch. It's an easy dessert to make. Can keep in fridge for few days but I will be surprised if it lasts. You can freeze part of it after forming in a tight lid container.

14 comments :

  1. Must not let Mark see this post...he will insist that I make these. I love the idea of using this for a pie crust - what would you put inside?

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  2. Thanks Angela! Many ways to use it as a pie crust. I am going to have another post illustraing it. Some ideas: simplest: carmelized pears, fruit top and slice. Another: top with pastry cream or coconut or banana cream pie or any other cream pie pastry. Goes well w/chocolate. Lastly: I am going to make a no bake chocolate mouse to top it with. I hope this helps. Shulie

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  3. These look and sound fantastic! It looks perfect for using as small tart shells.

    Great pictures.

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  4. Thank you so much Pamela:) I am looking forward to sharing the next post based on this shell. Shulie

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  5. Oh my goodness, these look absolutely incredible! I love the addition of the red wine--I'm sure it really adds a touch of wonderful flavor. So pretty!

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  6. Love to cook with Manischewitz Concord Grape! It adds great moisture to baked goods - especially chocolate! I'll even confess to taking a sip now and then - takes me back to my childhood. And for Rosh Hashana and Passover, my older brother won't put anything else in his kiddush cup. And yes, we both drink "real" wine the rest of the time. :-))

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  7. I would totally make cheesecake crust with this - I'm off traditional graham crackers - and this would be a perfect match. And did I mention that your photos are gorgeous? No? Beautiful!

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  8. Thanks Renee, I know what you mean, without fail no matter where got concord grape for the holidays:) Such a wonderful suggestion a cheesecake...that is even more perfect than my ideas. Meanwhile that crust got cut into triangles dipped into coconut and poof gone. I suspected it won't last long enough...:) need to make another batch for cheesecake, mouse cake or a cream pie, but now right now.

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  9. Renne meant 'not right now' and Elle thank you you are very kind! It is an old time favorite and when not serving kids the wine is a great touch.

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  10. Really Shulie - beautiful photos and luscious recipe - heaven help me, this blogging world I've stepped into . . . everyone is posting some pretty fab stuff - yours included!! Could totally see Renee's suggestion of a cheesecake crust - Yum!

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  11. Thanks Debra as always:). Agree! So sold on the cheesecakes idea!

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  12. I started reading your post and I could smell the aromas you were talking about. Love this post and the chocolate looks so yummy.

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  13. What are petit beurre biscuits and where can I find them?

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