Chocolate spaetzle

  • 244g creme fraiche
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsps vanilla paste or essence
  • 56g dark chocolate, melted
  • 28g sugar
  • 5 tsps salt, plus a pinch
  • 200g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 40g atomised chocolate (note: atomised chocolate is a cocoa powder that dissolves instantly in hot water)
  • Olive oil
  • Macerated strawberries, recipe follows
  • Chocolate meringue, recipe follows
  • Strawberry sorbet, recipe follow
  • For the macerated strawberries
  • 300g fresh halved strawberries
  • 120ml simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar heated until sugar dissolves; cool)
  • For the chocolate meringue
  • 125g egg whites
  • 125g sugar
  • 21g cocoa
  • 28g icing sugar
  • 21g cacao nibs
  • For the strawberry sorbet
  • 450g strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • 475ml water
  • 450g granulated sugar
1) Put the creme fraiche, eggs, and vanilla paste in the blender and puree. Pour the melted chocolate into the running blender. Puree until smooth and emulsified.

2) Sift all the dry ingredients (sugar, salt, flour, cocoa powder, atomised chocolate) together into a large mixing bowl.

3) Make a well in the centre of the bowl. Stir the blended mixture into the dry ingredients. Let it rest 30 minutes at room temperature.

4) Press mixture through a spaetzle press into a large pot of boiling water. Cook for 1 minute after they float. Drain. Put into a large bowl and toss with a pinch of salt and enough olive oil just to coat.

5) Heat up a large griddle and coat with oil. Toss the cooked spaetzle onto the hot griddle with some drained macerated strawberries. Cook until the spaetzle has crisped up a bit.

6) Top with chocolate meringue, and strawberry sorbet.

7) For the macerated strawberries, toss the strawberries in the simple syrup and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

For the chocolate meringue:
1) Preheat oven to 90 degrees C.

2) Whip whites and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Sift together cocoa and powdered sugar. Fold the dry ingredients into the meringue when it has reached full volume. Then fold in the cocoa nibs.

3) Spread the chocolate meringue onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray, about 6-mm thick.

4) Bake for about 1 hour or until the meringue is hard and completely dried out.

Yield: 3 to 5 servings

For the strawberry sorbet:
1) Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves completely. Cool. Puree the strawberries with enough simple syrup to cover in the blender. Strain through a sieve. Stir the remaining simple syrup into the strained strawberry puree.

2) Freeze in an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Yield: 2 litres

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