Molten chocolate, cheiridopsis rostrata
May 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
My ice-cream machine is getting a well-deserved break as I have been experimenting with winter dessert ideas lately. Not that you can’t have ice-cream in winter – on the contrary. It’s just that the stormy West Coast weather does inspire slightly darker, richer, more comforting thoughts – preferably warm and baked.
Apart from heritage favourites such as malvapoeding, Japie-se-gunsteling and souskluitjies, one of my all-time favourite winter indulgences is a molten-centred chocolate pudding – the kind that oozes warm, sticky chocolate like lava from a sweet volcano.
But oftentimes these puddings can be overwhelmingly sweet, not offering much more than a burny throat sensation and slight nausea. So I decided to settle for dark chocolate with fleur de sel, paired with sesame and black pepper meringue, a dash of moskonfyt and finished with rocket flowers and nutty rocket sugar.
As plating inspiration, the beautiful cheiridopsis rostrata – a rare klipvygie which grows on limestone patches in the Saldanha Strandveld. The fossil-like plant seems to grow without almost any soil, and after the rainy season it blossoms into a beautiful green succulent with bright yellow flowers.
It sounds like a stretch, but I promise you planting and replanting and replanting this vygie (in part thanks to Fred, our bassett) is exactly the same as building a meringue ‘rock garden’ – loosely stacking limestone rocks, crumbling some sandy soil over it, carefully positioning the vygie on top.
Another recent winter dessert ‘experiment’, again with meringue – rooibos tea panna cotta with warm preserved peach, basil and gooseberries. I love rooibos and honey bush as flavouring – invigorating and comforting.
Sunrise in Paternoster.