by Stephanie Zonis
The original recipe for this creation was sent to me by Doug Cannon, the program director of 100.5 FM in Springfield, MO. www.mycountry.com. I have never listened to Doug's station, so I don't know how I like the music—but I do know that this man can make dessert! Simple chocolate cups are filled with a mixture of ricotta, sugar, and a few other ingredients so easy a child can make it, then garnished with sliced strawberries and a bit of chocolate syrup. Both the cups and the filling can be made ahead, but the dessert should be assembled and garnished just before serving.
Don't be afraid to make the chocolate cups, even if you've never attempted them before. All you need are standard-sized foil baking cups (2-1/2" diameter), melted chocolate, and the back of a spoon. They must chill until the chocolate sets before you remove the foil cups, and they must be stored in the refrigerator, where they'll last for at least a week. As you might guess, the chocolate cups can be filled with other things as well, such as mousse or ice cream. I suppose that you could serve just the ricotta mixture in bowls for a dessert, with some sliced strawberries on top, but the cups are so delightful that it is hard to think of this recipe without them. In any case, thank you, Doug, and keep on cooking!
8 to 10 ozs. good-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
15 ozs. whole milk or part-skim ricotta
2/3 cup unsifted confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Grated rind of 1/2 orange (zest only—no white pith)
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Good-quality chocolate syrup or thin chocolate sauce
Thinly sliced strawberries
For Chocolate Cups:
You'll need 10 standard-sized (2-1/2" diameter) foil baking cups. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or wax paper. If you use bittersweet chocolate, which is thinner when melted, you'll need 8 ozs. for 10 cups; semisweet chocolate, thicker when melted, requires 10 ozs. for 10 cups. Chop the chocolate finely, or use good-quality chips.
Place chopped chocolate in small heatproof bowl. Place bowl over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water. (Alternatively, chocolate can be melted in the microwave at 50% (medium) power in microwaveable bowl. Heat for short intervals, stirring well after each, just until melted and smooth.)
Place a well-rounded tablespoonful (not a measuring tablespoon) of melted chocolate in the bottom of one foil cup. With back of teaspoon, force chocolate up sides of cup, all the way to the top but not over the edge. You want most of the chocolate on the sides; try not to get too thick a layer on the bottom or where the bottom and sides join. When one cup is done, move on to the next, placing the completed cup on the lined baking sheet (I also work with the cups on the lined sheet). Don't use too much chocolate for each cup, or you won't have enough for all of them. When cups are finished, chill until chocolate is set, at least 20 to 30 minutes.
When chocolate is set, remove cups, still on baking sheet from refrigerator. Now, work quickly but gently. Pick up one cup, and carefully begin to peel the foil cup from the set chocolate. Tear the foil cup away in small sections, and don't hold the chocolate cup (or any section of it) in your hands any longer than necessary. When all of the foil is peeled off, replace chocolate cup on lined baking sheet. Repeat peeling with other cups. Cover airtight, and store in refrigerator till needed. (I store these in a single layer, as they are rather delicate.)
For Ricotta Cream:
In medium bowl, with large spoon, stir together ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and grated orange rind. Do not beat. Taste a bit; it should be sweet enough, but if not, add more sugar to taste. You don't want this mixture too sweet, though. Add chocolate chips. If not using immediately, cover airtight and store in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Place one chocolate cup on each small dessert plate. Stir ricotta cream, then fill each cup 2/3 to 3/4 full. Drizzle a small amount of chocolate syrup or thin chocolate sauce on top of the ricotta cream (some of the cream should still show through). Arrange some thin slices of strawberry on the plate around each cup, then drizzle a bit more chocolate syrup over the strawberries, if you wish (be sparing with it, though). If desired, top with a mint leaf. Serve immediately.
Copyright © 1999 Francesca Chocolate Productions. All Rights Reserved.
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This page created May 1999
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