SUGAR HIGH FRIDAY #27

As with the Hay Hay It's Donna Day event, this is also my first time parading my food for all to see for Sugar High Friday! SHF is a popular food bloggers event, with people from all over the world participating, sending in photographs of sweet concoctions all based on a specific theme. The results range from the fun to the sophisticated to the 'how the hell did they make that?' It's a great way to get to know other food bloggers and if you feel a bit sluggish in the kitchen gives you a kickstart with its monthly themes.
This month, SHF #27 is being hosted by David Lebovitz and the theme is Chocolate By Brand. This deceptively easy task should have been a breeze for me except that there are about 400 million chocolate recipes out there and I want to eat them all! I had planned on making, respectively, chocolate brownies studded with chocolate celebrations, mexican mole muffins, a rich chocolate cake sprinkled with homemade crunchie bar pieces and much more besides. However, it was a book that I never though I'd be able to cook from due to the complexity of the dishes: Winning Styles Cookbook (I mean, Poached Crown of Shrimp with Oregon Morel Mushroom Ragout, Green Asparagus Coulis and Madeira Mushroom Cream?). However, as I was idly flipping through it, a recipe - the very last one in the book - conceived by chef Robert McGrath jumped out of the book and grabbed me by the (metaphorical) throat. Here then, is my take on his Milk Chocolate and "Cowhide" Turnovers with Strawberry Sauce.
This recipe is actually quite simple though a little fiddly and it does rely on using good quality chocolate to get a strong, punchy flavour. Let me elaborate. The Cowhide element is simply two types of marzipan, one natural coloured and the other stained dark brown with Green and Blacks Cocoa Powder. I used Green and Blacks because I have never found a cocoa with such an intensely dark, rich flavour. Other brands of cocoa simply fade into the background compared to this. I always have a pot of Green and Blacks cocoa in my cupboard which I use sparingly and only on special occasions (it's excellent quality has a price tag to match).
This dark coloured marzipan is then ripped into small pieces and rolled into the white marzipan to produce the Cowhide effect you see below. It is then cut into circles and filled with a chocolate and cream cheese truffle-like filling and folded in half to make a marzipan pasty. The final result is a fun little dessert, a perfect appetizer for a Tex-Mex meal.
McGrath served his with a strawberry sauce although having tasted the Cowhide pasties, I don't think the two flavours would marry that well so I have omitted that element (not to mention that strawberries at this time of the year are not good). I also used a dark chocolate filling instead of milk chocolate, for no other reason than I had no milk chocolate in the house (it inevitably gets eaten).
So, I hope that you all enjoy my western themed photo shoot, utilising Demerara Sugar for Sand (well, we did want to eat the pastys afterwards), a cactus and bottle of Jack Daniels. Hey, I'm in rainy England and these are the best props I could muster!

11 comments:

David said...

thanks Freya...those are one cow patties that I'd definately eat!

charlotte said...

Well those are funky looking cow pats. How did they taste?

Without knowing it, I participated in Sugar High Friday yesterday too - by making chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing and lemon drizzle cake. Next week I'll try to post about it ...

Brilynn said...

Excellent props for your photo!

Homesick Texan said...

I love, love, love these! They are so cool! And yes, such a wonderful presentation with the sugar sand and cactus painting.

Kathryn said...

Wow, these look fabulous. I'm interested in the filling (the chocolate and cream cheese). How did it taste? I love the staging.

Kathryn x

Carolyn said...

Very nice! I, too, think the filling sounds divine. Any kind of dessert with cream cheese is delicious. :)

Writing At The Kitchen Table said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for your comments! I'm rather amused that they have been nicknamed cow-patties! It seems apt somehow!
Charlotte, the cupcakes sound wonderful, you should enter them!
Brilynn, thanks! It was a rare moment of inspiration for me! It must be the cold that I have!
Homesick Texan, glas you like them! I'll send some your way if you send me some authentic chilli!
Kathryn! The filling was a whole tube of cream cheese (I used Philadelphia), mixed with some caster sugar and 150g melted dark chocolate. When it cools in the fridge, it takes on the texture of truffles which I think you could easily make with this mixture. Rolled in some chopped nuts or cocoa they'd be delicious! Slightly tangy from the cheese but rich and dark from the chocolate.
Carolyn, I love cream cheese!

Ros said...

What a fantastic presentation idea!

I think you're right chocolate is better on its own without any interference from strawberries!

Chellie said...

So cute!! :D These sound like they'd make an excellent dessert after a big bowl of chili and some cornbread. Or maybe just a salad. Or just on their own - forget any of that "real food" getting in the way.

Kristen said...

Oh - how fun are those? Great photos!

Julia said...

Oh yum! They look great.