Chocolate Kisses

Today this blog is 1 year old.  I never actually thought that far ahead when I started it.  And I’m quite happy with the number of people reading it.  I would have been happy, too, though, if it were still only the five people I’d told about this blog reading it.  In fact, I started out not telling anyone at all about this blog;  the only person who knew about it was the friend who egged me on to just go ahead and do it.  Then, over a few months, I told some of my closer friends about it.  I had a secure readership of five people.  Which, as I said, suited me just fine, because I started out doing this for myself, and I wanted to see what it would be like, feel like, doing it before I told anyone about it.  Somewhere along the way I got over this shy attitude and told more people about it, who in turn told more people…

After about nine months, I got a bit nervous, having gone into a phase of “Oh my God, what am I going to blog about?  I have no great recipes up my sleeve!”  But then I got a grip, because if you start feeling like that you’ll just put yourself under pressure, and it doesn’t help your creativity either. I reminded myself that I was doing this for fun, not to become famous, make money, or to write a cookbook.  And now after one year of blogging, I can say I really, really enjoy doing this.

So before I start telling you about the chocolate kisses, I’d like to say a really big THANK YOU to everyone stopping by here, to everyone commenting on the posts, recommending this blog, and linking it on their own sites!  To me this is really big and means a lot, even though I started out doing this for myself – and still am, in a way – and without having any expectations at all.

I have been meaning to make these chocolate kisses again for a really long time now but somehow other recipes always got in the way.  These nice little anniversary cakes – and this time the original recipe asks for individual little cakes, it’s not my penchant for cute-ifying large things into mini versions! – come with another childhood story.

Chocolate kisses used to be called something in German that is no longer politically correct.  Never was, probably, but as kids we wouldn’t have known that.  The original chocolate kiss is a little round waffle with airy foam on top, covered in chocolate.  These days you can have them with dark, milk or white chocolate.  When I was a kid, there was only the dark variety.  After school we’d go to the bakery and get a chocolate kiss sandwiched between a bread roll, press on the top of the roll so the chocolate kiss would be crushed and spread out between the two halves of the roll.  I always asked to have the waffle cut off because I didn’t like it.

I found this cake version in a magazine a couple of decades ago.  Actually, I saw it in a magazine in my GP’s waiting room and surreptitiously ripped it out and sneaked it in my bag when no one was looking.  Yes, I know – not good manners, but I was young and needed the recipe…

The great thing about these is that you can have them in all sizes, large – i.e. cupcake size – as a treat to go with your tea or coffee, or as minis if you want to cater for a larger number of people, e.g. for a party buffet.  You get to decide, because the size is determined by a piece of aluminium foil that you pull over any kind of jar you fancy the shape and size of.  This will then be the receptacle for your batter.

Chocolate Kisses

Batter
4 eggs, separated
125 g sugar
80 g flour
50 g cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder

Filling
1 tbsp orange marmalade
250 g cream
1 vanilla bean
3 tsp sugar
1 pack stabiliser for whipping cream
300 g dark chocolate couverture

Before you start off with the batter, make your aluminium receptacles by cutting aluminium foil into squares, mould them over any jar you like the size of, and pull them off and put on a baking tray.  Depending on the size of your jar, you’ll get something between 14 and 20 cakes out of this batter.

To make the batter, beat the egg whites with 3 tbsp cold water until stiff.  Let the sugar trickle in while still beating.  Fold in the egg yolks next.  Then fold in flour, cornstarch and baking powder.

Pour the batter into the aluminium forms, and bake for 20 minutes at 200ºC.  Leave to cool.  Once cooled, cut the cakes in half and spread the jam on the each half, just a thin layer.  Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the cream together with sugar and whipping cream stabiliser.  Beat the cream until stiff, then divide between the bottom parts of the cakes, put on the top.

Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie and pour over the cakes, then let the couverture dry before serving.

Notes:
I recommend to peel away the foil from the cakes right after taking them out of the oven to avoid it sticking to the cakes once they cool down.  Don’t discard the foil, just peel off sides and leave cakes sitting on the foil.  That way you can later pour the chocolate over the cakes and make a mess on the foil instead of your baking tray or work surface.
I used lemon jam without peel instead of orange, I guess you can use any flavour you like as long as it’s not too sweet and/or dominant.  Also, I used milk chocolate instead of dark because I like it better.
My recommendation is to put the cakes in the fridge before you start melting the chocolate to keep the cream cool.
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