La Isla Bonita – ( a beautiful island in Spanish )

( A DOUBLE DECKER HEART SHAPED DUTCH CHOCOLATE GANACHE WITH EXOTIC PASSION FRUITS AND STUDDED WITH FULL BODIED STRAWBERRIES TOPPED WITH SWAYING TRUFFLED  ROSES AND DUST OF GOLDEN PRALINE – A PERFECT DESTINATION FOR LOVING HEARTS )

Ingredients to make the basic chocolate sponge

6 large eggs
50  gms cocoa powder
120gms plain flour (maida)
200 g castor sugar
6 large eggs

Method to make the basic chocolate sponge
1.Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together .
2.Beat the eggs and sugar very well until thick and double in quantity.
3.Fold in the well-sieved flour carefully and mix gently with a  spoon.
4.Pour the batter into a greased and dusted 175 mm (7” diameter) tin.
5.Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°c (400°f) for 30 minutes.
6.The cake / sponge  is ready when it leaves the sides of the tin and is springy to touch.
7.Take out from the oven and leave for 1 minute. Loosen the sides with a knife, invert the tin over a rack and tap sharply to remove.
8.Keep aside to cool and use as required.

Ingredients to make the Chocolate Ganache

•1 kg  bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 3  cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon dark rum essence
• Passion fruit crush / pineapple crush
• 500 gms fresh , ripe strawberries
• 200 gms molten white chocolate to dip the strawberries

Method

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake / sponge .

• Using 2 heart shapes , cut out a big and a small heart of the chocolate sponge / cake .
• Cut open each heart horizontally from the center of the width of the sponge and pour the semi cooled ganache  from the center to the rim of the sponge gently spreading the molten chocolate all over the cake – repeating both the hearts . – keep aside .
• Place the smaller heart over the bigger heart   and pour the passion fruit / pineapple crush on the rim of the heart before finally covering with the dripping molten chocolate for the garnish .
• Neatly hold each strawberry and ¾ dip it into individual dark  and white chocolates  and place all along the edge of each heart as in the fotograph .
• Pipe out figures / flowers of left over firm chocolate ganache and gently place on the strawberries of  the top layer .
• Refrigerate to set the LA ISLA BONITA

(Courtesy : Executive Chef Aman Tandon from ThePrideHotels Ahmedabad)

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