It seems Lenny has a latent sweet tooth. In the past she was not really one for desserts, but more and more she’s turning out cakes and confections. This simple chocolate sauce based on just four ingredients has become one of her staples.
Our mate Chef Michelle gave us the recipe, handed down from her mum. You combine milk, sugar, cocoa and butter over heat, and whisk gently until it bubbles itself into a velvety and perilously rich topping. Tip it straight over ice cream and wolf down.
Crash Test Kitchen is all about improvisation, so we slapped together a cherry and brandy maceration to create what Michelle dubbed “black forest chocolate delight”. Actually, she came up with “black forest” bit and I embellished it.
Along the way Lenny and I learned the definition of “maceration”. We had thought the process simply involved sprinkling pieces of fruit with sugar and leaving them to go, well, pulpy. Strawberries being a familiar target.
Turns out, though, that true maceration (ah, go on, have a little snigger about what it sounds like) must involve a liquid element. So our splash of brandy not only gives a lift to our creation but keeps us on the right size of the culinarily pedantic.
We used cherries that were quite firm, but not unripe, and they were pleasantly “bitey”, if that’s a word (“crunchy” would be taking it too far) , even after their sousing in spirits and sugar. We don’t know what variety of cherry, but they were quite red, rather than the purplish-black kind we’re more familiar with in Australia. When macerated the flesh went nice and glossy.
This sauce is just one of the sweet sensations Lenny keeps up her sleeve. Stay tuned for a future episode featuring her version of my mum’s quick and simple tea cake.