Darren Purchese’s Dark Chocolate & Orange Set Creams


Simple and silky smooth, these dark chocolate and orange set creams with muscovado sticks can be whipped up in minutes and left to set, leaving you time to really enjoy that gettogether with friends or family

The combination of chocolate and orange is classic and irresistible. The muscovado sticks are a lovely textural addition and are a great scooping tool while eating the creams.

For the dark chocolate and orange set creams:
• 180ml thickened cream
• 180ml full-cream milk
• 1 orange, finely grated zest
• 1 egg
• 4 egg yolks
• 80g milk chocolate, finely chopped
• 160g dark chocolate, finely chopped, (65% cocoa solids)
• 50ml cointreau or warm water

For the muscovado sticks:
• 50g muscovado sugar
• 50g caster sugar
• 1 tablespoon dark treacle
• 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 200g plain flour
• pinch salt
• pinch bicarbonate of soda
• pinch ground cinnamon
• pinch ground nutmeg
• pinch ground cloves
• pinch ground star anise
• 1 orange, finely grated zest
• 2 egg yolks
• raw sugar or white sugar crystals, to coat

For the candied orange zest:
• 1 orange
• 100g caster sugar
• 1 tablespoon liquid glucose

To serve:
• orange segments
• pouring cream

1 To make the set creams, put the cream, milk and orange zest in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to sit for 10 minutes to infuse.
2 Return to the heat and bring back to the boil then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
3 In a mixing bowl whisk the egg and egg yolks together.
Pour one-third of the hot cream and milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk well.
4 Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream and milk and mix well with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
5 Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the temperature of the mixture reaches 80°C, using a digital thermometer to accurately check the temperature.
6 Place both of the chocolates in a mixing bowl. Strain the hot custard onto the chocolate. 7 Mix well with a spatula or whisk until you have a smooth and shiny chocolate cream. Add the Cointreau or water at this point and mix in well.
8 Pour the cream evenly into six dishes – I like to use wide, shallow glass bowls but anything will do. Place the dishes in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours to set.
9 For the muscovado sticks, place the sugars, treacle and butter in a freestanding electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on a low speed until you have a smooth paste. Scrape down the side of the bowl and the paddle to ensure there are no butter lumps and mix again for a further minute.
10 Add the remaining ingredients, except the raw sugar, and mix again slowly until the ingredients are totally combined and you have an evenly mixed dough.
11 Remove the dough from the bowl and roll it out, between two sheets of baking paper, to a thickness of 2 mm. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill and rest for a minimum of 2 hours.
12 Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and peel off the paper.
13 Place the dough on a chopping board and quickly cut into sticks of approximately 10 x 1 cm. Place 12 sticks on the prepared baking tray and sprinkle them lightly with the raw or white sugar crystals.
14 Bake in the oven for 12–14 minutes or until golden brown. Store the remaining uncooked dough in the freezer for a later date.
15 For the candied orange zest, peel the oranges with a speed-peeler or sharp knife. Remove any excess bitter pith with a knife and rinse the zests in cold water for a minute.
16 Thinly slice the zest into very thin strips and place the strips in a small saucepan of cold water. Heat the pan to boiling then drain off the water. Refresh the strips in cold water and repeat this step two more times.
17 After the strips have been blanched three times, add them to a clean small saucepan with 100 ml water, the sugar and glucose and bring to the boil over medium heat.
18 Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook the strips for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and store the strips and syrup in the refrigerator until needed.
19 To serve, remove the creams from the refrigerator and serve with the muscovado sticks, orange segments, candied zest and pouring cream.

Recipe courtesy of Darren Purchese, extracted from Lamingtons & Lemon Tart. Photography by Patricia Niven © Hardie Grant 

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