Tag Archives: vanilla bean

Chocolate Risotto

Chocolate Risotto

Hmmm, let me start by saying I have NEVER been a fan of goat cheese.  For me, it smells like goat, tastes like goat and frankly is about the only thing in my adult life that I haven’t been able, for appearances sake at least, to swallow.

Although the goat cheese component of this recipe left me somewhat dubious, I decided to make it for the man of the house’s birthday dinner this week.  Poor thing, he actually requested an orange cake – so this is somewhat of a deviation from what he had planned for himself. And even though he ate three – yes – three servings, I think he was actually just being polite.

This recipe comes from Ramon Morato, who, amongst other things, runs a culinary school in Barcelona.  I was a little puzzled as the blurb before the recipe talks about black rice and truffle flavours, whereas the actual recipe calls for arborio rice.  I used arborio rice but I’m now wondering if I should have used black rice instead, and now my mind is working overtime wondering if there is such a thing as black arborio rice…. google will be getting a workout before I get to sleep tonight!!

The actual recipe is a doddle.  I made both the vanilla broth and the vanilla oil a day and a half before. The vanilla oil could probably just stay in its jar for a while, as you don’t actually use all of it in the recipe.  I would imagine the flavour would intensify over time.  The vanilla broth is dead easy, and don’t worry about ‘wasting’ your precious vanilla beans as you dry them out and can use them again – mind you, I will be using mine pretty quickly as I’m not a hundred percent confident that I’ve dried them out again sufficiently, and I hate to think of my precious vanilla beans going mouldy and yuck.  But, there are worse things in life to have to use up in a hurry – I love vanilla both flavourwise and the aroma – yum!

So, with my vanilla broth and oil both done and dusted, I headed to our local fromagerie and hunted down the goat cheese that was recommended in the recipe.  I think the poor cheese man thought I was a complete nut – I was SO specific about what cheese I wanted, and what would do as a substitute – when he offered me a sample I just about ran a million miles.  “Sorry”, I said.  “I don’t actually want to TASTE it – it’s for a recipe”.  So clearly he thinks, maybe correctly, that I am a card carrying nut case. Just so you know, the recipe calls for  a Spanish goat cheese called Nevat, which our local cheese man advises is no longer imported to Australia.  Maybe if I had have been able to get it, my verdict on this recipe would have been kinder 😉

I wasn’t sure if the first component of the recipe, where you saute the arborio rice with the oil, actually called for the vanilla oil – of which there is certainly enough – or just plain old olive oil.  I erred on the side of caution and used the vanilla oil, but to be honest I’m not sure if it made a difference or not in the end result.  The next few steps are simply just adding the warm broth and letting the thermomix stir it for you for about 15 minutes.  The mixture looked a little watery to me on the way through, so I took off the measuring cup and let it evaporate a little and the end result was ok – still a little runny for me, but I’m sure that it would be ok for most people.

I was going to lash out for real truffle but had some difficulty locating it, so I used black truffle oil instead.

This is one of those recipes where a little goes a long way.  I used barely a ladleful for each serve, and in fact served them up on saucers. For presentation a side plate would probably be better so you could be a bit more creative with your grated chocolate dusting, but I also thought it might be harder to scoop it out of a plate with no definitive bottom if you get my drift. The plating was easy, and even though the recipe suggests it would serve 6, I would have been able to make at least 8 serves from what I prepared.

So – the verdict you ask?  Well, out of the five dinner eaters, only one asked for seconds (and thirds).  Personally, I found the goat cheese too overpowering from the first (and only) mouthful.  I imagine that without the goat cheese this would be a lovely dish, and I definitely will try it without it and see what I think.  If you’re a goat cheese agnostic like I am, and you think that an amazing goat cheese dish might just push you to the other side – then I’m afraid this is probably not the dish to do it.

Still, I’ll press on!  I knew this dish probably wasn’t ever going to be one of my best ever faves, but only one teaspoonful before I was hit with the goat flavour is a little less than I thought I’d be able to tolerate.  I’ll let you know what the goat cheese free version is like – and I’m even contemplating doing it with some philadelphia cream cheese instead –  if that’s not considered wrong??

I’d love to hear if anyone else has made this and what you thought of it – – be honest!!

If you don’t have the book, I did notice that this recipe was on the Thermomix Recipe Community when I was googling about black arborio rice (which doesn’t exist!)… good luck!

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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Sweet Things


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Recipe – Chocolate Honey Truffles

With Dani’s permission – here is the recipe for the incredibly moorish Chocolate Honey Truffles

Time:  1 hour, plus ganache cooling.  Makes: about 100 (depending on how large you make them)


250 grams 35% fat thickened cream

30 grams honey

1 vanilla bean

600 grams milk chocolate buttons, or chopped to button size. PLUS 500 grams milk chocolate for dipping

100 grams flaked almonds, lightly toasted


Place the cream, honey and the seeds from the split and scraped vanilla bean into the TM bowl.  Heat for 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.  Add the milk chocolate and mix on speed 1/MC off until the ganache mixture has cooled to 37 degrees.

Transfer to a container and cover with cling wrap touching the surface. Set aside at room temperature or place in the fridge for a couple of hours until the mixture holds a ball shaped when spooned.

To make the tempered chocolate, weight the 500 grams of chocolate in the TM bowl.  Blitz for 10 seconds/speed 8.  Melt for 2 and a half minutes/50 degrees/speed 2.  Scrape down and mix for 1 minute/speed 2/no heat.  The chocolate is now tempered and ready to use.

Transfer it to a plastic or glass bowl for dipping.

Use a spoon, a tiny ice cream scoop or wet hands to make balls from the set chocolate ganache. Dip the balls in the tempered chocolate, set them on baking paper and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

If the tempered chocolate starts to set, gently melt it with a hairdryer.


Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Recipes


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