Chocolate Jelly (Gelée de Chocolat)
I have been told, that I must place a warning label on all desserts that I make. My friends say that it is only fair that I do this, so that I don’t get blamed for all the sudden weight gain from those who makes any of the desserts that I post. So here is my warning:
½ c. diced pineapple
3 ½ oz. dark chocolate, chopped (see note below)
1 ¼ c. milk
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. powdered agar-agar
¼ tsp. pure vanilla essence
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
4 slices dried pineapple (see below)
Divide the pineapple among four glasses or ramekins, arranging it in a single layer at the bottom.
Combine the chocolate, milk, sugar, agar-agar, and violet extract in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly until the chocolate is melted. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Let cool for a minute and pour carefully into the prepared glasses. Refrigerate for about two hours, or until set.
Dust the surface of the gelées with cocoa powder (put a tablespoon of cocoa powder in a fine-mesh sieve and shake over the glasses) and decorate each glass with a slice of dried pineapple.
Note: If you want the chocolate jelly to form two layers as it does in the picture, prepare the jelly in two batches, using dark chocolate for one and milk chocolate for the other. Let the first layer of jelly set before preparing the second.
One smallish ripe pineapple
Preheat the oven to 200 and grease an oven rack with vegetable oil.
Scrub and dry the pineapple*. Cut it in very thin slices using a sharp serrated knife. Arrange the slices on the prepared rack in a single layer (it's okay if the slices touch, but they shouldn't overlap) and bake for 3 hours, flipping the slices every hour or so, until dry. Let cool completely (they will turn crisp as they cool) and keep in a tin box at room temperature.
* Once dried, the skin and core of the pineapple are not unpleasant to eat, but if you think they will bother you, you can peel and core the pineapple before you slice it.