I first found out about Divine Chocolate when Ivy Bakery started selling Divine Chocolate Butter Gooey Cakes and Divine Whoopie Pies. Daniellan had created these chocolatey desserts using the new line of Divine baking bars (70% Bittersweet Chocolate and 38% Milk Chocolate). Once I found out that Divine Chocolate is a Fairtrade chocolate company which is 45% owned by farmers in Ghana, I just knew that I had to try it.
Kuapa Kokoo, which means “good cocoa growers”, is the farmers co-op. The farmers have invested their Fair Trade income in building schools, sinking wells for clean drinking water to villages, providing mobile medical clinics for farmers in remote growing regions, and fostering women’s income generation projects to help women earn additional income for their families when the cocoa season is over. I wasn’t just buying a chocolate bar, I was directly enriching people’s lives.
And so when Divine Chocolate asked me to develop a recipe using their new baking line, I just knew I had to make something decadent and extra-special. The cacao beans are hand-harvested, slow-fermented and carefully dried by the family farmers…and I wanted to take the same care in using the creamy chocolate that they lovingly produced. I also loved the flavours of their specialty bars so wanted to feature those flavours in the dessert. At first I was drawn to the White Chocolate with Strawberries bar, but I tend to crave plump strawberries in the summer. (I’ll need to create another Divine Chocolate dessert in six months!) The 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange bar fit better with the holiday season–warm flavours for our chilly winter weather.
Just to make it interesting, I also decided to make the dessert gluten-free. I’ve become more thoughtful about gluten-free dishes and desserts ever since my friend Justin became gluten-free, and feels better than ever because of it. I’m not sure I can give up flour for good, but I’d like to at least be able to offer options for my gluten-free friends.
I have an unorthodox way of coming up with recipe ideas. The best way I can describe it is that I let the flavours percolate in my mind. I close my eyes and vividly imagine tasting the ingredients that I want to use…so vividly that sometimes I start to salivate. It’s similar to an athlete imagining the run over and over again so that it becomes muscle memory when he actually gets on the track. I also imagine textures and consider how they complement and contrast each other.
This Ginger and Orange Chocolate Bombe is essentially two desserts in one: Flourless Chocolate Cake and Ginger Orange Chocolate Mousse. They are delicious individually when you just want something easy to make, or you can go the extra mile and pull together the components to make something impressive. Imagine serving these delicious domes at your holiday dinner party! If you like the flavours and textures together but want to keep it simple, you can create parfaits by breaking up the flourless chocolate cake into chunks and layering them with the mousse. It’s texturally quite amazing when served chilled. It will seem like you have soft chocolate pieces instead of chocolate cake in the parfait.