These are what I call my naughty but nice Chinese-style profiteroles. In this recipe, glutinous rice flour is used to make a snug casing for pieces of dark chocolate molded into a ball shape. The balls are coated in fragrant sesame seeds and then deep-fried. They expand and turn golden brown and the sesame seeds toast in the oil, giving a crunchy outer crust. Meanwhile, the chocolate inside melts. And if that’s not enough, melted chocolate is poured over — the ultimate grand finale! For chocolate lovers, this is a must-try recipe. So, forget the traditional Chinese red bean paste filling and hands up for dark chocolate.—Ching-He Huang
2 cups glutinous rice flour
1/3 cup brown sugar dissolved in 1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons boiling water in a bowl
1/3 cup plus 4 teaspoons cold water
4 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into 24 pieces
3 ounces white sesame seeds
3 cups oil for deep frying
4 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
Strawberries or cape gooseberries (optional)
1. Put the rice flour into a bowl and make a well in the center.
2. Stir the sugar and water to ensure it has dissolved. Pour it into the flour and add the cold water. Combine to make a dough and knead for 5 minutes into a ball.
3. Dust your hands with some rice flour and shape the dough into 12 balls roughly the size of golf balls.
4. Holding a dough ball in one hand, use the thumb of the other and make a hole into the dough to form a cup. Press 2 pieces of chocolate, one on top of the other, into the hole and gather the edges of the dough together to encase the chocolate completely. Do this with all the dough, then roll each of the balls in your hands until perfectly round, then roll them in the sesame seeds.
5. In a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, break up the second piece of chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to melt. Once melted do not stir again but leave it over the hot water until you are ready to serve.
6. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or wok to 350°F (175°C), or until a tiny piece of the dough browns in 15 seconds. Be particularly careful if deep frying in a wok. Deep fry the sesame seed balls, a few at a time, until the sesame seeds turn golden brown and the balls start to float to the surface, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
7. Once cooked, place the sesame balls on a tray lined with paper towels to drain off-excess oil while you cook the remainder. Serve warm, with the melted chocolate poured over. If you wish. you can cut open one of the balls on each serving and place a strawberry or cape gooseberry in the bed of chocolate.
Recipe © 2006 by Ching-He Huang. All rights reserved.