Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Easter paskha for chocolate lovers
Chocolate paskha, 2011, decorated with dried apricots
It's Easter Sunday this weekend and many a festive table will have a paskha (also spelled as 'pascha') as a centerpiece. We will, for sure.
Paskha is a sweet and rich curd cheese dessert that's traditionally served during Easter. I've shared two favourite recipes with you before - my traditional uncooked paskha with pistachio nuts and craisins and creamy cooked paskha with egg yolks. Here's another delicious paskha, especially for those of you who love chocolate!
Chocolate paskha, 2009, decorated with candied kumquats
500 g curd cheese (kohupiim/tvorog) or ricotta
100 ml whipping cream
100 g dark chocolate, chopped
75 g butter, cut into cubes
50 g caster sugar
handful of dried apricots
handful of dried seedless raisins
Place raisins and apricots into a colander, pour over boiling water and drain thoroughly. Put aside.
Place cream, chocolate and butter into a small heavy saucepan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until chocolate and butter are melted and you've got a luscious brown sauce. Remove the pot from the heat and immediately fold in the curd cheese, sugar, apricots and raisins. Mix until combined.
Line a special paskha-dish or a fine sieve with a double layer of cotton muslin that you've rinsed under cold water and wrung dry. Pour the curd cheese mixture into the dish, place a small plate on top. Place the filled paskha-dish over a bowl to collect any whey liquid that will drip out of the paskha.
To serve, turn the paskha onto a plate, remove the muslin and paskha dish or sieve.
Decorate as you please - I love the contrast of chocolate-coloured paskha and something orange (apricots, candied kumquats etc).