My choice of chocolate is the 60% dark chocolate from famous Melbourne chocolate salon, Koko Black. The Koko Black store first opened up in Melbourne at the end of 2003. It was one of the first few chocolate stores that not only sold the fruits of their labour, but also served them on location. Koko Black's also unique in that the chocolates are made on location at their flagship store in Melbourne's Royal Arcade (off Bourke Street) where a display window often wows the passerby/s and more often than not manage to persuade one or two to venture in and indulge on some of their offerings(pdf).
I have only been to Koko Black twice since 2003. Mainly because back then their only store was located in the Melbourne CBD and unfortunately I work and live out in the suburbs and rarely ventured out to the city. Since then they've opened up 3 other stores, 2 in suburbs closer to me.. whoppeee!
So why did I chose to use Koko Black? Well, to be honest, I've never really made anything with their chocolate before. I've made chocolate fondues with Max Brenner chocolates and some Callebaut chocolate that I got from my boss Kathy; and I've even made a chocolate tart for Christmas using Felchlin, but I've never tried cooking/baking with KB chocolates. Since David is interested in the brand chocolate, I thought that it would be a great chance to actually make something with KB chocolates, instead of taking the easy way out by paying a visit to one of their salons for a treat. LOL
Having made chocolate biscottis, chocolate truffles and a chocolate tart last month for christmas, I was a bit choco'd-out and couldn't decide what to use my precious KB chocolate for. So I turned to my favourite cookbook, Yoshoku for some inspiration and found this interesting little treat. Jane Lawson (author) calls it Azuki bean, Banana and Chocolate Spring Rolls, I call it choko maki or chocolate roll for short.
It's a very quick, simple and easy to make recipe and only requires 5 ingredients and oil for deep frying.
Azuki bean, Banana and Chocolate Spring Rolls
*from Yoshoku, by Jane Lawson
6 Spring roll wrappers (Medium or Large sized)
1/2 cup Azuki (red bean) paste
3 small Bananas, sliced
85g Good Quality Dark chocolate, cut into fingers (I used the whole 100g block)
1 egg, lightly beaten
vegetable oil for frying
Layer azuki paste, banana and chocolate (on top of each other) on the spring roll wrapper, roll it up like you would a normal spring roll and seal by brushing a little of the beaten egg on the last flap. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
When the rolling process is complete, refrigerate the rolls and heat the oil for frying.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 180 deg C. Cook spring rolls for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and drain the excess oil on paper towels. Cool slightly before serving with a scoop of ice cream (matcha or vanilla) or by itself.
The amount of wrappers, bananas and chocolate you need generally depends on how many you're making.
Always place a tea towel on top of the unused spring roll wrapper when not in use as this will prevent the wrappers from drying up.
There's just something about banana and chocolate together that just works wonders. As you would imagine, the chocolate melted in the deep frying stage and when I sliced the spring roll in half (for the photo) the chocolate threatened to complete ooze out of the spring roll. You can't see it in the photo, but the chocolate from other half that was being propped on oozed out.. LOL.
At first, I was a little bit worried that the azuki paste would be too sweet and would overwhelm the roll with its sweetness. Boy was I wrong, if anything it was the chocolate that overwhelmed the azukis. The azuki taste was pale in comparison to the chocolate and banana. I'm not sure if it would've made a difference at all if it was present in the ingredients in the first place. But that said, after a few bites into the roll, I didn't mind them too much, although I would probably put more banana slices next time.
A bit of warning though, be prepared to get your fingers dirty and you will need a bit of acrobatics when eating the rolls as the chocolate just oozes and oozes and oozes... "argh.. watch it, don't let it drip.. noo...you're wasting the chocolate..." ;)