Showing posts with label Chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chocolate. Show all posts

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Mini Raspberry And Chocolate Nests...


These are fun to make and decorate with small helpers. 

Perfect for a real tea time treat they can also be made into individual birthday cakes with the simple addition of a candle in the centre of each one.


Makes 12

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 12-15 minutes

Finishing time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • Little oil for greasing
  • 25 g (1 oz) cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 175 g (6 oz) soft margarine
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 150 g (5 oz) self-raising flour
  • Half teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs


To finish

  • 300 ml (1/2 pint) double cream
  • 100 g (4 oz) white chocolate curls
  • 250 (9 oz) raspberries




Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180oC, 350oF, gas mark 4. 
  • Lightly brush the insides of a 12 section deep muffin tin with a little oil and line the base of each one with a circle of greaseproof or non-stick baking paper.
  • Put the cocoa into a small bowl, mix in the boiling water until a smooth paste then leave to cool.
  • Put the margarine, sugar, flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, add the cocoa paste and the eggs and beat until smooth. 
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the sections of the muffin tin, smooth the tops level then bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
  • Leave for 5 minutes then loosen the edges with a knife, turn out on to a cooking rack and peel off the paper.
  • Whip the cream in the rinsed and dried mixing bowl until it forms soft swirls. 
  • Split the cakes in half then sandwich back together with cream, spreading the remainder on top.
  • Arrange the raspberries in the centre of each cake then sprinkle the chocolate curls around the edge to make a nest. 
  • Arrange on a plate to serve.

Tip

  • To make chocolate curls, unwrap a block of white chocolate and turn over so the underside is uppermost on a chopping board. 
  • Run a swivel bladed vegetable peeler along the edge to make curls. 
  • If the curls are very tiny, put the chocolate on a plate and microwave on full power for 10 seconds to soften the chocolate then try again. 
  • If it is still difficult microwave once more and then try.



About this post -

This is a guest post.

No payment was received.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries..



Monday, 20 October 2014

White Chocolate And Raspberry Blondies...


Cuts into 12

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 30-35 minutes


Ingredients
  • 150 g (5 oz) white chocolate 
  • 100 g (4 oz) butter 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 
  • 200 g (7 oz) self-raising flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 175 g (6 oz) raspberries 
  • 75 (3 oz) white chocolate, melted to decorate 


Method
  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4. 
  2. Line an 18 x 28 cm (7 x 11 inch) roasting tin with a large piece of non-stick baking paper, snipping diagonally into the corners so that the paper fits snugly over the base and up the sides of the tin. 
  3. Break the chocolate into a bowl, add the butter and set the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and leave until melted. 
  4. Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a second bowl with an electric whisk for about 5 minutes until very thick and the mixture will leave a trail when the whisk is lifted up. 
  5. Gently fold the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture then the flour and baking powder. 
  6. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and sprinkle with the raspberries. 
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until well risen, the top is crusty and the centre still a little soft. 
  8. Leave to cool in the tin then lift the paper and blondies out of the tin and put on to a chopping board. 
  9. Drizzle with the melted chocolate to decorate then leave to set. 
  10. Cut into squares and peel off the paper to serve. 
Tip
  • Unlike a Victoria sandwich style cake, blondies or brownies are almost better if they are slightly undercooked as the high proportion of chocolate will firm up slightly as it cools.
  


About this post -

This is a guest post.

No payment was received.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries..


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Chocolate And Raspberry Tart..


Impress your friends with this wonderfully moreish dessert...


Serves 8

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Chilling time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 40-50 minutes

Chocolate pastry

  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 15g (1/2oz) cocoa powder
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 100g (4oz) butter, diced
  • 2 egg yolks


Filling

  • 250ml (8fl oz) double cream
  • 125ml (4fl oz) semi skimmed milk
  • 150g (5oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 65g (21/2oz) caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 175g (6oz) pack fresh raspberries
  • Extra raspberries and a little sifted cocoa powder to decorate



To make the pastry

  • Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl, add the sugar and the butter and rub the butter in with fingertips or an electric mixer until it resembles fine crumbs.
  • Stir in the egg yolks and gradually bring the crumbs together, squeezing with fingertips and bring together to form a ball. 
  • Add a little cold water if needed.
  • Knead the pastry lightly and roll out thinly on a lightly floured surface. 
  • Lift the pastry over a rolling pin and then drape into a 24cm (9½in) fluted flan tin that is 2.5cm (1in) deep. 
  • Ease the pastry into the flan tin, pressing into the flutes. 
  • Trim the pastry a little above the top of the tin with scissors to allow for shrinkage during baking.
  • Prick the base with a fork and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. 
  •  Transfer the chilled tart tin to a baking sheet, line the pastry case with a large square of non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans. 
  •  Cook for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the paper and beans out of the pastry case and cook for 5-10 more minutes until the base is crisp.


Meanwhile make the filling –

  • Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan, bring just to the boil, take the pan off the heat and add the chocolate. 
  • Leave for five minutes until melted. 
  • Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl until smooth and gradually whisk in the warm chocolate milk.
  • Sprinkle the raspberries over the base of the warm pastry case. 
  •  Strain the warm chocolate cream into the tart case and cook in the oven reduced to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 for 25-30 minutes or until just set with a slight wobble in the centre. 
  • Leave to cool at room temperature for at 1-1½hours. 
  • The tart can be made in advance and chilled in the fridge but the filling will be much firmer when sliced.


When ready to serve

  • Remove the tin and transfer tart to a serving plate. 
  • Sprinkle a few extra raspberries over the top and decorate with a little sifted cocoa. 
  •  Cut into slices to serve.


About this post -

This is a guest post.

No payment was received.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries..

Sunday, 12 October 2014

White Chocolate And Mixed Berry Cups...


Serves 2

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Chilling time: 1-2 hours

Finishing time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 65 g (21/2 oz) good quality white cooking chocolate
  • Few drops pink food colouring
  • 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) double cream
  • 1 tablespoon white rum, grand marnier or other favourite liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar, plus extra sifted sugar to decorate
  • 50 g (2 oz) raspberries
  • 50 g (2 oz) small strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 50 g (2 oz) blueberries
  • Little sifted icing sugar, optional


Method

  1. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in bowl set over a small saucepan of gently simmering water.
  2. Cut two squares of non-stick baking paper about 15 cm (6 inches) across.
  3. Divide the chocolate between the squares of paper, add a drop or two of pink food colouring then spread each into a large wavy edged circle with a round bladed knife to give a marbled effect. 
  4. Drape each circle over an upturned tumbler so that the chocolate is uppermost and leave to harden in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. When the chocolate if firm, gently lift the paper off the glass, turn the moulded chocolate up the other way and very carefully peel the paper away. 
  6. Set each chocolate cup on a plate.
  7. Whip the cream until just holding its shape, flavour with the liqueur and sugar then fold in the fruit.
  8. Spoon into the chocolate cups, dust lightly with a little sifted icing sugar if liked and refrigerate. 
  9. Serve within 1 hour of finishing.
Tips


  • These cups can also be made with a mix of dark and white melted chocolate or all dark chocolate if preferred.

  


About this post -

This is a guest post.

No payment was received.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries..


Friday, 26 September 2014

Posh fridge cake...

The easiest cake you’ve ever made ..

 Incredibly quick to mix together but remember to leave plenty of time for the cake to set in the fridge or it will crumble as you cut it...


Makes 20 pieces

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 
  • 200g (7oz) dark chocolate broken into pieces
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 180g pack soft amaretti biscuits or 175g (6oz) good shortbread biscuits, roughly broken into pieces
  • 50g (2oz) pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • 175g (6oz) raspberries
  • 150g (5oz) blueberries
  • 75g (3oz) white chocolate, melted

Method
  1. Line a 20cm (8in) shallow square cake tin with a large square of non-stick baking paper, snipping diagonally into the corners of the paper then pressing the paper into the tin so that the base and sides are lined.
  2. Add the dark chocolate, butter and golden syrup to a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
  3. Take the bowl off the heat, add all the biscuits and, keeping a few nuts and berries back for the top, stir the rest into the chocolate mix. 
  4. Spoon into the paper lined tin and press into an even layer. 
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and fruit. 
  6.  Chill for 3 hours until firm.

To finish
  • Drizzle the melted white chocolate over the top of the cake in zigzag lines using a dessert spoon, then chill for an extra 30 minutes until set. 
  •  Lift the cake out of the tin, peel away the paper and cut into small squares. 
  •  Arrange in a pretty box lined with a square of non-stick baking paper and interweave the layers with squares of extra paper and tie with ribbon. 
  •  Keep in the fridge and eat within 2 days.


About this post -

This is a guest post.

No payment was received.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries..

Sharing this post over at ~ Post Comment Love

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Strawberries And Sandcastles...



It just would not be summer without a trip to the seaside. 

Add just a hint of the beach by serving these bite sized British strawberries, dipped in dark glossy chocolate flavoured with just a hint of orange over a bed of crushed biscuit crumbs or press the mixture into mini buckets or dariole tins for a fun take on a sandcastle.


Serves 6

‘Sand’ Biscuits

  • 225g/8oz gluten free flour
  • Large pinch of fine salt
  • 1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways, seeds scraped from pod
  • 55g/2oz icing sugar
  • 110g/4oz butter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 teaspoons water
  • 6 ice cream cones
  • 55g/2oz butter


Chocolate Strawberries

  • 200g/7oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges
  • 2 teaspoons light olive oil
  • 500g/1lb 2oz strawberries, chilled



Method

  1. To make the sand biscuit, preheat the oven to 180oC/160oC fan assisted/Gas Mark 4. 
  2. Add the flour, salt, vanilla seeds and icing sugar to a bowl or food processor. 
  3. Add the butter and rub in until fine crumbs. 
  4. Add the egg and just enough water to mix to a soft dough.
  5. Roll the dough out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper, slide on to a baking sheet then chill for 20 minutes.

For the strawberries

  1. Add the chocolate, orange rind and olive oil to a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. 
  2. Heat until just melted then stir until smooth.
  3. Strain the chocolate through a fine sieve into a bowl, if liked then dip the strawberries into the chocolate and put on to a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. 
  4. Put in a cool place to set.


Sand castles

  1. Crush the biscuit and ice cream cones into fine crumbs. 
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, mix in 225g/8oz of the crumbs then pack into 6 small buttered mini buckets or dariole moulds. 
  3. Chill 10 minutes then loosen and turn out on to small plates. Scatter extra crumbs on to the plates then arrange the strawberries on top, adding little flags or plastic spoons if liked.

Cook’s tip

Short of time then cheat and use two bars of your favourite brand of flavoured chocolate.



About this post -

This is a guest post.

No payment was received.

Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Thorntons Easter Egg Review...



We all have a sweet tooth in our house and are big fans of yummy chocolate. Milk chocolate probably tops the wishlist, preferably Thorntons. We also all love running, so what nicer treat than chocolate after a good work out? fruit first of course!

I was over the moon when I was asked if Thorntons could send me a selection of their Easter eggs. Me chocolate? Thorntons! Oh yes please. With all the fuss around doing London marathon and staying in London last week, I was a bit low on our usual Easter stockpile. A good start to Easter week then with a delivery of goodies.

I love their chocolate and my lovely husband (in case he is reading) often treats me to something from their range. When we first met years and years ago, as a special treat he used to buy me a bag of their rum truffles. Now my treats on special occasions have turned to a nice big a box of continental chocolate, yes I am greedy!! My husband knows a way to make me smile is through Irregular Choice shoes or Thorntons chocolate, fact :)



At Easter all of our 4 children still love receiving Easter eggs, even my eldest son who is nearly 20, loves them. Then again who doesn't?!. Our family tradition is every Easter Sunday they wake dad up and ask him to hide all the eggs, all named up and then they spend ages trying to find all of their own. There are always a few eggs that do not get found for hours, wait too long and Dad eats them!! The kids start panicking searching everywhere, the shed, the washer, the cooker. Eventually all is well, they all have their own pile of eggs. They then do swaps trying to get their favourites.


Looking back I was about 5 or 6 when my first memories of Easter come to mind. Thorntons was a big part of that. My Grandma buying me Easter eggs from Thorntons. She worked for them and would always proudly give me an Easter egg from the shop. I remember how cool it was, receiving an egg which always had my name on it. No one could touch my egg, this was Claire's egg. This was special, this was a Thorntons Egg...

About this post-

I got sent a selection of Easter treats for the purpose of this post. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest opinion.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Millionaire's Flapjacks...


We all love millionaires shortbread and especially anything with chocolate and yummy caramel in it.

My grandma always made it for me on special occasions and she knew how much I love it. She would also make me and my granddad a batch to share to surprise us often. After my grandad died she always carried on making me some up, even in her 90's.

She made the best ever millionaires shortbread and when she passed away bless her, it was up to me to take over the baking it. However much I try I can never make it as good as hers was, my shortbread never turns out as good. I tried this recipe with a twist and replaced the shortbread for flapjack,, wow it tasted great.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Halloween Chocolate Pots...


Kids will love these simple chocolate pots with spooky tombstone cookies for Halloween

Ingredients

  • 200ml double cream
  • 130g dark plain chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 70g milk chocolate
  • 2 tbsp liquid glucose
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 20g butter
  • 100g Rachel’s GREEK STYLE natural yogurt
To Decorate

  • 50g Oreo cookies crushed

Serves: 6 

Preparation time: 30 minutes 

 Cooking time: 10 - 15 minutes

Method for the Chocolate Pots

  • Heat the cream, do not allow it to boil.
  • Break the chocolate into a bowl and pour over the hot cream. 
  • Stir the chocolate until it melts and there is a smooth consistency.
  • Add the liquid glucose, egg yolks and butter, and beat lightly to combine the ingredients into the chocolate mixture.
  • Fold in the yogurt.
  • Pour the mixture into the glasses and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Biscuits

  • 50g Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 180g unsalted butter, softened
  • 112g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Couple of drops vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
To Decorate

  • 100g dark chocolate, melted

Method for the Cookies

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Begin by crushing the Oreo cookies and then put them to one side.
  • In a large bowl or using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the caster sugar until light and creamy.
  • Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. 
  • Add the flour and baking powder and blend until a soft dough is formed.
  • Add the crushed Oreo cookies to the mixture and combine fully until you have a speckled looking dough.
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour (this will make it easier to roll out).
  • On a floured surface roll out the dough to ½ cm thickness. 
  • With a sharp knife, cut out tombstone shapes and place the cookies apart on the tray.
  • Bake the cookies until the edges are slightly browned for approximately 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before handling.
  • Using a small piping bag with a small plain nozzle, fill with the melted chocolate and pipe the letters RIP.
  • Leave once again for the chocolate to set.
  • Place a RIP cookie in the centre of each glass and then sprinkle crushed Oreo cookie crumb around the biscuit to look like soil and stones.
  • Serve immediately.



Recipe and photo credit by Rachel’s the organic dairy


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Chocolate Brownies : Childrens Party Cakes...

With 4 children its always like a party here, and that is just at dinner time. 

Today's guest post is how about trying some tasty Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies?



Ingredients

  • 1 cup Orgran All Purpose Plain Flour (120g)
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150g chopped butter
  • 125g chopped dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (20g)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence pure icing sugar to dust




Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F)
  • Grease 20cm (8”) square tin with oil or melted butter.
  • Line base with baking paper, extending over two opposite sides (to help you lift the brownies out).
  • Bring small pan of water to a simmer.
  • Put butter and chocolate in heatproof bowl.
  • Place the bowl over the pan, but do not let the base of the bowl sit in the hot water.
  • Stir occasionally until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla together.
  • Add melted chocolate mixture and whisk together.
  • Stir in the combined sifted flour and cocoa, taking care not to over beat.
  • Pour into the greased tin and bake for 40 minutes or until slightly risen and just firm.
  • Leave to cool in the tin (brownie will sink back down on cooling).
  • When cool, lift out and cut into squares.
  • Dust with sugar icing and serve

Variation

  • For nut brownies, add 1 cup of chopped roasted macadamias, walnuts, or pecans to the mixture.
  • For white chocolate brownies, use white chocolate melts instead of the dark chocolate.
  • For marshmallow brownies, add 1 cup of mini marshmallows to the raw mixture.
  • To make a brownie ice-cream sandwich, cut brownies into small squares and sandwich two squares together with vanilla ice-cream.
  • Serve with hot chocolate fudge sauce as a dessert.


Recipe and photo credit by Orgran



Tuesday, 13 August 2013

I Heart Cake, Hearty Slice Challenge...


Last week I was invited to take part in a fun baking challenge from find me a gift, to review one of these lovely Heart Cake Mould. Also I get to enter my cake creation into the draw, which one blogger will win a bundle of kitchen goodies worth £100.

I loved using the cake mould it is very sweet, I love how each piece cuts into hearts. When you have finished making your cakes you cut your slices in to large heart shapes which is great for yourself or to share with your loved ones.

The mould is very good quality, microwave, oven, freezer and dish washer safe and very easy to get your cake out of, all in one piece.

I made a strawberries and cream marble sponge cake and it tasted amazing, so much so it did not last 2 minutes, everyone loved it.


Serves 6 large hearts

Ingredients

  • 250g Margarine
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 350g Self raising flour
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Medium eggs
  • 180ml Skimmed milk
  • 2 Table spoons cocoa powder

Topping

  • 200ml Double cream
  • 400g strawberries, washed hulled and half, few quartered
  • 1 Teaspoon cocoa powder

You will need

  • I heart cake mould

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 180c ( 170c fan )
  • Place the margarine, vanilla extract, and caster sugar in a bowl and whisk with and electric whisk until smooth.
  • Add a egg and a little sieved flour one at a time, then mix flour and milk together until light and fluffy.
  • Share the mixture into 2 bowls, add the cocoa powder to one bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon.
  • Spoon mixture into mould one spoonful then another to separate the colours.
  • Bake in over for 55-60 minutes
  • Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes then turn out to cool completely.
  • When cool place back in mould.
  • Whisk the double cream till double in size.
  • Place on to the cake top.
  • Place the chopped strawberries on top of the cream.
  • Sieve a little cocoa powder over the cake.



So so yummy, I can not wait to make another

You can also find every ones entry on Twitter by using the hastag #HeartySlice

How sweet is this mould? perfect for anytime of the year, sharing your hearts...

Heart mould £14.99 from find me a gift

About this review-

I got sent a cake mould to review and make a cake to enter into the competition. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest opinion .

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Chocolate Coconut Truffles...


Ready in 50 minutes

Serves: 5

Ingredients

1 packet (250g) of milk arrowroot biscuits

1/3 cup (40g) of Food Thoughts Cocoa Powder

1/2 cup (45g) of desiccated coconut (plus a little extra for rolling the alls in)

1 tin (395g) of condensed milk


Method

Prep: 20 minutes | Extra time: 30 minutes, chilling

Crush the biscuits and place into a mixing bowl

Add cocoa and coconut, stir together then add condensed milk

Take small amount of mixture and roll into a ball, then roll through extra coconut

Continue with the rest of the mixture, place the chocolate balls on a plate and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes


About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Food For Thoughts



Friday, 22 March 2013

Bourbon Bacon Chocolate Truffles...



Ingredients

6 slices of streaky bacon

6 heaped tbsp soft brown sugar

250 ml single cream

250g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)

25ml bourbon

100g cocoa

Method

Preheat oven to 200ÂșC.

Spread one heaped tbsp of sugar on each bacon rasher, rubbing it in on each side with your fingers. Lay out flat and cook for 10 minutes, turn and lay flat and cook for 10 more minutes.

Take each slice out and lay on a buttered plate or greaseproof paper and allow to cool. Chop finely when cold.

Heat the cream until it just shivers, if you boil it it will change the taste and be too hot for the chocolate.

 Add the chocolate off the heat and stir in to melt, and add the bourbon add bacon. Stir in and leave to chill in the fridge for 2 hours until solid.

Put the cocoa on a plate and scoop out your truffles with a teaspoon. Roll them in the cocoa and chill.

About this post -

Recipe and photo credit by Niamh Shields - eat like a girl


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Peachy Yogurt Milkshake...



This is a smoothie I made when we had some bad snow and did not have fresh fruit around the house so looking for bits in the cupboard to make my milkshake.

I made this peachy yogurt milkshake which tastes sweat, sour and very moreish all rolled into one!!

Ingredients


100g Drained peach slices from a tin ( fresh would be best)

100g Natural yogurt

100g Chocolate ice cream

Handful ice cubes

Tables spoon chocolate sprinkles to taste

Method

Place all the ingredients into a blender and mix for 30 seconds

Serve straight away




Sunday, 10 February 2013

Brandied Chocolate Truffles...

Chocolate truffles with a surprise raspberry centre to melt even the most unromantic of hearts.



Makes 24

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Chilling time: 4½ – 5 hours

Ingredients

  • 150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
  • 200g (7oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brandy, cherry brandy or kirsch
  • 24 raspberries about 100g (4oz) fresh raspberries
  • Little sifted cocoa powder for shaping

To finish

  • 200g (7oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Tiny pieces of crystallised rose petals or pink edible glitter flakes
  • Petite four cases, a pretty box, tissue paper and fine ribbon for wrapping


To make the truffles

  • Pour the cream into a small saucepan, bring just to the boil then take off the heat and add the chocolate pieces.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes or so until the chocolate has melted.
  • Add the sugar and brandy or kirsch and stir until smooth.
  • Leave to cool then transfer to the fridge for about 3 hours until firm.
  • Scoop teaspoons of the truffle mixture on to baking sheet and continue until you have 24 mounds, all about the same size.
  • Make a dip in the centre of each, add a raspberry then press the truffle mixture around the raspberry to enclose it completely.
  • Next roll them between two hands dusted with sifted cocoa powder to get an even round shape.
  • Return the truffles to the fridge to chill for 1 hour or so until firm.

To decorate

  • Add the dark chocolate pieces to a bowl and set this over a saucepan of very gently simmering water so that the bowl stands above the top of the pan and the base of the bowl is not touching the water.
  • Heat for about 5 minutes until the chocolate has just melted.
  • Take the bowl off the pan then slide the prongs of a fork under one of the truffles, and hold this over the melted chocolate.
  • Using a teaspoon, spoon a little of the melted chocolate over the top to cover completely.
  • Slide off the fork on to a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Continue until all the truffles have been coated, and sprinkle with tiny pieces of crystallised rose petals or glitter flakes.
  • Chill for about 30 minutes or until firm, then transfer the truffles to petit four cases and pack into a box lined with tissue paper or non-stick baking paper.
  • Add the lid and tie with ribbon.
  • Keep in the fridge and eat within 3 days.



White chocolate and blueberry truffles

A touch of luxury.

Make in just the same way as the dark chocolate and raspberry truffles.

Makes 30

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Chilling time: 4-5 hours

Make as above with

  • 150ml (¼ pint) double cream
  • 200g (7oz) good quality white chocolate instead of the dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier.

Method

  • There is no need to add sugar as white chocolate is sweeter.
  • Chill the truffle mix until firm – this may take longer than dark chocolate truffles, and if still a little soft after 3 hours just whisk the mixture briefly to thicken.
  • Divide the cooled truffle mixture around 100g (4oz) large blueberries instead of the raspberries, dusting hands with icing sugar.
  • Chill well then coat in 200g (7oz) melted white chocolate and decorate with tiny pieces of crystallised violet petals or edible sugar glitter.
  • For a speedier decoration simply roll the shaped truffles in grated white chocolate.
  • Chill once more until firm and arrange in petit four cases in a tissue lined box for your Valentine.


Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries


Friday, 8 February 2013

Chocolate Fondue...

Made in minutes, pour this wonderfully luxurious fondue into a pretty heart shaped cup or keep hot in a mini fondue bowl with a burner.


Serves 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 strips of orange rind pared from a whole orange with a vegetable peeler
  • Large pinch ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 120ml (4fl oz) or 8 tablespoons water
  • 150g (5oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons double cream, plus 1 tablespoon to decorate
  • 350g (12oz) mixed strawberries, raspberries and blueberries


Method

  • Add the orange rind, cinnamon, sugar and water to a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Simmer for 3-4 minutes until syrupy and leave to cool for 10 minutes or longer for the flavours to develop.
  • Discard the orange rind and reheat the syrup.
  • Take off the heat, add the chocolate and leave until melted.
  • Stir until smooth and mix in 2 tablespoons of cream until glossy.
  • Reheat gently if needed.
  • Arrange the fruit on a plate with fondue skewers or small forks and pour the fondue sauce into a cup or fondue pot set over a burner.
  • You can even use the saucepan you have been cooking with.
  • Decorate with an extra drizzle of cream and swirl with a skewer.
  • Start dipping!

Tip

  • For a minted chocolate fondue, substitute the orange and cinnamon for 2 stems of fresh mint instead of the orange and cinnamon.



Recipe and photo credit by Seasonal Berries


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Valentine Strawberries On A Heart Of Krispy Cake...

Made these with the children and they loved them.

As soon as they were set and ready to eat, they disappeared!!

Time to make some more!!



















Ingredients
  • 10 Small strawberries or 5 large cut in half
  • 150g Dark cooking chocolate
  • 20g Rice krispies

You will also need

  • 10 Holed deep silicon heart ice cube tray
  • Grease proof paper


Method

  • Wash, dry and cut (if large) the strawberries leaving the green stalks on for decoration.
  • In a heat proof bowl place the cooking chocolate that has been broken up into pieces.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of simmering pre boiled water.
  • Stir until the chocolate has melted grab the stalks of the strawberries, dip them into the chocolate and place on some grease proof paper.
  • Remove the bowl from the pan and quickly stir in the rice krispys.
  • Place spoonfuls of the chocolate krispy into the heart tray and press them down.
  • Place a strawberry into the centre of the hearts gently pressing them into them so when the chocolate drys it will hold them in place.
  • Leave to cool then set in fridge

Tip-

  • Once the chocolate has melted do everything quickly before it sets!!

Yuuuummmmmmmyyyyy!!!!!


Saturday, 26 January 2013

Blueberry Valentine Hearts : Easy To Make...

Easy to make yourself Valentine chocolates.

These were so easy to make and looks like they've come from the shops!!

 My two oldest sons both said "they look good have your brought them?!!"

 My husband said "wow did you make the chocolate too, " 

"Hold on a minute" I said, "I'm not that good" ...

These are so much fun and the blueberries pop when you bite them against the chocolate.

Now off to see how to make some chocolate to really impress him ...



Makes 14

You will need a 14 holed small silicon ice cube tray

Ingredients
  • 42 Blueberries
  • 50g Good quality white cooking chocolate
  • 150g Good quality milk cooking chocolate


Method
  • Wash and dry the blueberries and place 3 in each of the holes in the ice cube tray.
  • In a heat proof bowl melt the white chocolate according to packet instructions in a microwave.
  • With a teaspoon pour a little over each set of blueberries trying to drip a little chocolate under them to hold them in place once set.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Melt the milk chocolate according to packet instructions.
  • With a tablespoon pour into each well covering all the blueberries.
  • Use the back of a knife to make sure all the chocolate is flat.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Once cool place in a fridge to set.
  • Turn out the chocolates.
  • Enjoy!




Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Chocolate Chips And Raisin Flapjacks....


I made some flapjack for the children's pack lunches when we were snowed in...

Chocolate chips to make the children want to eat them with hidden raisins. Trouble is once they got made and seen, everybody grabbed them and they disappeared!!


What to make for tomorrows lunch time treat now?

Serves 9-12 depending on the size you want..



Ingredients

  • Little margarine for greasing tray
  • 100g Margarine
  • 200g Rolled oats
  • 100g Milk chocolate chips
  • 50g Raisins
  • 50g Plain flour
  • 3 Tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 50g Golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Honey

20x20cm square tray grease and lined

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to 180c gas mark 4.
  • Place the margarine, golden syrup, caster sugar and honey in a pan and melt over a low heat until all melted.
  • In a bowl mix the oats, chocolate chips, raisins and flour together.
  • When the butter mix has melted pout over the dry ingredients a little at a time until all mixed in.
  • Mix well.
  • Grease the tin.
  • Pour all the mixture into the tin and level off the top of the mixture with the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Cook for around 20-25 minutes until golden.
  • Cut into 9 or 12 pieces and leave in the tin to cool and set.




Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Ben & Jerry’s Capture Euphoria Challenge: Day Four : Runstreak Day 17...



Let it snow, let it snow, Let it snow !!! 


Well we don't have a choice in the matter, now the snow has returned. 

Had some shopping delivered by our local supermarket so we have not got to use the car :)

In bad weather my husband always uses the train to get to work....

Tonight I made some hot cocoa covered it with whipped cream and marshmallows then watched the snow from inside where it is nice and warm. 

Today I didn't brave running in the snow now its turned to ice (its like a ice rink outside now). 

Took forever trying to walk to school in it so I decided to go to the gym and use the treadmill. 

I am not usually a treadmill fan as I usually get so bored out my head with it, today I had no choice and I surprised myself how much I liked it. 

So much so I ran 6 miles on it!!

Days ran this year 17/17 #runstreak

Miles ran this month 110

Workouts 19

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