Friday, May 27, 2011

Lucy Loves...chocolate

It being that time of the month, chocolate is on my mind - did you notice? It is like medicine for me... and my two little girls - melt downs and disasters are swiftly averted. A square of chocolate is adminsitered, and normality resumes.

We took delivery of our bulk order from the health food wholesalers. Usually my chocolate of choice is Divine - a fair trade bar, the 70% bar is smoky and sexy, the milk version is creamy and rich. The white with strawberries is to die for. But this time I tried the Green and Blacks (organic) cooking chocolate. Wary at first, becaase cooking chocolate usually means low cocoa mass, this is 72%. In their words, "a combination of cocoa mass, which gives the chocolate its intense flavour, and cocoa butter, which gives it a smooth consistency when melted - makes it suited perfectly for cooking & secondly, each piece of chocolate weighs exactly 5g, making it easy to measure the exact amount needed."
Clever - huh? And taste wise certainly lives up to its write up...
But the best thing? Because it is classed as "cooking" rather than "snacking" it is not a luxury item, and so you don't pay the 21% luxury VAT rate. Hurray!

We have had coconut kisses and up-cycled easter egg cake here on Queen of Puddings in the past week! And while we are on the subject - have you tried my very first posting Chocolate cherry cupcakes? Or my chocolate pavlova with raspberries? Or my red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting?
Not yet, what are you, mad?!

And my ultimate All-American chocolate cake - I have fantasies about this one! What, you're gluten-free? Then try my flour-free chocolate cake with almonds

Or feeling worthy? Then I dare you to try my secret brownies made with tofu! No one would EVER guess!

So it would be of no surprise to those of you who don't know me that I used to have a little chocolate making business... rose creams; peppermint creams; Old Morgan spiced vanilla rum truffles; spiced chocolate with orange, cinnamon and chilli;  dark chocolate dipped citrus peel...

I noticed a triple chocolate mousse cake over at The Year of the Cookie - one layer baked, one a mousse and the other lighter and fluffier. I used to love a version of this as a child which my dad and step-mother both claimed to make and I never knew who it was!  Oh the innocence of childhood, my dad would be no more capable of cooking this as push out a baby!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coconut kisses

So with the taste of the coconut mice in my mouth and half a tin of condensed milk in the fridge needing to be used up, I decided I needed an adult version.

So if you like coconut, you might just want to kiss me now! Hence the name! These are the real deal, a million times better than Bounty bars... humble, moi, not a chance!

Makes about 30

120g icing (confectioner's ) sugar
100g condensed milk
85g desiccated coconut

To coat
40g desiccated coconut
70g dark or milk chocolate

Sift icing sugar into a bowl, add condensed milk, stir until you have a paste.

Add in the coconut and stir to combine, it will be very thick now.

Roll into large marble sized balls. Then take your pick of coatings... you can do just one, or a selection of three.

Toasted coconut
Take a clean, dry frying pan and add the 40g of coconut. Put on a medium-high heat and WATCH IT LIKE A HAWK! Coconut goes from white to burnt FAST. You want a mix of white and golden shavings, NOT golden and black. Once it has reached the right level empty it immediately onto a plate to cool. 

Melted chocolate
Take 2/3 of the chocolate and break it into a bowl, and melt over a pan of simmer water. Watch and stir. DO NOT let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. When 2/3 of it is melted remove the bowl and keep stirring until totally melted. Then stir in the remaining 1/3 of the chocolate. It should start to thicken a little. This is called tempering (it is a simplified version) and should help to keep your chocolate shiny and professional looking, rather than developing a mottled look.

So now you have three can
1) Roll the kisses in toasted coconut.
2) Dip them in the melted chocolate. Put them in one by one, spoon a little extra over the top. Slip a fork underneath to remove them, letting any excess chocolate drip down, and leave to dry on some baking parchment.
3) Roll these chocolate dipped kisses in the toasted coconut.

Can keep in or out of the fridge. They won't last long... because they'll be eaten! There's nothing really to go off in them so I'm guessing they would keep happily for a few weeks.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Coconut (m)ice

Nice and easy to make with kiddies. And rather yummy to eat...but VERY sweet!

120g icing (confectioner's ) sugar
100g condensed milk
85g desiccated coconut
1 drop red food colouring
silver decorating balls for eyes
flaked almonds or white chocolate buttons for ears
strawberry laces for tails

Sift icing sugar into a bowl, add condensed milk, stir until you have a paste.

Add 1 drop of food colour and stir. Add in the coconut and stir to combine.

Have a cup of warm water ready, dip a teaspoon into it, let it drip dry, then mould a mouse shape into it. Put it onto a board or plate covered in cling film (saran wrap)

Use balls for eyes and half buttons or almond flakes for ears and laces for tails.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Up-cycled Easter Egg Cake

There comes a time when the excitement of Easter eggs has worn off and the children are less interested in them but there are still odds and sods and bits and pieces scattered around looking lonely and unloved. Cue chocolate biscuit cake to breathe yummy new life into these no longer glossy bits of choc.

This makes a big batch, so take it to someone's house, have a party, be self-restrained OR make half quantities!

Apologies for the lack of picture - no excuse except gluttony!

400g chocolate - mix of milk and dark
175g butter
4 tbsp golden syrup (corn syrup)
200g digestive biscuits (graham crackers)
100g nuts (pecan/ brazil or hazelnuts - toasted is best) - roughly chopped or smashed
150g dried cranberries (the sweetened type) or raisins or glace cherries or a mix
100g chopped mixed peel- or mini marshmallows if you hate peel

Break all choc into small pieces and put with the syrup and butter into a pan over simmering water. Mix and DO NOT let the water touch the bowl, DO NOT let it get too hot, keep mixing and remove from heat when about 2/3 melted and continue stirring till all melted.

In a plastic freezer bag put the biscuits (and nuts if wanted) and smash to smithereens with a rolling pin. You want a mix of small chunks and crumbs.

Add the fruit, biscuit and nuts into the choc, mix well and tip out into a brownie tin (about 25cm by 30cm). Flatten down, leave to cool (this takes about 2 hours) and cut into squares. Keeps for about 10 days in a biscuit tin or extra yummy cold from the fridge - though it never lasts that long!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lucy loves...baking supplies

What is a cupcake without bling? I am not one for careful fondant icing in the shape of Shrek, but I do like easy ways to make my baking look pretty - golden sprinkles, crystalised flowers, clever cake tins.

 But living in the countryside means getting my hands on baking goodies is a challenge. So here's a round up of the best baking specialists for the UK and Ireland... please do add your favourites at the bottom.

*For all sorts of kitchen supplies and baking equipment and ingredients, a million bits you didn't even know you needed, until now! Lakeland

*An Irish-based cookware shop, Kitchen Cookware

*For professional chocolate making equipment, chocolate, crystalised flowers, candy supplies and packaging. I used them for a couple of years when running my chocolate making business and was very impressed. However, they deal with bulk orders only, Keylink

*A great selection of decorations and novelty cutters and tins, giant cupcake tins, princess skirts, pirate ships... Rainbow Sugar Craft 

*For all things pretty and sugary for cake decoration, Cupcake Style

*For cakes, decorations, cake boards, and crystalised petals and other pretty, yummy decorations, the original Queen of Cakes, Jane Asher

*Please note, I have no connection to any of these businesses and have not used all of them myself.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...