A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: chocolate

The best darned frosting in the world!

The best darned frosting in the world!

I’m a bit funny about frosting, I find it can be a bit hit or miss. All too often it’s too sweet and sugary or it can be grainy rather than silky smooth, or worst of all it can become crusty with a hard sugar […]

Chocolate and peanut butter banana bread (vegan)

Chocolate and peanut butter banana bread (vegan)

I’m totally converted to vegan banana bread, I always get better results from it than from my more traditional recipe and I’m really not sure that I can tell the difference as far as the flavour is concerned. That’s especially true of this recipe, which […]

Gingerbread Honeycomb

Gingerbread Honeycomb

What do you call this? Honeycomb? Cinder toffee? Hokey pokey? Mr Colonial Cravings always laughs at me when I call it hokey pokey, but that’s what we call it in Cornwall and I think it’s pretty cute. Whatever name you have for it, this gingerbread flavoured version is just what your homemade gift repertoire has been waiting for!
It goes without saying that you have to be super-careful when you’re making this (it’s not one to do with kids) as the sugar will be crazy-hot and can give you a nasty burn if you splash yourself with it. It’s useful to have a jam thermometer but you can always test for ‘hard crack’ stage by dropping a tiny bit of the caramel into some ice-water.

Ingredients
makes loads
150g sugar
6 tbsp golden syrup
2 1/4 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
about 150g dark chocolate for coating

Mix together the spices and bicarbonate of soda and set aside until later. Line a deep sided baking tin or dish with foil and lightly oil.
Combine the sugar and syrup in a large heavy based saucepan and bring to boiling point. Heat until it reaches 140°c or ‘hard crack’ stage. Remove from the heat and quickly and carefully whisk in the spices and bicarbonate of soda so that the toffee foams up excitedly. Be very careful!
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and let it set and harden – don’t be temped to touch it and don’t try to spread it out, it’s just going to do what it wants to do!
Once it has hardened, cooled and set, cut or break it into bite sized pieces. Melt the chocolate and dip the honeycomb into it to half coat them and then leave them on a wire rack to set.
The tiny bits and dust from breaking up the honeycomb is really delicious sprinkled onto whipped cream on top of hot chocolate by the way!

Chocolate and cherry croissant bread and butter pudding.

Chocolate and cherry croissant bread and butter pudding.

If anyone can think of a catchier name for this then I would love to hear it. It is a bit of a mouthful, no pun intended. I’ve met quite a few Americans who find the fact that we Brits often refer to dessert as […]

Pumpkin chocolate cake (vegan)

Pumpkin chocolate cake (vegan)

When we lived in America people would get very excited about the fact that on 1st November all of the Halloween candy in the shops would be super-cheap. I’m not sure that you could make candy corn cheap enough for me to eat it! We […]

Chocolate and caramel fudge cake

Chocolate and caramel fudge cake

You know you’ve come up with a winning recipe when your brother sends you this message and tells you that he’s just polished off his third slice!


But really I can’t blame him for having thirds of this rich, delicious, sticky, gooey cake. The sponge is fluffy and full of flavour, the filling is sweet, salty and creamy and the topping is just downright decadent. I bet you can’t eat just one slice!

I’ve adapted the recipe from my malted mocha cupcakes for the sponge.

Ingredients
sponge
200g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
250g soft light brown sugar
100ml vegetable oil
100ml hot coffee
125ml milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
caramel
100g soft light brown sugar
70ml double cream
15g butter
1 tbsp shiro miso (you can just add a big pinch of seasalt if you prefer)
filling
150ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
ganache
75g dark chocolate
75ml double cream

little bit of fudge/chocolate shavings/sprinkles to decorate

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line two sandwich cake tins.
Sift the flour, raising agents, spices and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl and then use a whisk to mix in the sugar and salt. Make sure that everything is well blended.
Lightly beat the eggs and then combine them with the oil, milk, coffee and vanilla extract. Mix this into the dry ingredients and then briefly beat it together to leave you with a smooth, fairly wet batter. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared tins (you can weigh them if you want to be super precise) and level off the tops. Bake the sponges for 30-35 minutes, they should be well risen and feel springy to the touch when they’re done. Leave the sponges on a wire rack to cool completely.


Whilst the sponges bake you can make the miso caramel . Simply combine the cream, sugar and butter in a pan and bring to boil. Turn the heat down and let it gently bubble for several minutes, it should deepen in colour a little and become a little thicker. Remove it from the heat and stir in the miso, ensuring that it blends in smoothly. Set it aside to cool.
Whip the cream with the vanilla and the sugar until it is thick and fluffy and set it aside until you are ready to assemble the cake.
For the ganache topping chop the chocolate and place it in a bowl. Heat the cream until it is quite warm but don’t let it boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute or two before giving it a good stir. Leave to cool and thicken.


Trim the sponges to level them if you need to and place one of them on a serving plate. Spread a fairly generous amount of the caramel over the base and then pile on the cream, spreading it just shy of the edges. Drizzle a little more of the caramel over the cream and then gently place the second sponge on top. Spread the ganache over this sponge, swirling it a little for decoration and then scatter some crumbled fudge, sprinkles or chocolate shavings over the top to finish it off.

Moelleux aux chocolat

Moelleux aux chocolat

Sometimes you just need a slice of rich gooey chocolate cake. A moelleux isn’t some namby-pamby light, fluffy sponge adorned with frosting. It’s a serious chocolate hit. Dense and fudgy and a little bit gooey in the middle, almost to the point of melting. It’s […]

Cocoa berry gin fizz

Cocoa berry gin fizz

Chocolate, berries and gin. I think that’s all you need to know. Well, I suppose there’s a little more to this cocktail than just that but they’re definitely the most important points. I’m a huge fan of the cocoa bitters from Hotel Chocolat and they […]

Raspberry creme drip cake

Raspberry creme drip cake

If a party without cake is just a meeting then serving up this really would make it a celebration!
I’ve made this cake a couple of times now and it’s always very well received, it looks impressive before you’ve even cut into it. It’s got three layers of deliciously light almond or vanilla flavoured sponge (your choice, both are yummy) sandwiched together with fruity raspberry jam and silky Swiss Meringue buttercream, covered in more raspberry buttercream, smothered in rich chocolate ganache and finished off with some chocolate dipped strawberries – you know, just for good measure. Because if you’re going to do cake you should really DO cake.

Ingredients

sponge
110g butter
375g sugar
320g plain flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
3 eggs
300ml milk
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (your choice)
swiss meringue buttercream
200g sugar
4 egg whites
265g butter
4 tbsp seedless raspberry jam (plus extra for filling)
chocolate ganache
100g double cream
100g dark chocolate

Start the sponge by pre-heating your oven to 190°c and greasing and lining three standard size cake tins (I think mine are about 8-9″).
Sift together the flour and baking powder then whisk this with the salt and sugar ensuring that they are well mixed. Beat the dry ingredients with the softened butter until you have something that looks a bit like damp sand.
In a separate jug, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or almond extract and milk and then add half of this to the dry mixture and beat it together well, ensuring that there are no lumps. Add the remaining liquid and beat again to combine it all and leave you with a fairly runny batter. Divide this evenly between the three prepared cake tins, level off the surfaces by giving the tins a little shake and pop them in the oven, all on the same shelf if your oven is big enough.
Bake the sponges for around 20 minutes, so that they are risen and golden brown, and if you poke them with a skewer or cake tester it comes out clean. Carefully turn the sponges out onto a wire rack and leave them to cool.

To make the Swiss meringue buttercream put the egg whites into a spotlessly clean bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, be careful not to let the water touch the base of the bowl. Add the sugar and use a hand whisk to whip them continuously whilst they heat up. They should become quite foamy and increase in volume. When they are ready to come off the heat, they will feel hot to the touch and the sugar should be totally dissolved.
Take the bowl off the pan of water and use an electric whisk to whip the meringue until it is thick and glossy. If by this stage the base of the bowl has cooled down to room temperature(ish) then you can start to whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time. If the bowl is still warm then the butter will melt so it’s worth waiting until it’s cooled down. Continue to whip the buttercream until you have incorporated all of the butter and it is thick, smooth and creamy. Add the four tablespoons of jam and whisk again until it is well blended with the buttercream.
To assemble the cake decide which of your three sponges has the neatest, flattest bottom so that one can be the top. Put one of the other sponges onto a cake board or serving plate and spread a tablespoon or two of jam on it. Follow this with a layer of the buttercream, not too thick but spreading it right up to the edges of the cake. Pop a second sponge on top and repeat the layers of jam and buttercream again. Add the final sponge and then cover the whole cake with a very thin coat of the buttercream, just to seal in all the crumbs. Put the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes so that everything can firm up a bit. Use the rest of the buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake with a thicker coating, making it as smooth as possible. Put the cake back in the fridge, this time for at least an hour so that it will be nice and cool when you add the chocolate ganache (this gives the best ‘drip’ effect).

Whilst the cake chills you can decorate the strawberries by simply dipping them in melted white chocolate and then into some sprinkles. Leave them on a sheet of baking parchment to set.
Make the ganache by chopping the chocolate into chunks and placing it in a bowl. Heat the cream so that it is quite warm but not boiling. Pour this over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute before stirring until it’s all well blended. Set aside to cool and thicken to a dripping consistency.
Get the chilled cake out of the oven and spoon the ganache in a ring around the top of it, encouraging a few drips to fall down the sides here and there. Carefully add a bit more ganache to the top to fill in the centre and smooth it off with a palate knife if you need too. Add the strawberries and a scattering of extra sprinkles. Return the cake to the fridge until you’re ready to serve it

Petit praline tarts

Petit praline tarts

How about these for a sweet treat? Crisp little pastry shells filled to the brim with homemade chocolate and caramelised hazelnut ganache. You know you wouldn’t be able to say ‘no’ to one of these (or two, or three). The trick with these is to […]