Tag Archives: Chocolate

Crazy Good Hot Chocolate Mix!

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This is a great gift! Who wouldn’t love you forever if you gave them a jar of yummy chocolatey creamy hot chocolate mix? Nobody that’s who, especially if you put cute mini marshmallow in it too!

I love good hot chocolate. But rarely does a coffee shop get it bang on. My brother(with my help as taste tester-yay! best job EVER!) found the perfect chocolate for his customers. This mix(tested/tweaked extensively by me for your pleasure) evokes the same memory I had back then, tasty, rich and creamy. YUM!

If you can get your hands on Nido full fat dried milk please do, otherwise a tin of Marvel(or similar) will suffice(and me a tad healthier).

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What you need:

This amount of mix makes between 9-10 mugs of hot chocolate.

1 cup Dried milk powder

1/3 cup Cocoa

1oz Chocolate pudding mix(such as Jello)

1/2 cup Sugar

39g Chocolate(of at least 70%) I used one Taza Stoneground Organic Orange Chocolate disc  from  The Stateside Candy Co online

A few drops of Orange oil(available in most supermarkets)

What to do:

First grind your bar/block of chocolate. I used my trusty coffee grinder for this but you can use your processor too. You want it as fine as a powder (“fine” on my grinder).

The next part is so easy that I’m not even going to add photos or even much in the way of instructions.

Stick the ingredients in a food processor(even easier if you are already using one!) and whizz to mix up.

Seriously, this is the easiest “recipe” ever, but brilliant all the same. There are endless ways to tweak the mix, and with the variety of Taza flavours it could get very interesting !

To make up the hot chocolate put two well rounded tbsp in a mug add little hot water(yes really) and mix to a paste. Make up to a full mug with warm milk OR if you’re feeling virtuous and healthy(ish) you can make up with all water.

Remember to attach a note if you’re gifting this(unlike me, who got all caught up in how brilliant this was and then had to text everyone afterwards. Don’t be me.) & then make up another batch(or three) to gift to yourself!

🙂

Depression Cake(otherwise known as Vegan Choc Cake)

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Wow! You know sometimes you’re surprised by just how well a thing turns out? Like the Impossible Pie? This is one of those times…just wow! This  has to be the ULTIMATE make do & mend recipe(I can’t wait to share it with Jen and everyone on Thursday’s Twitter meet #makedoandmendhour)! Created during the Depression era in the US when expensive items were hard to come by, this egg/butter less cake is a godsend to Vegans or those with an intolerance to eggs/dairy! I trialled a number of vegan recipes when I worked baking for the coffee shop, oh how I wish I had this recipe then!

I wondered for a long time about this cake, not convinced it could ever be good with no eggs. Having now made it you can trust me when I say this cake is not only good for a vegan but a good one for EVERYONE!  It’s an easy recipe is a great activity for kids(I let my toddler help) I plan on letting my eldest try it out next, I figure everyone needs to know how to make at least one great cake!

I tweaked the recipe slightly as I didn’t have any vinegar(usually a Depression Cake has vinegar as it reacts with the baking soda to cause a rise in the cake) but did have some flat-ish cola! It works really well as the “acid” part needed for the reaction.

I used a rectangular cake pan but you could use an 8″ round too.

 

What I Used:

1 & 1/2 cups plain flour

1 cup caster sugar

1 tsp baking soda(bicarbonate of soda)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of flat-ish cola(if yours isn’t flat open the can into jug half an hour before needed and stir it about every now and then to get rid of some bubbles)

1/4 cup oil

 

What I Did:

If you Google this cake the method is usually to dump the dry in a cake pan make wells(one for oil, one for vanilla and one for vinegar) but I decided that I’d rather do it this way…

Sift the dry together into the pan, then in a jug measure out the wet, THEN pour that over the dry.

Mix with a fork(plastic one is best if your pan is non-stick) until no floury bits are visible.

Bake at 360/180 for 30 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Frost with your favourite frosting(I made buttercream) or glaze.

 

Eat, all the while marvelling at how good the cake is and wondering why we even bother with eggs in cakes at all! 🙂

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Ps. If you don’t have cola but do have vinegar you can just use plain water in place of the cola and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar!

*EDIT* I have since tried to make the cake without sieving the ingredients(like recipe on the net said) I also used cold coffee in place of cola(water) DO NOT DO THIS!

If you want the very best cake you can make use what I did and use a sieve to combine the dry ingredients. This might be a frugal recipe but there’s little point in making it not taste the best it can taste, what’s thrifty about a cake that you’d only eat if you had to as opposed to one you’ll make just to eat it? 😉

How to Make Rockin’ Rocky Road!

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I recently posted on Twitter about Rocky Road and got a few comments, seems people love Rocky Road(a wee bit of internet snooping revealed that it is in fact an Australian food creation!  Invented to sell on confections that had spoiled! Who knew?).

Rocky Road is, in this house, the ultimate chocolate overload. A bar/cake/sweetie thing so awesome my boys only request it every now and then for the fear of “over doing” it and making themselves sick of the decadent treat.

 

Here, I’m going to share my recipe with you, this is the recipe that has been asked for by neighbours, by rival coffee shop owners(she lived very far away she assured me!) when I made it for my family’s business, and is the recipe my mother said she overheard someone on a train talking about! That does indeed sound a bit big headed, but I was(& still am) completely in love with baking and that was/is the ultimate compliment! To have a person ask for the recipe, or recommend something you have made to another is just the icing on the cake, to use a baking related pun. If you try it out, I’d love to hear what you make of it too! 🙂

 

This is my  original recipe, pretty dark and “adult” in taste, but you can lighten it up by swapping out some dark for milk chocolate. I did this recently and made a tray bake of 150g milk to 50g dark choc and reduced the condensed milk to 3/4 tin and butter to 1oz. If you do go with a much higher percentage of milk(or in fact ALL milk) just remember to adjust the butter and condensed milk also!

Another thing worthy of mentioning here is that Rocky Road is all about quality ingredients(like a rice crispie cake) if you use cheap things in it, the end result will be cheap tasting. I’m not trying to be all fancy pants here, it’s quite simply the truth. Don’t waste your money making something that just tastes “ok” make something that you’d rate “AWESOME” because let’s face it, you’re worth it! 🙂

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What I use:

200g dark chocolate
200g milk chocolate
1 can condensed milk
1tbsp syrup
40g butter  (please, PLEASE, use ok butter! Salted is good)
12-15 ish biscuits (I used Border Biscuits Chocolate Chip Shortbread, but you could use any other biscuit as long as you’d be happy to eat it plain, without all the chocolate etc you may use it here) crushed, not finely, we want chunks not dust!
7-8 large marshmallows, chopped into quarters (I used some homemade caramel ones I had lying about[yes, I DO know how ridiculous that sounds], but don’t go nuts, I give you permission here to just add regular mallows, gourmet ones would be a complete extravagance, and making them solely for this purpose quite honestly a madness!)
Fruit, some(a handful) glacé cherries or raisins, or even apricots or dried cranberries here would be good <shock & horror! Something healthy? 😉
1-2 Mars bars (you decide how much you need here, if it looks like 1 and a half bars is enough, I won’t tell if you eat the other half, ok?) Chopped into small ish chunks
*If you like, you may gild the lily by adding things like sprinkles, mini smarties, M & Ms etc for a bit of colour(and let’s not kid ourselves, more chocolate!) 🙂
 

What to do:

Put chocolates, condensed milk, syrup and butter in pan.
Heat on low until melted and glossy.
Take a little of the biscuits, Mars bars, mallows and fruit and put in small bowl, to pretty up the top.
Stir in remaining biscuits, chopped Mars bars, marshmallow quarters and fruit.(work quite quickly as the mallows will melt!)
Pour into a foil-lined(or cling film or parchment would be fine also) tray, loaf tin or cake tin and leave to set.
Sprinkle over the reserved biscuits, mallows, fruit and any other toppings*(see note above)
Cut into slices, squares or wedges.
Eat! 🙂
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Stout Marshmallows

 

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Marshmallows are something I have wanted to try for ages, I just never seemed to get around to it. In truth it was a lot to do with the idea of faffing around with a candy thermometer and the idea of the mess too.

I can however now say that having made them that the faffing(which in reality is not much) and mess(easy to clean with hot water) is absolutely worth it! PLUS if you do gift these to your father on Fathers Day you’ll heaps of brownie points-bonus! 🙂

As with most things I do it’s never enough to just make plain, simple  ones and leave it at that. These stout(STOUT? heck yes! delicious, sweet, cloud-like with a rich stout taste that comes second, they really do work!) The stout flavour take the kiddie confectionery to another, more adult level.

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This recipe uses stout from my local brewery Williams Bros here in central Scotland. March of the Penguins to be precise, but any dark, rich, malty stout would work, try Guinness if you can’t get my delicious local brew.

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Everyone here loves them and they would be the perfect thing for Fathers Day. So I urge you to get the pots out and get your mallow on!

 

What you need:

A sugar/candy thermometer is essential here!

A med/large pot, I use one with high sides. This recipe has a tendency to foam a lot so get yourself something kinda big, but not too big that your thermometer doesn’t reach the sugar syrup.

A pan, I used a regular loaf pan. That is about perfect size for this amount. Oil the pan and dust with a mix of half icing sugar and half cornflour.

 

The sugar syrup:

3/4 (6oz)cup sugar

1/2 cup & 2 tbsp(5oz) golden syrup

1/4 cup stout(flat)

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract, I used 1/4 tsp vanilla paste

 

For the gelatine bloom:

1/3 cup stout(flat)

1.5 tbsp powdered gelatine

 

For the icing sugar/cornflour dusting:

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 cup cornflour

Mix together in small bowl and use to dust pan and top of mallows.

 

What to do:

First off let your stout go flat, I mean proper flat. If you’re rushed(aren’t we all?) pout it into a jug and stir it around with a fork until flat

Then take the stout pour into the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle the gelatine over the top in a even layer. Mix to make sure there are no big lumps. Fit the whisk attachment to the mixer.

Put the sugar, stout and golden syrup and salt into your pan, clip the thermometer to the side, if yours is swanky like that, and bring fairly quickly to a rolling boil. You want this stout, sugar syrup to reach 240 on the thermometer, once it’s been boiling for a few ins keep checking, towards the end the temp seems to rise rapidly!

Once you’ve reached the 240 take the pan from the heat and start your mixer running, slowly(ish) at this part! Boiling sugar is not something you want splattering over yourself, please be careful.

Gently pour the sugar into the gelatine until combined, now you may increase the speed.

Let the mixer do it’s thing. The mixture will grow and change to a paler colour. At this stage add the vanilla. You know the mallows is ready when you can trail mallow on the surface and it retains it’s shape. This can take about 10-12 mins to do. You can feel the side of the bowl for this too, you want it to feel only barely warm to the touch.

Once at the setting stage, work quickly with a silicone spatula and pour the mallow into your pan. Don’t worry too much about getting everything or it will start to set!

Smooth as much as you can, but again do it quickly and don’t “faff”.

Sprinkle a little more icing sugar/cornflour mix over the top and leave to set for at least an hour.

Gently pull the mallow away from the edge of the tin to release and using a knife cut into pieces. Dip your knife into any remaining icing sugar/cornflour between cuts. If it is proving hard to come off the sides, ease a knife down the edge and push a little of the sugar/corn flour mix down the gap. Work your way along the sides of the pan like this and it *should plop out no bother!

 

🙂

Ps. Just had a thought, how AMAZING would these be as s’mores?! Yum, I’m off to buy half covered chocolate digestive biscuits and try!

 

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Icecream Bars

 

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Wow, this “recipe” is easy! In fact, I’d probably go so far as to say it’s amazingly ridiculously easy 🙂

AND it’s pretty darned tasty but then, you knew it would be with a name like that, right? 😉 It’s a bit like a frozen version of Scottish Millionaire’s Shortbread-yum.

 

Get a dish of some sort, not too big but not too small a 1lb loaf tin would be perfect, or like me you could use a long thin one( to be precise).

Line your pan with cling film or seeing as I had none I used foil backed parchment, or is it parchment backed foil?…I digress…

Get 100g of cookies and crush them into crumbs, I say crumbs because we don’t want dust here, it’s not a cheesecake base so you can be a little chunking if you like, texture is good!

I used a delicious oat one from Borders Biscuits, but depending on the combo you’re going for the sky’s the limit! Their strawberry shortbread with strawberry cheeesecake ice cream anyone?

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Next take 65g of butter( I used unsalted as the ice cream I chose was salty enough) & melt it. Combine the melted butter with the cookie crumbs.

Tip about half of this into the tin, I may have been a little heavy handed at this point resulting in a mere scattering over the top, but really it doesn’t matter, just make sure you have a good layer on the bottom. Press into the base and stick in the freezer while you do the next bit.

Take the icecream about half the tub(500mls) and soften. I don’t mean melt it, but you want it soft enough so that you can spread it over the base. Return to the freezer.

Next, in a pan over a low heat, combine 100g of fudge (I chose Ochil Fudge Pantry‘s Death by Chocolate) which you’ve chopped, with 2tbsp of double cream. Stir until melted and glossy. Let cool a little, give a last stir, then pour over the icecream. working quickly so that it doesn’t melt scatter the remaining cookie crumbs over the fudge layer, press down slightly and return to freezer until needed.

 

When you want to eat it, simply take from deep freeze and cut off a bar! 🙂

 

 

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My “Kind of Carmelitas” *EDITED*

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I sort of stumbled upon this while searching the web, a carmelita is an oat bar with chocolate and rather obviously, as the name suggests, caramel. Poring over the photographs on Google images I knew I wanted to make them, but instead of being gooey and squishy, I needed them to be a bit more stable seeing as I wanted to pack them off with the menfolk for lunches etc.

I tweaked the recipe and the result is a bar that is quick and easy to make,  tasty AND holds up well to traveling!

 

What I used:

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Crust & Topping:

2 cups of Bisquick

1 3/4 cups of oats(I actually used Stoats Sunflower & Poppy seed Porridge-a mix of oats with sunflower, poppy, linseeds & pumpkin seeds. If you use plain old oats it will be ok, just not as awesome)

3/4 cup soft brown sugar, packed

170g butter melted(I used unsalted, you could make it salted and have Salted Carmelitas!)

 

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Chocolate Caramel Layer:

3 Mars bars

1 oz butter

 

 

What I did:

Set your oven at 350f/175c

You will need a 9×9″ baking pan

Mix all these ingredients together

Take half of the mixture and press into your pan

Cook for about 15 mins or until golden.

Set on rack to cool slightly as you prep middle layer.

Break the Mars bars into pieces and place in a glass bowl, microwave in 20 second bursts until melted, stir together. Also you should note here, it’s kind of weird trying to mix the bars & butter together, it will look all buttery & like it’s not going to  work. I does so stuck with it, there is nothing wrong. By the way you will probably think this layer is too thin, it’s really not, trust me! 🙂

Working quickly(otherwise it will start to set) spread the Mars bar & butter mixture over your base.

Crumble the remaining oat mixture over the top(it doesn’t matter if there are gaps, in fact it’s nice!) of the choc/caramel layer, pressing it down slightly.

Bake for another 15 mins or until the top is golden.

Take from oven and cool on a rack before cutting into bars.

 

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Yum! 🙂

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 *EDIT*

I tried making these delicious bars again substituting the Mars bars for some of my favourite fudge(made locally too)! 

It was sublime! I would even go so far as to say, even better than the original version.

If you want to do as I did ad swap candy bars for fudge, just carry on as normal and when making the middle layer use 200g of chocolate fudge(Ochil Fudge Pantry’s Death by Chocolate is what I used) chopped up and softened in a pan(on the cooker) with 1tbsp double cream, then spread over crust  🙂

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What’s SO Impossible about Impossible Pie?

Holy Moly this is great!

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It’s not even a little bit great, but a whole big bit great! Yes, we like pies in this house but you know sometimes I find a the whole making pastry etc thang a bit of a kerfuffle. I’m going to introduce you to the kerfuffle-free “pie” of your dreams(possibly). You’ll make it, then be cursing that you didn’t find the recipe sooner!

If you are having guests and have no idea what to make for dessert but still want to look like you’ve put a bit more effort into it than buy a pie, do this. ALSO it would be fabulous for someone who is watching their carb intake as only the smallest bit of flour is used in making it.

Usually people make a coconut version. I have don that before but wanted to try a chocolate version. I still used coconut, next time I will leave it out comepletely and add pecans I think.

Don’t go expecting some sort of miracle here, I mean the mixture does form a kind of crusty outer but it’s not like a real pastry crust, what it does do though is create for you a custardy filling with edges set a little more firmly and it all mixes together and bakes in a matter of moments!

What you need:

35g(1/2 cup) desiccated coconut

2 egg

2 TBSP cocoa

30g(1/4 cup) flour

235ml(1 cup) milk

75g(1/4 cup) sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla 

40g(3 tbsp) butter

Handful of raspberries(I used some lovely Scottish ones I had pin the deep freeze-no need to defrost!)

What you do:

Mix everything together apart from berries

Pour into a baking dish(I used a 7″ skillet)

Dot the raspberries over the surface

Bake!  350f(180c for about 25 mins)

Check the pie after this time you want it pretty much solid but with the “slightest” jiggle, it will firm on cooling.

This is tasty warm(I like the plain coconut version warm) but better left to cool and eaten at room temperature. The result is a dense chocolatey(it is more chocolate tasting if cooled) pie, cut through with the sharpness of the rasps.

Quick make this!

Ps. I should mention that it will look WAY too runny but have faith, this does work! 🙂

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