Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Sometimes you need cake. Chocolate Cake. Special Cake. And sometimes you need two Very Special Mini Chocolate Cakes! 

One for you, one for a friend… Or something! Mini cake is always a good idea, right? 

Basic Cake Mix:

180g self raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 pinch salt

40g cocoa powder

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

150ml olive oil

150ml milk

2 tbsp golden syrup

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease and line your chosen cake tins. 

– Sift the flour, bicarbonate, salt and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. 

– Mix the sugar and wet ingredients together in a large jug. 

– Stir the wet I to the dry and mix well until thoroughly combined. 

– Divide between your chosen cake tins. 

– Bake! 4″ tins should take around 25-30 minutes, 8″ sandwich tins around 30-40 minutes and if you want to bake it all as one huge cake (23cm springform) then you’re looking at about an hour. Check regularly and test to ale sure a skewer comes out clean before removing from the oven. 

Chocolate Fudge Icing: 

50g butter

200g icing sugar

45g cocoa powder

4 tablespoons milk

– Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. 

– Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder. 

– Add the milk and mix well until smooth. 

– Leave to cool and thicken before spreading on the cakes or pour over as a glaze. 

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Vegan Hot Chocolate Spoons

These Vegan Hot Chocolate Spoons are a lovely thing to make as a gift, or just to keep on hand for those chocolate cravings that spring up from time to time!

Vegan Hot Chocolate Spoons

They’re quick and easy to whip up, you just need to allow time for them to set.

Vegan Hot Chocolate Spoons

I’ve tried mine with Almond milk, which is my go to dairy alternative, and also with regular cow’s milk, which obviously negates their Vegan heritage!  But they’re delicious either way!  What you always need to make sure of when you’re working with chocolate is that you enjoy the chocolate you’re starting with!  If you start with a delicious chocolate then you will end up with a delicious finished product.

Vegan Hot Chocolate Spoons

Makes ~14 spoons

200g dark chocolate (make sure it’s vegan!)
50g coconut oil
2 tbsp cocoa powder

– Melt the chocolate either slowly in a microwave or over a pan of boiling water, whichever method you prefer.  Heat it until 90% melted then take off the heat and allow the last lumps to melt with the residual heat.
– Stir in the coconut oil and the cocoa powder and mix until  smooth.
– Pour carefully into an ice cube tray so that each hole is just filled, clean up any spillages so you have a clean edge.
– Place in the fridge for 10 minutes until starting to solidify then poke the spoons so that they stand upright.  You can leave them to set at room temperature too but this will take a lot longer.
– Put them back in the fridge until fully set, an hour will do it, them unmould and place in plastic bags to keep them.
– To use, simply pop into a mug of hot milk (alternative) of your choice and stir!

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No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

This one is a great Friday bake!  It’s the end of the week and we’re all a bit tired.  Chocolate will help.  Specifically a No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte!  All of the flavour, none of the faff!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

It’s a biscuit based crust with a smooth and silky chocolate ganache centre.  Yum!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

Look at those frills!  This makes an excellent centrepiece dessert, or even an afternoon tea… I may have had it for lunch at one point too… shh!!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

It’s quick, it’s simple, its packed full of chocolate.  You should definitely make this!

No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

Makes 1 8″ torte

300g chocolate biscuits (I actually used some of my Easy Chocolate Biscuits but you could use store bought too)
150g plain dark chocolate
150ml double cream
350g plain dark chocolate, broken into chunks
15g butter
50g white chocolate to decorate

  • Crush the biscuits into crumbs.  You can leave some chunks if you like but I prefer crumbs.
  • Melt the first 150g chocolate and mix with the biscuits.
  • Press evenly into a fluted ring (the one I use doesn’t have a base, it rests on a baking sheet and lifts off). Use the back of a spoon for a smooth surface.
  • Heat the double cream in a small pan until at a full rolling boil.
  • Put the 350g chocolate and butter in a mixing bowl.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter.
  • Leave it for a minute or two, then mix to form a smooth ganache with no lumps.  The cream should be hot enough to melt all of the chocolate if you squish it against the side of the bowl.
  • Pour the ganache into the biscuit shell.
  • Melt the white chocolate and drizzle or pipe over the top of the ganache to decorate.
  • Leave to set for at least 1 hour before serving.
    No Bake Chocolate Truffle Torte

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Spiced Chocolate Courgette Cake

It’s a familiar refrain at this time of year among those who like to grow their own veg… “Would you like some courgettes?” I have been lucky this year and I too can join this ritual with a bumper crop!  So what to do with this glut of courgettes?  Well, courgettes are one of my favourite vegetables.  So it was only natural that eventually I would put them in a cake!  This Spiced Chocolate Courgette Cake is deliciously, deeply chocolaty and ever so moist!

Spiced Chocolate Courgette Cake

The spices add a different dimension to this chocolate cake.  They’re not overpowering but instead add a warmth and depth to this rich chocolate cake.  I was inspired by Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate, one of my favourites as the spices are just so good there!

Spiced Chocolate Courgette Cake

The icing is beautifully smooth and silky and the hint of orange complements with spiced wonderfully.  I cut back on the amount of sugar in this recipe too as I just don’t think you need as much sugar as we’re used to putting in cakes.  Overall I feel happy calling this cake almost healthy!  It’s probably one of your five a day anyway!

Spiced Chocolate Courgette Cake

While you can definitely see the courgette in the uncooked mixture by the time it is cooked it has vanished like magic!  I honestly don’t think that anyone would know it was there if you didn’t tell them.  The crumb isn’t too dense either even though the cake is gloriously moist but without ever approaching brownie territory.

Spiced Chocolate Courgette Cake

Makes 1 x 23cm cake

2 medium sized courgettes, grated (500ml in a jug is what you need YMMV on the courgettes required!)
175ml sunflower oil
300g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
350g self raising flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp mixed spice

250g dark chocolate (I used a mixture of 50-80% as that’s what I had in the cupboard!)
25g butter
125ml orange juice

  • Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C  and grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin.
  • Grate your courgettes (if you have a food processor attachment then use this, its much easier and quicker!)
  • Put your courgettes in a sieve or colander and gently press to squeeze out some excess moisture.
  • Place the courgettes in a large jug, you need to have about 500ml of them.
  • If your jug is big enough (I use a 1l pyrex jug) then add the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla straight to this.  Give it all a good mix.
  • In a large mixing bowl add your flour, cocoa powder and mixed spice and mix it all together.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir thoroughly until all the pockets of flour have disappeared.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 45-60 minutes.  This cooking time will depend very much on the moisture content of your courgettes.  Check it at intervals, it’s done when there is no wobble left and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • To make the icing melt your chocolate and butter together in a bowl.  I use a microwave but you could do it in a bowl over a pan of boiling water if you prefer.
  • Add the orange juice and give it all a really good beating to combine everything together into a smooth icing.
  •  When the cake is cool remove it from the tin and unpeel the paper.
  • Spread the icing evenly over the surface of your cake and enjoy!

 

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Slightly healthier brownies! 

I have been playing around recently with trying out some natural sugar alternatives.  I’m not giving up sugar, no siree! However, I did come back from Canada with half a suitcase of maple syrup so I’m having a lot of fun finding new ways to use it and any health benefits are purely coincidental!

Maple Syrup Brownies

I found it really interesting how it affected the texture of the brownies.  Unsurprisingly without the solid sugar crystals there is no trace of the granular sugar feeling, it is a smooth, fudgey texture.  You still get the same chocolatey intensity though!  They also cooked more quickly I think.  All in all I feel that it was a very successful experiment.  I kept to just plain chocolate this time for a true base reading (I’m all about the science!) but I think it would take on any combination of flavours you wanted it to!  As ever with my brownies you can make these gluten free simply by substituting the flour for ground almonds.

Maple Syrup Brownies

Makes 12

200g unsalted butter
200g plain chocolate
3 large eggs
150g maple syrup
100g plain flour (or ground almonds)
40g cocoa powder

– Heat the oven to gas mark 5/190C and line a 7″ x 11″ brownie tin with baking paper.
– Melt the butter and the chocolate together then leave to cool a little. (Short sharp bursts in the microwave, stirring in between or slowly in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.)
– In a large jug mix the 3 eggs and the syrup until well combined.
– Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you go.  (Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot or you could cook your eggs!)
– Add the flour (or almonds) and cocoa powder and fold into the chocolate mixture.
– Pour into the prepared tin and level the surface.
– Bake for 30 minutes until just set in the centre.
– Allow to cool in the tray before slicing and serving.

 

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Mini Egg Flapjack

First off, let’s get one thing clear: There is no such thing as “Leftover Easter Eggs”.  There are simply Easter eggs you haven’t eaten yet.  All recipes that imply otherwise, as if you would accidentally forget about all of that chocolatey goodness waiting for you, annoy me.  However, in the spirit of being adventurous in your chocolate consumption I came up with these Mini Egg Flapjacks to take on my Easter Weekend Hike up Kinder Scout.  A good flapjack is hard to beat for giving you an energy boost and the Easter holiday was to good  an opportunity to pass up! Mini Egg Flapjack Makes 16 bars 100g butter 75g golden caster sugar 3 tbsp maple syrup 200g oats 50g rice crispies 50g plain flour 100g whole hazelnuts 50g chocolate Chips 90g Mini Eggs (1 bag), lightly bashed – Heat the oven to gas mark 4 * and line a brownie tin with baking paper. – Melt the butter, sugar and syrup together in a small pan until just melted and bubbling.  Don’t over boil unless you want hard, crunchy flapjack! – In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, rice crispies, flour and hazelnuts. – Stir the melted butter into tthe dry ingredients until no flour is left visible. – Add the chocolate chips and stir through the mixture. – Tip into the prepared baking tray and spread the mixture out evenly. – Scatter over the mini eggs and press the mixture down firmly to give an even surface. – Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until just golden brown. – Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin  for 10 minutes before lifting out the paper and slicing into bars. – Return to the tin to cool completely. Mini Egg Flapjack

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Caramel Brownies

Brownies are one of my quickest  and easiest go to recipes.  Not only are they simple to whip up by they satisfy any number of my chocolate and sugar cravings! There are endless variations to play with, my most recent have been these sinfully good Caramel Brownies!

Caramel Brownies

These are sticky and delicious.  The caramel melds nicely with the gooey brownie to give an almost Sticky Toffee like effect. Caramel Brownies

Makes 16

200g unsalted butter
200g plain chocolate
3 large eggs
250g golden caster sugar
100g plain flour (or ground almonds for gluten free version)
40g cocoa powder
1 packet caramels / toffees (at least 12 sweets)
150ml double cream
– Heat the oven to gas mark 5/190C and line a 7″x11″ brownie tin with baking paper.
– Melt the butter and the chocolate together then leave to cool a little. (Short sharp bursts in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water.)
– In a large jug mix the 3 eggs and the sugar until well combined.
– Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you go.  (Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot or you could cook your eggs!)
– Add the flour (or almonds) and cocoa powder and fold into the chocolate mixture.
– Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared tin.
– In a small saucepan melt the caramels and the cream together over a low heat to get a smooth caramel sauce.
– Pour the caramel mixture over the brownie mixture and swirl about to get ripples of caramel throughout your brownies.
– Bake for 30-45 minutes.
– Leave to cool in the tray then lift out the paper and slice into squares. Bloody brilliant warmed up with vanilla ice cream! Caramel Brownies

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