Vanilla and Strawberry Cupcakes
110g/4oz butter or marg, softened at room temperature
110g/4oz caster sugar
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
110g/4oz SR flour
1-2 tbsp milk
For the butter icing
140g/5oz butter, softened
280g/10oz icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
a few drops vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time.
Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.
Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
For the buttercream icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
Then add the remaining icing sugar with one tablespoon of the milk, adding more milk if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto the cup cakes in a large swirl. For strawberry cakes add a little strawberry sauce to the icing.
Su's Cherry and Chocolate Trifle
Su, my sister, absolutely loves this trifle. It's a basic trifle recipe but instead of plain sponge you use chocolate cake and the custard has chocolate in it too.
You need about 400g chocolate cake which you break up roughly and place in the bottom of your serving dish. Pour 150ml of cherry brandy or whatever you prefer over the cake. Pour over a drained 410g tin of cherries. Or you can leave out the alcohol and use the juice from the cherries.
Combine 250g mascarpone cheese with 400g ready made custard, add 150g of melted Hot Chocolates dark chocolate . Spoon the custard over the fruit and cake. At this stage you can either finish the trifle with a scattering of grated chocolate or if you want to be really indulgent top with 1/2 pint of whipped cream and then the grated chocolate.
Mum's Never Fail Chocolate Cake
Sift together: 7oz SR flour, 8oz sugar, 3/4 tsp salt
Rub in: 4oz marg
Stir in: 3 beaten eggs, 5tbsp evaporated milk, 5tbsp water, 6oz melted Hot Chocolates 72.5% organic dark , 1 tsp vanilla essence
Beat well, use a 9" cake tin and place in oven for 35 mins at Gas mark 3-4 or 170C
Icing: melt 2oz butter with 4oz organic dark chocolate and add icing sugar to taste. Pour over cake when the cake is cool. Yummy!
Ruth's Chocolate Profiteroles
For the choux pastry:
2 oz butter, qtr pint milk and water, 2.5 oz plain flour, sieved, 2 eggs, beaten
For the filling:
Half pint double cream
For the chocolate icing:
8 oz icing sugar, 4oz Hot Chocolates 72.5% organic dark , 1 tbsp rum, 1-2 tbsp warm water or melted chocolate of your choice
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 7.
Put the butter, milk and water into a small pan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and add all the flour at once and beat the mixture until the dough comes away from the sides. Gradually beat in the eggs until the mixture is thick and glossy. Pipe or spoon 20 blobs onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 mins, then reduce heat to Mark 5 for a further 15-20 mins or until golden brown. Split one side of each bun so the steam can escape.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Whip the cream until thick and fill each bun. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Stir in the rum and sufficient warm water to make a thick glace icing. Ice each bun, pile into a pyramid and serve. Alternatively use melted chocolate of your choice instead of chocolate icing.
Chocolate and Whisky Bread and Butter Pudding
Good quality chocolate and whisky make great partners in any number of ways. One of my favourites is this version of bread and butter pudding which I have made up myself.
Cut off the crusts of 10 slices of white bread, I use quite thick slices, and then cut each slice into 2-4 triangles. Bring to a simmer a pan 1/3 full of water and remove from the heat. Sit a mixing bowl over the pan and in it melt 200g Hot Chocolates Ecuadorian 70% dark chocolate , one large tin 410ml evaporated milk, 6 tablespoons of Scotch whisky, 4 oz sugar, 3oz butter, one level teaspoon of cinnamon and one half teaspoon of mace or nutmeg. Let it take its time, don't get impatient with the melting process if you need to reheat the water do so but away from the chocolate mix.
Blend together 3 large eggs. Once the chocolate mix is blended take it off the pan and add the eggs to it stirring constantly. Into a large shallow dish pour enough chocolate mix to cover the bottom, about 1cm deep. Place slices of bread, overlapping slightly, on top. Pour 1/2 of the remaining mix over the bread and add another layer of bread. Finish with the rest of the chocolate. Press the pudding down lightly with the back of a metal spoon so that all the bread is coated in chocolate.
Cover the dish with clingfilm and leave in a cool place for up to 48 hours for the flavours to develop. When you're ready to cook it, remove the clingfilm and place in a preheated oven gas mark 4, 180C for 35 minutes. The pudding should rise slightly and be crusty on the top. Serve with your choice of cream/icecream. You will not be disappointed, neither will your guests if you have any!
White Chocolate and Raspberry Tart
You will need a 23cm or 9" shallow flan tin which should be greased with butter. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas mark 5 or 170C if fan assisted. Roll out 350/375g shortcrust pastry, I use ready made when I am too busy to make my own. Place the pastry in the case making sure that it is resting comfortably in the tin pressed up against the walls and base of the tin so that there is no stretching or trapped air. trim the edge of the pastry by rolling the rolling pin over the top and finishing off with a knife. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, this will stop it from inflating like a balloon when you cook it. Put the pastry in the fridge for one hour to rest.
Place greaseproof paper over the pastry and fill the paper with dried beans, pasta or rice to weigh it down, this is called "baking blind". Bake for 15 mins then remove the greaseproof paper and beans and cook for a further 10 mins until golden and dry. There should be no sogginess to the pastry. Leave to cool.
Blend together 250g mascarpone cheese, 250g fromage frais, a few drops of vanilla extract and add 200g melted Hot Chocolates white chocolate buttons . When you blend these ingredients the chocolate can curdle so add it gradually to the other three. Place approx. 250g raspberries on top of the pastry. If you are using frozen or have washed the raspberries make sure they are as dry as possible before putting on top of the pastry, otherwise it will become soggy. Cover with the blended cream and chill in the fridge. When you are ready to serve cover with Hot Chocolates dark chocolate shavings.
You can serve this tart with cream but I have found that everyone loves it just as it is.
Tiramisu or as my nephew calls it "Terrormisu"
Until I made my own Tiramisu I really didn't like it much. It always seemed very sweet and sickly whether it was in a restaurant or from the supermarket. I was inspired to make my own when I came across it in my good friend, Ricardo's restaurant, I was persuaded to try it and absolutely loved it. The secret - make your own. You can make it as sweet as you like and you can control the amount of alcohol and coffee you add.
Put three egg yolks into a bowl, add 50g caster sugar and beat until the mixture is creamy and pale. Add gradually 250g softened mascarpone cheese and blend well. Whip your three egg whites up until they form soft peaks and add to the cheese mix. Depending on your serving dish lay out one layer of lady's fingers biscuits, brush with a blend of 150ml strong instant/espresso coffee and brandy/whisky/rum to taste. Gently spread half the cheese mix on top, add another layer of biscuits and coffee then the cheese mix again. Finish off with a sprinkling of Hot Chocolates extra brute cocoa powder and chill in the fridge until ready to serve. You will not need anything with this dessert it is fabulous on its own.
White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Fudge
Ever been scared of making fudge? Well don’t be with this recipe, it does n’t actually reach the sugar boil point that you normally need for fudge and is, therefore, much quicker and easier to make. You will need:
300g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
pinch of salt
125ml evaporated milk
1 vanilla bean (split in two length ways scrape out seeds)
250g Hot Chocolates white chocolate buttons
100g macadamia/hazelnuts nuts
Line a square cake tin about 8 inch, with greaseproof paper. Make sure the paper goes up the sides for ease of lifting out later. Melt the sugar, butter, salt, evaporated milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan, bring to the boil gently, stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 mins, keep stirring. Remove from the heat and lift out vanilla bean strips. Stir in chocolate buttons until completely melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and pour into tin. Leave to cool before putting in fridge to set properly. ]
This fudge will cut easily and have a silky smooth texture. Store in the fridge, wrapped in greaseproof paper for up to two weeks.
Black Forest Roulade
6 medium eggs, separated
125g caster sugar
1 680g jar stoned morello cherries, drained weight 350g
125g Hot Chocolates organic dark chocolate buttons
250g mascarpone cheese
100g Greek yoghurt
Hot Chocolates cocoa powder and icing sugar to dust
Line a 23×33cm (9×13in) Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper. Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave for 1 min, take out stir and repeat once until melted. Cool. Place egg yolks and 125g sugar in a large bowl and whisk until thick and creamy. Whisk in melted chocolate.
In a clean bowl, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Lightly fold into the chocolate mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray and level the surface. Bake at 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4 for 20min or until firm to the touch. Sprinkle caster sugar over the roulade. Put a piece of greaseproof paper over the roulade followed by a cooling tray turned upside down.
Turn the whole roulade and trays upside down so that the baking tray is now on the top. Lift off the baking tray and then carefully peel off the greaseproof paper. Cover with a damp cloth. Leave to cool for 30min.
Beat together the mascarpone and yoghurt add some caster sugar to taste. Spread the cream mixture over the cold roulade and scatter the cherries on top. Roll up from one of the narrow ends, using the paper to help. This is really difficult and the roulade may well split. Don’t panic, even if it does split keep rolling and pull the paper away. Chill for 30min. Dust with cocoa powder and icing sugar. It will taste absolutely delicious however it looks!
White Hot Chocolate with Cardamom
This recipe makes enough for 4 really delicious mugs. 1 litre milk, 200g Hot Chocolates white chocolate buttons , 8 cardamom pods crushed, 4teasp cornflour mixed with a little milk. Put all the ingredients except the chocolate in a pan and bring to the boil stirring with a balloon whisk. Once boiled take off the heat and stir in the chocolate. Leave to cool, to remove the cardamom strain the mixture into a jug and keep in the fridge until needed. Heat just as much as you want at a time. This recipe is very rich so you may want to make smaller quantities?!
Chocolate and Banana Bread
150g sunflower marg, plus extra for greasing
150g dark muscovado sugar
3 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
50g SR and 250g Plain organic flours
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
4 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
75g Hot Chocolates organic milk chocolate buttons, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Lightly butter and line a 2 litre loaf tin. In a large bowl use an electric whisk to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating all the time. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Beat well, then gradually add the milk. Fold the bananas into the mixture with the chopped chocolate. Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and level the top.
Once in the oven your cake should rise considerably but not flow over the sides. Bake for 30 mins at 160 reduce temperature to 155 for fifteen minutes then reduce again to 150 for another 15. After one hour check the cake by opening the door and pulling the tray out without removing completely from the oven. Test the cake with a skewer if it comes out clean it is ready otherwise return to the oven and raise the temp to 155 for another ten minutes and test again. Allow to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.
Homemade Chocolate Sorbet
180g caster sugar
50g Hot Chocolates extra brute cocoa
100g Hot Chocolates organic milk chocolate buttons
Put 500ml water in a pan and melt the sugar gently stirring constantly. Bring to the boil remove from heat and add the cocoa and chocolate. Using a balloon whisk stir until everything is melted and smooth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil but only just as you see little bubbles appearing on the surface. Immediately remove and place pan in a sink of iced water to cool quickly. Add 50g of chocolate chips for texture if desired. If you have an ice cream maker you can now put the mixture in and churn for 20 mins or until set. Otherwise, pour the mixture into a freezer proof container and freeze for 2 hours. Take the container out of the freezer and stir the mixture up until thick and smooth. Return to the freezer. Repeat the process two more times if possible and leave to freeze overnight.
Swedish White Chocolate Cake
200g hot chocolates white chocolate buttons
200g caster sugar
a teaspoon vanilla extract
100ml sour cream
120g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
50ml liqueur eg. Advocaat, Pear cognac, or other fruity cognac
Topping: 100ml whipping cream
200g hotchocolates white chocolate buttons
Turn the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a cake tin (24 cm in diameter). Melt the butter. Break the chocolate and add to the butter, stir until all is melted. Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until white and fluffy. Add the sour cream and the butter/chocolate mix to the eggs and sugar. Mix the flour and the baking powder and add this to the mixture. Lastly, add the booze. Pour into the tin and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Leave the cake in the tin to rest for at least 30 minutes before turning it out onto a plate to cool completely.
To make the topping, heat the cream and stir in the chocolate broken into pieces. Pour in the liquor. Let the mixture cool down slightly before pouring onto the cake. Decorate with berries of your choice. Enjoy!
Hot Chocolate Christmas Pudding
Not everyone likes Christmas pudding but everyone likes puddings so here is a chocolate alternative to the traditional pud which takes only 6 minutes to cook!
125 g/4oz butter and extra for greasing
125 g/4oz sugar
125 g/4oz S.R.flour
75 g/3oz hot chocolates extra brute cocoa
150 g/5oz hot chocolates buttons dark/milk
3 medium eggs
You will need: a 900ml/1½ pint pudding basin, with greased base and sides lined with greaseproof paper
In a food mixer, blend butter, sugar, flour and cocoa. With mixer running, add eggs one at a time. Remove bowl from the mixer and gently stir in chocolate buttons. When mixture is all combined, turn it into pudding basin, smooth down, cover with cling film and microwave on high for 6 mins. Test the pudding with a cake skewer through the middle. It should come out clean except for melted chocolate. Turn the pudding out on to a plate and serve with ignited brandy over the top and cream/ice cream on the side. Yummy!
Chocolate Orange Gingerbread
This cake is very quick and easy to make which I love. I am not very good at complicated recipes with too many stages, the fewer the better is my philosophy. As the cake cooks it will fill your kitchen with the most beautiful aroma of chocolate, spice and orange, the perfect natural room fragrance!
For the cake
• 100g butter • 100g hot chocolates dark chocolate buttons • 75g dark muscovado sugar • 100ml golden syrup • ¼ pt milk • Grated zest 1 orange • 175g plain flour • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda • 2 round teasp ground ginger • 1 round teasp ground cinnamon • 1 large egg
For the topping
• 100g butter • 75g hot chocolates dark chocolate buttons • Juice 1 orange • 50g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/gas mark 3. Grease and line a 7in square baking tin with greaseproof paper. Melt the butter, chocolate, sugar, syrup, milk and zest together in a pan over a gentle heat. Sift flour, bicarb and spices into a large mixing bowl. Once melted add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and beat well. Add the egg and beat again. Pour mixture into the tin. Tap the pan on the work surface to allow excess air bubbles to rise to the top. Bake in the oven for exactly 30 mins, test cake with a skewer in the centre, if it does not come out clean leave for another five mins and keeping testing until skewer is clean. Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins then empty out on to a wire tray to cool completely. Place cake on serving dish.
For the topping, melt the butter, chocolate, icing sugar and orange juice in a small pan over a gentle heat stirring all the time. Pour over the cake and eat when cold, if you can wait! Sharon