Who can resist an oatie cookie, especially one that’s crammed with gooey dark chocolate and chewy chunks of crystallised ginger? I know I certainly can’t, and neither can my children. They’re the perfect biscuit for a spot of baking with the kids on a wet Saturday afternoon and an ideal snack for when they get home after school – if there any are left from the weekend that is.
Continue reading “Oatie cookies with ginger and chocolate”
My oldest daughter has a thing for making the teeny-tiniest models out of Plasticine. She loves to create tiny food items, like burgers and cakes, and she recently made miniatures of the Blue Peter characters in order to try and win herself another BP badge.
For her current homework assignment, Jessie decided to bring two of her favourite activities, model-making and baking, together in the form of this ambitious chocolate chess cake, inspired by the Great British Bake Off and now Junior Bake Off.
New Horizons is the theme of her homework project and over the course of a month, she has to try her hand at a number of new things and write them up as a special report. As well as this monumental show-stopper of a bake, she’s also tried her hand at SLR photography, stop motion videos and is having a squash lesson from her dad at the weekend.
To be totally honest, I wasn’t entirely sure she’d make this baking experiment work. Why not start with flapjacks or a fridge cake? But work it most certainly did. Not only did it look suitably impressive, it was also extremely delicious too. Continue reading “Jessie’s chocolate orange chess cake”
Now, chocolate is not of course a complete stranger to savoury dishes so I can’t say I’ve invented something radically new here. In fancy restaurants I’ve been served sumptuous chocolate sauces with roast venison and partridge, while at home I’ve added chocolate to a chilli con carne. But I’ve never come across chocolate in a chutney before.
I have though tried, and very much enjoyed, a chutney featuring chocolate stout. Last Christmas, my not-so-secret Santa gift from my mate Sam in the office was a jar of chocolate stout, plum and chipotle jam from Ginger Beard’s Preserves. It was very, very good and got me wondering: if chocolate stout works in a chutney, then couldn’t chocolate itself work rather well too? It took me a few months to finally get around to it, but I eventually put my hypothesis to the test. Continue reading “Chocolate, apple and blackberry chutney”
National Chocolate Week is almost upon us. From 12 to 18 October 2015 people across the land will be celebrating and indulging in the joys of chocolate in all its forms (from three-course chocolate ‘experiences’ and chocolate cocktails to chocolate and meat pairing and even chocolate massage!) and you can fully expect your social media timelines to be chock-full of choccy-related banter and images. The excitement is already building – check out #nationalchocolateweek to see what I mean.
To get in on the chocolate action, I’ve teamed up with Elements for Life, the makers of incredible raw chocolate products and based just over the border from me in Wiltshire, to bring you this awesome chocolate giveaway – make your way down to the bottom of this post for the full lowdown on the delicious prizes up for grabs and how to enter.
Continue reading “Raw chocolate giveaway for National Chocolate Week”
Shhh! The lovely Karen Burns Booth from Lavender and Lovage is off galavanting around Canada at the moment, so I’ve snuck a recipe on her blog. Take a look here! Continue reading “Blondies with pistachio and cardamom”
When I gave this post the title ‘chocolate animals’ I was thinking of the lollipops we tested out at the weekend, but the description could equally apply to my two girls, who go wild, literally, for chocolate in all forms! Continue reading “Chocolate animals”
I feel obliged to issue a public health warning before I go any further with this post. This dessert is not for the faint-hearted and certainly not for anyone on a calorie-controlled diet. It’s extremely rich and something of a colossal beast, easily serving 12 to 14 people, so only make this if you’ve got the man, woman and child-power to tackle it, and be sure not to feed them too much beforehand. Continue reading “Chocolate cheesecake with blackberry cream”
Mother’s Day isn’t usually a big event in our house as it generally falls pretty close to my birthday. Some years it’s even fallen on my birthday.
This year I turn the big four-oh and I am being treated to a whole host of dinners and parties, which started last weekend with Saturday lunch at the outstanding Ethicurean and then pampering followed by tapas at the Lido in Bristol on Sunday. My other half is cooking us a fabulous Middle Eastern feast for us tomorrow (my actual birthday), as well as baking his infamous carrot cake. And then next weekend there will be a gathering of family and friends at the Thali Cafe in Southville, and who knows we might even venture out to a club on Saturday night – partly to prove I’ve still got the stamina despite my advancing years.
So this year I really don’t expect much on Mother’s Day. My family has organised quite enough for me already!
And so when my Mum came to stay for a long weekend at the end of February, I decided to celebrate Mother’s Day a little early but in her honour. Continue reading “Benedictine truffles for Mother’s Day”
Pancakes are always a popular weekend breakfast in our house, and then when you go and add chocolate into the mix, well, who doesn’t love chocolate? So these bad boys are always a winner.
Served with juicy berries (I always keep a stock in the freezer so we can them all-year-round) and a heavenly perfumed rosewater yoghurt and drizzled with syrup or honey, these simple pancakes are elevated to celebration status, perfect for Valentine’s Day, Shrove Tuesday and birthdays. Continue reading “Chocolate pancakes with berries & rose-scented yoghurt”
Now these truffles really won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but I personally rather liked the result of my latest exploits with chocolate. Continue reading “Salt and pepper chocolate truffles”