Mint Chocolate Martini

Creamy cocktail flavoured with chocolate and mint.

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I made this cocktail to show off the deliciously rich flavour of my cocoa nib vodka. The combination of double cream and mint syrup really bring out the chocolate flavour and make seriously indulgent drink.

This makes a fantastic after dinner treat and will definitely impress guests!

You could probably use any chocolate liquor instead if cocoa bin vodka, you might need to adjust the amount of syrup through!

Variations: I was thinking of making this a mocha martini by using some Tia Maria and a pain sugar syrup.

Ingredients: Serves one

  • 30ml cocoa nib vodka
  • 25ml double cream
  • 30ml mint syrup
  • 1tbsp cocoa nibs
  • ice
  • mint spring for garnish.

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To Make:

Place a few cubes of ice in a cocktail shaker, then add the cream, mint syrup, vodka and cocoa nibs.

Seal and shake hard for 30 seconds to fully incorporate the cream.

Strain into a chilled sherry or martini glass, and garnish with ice and a sprig of mint.

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Black Forest Cupcakes

Rich, chocolate cupcakes filled with a sweet cherry compote, topped with light, whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a fresh cherrythumb_DSC05624_1024 I love the combination of chocolate, cherries and cream, so as it’s cherry season I couldn’t resist making some black forest cupcakes.

These are a lot easier than making a full-on gateau, but they are still super decedant, and make a wonderful dessert. thumb_DSC05619_1024 This was a really lovely way to use the cherries, so if your looking for a cherry themed dessert then I definitely recommend these.

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday this week, hosted by Angie, Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Petra @ Food Eat Love. Happy Friday everyone!

Variations: To minimize the effort for these cupcakes, you could use a jar of shop-bought jam rather than making the compote. I also think that drizzling the cupcakes in melted dark chocolate would make them even more delicious!

thumb_DSC05616_1024 Ingredients: Makes 12 Cupcakes

The Sponge:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50ml milk

The Cherry Compote:

  • 150g cherries, pitted
  • 1tbsp sugar

The Topping:

  • 400ml whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • chocolate curls
  • 12 cherries

thumb_DSC05615_1024 To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12 hole tray with muffin cakes.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the eggs one at a time, followed by the cocoa powder. Finally add the flour and milk, mix to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the cases, until they are 2/3 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until cooked though.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. thumb_IMAG0612_1024

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The Cherry Compote:

In a small pan combine the cherries and sugar and cook over a high heat for 5-10 minutes, until the cherries begin to break down. Then transfer to a small food processor and blend to form a smooth mixture. Set aside to cool.

The Cream:

Whisk the double cream until it forms stiff peaks, then mix in the icing sugar. Spoon the cream into a piping bag with a circular nozzle.

Assembling:

Cut a hole into the top of each cupcake, a few cm wide and deep. Fill with a heaped tsp of the cherry compote.

thumb_IMAG0614_1024 thumb_IMAG0615_1024 Pipe a swirl of the whipped cream onto the top of each cupcake, finish with the chocolate curls and a fresh cherry.

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Chocolate and Banana Rolls

Sweet bread rolls filled with banana and rich dark chocolate, covered in melted chocolate drizzles.

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At the end of the week, I find myself (as usual!) with for a bunch of over ripe bannanas. The past few times I have used the bananas in cakes (banana milkshake cupcakes and salted caramel and banana blondies), so this time I decided to completely break with tradition and use the bananas in some bread!

It’s been a while since I made some sweet breakfast rolls so I thought I’d see how banana and chocolate swirls would turn out. And I would definately say it was a success!

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I think I might actually prefer these to cinnamon rolls, as all the chocolate just makes them that bit more luxurious and indulgent for breakfast!

I’m going to be taking these over to Fiesta Friday #72 this week hosted by Quinn @Dad Whats 4 Dinner and Naina @Spice in the City! Hope to see you there 🙂

Variations: You could use milk or white chocolate for a sweeter filling, and you could change the bananas to any other fruit, I think raspberries would be delicious!

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Rolls:

The Dough:

  • 500g Strong White Flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 12g Fast Action Yeast
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 250ml Milk
  • 1 Egg

The Filling:

  • 3 Bananas
  • 50 Butter
  • 50g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 100g Dark Chocolate

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To Make:

Combine the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, milk and egg in a large bowl, and mix to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl and prove for 1 hour.

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Combine the butter, sugar and coca powder in a small pan, and heat until melted and combined. Slice the bannana into thin rounds, and break the chocolate into chunks.

Turn out the proved dough, knock out the air and stretch into a large rectangle.

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Brush over the butter and sugar mixture in a thin layer, completely covering the dough. Then lay over the banana chunks and chocolate. Roll up the dough and divide into 12 rolls.

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Place the rolls on oiled baking trays, cover in clingfilm, and prove for a further hour.

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Preheat the oven to 180C, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

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Transfer to a wire rack to cool, serve as they are, or drizzle with some melted dark chocolate for an extra chocolatey finish!

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Chilli Chocolate Tart

Cinnamon pastry case, filled with a rich, dark chocolate filling, flavoured with fiery ancho chilli, warming cloves and cinnamon 

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I love chilli chocolate, but I have never attempted to make it, because I’ve heard too many horror stories about friends attempts that have gone disastrously wrong!
However, I came across a Tomisina Miers recipe for chilli chocolate truffles, and I have loved all of the recipes I have tried from her so far. Equipt with her recipe, I decided to be brave and trust her chocolate/chilli ratio!

I didn’t really fancy just making truffles, so I amalgamated the chilli chocolate truffle recipe with a Jamie Oliver recipe, for a salted chocolate tart.

And I must say I am SO pleased I tried this out because the tart was delicious! It was really rich and chcoclatey, but the added spices made it super exciting and exotic! I took this round to a friends for an afternoon treat and everyone really enjoyed it – although one person did stumble across a chilli seed at one point which looked rather painful, so make sure you grind the chilli up really really well! – If you need a dessert for a weekend dinner, then this would be a great recipe to try!

The tart can be served just on its own, as it so rich and flavourful, but I’m sure a dollop of double cream wouldn’t hurt!

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Variations: If you aren’t a chilli lover, you could use half the amount of chilli for a more subtle flavour, or you could leave it out all together and just use sea salt flakes, like the original Jamie recipe.

Ingredients: Serves 10

The Pastry Case:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 1tsp cinnamon

The Chocolate Filling:

  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 dried ancho chilli
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 8 cloves

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To Make

The Pastry:

Grease a 20cm pie dish, and preheat the oven to 180C

Combine the flour, cinnamon and icing sugar in a large bowl, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the water, 1 tbsp at a time, until the mixture comes together into a ball of dough.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and roll into a circle, about 5mm thick, and large enough to fit into the tin with an overhang. Transfer the rolled out pastry into the tin  and trim off the edges.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the edges have turned a light golden brown colour. Leave to cool, then remove from the tin and place on a cake stand or serving platter.

The Chocolate Filling:

In a spice grinder, grind the ancho chilli, and cloves to a fine powder.

Heat the double cream in a pan until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the dark chocolate until completely melted and smooth. then add the sugar and spices, mix until evenly distributed.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart shell, and leave to set at room temperature for 3-4 hours before serving.

Once set, dust the tart with cocoa powder (using a cookie cutter to get the heart shape), and serve!

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Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Mississippi Mud Pie

Thin Pastry case, filled with dark chocolate pudding, topped with a layer of sweet raspberry cream.

DSC05032 Mississippi mud pie is one of my favourite indulgent, desserts, I love the combination of the rich chocolate puddings and freshly whipped cream. I made this recipe a few years ago and it was delicious, so when I was deciding what dessert to make this weekend, I decided to make it again! I have based this on a Humming Bird Bakery recipe for the classic Mississippi Mud Pie, but I have used my own pastry recipe, changed the chocolate pudding a little bit, and added some raspberries into the topping.

DSC05015 I added the raspberries, because they are a  classic flavour combination, and I think their sharp fruitiness really helps to balance the rich pudding filling, making the pie really more-ish! Despite the fact that it looks amazing, it is a really easy to make dessert, so would be great to make for a dinner party with friends!

Variations: You can Leave the raspberries out of the cream topping for the classic version. Alternatively, mixing some coffee into the cream would make a delicious mocha pie.

DSC05017 Ingredients: Serves 8-10 The Pastry:

  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 50g Icing Sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 3-4tbsp water

The Filling:

  • 6 eggs
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • 1tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 200g Dark Chocolate
  • 30g Golden Syrup
  • 50g Butter
  • 100g Plain Flower

The Raspberry cream:

  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 1tbsp Icing Sugar
  • 100g Fresh raspberries

Topping:

  • Fresh raspberries
  • Grated chocolate

DSC05029 To Make:

The Pastry:

Grease a pie dish liberally and preheat the oven to 180°C Rub together the butter, flour and icing sugar until the mixture resembles bread crumbs, then mix in the water 1tbsp at a time, until the mixture comes together into a dough.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and roll out into a large circle, about 1cm thick. Transfer to the pie dish and trim off the excess pastry. Crimp the edges of the pie and prick the bottom with a fork.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until the bottom of the case has just started to colour.

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The Filling:

Melt the butter chocolate and golden syrup together in a small pan over a very low heat. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Then stir in the cocoa powder, chocolate mixture and flour.

Pour into the blind baked pastry case, and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until there is just a slight wobble in the middle of the tart. Leave to cool completely before topping.

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The Toping:

Whisk together the double cream and icing sugar, until it just begins to form soft peaks, then add the raspberries, and whisk for a further 30 seconds, until they are evenly distributed throughout the cream.

Spoon the cream over the top of the cooled pie and decorate with some fresh raspberries and grated chocolate. Cut into 8-10 slices and serve!

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Chocolate & Marshmallow, Easter Egg Cupcakes

Chocolate cupcakes, filled with a sweet marshmallow ‘egg’, topped with fondant icing and easter egg decorations.

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Yesterday was the easter cake and coffee morning at work, so I wanted to bake something extra-specially eastery to bring along. I just couldn’t decide what to make, until I had some inspiration when really hungry before lunch! I was thinking about how cool it could be to try and make a cupcake with an egg centre, a bit like a creme egg.

I’ve used a marshmallow icing on cupcakes before, and thought it would taste great and give the consistency I needed for the egg filling to look right, so that is what I have used here.

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I decided I wanted to decorate the cakes to look like old fashioned decorated eggs, so I’ve used a fondant icing base, and decorated it with the typical stripes and spots you see on decorated eggs.

The coffee morning was really fun and there were some amazing cakes. Here is a picture of my friend’s white chocolate and coconut cakes with chick decorations, made with mini eggs and yellow fondant icing, how cute! And really simple to do!

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My cakes went down very well, I got lots of compliments on them, and everyone was really excited when they bit into them and revealed the egg centre.

So if you want to impress your friends and family with some Easter treats, then this is the recipe for you!

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Ingredients: Makes 20 Cupcakes

The Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 150g Butter
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 50ml Milk

The Marshmallow Filling:

  • 150g Granulated Sugar
  • 40ml Water
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1tsp Orange Food Colouring

The Decoration:

  • 300g White Fondant Icing
  • Writing Icing, in a few different colours

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To Make:

The Cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake tray with decorative cupcake cases.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – this should take about 5 minutes, then fold in the eggs one at a time, with the cocoa powder. Once combined, fold in the flour and milk, until the mixture is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, until 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until cooked though. Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

The Marshmallow Filling:

Combine the sugar and water in a pan and cook over a medium heat until the temperature reaches 120°C on a sugar thermometer (or until it has been bubbling for about 5 minutes).

While the sugar syrup is cooking, whisk together the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then continue to whisk, as you pour in the hot sugar syrup.

Continue whisking for a further few minutes, until the mixture in smooth and glossy.

Transfer 1/3 of the mixture to a separate bowl and stir though the food colouring, until it is an egg yolk orange colour.

Assembling:

Cut a 3cm wide hole into the top of each cupcake.

Spoon 1tsp of white marshmallow into the hole, then use a spoon to create a hollow in the middle of the white marshallow, and add 1/2 a tsp of the orange marshmallow.

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Roll out the fondant icing to about 1cm thickness. Cut out 20 disks of about the same size as the tops of the cupcakes (I used the plastic container for the cupcake cases as a guide!).

Spread a tin layer of white marshmallow over the top of each cupcake, and then stick on the fondant icing disk, pressing it down at the edges, to completely cover the cake.

Use the writing icing to create easter egg patterns on the top of each cupcake – I’ve mainly used zig-zag lines and dots.

Serve!

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Dark Chocolate, Amaretto and Raspberry Mouse

Rich, creamy, dark chocolate mousse, made with a dash of Amaretto sweetness, covering a layer of sharp, fresh raspberries.

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If you love chocolate as much as me, then this recipe is one you NEED to try! I am not very experienced in making mousses, but they are really easy to put together. There is no cooking involved, just melting and whisking, so it’s quite difficult to go wrong!

Another big plus of this recipe is that it is gluten free, which is the main reason I came up with it! My sister is gluten intolerant, so I wanted to make something she would be able to eat.

I have spiced up my chocolate mouse recipe by putting some fresh raspberries in the bottom of the pots, which provide a welcome sharp note, and I have added a swig of Amaretto, which gives an extra hint of sweetness.

One thing I would say about this recipe is that it is very rich. I  made very generous portions, (I was really full after eating one!), so you could easily make this into about 10 smaller portions, if you aren’t as greedy as me! I served mine after a beef fondue dinner, and they finished it off perfectly, so if your cooking for guests who love chocolate, then this recipe is for you!

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Variations: The dark chocolate could be exchanged for white, to make a white chocolate and raspberry mouse, and the raspberries could be swapped for another fruit such as strawberries or orange.

Ingredients: Makes Seven Large Pots

  • 300g Dark Chocolate
  • 3 Eggs, separated
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 100g Butter
  • 2tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 2tbsp Amaretto
  • 50ml Milk

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To Make:

Make sure you have 7-8 dishes or wine glasses ready to spoon your mousse into.

Weigh out the chocolate, butter and milk into a heatproof bowl, place over a pan of simmering water, until the chocolate melts.

Whisk the egg yolks and amaretto into the chocolate.

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Meanwhile, whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks.

Whisk the egg whites until they form stuff peaks, then add the caster sugar. Continue to whisk for a few minutes until glossy.

Fold the cream and chocolate into the egg whites, bit at a time, with a large metal spoon, until fully incorporated. Make sure not to knock out all the air!

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Put five raspberries into the bottom of each dish, mask up with a fork to form a kind-of purée.

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Spoon the chocolate mousse mixture over the top of the raspberries, until each dish is almost full.

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Chill the mousses in the fridge for at least four hours before serving.

Dust the top of each mousse with cocoa powder and decorate with fresh raspberries.

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Serve after dinner, straight out of the fridge, delicious!

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