Tag Archives: Chocolate
Chocolate and Orange Drizzle Cake
Last Sunday yet again I was asked to bake a Lemon Drizzle Cake. Don’t get me wrong, this is a lovely cake but after two weeks of baking it every other day I’ve decided it was time for something new. I didn’t want to disappoint nor, for safety reasons stray too far from the requested type of cake, so I decided to bake a “off spin” drizzle cake, or in cook-speak take it to the next level. It was my first attempt and I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out but in the end I needn’t have worried as it was quite something if I may say so myself; a bit more moist and sweater than a lemon version but extremely tasty and satisfying.
I present to you the Chocolate and Orange Drizzle Cake.
For the cake:
- 3 eggs
- 150g self-raising flour
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g unsalted butter, soften
- 1tsp baking powder
- Zest of one large orange
- 1tbs of fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2tbs chocolate shavings
For the orange drizzle:
- 50g granulated sugar
- Juice of one large juicy orange
The above ingredients will make a cake that fits perfectly in an 8” loaf tin.
Preheat the oven to 180C fan.
Grease and line your baking tin, or just grease it.
In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients being: flour, sugar, chocolate shavings and baking powder; add zest from one large orange, soften butter, eggs and fresh squeezed orange juice – mix all ingredients until smooth.
Pour into your earlier prepared loaf tin.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40-45min or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
Prepare your drizzle by mixing the sugar with the orange juice. “Stab” your cake repeatedly with a toothpick and then slowly drizzle it with your mixture allowing it to soak in deep inside the cake.
Let it cool completely.
Cut, serve and enjoy!
Filed under What's cooking
Baking Mad! – Quick and Easy Chocolate Brownies
Just before the weekend Baking Mad sent me a lovely box of baking goodies… I had no choice but to bake something 🙂
They have an amazing selection of recipes on the website but I wanted to bake some brownies. Months ago I bought myself a “perfect brownie” pan set; it supposes to do it all – bake, slice and serve. I’ve never used it and I really wanted to try it out… so the choice was made – we are going to have some brownies!
I picked something quick and easy as you can’t go wrong with some Chocolate Brownies.
- 150g Butter (unsalted)
- 250g Dark chocolate
- 175g Unrefined light muscovado sugar (we use Billington’s)
- 75g Plain white flour
- 75g Almonds (ground)
- 3 Eggs large
Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan, gas mark 3).
Grease and line a cake tin. I actually just greased my one slightly as the box said it should be non-stick, so in the spirit of saving the planet I decided to save some grease proof paper 😉
Place all of the chocolate into a bowl and add the butter. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water; remember to make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir gently until melted. Remove the bowl from the pan and cool slightly (we left it off the heat for about 5 minutes).
Beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture using an electric mixer.
Add the eggs one at a time until all combined.
Sift in the flour and beat until the mixture is smooth.
Finally add the almonds and mix well.
Pour the mix into the tin and bake for 30 minutes or until the skewer inserted into the brownie comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool.
Now was the time I was waiting for… time to test my perfect brownie tray… cutting the brownies…
So what do you think? Not perfect but much easier and quicker than doing it with a knife.
… at this point your brownies are ready; make a cuppa and enjoy!
Filed under What's cooking
Baking with Stork – Chocolate and Orange Cupcakes
On Monday I along with eleven other bloggers spent most of the day in the Unilever Kitchen.
First thing was we had the opportunity to learn some interesting facts about tea; this session was presented by the lovely Jane Pettigrew. Afterwards we met Marco Pierre White who shared with us his hints and tips on cooking (I will write about this part at a later date). And finally we did some baking with Sue Batty, a Stork expert baker.
The whole day was fantastic but the baking part was the most fun, just simply because it was free form baking. We were all supposed to bake cupcakes but specifically their flavourings and decorations were totally up to us.
We were provided with some recipe sheets but I don’t think anyone used them; everyone was just running wild with their flavour combinations and choices of icing.
I believe all the cupcakes were based on this basic recipe, which will make 12.
- 115g Stork tub
- 115g caster sugar
- 140g self-raising flour
- 2 eggs; medium size
The rest is up to you 🙂
I decided on chocolate and orange cupcakes but as I have never used orange blossom water before I erred on the side of caution and so didn’t put enough in my mix so my cupcakes ended up being chocolate with only a slight hint of orange.
I had to change the basic recipe as stated above to be suitable for my creation. I’ve used:
- 115g Stork tub
- 115g caster sugar
- 115g self-raising flour
- 3 eggs; medium size
- 2tbs of good quality cocoa powder
- 50g of crushed dark chocolate
- 5ml of orange blossom water
- 50g of melted dark chocolate and 50g of melted milk chocolate
To make this recipe work even better Sue suggested some small changes – add 1/2tsp of baking powder, this will help with the raising as the cocoa powder makes them quite heavy and then add an additional 5ml of orange blossom water, to achieve a more orangey flavour. The zest of an orange added to the mix would have also elevated them to the next level.
Place all cupcake ingredients except for the crushed chocolate into a mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until everything is just combined. Add the crushed chocolate and spoon the finished mixture into 12 paper muffin cases.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes or until soft and firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
Melt 100g of chocolate and slowly pour over your cupcakes.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy… as they say.
And if you are wondering what the other bloggers baked here is a selection of some of their lovely cupcakes baked on the day.
I didn’t manage to ninja a sample of all cupcakes nor did I manage in the hussle an bussle of the day to take photos of everyone’s creations, so I do apologise if I missed yours.
Also I would like to send a big thank you to Rose @Freycob who investigated which cupcake belongs to which blogger.
Thank you for the great day guys!
It was a pleasure to meet you all!
Filed under What's cooking
What’s Cooking – Chocolate and Jam Wafers
This is a recipe from my childhood. Every family gathering my auntie would indulge us with her famous Chocolate and Jam Wafers. It’s weird but at the time I never asked her for the recipe and thus never attempted to make them… That is until a few months back. As I do not live in Poland any more I don’t have a lot of occasions for tasting her wafers so I thought it was time for me to start making them myself.
So here it is – Chocolate and Jam Wafers – just as I remember them from my childhood.
- 1 pack of dry wafer sheets*
- 250g unsalted butter
- 200g sugar
- 200g powdered milk
- 5tbs cocoa powder
- 125ml water
- ½ jar of jam**
*This might not be so easy to find but if you have a Polish shop close by I am sure they will stock it, they are called “Andruty”. They come in packs of five and are just large wafer sheets rather like pasta sheets, but bigger.
**Ideally you need a jam which isn’t too sweet. The idea is to break the sweetness of the chocolate. I used a Morello Cherry Jam from Mackays and it worked perfectly. You can find it in your local Asda store.
In a cooking pot melt the butter.
Once your butter has melted and started to foam add water, sugar and cocoa powder (to make your chocolate mix more luxurious you can add some chocolate shavings), stir well and bring it to boil.
Put aside and allow it to cool for a while.
Once your mixture is hand warm, add the powdered milk into it and stir well. Ideally you want to get rid of any “chunks” of milk powder so whisk well. You are aiming for a smooth and bits free mixture.
At this point your mixture should be ready so all you have left to do is to put it all together.
If you look at the above picture, you will see two different textures of your wafer sheet. It is important to place the side with bigger holes facing upwards. This way more mixture will get into holes making your creation perfectly moist and yummy.
So let’s build!
Take sheet one of your wafers and place big holes uppermost.
We will start with a layer of jam. Spread the jam around ensuring that you are going to the very edge of the wafer. Do not leave any dry or uncovered spaces. Concurrently don’t layer it on too thickly or the finished result will be very sweet and maybe sickly. You are aiming for a nice thin even layer.
Once this is done, place the second piece of wafer on top of your jam layer, still remembering to place it big holes up.
Cover with your chocolate mixture to the same extent you did with the jam.
Repeat this layering process with the chocolate until you are left with just one dry piece of wafer.
The last piece goes other way around – meaning the large holes will go face down and touch the chocolate layer, giving us a nice and even finish on both sides of the wafer.
Now comes a very important part. You have to turn your creation upside down. This will allow the jam and chocolate fillings to seep into and coat each neighbouring wafer sheet. Turn it upside down and place something big flat and heavy on top. Just make sure that whatever you place is at least the size of the waffle itself so it will weight down evenly, we have found a couple of cookbooks do the trick lovely.
Leave for few hours. If you have a space in the fridge, you can place it in the fridge, but it is not essential.
After a few hours when all the filling has had time to spread evenly, you are ready to cut your wafer into your desired shape and portions.
Ideally for cutting you want to use a large and very sharp knife. If your knife gets dirty, wipe it clean before you cut the next piece.
Place your wafer in an airtight container so it can stay fresh for longer. Again, if you have space in the fridge then pop hem in there for storage however it can live on the kitchen top just as well.
I like just a wafer on its own but Mark thinks that it is a perfect companion to be served with ice-creams 🙂
So what do you think?
Would this creation appeal to you?
Filed under What's cooking
Baking with Soreen – Chocolate Soreen Flapjacks
As you all know we are huge Soreen fans. For us, Soreen is good for any occasion and we can never get enough. Breakfast, lunch, afters or a late night snack… there is always something to pick from the selection which will be ideal to stop those tummy rumbles.
A few days ago I was introduced to a lovely Chocolate Soreen Flapjack recipe and I would like to share it with you. Just watch the video and follow these easy steps.
And if you didn’t make any notes… here you go… all written down nicely just for you.
- 1 loaf of Soreen Original malt loaf
- 100g butter
- 25g caster sugar
- 200g porridge oats
- 150g dark chocolate (always worth weighing out a bit more so there’s some to nibble on)
- 5 tablespoons golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas4.
Put the butter in a pan and over a low heat stir until it melts.
Once the butter has melted, sprinkle in the caster sugar, then spoon in the sticky golden syrup. Mix until you get a gooey paste.
Add the crumbly porridge oats and ‘give it a good stir’.
Next up it’s the star of the recipe, the Soreen loaf. Cut this into small chunks and plop it into the mixture. Spoons at the ready… stir again.
Evenly spread the mixture into a pre-greased baking tray and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Set the timer, make a cup of tea and put your feet up while the oven does the hard work.
Once the timer has pinged, check to see if the flapjack has turned a lovely golden brown. Remove them and leave to cool.
Melt the dark chocolate in a large bowl over a pan of hot water. Keep stirring all the time so no lumps or bumps pop up. Now is a good time to nibble the extra chocolate.
Pour the hot melted chocolate on top of the flapjack and leave to set. Yes, that is what I said LEAVE it to set, no picking or poking fingers.
The chocolate needs around one hour to set. So put it out of sight and out of reach.
Set the timer again for one hour. When you hear that ping, it’s time to grab your knife and cut yourself a rather large slice of your very own Chocolate Soreen Flapjack.
*Picture, video and the recipe courtesy of Soreen.
Filed under What's cooking
Thank You Teacher
Not long now and the kids will break for summer holidays, which means it is time to thank the teachers.
There are a 100 different ideas and crafts project around in order to show appreciation to our teachers – I particularly like this Pinterest board – Teacher Gift Ideas. We can chose from handmade cards, lovely notes printed and stuck into small gifts, flower pots, pencil pots etc etc but what about the kids who aren’t into crafts so much?
We are all different and some kids simply do not enjoy crafts – they hate drawing, they aren’t good with colouring and don’t even get me started on any work involving scissors.
So what is the perfect gift idea for those children? The ones who can’t just work their magic and create something nice? What should they give to the teacher as a thank you for looking after them all year long?
When I was a child we always gave flowers… at the time I didn’t question it, I was given flowers by my parents and I gave them to my teachers, it was something that everyone around me did, so it was ok. But as I got older I started to question this weird, to my eyes anyways, tradition. Flowers are beautiful I agree but if you get 50 or so bunches of them in one day you simply can’t appreciate them all. I remember in my secondary school we used to help some teachers to carry all their flowers home, as there was so many of them that they couldn’t do it by themselves. By the end of secondary school I didn’t want to give flowers any longer, I thought that this is simply a waste of money. I remember asking my parents to get me a small box of chocolates and a rose for each teacher. Yes, I stuck out a bit from the crowd but I am sure most of teachers had more pleasure from a lovely piece of chocolate that yet another bunch of flowers.
Sorry I got a bit carried away there with a trip down memory lane, so back to the topic at hand… teacher thank you gifts for none crafting kids…
Flowers might be a nice idea, especially if you can take a nice walk the day before and pick them up yourself… a small bunch of wild flowers from the fields… oh this would be a lovely gift.
Cards – they are always good in the UK it seems. If you can’t make one just buy one.
Or my favourite choice – chocolate.
There are a lot of chocolates on the market. You can pick a straight forward bar of chocolate or try to surprise your teacher with something more sophisticated. Lately we were sent a box of Guylian Sea Shells Selection. They look amazing and taste delicious (creamy, light Belgian chocolate) and you can get a small box for just a £1. Wouldn’t they make a perfect thank you gift? And there is a plus; at such a low price kids can use their pocket money to get them for their favourite teacher.
What is your idea of a perfect Thank You gift for the teacher?
Do you thank your teachers? Or do you think they are doing the job they are paid to do?
Filed under What's new
Self indulgent – hot chocolate (or a cold one)
We all have weaknesses, for me it is chocolate. White chocolate, milk chocolate or a dark chocolate, with or without nuts… you pick it and I will love it.
Yes as a semi enlightened and well read person I do know what too much chocolate can do to your body, so I have to limit myself… sometimes this is not so easy… or I have to compromise… I found that having a mug of a hot chocolate or a chilled chocolate drink can make my craving go away… at least for a while 😉
Like with all cravings if we want something badly we want it now, right now so making hot chocolate from scratch is not an ideal option… and here come the perfect solution – powdered hot chocolate drink… all you need is to add some milk or water and it is done!
I had a chance to try some new hot chocolate drinks made by Mars. The selection is very impressive and everyone can pick their favourite I am sure of it.
- Mars hot or cold
- Galaxy hot or cold
- Maltesers add milk or water
- Galaxy Carmel add milk or water
- Galaxy Ripple with chocolate pieces
- Milky Way Magic Stars with chocolate pieces
And for fans of chilled drinks there is an awesome selection of thick shakes, which come in flavour matching the famous chocolate sweets: Galaxy, Mars and Maltesers.
For me it was The Perfect review product. Tasty and chocolaty! Yummy
We tried them all but I think we had the most fun with Milky Way Magic Stars and guess what there are star shaped pieces of chocolate inside the pack? How cool is that!
All these drinks (excluding chilled shakes of course) come in a handy treat-size pouch. Each pouch contains 126g-175g of powdered chocolate which will make 7 servings. It can stand up, when you need it too or it can be flatted down for storage. Each pouch is resealable, so your hot chocolate powder stays fresh until next time you have a need for it. They are available at Tesco, Asda and Ocado, but I am sure very shortly more stores will stock it.
I have found the perfect solution to fight my chocolate cravings. Every morning I drink milk only coffee (no water included) and I add a spoon of my hot chocolate to it… in one drink I get both caffeine and chocolate mix – perfect start to every day.
Are you a fan of a hot chocolate?
* I received a selection of products to try for free. All opinions about the products are honest and my own.
Filed under Reviews, What's new