Category Archives: Chocolate

Sweet Treats – Vegan Chocolate Cake

Without stating the obvious, there are all sorts of reasons why you should have this recipe handy.

It’s a beautiful soft cake with a tender crumb, with a result not unlike my Legless Chocolate Cake. It’s ideal for any sort of celebration and could easily support thick icing and birthday candles. It keeps well for several days, and freezes beautifully, meaning you can make this in advance and decorate it closer to time. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Vegan Chocolate Cake

Sweet Treats – Triple Chocolate Muffins

Sometimes desperation makes the best meals. In this case, the manic desperation from an intense once-a-month chocolate craving which coincided with a just-before-payday lack of funds is most certainly what caused this recipe.

I wanted chocolate and I wanted it NOW goddammit. With no funds, I turned to the bank, or in this case, the pantry bank, where there was money on the shelves in the form of baking ingredients and several half-empty packets of choc chips, plus exactly eight squares of dark cooking chocolate and a handful of dark chocolate cooking buttons. Seriously, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Continue reading Sweet Treats – Triple Chocolate Muffins

Sweet Treats – Choc-Chilli 'Bombs'

Earlier this year I made a couple of soft-centered chocolates for the Sweet Swap and shared my efforts with a few lucky recipients around the country. At the time, I blogged my recipe for caramel hearts, but I’ve held off on this new recipe, because Christmas is really where it’s at for home made chocolates.

If you’re going to make chocolates, it’s likely you’ll attempt it at this time of year. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Choc-Chilli 'Bombs'

Christmas – Chocolate Christmas Pudding

This is part of the $80 Family Favourites Christmas Lunch for 6 people.

Links to the full menu and prep guides will be published at the end of the week.

 

Not everyone likes Christmas Pudding. There, I said it.

It can hurt my pride to see people turn their noses up at something I’ve so lovingly prepared, but it happens every year whenever I try to persuade my family to eat Christmas Pudding. They don’t like it, preferring pavlova, trifle or mince pies instead. Continue reading Christmas – Chocolate Christmas Pudding

Sweet Treats – Red Velvet Cake

There are two main types of red velvet cake – those with red food colouring and those without.

The older style of cake has no red food colouring at all, relying on a dense fudgey texture and yielding a slight reddish colour from good quality chocolate.

When you eat a red velvet cake these days it’s hard to remember that it is a chocolate cake first and foremost. With such a naturally dark crumb, it’s hard to get a vibrant red colour to it unless you throw in at least two bottles of red food colouring. I ask you, do you really want to eat it with those sort of additives to it?

As it is, this contains one bottle of Pillar Box red colouring, so I urge any of you who may prefer an additive-free cake to stick to a plain chocolate cake instead. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Red Velvet Cake

Dessert – Chocolate Ripple Log

It’s an oldie but a goodie, and found in just about every western country who then claim this recipe as their own. This is an absurdly simple thing to make. Layer chocolate biscuits with cream and refrigerate.

Sooner or later, someone will bring this as their dessert offering to your next barbecue or party. It never goes out of fashion. It’s also a great dessert to make when you’re a teenager and learning dessert cookery – it’s a great boost to the ego as everyone loves it. Continue reading Dessert – Chocolate Ripple Log

Sweet Treats – Katharine Hepburn's Brownies

She was imperious, had a withering intelligence and to the end was her own person, independent, self-aware, unafraid.

I loved her very much.

Before Meryl and Cate, Katharine Hepburn amassed four Best Actress Oscars over a forty year period. What she would have made of today’s botoxed beauties with their social media accounts and entourages I don’t know. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Katharine Hepburn's Brownies

Sweet Treats – Boiled Chocolate Cake

We all love a good chocolate cake, but how do you define a good chocolate cake from, say, and average one?

For me, it has to be rich, that is, a chocolate flavour that I can feel melting over my tongue, one that feels many layered and textured. The texture of the cake has to be moist to complete this effect. All this is well and good if working with cooking chocolate which adds to the effect of  melting and spreading over your tongue, but around these parts, cocoa is a better fit for our budget.

So how do you get a better result for less money? Continue reading Sweet Treats – Boiled Chocolate Cake

Sweet Treats – Chocolate Mousse Cake

There is a special place in heaven reserved for the makers of beautiful objects. Objects so beautiful they transcend their purpose and simply make us weep with joy: The sonnet. The cello.  Fluffy slippers. And of course, a brilliantly executed chocolate cake.

Look, you can fight it if you want to with your virtuous “I don’t really like chocolate” stance, or your weak protestations that your diet precludes all but the thinnest piece and then only when the planets align – chocolate fixes everything. It most certainly fixes almost anything that ails you – except possibly, the anxiety caused by a chocolate cake recipe that is so complex to make that it’s almost more trouble than it’s worth. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Chocolate Mousse Cake

Christmas – Panforte

From the beautiful Tuscan hills and ancient walled city of Siena comes Panforte. Meaning ‘strong bread’ it was renowned for its keeping properties from medieval times, but these days it’s best known as a sort of Italian christmas cake. Theoretically one could keep it for months, but in most houses it never lasts that long.

Traditionally made with 17 ingredients to represent 17 districts within the city, these days variations abound. Once it was a spicy cake, dusted not with icing sugar but with black pepper. Now it is a dense and dark fruitcake or even, as here, made with chocolate as its centrepiece.

With access to summery figs and almonds, mine is not such a respectful cold-weather interpretation and I know any self-respecting Nona would scold me, but for now let’s keep it up to current trends. Made with fig, almond and dark chocolate, and with a satisfying kick of spice, this panforte will last months in your fridge. It is a wonderful Christmas gift to give to others and tends to disappear if left unattended too long.

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Continue reading Christmas – Panforte