Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Dark Chocolate Bread, absentee rarebit and pumpkin butter again

In Baking, Bread on June 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Well, while I can’t quite deliver on what I promised yesterday (documenting the meal) I did manage to document the bread I made – and got a picture of the pumpkin butter with the bread. The meal was rarebit on dark chocolate bread, however I chickened out of photographing the rarebit. I always feel a bit weird taking photos of my food when entertaining and often chicken out, plus I was starving! But I do think I will try and make rarebit again for myself, so fingers crossed for next time. It might seem like a weird choice – putting rarebit on chocolate bread, but the name ‘chocolate bread’ is a bit misleading. Basically it is just bread with 100g cocoa mixed in with the flour – there is nothing added to sweeten the bread and no real chocolate is involved. The result is a lovely rich, bitter bread which went beautifully with rarebit. The only downside was the shape of the loaf, which yielded small thick slices without much surface area to drown in cheese…or perhaps that was a good thing?

Anyhow, here is the recipe which comes from my tired and trusty ‘Bread’ book by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno.

2 tsp dried yeast

400 ml tepid water

4 tbsp caster sugar (I used dark cane sugar)

400g strong white flour

100g cocoa

1 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 200-220 degrees. (The receipe says 220, but I find that is too hot in my oven so I baked on 200 – so it’s probably best to make a decision informed by your own oven.)

Sprinkle the yeast into 100 ml of the water. Leave for 5 mins, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in yeasted mixture. Pour in remaining water, holding back about half and mix as needed to form a stiff dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and silky. Put dough in a clean bowl and leave to rise until double in size, about an hour – or a bit longer if the dough is not somewhere warm! Knock back the dough and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Shape dough into a round loaf and place on a lightly floured baking tray (or pizza stone, in my case) and leave to prove until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Dust the loaf with flour or cocoa powder and make a 2 slashes to form a cross with a sharp knife. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


Tea Party for Theresa

In Baking, Cheese, Entertaining, Pasta, Snacks on April 14, 2012 at 4:35 am

Part I: Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes

Today we celebrated our lovely friend Theresa’s 23rd birthday with a tea party! We made all sorts of goodies, but one of the main features were these cupcakes. The recipe is courtesy of the wonderful Smitten Kitchen website. It is an AMAZING recipe – I highly recommend it. However,  you could probably make the alcohol portions a bit stronger, as despite the three different kinds of alcohol in these cupcakes, the taste of it isn’t strong at all! (Possibly that is a good thing, as far as the Guinness is concerned)

Seeing as it is a Smitten Kitchen recipe, there’s no point in reposting it – you can find it here.

I also made some marzipan roses to decorate the cupcakes – I don’t want to go into detail how I made them right now, though I might post about that later.

Below are a few pics of the cupcakes in various stages of their creation:

Plain Cupcake, without ganache filling or icing

Cupcake with ganache filling and icing

Cupcakes with Baileys frosting, filled with ganache and topped with marzipan roses

Cupcakes on tier

More cupcakes

Dissected to show ganache filling

Part II: Other Goodies!

Here’s a selection of some of the other goodies we served. Leave me a comment if you want the recipe for any of them as I can’t be bothered copying them all out for the sake of it! Other things we also ate (but I didn’t photograph) were pesto filled cherry tomatoes, mini BLT sandwiches as well as egg sandwiches. There was also sparkling punch made with orange juice, pineapple juice, gingerale and cider.

Stuffed Giant Pasta Shells - filled with soft buffalo feta and spinach

Potato, Apple and Camembert Terrine

Spiced Pumpkin Mini-Scones

Spongey/Butter Cream and Jam Sandwich Cake

All together, it was a great team effort from all of us – Theresa, Emma and I – so well done us!

Almond and Chocolate Gateau

In Baking, Cake, Dessert on October 26, 2011 at 10:39 am

the ache to bake relieved with CAKE. Buttery vanilla cream between layers of moist almond cake, glazed with rich chocolate icing. The cutting of the masterpiece was a whisper-inducing occasion. This recipe for ‘Biscuit aux amandes et au chocolat’ serves 8. or in some cases, 3.

Ingredients, method & tentative tips

almond cake

6 egg whites

pinch of salt

150g white sugar (or thereabouts)

1 Tbsp flour

250g ground almonds

preheat oven, 150C! Grease 2 round 7-8″ baking tins (or reuse 1)

In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm. Add sugar, gradually. Gently fold in the flour and ground almonds, then spoon into the prepared tins. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from tin, let it cool.

vanilla butter cream

1 egg yolk

30g white sugar

1tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp cornflour

100ml milk

60g butter

Mix egg yolk with the sugar and vanilla, until pale yellow. Stir in cornflour. In a saucepan, bring milk to the boil (I used rice milk), pour it over the egg mixture while still mixing and return to the pan. cook on low heat, stirring continuously until thick, 10 minutes or so. Add butter! Mix until smooth! Refrigerate!

Much chocolate, appropriately decadent.

Chocolate icing

100g Dark chocolate

3Tbsp water

30g butter

50g icing sugar

melt Dark Chocolate with water over low heat in a saucepan. add butter and icing sugar. mix til smooth. set aside. pour over cake, lick bowl. makes a fairly generous amount of icing, and THAT’s just right.

Find a serving plate, and assemble the lovely thing. Finish with toasted almonds! The recipe suggests refrigerating for at least 2 hours before serving. I think it’s okay to ignore this, but will refrigerate the remains. For breakfast.

5 egg yolks left over! Custard was attempted, results were amusing.