NuttyTart

Mageirocophilia

Chilli Chocolate Toddy

Chilli chocolate toddyI thought I’d start this post by moaning about how work gets seriously in the way of play these days, but then I remembered I won’t have this job come January and thought better of it. ;-) (I will have a grant instead: will look good in my CV, will mean borderline poverty for six months!) Anyway! I haven’t had the time to bake much in what seems like forever. A few batches of cinnamon rolls, and that’s it really. But, as this month’s We Should Cocoa features one of my very favourite combinations, chilli and chocolate, I just had to find the time to take part! This challenge is hosted by Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen, and the entire We Should Cocoa goodness was created by Choclette and Michelle of Chocolate Teapot fame – but her blog address invariably takes me to Google sign-in page? Hmm. I hope it’s just a temporary glitch!

 

On to the recipe! It’s getting cold and snowy and wintery and we need something to warm us up, right? It’s hot (in more ways than one), it’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s chocolate, and it’s alcohol – what more could you ask for really? – it’s Chilli Chocolate Toddy!

 

Chilli Chocolate Toddy (4 servings)

 

600 ml full milk

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

90 g bittersweet chocolate

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1 fresh red chilli pepper

75 ml rum

75ml brandy

 

Trim, halve and deseed the red chilli.

In a saucepan, combine milk, sugar, chocolate, cinnamon, allspice and chilli pepper halves. Heat gently over low-medium heat, stirring often, until the ingredients have completely blended (well, save for the chilli pepper halves!) and the mixture is close to boiling point.

Remove chilli pepper halves. (Stop here and you have a wonderful hot chocolate to enjoy!  Or continue to give it an adult twist:) Whisk in rum and brandy. Pour into mugs: garnish with chocolate shavings or sprinkle with cinnamon, if preferred. Serve hot.

 

 

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Kronstadt Apple Pie

Very sorry for not having a photo to post right now – I will add it as soon as I can! I still want to post this recipe today: there are still some of this year’s apples to use up, and I quite feel like putting whisky in a recipe this weekend. ;-) (Not to worry though: if whisky is not your thang, rum will work just as well!)

 

So, it’s the delectable Kronstadt Apple Pie, for adults! I’ve posted this recipe on Zaar some years back. I know it isn’t my original but I couldn’t remember where I got it from when I posted it on Zaar, and I still can’t remember where I got it from. If you know where I got it from, let me know!

 

Note that the filling needs to macerate overnight (or during the day, of course!), so plan ahead.

 

Kronstadt Apple Pie

 

Crust:

100 g butter, softened

300 ml all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 ml sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
75 ml cream


Filling:
500 -700 g apples
2 tablespoons raisins
4 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons whisky (I use a smooth Irish one – e.g. the good ole Jameson would do nicely)

plus
1 tablespoon pearl sugar

 

Topping:
30 g butter, softened
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
a splash of whisky

 

To make filling: Peel and core apples, cut into thin slices and put in a bowl. Add raisins, sugar and alcohol, mix well. Cover and let marinate overnight (the longer the better). Mix occasionally.

To make crust: Add flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla sugar to a bowl with softened butter, mix until crumbly. Add cream and quickly mix into smooth dough. Press dough onto the bottom and sides of a buttered 24 cm pie dish. Transfer to the fridge and let cool for about 30 minutes. Drain apples (the whisky will now be divinely sweet and appley – drink it!).

Preheat oven to 200°C. Arrange drained apple slices and raisins on the crust. Sprinkle pearl sugar on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

To make topping: Whip butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and a splash of whisky/rum, and whip until airy and slightly thickened. Pour the topping on top of the almost-baked pie and continue baking for further 10 minutes.

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Chocolate Marshmallow Trifle

Chocolate marshmallow trifleWell well, that was a break and a half! July was filled with visitors and visiting, and while many a recipe was made, none were photographed prior to eating (and certainly not after). Hence, no blogging.

 

Thankfully Choclette‘s chocolate challenge, We Should Cocoa, has kicked me back into gear. This time the challenge is hosted by Rebecca of BakeNQuilt, and the theme ingredient is marshmallows. Ah, marshmallows. Dreamy sugar with just a bit of something to hold the sugar in shape! I like sugar. I like marshmallows. However, I decided to go with marshmallow fluff this time, as I haven’t used it much before – I also wanted to use fresh berries from our garden, and lo, these single-serving trifles were born.

 

You can of course use any chocolate pudding recipe in the trifle (or even ready-made pudding for speed and convenience!), but do give this pudding recipe a try sometime! It’s simple to make, silky, rich and totally decadent. I also list the the ingredient amounts I used for the trifle itself, but the proportions are entirely up to the person assembling the trifle. I do encourage you not to skimp on the berries though: the pudding is very rich and the marshmallow fluff is very sweet, so you need freshness and a touch of tartness for the perfect balance of flavours (I used a combination of raspberries and blackcurrants – lovely!).

 

Dark Chocolate Pudding

 

2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
150 ml milk
200 ml light cream
30 g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
50 g semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Whisk in the milk and cream.

Place saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk occasionally, paying particular attention to the bottom and sides.

After 10 minutes or so, before it starts to simmer, the mixture should begin to thicken, enough that it will coat the back of a spoon. Add the chocolate, and continue cooking and stirring for another 2-4 minutes, until the chocolate has fully melted and the mixture is quite thick. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Chill until pudding is cool and set, about 2 to 3 hours.

 

Chocolate Marshmallow Trifle

 

for one trifle I used

2 Digestive biscuits, coarsely crumbled

2 heaping tablespoons of chocolate pudding

6 tablespoons of berries (raspberries and blackcurrants)

2 heaping tablespoons of marshmallow fluff

 

Place crumbled biscuit on the bottom of a glass. Top with a tablespoon of chocolate pudding; add 3 tablespoons of berries and top with a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff. Repeat layers. Top with biscuit crumbles.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

 

 

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Chocolate Truffle Cake With Chocolate Truffle Frosting

Chocolate Truffle CakeIn this month’s We Should Cocoa Choclette hands the reigns over to Michelle at Utterly Scrummy Food for Families, and the theme is gluten free. I’m actually somewhat familiar with gluten free baking, as my brother’s wife has coeliac disease. She’s also a master baker, and the stuff she makes is always so utterly delicious I’m amazed at the pale and dry gluten free options you often see at cafes, reportedly made by professionals. Inspired by her baking skills, I’ve vowed not to disappoint her when she comes ’round for dinner and coffee, and I’m pleased to announce that she went home with this recipe! (Incidentally, this cake became my brother’s firm favourite – his wife still prefers strawberry cake over chocolate. ;-) )

 

This cake doesn’t use any gluten free flour substitutes: it’s completely flourless and naturally gluten free (you will want to check your powdered sugar though to make sure it’s gluten free; some brands contain a glutenous starch). The rich and fudgey cake is topped with plenty of rich and fluffy frosting – you get pretty much equal layers of the two! The cake is a dark chocolate lover’s dream, intensely chocolatey; if you prefer something a little less hardcore, just use a semisweet chocolate (~40% cocoa solids) in place of the bittersweet. This time I flavoured the cake with orange (Cointreau liqueur and zest), but cognac and whisky would work well too – or coffee!

 

Chocolate Truffle Cake

 

Cake:

225 g good quality bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

120 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces & at room temperature

5 eggs (1 whole, 4 separated)

225 ml caster sugar (divided use)

2 tablespoons orange liqueur (such as Cointreau)

1 organic orange, zest of

 

Chocolate truffle frosting:

100 ml heavy cream

175 g good quality bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

50 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces & at room temperature

4 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 tablespoon orange liqueur (such as Cointreau)

(cocoa powder for dusting, optional)

 

To make cake:

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line the bottom of a 9” springform cake tin with parchment paper. Do not butter the sides.

Melt the chocolate on top of a double boiler. Add butter and let it melt in the warm chocolate. Stir until smooth.

In a bowl, whisk the 1 whole egg and 4 egg yolks with 100 ml of the caster sugar. Add the chocolate mixture, the liqueur and orange zest and stir to combine.

In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining 125 ml of sugar. Beat until the whites hold their shape, but are not quite stiff.

Stir in a dollop of the egg whites to lighten the chocolate mixture, and then fold in the rest of the whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin (I leave a little mountain in the middle) and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is risen, the top cracked and the centre no longer wobbly. Do not overbake!

Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack. The middle of the cake will sink as it cools. Do not worry: it’s supposed to happen. It’s why I put the cake in the oven as a little mountain, but even so, there will be a crater which will promptly get filled with chocolate truffle frosting.

 

To make frosting:

In a bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. (You thought the cream would go on top of a double boiler with the chocolate, didn’t you? ;-) )

Melt the chocolate on top of a double boiler. Add butter and let it melt in the warm chocolate. Stir until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool for a while (if it’s too warm, it deflates the whipped cream).

Add the chocolate mixture to the whipped cream and fold in. Add powdered sugar and orange liqueur, stir gently to combine.

Frost the cake. Dust the frosted cake lightly with cocoa powder for a velvety finish. Transfer to the fridge to set the frosting.

Bring to room temperature before serving – the taste is absolutely at its best when the cake is not cold, and the rich and sturdy cake a lot easier to cut (although you’ll still want to use a sharp knife rinsed in hot water to cut it neatly!).

 

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Banana Muffins For Two

Banana MuffinsThere was a time when I made a lot of banana recipes. I like to eat bananas when the skin is just yellow (a bit of green is ok too), and consider them totes over-the-hill once the first brown spots appear. At that point, I declared them inedible and waited for them to get overripe and black, and used them for baking. Now I share my fruit bowl with the TLSO; he likes to eat very ripe, brown-skinned bananas, so very few bananas ever make it to the overripe stage. This week, however, one banana did (it had been hiding under some apples). Get out a fork, it’s time to smash a banana!

 

Banana Muffins For Two

 

1 very ripe banana

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

¼ cup plain yogurt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of salt

 

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line two holes of a muffin pan.

In a small bowl, mash the banana. Add brown sugar, oil, yogurt and vanilla extract and mix well.

In another bowl, combine all-purpose & whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.

Divide the batter between the two muffin cups and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the muffins test done.

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Berry Muffins For Two

Berry Muffins For TwoMy recipes-for-two saga continues! This time I wanted to make berry muffins – we still have plenty of berries in the freezer, and we better start putting them to good use before the new harvest is here! I used redcurrants, as that’s what we have the most, but any berries will work.

 

Berry Muffins For Two

 

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

a pinch of salt

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon beaten egg (crack an egg, beat with a fork until the yolk and the white are combined, and measure 1 tablespoon)

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons redcurrants (or other berries)

 

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line two holes of a muffin pan.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

In a measuring cup, combine egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in berries.

Divide the batter between the two muffin cups and bake in the preheated oven for 17-22 minutes, or until the muffins test done.

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Salami & Feta Quiche With Spinach And Chilli

Salami and feta quicheQuiche names are often a mouthful, as they typically simply list what the quiche contains. So does this one, because I couldn’t think of anything very creative. So yes, the quiche contains feta, spinach, salami and green chilli (and onion, but it doesn’t get a mention. Poor onion). Feta & spinach (with the neglected onion) is one of my favourite vegetarian quiches; salami & chilli one of my favourite meat quiches. I decided to combine them to see what happens. Deliciousness happened.

 

Unfortunately, as the glorious quiche emerged from the oven and was about to be photographed, it transpired that every single camera-compatible battery was empty, rendering the camera unusable. Therefore, the photo shows a less than glorious re-heated piece of quiche, photographed the next day. Darnit.

 

Salami & Feta Quiche With Spinach And Chilli

 

Your favourite 9″/25 cm pie crust

 

Filling:

1 small onion, chopped

100 g salami, chopped

150 g frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1 (113 g) can chopped green chillis, drained

150-200 g feta, crumbled

3 eggs

200 ml cream

150 ml milk

1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper (optional)

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

 
Press the crust on the bottom and sides of a deep 9″/25cm pie dish – pre-bake if your crust calls for pre-baking.

Preheat oven to 200 C.

Sprinkle chopped onion over crust (that’s right, it’s not cooked first!). Sprinkle half of the chopped salami on top of the onion.

Combine drained spinach and green chillis; dollop the mixture on top of the onion and salami.

Add crumbled feta and the rest of the salami into the crust.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk and pepper & nutmeg (if using). Pour the custard into the crust. If there are bits of salami sticking out, gently press them down with a fork or a spoon, so that they are covered with the custard and don’t dry out in the oven.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Allow to stand for 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Chorizo Muffins

Chorizo MuffinsI like chorizo a bit too much. It’s spicy and salty and rich and wonderful, and I’m always drawn to dinner recipes that call for it. Because it is so spicy and salty and rich, few recipes call for 200 grams of it, which is the smallest package size I can find. Therefore, after making dinner, I typically have 100 grams of chorizo left. I could, of course, save it to make another dinner, but I prefer to consider it a “leftover” that I must put into good use forthwith. Enter chorizo muffins! Muffins are always good; always needed. :-)

 

Chorizo Muffins (makes 12)

 

450 ml all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon thyme

80g butter, diced

100g chorizo, chopped

150 g mature cheddar, grated

1 egg

125 g plain yogurt

150 ml milk

 

Preheat oven to 190 C. Grease or line a muffin pan.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, paprika and thyme in a bowl.  Rub in butter until the mixture is crumbly and well combined.

Stir in grated cheese and chopped chorizo.

In another bowl, combine egg, yogurt and milk. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.

Divide batter between muffin tin holes. Bake for about 20 minutes.

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Chocolate Chip CookiesI first bought almond butter for my sugar-free chocolate ball experiments, but I figured there was no reason why I should earmark it for “healthy” stuff only – surely it would do wonders in something pretty decadent, too? Like soft chocolate chip cookies. It would. It did. Now I can eat chocolate chip cookies and convince myself that I’m getting all the health benefits of eating almonds at the same time. Yay!

 

Note that the dough is not too sweet – you can add a little more sugar if you like, and using milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate also sweetens things. I really enjoy the almond & chocolate combo, and love the way almond butter gives the cookies a more rustic texture and flavour.

 

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (20 cookies)

 

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup almond butter

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

100 g chocolate (milk or dark, your choice), chopped

 

Preheat oven to 190 C. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, beat butter, almond butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract, beat well.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mix until combined.

Fold in chopped chocolate.

Shape dough into 1” balls and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 7-9 minutes.

 

 

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email

Chocolate & Red Wine Cake

Chocolate and red wine cake

As we have already established, I do not like red wine. My VLSO does, but it’s usually not his drink of choice (a pint of stout trumps red wine hands down). When he does indulge in red wine, he is happy to have just a glass or two, and then doesn’t really feel like having it for at least two weeks. This is why our household is regularly home to that elusive oddity: Leftover Wine.*  Well, we can certainly not have it go to waste, so we shall turn it into a delicious chocolate cake. People who like red wine love this cake; people who hate red wine love this cake. It’s a very good cake: moist and intensely double-chocolatey.

 

I make this in a 9” x 5” loaf pan as that’s what I happen to have, but as you can see, the cake is on the flat side; I think an 8” x 4” would be a better fit.

 

Chocolate & Red Wine Cake

 

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

115 g butter

½ cup caster sugar

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup dry red wine

100 g dark chocolate, chopped

 

Preheat oven to 170 C. Butter and flour a loaf pan (9”x 5” or 8” x 4”).

In a bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter with the sugars until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla and beat well.

Alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated.

Stir in chopped chocolate.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to cool completely.

Dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar for a prettier presentation – and a dollop of whipped cream would not go amiss.

 

*I never contribute to these rare sightings, myself. If I open a bottle of wine, I will consume a bottle of wine. It’s a point of honour for me. Quite frankly, VLSO’s inability to consume a whole bottle of red within a week of its opening in my opinion indicates that red wine really is pretty bad. Indisputable evidence.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via email