Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

We Should Cocoa – The Ice Cream Round-up

We Should Cocoa | 28th July 2013 | By

Summer, isn’t it wonderful? It seems such a long time since we had one. When the temperature rises, my desire for ice cream goes up as well. It seems I’m not alone. Take a look at these entries, you’ll find some real stunners: the creativity that goes into them never ceases to amaze me. This coolest of foods has fired my imagination and I’m now particularly keen to try making some with coconut milk. Thank you to everyone for another great We Should Cocoa challenge.

Next month Elizabeth’s Kitchen takes the reins, so do visit her blog on 1 August to find out what she has planned for us.

Gelato fan, Ali of Italian Inspiration didn’t in fact attempt to make a gelato for this challenge, but was inspired by some of the great Italian gelaterias to be adventurous. Her coconut lime and chocolate no churn ice cream sounds absolutely delightful and I’d guess the use of coconut milk rather than cream makes for a much lighter version than the standard condensed milk ice-cream.

Ice cream is wonderful stuff, but when presented in a chocolate basket, it notches up several levels. Snowy of Cookbooks Galore made some vanilla ice-cream, then added honeycomb and then made some very stylish chocolate baskets to present it in – chocolate baskets with honeycomb ice cream.

Ice cream pie is a new one on me, but I’m very pleased to be introduced to it. I love the layering effect of this very fast but effective children’s dessert from The After School Cake Tin.

Janice of Farmersgirl Kitchen multi tasked with her entry and enterprisingly used some lime curd to make this fabulous chocolate lime ice-cream. She then trialed a new ice-cream scoop with great success. I still haven’t managed to get a successful scoop, so I shall blame my tools and give Janice full credit for her excellent ice-cream.

Some of you may be sick to death of seeing rose in just about all of my posts at this time of year. Since making rose syrup for the first time in 2012, I can’t get enough of it. I used it to make this no churn rhubarb, rose and white chocolate ice cream.

Rhubarb and white chocolate ice cream was a popular choice this month, ie two of us made it. This version from Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe contains white chocolate chips and is beautifully swirled. Johanna is not much of an ice cream fan, but now she has tried this, things might have changed.

There is no doubt that raspberry and chocolate is a winning combination but when it came to making ice-cream this month, there was nothing else it could be for Craig of The Usual Saucepans. He’s on a raspberry run and can’t get enough of them. His raspberry and chocolate ice cream is a no churn version, but unusually and quite delightfully contains creme fraiche.

Semifreddo is another type of ice cream I’ve never made but want to. I can’t imagine I’d ever manage anything as spectacular as this rocky road semifreddo from Claire of Under the Blue Gum Tree. Raspberries, meringue, marshmallows and chocolate – what’s not to like?

As a cheese lover, I was really pleased to see it made an appearance in this cream cheese ice cream with mars bar sauce from Janine of Cake of the Week. Cheesecake in ice cream form, now that is something I have to try.

Something is telling me it must be time to try semifreddo. Chris from Blogging Around the World has come up with a delightful Lavender and Chocolate Semifreddo which was a bit of a herby gamble, but one that happily paid off.

Caroline Makes white chocolate and chilli ice cream and she made it using some dinky little lolly moulds she picked up for a song. Chilli and chocolate is a winning combination for me, so I know I’d be content with one of these in my hand.

A new one on me was this Italian Tartufo  from Jill of Lapin d’Or. Made from a Mary Berry recipe these amaretto biscuits soaked in amaretto and encased in ice-cream and chocolate sound heavenly.

She who dares wins. Laura of I’d Much Rather Bake Than .., made her first attempt at a baked Alaska and it was a resounding success. I’ve never dared try anything like this, it sounds so preposterous. How can you put ice-cream in the oven without it melting all over the place? Well, it is entirely possible as this Black Forest Baked Alaska shows.

My mouth has been watering since I saw the entry from Rebecca at BakeNQuilt. Peanut butter encased in chocolate ice-cream which is itself rolled in peanut butter cookie crumbs and then drizzled in chocolate sauce – wow. I think Rebecca might be regretting making chocolate peanut butter tartufo for one only.

Boiling hot commuter rides, don’t sound like much fun, but it seems they do have their plus side. These amazing chocolate ice cream tacos may never have happened without those steamy train journeys. Hannah of Corner Cottage Bakery filled her homemade waffle tacos with a luscious chocolate and Amaretto ice-cream.

Elizabeth of The Law Student’s Cookbook decided to dig out her ice-cream maker for this challenge. I think she must have been pleased she did because as well as making this Ben & Jerry’s mocha chip ice cream she’s made several others this month which sound very tasty too.

More rocky road ice cream from Victoria of A Kick at the Pantry Door. This time with the ingenious technique of freezing it in individual portions using silicone moulds. No fuss and no waiting forever, for the ice-cream to thaw before serving.

As I’ve said before and I’m sure will say again, I am continually astounded by the creativity shown in these challenges, but this green tea and Shetland seaweed ice-cream from Elizabeth’s Kitchen is off the scale. Elizabeth, who incidentally is hosting next month’s We Should Cocoa, wasn’t happy with her first attempt, but the second one sounds delicious indeed.

Coconut gets another outing with these coconut ice lollies from Becky of MintCustard. Inspired by bounty bars, these get a big thumbs up from me and have made me feel nostalgic for my childhood when a lolly was an occasional but much loved treat.

When I’m really hot and bothered, nothing is so refreshing as a fruit ice, so I was pleased to see this sour cherry chocolate chip ice-cream from Nazima of Franglais Kitchen. Served with crumbled meringue and chopped candied almonds, this sounds absolute heaven.

Dom of Belleau Kitchen knows how to curry favour; salted caramel is just about one of my favourite things. His chocolate caramel salted popcorn ice-cream is, in his own words, food porn. All I know is I would love to get my hands on a bowl full of this.

For more chocolate ice-cream inspiration, take a look at Kavey’s chocolate round up of Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream.

Raspberry, Rose and White Chocolate Cake

Traybakes | 26th July 2013 | By

Following the success of the peach and white chocolate cake I made a few months ago, I thought something similar would be perfect for the Liskeard pop-up cafe. It tastes lovely, holds together well and has a slight puddingy quality which was what I was looking for.

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New Ethical Chocolate Bars – Seed and Bean and Divine

Chocolate Reviews | 25th July 2013 | By

First off, Seed & Bean have produced three limited edition 85g chocolate bars specifically for this year’s Glastonbury Festival back in June. Certified by the Soil Association, bearing the Fairtrade symbol and an Ethical Award winner, this organic company is to be admired. The inner wrappers are compostable, made primarily from eucalyptus trees; all bars are handmade in small batches. The colourful and festive wrappers were designed by artist Matt Lyons aka C86. If you’re quick, you may be lucky enough to get your hands on a bar. They are available at £2.29 at the online shop, which seems reasonable for a top ethical product from a small British producer.

I was recently sent all three bars to try out. Sadly they melted in the heat whilst in the post – I don’t think any of us have got used to actually having a real summer yet. They arrived rather misshapen and not looking their best.

Fine Dark Chocolate Sicilian Hazelnut (58% cocoa – cane sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, vanilla extract, hazelnut paste).
This is like eating a fine bar of guinduja. It is rich, but very smooth and creamy at the same time, despite containing no dairy. The bitter notes from the dark chocolate has a slightly drying on the mouth quality and counteracts any cloying tendency there might have been. CT did his usual blind testing and detected hazelnut straight away. We really liked this bar.

Rich Milk Chocolate Cornish Sea Salt & West Indies Lime (30% cocoa solids – cane sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cocoa mass, vanilla extract, lime oil, smoked sea salt, soy lecithin).
Despite having quite a low cocoa content, this was my favourite bar. Although you think I might be a little biased by the inclusion of Cornish Sea Salt, I do like milk chocolate and I’m particularly fond of the sweet and salt combination. Some sea salt chocolate bars really go to town with the salt, but this one is much more finely balanced and suits me very well. The touch of lime, gives an uplifting quality and a tropical feel. If you can get to it before it melts, it’s ideal chocolate for the temperatures we’re currently experiencing. The chocolate is ultra smooth and melts beautifully in the mouth. A very fine chocolate bar indeed.

Creamy White Chocolate Raspberry & Vanilla (30% cocoa solids – cane sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, raspberry powder, soya lecithin, vanill powder).
White chocolate by its very nature is overly sweet and often cloying, but I wasn’t going to let that put me off. And actually, I guess because of the inclusion of fruit, this wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting. In my sweeter toothed moments, this bar would hit the spot very nicely. It has a grainier texture than the others, which helps to counteract the sweetness. The flavour of the raspberries themselves was quite pronounced and their sharpness reminded me of sherbet.

Another ethical chocolate producer I rate highly is Divine, which released the first Fairtrade chocolate available in the UK. The cocoa farmers in Ghana own nearly half of the company, so we can be assured that Divine is truly offering a fair price to the growers. I have written about them before in my post Divine Intervention where you can find out a bit more about the company. Some time ago now, I was sent a couple of bars of each of their newest creations. I really don’t understand where time goes anymore, but one thing I do know, there is always plenty of things to write about. As before, the chocolate arrived well packaged, but I was keen to open the box and have a look at the new bars. Divine chocolate bars are distinctively adorned with striking west African Adrinka motifs that draw my eye every time I see them. On the inside of each wrapper, you will find a story from some of the cocoa farmers belonging to the co-operative. This is a particularly inspiring feature which brings to life the journey of bean to bar and shows Divine really does care about the people involved in the whole chocolate making process. I have yet to be disappointed with any of the Divine bars I’ve tried, so let’s see how these two bars fare.

Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Sea Salt (38% cocoa – sugar, cocoa butter, skimmed milk powder, cocoa mass, butterscotch, butterfat, sea salt, soya lecithin, vanilla).
With my predilection for the sweet and salt combination, I was looking forward to trying this one. The chocolate itself is smooth but with interesting textural editions of toffee shards and salt crystals. The flavour of toffee is the first to impact the palate but then the salt comes through, which is probably the right way around. Interestingly the toffee lingers on the palate after the saltiness has dispersed – a pleasant sensation. It is not as sweet as you might expect and isn’t overly salty. Both CT and I detected notes of coconut in the chocolate, which we both really liked.

Dark Chocolate with Chilli & Orange (70% cocoa) – chilli chocolate is a particular favourite of mine, so I was looking forward to trying this one. Citrussy orange notes are the first to be detected, but are not overwhelming or synthetic in quality as is sometimes the case with other brands of orange chocolate. The chilli then begins to make its presence felt in a gentle but increasingly firm manner which leads to a pleasant afterglow in the mouth. Again, the chocolate is very smooth and melts delightfully on the tongue. We both found this to be surprisingly moreish for a dark chocolate.

These 100g bars are available at Waitrose and on the Divine online shop retailing at £2 a bar.

Rhubarb and Rose Polenta Cake – Random Recipes #30

The task this month from Belleau Kitchen was to select our 30th cookbook and then make the recipe from whatever was on page 30 – this is the 30th RR after all. I always approach Random Recipes with some trepidation as you just never know what you might get landed with, but off I went to Eat Your Books to find my 30th cookbook. In case you’ve missed it, I have a giveway running at the moment for a lifetime’s membership of Eat Your Books – I can’t recommend it highly enough. As it happened, I struck lucky and my 30th book was Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. For many years, this was the only book on my bookshelf dedicated to baking, so I know it well. Now that I have many others, I don’t use it as often; I was glad to be persuaded to renew my acquaintance. It also meant, that with any luck I might be able to enter this into Forever Nigella.

The next task was to go and find the book and turn to page 30 – Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake. Now this couldn’t have been more opportune. I made this cake once before, many years ago, so I already knew it was a good one. I was shortly to be baking for Liskeard’s first pop-up cafe and was wondering what gluten-free bake I could include. With a little tweaking, namely substituting the wheat flour for buckwheat, this would do very nicely, I thought. The addition of white chocolate could only improve things and would allow it to appear on Chocolate Log Blog. I’ve already established that rose and rhubarb make for a fine combination, so I wanted to include some rose syrup here for added interest.

So this is how I made:

Rhubarb and Rose Polenta Cake

  • Washed and trimmed the rhubarb, cutting it into ½ cm slices.
  • Placed in a bowl and covered with 100g of cardamom sugar (caster) to extract some of the juice. Added 4 tbsp rose syrup.
  • Melted 50g white chocolate (G&B) in a bowl over hot water.
  • Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 150g cardamom sugar (caster) until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the cooled chocolate.
  • Beat in 2 large duck eggs, one at a time.
  • Sifted in 150g buckwheat flour, 155g fine cornmeal, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, ¼ tsp salt and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
  • Stirred in 250g natural yogurt alternately with the flour until just combined.
  • Gently stirred in the rhubarb and juice.
  • Poured into a 23cm cake mould and baked at 180° C for about 50 minutes until the top was well risen and springy to the touch.
  • Covered with tin foil after the first 30 minutes to prevent the top burning.
  • Left to cool for 20 minutes, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dusted with icing sugar and scattered with rose petals.

The bake came an honourable second behind the most popular one, the chocolate cake. Sadly, I didn’t get to try any, but I had very good feedback and all of it disappeared. The very first person to try anything was gluten intolerant, so she was delighted to have something tasty she could eat.

I am entering this into Random Recipes, an excellent if somewhat adrenalin-inducing monthly challenge run by Dashing Dom of Belleau Kitchen.
And I did indeed strike lucky with Forever Nigella, a monthly challenge from Sarah of Maison Cupcake. This month Victoria of A Kick at the Pantry Door is hosting and luckily for me, she has chosen Party Party. I think this is a fitting contribution to any celebration.
It’s been a while since I entered Made with Love Mondays, a weekly challenge from Javelin Warrior, whereby everything must be made from scratch.

As I used rose syrup in the cake, made with my own roses, I am entering this into Cooking with Herbs with Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Nutella and Banana Tarts and a Giveaway #32

4 Star, Giveaway, Tart | 20th July 2013 | By

I’ve recently fallen in love with pastry. I’ve always enjoyed eating it, but hate making it. I found it tedious and the results were usually disappointing. However, this year I’ve turned a corner and now find it less of a chore to make and despite using different recipes I’ve had a number of successes. It’s taken me a long time, but now I want to make tarts -lots of them. I even bought six more tartlet tins for a recent pop-up I was catering for, which brings the count up to ten. When I was sent a little Nutella book, 30 Nutella Recipes, a few weeks ago to see what I thought of it, I had no hesitation in deciding which recipe I was going to try first. Banana and Nutella tartlets it had to be.

I didn’t follow the recipe exactly – no surprises there. I used some wholemeal flour in the pastry and one whole egg rather than two egg yolks. As I used a large duck egg, I had no need to add the required milk. And I found I only needed to use two rather than the three bananas stated.

This is how I made:

Banana and Nutella Tartlets

  • Cut 180g unsalted butter into 255g flour (half wholemeal, half white). Added a large pinch of rock salt and a tbsp of vanilla sugar (caster).
  • Rubbed the butter into the flour with my hands until it resembled breadcrumbs.
  • Added one large duck egg (which was actually a little too big and made for a rather damp mixture).
  • Quickly mixed into a ball, put it into a plastic bag and placed in the fridge for an hour.
  • Rolled the pastry out and cut circles to fit six 10 cm tartlet tins (although I actually made 11).
  • Baked at 200C for 10 minutes.
  • Spread 1 tbsp of Nutella over each of the six tartlet bases.
  • Cut 2 bananas into slices and lay a sixth of the slices over the Nutella. The recipe stated 3 bananas, so I guess it depends on their size.
  • Roughly chopped 50g macadamia nuts and scattered the pieces over the banana.
  • Put back in the oven and baked for a further 10 minutes.

I ate the first one whilst it was still warm from the oven and it was absolutely scrumptious, They had slightly caramelised around the edges and the banana and Nutella together made for a winning combination. I was very tempted to wolf down another one, but restrained myself. The tarts were almost as good cold. However, the bananas started to go brown after a couple of hours out of the oven. When I make these again, as I surely will, I will try dipping the banana slices in lemon juice which should help retain their colour.

The pastry made enough for eleven tartlets rather than the six stated in the recipe, but that was fine. The cases would keep for a while and I could use them for other purposes. However, I did feel that the quantities were a little off, not everyone wants lumps of spare pastry hanging around their fridge or freezer.

The book comes in the shape of a Nutella jar which is really rather fun. I liked the sturdy design with its thick, almost cardboard like pages that lie flat (ish) once opened. Each recipe is on one page with a rather delectable picture of the finished article on the opposite side. The recipes themselves are really quite interesting and I will certainly be trying out a few more. The financiers as made recently by the Caked Crusader are definitely on my list as is the coconut coulants, tuiles and mango spring rolls. If nothing else, this book shows you there is a lot more to Nutella than simply spreading it on bread. However, if you’re a real Nutella fan, this book is definitely for you.

Giveaway

The publishers, Jacqui Small, are offering two Chocolate Log Blog readers a copy of 30 Nutella Recipes.

To be in with a chance of winning one of these books, please fill in the Rafflecopter below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random from the entries received. Please give me some way of identifying you in the comment section as I will be verifying the validity of entries and will always check back to the comments to ensure that part has been done. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. You need to be 18 or over to enter. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.
Prizes are offered and provided by Jacqui Small and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.
If you need some help using Rafflecopter, here’s a quick clip to show you how.
Closing date is Saturday 17 August 2013
Do take a look at my giveaway page to see if there is anything else you would like to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Five Arrive in Cheltenham – a Food Bloggers Meet-up

Well Walk Tea Rooms

Finally, after many months of talking, or possibly even years, #thesmuts arranged a meet up. Smuts? You might well ask, but it is a long story and I’m not going into it here. Suffice it to say, it started as a bit of fun and ended up as a group of eight food bloggers who tweet to each other using some sort of hashtag that includes “smut”. Far flung as we all are – France, Scotland, Cornwall, East Anglia and London, we eventually agreed on Cheltenham as a nice place to meet. It is relatively central and is on a main train line with good links. One by one, as is inevitable with meet-ups, various #smuts were unable to make it. Jac of Tinned Tomatoes was away in Cyprus, Dom of Belleau Kitchen wasn’t well and Sue of A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate had work commitments.

Well Walk Tea Rooms – the aftermath

Thus it was the Cheltenham Five who finally met and enjoyed a gluttonous afternoon and evening of eating and drinking: Janice of Farmersgirl Kitchen, Roz of The More Than Occasional Baker, Karen of Lavender and Lovage, Fiona of London Unattached and me. I’d met Karen and Fiona briefly before at a Fortnum & Mason event and it was lovely to see them again. It was also really good to finally meet Janice and Ros. With top hole organisation courtesy of Fiona and Janice, everything went swimmingly well. The only contribution I had to make was to turn up.

Well Walk Tea Rooms Cake Medley

We all met up for an early afternoon tea at the Well Walk Tea Room. Quirky, stuffed full of vintage china and other items AND with great cake, this was an excellent find – thank you Fiona. Apparently, they have supplied props for Downton Abbey and I can well believe it; there are some very fine items down in the basement and indeed crammed into every available space of the two floors of the tea rooms.

Almost as good as a Cornish cream tea

Feeling somewhat peckish as she hadn’t had any lunch, Fiona started off with toast and Gentleman’s Relish. The rest of us, no sooner saw the menu than there were cries of “we want CAKE” – a cake medley to be precise, which was a stand of six assorted slabs of homemade cake and clotted cream. We tried to be decorous, but somehow that cake just disappeared. The verdict was unanimous, we all loved the rhubarb and cinnamon cake and wanted the recipe. In this respect, we were doomed to disappointment, the recipe was a house secret. Somewhat stuffed and with dinner not far off, we somehow couldn’t resist the call of scones when we were told they were freshly out of the oven. Served with homemade jam and clotted cream, they were nearly as good as a Cornish cream tea.

Boudica

Not being much of a black tea drinker I didn’t share the very large pot of tea with the others, but ordered Rooibos and had a lovely teapot all to myself, named Boudica – yes, every teapot has its very own name.

The Tavern Cocktails

Not long after this, we made our way to The Tavern, a couple of streets away. Luckily we got a little lost which meant we had a bit more time to digest before the next onslaught. Here, we were greeted by friendly staff and complimentary cocktails – something to do with Fiona having forewarned them that we were food bloggers, I suspect. The Mojito Royal was a popular choice and one I was not averse to indulging in – it really hit the spot. Drinks were served with mugs of popcorn making for a festive atmosphere.

The Tavern Veggie Burger

Whilst we made up our minds as to what to order, we opted for some nibbles to keep us going. The chickpea chips were a real winner and everyone’s favourite, but we were all a bit nonplussed by the deep fried olives, which were, quite frankly, weird and not something I’d choose to eat again. The others all had fleshy things for their mains, but were well satisfied. I was pleased to have some interesting veggie choices. I opted for a rather splendid burger stuffed with all sorts, including roast vegetables and a field mushroom. The fact it was accompanied by more of the delightful chickpea chips might have played its part in my decision.

The Tavern Kitchen

The meal didn’t disappoint. Again the service was good and the prices were very reasonable. I’d be very happy to pay a return visit and rather wish we had something similar here in Liskeard. We were asked to take a look upstairs where the dishes are cooked in front of diners. In fact you can sit at the kitchen serving bar and for a few pounds ask to taste any of the dishes you see being prepared. This is a fun idea, but with the clang and clatter of pans, perhaps not the most conducive place for a tete a tete. We were, I felt, better off in the relative quiet of downstairs.

The Tavern Molten Chocolate Pudding

Full as we were, we just couldn’t miss out on pudding and chocolate had to feature somehow. I was lucky – we plumped for a hot chocolate mouse with pistachio ice-cream – we all tucked in.

Lypiatt Breakfast

For some reason we picked a particularly busy weekend and were unable to book into the same hotel, as was the original plan. This was a shame as it would have been fun to carry on the food fest by feasting on breakfast together. After trying several hotels, I eventually found one with a free room and gosh I was lucky. Lypiatt House was a lovely little Regency hotel in a quiet and attractive quarter of Cheltenham, not far from both the town centre and the station. I had the best night’s sleep there I’ve had in a very long time and the breakfast was delightful. I’m not sure I’d put the hotel down as the five star it claimed, but it really was a very comfortable and spacious place to stay. I later learned that there was a “buskers’ conference” in Cheltenham that weekend which might have accounted for the lack of hotels. It all seemed rather peculiar and I have to say I didn’t encounter a single busker whilst out and about in Cheltenham.

Lypiatt House

I really enjoyed my trip and meeting up with the other #smuts; in fact I’m looking forward to a repeat performance and maybe with the full eight next time. Not only was it a pleasure to join company with such lively and friendly fellow food bloggers, but it was also very interesting to finally visit Cheltenham. As a regency spa town, I knew I would like the Georgian architecture, but with its wide leafy avenues too, I was unprepared for how much it made me miss Leamington Spa, where I lived for seven years – a similar, if slightly smaller town.

For further insights into our trip and a glimpse of better photos, do take a look at: Janice’s posts part 1 and part 2 and Fiona’s post.

Rhubarb, Rose and White Chocolate Ice-cream – We Should Cocoa #35

Ice Cream | 14th July 2013 | By

 

Since discovering the oh-so-easy and oh-so-delicious no churn ice-cream last year, I have made it a number of times. Each time I’ve used tart fruit to balance out the sweetness of the condensed milk. With my cool We Should Cocoa theme very much in mind, I wanted to make some ice cream for my chocolate themed dinner party. My mother had presented me with a bunch of rhubarb stalks from her garden the day before, so it had to be rhubarb and white chocolate ice-cream. As there was also a Middle Eastern theme running through the meal, I added some rose syrup to the mix for a touch of oriental mystery.

The flavour was good, with the rhubarb acting as piquant foil to the sweet and unctuous creamy body.

I’m trying out this new printable recipe format. Please do let me know what you think.

This is, of course, my We Should Cocoa entry. For those not in the know, this is a monthly blogging challenge where an ingredient or theme is chosen that must be combined with chocolate.

As I reckon rose can be considered a herb, I am also entering this into Kavey’s Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream – a fun monthly ice cream challenge.

print recipe

Rhubarb, Rose and White Chocolate Ice Cream

by Choclette 2013
This is an easy to make no churn ice cream which is quite sweet so works particularly well with tart fruit.
 
Ingredients
  • 220g Rhubarb sticks – washed and trimmed
  • 4 tbsp Rose syrup (elderflower would be good too)
  • 200g Condensed milk
  • 600g Double cream
  • 80g White chocolate
 
Instructions
  • Chop the rhubarb and place in a pan with the rose syrup. Simmer until soft (about 7 mins). Stir until semi-mashed up. Leave to cool.
  • Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over hot water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Stir in 100g of the condensed milk.
  • Whip the double cream until soft peaks form, taking care not to over whip. Add the rest of the condensed milk and whip again to ensure peaks remain. 
  • Add the white chocolate and stir in.
  • Fold in the fruit mixture to create a ripple effect. Spoon into a 1 litre freezer container and freeze.
 
Details

Yield: 1 litre

Chocolate Falafel

These falafel were the inspiration that kick-started me into planning a six course chocolate themed Middle Eastern menu for a dinner party last week. I saw a recipe for falafel salad in the summer edition of the Co-operative’s Share magazine and it immediately appealed to me. I decided to separate the falafel from the salad and add raw chocolate and almond spread. The falafel recipe I have from the Vegetarian Cookery School used tahini, so I couldn’t see why a nut butter wouldn’t work instead of a seed one. I mixed and matched between the two recipes and came up with a version I am really happy with.

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Six Course Chocolate Dinner – MoneySupermarket’s Big Night In

Chocolate Dinner Party

When issued with a challenge by MoneySupermarket to stay at home and have a fun night in, rather than a fun night out and be given £50 to make this happen, there was simply no resisting. CT and I are homely bods and rarely spend that sort of money on a night out, but given this opportunity, my thoughts quickly turned to a rather indulgent night in. I would host a dinner party, not just any old dinner party but a chocolate themed one. I expect this comes as no surprise to anyone, the only wonder is, why haven’t I done it before?

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Eat Your Books and a Giveaway #31

Giveaway | 4th July 2013 | By

It’s no secret: I am a big fan of Eat Your Books.

For those not in the know, Eat Your Books is not all about scoffing printed tracts – as appealing as that sounds. No, it is all about being able to keep track of your cookbooks and find the recipes in them quickly and easily.

I’ve been a member for well over a year now and would be lost without it. The nerdy librarian in me would love to be have the time to organise my books and recipes really thoroughly, so Eat Your Books is heaven sent. I am able to assign a category or two (referred to as bookmarks) to each book and recipe. But the real genius behind this for me is that you can find recipes by typing in an ingredient or ingredients. So, if I have a couple of bananas looking rather the worse for wear in the fruit bowl, I can interrogate my cookbooks by typing in bananas and chocolate and up comes a list of 39 recipes that I have access to which include those two ingredients: chocolate banana loaf cake with rum soaked raisins anyone?

Similarly you can ask for a specific type of dish. If I fancy baking a cheesecake, I type in  cheesecake and get 54 results. In the unlikely event I wanted a chocolate cheesecake, I would refine my search for and I get 15 results. It’s just brilliant – I’ve used so many recipes I’d never have found otherwise.

You can see what books I have on my bookshelf by clicking on the Eat Your Books badge on my sidebar.

But it’s not just about the books – oh no – food magazines are included as are some of the best food blogs. I had to put “some of the best” because my blog, apparently, is one of them. Add a blog to your collection and you can link direct to the recipes within it. Searches can be made for your complete collection or can be limited to say, magazines only. You can filter by recipe type, ethnicity, course, occasion and a number of other categories.

Not all books have been indexed yet, but progress is steadily being made and a number of my requests for indexing a book have been answered. The more people who join and request a book to be indexed, the more likely it is that it will be done. However, members keen to get a favourite book indexed as quickly as possible, are able to do it themselves.

It’s a good social networking tool too; it enables you to connect with other cookbook loving folk. See how many other members own your book or subscribe to the same blogs as you and find out who they are. If you’re really interested, you can find out how many books you have in common too. Why not read reviews or even submit your own?  feeling chatty? Take part in forum discussions or read the many interesting and informative articles on the blog.

$25 for an annual subscription or $2.50 per month is a very reasonable investment for those moments when you just can’t think of what to cook, or where that favourite brownie recipe is lurking.

Giveaway

Eat Your Books have kindly offered a lifetime’s membership to one lucky Chocolate Log Blog reader.
To be in with a chance of winning this membership, please fill in the Rafflecopter below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Rafflecopter will pick a winner at random from the entries received. Please give me some way of identifying you in the comment section as I will be verifying the validity of entries and will always check back to the comments to ensure that part has been done. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is open worldwide, but you do need to be 18 or over to enter. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.
Prizes are offered and provided by Eat Your Books and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.
If you need some help using Rafflecopter, here’s a quick clip to show you how.
Closing date is Thursday 1 August 2013
You might also want to take a look at my giveaway page to see if there is anything else you would like to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway