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

Triple Chocolate Buns for National Chocolate Week

Triple Chocolate Buns

Small Cakes, We Should Cocoa | 16th October 2016 | By

Way back in 2011, I made these double chocolate buns and they proved to be quite popular amongst my readers. I’ve been promising myself to make them again ever since and I’ve finally got around to it. This time around, however, I upped the ante and turned them into triple chocolate buns. It seems only fitting as it’s the last day of National Chocolate Week.

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Indulgent Chocolate Milk: Nurture Your Inner Hedonist for Organic September

Indulgent Chocolate Milk

Drinks, Optimum G2.3 | 20th September 2016 | By

I make no excuses for posting this indulgent chocolate milk drink. It’s nothing like my salted caramel chocolate milkshake and I’m making no health claims for this one. It’s a rich confection full of chocolate and cream and is purely for pleasure.

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Triple Chocolate Bread – Spicy Twisty Delicious

Triple Chocolate Bread

Bread & Buns | 10th September 2016 | By

The Great British Bake Off week three was all about bread. The first challenge was to make some sort of chocolate bread for the signature bake. Well, how could I resist? It didn’t take me long to dream up this fragrant spiced triple chocolate bread loaf flavoured with vanilla, cardamom and chilli. It proved (pun intended) to be perfect for both #GBBO and #OrganicSeptember.

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Coffee Cardamom Chocolate Mousse Cake – Irresistible!

Coffee Cardamom Chocolate Mousse Cake

Our local cafe, Olive & Co, does a mean coffee cardamom chocolate cake. It’s more of a torte really as it contains no flour. I’ve been wanting to try making something similar for ages and with the arrival of the new Divine chocolate baking bars, the time seemed right to give it a go. I give you my coffee cardamom chocolate mousse cake.

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Simnel Mincemeat Easter Cake with Chocolate Truffle Apostles

Simnel Easter Cake

Easter, Large Cakes | 27th March 2016 | By

Easter just isn’t Easter without a suitable bake. And as far as I’m concerned it’s all the better for the inclusion of chocolate. So, with that in mind, I wish you all a very Happy chocolate filled Easter and hope you enjoy my Simnel Mincemeat Easter Cake with chocolate apostles.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and Homemade Memories

Peanut Butter Cups

Book Reviews, Chocolates | 15th July 2015 | By

Whereas chocolate peanut butter cups have long been popular in the US as has peanut butter and jelly (jam), the salty sweet combination has only recently blossomed here in the UK. Following on from the craze for salted caramel, comes chocolate combined with peanut butter and it seems to have taken the nation by storm. I’ve become rather enamoured too.

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Blueberry and Chocolate Muffins

Small Cakes | 10th June 2013 | By

Blueberry Muffins
Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Muffins

I try to draft a post as soon as I have made something so I don’t forget what I’ve done. However, for one reason or another I don’t always publish immediately and some drafts get forgotten about. This is one such that I have just discovered from nearly two years ago. Sadly, the photographs are not up to much and I can no longer remember whose recipe I used as a guide. But I do remember they tasted good, so these blueberry muffins are finally getting an airing.

August 2011
Having just picked up some cut price blueberries I thought I’d better hotfoot it back to the kitchen and make some blueberry muffins. Can you believe it? I’ve never made blueberry muffins before. This seemed a prime opportunity to use the flowery blue muffin cases that a friend gave me for my birthday, still lying homeless in my kitchen.

This is how I did it:

  • Melted 50g unsalted butter in a pan.
  • Sifted 150g flour (50g spelt, 75g white, 25g coconut), 1/2 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt and 1/8 tsp cinnamon into a bowl.
  • Stirred in 75g cardamom (golden caster) sugar.
  • Mixed 50ml creme fraiche, 50ml milk and 1 egg until all smooth.
  • Made a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and poured in the egg mixture.
  • Tried to mix this, but oh dear, it was way too dry!
  • Added the butter hoping that would sort it out, but still to dry.
  • Added some more creme fraiche and milk (nearly the same again) until I had a consistency I was sort of satisfied with.
  • Roughly stirred in 50g 40% milk chocolate drops.
  • Roughly stirred in 100g washed blueberries.
  • Spooned the mixture into 6 muffin cases initially, but realised I had too much mixture, so added a couple of extra.
  • Baked at 180C for 20 minutes.
Well eight muffins has got to be better than six. This gave me license to munch my way through the two extra ones whilst they were still warm – mmmmm – a very nice way to eat them. In my gluttonous haste I managed to burn my tongue with the first bite into the hot blueberry juice. I doubt I’ll learn the lesson though. The blueberries had burst and were all fruity and jammy with juice running everywhere. These were not very sweet and had more of a scone consistency than a muffin one. However, the coconut flavour was nicely evident and the tart fruit and semi-sweet chocolate was a very nice combination.

These muffins fit very nicely into a new challenge newly created by Victoria of A Kick at the Pantry Door. Feel Good Food is all about delicious but healthy food and this month it’s all about blueberries.

I’m linking this to Mrs M’s Recipe Link Party

I’m also linking this to Four Seasons Food as blueberries are in and it’s meant to be summer – with Delicieux and Chez Foti.

Mascarpone & Apple Curd Tarts – We Should Cocoa 20

Tart, We Should Cocoa | 22nd April 2012 | By

Not being especially thrilled by my chocolate and cheddar biscuits (cheecolates), I thought I’d have another attempt at a chocolate and cheese combination for this month’s We Should Cocoa. This time, I took a slightly safer route by going for a tart with a mascarpone and fruit curd filling. The curd in question was some apple and lemon curd I’d recently made to which I’ve become rather addicted – it is so delicious. The bit that was slightly risky was making pastry with an egg white. I’ve never done this before and nor had anyone else according to google. But I had an egg white lurking in the fridge from making the biscuits and I didn’t want it lurking there anymore. The chocolate addition, I took from my surprise cheesecake and made these three layered tarts.

This is what I did:

  • Rubbed 40g unsalted butter into 100g flour (half wholemeal, half white) and 20g cardamom sugar (caster) until the mixture resembled bread crumbs.
  • Added the egg white and a splash of water and mixed with a knife.
  • Bought the mixture together to form a dough.
  • Being too impatient to hang around (to my cost), rolled the dough out thinly and cut circles just big enough to fill a 9 cm tart case. 
  • Pressed the pastry circles into 4 buttered tart tins & trimmed the tops with a knife.
  • Reformed the remaining pastry into a ball and rolled into a circle.
  • Shaped into a freeform pastry case & placed on a baking tray with the other tarts.
  • Pricked the bottoms in several places with a fork.
  • Baked for 10 minutes at 180C then left to cool. Oh dear the pastry had shrunk hugely – my own fault for not putting it into the fridge before rolling probably.
  • Removed the pastry from the tins.
  • Melted 50g milk chocolate (Green&Blacks 37%) in a glass bowl over a pan of not quite simmering water.
  • Left to cool a little.
  • Spread a couple of teaspoons or so of chocolate around the bases of the tart cases.
  • Mixed 125g mascarpone cheese with 3 tbsp of lemon and apple curd.
  • Divided this mixture between the 5 tarts.
  • Sprinkled the tops with grated dark chocolate (Green&Blacks 70%).

The pastry, I was pleased to find, worked well – apart from the shrinkage). It was easy to roll, which always gets lots of points in my book and being rather plain, offset the richness of the filling nicely. I now have another use for left over egg whites. CT pronounced these delicious, but I was disappointed by the pastry shrinkage and didn’t think the pastry worked as well as the shortbread I’d used for the lime curd mascarpone tarts I made last year. Nor did they look as striking. However, I was quite happy to polish off my share of the tarts and they didn’t last long. The chocolate layer gave a pleasant surprise snap to the experience as our teeth sank in.

Parsnip and Walnut Chocolate Chip Cake

Dairy Free, Large Cakes | 4th March 2012 | By

Having finally got around to digging up our parsnips, we needed to start using them fast – you can see by the photograph below how huge they were, but also somewhat manky. It seemed to me that parsnips would pair well with nuts as they have their own rather nutty quality, so I wanted to use one of the nut oils that I’d recently been given. I’d fancied making a parsnip cake for years and finally I got around to it. I had a trawl through my various cook books and surprisingly enough, I found quite a few recipes. I didn’t, however, find anything that seemed right to go with chocolate, so I got my thinking cap on and came up with my own parsnip cake recipe.

This is what I did:

  • Spent ages cleaning parsnips and chopping out the bad bits!
  • Grated 200g of clean parsnips.
  • Chopped 100g milk chocolate (G&B 35%)
  • Beat 150g cardamom sugar (caster) with 3 eggs until thick and pale.
  • Added a pinch of salt and 125ml walnut oil and beat some more.
  • Sifted in 200g flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white), 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda.
  • Folded this in together with the parsnips.
  • Gently stirred in the chocolate bits.
  • Scraped into a 23cm round cake mould (in retrospect should have used my 22cm one, which would have given a deeper cake).
  • Baked at 180C for 36 minutes.
  • Spooned 60g cardamom (caster) sugar into a jug.
  • Added 3 tbsp orange liqueur.
  • Stirred and poured over the hot cake.
  • Left in the mould to cool completely.

The cake rose well and had a very light but moist texture. I was surprised to find I couldn’t detect the parsnip at all, either by taste or by eye. I can see why this was a good way of bulking out expensive cake ingredients in the past. The cake had a lovely nutty flavour to it, but not distinctively and definitively of walnut; the parsnips no doubt played their part. The chocolate worked well as did the orange sugar topping which was delicious, though had a certain heady alcoholic quality to it. All in all, this was not bad for a first attempt.

If truth be told, I prefer my cakes to be a bit more substantial and I’m not a huge fan of using only oil in a cake. Next time, I think I’d use half butter and half oil. That way, I’d hope to get a better texture but keep the lovely nutty flavour. However, if dairy is an issue, these nut oils make for a good substitute and of course the milk chocolate can be changed to dark or, dare I suggest it, left out all together!

I am submitting this to Ren’s lovely Simple and in Season event found at Fabulicious Food.

Update 5 March 2012 – Charlotte of Go Free Foods adapted this quite significantly and came up with a pumpkin orange & cardamom cake which looks gorgeous.

Triple Orange and Chocolate Cake – We Should Cocoa 16

Triple Orange Chocolate Cake

When I received these glamourous little shoes, I knew immediately they would have to adorn a cake. And adorn the cake that I made for last week’s tea party they did.

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