It’s been a while since I did any chocolate making. Homemade chocolates are a great way to say thank you. They also make a delicious gift or can provide an indulgent pick-me-up. These whisky truffles with dark chocolate and fresh cream ticked all of the above.
Last week, CT and I were somewhat shocked to find we’d been together for twenty years. How did that happen? To celebrate we both took the day off and went clambering around the Cornish coast. We also called in at the Canteen at Maker Heights. How could we resist the best food in those parts? There, sitting on the counter was a round of almond rye shortbread. Completely intrigued, I had to recreate it.
Last Sunday our fabulous local independent bookshop hosted an evening of talk, slides and music at our nearby community centre. I made a few cakes for it, as I do. One of the four bakes were these rather decadent mini chocolate whisky cakes.
Back in August last year I posted a review of some classic British biscuit cutters and promised you the recipe for the bourbon biscuits I made using them. Well never let it be said that I don’t fulfil my promises – if somewhat dreckly. If you don’t know what dreckly means, you clearly haven’t been to Cornwall. They may be a bit late, but here follows the afore mentioned recipe.
Yes I know Christmas is still a few weeks away, but Stir-up-Sunday is fast approaching. It falls on the Sunday before Advent which is the 22nd November this year. It’s traditionally the day when the Christmas puddings and cakes are made and when the family all take a turn at stirring, not forgetting to make that all important wish whilst they’re at it. So to get you in the mood and to offer a little inspiration for your Christmas baking, I made this fig almond cake yesterday with a very cheeky slug or three of whisky – Whisky Galore.
Just in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Father’s Day tomorrow and if you’re still wondering how to celebrate this or what to give the man in your life, Dr Oetker has the ideal solution. These whisky and chocolate cakes are quick and simple to make and taste quite delicious. You can find the original recipe here on the Dr Oetker site. Containing more than a dram of whisky, made with ground walnuts and covered in dark chocolate, these cakes are manly fare.
I didn’t have the mini loaf tins stated in the recipe, so used muffin moulds instead. The only whisky I had to hand was a high quality Scottish malt, so these cakes really did taste extra special. I used my usual half wholemeal and half white flour mix and decided to toast the walnut decorations for extra flavour.
This is how I made:
Whisky and Walnut Cakes
- Melted 125g unsalted butter in a pan over low heat. Allowed to cool a little.
- Ground 100g walnuts in a coffee grinder then mixed with 100g golden caster sugar in a large bowl.
- Sieved in 200g flour (half wholemeal, half white) with 2 tsp Dr Oetker baking powder and stirred into the walnuts.
- Made a well in the centre and broke in three small eggs. Started to stir this from the inside out, adding the butter, 45ml whisky and 45ml milk as I went along until just mixed.
- Divided the mixture into 8 large unlined silicone muffin moulds and baked at 180℃ for 22 minutes when they were well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle came out clean.
- Dissolved 75g golden caster sugar in a pan over low heat with 45ml water, then bought it up to a boil and simmered for 3 or 4 minutes to give a syrupy consistency.
- Left to cool slightly, then stirred in 45ml whisky.
- Poured this over the hot cakes and allowed them to absorb the liquid and cool in the moulds for 5 minutes or so, then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melted 75g Dr Oetker 72% dark chocolate in a pan over low heat with 25g unsalted butter.
- Stirred until homogenised and glossy, left to cool slightly, then spooned over the cooled cakes allowing the chocolate to dribble down the sides.
- Toasted 8 walnut halves in the oven, then placed these on top of the melted chocolate and left to set.
True to my assertion that these cakes were manly fare, CT was quite enamoured and he doesn’t even like whisky that much. The cakes rose high and resembled volcanoes without the craters when they emerged from the oven. This made adding the melted chocolate a little tricky, but I was pleased with the final result. The cakes were quite substantial, but had a great texture and flavour and were not overly sweet. I found I too was not averse to having seconds.
This is the second Dr Oetker Father’s Day recipe I’ve made and I’ve been really pleased with how both of them turned out. If you haven’t already seen them, do take a look at the coconut chocolate bars I made a couple of weeks ago.
I am sending these over to Made with Love Mondays over at Javelin Warrior’s Cookin w’Luv – a weekly event where everything must be made from scratch.
As a celebration of Father’s Day, these are also being sent off to Bake Fest – a month long feast of all baked goods over at Cook’s Joy.
This month’s Baking with Spirit is all about reinventing a classic. Well this may not have been me that’s reinvented it, but I reckon this is a very good take on the classic Coffee and Walnut Cake. Janine of Cake of the Week has allowed Craig of The Usual Saucepans to take over the reins this month.
These may not be biscuits, but they could possibly be squeezed into a Biscuit Barrel, so I’m sending these off to Laura of I’d Much Rather Bake Than … who has chosen summer as this month’s theme. As Father’s Day falls in June, it must surely count as summer.
Getting a Christmas hamper of goodies together has been my task this month. Among the components I wanted to include were some miniature Christmas cakes. On browsing the wonderful blog Lavender and Lovage one day, I was inspired by Karen’s recipe for Wee Whisky Doused Hogmanay Dundee Cakes. Well mine are even weeer. I used a different method and some different ingredients – like chocolate 😉
This is what I did:
- Placed 300g of mixed fruit into a bowl – mostly vine, but a few chopped dates, pineapple, papaya and cranberries.
- Added grated zest and juice of 1 very juicy orange.
- Stirred in 50ml of Scotch Whisky and two tsp of orange syrup (left over from making candied peel).
- Covered and placed on top of our storage heater for a couple of hours (a low oven would be fine or could just be left somewhere overnight).
- Creamed 100g unsalted butter with 100g light brown raw cane sugar.
- Beat in 2 small eggs.
- Sieved in 150g self-raising flour, 50g wholemeal spelt, 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
- Stirred in 25g ground almonds.
- Added 50g chopped 70% G&B dark chocolate and the fruit mixture.
- Mixed well and spooned into two 6 hole muffin moulds.
- Pressed 6 whole blanched almonds onto each one.
- Baked for 35 minutes at 150C.
- Left to cool for half an hour then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Wrapped them in greaseproof paper and packed them away in a tin.
I haven’t tried them yet, but am expecting good things of them. I have bought some nice Christmassy ribbon to border the edges when the time comes for presenting them – see if you can guess which one it will be?
I am submitting these to English Mum’s Big Christmas Bakeoff.
For more ideas of edible gifts check out Vanessa’s Lets Make Christmas.