Easter Brownies

Now what do you do with 100g of delicious handmade marzipan left over from making your simnel cake? Well, brownies of course – specifically Easter brownies. I’d had a look at Paul A Young’s simnel brownies, but although I really must try that recipe at some point in my life, I didn’t feel now was it. Possibly the best ever brownies I’ve yet made are those from Pam Corbin’s most excellent of books Cake: River Cottage handbook no 8. I still haven’t managed to post about them, so I’m posting this adapted second version first.

This is what I did:

  • Melted 185g dark chocolate (100g with cranberries, 85g of 85%) with 185g unsalted butter in a pan over a low heat then left to cool slightly.
  • Whisked 3 duck eggs with 275g sugar (175g vanilla caster & 100g dark molasses) using an electric whisk for a good 5 minutes until thick and doubled in volume.
  • Folded the chocolate into the eggs.
  • Sifted in 85g wholemeal spelt flour, 40g cocoa powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and a good grating of nutmeg.
  • Folded it all in together.
  • Gently stirred in 100g of marzipan I’d cut into small cubes.
  • Spooned into a 9″ sq cake mould and baked for 27 minutes at 180C.
  • Left to cool overnight.
  • Cut into 16 squares and pressed a mini chocolate egg onto the top of each one.

Nothing much to say except mmmmmmm!! And I will most certainly be making these Easter brownies again. AND they are so quick to make, you still have plenty of time to whip some up for Easter tea.

I hope you all have a very Happy Easter and don’t forget to enjoy your chocolate.

Every month Kate of What Kate Baked and Karen of Lavender and Lovage take turns hosting a tea time treats event where it’s usually very hard to resist virtual overindulgence. I am submitting this to the massive Easter party hosted this month by Kate.

Simnel Cake

Simnel Cake

Easter | 5th April 2012 | By


It’s Easter and I haven’t made a simnel cake for a couple of years, so it just seemed the right thing to do. Last year I made these Amaretto cupcakes decorated with crystalised primroses which were delicious, but just not quite the same as a proper Easter simnel cake – I do like my traditions.


I’m Back

Uncategorized | 5th April 2012 | By

Hooray. A bit of internet research revealed the possibility our mac wasn’t dead after all. We pulled out plugs, held buttons down, put plugs back in AND it worked!!! Just a temporary blip and not the disaster we had assumed. Neither of us realised quite how much we depended on the computer until we didn’t have it any more – the relief is great.

Thank you very much to everyone who left kind words and advice. The very first thing I did was back up. I do have an external hard drive, I just hadn’t backed up for months. I will try and be more assiduous from now on.


Uncategorized | 3rd April 2012 | By

Last night our computer died. For some reason my Twitter mentions are not working on my phone either. I’m just about accessible on my choclette8 @ gmail . com e-mail address, but I could be out of action for some time. I’m mourning the loss of my lovely computer and also all the photographs that I didn’t back up – many for the 20 draft posts I have waiting to go L

Guylian Sea Shells Review

Vegetarian I might be, but I am not averse to devouring creatures in chocolate form. When I was offered a box of Guylian’s signature chocolate sea shells to review I was not going to say no. Indeed, these were the high treat of the decade when I was young and I felt very privileged to partake on the odd occasion they were offered at family events.

I received a 250g box of 22 shapely chocolate sea shells containing praline. The shells are beautifully swirled in white and milk chocolates to create a stunning multi coloured effect. The shells come in 11 unique shapes, I say shells, but two of them are in the form of seahorses.

Seahorses are very important to Guylian who are the main sponsor of Project Seahorse. As its name suggests, this marine conservation organisation aims to protect seahorses which are a good indicator of healthy coastal ecosystems. By protecting these wonderful little creatures, they also help to protect the world’s oceans.

Although these days, pralines are generally a little too sweet for my taste, these were nonetheless delicious. They had a lovely smooth texture that is still oddly reminiscent of the crunch of hazelnuts. This could be because their taste is really quite powerful and remains in the mouth long after the chocolate has faded away.

The ingredients speak for themselves, you will not find any vegetable fats here, oh no, just sugar, hazelnuts and chocolate made with milk and cocoa butter to the same original recipe first used when Guylian was founded in 1960 by husband and wife team Guy & Liliana Foubert. There are a number of lookalikes on the market, but none of them can begin to compare with Guylian. Without mincing words, they are just not as good.

In addition to the seashells, Guylian have plenty of other offerings available at most large food retailers, including a range of Easter Eggs.

We Should Cocoa – the April Challenge

We Should Cocoa | 1st April 2012 | By

Well it seems that you all love the colour green. If you haven’t seen the round-up yet, do hop over to Chele’s blog and take a look. We’ve had a couple of tough challenges so I’m going to make this as easy or as hard as you like. One of the most interesting things I found from the savoury round-up, was just how well cheese paired up with chocolate – or so many of you reported! I think you can probably see what’s coming. Yes, it’s cheese and no it’s not an April Fool.

There is a lot of scope here. If you’re really keen, you could try something savoury again or be adventurous with goat’s cheese in a sweeter creation. But keeping it simple with a good cheese frosting is absolutely fine. I was sort of regretting I’d already blogged about my chocolate cheesecake, but actually I’m looking forward to seeing if I can try for something a bit different – curd tart anyone?

It look’s like the linky tool thing worked well, so I’m going to give it a go this month too. If it works equally well for me, we’ll probably adopt it as the way forward. So, once you’ve posted, submit the link and a photograph to the linky tool at the bottom of this post. Do not e-mail your link unless you are having problems (which I’m hoping won’t happen)!

Have fun 🙂