Thick, rich and velvety, this vegan hot chocolate is dairy-free. It’s a high treat for vegans and non-vegans alike. It’s a must for any breakfast feast, but is probably best saved for special occasions.
Not to be outdone, in his bid to take over the world, Dom of Belleau Kitchen has come up with a new challenge – a random recipe challenge. It’s simple: a book is picked at random and from it a recipe is chosen at random. The idea is that you get to try recipes that you have never used before. How could I resist? Of course, I had to modify the proposal a little to get my chocolate fix in. So this is what I did:
Some of my posts are so old now, I almost feel I should wait until next year to publish them. This one I made about seven weeks ago, when strawberries (remember them?) were still just about in season. I had been given Dan Lepard’s recipe for Chocolate Honey Meringue by a friend, who kindly cuts out any chocolate recipes she comes across in the Guardian for me. Said friend was coming to dinner, so wouldn’t it be a good idea to make this meringue? When I looked at the recipe properly, however, there seemed to be an awful lot of sugar in it. I’d also read on other blogs that they turned out rather hard and they weren’t that impressed. A meringue recipe, I would have to find elsewhere. I did a quick hunt through my books and discovered marbled chocolate meringues in Linda Collister’s Divine. This was more like it. Instead of making lots of small ones, I opted for one large pavlova style meringue.
As it was rather a long time ago now, this is what I think I did!
- Melted 100g 70% dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water, then left to cool.
- Whisked 3 eggs whites and a pinch of cream of tarter until stiff.
- Added 175g caster sugar and whisked until stiff and glossy.
- Using a tablespoon, slowly folded in the chocolate until a marble effect was created.
- Heaped the meringue onto a baking sheet covered in non-stick paper and smoothed out into a rough round.
- Scattered over a handful of slivered almonds.
- Baked at 120C for 2 hours.
- Left to cool, then removed from the tray and peeled off the paper.
- Whisked 200ml double cream until thick.
- Stirred several raspberries into the cream (quantities now forgotten).
- At this point, I realised that the meringue had risen up with a very thin top layer that wouldn’t bear any weight – oh bother!
- As soon as I pressed it slightly the top started to break up. So I took this top layer off.
- Spooned the raspberries and cream on top of what was left of the meringue.
- Covered the cream with de-hulled and quartered strawberries and a few more raspberries.
- Covered the fruit with the bits of meringue top that I had previously removed.
Perhaps this was not the most elegant of party pieces, but I have to say it is one of the most delicious desserts I’ve made – certainly in recent times. I do love meringue and cream. It had a lovely crisp crunch from the outside and was darkly chocolatey and sticky inside. The sharp fruit and the sweet meringue hit the palate first, then the richness of the cream and chocolate came through giving a real sense of decadent luxury – yum. If someone wanted to make me a pudding (if only), this is the one I would choose. I think the others enjoyed it too 🙂
Having arrived home chocolateless from Ghent and with nothing sweet in the house, it didn’t take me too long to wonder what I could knock up in a hurry. A quick look through my books for a brownie recipe I haven’t yet tried, revealed these rather gorgeous sounding brownies from Linda Collister’s Divine.
This is how I did it – quickly the one pan way:
- Melted 125g unsalted butter with 100g 85% dark chocolate
- Stirred in 240g vanilla sugar (or add 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- Beat in 2 duck eggs.
- Stirred in 100g flour (85g wholemeal spelt and 15g buckwheat)
- Stirred in 75g chopped walnuts
- Poured into a greased 22 cm square tin and baked for 15 mins at 180C
- Meanwhile …….
- Melted 100g unsalted butter in the same unwashed pan.
- Beat in 100g of light muscovado sugar until incorporated.
- Beat in 2 tbsp double cream
- Stirred in 75g chopped walnuts
- Poured this over the not quite cooked brownies and put back in the oven for a further 5 mins.
- Tried to leave to cool, but couldn’t quite manage it – then cut into 16 squares.
Having said I’m not a great fan of chocolate chip cakes, I’ve just gone and made another one! The sun has been shining today and given that we haven’t had much in the way of blue skies recently, I didn’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen. Humm – what to make where speed is of the essence? I very quickly decided to have a go at the Stem Ginger and Chocolate Chunk Cake recipe from Linda Collister’s Divine. Being a big fan of ginger, it was this ingredient that sold it to me. Of course I didn’t have any stem ginger, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.