Chocolate has been an abiding passion ever since I can remember. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to try bars produced by some truly excellent brands. Pacari premium organic chocolate is one such. To celebrate World Chocolate Day on 9 July, I’m delighted to offer my readers the chance to try this excellent chocolate too. Read on for details of the giveaway. The chocolate is so good, it’s really best enjoyed on its own, but I have to say it also works wonderfully well in these chewy and delicious coffee chocolate chip cookies with cardamom – I just couldn’t help myself.
The wonderful thing about making your own granola is that you can include or exclude pretty much anything you want. There’s no need to peer at labels, pay expensive prices or pull faces at those papaya chunks you don’t like. This gorgeous gluten free granola was the result of having a kitchen clear out.
When is an oat more than an oat? When it’s an oat that’s been transformed into a scrummy organic chocolate truffle of course! Oats are not only healthy but are highly versatile and can be used for all sorts of purposes besides porridge. I’m a big fan of the humble oat, so I was delighted when White’s invited me to the Cotswolds to gen up on this sometimes underrated grain and tour the fields with a bunch of experts.
Now who doesn’t love nibbling on a bit of raw cookie dough? It’s an experience that evokes happy childhood memories. Well you’re in luck. The chilli chocolate chip cookie dough I’ve made here is not for baking, no, it’s for pure indulgent eating in its raw state. And not only that, it’s also egg and dairy free, made with healthy ingredients. flavoured with chilli and cinnamon and above all else, delicious.
Having set blueberries as the ingredient for this month’s We Should Cocoa, I’ve not managed to get my act together to bake what I had planned and I don’t think I’m going to before the deadline. However, a couple of years ago, I made these rather scrumptious blueberry and white chocolate flapjacks with some local blueberries, but for some reason never got around to posting about them. Here goes.
As I was buying some bananas in the Co-op the other day, I noticed a pack of reduced price raspberries. I couldn’t resist. They were fine, but not quite enticing enough to eat as they were; they looked as though they needed to be used quickly. The fastest thing I know how to bake are flapjacks. In next to no time, I had a plate of warm raspberry and white chocolate flapjacks.
Ginger in biscuit form is one of my favourites. Last month I made a batch of Delia’s crystallised ginger oat biscuits for a MacMillan coffee morning. It was the first time I’d made ginger biscuits with oats and they were so good I was hard pressed to hand the batch over. Those chunks of chewy flavoursome crystallised ginger raised them to something above a humble oat biscuit and gave a certain air of sophistication. Whatever the reason, I was determined to make a batch for ourselves as soon as possible.
This month’s Random Recipes challenge is to make something from a recipe book received this Christmas. Well I didn’t receive any recipe books this year as such, but my aunt has been having a good clear out recently and happened to be staying with us over Christmas. In my stocking I found a Woman and Home magazine supplement from 1986 entitled Irresistible Ways with Chocolate – a real vintage publication and I was delighted with it. Interestingly many of the bakes that are in vogue now seem to have been revived from that era – cakes with meringue, different coloured layer cakes, marble cakes and differently flavoured Battenburgs; lots of fresh fruit and nut recipes too. The other interesting thing is that, by and large, the recipes have less sugar in them than many of our more modern ones do. The sweeter bake has slipped over from the US I suspect.
As there were so many recipes on one page it was a bit difficult to be completely random, but I ended up with a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. These were made with rolled oats and I do like a good oaty biscuit. They are also simple and quick to make which is an added bonus after so much Christmas baking.
This is how I made:
Oaty Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chopped 170g mixed chocolate (mostly dark) into bits.
- Creamed 110g unsalted butter with 85g dark brown sugar until very pale.
- Beat in a medium sized egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
- Added 60g wholemeal flour, 110g rolled oats, scant teaspoon of baking powder.
- Stirred together with the chocolate until all combined.
- Placed teaspoonfuls onto lined baking trays placing them well apart. I made 27.
- Baked at 180C for 11 minutes until golden then placed on a wire rack to cool.
These were not only simple to make, but thoroughly delicious – chewy and very chocolatey. They lasted well in an air tight tin for a few days, but could also be frozen and taken out individually as needed.
Random Recipes is a funtastic blogging event from Dom of Belleau Kitchen which can be very challenging at times. I particularly like it as you never quite know what you are going to get and it stops my recipe books gathering dust on the shelves.
For this bake, I rounded up all my odds and ends of chocolate which had been sitting in the cupboard looking untidy and taking up space. These included some blackberry flavoured dark chocolate, some 56% and some 70% dark chocolate. Other than the chocolate, these are cheap and cheerful biscuits to make so I am sending them off to Credit Crunch Munch with Camilla of Fab Food 4 All and Helen of Fuss Free Flavours.