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Tag Archives: chocolate
  • Posted on January 31, 2018

    Tempting Weekend Bakes

    Weekends are for baking, and so as a very special treat we have two brand new and quite frankly totally delicious recipes to share with you from two books coming out this Spring.

    First up we have a banana and rye bread perfect for a lazy breakfast from our lovely author Bronte Aurell and her new book Scandikitchen Summer, then an indulgent chocolate tiffin from Masterchef winner Mat Follas and his new book Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe.

    We couldn't wait to share these books with you guys, so here is a sneak peek of some of the tempting recipes you can expect to find...

     

    Rye & Banana Bread

    At our café, people used to ask for banana bread a lot. As it’s not really a traditional Scandinavian thing, we wanted to make it our own with a Scandi twist. So, we created this version with rye flour to make it more wholesome. We like to serve it with a delicious cinnamon butter, that just melts on toasted slices of this loaf.

    banana and rye bread

    4 very ripe bananas

    100 g/scant 1⁄2 cup Greek/plain Greek-style yogurt

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla sugar

    125 g/1 cup minus 1 tablespoon plain/all-purpose flour

    125 g/1 generous cup wholemeal/ wholewheat rye flour

    1⁄2 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda

    125 g/11⁄8 sticks butter, softened

    150 g/3⁄4 cup dark brown soft sugar

    2 UK large/US extra-large eggs

    cinnamon butter, to serve (optional)

    500 g/1 lb. loaf pan, lined with non-stick baking parchment

    Makes 1 loaf

     

    Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Gas 4.

    Mash the bananas and mix with the yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla and set aside.

    Mix the flours with the salt and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and set aside.

    Cream together the butter and dark brown soft sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand-held electric whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition to ensure they are fully incorporated.

    Add the mashed banana mixture and mix until incorporated, then add the flours and mix briefly until smooth. Do not over-mix.

    Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf pan. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out just clean. Leave to cool a little before turning out of the pan. Cut into slices and serve toasted, with plenty of cinnamon butter (see below).

    Cinnamon butter

    Mix three tablespoons of strong cinnamon sugar (ratio 1:3) with half a packet of soft unsalted butter – re-chill and use as needed.

     

    You can pre order your copy of Scandikitchen Summer here for UK and here for US.

    Plus you sample more of Bronte's recipes from the book in a FREE sample of the book, downloadable from here.

    Scandikitchen Summer

     

    White chocolate & strawberry tiffin

    Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings.

    PREPARE 20 MINUTES / COOK 10 MINUTES

    strawverry and chocolate tiffin

    250 g/21⁄4 sticks butter

    120 g/generous 1⁄2 cup caster/ granulated sugar

    120 g/6 tablespoons golden/ light corn syrup

    200 g/7 oz. milk chocolate

    100 g/3⁄4 cup mixed dried fruit and nuts (almonds, sultanas/golden raisins, cherries)

    100 g/1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped

    450 g/1 lb. digestive biscuits/ graham crackers, crushed

    450 g/1 lb. white chocolate

    non-stick 30 x 20-cm/12 x 8-inch brownie pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 18

     

    In a saucepan, place the butter, sugar and golden/light corn syrup. Warm on a low heat until melted and stir to mix together.

    In a mixing bowl, grate 100 g/31⁄2 oz. of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits/ graham crackers. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture. Fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

    Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three-quarters of it in a microwave on high in a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between until it is all melted.

    Now, add the remaining one-quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate.

    Remove the tiffin base from the refrigerator and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even.

    Now melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three-quarters of it, then adding the final one-quarter at the end). Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines. Use a cocktail stick/toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form patterns.

    Return to the refrigerator for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.

     

    Pre order your copy of Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas here for UK and here for US orders.

    Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on December 20, 2017

    Chocolate Christmas Cake recipe

    If you've had no time to make a traditional Christmas cake this year, then we think this double chocolate Christmas cake from Angela Romeo's Fantasy Cakes is a pretty great alternative (if not even better!)

    chocolate christmas cake

    1 quantity of Double Chocolate Sponge mixture (see below) baked in three greased and lined 18-cm/7-inch cake pans for 40 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick/ toothpick comes out clean, then cooled

    1 quantity of Classic Buttercream (see below)

    40 g/generous 1/2 cup desiccated/dry unsweetened shredded coconut

    For the wild birch bark

    50 g/2 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate, chopped

    300 g/101/2 oz. white chocolate

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment

    thin paintbrush

    retro Christmas cake decorations

    SERVES 22

     

    For the wild birch bark, melt the dark/bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring in between). Place the lined baking sheets so they are in a ‘landscape’ position in front of you. Using the paintbrush dipped in the dark/ bittersweet chocolate, brush small horizontal lines and 'knots' on the baking sheet (see chocolatey tip). Place the sheets in the fridge for 5 minutes to set.

    Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a separate heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or microwave on high in 30-second bursts, stirring in between). Remove the baking sheets from the fridge. Working on one sheet at a time, spoon over the white chocolate and spread out to a thin layer using a palette knife/metal spatula. Return to the fridge for 15 minutes.

    With the shortest side of the baking sheet facing you, gently roll up the baking parchment, allowing the bark to snap into thin-rectangular pieces. It doesn’t matter if you have a few irregular shards, these will still look really effective. Chill until needed.

    If necessary, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Sandwich together using 350 g/12 oz. of the buttercream – the bottom side of the top cake should be facing up. Place the cake on a serving plate or cake board. Crumb-coat the cake using 450 g/1 lb. of the buttercream.

    Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes, then use the remaining buttercream to coat the cake in a second layer. Smooth and remove the excess buttercream with a palette knife/metal spatula – you don’t need to be too neat here as the whole cake will be covered in decoration.

    Gently press the bark into the sides of the cake, working around, until the sides are covered. Sprinkle over the desiccated/dried unsweetened shredded coconut, then position the Christmas cake decorations in place.

    Chocolatey tip: Have a small bowl of warm water nearby. If the chocolate starts to set on the paintbrush, clean the brush off in the warm water. Wipe with a paper towel and continue.

     

    Double chocolate sponge

    450 g/31/2 scant cups selfraising/ self-rising flour plus

    2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda, sifted (omit soda if baking with US flours)

    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, mixed with 4 tablespoons just-boiled water

    500 g/21/2 cups caster/ superfine sugar

    240 g/21/4 sticks butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing

    300 ml/11/4 cups buttermilk

    4 eggs

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    150 g/51/2 oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate, melted

    MAKES ENOUGH FOR 1 LARGE CAKE

     

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk until combined and smooth. Transfer to greased and lined pans specified in each recipe (if using 18-cm/7-inch cake pans, ensure they are at least 4.5 cm/13/4 inches deep and lined with a 1.5-cm/2/3-inch collar). Bake for the time specified in each recipe.

     

    Classic buttercream

    300 g/23/4 sticks butter, softened and cubed

    200 g/7 oz. vegetable fat such as Trex or Cookeen, at room temperature

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    1 kg/7 cups icing/ confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    MAKES 1.5 KG/3 LB. 5 OZ.

     

    Using an electric hand whisk, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the vegetable fat, vanilla and 2 tablespoons water. Gradually whisk in the icing/confectioners’ sugar in batches, until smooth and spreadable. Add another 1 tablespoon water, if needed.

     

    This recipe is from Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo, photography by Adrian Lawrence © Ryland Peters & Small

    Fantasy Cakes


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with christmas, baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on November 23, 2017

    Vegan Salted Caramel Cake recipe

    Epic vegan cake anyone? This sweet, salty, caramel number hits all the right flavour notes.

    vegan Salted Caramel Cake

    Ingredients:

    1 quantity of Vegan Chocolate Sponge mixture (see below) baked in three greased and lined 18-cm/7-inch cake pans for 30–35 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick/toothpick comes out clean, then cooled

    1/2 quantity of Brilliant White Buttercream (see page 21, but replace the water with 2 tablespoons of the vegan salted caramel sauce)

    2 teaspoons mixed gold, silver and bronze cake sprinkles (optional, see vegan tip)

    2 teaspoons rock sea salt

    200 g/1 cup caster/superfine sugar

    5–6 blackberries

    few sprigs of lemon thyme

    edible gold spray (optional, see vegan tip)

     

    For the vegan salted caramel sauce

    250 g/11/4 cups caster/superfine sugar

    150 ml/2/3 cup coconut milk

    2 tablespoons cornflour/cornstarch

    rock sea salt, to taste

    baking sheet, greased with sunflower oil

    SERVES 20

     

    For the vegan salted caramel sauce, place the sugar in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of water, place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the coconut milk (be careful as it will bubble). Return to the heat; mix the cornflour/cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of water and stir in to the pan, simmer for a further 5–7 minutes until thickened. It will thicken further on cooling. Add salt to taste. Set aside to cool completely (see cook’s tip).

    If necessary, trim the tops of the cakes to make level. Sandwich together using 350 g/12 oz. of the buttercream – the bottom side of the top cake should be facing up. Place the cake on a serving plate. Crumb-coat (see page 11) the cake using the remaining buttercream. Smooth and remove the excess buttercream with a palette knife/metal spatula.

    Mix the cake sprinkles (if using) with the 2 teaspoons sea salt. Set aside.

    For the caramel shapes and shards, gently heat the sugar in a pan until melted and golden. Shake the pan towards the end to allow any unmelted sugar to melt. Spoon half the caramel onto the greased baking sheet, then drag it outwards with the back of the spoon to create a rough square shape with one thinner, uneven side. Sprinkle the cake sprinkle mixture over part of the rectangle. Use the spoon to drizzle the remaining caramel into spiral shapes and zig-zag patterns. Leave to harden. Break the square shape into shards.

    When ready to serve, push the caramel shapes into the top of the cake, drizzle with the caramel sauce and decorate with the blackberries and lemon thyme sprigs. Spray with the edible gold spray (if using).

    Cook’s tip: You’ll have some caramel sauce left over; it’s great served with the cake for those wanting an extra drizzle! It’s so delicious you’ll want to pour it over every cake and dessert – keep any remaining sauce in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week or allow to cool for 5 minutes, reserve what you need for the cake and ladle the remaining sauce into a sterilized jar. Seal and allow to cool. It will keep for up to 3 months.

    Vegan tip: Always check ingredients on individual products to ensure they are suitable for a vegan diet. Different brands may vary.

     

    Vegan chocolate sponge

    1 large ripe banana, 115 g/ 4 oz. peeled weight

    250 ml/1 cup soya milk

    75 ml/5 tablespoons vegetable oil

    425 g/generous 2 cups

    caster/superfine sugar

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

    115 ml/scant 1/2 cup maple syrup

    575 g/generous 41/4 cups self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted

    75 g/3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    1 tablespoon baking powder

    MAKES ENOUGH FOR 1 LARGE CAKE

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4. Place the banana in a large bowl and mash until creamy. Add the soya milk, vegetable oil, sugar, vanilla extract, white wine vinegar and maple syrup. Beat with an electric hand whisk until combined. Sift over the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold through until combined. Transfer to greased and lined pans specified in each recipe (if using 18-cm/ 7-inch cake pans, ensure they are at least 4.5 cm/13/4 inches deep and lined with a 1.5-cm/2/3-inch collar). Bake for the time specified in each recipe.

     

    Brilliant white buttercream (vegan)

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. vegetable fat such as Trex or Cookeen, at room temperature

    1 kg/7 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    MAKES 1.5 KG/3 LB. 5 OZ.

    Place the vegetable fat in a bowl with the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons water and a few large spoonfuls of the icing/ confectioners' sugar. Whisk with an electric hand whisk until combined, then whisk in the remaining icing/confectioners’ sugar in manageable batches, until smooth and spreadable. Add another 1 tablespoon of water, if necessary.

     

    For more fabulous cake recipes and decoration ideas, check out Fantasy Cakes by Angela Romeo.

    fantasy cakes


    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with vegan, baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet

  • Posted on July 28, 2017

    Chocolate and Hazelnut Squares recipe

    These Swedish cookies are from our new book The Lagom Life and we think they're the perfect bake for a lazy Sunday afternoon. So take some time out for a little fika and give them a try!

    chocnutsquares

    'nötchokladrutor' chocolate and nut squares

    When my parents had gatherings at home with friends or family, after dessert there always had to be a  kaka till kaffet, which basically means a “biscuit with coffee.” When coffee was served, you also wanted something a little bit sweet to go with it, so my mom would often bake these. They are quick to make, the perfect lagom size, and my favorite from the cookie tray. I particularly love the crunch of the hazelnuts on top.

     

     Makes about 20 squares

    7 tablespoons/100g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

    scant ¾ cup/140g superfine/ caster sugar

    ½ teaspoon baking powder

    2 tablespoons cocoa powder

    1 egg

    1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or vanilla extract

    ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon/75g all-purpose/plain flour

    ¾ cup/100g chopped hazelnuts

     

    Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/

    Gas 6. Grease a baking sheet about 10 x 14 inches/25 x 35cm or larger, and line with parchment paper. If using a larger baking sheet, only prepare an area no larger than 10 x 14 inches/ 25 x 35cm. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, using a hand-held electric whisk or a balloon whisk. Add the baking powder and cocoa and blend until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla sugar or extract and whisk until incorporated. Sift in the flour and mix until blended and you have a batter that resembles smooth butter. Spread the batter evenly on the baking sheet. Scatter the chopped nuts on top.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes and cut into squares while still warm. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

     

    For more fika recipes, check out The Lagom Life by Elisabeth Carlsson.

    The Lagom Life

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet, lagom, fika

  • Posted on July 6, 2017

    Chocolate Fudge Ice-Cream recipe

    On World Chocolate Day, what’s better, more simple and spectacular than rich chocolate fudge ice cream? Rippled with a simple fudge sauce, this chocolate ice cream is super indulgent, but isn’t that what you want? It was made to make you smile!

    chocolate fudge ice cream

    Chocolate Fudge Ice-Cream

    350 ml/1 1⁄3 cups whole milk

    500 ml/2 cups double/ heavy cream

    5 egg yolks

    125 g/1 1⁄4 cups soft light brown sugar

    150 g/1 1⁄2 cups caster/ granulated sugar

    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

    a pinch of salt

    40 g/1⁄3 cup cocoa powder

    125 g/1 cup dark/ bittersweet chocolate (70%), chopped

    Fudge ripple

    175 ml/2⁄3 cup double/ heavy cream

    75 g/3⁄4 cup soft light brown sugar

    4 tablespoons golden/ light corn syrup or liquid glucose

    100 g/3⁄4 cup dark/ bittersweet chocolate

    30 g/1⁄4 cup cocoa powder

    25 g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    a pinch of salt

    Waffle cones

    6–8 waffle cones

    100 g/3⁄4 cup tempered dark/bittersweet chocolate

    chopped hazelnuts

     

    an ice cream machine

    Makes 1 1⁄2 litres/2 1⁄2 pints and serves 6–8

     

    To make the ice cream, heat the milk and half of the cream in a saucepan or pot set over a medium heat until just below boiling.

    Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, both sugars, vanilla and salt in a large mixing bowl until smooth and light.

    Steadily pour 3–4 tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and whisk again. Add the remaining milk and whisk until combined. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Take care not to let it boil or the eggs will scramble.

    Tip the chopped chocolate into a large mixing bowl and pour the hot mixture on top. Add the remaining double/heavy cream and whisk until you have a silky smooth, chocolatey custard. Set aside until cool, then cover with clingfilm/plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the fudge ripple. Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan or pot set over a low heat, and warm through, whisking constantly until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.

    Churn in the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon a quarter of the ice cream into a freezer container in an even layer. Top with a couple of tablespoons of fudge ripple and continue this layering, ending with a swirled layer of fudge ripple on the top. Freeze the ice cream overnight, until firm.

    To serve, dip each waffle cone in tempered dark/bittersweet chocolate and then in the chopped hazelnuts. Scoop the ice cream into the cone and enjoy!

     

    For more delicious chocolate recipes,  check  outChocolate at Home by Will Torrent.

    chocolate at home by will torrent

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, US, What's new, What's new and was tagged with chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet, ice cream, summer

  • Posted on March 23, 2017

    Sweet ideas for Mother's Day gifts

    Don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day this weekend!  We know that she deserves something special, so for this week’s blog we’ve picked three fantastic recipes that will make the perfect homemade gifts…

    This peanut butter fudge recipe is so simple to make, it’s perfect if you’re running a bit short on time! Topped with chocolate chips and peanuts, it looks so tempting… just make sure you leave time for it to set!

    Peanut butter fudge from Miracle Mug Cakes

    Cheat's Peanut Butter Fudge

    500 g/2 ¼ cups smooth peanut butter (you want the least oily peanut butter that you can find)

    1 x 397-g/14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

    a pinch of salt

    100 g/2/3 cup icing/ confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    100 g/2/3 cup dark/bittersweet chocolate chips

    100 g/1 cup chopped peanuts

    a 28 x 18 x 4-cm /11 x 7 x 1.5-inch cake pan, lined with overhanging baking parchment

    MAKES 64 PIECES

    In a large saucepan, melt together the peanut butter, condensed milk and salt over a medium heat.

    Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir to loosen the mixture.

    Carefully add in the sifted icing/confectioners’ sugar and stir until fully combined and very thick.

    Empty the mixture into the prepared cake pan, making sure it covers the whole of the base – the weight of the mixture will hold down the baking parchment. It will be quite oily and you will need to use the back of a spoon to smooth the fudge out.

    Sprinkle over the dark chocolate chips, making sure they are spread out and push them in to the fudge slightly. They may melt a little but this is okay.

    Sprinkle over the chopped peanuts, pushing them in to the fudge, too.

    Allow the fudge to cool, then pop it in to the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Once set, use the overhanging baking parchment to lift the fudge out of the pan.

    Slice the fudge into small squares and enjoy.

    NOTE You can store this fudge for around 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge, but it is best eaten at room temperature.

     

    For something a little bit more grown up, why not try these Pina Colada Jellies? These heavenly cubes, flecked with cherry and pineapple are the best part of a cocktail in a mouthful.

    Pina Colada Jellies from Party-Perfect Bites

    Pina Colada Jellies

    700 ml/scant 3 cups pineapple juice (not from concentrate)

    34 sheets of gelatine, softened in cold water for 5–10 minutes

    350 ml/1 ½ cups cherry juice

    400 g /14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

    300 ml/1 ¼  cups Malibu or other coconut-flavoured white rum

    80 ml/ 1/3 cup coconut cream

    25 x 18-cm/10 x 7-inch and 12 x 9-cm/4 ½ x 3 ½ -inch containers, lined with clingfilm/ plastic wrap

    makes about 120 cubes

    Heat 120 ml/ ½ cup pineapple juice to a simmer in a saucepan. Take off the heat, squeeze the water out of 11 sheets of gelatine, add to the juice and whisk. Add this to the remaining pineapple juice and whisk. Pour into the large prepared container and set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

    Heat 60 ml/ ¼ cup of the cherry juice to a simmer in a saucepan. Take off the heat, squeeze the water out of 6 sheets of gelatine, add to the juice and whisk. Add this to the remaining cherry juice and whisk. Pour into the small prepared container and set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

    Once both jellies are set, heat 180 ml/ ¾ cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Take off the heat. Squeeze the water out of 17 sheets of gelatine, add to the water and whisk. Add this to the condensed milk, along with the rum, 150 ml/generous ó cup water and the coconut cream. Mix, then let cool, but don’t allow it to set.

    Cut the pineapple and cherry jellies into 1.5-cm/ ¾ -inch cubes. Arrange the cubes in a container large enough to hold them all, then cover with the cooled coconut jelly to a depth of 2.5 cm/1 inch. Set in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, cut into 2.5-cm/1-inch cubes to serve.

     

    These mini chocolate cheesecakes are sure to go down a treat with any chocoholic! This recipe uses vanilla and orange flavours, but you could choose any flavour you like to make these the perfect gift.

    Mini chocolate cheesecakes from Cheesecake

    FOR THE CAKE BASES

    55 g/4 tablespoons butter

    55 g/4 ½ tablespoons caster/ white sugar

    1 egg

    55 g/scant 1⁄2 cup self-raising flour

    grated zest of 1 orange

    FOR THE DRIZZLING SYRUP

    freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

    1 tablespoon icing/confectioners’ sugar

    FOR THE FILLING

    170 g/ ¾ cup mascarpone cheese

    170 ml/ ¾ cup crème fraîche

    1 tablespoon icing/confectioners’ sugar

    1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

    TO ASSEMBLE

    400 g/14 oz. dark spiced chocolate (such as Green & Black’s Maya Gold)

    24 sugar flowers

    a 24-hole square mini brownie pan, greased

    a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle/tip (optional)

    24 paper petit fours cases

    MAKES 24

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) Gas 4.

    To make the cake bases, whisk together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, until light and creamy. Beat in the egg and whisk again. Sift in the flour, add half of the orange zest and stir through again. Put a small spoonful of mixture into each of the holes of the prepared brownie pan. (This is easiest done with a piping bag.) You only want a little cake mixture in each hole as when the cakes are baked you still need room to add the cheesecake mixture on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 10–12 minutes until the sponges spring back when you press with a clean finger.

    Simmer the orange juice and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved, then drizzle a little of the syrup over each of the cakes. Leave the cakes to cool, then press the cakes down so that there is room for the filling on top.

    For the cheesecake filling, whisk together the mascarpone, crème fraîche, icing/confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and the remaining orange zest until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the cake bases, spreading in tightly using a pallet knife or spatula so that all the holes of the brownie pan are filled completely. Transfer the pan to the freezer and freeze until the cheesecake is solid, which will take about 30 minutes.

    When the cheesecakes are frozen, melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Remove the frozen cheesecakes from the freezer and, one at a time, dip them into the warm chocolate. Transfer to a wire rack to set, with a sheet of foil underneath to catch any chocolate drips. Before the chocolate sets, affix a sugar flower to the top of each cheesecake. The chocolate will set quickly given the frozen temperatures of the cheesecakes – if it sets too quickly you can simply attach the flowers using a little extra chocolate. Once set, place each chocolate in a petit fours case and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve, by which time the cheesecake will have defrosted.

     

    In order, these recipes have been taken from,

    Miracle Mug Cakes by Suzy Pelta, available here.

    Miracle Mug Cakes by Suzy Pelta

    Party-Perfect Bites by Milli Taylor, available here.

    Party-perfect bites by Milli Taylor

    Cheesecake by Hannah Miles, available here.

    Cheesecake by Hannah Miles

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with homemade, baking, Mother's Day, gift, chocolate, quick, sweet, recipe, gift ideas, cheesecake, fudge

  • Posted on March 16, 2017

    Irish Stout Cake for St Patrick's Day

    In celebration of St Patrick’s day, what better recipe to share than one that uses everyone's favourite Irish drink - Guinness. This stout cake really showcases the rich, dark nature of the classic Irish ‘perfect pint’ and by adding extra malt, it creates an even more sensational bake.

    Irish Guinness Cake from LOLA's recipe book

    Irish Stout Cake

    50 ml/3 ½ tablespoons dark Irish stout (we use Guinness)

    250 g/2 ¼ sticks butter

    400 g/2 cups white sugar

    100 g/1 cup cocoa powder

    30 g/3 ½ tablespoons malt powder (we use Horlicks)

    150 ml/ ¾ cup sour cream

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    2 teaspoons bicarbonate of/ baking soda

    275 g/2 cups plain/all-purpose flour

    CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

    25 g/ ¼ stick butter, softened

    100 g/ ¾ cup icing/

    confectioners’ sugar

    200 g/7 oz. cream cheese

    grated chocolate, to decorate

    23-cm/9-inch springform cake pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

    MAKES 1 LARGE CAKE

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Put the stout and butter in a large pan set over gentle heat. Don’t let it boil, just let the butter melt through the liquid. Add the sugar, cocoa and malt powder to the warm

    butter-stout mixture and whisk gently to get rid of any lumps. Add the sour cream and stir in – this will cool the mixture sufficiently so that you can add the eggs and then the vanilla extract. Continue to mix until all the ingredients are completely incorporated.

    Add the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and then begin to add the flour, little by little, stirring each time until fully incorporated.

    Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50–60 minutes. A skewer should come out clean when inserted into the centre. Turn out, them allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.

    To make the cream cheese frosting, place the softened butter in a large bowl and add the icing/confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese. Using a stand mixer or handheld electric whisk, slowly and carefully beat everything together. Once combined, increase the speed and whip until you have a soft and fluffy frosting.

    Place the cooled cake on your serving plate and loosely spoon over the frosting – we like to use a very informal swirl technique, but this is entirely up to you. Sprinkle around the top edge with grated chocolate to finish.

     

    This recipe is from LOLA's A cake Journey Around the World, available here.

    LOLA's A Cale Journey Around the World

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    This post was posted in Featured, Featured, News, News, Recipes, Recipes, UK, What's new, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, St Patrick's Day, sweet, cake, LOLA's, irish, guinness

  • Posted on January 25, 2017

    Win a gluten-free baking bundle!

    We’re completely thrilled to be publishing a beautiful gluten-free baking book by Victoria Hall at the end of this month and are celebrating the release with a bundle giveaway in partnership with Real Foods!

    Simply answer the baking question below for your chance to win This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall and a selection of Real Foods ingredients needed for making Victoria’s delicious gluten-free Florentines.

    Gluten free baking bundle giveaway prize

    Selling a huge selection of naturally healthy and ethically sourced ingredients, Real Foods are one of Victoria’s favourite websites for buying gluten-free flours and other baking ingredients, such as nuts, seeds, chocolate, dried fruit and more. This brilliant baking prize bundle includes Doves Farm all-purpose gluten-free flour, Equal Exchange dark chocolate and If You Care baking parchment; as well as light brown sugar, flaked almonds, chopped walnuts, mixed peel, glacé cherries and a re-usable cotton organic bag from Real Foods with beautiful artwork by Edinburgh Sketcher.

    The competition closes on Tuesday 31st January and there will be one lucky winner. Good luck!

    Florentines

    Florentines are not quite a traditional cookie, more a suspension of nuts and fruit in a crisp but ever-so-slightly chewy caramel. Swathe the underside of these discs in dark chocolate and you have yourself a very elegant addition to your cup of tea. As robust as they are pretty-looking (thanks to being set with both caramel and chocolate), once completely cooled, they can be easily packaged up in a cellophane bag, decorated with a ribbon and given as a gift. My mum, in particular, would thank you for them.

    From start to serve: 1 hour l Prep: 10 minutes l Bake: 6–8 minutes

    Florentines

    30 g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    75 g/ ⅓ cup soft light brown sugar

    30 g/2½ tablespoons plain/all-purpose gluten-free flour

    50 g/3 tablespoons double/heavy cream

    75 g/¾ cup flaked/slivered almonds

    25 g/3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts

    50 g/3 tablespoons mixed peel, chopped

    75 g/¾cup glacé cherries, chopped

    200 g/6½ oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate

    2 baking sheets lined with baking parchment or silicone baking sheets

    MAKES 12

     

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    In a saucepan set over a low heat, melt together the butter, sugar and flour. Add the cream to the pan, a little at a time, stirring after each addition. The mixture should be smooth and caramel in colour when you remove it from the heat.

    Stir in the almonds, chopped nuts, mixed peel and cherries until evenly distributed and everything is coated in the caramel.

    Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes; this will allow it to cool slightly and prevent over-spreading in the oven.

    Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced well apart – they will spread to about 10 cm/4 inches in diameter. Flatten each mound slightly, then bake in the preheated oven for 6–8 minutes until golden all over and the edges begin to darken.

    Remove from the oven. Using the tip of a spoon, gently push the lacy edges of the Florentines towards the centre to create a more circular shape. Be very careful not to touch them at this stage, as the sugar will be extremely hot.

    Allow to cool completely on the baking sheets.

    Once cool, melt the chocolate in a jug/pitcher in the microwave, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir to combine until molten and smooth and then coat the underside of each Florentine with a good layer of chocolate, setting upside down on a wire rack to cool.

    As the chocolate begins to set, use a fork to create the traditional wavy pattern on the underside of each Florentine and then allow to harden completely before serving. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

     

    This is Gluten Free by Victoria Hall

    This recipe is taken from This is Gluten-Free by Victoria Hall. Available now to pre-order.


    This post was posted in Competitions, Featured, News, UK, What's new and was tagged with baking, chocolate, 2017

  • Posted on November 11, 2016

    Vegan Baking!

    As November is World Vegan Month, we’ve decided that all our new recipes on this little blog will be vegan-friendly. Since, it’s cold and dark outside, we’ve also decided that we’re going to spend the weekend baking, and we don’t anyone to miss out! So, because it’s Friday and we’re feeling generous, here’s not one but two vegan recipes from our new book Brownies, Blondies & Traybakes. Enjoy!

    Cocoa Energy Bars

    Energy and protein bars are everywhere you look and it’s easy to understand why. They are the perfect snack for when you’re on the go and need to curb hunger pangs. These are made with unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate fix and almonds for added protein.

    75 g/½ cup sliced dried figs

    150 g/1½ cup rolled oats

    35 g/¼ cup oat flour

    25 g/⅓ cup chopped almonds

    120 g/1½ cups crisped rice cereal

    50 g/⅓ cup dark/bittersweet chocolate chips

    3 tablespoons brown sugar

    4 tablespoons cocoa powder

    50 g/¼ cup almond butter

    60 ml/¼ cup coconut oil

    115 g/⅓ cup brown rice syrup

    80 ml/⅓ cup almond milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    an 18 x 28-cm/7 x 11-inch baking pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

    Makes 12

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Pulse the figs and oats together in a food processor and transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, almonds, crisped rice cereal, chocolate chips, sugar and cocoa powder and mix well. Set aside.

    Melt the almond butter, coconut oil, rice syrup, almond milk and vanilla in a small pan set over a medium heat. Pour over the oat mixture and mix well so all the ingredients are well-coated.

    Pour the bar mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely before cutting into equal bars.

    Ginger Cashew Granola Bars

    Shortcuts are always handy when cooking around a busy schedule. Because the granola is pre-made here, this tasty tray requires only assembly, and a bit of patience while the bars stick together!

    200 g/1¾ cups plain store-bought granola

    60 g/½ cup well-chopped cashews

    40 g/¼ cup well-chopped crystallized ginger

    80 g/1 cup crisped rice cereal

    50 g/¼ cup almond butter

    115 g/⅓ cup brown rice syrup

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    a 20-cm/8-inch square baking pan, greased and lined with baking parchment

    Makes 12

    Mix the granola, cashews, ginger and crisped rice cereal together in a large mixing bowl. Add the almond butter, rice syrup and oil and mix well so everything is well-coated.

    Press the sticky batter into the pan and put in the refrigerator to set for at least 3 hours. Remove and cut into bars before serving.

    Variation: Candied citrus peel is a great alternative to crystallized ginger in this recipe and gives the bars a tropical burst of tangy citrus flavour.

    Brownies, Blondies & Traybakes is available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, News, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with vegan, baking, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, vegetarian, quick, sweet, healthy, 2016

  • Posted on September 29, 2016

    Tiramisu with a twist...

    Sometimes life calls for dessert, and sometimes it calls for Dessert with a Capital D. This is one such pud! Why do anything in half measures? Hannah Miles’ latest book, Layered Desserts is crammed with indulgent treats from all around the world, and each and every recipe would make a great dinner party ‘pièce de résistance’. So whether you’ve got the whole family round for Sunday lunch, or just a few friends over for an intimate supper, impress them with Hannah’s twist on an Italian classic…

    Or if peanut butter & jelly is more your thing, check out this decadent recipe tutorial on The Pantry's youtube channel.

    Toblerone Tiramisu

    While Italians will probably shudder at the thought of including Toblerone in their national dessert, I love the hints of almond and honey crunch that it adds. If you are short of time you can replace the Toblerone cupcakes with store-bought sponge fingers or trifle sponges instead for equally delicious results. I hope you enjoy my take on this classic layered dessert.

    FOR THE CUPCAKES:

    115 g/generous ½ cup caster/granulated sugar

    115 g/1 stick butter, softened

    2 UK large/US extra-large eggs

    100 g/¾ cup self-raising/self-rising flour

    30 g/⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    80 g/3 oz. Toblerone, chopped into chunks

    FOR THE CREAM:

    500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. mascarpone cheese

    500 ml/2 cups crème fraîche or sour cream

    3 tablespoons icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    TO ASSEMBLE:

    2 tablespoons instant coffee powder

    150 ml/⅔ cup amaretto liqueur

    200 g/7 oz. Toblerone, chopped unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

    12-hole muffin pan, lined with cupcake cases

    large glass bowl

    SERVES 8–10

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

    Begin by making the cupcakes. Whisk together the sugar and butter until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold gently to incorporate. Half fill each cupcake case with the cake mixture. Divide the chunks of Toblerone between the cupcakes, placing them in the centre of each case, and then cover with a spoonful of the remaining cake batter. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until the cupcakes are firm to touch and spring back when pressed with a finger. Set aside to cool, then remove the cases.

    Dissolve the instant coffee in a shallow bowl with 250 ml/1 cup boiling water. Pour in the amaretto and leave to cool. While the coffee mixture is cooling, make the cream by whisking together the mascarpone, crème fraîche and icing/confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl.

    Soak half of the cupcakes in the coffee mixture. It is best to do this one at a time as the cupcakes can become soggy if they are in the liquid too long. You want them to absorb some of the liquid but still retain their shape. Place half the cakes on the bottom of the trifle dish, pressing them down with a spoon so that the cupcakes make a layer over the bottom of the dish.

    To assemble, sprinkle over half the chopped Toblerone and dust with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh sieve/strainer. Spoon half the mascarpone mixture over the top and dust with another layer of sifted cocoa powder. Soak the remaining sponges, as before, in the coffee mixture and place on top of the cocoa layer. Cover with the remaining Toblerone and dust with another cocoa layer. Spoon in the remaining mascarpone mixture and spread out in an even layer and dust with more cocoa. Chill in the fridge, preferably overnight, to enable the flavours to develop. This dessert will store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

    Layered Desserts by Hannah Miles is available here.

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    This post was posted in Featured, Recipes, UK, What's new and was tagged with christmas, baking, Hannah Miles, coffee, chocolate, recipe for the weekend, sweet, 2016

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