Tag Archives: chocolate

Malted Chocolate Muffins

Standard

IMG_4781

I think the last time I ate Maltezers I was probably 12 years old out at the movies with a bunch of friends.  We thought it was hilarious tossing them down the old wooden steps, much to the irritation of all the adults in the theatre.  So with such silly memories awakened when I came upon this recipe I just had to give it a go.

These muffins are rich in flavour and moist and light in texture. Very more-ish!

  • 150g malted chocolate balls (such as Maltesers)
  • 225g plain flour
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 1 T baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 120g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 90g melted butter, cooled

Preheat oven to 200c.  Grease or line a 12 hole muffin tin.

Roughly crush chocolate balls, reserving 12 whole ones for decoration.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Mix in sugar and crushed chocolate balls.

I a smaller bowl, lightly beat eggs, add buttermilk and butter. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Stir with a metal spoon until just combined.  Do not overmix.

Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch.

Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once fully cooled, spread with icing and top each muffin with a reserved chocolate ball.

Icing

  • 60g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 110g softened butter

220g icing sugar

To make icing, melt chocolate.  Add butter and icing sugar and beat well until smooth, light and creamy.

Adapted from Muffins: Simple and Delicious.  Paragon Books, c2010, p56.

IMG_4792

Advertisements

Chocolate Coffee Cookies

Standard

I should probably be posting salad recipes right after Halloween, but these cookies really need to be shared!  And of course there is no such thing as too much chocolate is there?

These are our latest house favourite.  So rich and intense!  The good thing is, they are rich enough that you only need one or two to feel sated.

The key to success is high quality chocolate.

Recipe

  • 400 g good quality dark chocolate
  • 125 g butter, chopped
  • 1 T dried espresso coffee grounds
  • 1 3/4 caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 c plain flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1 1/2 c dark chocolate chips (optional)

Heat chocolate, butter and coffee in a saucepan over a low heat until melted and smooth. Use a metal spoon to stir.  Remove from heat and leave to cool.

Beat sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl on high speed until thick and pale. Add chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Sift dry ingredients over the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover dough and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. The dough is very soft so it is important that you keep the dough refridgerated between batches.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Drop heaped teaspoons of mixture onto prepared trays, allowing room for spreading. Bake 1 tray at a time for 10-12 minutes or until cookie tops are set.  Stand on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to complete cooling.

Adapted from “Family Circle“, December 2008, p75

Date Cornflake Cookies

Standard

Cornflakes are a rarity in our house.  Cereal is generally a pretty boring affair, with high-fibre and low sugar being the key factors for choosing.  Lots of bran and oats – yum.  So cornflakes are only bought as a rare treat.  It says a lot about my kids’ diet though that they never even think to ask for things like Coco Pops or Fruit Loops!  When we do have some cornflakes about, I will often make some cookies with them.

These cookies have a lovely soft texture on the inside, with bites of chocolate and date sweetness, and a crunchy outside.

Recipe

  • 250 g butter, softened
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1/2 c raw sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c plain flour
  • 3 t baking powder
  • 1 c dried dates, chopped
  • 1 c dark chocolate bits
  • cornflakes

Line baking trays with baking paper.  Preheat oven to 180C.

Beat butter, sugars and vanilla together until batter is light and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time and beat until well mixed. Mix baking powder with flour, and add to egg batter in batches, mixing well with each addition.  Add dates and choc bits and mix until well combined.

Roll into teaspoon sized balls and roll in cornflakes, pressing them into the dough.  Place on baking tray with room for them to spread.

Cook for about 10 minutes to until just set.  Leave to cool fully on trays.

Coconut Sugar Brownies

Standard

When I was little my mom used to make me brownies for my birthday.  This might not sound like a big deal, but for a long time this was the one day in the year that white flour, white sugar and chocolate made an appearance in our kitchen.  Those brownies gave my birthdays some moments of pure bliss!

My sister, Salsa, has a big birthday coming up and she would love some brownies, but she doesn’t eat cane sugar.  So I have been doing some homework in preparation. I discovered a number of brownie recipes using coconut sugar, which seems to be an acceptable sugar for Salsa.  This recipe has been adapted from: http://positiveponderings.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/naturally-sweetened-chewy-brownies-with.html (this blog is worth a look, it’s got some good stuff!).

The brownies were sublime!  With a bunch of boys in the house getting ready for soccer training, the entire pan was consumed within minutes.  Will definitely double the recipe next time.

Recipe

  • 1 1/4 c coconut sugar (I used the Power Super Foods brand)
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2 T honey
  • 200 g butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3/4 c flour (I used organic spelt)
  • 1 t baking powder

Line 8 x 8 baking pan with baking paper.  Preheat oven to 175C.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter and sugar together, stirring constantly.  Add honey and cocoa powder and keep stirring until mixture is smooth and slightly shiny.  Set aside to cool.

(I use the Woolworths home brand cocoa because it is strong and dark.)

Sift flour and baking powder into large bowl. Whisk eggs and vanilla until slightly frothy, and stir into cocoa mixture.  Pour into flour bowl and stir until well mixed.  Pour into pan.  Cook for 25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Moist and dark and chocolatey! YUM!

Double Choc Muffins

Standard

When I enrolled my kids in school it never occured to me that I had just embarked on a twelve year journey into the world of fund raising.  Our school P&C funds a wide range of resources, services and facilities for the school.  What we do requires large sums of money, and enormous  amounts of effort to raise it.

Our school’s next fundraising event is a trivia night.  This is a big one the fund raising calendar: there’s always a lot of people, and they always raise a lot of money.   It is also a parents only event, with food and alcohol served: the perfect recipe to encourage everyone to dig deep and spend. One of the key money spinners is the silent auction, and the key to the success of the auction is having a decent range of items available to bid for. With this in mind, a friend of mine has come up with the brilliant idea that we should team up and offer up a catering service for a child’s birthday party. Well I guess we’ll find out how brilliant the idea is after the event!

Since agreeing to this plan I have been experimenting a bit with some ideas.  I’ve started with the idea that for most of the kids I know there is nothing like mixing chocolate with more chocolate.  These muffins are adapted from one of my grandmothers recipes.

Double Chocolate Muffins

  • 2 c plain self-raising flour
  • 4 T cocoa powder
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed
  • 100 g dark chocolate bits
  • 2 T cherry brandy (optional)
  • ½ t ground cloves
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 100 g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 100 g dark chocolate extra

Grease 12 hole muffin pan (1/3 c capacity) or line with muffin cups.  Preheat oven to 180C.

Place flour, cocoa, sugar and 100g choc bits in large bowl and mix together.  Separately whisk milk, butter and eggs together.  Pour into the flour mixture and stir with large metal spoon until just combined.  Spoon into muffin tray. Bake for about 20 minutes or until skewer inserted in to the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Once muffins are cooked, melt remaining chocolate and spread over muffins. Decorate as desired.

Chocolate Oatmeal Squares

Standard

With school starting back yesterday the sprogs were very grumpy indeed. It’s not that they don’t like school. It’s just that they like not being at school so much more. These holidays they scored an extra week off due to a visit from some of our American family, and I find that the longer the time off, the harder it is to get them back into the school head space.  It starts with begging to stay down south, “just one more night, just one…. pleeeez??” When that doesn’t work, the ‘headaches’ and coughing begin. Poor things, they strain themselves so much to sound convincing that they actually do end up with sore throats. And so it goes on…  It is really an impressive effort.

But… after lengthy discussion about the necessity of going, and the promise of a scrumptious chocolate treat for recess, they give in and agree to feel better by morning and get up early enough to be dragged off to school. The treat of choice, these chocolate squares, are very rich, loaded with choc bits, and topped with a butterscotch icing.  Very decadent and a rare treat.

Recipe

  • 8 T unsweetened cocoa (my favourite is the Woolworths Home Brand for a darker richer result)
  • ¾ c butter
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c oats
  • 1 c raw sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 60 ml cherry brandy
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 c plain flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • ¾ c dark chocolate bits

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 33 x 23 cm baking pan. Melt butter and cocoa in saucepan over medium heat. Add water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and beat in oats, sugars, eggs, brandy and vanilla.  Add flour, baking powder and salt in 3 batches, and beat on medium til fully blended with each batch.  Stir in choc bits.

Pour into baking pan and cook for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool the cake before icing. The squares are best eaten the next day but are also nice when iced still slightly warm, for a softer lighter square.

Icing

  • ½ c butter
  • 1 c brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ c milk
  • 1 ½ – 1 ¾ c icing sugar

Melt butter in saucepan and stir in brown sugar. Bring to boil and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Cool slightly.  Gradually stir in sifted icing sugar.  Continue to stir as mixture cools further, until it thickens to a spreadable consistency. Decorate as desired.

Easter Chocolates

Standard

Easter Sunday means chocolate.  I know it means lots of other very important things to many people, but it also means chocolate!  My sprogs have been panting in drooling anticipation for weeks now. With any trip to a shop that sells food I have been regaled with advice about acceptable chocolate treats. I now understand that a large bunny is critical, and an abundance of other chocolate treats is also required.

So yes to the bunny chocolate, but I like to give them something I create as well – and whatever I do has to be quick and easy because there is so much on over Easter that I don’t have a lot of time.  So the first thing I do is take a trip to Essential Ingredient – one of my favourite shops – for some a big chunk of dark cooking chocolate.  Starting with good quality chocolate is the key to making the simple options work. I always get dark chocolate, and a smaller amount of white. It also helps to have some moulds to create some fun shapes with your chocolate.

So here are some ideas for some super easy chocolates that you can make in minutes.

Mint chocolate

  • 1 cup melted dark chocolate
  • 2 drops peppermint oil – I buy American peppermint (also from Essential Ingredient)

To melt chocolate I use the microwave because it is very easy.  Chop the chocolate into smallish chunks and heat for 1 minute a time on medium.  I think a glass container works best, and you must make sure the container is completely dry. After each minute in the microwave mix the chocolate.  Once fully melted add 2 drops of peppermint oil and mix well.  Pour into moulds and refridgerate until set.

White chocolate crunch

  • 1 cup melted white chocolate
  • 2 T desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup Sultana Bran

Melt chocolate as above, but use medium-low temperature if you have that setting.  White chocolate will curdle or burn more easily than dark so you need to be careful. Once melted, add other ingredients and mix well.  Form into small teaspoon sized balls and set into small patty cups. Set in refridgerator.

Chocolate hearts

  • 1 c melted dark chocolate
  • candy sprinkles

Melt chocolate. Pour into heart shaped moulds, cover generously with sprinkles. Set in refridgerator.

Coconut chocolate

  • 1 c melted dark chocolate
  • 1 c desiccated coconut
  • extra coconut for decorating

Melt chocolate.  Mix well with coconut. Pour into moulds.  Sprinkle with additional coconut. Set in refridgerator.

Chocolate marshmallows

  • 1 c melted dark chocolate
  • 16 large vanilla marshmallows
  • sprinkles for decorating

Melt chocolate. Coat marshmallows with chocolate and place on baking paper lined tray.  Decorate with sprinkles. Set in refridgerator.

A big basket with a bit of everything displayed works wonders with the sprogs!  Happy Easter!