Archive of ‘Chocolate’ category

Tangzhong Chocolate Swirl Buns & VonShef Stand Mixer Review

tangzhong chocolate swirl buns

One of the biggest powerhouses in any baker’s arsenal is the stand mixer, it renders a great many tasks considerably easier and enables you to do other things whilst at the same time mixing cake batter, making meringue or kneading bread dough. Unfortunately they are generally prohibitively expensive, which is why when my (second-hand and gifted) KitchenAid mixer exploded I was unable to afford to replace it and have been without one for a long time. I still have it, sat in a cupboard awaiting the time when I get round to finding a replacement circuit board for it, but I keep forgetting to do so. (more…)

Chocolate Porter (Or Stout) Ice Cream & A Giveaway

milk chocolate porter (or stout) beer ice cream with porter caramel sauce

It was only a few years ago, while managing a country pub, that I started to like beer; before then I had found the taste too bitter. But maybe something to do with the fact that I was serving many pints of it a day and taking care of the casks in the cellar changed my mind, and I grew to appreciate the bitterness. I have not however managed to grow to like drinking stout or porter, it is just too strong for me; but, pair it with chocolate and add to to ice cream (or cake) then it is a whole different story. Used in this way the deep, rich flavour complements and accentuates the chocolate and adds a malty flavour without overpowering. It is in short, utterly delicious.

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Balsamic Roasted Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream & July 2016 Degustabox Review

Balsamic roasted cherry and chocolate chunk ice cream

It feels like an age since I last posted, and I was planning on putting this post up last week but life (and my seven month old niece who I was babysitting for the week – how does anyone get anything done while looking after a baby?!) got in the way so it’s taken me an awfully long time to get this done! I’m also going to Bloodstock festival (heavy metal) tomorrow so will be away until next week; I’m hoping for a warm, sunny weekend but doubt I’m going to get it so I’ve got my (black, naturally) wellies packed just in case; I say packed, but currently I just have piles of stuff to take dotted around the house and haven’t actually packed anything yet…I am not very prepared! (more…)

Chocolate & Vanilla Gold Sprinkles Cake

Chocolate & vanilla gold sprinkles cake - velvety American white cake dyed turquoise with fudgy chocolate buttercream & a cascade of gold sprinkles

It’s been a while since I last made a layer cake, I didn’t even make one for my birthday (I had ice cream instead), the reason for this is that they are so big and there is mostly just the two of us to eat it. Therefore I will take advantage of any occasion where there is a gathering of people large enough to make one; a couple of weeks ago there was just such an occasion – a barbecue for a friends birthday so of course I made a cake. (more…)

White Chocolate Allspice Ice Cream

White chocolate allspice ice cream - rich, creamy white chocolate ice cream with a hint of warm allspice

Something amazing has happened this past week – Britain has actually had some Summer! As in actual hot, sunny days and clear blue skies rather than torrential rain and gloom… This has meant that I’ve been having to get up early to walk Ringo before it gets too hot to move and the pavement burns his little paws, and all I’ve wanted to eat is ice cream and watermelon, but I’m certainly not going to complain about some much needed sunshine! The heat has also been a good excuse (not that I’ve ever needed one) to put my ice cream maker to good use and this white chocolate allspice ice cream is one of my recent creations. (more…)

Black Forest Meringue Nests (Chocolate Cherry Meringues)

Black forest meringue nests - chocolate swirl meringues with quark whipped cream, cherry compote & chocolate shavings

The other day I attempted to squeeze the bowl for my ice cream maker into the freezer, which resulted in me having to re-arrange the entire freezer and remove several items in order to fit it in (there may be an overabundance of cake in there…); that in turn led to me making these black forest meringue nests as I took out a tub of egg whites (which I always seem to have several of in there) and a packet of frozen cherries to make room for the bowl. The logical conclusion was meringues with cherry compote, at which point it seemed wrong not to add chocolate and some quark whipped cream to make sort of black forest mini pavlovas. (more…)

Easy, No-Churn M&M’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream With Chocolate Fudge Swirl

Easy, no-churn M&M's cookie dough ice cream with chocolate fudge swirl

It is my 30th birthday tomorrow and I’m not particularly happy about it. I just don’t feel grown-up enough to be 30 years old; I still feel like I’m just bumbling through life without a clue what I’m actually doing (but then do you ever actually grow out of that feeling?). I know that “30 is just a number” and “you’re only as old as you feel” blah blah blah etc. etc, but I can’t quite shake the feeling of dread about saying goodbye to my twenties. To commiserate and cheer me up a bit I made a batch of thoroughly un-grown-up ice cream – easy, no-churn M&M’s cookie dough ice cream with chocolate fudge swirl. (more…)

Chocolate Stout Cake With Stout Ganache (Guinness Chocolate Cake)

Chocolate stout cake with stout ganache

So much for Summer; for the last week we’ve had nothing but grey skies and rain. It has been properly gloomy, but SO uncomfortably humid; especially at night, when we all, including Ringo the dog, have been struggling to sleep. There has been so much rain in fact that there has even been quite a bit of flooding near my house… in Birmingham! The gloomy weather and lack of sleep called for cake, chocolate cake to be specific. Dark, dense and richly flavoured chocolate stout cake, topped with a thick layer of silky-smooth stout ganache; grown-up chocolate cake heaven. (more…)

Pistachio Stracciatella Ice Cream & May 2016 Degustabox Review

Pistachio stracciatella ice cream - creamy pistachio ice cream with flecks of dark chocolate (egg free)

We have had some truly hot, summery weather recently, perfect for ice cream. Not that I think there is ever a bad time for ice cream, but you can’t deny that it is much more satisfying when eaten in the sunshine; preferably on a beach. Though living in Birmingham there is a definite shortage of beaches nearby… In the garden then. (more…)

Double Chocolate Almond Raisin Muffins & A Giveaway

Jumbo double chocolate almond raisin muffins

I’ve had a pretty busy couple of weeks recently, there has been some very grown-up stuff happening (words like mortgage! Solicitors! Conveyancing!), and some not-so-grown-up stuff (epic pirate cake baking!), as well as several friends coming to stay; so unfortunately I’ve had very little time for blogging and my social media has been thoroughly neglected. I thought I would ease back into things with something simple – double chocolate almond raisin muffins, because muffins are some of the easiest things you can make. (more…)

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