Tag Archives: dark chocolate

Healthified Millionaire’s “Shortbread”

These are so good that if I didn’t have my healthy blog, I would definitely pop them straight onto this blog. They are best served cold, and can be enjoyed as a “whenever you feel like chocolate” snack, or as an energy boosting bar that satisfies your sweet tooth when you are attempting to be healthy.

IMG_0942

These are full of good fats (coconut oil, nuts, nut butter), which is both great, and deadly. The trick with healthy foods, is generally that moderation is still important. The high-protein, high-fat nature of these means they are very filling. Any more than one or two, and you’re definitely not enjoying them out of hunger, rather sheer enjoyment of the creamy, chocolatey, caramely goodness.

Check out the recipe here.

Advertisements

Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache filling

I love having a family with good taste. It means I get to spoil them with experiments and I get to enjoy the benefits, both of actually putting together something delicious, and of enjoying it (I am still trying to figure out which one I enjoy more… thankfully it’s not important to figure out, otherwise I would be in a major quandary and dilemma and I would probably end up not doing either of them. I’m weird like that).

IMG_0791

I have a problem with reading, and I have lost my excuse since finishing University. While at school and while studying at University, I got a bit lazy to read. I absolutely love reading though, I always have, every since my Great Gran taught me how to read the children’s bible when I was 5! I got a Dictionary for my 6th birthday. Which I decided I would try and read when I was 11. Thankfully I didn’t get very far, that would have been a waste of time!

But that is my problem with reading: I feel that it is such a luxury past-time, that if I have something more “important” to be doing (such as assignments, studying, thesis, etc.), then how could I allow myself to indulge in reading? As a result I didn’t do my reading at Uni. Which isn’t to say that I got much of the other important stuff done in that time instead though, I would actually end up not doing either activity. So it really was a terrible excuse.

IMG_0819

Now, I can’t even use that excuse because I am no longer studying! I have free time which is actually free, and it is beautiful. You could say that the free time actually adds up to the endless holidays that students get. Or at least I can tell myself that so that I don’t feel so jealous about all their time to travel and explore…

The beautiful birthday girl

The beautiful birthday girl

I suppose what I do do instead of reading or studying now is bake. I am ok with that. Sometimes baking requires planning and organisation and grown up things like that, so for this cake for my cousin’s 18th, I had to make a practice version of the cake. You know, to make sure it worked out alright (nothing to do with sampling or ensuring that we had our own personal “leftovers”…

 practice cake
For the cake

Ingredients

  • 230g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 240g flour
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 250ml milk
  • 125g butter
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Prepare two round baking tins.
  2. Place eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk on high until lighter in colour, thick and frothy
  3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt together and fold into the egg mixture until all ingredients are just wet
  4. Melt down the butter into the milk in a pot on low heat. Add the vanilla essence once mixed together
  5. Add butter-milk mixture to the batter and stir until it reaches a smooth consistency. Mix carefully so as to not lose any of the air in the whipped eggs
  6. Divide batter equally between the two cake tins and place in the preheated oven. Leave to bake for 30 minutes
  7. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

Note: for this cake, I completely flattened off both tops using a bread knife. This was so the strawberries could sit safely

For the Salted Caramel

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup caster sugar
  • 100g butter (cubes)
  • 60ml cream

Method

  1. Place the sugar in a pot on a medium-high heat and allow it to melt. Do not stir. Shake the pot to mix the sugar and allow the top dry sugar to get to the heat under the molten sugar
  2. Once a golden colour is reached and all the sugar is dissolved, add the butter and stir until melted and mixed in
  3. Remove from heat and add the cream, stirring vigorously until all is incorporated
  4. Place in a bowl/container and allow to cool before using in this cake
For the Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 120g dark chocolate (I used Bournville)
  • 80ml cream (pouring or heavy cream)
  • 30g butter

Method 1:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring regularly. Just before all the bits are melted, remove and keep stirring until the heat of the melted chocolate melts the remaining chocolate
  2. Add the butter and allow it to melt into the chocolate
  3. Mix in the cream until a smooth and consistent glossy chocolate mixture forms. Allow to cool slightly before use

Method 2: 

  1. Heat the cream on a stove top. Once simmering, remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter. Ensure the chocolate has been chopped into small pieces so that it melts easier.

 

caramel ganache layer

For the Chocolate Buttercream frosting

Ingredients

  • 110g butter softened
  • 220g icing sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 40ml cream (or until desired texture is reached)

Method

  1. Cream the butter (electric whisk on low)
  2. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together, and cream together with the butter
  3. Add the cream in small doses to help the mixture come together and continue to do so until desired consistency is reached
  4. Only frost cake once cake is coooled

3 Ingredient ratio cookies

In school we found ourselves asking: “why do we need maths? We are never going to use the gradient of a hyperbole anywhere in our lives! Who even cares what x equals, I want to be an artist/lawyer/journalist/psychologist/fireman.”

Pam's jar

I am pleased to let you know, that I have found a use for maths that goes beyond simple addition and subtraction – we all knew that was important, how else would we be able to count our pieces of cake or get sad as people eat all your chocolates, one by one? Maths is beyond useful in these Ratio Butter Cookies, where all you have to remember is 3 little numbers. It’s so easy, you’ll quickly forget that it’s based on mathematical principles.

Mom's dayThese 3:2:1 cookies are my go-to biscuits when I am bored, craving cookies, or when I want to make a gift for someone. As a baker, I think that giving baked goods is like giving a little part of myself to the person, so it’s a personal gift, which is my favourite type of gift. As you can see from the photos, my skills with the biscuits definitely improved the more I made them, but that’s what this blog is about: learning.

Pre and post-bake

I used these fabulous cookie cutters I got from Yuppiechef, which imprint your chosen letters and words onto the cookies. Trouble is, someone has since hidden my pack of letters, so now I have to be creative when choosing my messages, because I only have the letters that were used in past messages. How many different ways can you use the letters: T. H. E. K. E. N. D. Z.? For those of you who are good with anagrams, there’s a challenge for you.

The Kendz cookies

Ratio butter cookies – dark chocolate and orange butter cookies

Ingredients

  • 300g cake/plain flour
  • 200g salted butter (or unsalted, with a pinch of salt added later)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest (or lemon zest, but this doesn’t go as well with the dark chocolate)
  • melted dark chocolate (about 1 slab, depending on how much of the cookie you want to cover in chocolate)

Method

  1. Cream the softened butter and the sugar with the orange zest until smooth, light and creamy, almost fluffy
  2. Add the flour mix together until well-combined. You may want to get your hands in there to make sure it all comes together nicely
  3. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It can also be frozen in a sausage shape to be cut into discs whenever you want it
  4. Heat the oven to 180ºC, and line a baking tray
  5. Roll out the cookies and cut into the desired shapes. Make sure they are all of even thickness or they will cook at different speeds
  6. Place on the prepared baking tray and place in the oven
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden and they no longer look wet. Depending on how crispy you like your cookies of course…
  8. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely
  9. Melt the dark chocolate (double boiler or in the microwave, but be careful not to let it burn), and dip cookies as desired, placing them on baking parchment to set.

Be mine

“Kendra” brownies

That is, “Kendra” after me, not the Playboy bunny, in which case these brownies might be more appropriate..

Just: chocolate <3

Just: chocolate ❤

These brownies are SO me – can you say 4 (FOUR!) different types of chocolate in these babies?! It’s no wonder they came out tops at my brownie bake-off last year, even though they got a bit burnt in a dodgy oven (thankfully, Pam has since had that fixed).

White chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. And of course, a whole load of cocoa powder.

White chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. And of course, a whole load of cocoa powder.

I made these for my classmates because I promised I’d make them these peanut butter brownies from Yammie’s Gluten Freedom. They looked incredible in the photo, but in all honesty, they are not to everyone’s taste, since they have basically no sugar in them. They are healthy (well, healthier) though, so I want to rework the recipe a bit, then I’ll be sharing it away with them. In the meantime, I had kept them waiting far too long, and it was time to deliver some baked goods to my class of Biokineticists (people who are supposed to promote health and wellbeing… Good job, guys!).

This recipe is from BBC Good Food, but their instructions are so detailed, it’s a bit difficult to follow. So I have simplified it for you, because everyone needs this much chocolate overload every now and then (/as often as possible).

 

Best Chocolate Brownies ever! 

Ingredients

  • 185g dark chocolate (Bournville works pretty well
  • 185g salted butter
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 85g flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 50g milk chocolate chunks
  • 50g white chocolate chunks

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (or 160 degrees in a fan-assisted oven)
  2. Melt butter and dark chocolate together in the microwave (stirring often) or over a pot of simmering water. Leave to cool.
  3. Sift flour and cocoa powder together into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat sugar and eggs together until thick and creamy – mixture must be pale and will have doubled in volume.
  5. Fold the chocolate-butter mixture into the egg-sugar mixture, until it the two become a mottled brown colour. Careful not to over-mix and lose the air you just beat into the eggs.
  6. Resift the flour-cocoa mix into the wet ingredients mixture, and fold in until just combined with no dry patches.
  7. Stir in the milk and white chocolate chunks.
  8. Spread mixture out evenly into a 20cm square tin that has been prepared with non-stick spray or baking parchment.
  9. Set on middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes. If the brownies wobble in the middle when you try take them out, put them back in for a few minutes, though take care not to overdo them.
  10. Once removed, leave to cool for as long as you can bear it, and then devour them as gracefully as you can manage (that’s a challenge!)

Marshmallow frosting and quick Oreo truffles

While trying to come up with a title for this post, I was hit by a disgustingly sweet and delicious bit of inspiration… It’s going to be amazing, even better than these wonderful and fairly easy treats, which, for the moment, don’t go together (unless you really want them to…).

Oreo truffles are easy and delicious

Oreo truffles are easy and delicious

Omnomnom. Slutty brownies are her favourite treat, hence choosing to top those with this amazing frosting

Omnomnom. Slutty brownies are her favourite treat, hence choosing to top those with this amazing frosting

Slutty brownies were the request for the evening (I don’t blame them) but marshmallow frosting was just like sugar overload and excessive but amazing of course.

Cupcake versions of the slutty brownie worked pretty well

Cupcake versions of the slutty brownie worked pretty well

The Marshmallow frosting is something that I am still working on – it was delicious, but it needs a bit of refining. I will share the recipe with you, give it a try, maybe it works out better for you (but how wrong can you go with that much sugar and egg whites? Meringue is one of the best things in the world!).

Mmm foamy...

Mmm foamy…

Meringue and marshmallow is so satisfying when it is a success

Meringue and marshmallow is so satisfying when it is a success

Not enough sugar in the marshmallow stuffed choc chip cookies from this recipe, apparently more frosting was required on the top as well

Not enough sugar in the marshmallow stuffed choc chip cookies from this recipe, apparently more frosting was required on the top as well

I ended up with a fair amount of leftovers, so obviously we had to get rid of it in the classiest manner possible

I ended up with a fair amount of leftovers, so obviously we had to get rid of it in the classiest manner possible

The Oreo truffles are the easiest little gems to whip up – super delicious, practically fool proof, and a very short list of ingredients. And the flavours complement each other spectacularly: you have the sweet Oreos mixed with the almost-savoury cream cheese, and dipped in a bitter dark chocolate which offsets the extreme sweetness of the Oreos. Well, this is what I have heard, I didn’t think the Oreo centre was that sweet at all, but I’m just not as sensitive to that sort of thing. Go ahead, give me more sugar!

I may have a slight Oreo addiction

I may have a slight Oreo addiction

I've only recently learnt to truly appreciate cream cheese (glad it didn't happen even later in my life, I would have missed out on so much!)

I’ve only recently learnt to truly appreciate cream cheese (glad it didn’t happen even later in my life, I would have missed out on so much!)

Neat little balls of Oreos and cream cheese

Neat little balls of Oreos and cream cheese

I used my new chocolatier to melt my chocolate - it's a seriously handy little device!

I used my new chocolatier to melt my chocolate – it’s a seriously handy little device!

Marshmallow frosting inspired by Martha Stewart’s High Hat frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups Caster sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (not tartaric acid which almost happened in a lapse of concentration)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Place sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tarter in a heat proof bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until foamy
  2. Place bowl over a pot of water simmering at low heat. Continue to beat on high speed for about 10 minutes until stiff peaks start to form
  3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract
  4. Pipe onto whatever tickles your fancy, and a bit of toasting might go down well as well

Oreo Truffles

Ingredients

  • 16 Oreos
  • 110g Plain cream cheese
  • 110g melted Bournville (or dark chocolate of your choice – Bournville is still nice and sweet and not too bitter)

Method

  1. Crush the Oreos – liquidize them or place them in a plastic bag and beat with a rolling pin if you feel like letting off a bit of steam
  2. Add the cream cheese to the crushed Oreos, mix well (can be done in the mixer) until there is cream cheese all throughout the mixture (it mustn’t be too white and visible though)
  3. Form into balls
  4. Melt the chocolate, and dip the Oreo balls in the chocolate, ensuring they are fully covered
  5. Leave to set on wax paper or

What happens when you don’t let your cake cool

One of the perks of being a student is that you get a free adrenalin rush every time you have an assignment to hand in that you obviously only finished at the last minute. Man, that buzz!

Oooo the buzz!

To live life even more on the edge this morning, I decided I wanted to bake a cake. I had finally figured out my recipe for MY chocolate cake, and all its icings and frostings, and it was going to be wonderful, and in the true nature of spontaneity, I wanted to make it NOW! As in, today. Imma have cake for breakfast man, I don’t care that I have to hand my essay in two hours from now. Cakes are quick to make, right? Well, they are. The thing that takes the time is the cooling.

The cake came out delicious: perfectly fluffy. I just need to make it even more chocolate-y, because you can never have enough chocolate! But, like I said, that cooling time… Sigh, I gave up waiting when we had to leave in 10 minutes and I hadn’t even assembled anything. It’s kinda cool, right? Wrong. The thing completely broke – a crack right down the middle: it was wonderful to watch.

Toughest part of making the cake: using a manual hand-mixer - I literally had to crank it to get them to whisk

Toughest part of making the cake: using a manual hand-mixer – I literally had to crank it to get them to whisk

I started out so well!

I started out so well!

It was too late to do anything about it, however, so into a plastic container it went to be rushed to Uni so I could submit my essay. Best breakfast ever!

It is a delicious mess, that will be rectified and properly shared in the near future. When I can buy more 70% dark chocolate (it was on sale this weekend – that shtuff’s expensive!). Oh, and who needs spoons?

The cake worked very well in theory, and many components were delicious and successful indeed. I must say, however, that I am not sold on cream cheese frosting, so that will definitely change in my next attempt.

Perhaps I could pass this off as some kind of pudding rather than a layer cake? It doesn't matter, it tastes delicious anyway!

Perhaps I could pass this off as some kind of pudding rather than a layer cake? It doesn’t matter, it tastes delicious anyway!