Charlotte Au Chocolat

This is truly an old classic. This was my mum go to cake. Charlotte au chocolat with creme anglaise. And she was right. It’s a winner winner chicken dinner.

Very few ingredients and with no butter and no sugar you really could do worse than this dessert when it comes to counting the calories!

Please not that this recipe is adaptable to what mould you’re using so the ratio of mousse to lady fingers is for you to decide! You don’t have to cook or bake anything but you do have to prepare it a good 5 hours before you want to eat it!

Ingredients:

4 eggs; 300 g of chocolate; 20 lady fingers; bitta rum; bitta cold water.

Method:

Line your bowl with cling film. Dip your lady fingers in the mixture of half cold water and half rum. No more than 2 seconds. Place them on the bottom of your mould. This will be the top of your cake so make sure to put the sugared bit of the biscuits facing out as it’ll be much prettier. Once the bottom is done do the sides.

Separate the eggs and mount the whites with  a tiny bit of salt until they’re nice and firm and you can turn the bowl upside down and they stay put. Magic. Tada!

Melt your chocolate carefully and mix it with the egg yolks. Let it cool down for 2 min and then add it to the egg white. Usual job, please be delicate as the whole point of the egg whites is the air that’s been beaten into them and which will ensure your mousse stays light and your dessert morish.

Once you’ve all that done, add the chocolate mousse on top of your biscuits and then cover with mor biscuits. This time, as this is the bottom of the cake you want the sugar bits to face into the mousse as it means your cake will have a nice straight and even bottom to sit on when it’s out of the mould!

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Leave it in the fridge for a good 4 hours. What with the cling film along the bowl, you’ll have no problem getting it out! Just cut the bits of biscuits over the bottom of the cake with a spoon. Grand job!

If you want to make creme anglaise, go there:  http://recessionbites.ie/2014/12/26/creme-anglaise/

I can’t recommend this cake enough. I made it for Christmas and it was fair devoured!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie

Right, so Ammo hit me up late last night looking for a healthy brownie recipe. I never need too much of an excuse to think about cakes and so I’d a wee look around. Toyed with the idea of sweet potato or beetroot as a gluten replacement and then thought better of it. I had ground almonds and I love the slight sweetness they bring to a cake. You use cocoa powder in this recipe instead of chocolate in bars so that reduces the amount of fat intake. It’s gluten free too so really it’s as good as brownies can get. I think! As usual this is note based on one recipe but on a mix of tips and recipes I read.

So here goes:

Ingredients:

100 g ground almonds; 3 eggs (put them in the fridge); 150 g of butter; 250 g of caster sugar; 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence; a handful of chopped walnuts or brazil nuts if you fancy them; 1 good pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter and 65 g of good cocoa powder.

Method:

Place a bowl over boiling water. In your bowl place the butter, the sugar, the chocolate and the salt (if you’re using salt).

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Let it melt gently and mix it together. If it stays granular don’t mind it, it’ll rectify itself later. When all the butter has melted down and been mixed with the sugar and chocolate, take the bowl of the heat and let it cool down for 5 min. Once it’s cooler mix your ground almonds and then add your eggs and vanilla extract.

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Now, if you’re using nuts, don’t do what I did, which is to forget them altogether! Add them in at this stage.

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Pour your mixture in your cake mould and place in the oven for 20/ 25 min (oven should be nice and hot at 180 C). Do the knife taste. This brownie is rich and decadent so your knife should have some moisture on it.

Wait until the cake has cooled down completely before taking it out of the mould.

It’ll look something like this.

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It’s rich and yet not too sweet. Crunch on the inside and deliciously gooey inside. Let me know if you make it!

Surprise Chocolate Fudge (gluten free)

So it’s Saturday, and if Saturday is not a day for treats then I don’t know what’s what anymore. I’ve been trying to cut down on my flour and “white food” intake and this is a happy compromise.

It all started with this lot: 1 tin of condensed milk (just under 400 g), 350 g of dark (gluten free chocolate); 2 handful of pealed pistachios,  a few flakes of sea salt.

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On low heat, place a pan with the condensed milk and chopped up chocolate. Let it melt and then mix it until the mixture is smooth.

Peel your pistachios. You’ll have roughly this much.

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Place them in a freezer bag and bash them a few times with a rolling pin. Particularly satisfying if you’re feeling angsty!

They’ll look like this:

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In a bowl mix them with your chocolate. Spread the mixture in a tin of your choice. You’d want it at least 3 cm deep. Make sure you have some baking parchment in the tray. I used some silicone molds but when you don’t have those a tray does just grand! Sprinkle the sea salt flakes on top.

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Let it all cool down and place it in the fridge then until it’s set. Utterly gorgeous and you can keep them in the freezer!

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Sinfully Good Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This one is so good you’ll be wanting it all of the time. And a bit more.

Ingredients: 

200 g of sugar, 4 eggs, 200 g of butter, 1 good pinch of salt; 1 heaped tablespoon of ground almonds, 200 g of gluten free chocolate (the dark carre fin in Lidl is gluten free or the dark high coco content Green & Black).

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C.

Melt your butter in a bowl over boiling water. Once it’s melted remove it and add your sugar, eggs, salt, ground almonds and mix until smooth. You want to give this a really good beating as air in the mixture will make the cake lighter.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and pour it into the cake batter.

The before.
The before.

Mix at all well together.

How good does this look?
How good does this look?

Pour into the mould.

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In the oven for 20 min.

How easy was that?
How easy was that?

Raspberries and white chocolate scones

The only massive John Buckley has given us his recipe for scones. I’ll be making these very soon for sure!

Ingredients:
  • 450g of self raising flour
  • 300ml of full fat milk (not skimmed crap)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 50g of margarine
  • 1 x punnet of fresh raspberries (no frozen ones, there’s too much moisture in them)
  • 2 x small bags of Milk Bar discs or 1 x regular size Milky Bar
How do you get them made?
  1. Over to 220 degrees C
  2. Flour, salt and sugar all into a bowl, mix the dry ingredients together
  3. Rub in the margarine to the mixture, getting a very light kinda crumb going on. Make sure it’s well mixed
  4. Chop up the white chocolate, leaving some big and small bits and half the raspberries. Mix into the dry ingredients
  5. Measure out the milk, pop in the vanilla essence and mix together
  6. Poor about 270ml of the milk into the dry mixture, get it all together, check to see how wet the mixture is at the this point (raspberries may make it a bit wetter) add the rest of the milk if needs be.
  7. The mixture is supposed to be wet, so lots of floor on a board and work it together (not too hard), then roll out to about an inch in thickness
  8. Use a floured cutter or mug to cut your scones shapes (I like big ones!)
  9. Parchment/greaseproof paper on a baking tray, flour it, pop the scones on, bang in the oven for 15 to 20 mins until brown on top and solid at the bottom
  10. Cool on a wire rack, don’t eat straight away even though they smell amazing, they’re still cooking away when you take them out of the oven. Leave for about 30 mins, get a shed load of butter and jam and get in your face
There ya go!!! “
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Chocolate Truffles

Research tells us that 12 out of every 10 people love chocolate.

Ingredients: 

250 cl of double cream; 1 tbs of butter; 1 tbs of sugar; 200 g of good dark chocolate; powedered cocoa.

You can add a bit of your favourite liqueur should you want an extra glow!

Method:

In a small pot put the cream, the butter and sugar and heat to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the 200 g of chocolate in small chunks.

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Let it rest for 2/3 minutes before whisking gently. Keep stirring until you have a smooth and glossy texture.

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Pour into a bowl and let it cool. Once it’s at room temperature leave it in the fridge overnight. The following day take the mixture out of the fridge about an hour before you want to start working on it.

In a large bowl, pour 2/3 tbs of powedered cocoa. Using a mellon baller if you have it or 2 teaspoons, drop small balls of the mixture into the powder and toss them gently around until they’re completely coated. It is easier if you do this one ball at a time.

Et voila, I suspect these would last a few days in the fridge, but I don’t suppose I’ll ever get a chance to find out as I’m milling into them as I type this blog post!

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Death by chocolate

I was asked to bake for a little boy’s first birthday and so figured I should probably try and make something a wee bit special. A small slice of this cake will go a very long way and will easily do for 10 people. It’s a bit time consuming, maybe 3 hours all in all when you allow for the cooling but it really is worth it.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 x 200 g of sugar – 2 x 200 g of good dark chocolate – 2 x 200 g of butter – 2 x pinch of salt 8 large eggs – 2 x 1 tbsp of flour – alcohol to taste (I like a good splash of Galliano) – 1 jar of peanut butter (smooth is best I think).

For the ganache:

250 cl double cream – 1 tbsp of sugar – 1 tbsp of butter – 200 g of good dark chocolate.

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Method: 

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C.

Melt 200 g of butter in a bowl placed over boiling water. Once the butter is melted remove and place a bowl with the 200 g of dark chocolate in chunks over the boiling water. While the chocolate is melting, in the first bowl, add the sugar, salt and flour to the melted butter. Beat until smooth. Add the 4 eggs and incorporate them.

Once the chocolate is melted, incorporate into the batter and place in the greased baking tray.

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Place in the oven for about 30 min. Test with a knife and when the blade comes out semi clean, turn the oven off and take the cake out. Place cake on a tray to cool down for about 30 min.

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Once the cake is cool enough (30 to 45 min), spread about half a jar of peanut butter on top. Best done very delicately as the cake is fragile. Use a large flat knife if you can.

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Start making the 2nd cake. It’s the same as the first one. While the cake is baking make the ganache. In a small pot put the cream, the butter and sugar and heat to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the 200 g of chocolate in small chunks. Let it rest for 2/3 minutes before whisking gently. Keep stirring until you have a smooth and glossy texture.

Once the second cake is cooked and cooled down, place it on top of the first one.

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Once the ganache has thickened and cooled down starts spooning it on the top of the cake. Use a spatula to bring the drips back onto the side. This takes a fair bit of time but will work out in the end.

I made 3 of those cakes today. One of them was minus the peanut butter for people with allergies and so I just replaced it  with a layer of ganache! Easy peasy.

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Tinka’s chocolate fudge cake

So a while back I wrote that I was trying to find my feet with baking and that I had tried a recipe for a chocolate fudge cake.

This chocolate fudge cake

https://recessionbitesblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/easy-peasy-chocolate-fudge-cake/

It was lovely for a first try but I did overcook it and I knew it could be much better. Enter my friend Tinka (her of the fabulous sweet chilli recipe https://recessionbitesblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/sweet-chilli-sauce/). She suggests an alternative to the chocolate fudge cake recipe and BANG it’s forever love. That cake was seriously delicious and a child couldn’t mess this recipe up it’s that easy.

So here it is and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And if you’re lucky maybe one day Tinka will cook for you too!

Ingredients:

200 g unsalted butter, 200 g caster or granulated sugar, 1 heaped table spoon of white flour, 4 eggs, 200 g dark chocolate, splash of your drink of choice (rum or whisky for me), 1 pinch of salt.

As for the cake mould, I have a heart shaped silicone one I bought in Ikea ages ago and never used before. Not sure what the measurements are but it’s nothing too big.

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C

In a bowl placed on a simmering pot melt your butter, remove the bowl from the heat and mix the sugar in the melted butter, add your eggs (one at a time) and keep mixing it all up. While your water is still hot you should place another bowl on it with the broken down chocolate bars and melt those. While the chocolate is melting incorporate the flour into your cake mix and then add the melted chocolate. Give it a good mix and pour into your buttered mould.

Cook for approx 30.

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Easy Peasy Chocolate Fudge Cake

So it’s been a long week and I needed a treat. I’ve not had chocolate in a few of days and I’ve been craving it like mad.  There was only one thing for it and that was to make myself a cake. I’ve been meaning to get into baking for ages but never get to it. I’ve this idea that baking is complicated and that you must measure and be precise and follow instructions to the letter. And unfortunately that’s not how I cook. You’ll have seen my recipes are not the most prescriptive. I enjoy messy cooking. Getting an idea and working out, messily, how to get from your ingredients to your finished product. I’ve never been one to go by the step by step approach so I’ve never really tried my hand at baking. I can do a few basics like the crumbles and a few pies but that’s about it. So I asked for inspiration on Twitter during the week and @enormous linked me up to this recipe: http://roseannesmith.com/2003/10/chocolate-fudge-cake/#sthash.7sZZufJz.dpbs

And so I decided to try it out. And obviously to change it a bit. First the measurements are in ounces and I’m metric girl so I’d to convert everything and it also seemed to be for a massive cake so I “kinda” halved everything. I also changed from a cocoa powder to solid chocolate. Here I go again messing with an original recipe…

So here’s my “smaller” take on this recipe.

Ingredients:

200 g unsalted butter, 300 g caster or granulated sugar, 300 g white flour, 2 eggs, 200 g dark chocolate, splash of your drink of choice (rum or whisky for me),

As for the cake mould, I have a heart shaped silicone one I bought in Ikea ages ago and never used before. Not sure what the measurements are but it’s nothing too big.

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C

In a bowl placed on a simmering pot melt your butter, remove the bowl from the heat and mix the sugar in the melted butter, add your eggs (one at a time) and keep mixing it all up. While your water is still hot you should place another bowl on it with the broken down chocolate bars and melt those. While the chocolate is melting incorporate the flour into your cake mix and then add the melted chocolate. Give it a good mix and pour into your buttered mould.

Cook for approx 30 to 35 min.

Mine looked this:

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Chocolate and Pear Tart

This is one my mammy used to make me. It’s delicious. And for a special occasion. Or a Tuesday.

Ingredients: 

1 roll out pastry (shortcrust for this one is best), 200 g creme fraiche, 2 large egg yolks, a drop of whatever booze you fancy (I’m going to go with a bit white rum in this instance), poached pears (a small tins of drained pears will do just fine). 400 g of good cooking chocolate.

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.

Roll the pastry in the tart dish and prick the base all over with a fork. Place the pears slices on the base.

Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. When the chocolate is melted and smooth take off the heat and add the creme fraiche, Once the cream is incorporated, add the egg yolks and dribble of rum and whisk everything for a minute or two.

Pour the mixture over the pears and place in the oven for 20/25 min. Serve with a portion of good vanilla ice cream.

It should look like this.

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