Chocolate

Snow Day

I’m sorry I’ve been away so long!
I have been working on 30 molecular gastronomy based recipes for a cookbook I am creating, and year 12 does not leave much time for sleep in between!
This recipe is inspired by the whimsical nature of a snow day. The chocolate mousse is based on my favorite cinnamon and nutmeg hot chocolates in the middle of winter that are the only reason I survive cold days. The sphere itself is a resemblance of a snow ball, accompanied by a ‘cheats’ molecular gastronomy dessert signature – coconut dessert ‘caviar’.

I will be posting some of the recipes I will be including in my cookbook throughout the next 2 months, which are all molecular gastronomy based desserts designed for every day lovers of food to be able to create inexpensively and easily.

This recipe is of medium difficulty, but don’t worry, the only tricky part is tempering chocolate, which is easy to learn with practice 🙂

Makes: 3

Snow Day

Chocolate, Coconut, & Cinnamon

Special Equipment:

  • Candy thermometer
  • Digital scales
  • Silicon semi-spherical mold
  • Large pipette/Cooking syringe

Tempered White Chocolate Semi-Spheres

Ingredients:

  • 220g high quality white chocolate

Method:

  1. Fill a small sauce pan with a ½ cup of water and place on a high heat until boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, measure out 45g of white chocolate and set aside, this will be added later in the second stage of tempering.
  3. Using a glass bowl, place the white chocolate into the bowl and place on top of the saucepan with the boiling water.
  4. Turning the heat off, place a candy thermometer into the white chocolate and observe the temperature. Gently stir the white chocolate as it melts, watching the temperature rise. When the chocolate is melted and reaches a temperature of 38- 40⁰C, take the bowl off the saucepan and add the remaining white chocolate.
  5. Stir till the chocolate as melted and once the temperature falls to 29-30⁰C, place the bowl back to the saucepan and heat till the chocolate reaches a temperature of 32⁰C.
  6. Using the semi-sphere mold, take a spoonful of white chocolate and coat the surface of the semi-sphere till a thin layer has adhered. Repeat with the remaining 5 molds, and then place in the fridge to harden and cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Once the molds have hardened for 5 minutes, take the remaining chocolate and apply a second layer, taking care to apply a thicker amount to the rim of the mold (the chocolate will trickle down, but the edges require the most reinforcing).
  8. Place the molds in the fridge and leave to cool until assembly.

Coconut Dessert ‘Caviar’

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp. gelatin (vegetarian substitute: agar agar)
  • 2 cups refrigerated vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. coconut cream
  • 3 tbsp. chilled water
  • Ice
  • ¼ cup salt

Method:

  1. Store vegetable oil in a container in the fridge for at least 2 hours (or until chilled).
  2. In a small bowl bloom (mix) the gelatin with the cold water and stir until combined.
  3. Using a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk and cream until simmering (but not boiling). Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture, stirring till completely dissolved. Leave the liquid to cool in the saucepan.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the oil for the ice-bath. Take a large metal bowl and place ice, ¼ cup salt and water till the bowl is 1/3 filled. Take a smaller metal bowl and pour in the oil, then gently lower the bowl into the ice-bath, taking care not to spill the oil.
  5. Prepare the gelatin mixture by pouring it into a large pipette or a cooking syringe. Begin by pouring 3 drops of the mixture in a steady stream, so that they form a single sphere. Repeat till a 1/3 of the mixture has been used, allowing for 20 seconds resting time between each sphere to allow the sphere to set.
  6. Wait for 5 minutes once 1/3 of the mixture has been used, then place a metal bowl with a mesh sieve next to the oil bowl. Gently lift the oil bowl and pour the caviar into the mesh sieve, then transfer the sieve over to the sink, and gently trickle water over the caviar to clean any excess oil. Place the caviar into an air tight container, and repeat the process until all the liquid has been used.

Cinnamon & Nutmeg Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. thickened cream
  • 100g high quality milk chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp. unrefined sugar

Method:

  1. Heat ½ cup of water in a saucepan till boiling.
  2. Place thickened cream and milk chocolate in a glass bowl. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off and place the bowl on top of the saucepan, stirring till the chocolate and cream has turned liquid and glossy.
  3. Once the chocolate and cream has melted, take the bowl off of the saucepan and leave to cool (the cooling process can be sped up by placing the bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes).
  4. Once the chocolate and cream has cooled, whisk in 2 egg yolks, till a glossy mixture has formed.
  5. In a clean, dry bowl, whip 3 egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the cream of tartar (assists in stabilizing the egg whites and maintaining aeration), and whip till stiff peaks form.
  6. Using a large metal spoon or spatula, fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture (do not worry about being gentle initially; this is to ease the folding process). Continue to fold in the egg whites until the mousse is light and doubled in volume.
  7. Transfer the mousse to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours.

Assembly

Components:

  • White chocolate semi-spheres
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg mousse
  • Coconut ‘dessert’ caviar
  • Desiccated/shredded coconut (for garnish)
  • Icing sugar (for garnish)
  • Raspberries (for garnish) (can be substituted for berry of choice)
  • Rectangular plate

Method:

  1. Very gently remove the white chocolate semi-spheres from the molds, and gather into 3 pairs.
  2. Place the mousse into a large piping bag, fitted with a large circular tip. Pipe a dot of mousse onto the center of the plate where the bottom sphere will sit. Taking 1 semi-sphere, pipe the chocolate mousse until the mousse fills the shell. Sprinkle coconut over the layer of mousse until completely covered, then pipe mousse on top of the shell till 1/3 taller than the edge of the shell. Place the top semi-sphere shell on top of the mousse, and gently press to seal the spherical shape.
  3. Place the sphere on to the plate, using the mousse to secure the sphere.
  4. Take the coconut caviar and scatter a generous handful running along the center of the plate, then sprinkle coconut over the caviar.
  5. Gently dust icing sugar over the sphere till the top of the sphere has a thick layer and takes on the appearance of being ‘snowed on’.
  6. Line the raspberries (or berries of choice) around the sphere in a circle, obscuring the bottom of the sphere. Give a final dusting of icing sugar.
  7. Serve chilled.

Christmas Gingerbread House

It’s not a perfect house… or probably one that is Instagram worthy, but I am so proud of just finishing a house that I’ll let this one slide.

I’ve had many attempts at building a good gingerbread house, but mine always seemed to crumble down when I put the roof on or even assembling the walls!
It was Christmas eve and I knew I had to concur this beast once and for all (a little dramatic hehe) but I can’t handle knowing that there is a dessert I can’t make.

5 hours later, and many close calls, my gingerbread house was finished!
The gingerbread itself has an amazing array of cinnamon, nutmeg, and tons of ginger to give an amazing flavour – but the real key to great gingerbread is using a good molasses to give the gingerbread that caramel color and flavour.

 

Makes: 1

 

Christmas Gingerbread House

 

Equipment:

 

  • Mixing bowls
  • Spoons
  • Scales
  • Sifter
  • Double boiler/Microwave
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Electric mixer
  • Whisk and dough hook
  • Gingerbread house template / gingerbread house cookie cutters

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 438g whole meal flour
  • 228g softened butter
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch salt

 

Method:

 

  1. Beat the brown sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Next, blend the molasses for 2 minutes or until fully incorporated. Add each egg until well combined, give about a minute for each. Switching to a dough hook (optional) and using a lower speed, blend in the flour, spices, vanilla, and baking powder till the dough comes together.
  2. Tip the dough onto a work bench and need gently to bind together, then split into two. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, and chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C and line several baking trays with baking paper. Take the dough out of the freezer and when workable, roll into ¼ inch thick sheets and cut out templates according to preference (I used cookie cutters).
  4. Bake each shape till edges have browned (large is approximately 13min, smaller pieces approximately 7min) and leave to cool on trays. Do not move until completely cooled.

 

Assembly:

 

When assembling the gingerbread house, two options may be taken.

 

  1. To assemble using royal icing, which I have a link to the recipe below (minus the meringue powder):

 

https://sites.google.com/site/sprinkleprints/royal-icing

 

  1. Tempered chocolate

 

Both work equally well, it is up to preference, but I recommend using royal icing if you are a beginner and waiting 5 minutes for each piece to dry, as the tempered chocolate requires greater skill to ascertain correctly.

 

Decoration:

 

This is the fun part! Choose from any candies, cookies, chocolates, etc. that you would like to use and let your imagination run free.

 

 

 

I’m not going to include the nutritional counter in this post because it’s a Christmas treat and we should all let ourselves indulge guiltlessly during Christmas!

 

Peanut Butter & Raspberry Mini Cookies

Tres healthy!

These cookies are (get ready for it):

VEGAN
HAVE RASPBERRIES (ABOUT TIME KRISSY)
HAVE CHOCOLATE

HAVE PEANUT BUTTER

ARE ONLY 40 CALORIES PER COOKIE

(although I almost consumed the whole batch the minute they came out the oven…wooops)

It was a cold summer night (bit of an oxymoron) but I had the biggest cravings for cookies – and not the healthy kind.

Now I knew I needed to find a healthier alternative, and dug through some old vegan recipes I had been saving for a rainy day, and discovered a cookie recipe worth its weight in gold.

It doesn’t get any better than peanut butter and raspberries in a cookie!

Makes: 16

Time: 30min

Peanut Butter & Raspberry Mini Cookies

Equipment:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Weights
  • Hands (best tools for mixing)
  • Oven
  • Timer
  • Measuring cups & spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 120g ground rolled oats (oat flour)
  • ¼ cup sweetener of choice (I used stevia)
  • Pinch salt, cinnamon & nutmeg
  • 128g unsalted peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp. milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Method:

  1. Line several baking trays with baking paper, and turn oven to 180⁰C.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and using your hands, combine till a uniform ball of dough.
  3. Roll the dough into 1 inch cookie balls, then place onto a baking tray, finishing off with a raspberry on top of each cookie.
  4. Bake each tray for 12 minutes and leave to cool on the trays.
  5. Consume!

cookienutrientsyaaay

 

 

 

Smoralicious Macarons

Based off of the magic that is marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker, I decided to invent a macaron flavour that showcases just that (:
I still remember my first s’more, being on camp on some island in Asia, watching as my American friends introduced us to the delicious wonder of gooey melted marshmallow toasted on the camp fire, watching it melt the chocolate square resting above it all sandwiched between two biscuits.

Does it get any better?

All that reminiscing was making me long for the camping days, so I created the ‘s’more macaron’.

I also felt like experimenting with texture, and we had some chocolate chip cookies in the pantry (which never happens), so I ground them up and added them to the shells. It gives the best textured macaron shell I’ve ever tried, so now I’m pursuing new flavour combinations as I’m typing this.

Have you ever had a s’more before?

Another bonus is the nutritional count on this recipe – 1 macaron is only 187 calories – that is chocolate and all!

Makes Approximately 25

Time: 2 hours

Smoralicious Macarons

Equipment:

  • Spatula
  • Piping bag & large circle tip/zip lock bag
  • Baking paper
  • Baking trays
  • Oven
  • Beaters/Whisk
  • Food processor
  • Sifter
  • Double boiler/microwave (melting chocolate)
  • Fork
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Deep baking dish

Shells:

  • 200g free range egg whites
  • 200g almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 5g salt
  • 30g chocolate chip cookies of choice (:

Method:

  1. Line several baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Using a food processor, blend the icing sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and almond meal to remove lumps, and then sift into a mixing bowl.
  3. Using a food processor, grind the chocolate chip cookies to a fine powder, then sift into the rest of the dry ingredients, and mix well to combine.
  4. Using beaters or a whisk, whip egg whites in a large mixing bowl till soft peaks form, then while mixing, gradually incorporate the caster sugar till stiff peaks form. (If you are like me, then I flip the bowl over someone’s head – if it doesn’t fall you are ready!)
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the meringue mixture in stages, until the mixture looks shiny and flows like lava. Don’t over mix, this will cause the air in the meringue to collapse and your shells won’t rise!
  6. Using a piping bag (or zip lock bag with a snipped end to act as a tip), fill the macaron mixture into the bag and pipe 8cm circular shells onto the baking trays. A technique which I find useful is to pipe the mixture in one place until I reach my desired size, then pull up with a twist to prevent a peak forming at the top.
  7. Tap each of the trays lightly to remove large air bubbles, and place in a warm, dry environment for 45 minutes to form a dry skin, this will allow the macarons when baking to form a ‘foot’ (the ruffled bit) at the bottom.
  8. Heat an oven to 150⁰C. When ready, bake each tray for approximately 15 minutes, then leave to cool on the trays before removing.

Marshmallow Filling:

  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp. gelatine (agar agar as a vegetarian/vegan alternative)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup cold water

Method:

  1. Line a deep baking tray with baking paper, letting the ends of the baking paper hang over the tray (this is how you will lift out the marshmallow later).
  2. Combine the hot water and caster sugar in a saucepan and stir for 2-3 minutes until dissolved into clear syrup.
  3. Combine the gelatine or agar agar in cold water, and then pour into the hot syrup solution, stirring on medium heat until the gelatine has dissolved completely.
  4. Pour the solution into an electric mixer, and whip for 10-15 minutes until very thick, then add vanilla and cinnamon, blend to incorporate.
  5. Spread the mixture into the baking dish, and leave to set for 1 hour.

Assembly:

  • 200g ethical milk chocolate

Method:

  1. Melt the milk chocolate either using a double boiler or a microwave.
  2. Take two macaron shells similar in size, using a wet spoon or wet knife, take marshmallow and put it on the bottom shell. Take a little melted chocolate and drizzle on top of the marshmallow, then place the top shell to complete the macaron. Using a fork, whip melted chocolate on top of the macaron to decorate it.
  3. Repeat with the rest of the macarons.

nutritional

Quadruple Chocolate Coconut Buns

 

4 times the amount of chocolatey goodness.

I mean these buns are so much better than your average cinnamon bun.

Now I wanted to create a ‘healthier’ bun, and although chocolate isn’t exactly healthy…. the bread definitely is!
Your average cinnamon bun that is bought from the store (with icing) is approximately 350 calories (that is without chocolate), now one of these buns is only 255 calories!

I also wanted to explore using sweet potato in rolled buns, its been around for a while on the internet and allows the buns to be soft and gooey all the way through to the center – not a single dry bread crumb in site!
😀

Serves: 24

Quadruple Chocolate & Coconut Buns

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 300g Oreos
  • 1 packet ‘Tim Tams’ (chocolate covered biscuits)
  • 200g organic milk chocolate
  • 50g organic white chocolate
  • 4.5 cups plain flour of choice (bread flour)
  • ¼ cup organic fair-trade cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp. desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 free range eggs
  • ¾ cup raw sugar/sweetener of choice
  • 2/3 cup almond/soy/coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup instant yeast
  • Golden syrup/maple syrup

Method:

  1. Combine milk, oil, and spices in a saucepan, and heat until just under boiling.
  2. Take off the heat and leave to cool till warm.
  3. Gently stir in yeast, then leave to activate and become frothy (approx. 10 min).
  4. Meanwhile, wash and slice the sweet potato to your liking then steam till ‘mashable’. I steam mine for 5 minutes in a 900W microwave in a steamer.
  5. Remove the sweet potato and puree. Place into a mixing bowl. I used an electric mixing bowl with a dough hook as the dough needs to mix for at least 6 minutes.
  6. Mix the sweet potato puree with the eggs, then add in the cocoa powder, coconut and sugar.
  7. Blend in the yeast mixture, then add flour slowly till completely combined.
  8. Let the dough mix for 6 minutes, or until elastic.
  9. Remove the dough from the mixer and place into a greased bowl. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
  10. Once raised, punch back the dough and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
  11. Take the dough and roll out on a floured surface into a large rectangle, 4cm thick.
  12. Crush Oreos, Tim Tams, milk and white chocolate into small chunks. Sprinkle these ingredients and roll the rectangle up into a roll, creating a roll.
  13. Preheat oven to 180C.
  14. Slice the roll into buns about 10cm wide, or to your preference.
  15. Place each bun onto a tray, repeat till the roll is sliced. Place each bun tray to bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, then leave to cool.
  16. Drizzle with golden syrup or maple syrup as a finishing touch. Serve warm!

bunns

Oreo & Tim Tam Stuffed Cookies

Life is finally slowing down – School holidays are just around the corner and I am desperate to get back into my hobbies.
Last Sunday I ran a fun run which is quite popular in town, I managed to time 12km in an hour and 8 minutes!
For a first marathon, I’m damn pleased.
I’ve only just regained full motion from my muscles without pains though 😛

So Nicholas and I were wondering what to do with a packet of Oreos and some left over Tim Tams – and I had a brainwave.
What about covering them with cookie dough and baking them….

I think I should have had an animated light bulb above my head.
It’s not an original idea, it has been all over Tumblr, but it was definitely worth playing around with!

Try experimenting with changing the ‘surprise’ inside the cookie!
On wards to delicious goodness:

Makes: 30

Oreo & Tim Tam Stuffed Cookies

Ingredients:

©       230g unsalted organic butter (softened)

©       100g milk chocolate

©       150g Tim Tams

©       150g Oreos

©       1 cup organic brown sugar

©       2 free range eggs

©       1.5 cups whole meal plain flour

©       1 cup self-raising flour

©       Pinch salt

©       Pinch cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat an oven to 180C or 160C fan forced.
  2. Line 4 baking trays with baking paper.
  3. Cream butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon, until white and fluffy.
  4. Stir in sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Stir in flour until well combined. Crush chocolate into small pieces, and then fold through the cookie dough batter.
  6. Chop each Tim Tam into 4 pieces and each Oreo in half.
  7. Take a ball of cookie dough and flatten in the palm of your hand. Place either a piece of Tim Tam or Oreo and roll the dough until completely covered.
  8. Place each cookie onto the baking trays.
  9. Bake each tray for approximately 12 minutes, then leave to cool – they will firm up, don’t move them until they are completely cooled!
  10. Serve to unsuspecting guests, watch them discover chocolaty goodness.

nutrion fact

 

4 The Love of Chocolate – Cinnamon Buns

I remember when I first moved onto the high school campus in 6th grade, feeling so brave and ‘old’ being around all the year 12’s and 11’s.

One of the best parts of this new found maturity was the canteen – we practically had a food court with different ‘stores’ selling all sorts of different foods, from traditional Malay cuisine to the Korean lunch mums, or even on special days – American burgers.

I won’t lie, I was not exactly the healthiest of kids at this point, but come on, all this amazing food was there to be enjoyed right?
Well one of the stores, ‘Connies’, just happened to sell these incredible cinnamon buns, complete with icing sugar glaze, for only 1 Ringgit. When they were freshly baked, it was a race to get out of class and grab one before they were all sold!
I guess I miss the innocence of my cinnamon bun love, not caring about the calories or whether I could ‘afford’ to enjoy one of these amazing buns of heaven.

I wanted to bring back some of those cinnamon bun filled memories into the kitchen (with a twist of course) and decided to create the ultimate chocolate cinnamon buns known to mankind.

4 kinds of chocolate 😀

Makes: 24

4 The Love of Chocolate – Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients:

Dough:

©       2 cups vanilla soy milk (or full cream milk)

©       2 ½ tsp. instant yeast

©       ½ cup vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)

©       ½ cup raw sugar

©       1 tsp. cinnamon

©       1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

©       3 ½ cups whole wheat flour

©       ¼ cup hazelnut meal

©       ½ tsp. salt

Method:

  1. Scald the milk, oil and sugar by heating until boiling in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and cool until lukewarm (approx. 30 minutes). Tip: To cool faster, transfer the liquid to a chilled bowl and leave in the fridge or freezer for a shorter time.
  2. Combine all ingredients (including scalded liquid) in a mixing bowl, and knead until well combined with a dough hook for approximately 6 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, and leave covered in a warm place to rise for approximately 2 hours.
  4. Once risen, knock back the dough and leave to rise again for 45 minutes.

Filling:

©       200g caster sugar

©       120g softened organic butter

©       2 tbsp. Cinnamon

©       10 Oreos© (crushed)

©       8 miniature brownies (crumbled)

©       100g organic milk chocolate (shaved)

Method:

  1. Knock the dough back a second time, transfer back into the bowl it was rising in.
  2. Lightly dust a bench space with flour, as well as a rolling pin to prevent sticking.
  3. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
  4. Spread the butter over the entire surface, as this will be the ‘glue’ for the buns.
  5. Spread all the other filling ingredients over the surface, leaving a gap at the bottom of the rectangle for the butter to remain alone.
  6. Roll the rectangle into a very tight cylinder. (The tighter the cylinder, the easier the dough will stay together when sliced into buns).
  7. Slice the cylinder into 24 buns (sections), then place evenly spread out onto a rectangular baking tray with tall sides, to ensure they bake without becoming one huge bun.
  8. Leave the buns to rise for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat an oven to 180C.
  10. Place the risen buns into the oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan. Drizzle with any condiments desired, such as a chocolate glaze, ganache, or even plain icing sugar.
  12. Serve warmed, or cooled.

nutritionbuns

Braided Dutch Strawberry Nutella Bread

I was in the mood for a challenge, and was looking for inspiration on some of my favorite dessert blogs.

I came across these recipes for dutch braided bread, and fell in love!
Inspired by  Smitten Kitchen’s Braided Lemon Bread, I decided to use up my leftover homemade nutella and the strawberries I had bought.

This bread tastes like a cinnamon bun on the outside, chocolate strawberry goodness on the inside.

I love this bread warm, but it still tastes amazing room temperature.

Shake the fillings up for all sorts of different flavour combinations.
I can’t wait to try this again!

Serves: 20

Braided Dutch Strawberry Nutella Bread

Ingredients:

Sponge:

©       6 tbsp. warm water

©       1 tsp. brown sugar

©       1 ½ tsp. instant yeast

©       ¼ cup whole meal flour

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Leave to rise for at least 15 minutes or until foamy.

Bread Dough:

©       6 tbsp. full fat yogurt

©       Sponge

©       ¼ cup organic butter

©       2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

©       1 beaten egg

©       ¼ cup brown sugar

©       1 tsp. salt

©       1 tsp. vanilla paste

©       1 tbsp. cinnamon powder

©       2 tsp. nutmeg powder

©       2 ½ cups whole meal plain flour

Method:

  1. Using a whisk attachment, blend all ingredients except for the flour until well combined.
  2. Switch to a dough hook, and blend flour for 6 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, and leave, covered, to rise for 2 hours in a warm location.

Filling:

©       100g homemade nutella (or store-bought)

©       50g sliced strawberries

©       50g shaved organic milk chocolate

©       2 tbsp. shredded coconut

Method:

  1. Gently knock back the bread dough on a floured surface, return to a bowl.
  2. Lightly dust work surface and rolling pin with flour.
  3. Roll the dough into a 10inch by 15inch rectangle, taking care not to let the dough stick to any surfaces.
  4. Mark the dough into 3 even rectangles, do not slice, but score clearly to indicate segments.
  5. Next, mark a 1 inch rectangle on either end of the dough, these will be the ends of the dough, and won’t be braided.
  6. Spread the nutella and coconut onto the middle rectangle until even coverage is achieved.
  7. Place a single layer of the strawberries over the nutella layer. Then top with the shaved chocolate.
  8. To begin braiding, slice the two rectangle pieces on either side of the center into 20 strips, but do NOT slice them off the connecting center rectangle, these need to be braided across the filling.
  9. Begin the braid by starting on one end of the dough log by taking one dough strip, and gently bringing it diagonally across the filling. Repeat on the opposite side, and continue alternating until the entire bread is completely braided.
  10. Transfer the braided bread onto a piece of baking paper, then onto a baking tray.
  11. Preheat an oven to 180C.
  12. Brush the braid with a beaten egg; this will give a golden layer on top of the braid.
  13. Leave the braid to rise for 30 minutes.
  14. Then, place into the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
  15. Place onto a rack, and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
  16. Serve warm, or cold.

lepic

Molten Chocolate Pots & Ganache Sauce

Steaming hot, gooey, chocolate cake…

Creamy ice-cream melting into the cracks…

Decadent ganache….

Ah I drooled onto my laptop.
These little ramekin cakes are perfect for that winter chocolate craving.

If you are looking to lighten this recipe up, you can substitute all the liquid components for water or unsweetened almond milk 🙂

Serves: 3

Molten Chocolate Pots with Ganache Sauce

Ingredients:

Cake:

©       Pinch salt

©       Dash vanilla extract

©       ¼ cup icing sugar

©       1/3 cup cocoa powder

©       ¼ cup plain flour

©       ¼ cup full cream

©       ¼ tsp. cinnamon

©       1/8 cup vegetable oil

©       ¼ cup water

©       1 tbsp. cornstarch

©       1 tsp. baking soda

Ganache:

©       100ml cream

©       50g milk chocolate

Method:

  1. Preheat an oven to 180C.
  2. Grease 3 ramekins with melted butter or oil.
  3. Combine all the cake ingredients in a bowl, whisking well until all lumps are gone.
  4. Pour the batter between 3 ramekins, bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the top of the cakes are crisp. (Don’t test using a skewer, the cake it supposed to be dense and gooey). Meanwhile, heat the cream and chocolate in a heatproof bowl till well combined.
  5. Set the ganache aside until ready for use.
  6. Place the cakes onto a cooling rack.
  7. When ready, serve these cakes warm in the ramekins, topped with ice-cream of choice (or as is), with the chocolate ganache sauce!

nutriinal cake

“Hot Chocolate” Milkshake

Winter is the best time of year for hot chocolates.
It’s been way too long since I’ve indulged in one myself, but today’s recipe was inspired by a change of mind from my brother.
See he wanted a hot chocolate – then decided last minute that he would rather a milkshake.
Fighting the temptation to tip the hot chocolate goodness all over his head, I had a moment of inspiration.
Why not take a classic hot chocolate, and make it the base of your milkshake? 😀

I have a vegan alternative written below the vegetarian recipe, so for all those vegans out there you can indulge too 😉

“Hot Chocolate” Milkshake
Ingredients:

  • 250ml full cream milk
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice-cream
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 straw
  • 1 epic milkshake cup

Method:

  1. To create the hot chocolate component, heat milk, cocoa powder and maple syrup in a small pan on medium heat.
  2. Stir till all ingredients have combined well, and then take off the heat.
  3. Cool till lukewarm.
  4. Using a blender, add ice-cream, and the hot chocolate liquid. Blend till bubbles form on the surface.

Serve in a milkshake glass with a straw– for an even more tasty addition, add one scoop of ice-cream and a chocolate drizzle!

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I’ll spare you this time 🙂

Vegan “Hot Chocolate” Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 250ml fat free, unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk)
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 scoops vanilla soy ice-cream
  • 1 tbsp. rice syrup
  • 1 straw
  • 1 epic milkshake cup

Method:

  1. To create the hot chocolate component, heat soy milk, cocoa powder and maple syrup in a small pan on medium heat.
  2. Stir till all ingredients have combined well, and then take off the heat.
  3. Cool till lukewarm.
  4. Using a blender, add soy ice-cream, and the hot chocolate liquid. Blend till bubbles form on the surface.

Serve in a milkshake glass with a straw– for an even more tasty addition, add one scoop of soy ice-cream and a dark chocolate drizzle!

vegan one 1