Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hump Day Goodness!!!

Hey lovely people!

It's that time of the week again and this weeks recipes have been carefully selected from the deliciously, amazing "queen of baking" Lorraine Pascale... and boy do I need some good desserts in my life this week. 

Do you ever have weeks where no matter what you do, who you see, whatever makeup you buy yourself, just none of it makes you feel any better??? I don't know if it's just a female thing, or if the males in our lives go through it too... but this week has been exactly like that for me. Therefore I felt it was only right to share some of these incredibly sugary (and exceptionally bad for you) recipes for you all lovely people, who might feel the same way I do this week.

Chocolate mousse with raspberries


200ml double cream
150g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
50g milk chocolate
3 very fresh medium eggs
3 tbsp caster sugar
50g fresh raspberries
2 tsp icing sugar, to decorate

1. Put the double cream in a small pan on a medium heat and leave to warm up.

2. Meanwhile, snap the chocolate up into small pieces. Once the cream is just starting to steam, remove it from the heat and add the chocolate. Don’t stir it (tempting though it is!), but just leave it to sit and melt for about 5 minutes or so.

3. In the meantime, separate the eggs, putting the yolks in a mug or small bowl and the whites in a large spotlessly clean bowl (or the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer, if using).

4. Whisk the whites, preferably using a hand-held electric whisk (or the electric mixer), until they reach a medium peak. To test, stick the whisk into the egg white and then flip it handle side down. The peak should look like a floppy Noddy’s hat, not standing up straight to attention. If so,
then add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and whisk it up again until the whites begin to become shiny. Then while continuing to whisk, add another tablespoon of the sugar. Make sure that the whites are whisked up well and all of the sugar is dissolved before whisking in the final tablespoon
of sugar.

5. Meanwhile, have a look at the chocolate. It may not look like it, but the chocolate will most likely be melted by now, so stir everything together. Then add the egg yolks and stir to combine.

6. Once the whites are lovely and thick and glossy, stir in a spoonful of the chocolate mixture. This will loosen the whites up a bit and make it easier to manage the next step. Gradually pour all of the chocolate into the egg whites and then gently fold them together. Try not to be too heavy-handed
or over mix this, as it is good to keep as much air as possible in it.

7. Divide between the four 150ml glasses or ramekins and lightly press the raspberries into the tops. Cover each one loosely with cling film and then pop in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to firm up (or if you want to eat them ASAP, put them in the freezer for 15 minutes). These can be made in
the morning for a dinner party in the evening. If in the fridge for that long, I like to take them out 15 minutes or so before I need them so that they are not too cold for the guests.

8. Just before serving, decorate the top of the mousse with icing sugar. I hold a piece of paper with a straight edge quite closely over the part I don’t want the icing sugar to be on and then dust away (through a fine sieve).

Cookies and cream fudge brownies


165g/5½oz butter, plus extra for greasing
200g/7oz dark chocolate, grated 
3 free-range eggs
2 free-range egg yolks
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
165g/5½ oz soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch salt
154g/5½oz pack chocolate biscuits
2g icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with butter, then line with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides a little.

2. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated (or chopped) chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together. Alternatively, you can put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 25-second blasts, stirring well each time.

3. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as not to knock the air out.

4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25–30 minutes. The middle should be very so slightly gooey. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.

5. Pull the brownies out using the overlapping paper and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar.

As if those recipes didn't contain enough chocolatey goodness, but I have also included a delicious Easter inspired, chocolate cocktail! What can I say guys... I like my chocolate!!! :D 

Easter Flip Cocktail

25ml. Vodka
35ml. White Crème De Cacao
1 Egg
35ml. Vanilla Cream
5ml. Sugar Syrup
1 sprinkle Nutmeg
1 sprinkle(s) Chocolate Shavings
1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

2. Add Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka, white crème de cacao, egg, vanilla cream and sugar syrup to the shaker.

3. Using a jigger, measure 25ml Vodka, 35ml white crème de cacao, 35ml vanilla cream and 5ml sugar syrup into the shaker.

4. Shake the mixture vigorously until the surface of the shaker feels chilled.

5. Using a cocktail strainer, strain the mixture into a Martini glass.

6. Using the fine side of a grater, grate the side of a whole nutmeg onto the drink to garnish. Sprinkle chocolate shavings to complete.

So there you go my lovely little chickens! Get yourself into the kitchen, dust off your aprons and bake these delicious chocolatey desserts! They will make any dull day seem that little bit brighter... and even if it's just for the 5 minutes while you eat it... it will be the most delightful 5 minutes you can imagine!!!

Take care lovelies. x

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