Feasting (or Ffffffff…ummmm…I give up…Chocolate) 7
February 23, 2014
Finally folks, here is the post I promised. There is chocolate. Oh yes. I prepared this post after Ria’s ethereal Fog post and I was on a bit of an F word buzz. F being for Feast. And Fantastic. And February, before she vanishes. And Fffffffwwwwooooooaaarr because you’ve eaten so much you need to unbutton your trousers.
It’s been a very good season for feasting. We’ve had BBQ weather, picnic weather, sandwiches and ice-cream weather. Weather for standing at the open door of your cool-bellied fridge and marveling at all the bounty inside. And for those of you who follow our instagram feed you’ve probably already noticed it’s been The Summer of Chocolate. I’ve done so much afghan biscuit making I’ve been asked for the recipe. Which has meant making (ahem, eating) many, many more batches of biscuits to get it perfect.
Today, because of all the chocky munching I’ve been doing, I have not one but….wait for it…it gets sequential…TWO great chocolate recipes for you AND a link to another, making it a trifecta of chocolate goodness.
I know, I know, don’t thank me (just send cash).
1. Afghans (recipe adapted from this one by kiwibaking.com)
What: Crunchy-fudgey dumpling shaped chocolate biscuits smothered in ganache and topped with a walnut hat.
Good for: Morning tea, afternoon tea, gifting and midnight snacking.
– 200 grams butter
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 cups flour
– 4 tablespoons of cocoa ( I often use raw cacao instead, as I have it for making these and it makes the biscuit slightly less cocoa-y. Which is good for later when I drape it, overbearingly, with ganache. Both versions are yum.)
– 2 cups of cornflakes (please, please, please don’t use weetbix)
– Pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade / 350 fahrenheit
2. Cream butter and sugar. Then add vanilla and stir through.
3. Combine flour, cornflakes, salt and cocoa / cacao. Add this to the butter+sugar. Mix well.
4. Roll into golf ball size and place on a cold, greased tray. Put a little thumbprint in the top of each one if you want to (for walnut placement post ganache-ing)
5. Bake for 15 minutes.
6. Once cooled dress the biscuits with ganache (I would halve that particular recipe) and a walnut.
2. Spiced Chocolate Pots (adapted from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey)
What: Dense, rich (!!), subtly spiced chocolate treasure / love potion dressed with crème fraiche and dusted with cocoa
Good For: Dinner parties (we had them for a Mexi themed NYE dinner), being a bit fancy and generally impressing the knickers off your friends.
– 225 grams chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa solids)
– 15g soft butter
– 4 egg yolks
– 150 ml double cream
– 150 ml full-cream milk
– 50 g caster sugar
– 6 tablespoons creme fraiche
– Spices you fancy (I used 1/4 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of chinese all spice)
– cocoa powder for dusting
1. Break chocolate into a heatproof bowl and rest over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave till melted then remove and stir till smooth.
2. Stir in softened butter and egg yolks.
3. Place cream, milk and sugar in a small pan, bring to boil, then stir in chocolate mix and spices.
4. Pour into espresso cups or tiny glasses and leave somewhere cold to set but don’t refrigerate.
5. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche and dust with cocoa powder.
3. Vanilla bean ice-cream with salted caramel and cocoa nib cookie crumb
What: A grown-up icecream sundae with the perfect balance of sweet, salty, bitter and FUN.
Good For: Crowds, barbecues and hot days; grown-ups who are not really grown-up at all.
If I could adapt or improve this recipe to make it my own I would. But seriously, why gild the lily? So, here is the link. Brought to you by the good folks of Design Files Daily and Jade Bentley of Monsieur Truffe whose instagram feed (Easter chocolate moulds and deliveries of beautifully wrapped chocolate bars from all over the planet!) is killing me.
There you are: my chocolate (recipe) triplets. Enjoy!
May the rest of your February be fruitful, feast-ful and fabulous,
HUGS, Hannah x