Tag Archives: chocolate

Home Made Jaffa Cakes – the Marcus Wareing ones

For my friend Lynne – Get well soon!

Simple! Ha! Marcus Wareing’s Home Made Jaffa Cakes recipe from Great British Chefs – recipe can be found here.

It sounds so simple doesn’t it? Make a tray of little tiny spongy things, cut them in half, take out a bit of the middle bit, blob some marmalade in there, dip them in melted chocolate, take a photo, give to one’s true love who has asked for them. Well, let me say this. NO! It is not an easy recipe. No, no, no.

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Hazelnut Amaretti with Chocolate Drizzles

So what did I do with all those left over egg whites from the Challah?

I made these soft amaretti of course.  Just getting in practice for Christmas I tell myself, plus I can offer them to Choclette for her cooking event, we should cocoa.

These are based on the ones that Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial introduced me to last year and they are incredibly popular with everyone who the recipe has been shared with. Are they that easy to make?  Yes!  Patrick’s four-year old made them last weekend so what are you waiting for?

So I hope these are acceptable Choclette!  All I can say is that they are really expensive in the shops in their fancy tins and if you know someone who is a nut fan then this is a winner every time!

I used:

  • 250 grams ground almonds
  • 200 grams ground hazelnuts
  • 50 grams ground pistachio nuts
  • 4 egg whites
  • 400 grams sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of amaretto di saronno (optional but good)

Chocolate for dipping and drizzling

  • 100 grams of 85% dark chocolate (Fair Trade Co op)
  • 50 grams of milk choc chips (not sure where they came from)

To make:

  • Grind up any nuts that you might need for this.
  • Hazelnuts with their skins on are good. I used up the last of the ones I foraged a few weeks ago plus a few more that I bought and added some pistachio nuts and some ground almonds too.
  • Mix with the sugar and the egg whites till you have a nice sticky solid mass.
  • Put some baking parchment on baking trays.
  • Spoon out the mixture into blobs if you like blobs.
  • If you want high little macaroons then you need to wet your hands and roll the mixture into proper balls.  Today I went for mostly blobs and a couple of little ones.
  • Heat the oven to 160 C.  Put in oven and bake until the tops start to crack a little or until the edges of the blobs start to turn a little brown. Anywhere from 12 minutes to half an hour depending on how big you have made them.  They should be soft when you take them out.
  • Break up your chocolate into small pieces and put in a pyrex bowl. Keep back about 30 per cent of the chocolate in small pieces. Microwave on high in short 20 second bursts till it is melted. Stir in between each burst. Once it is melted, add the chocolate you kept back and allow to melt at room temperature. If it really won’t go then give it another 10 seconds in the microwave.

At this point your husband tells you  to drizzle the chocolate with a knife – as you don’t know what he is talking about, you ask him to do it. So he does. He also demonstrates how to half dip a biscuit.  As there was a tiny bit of chocolate left over we dug out a silicon chocolate mould and put some marshmallows in the holes and poured the last bit of chocolate over them and made chocolate buttons. No wasting chocolate in this house!

Dan Lepard’s Chocolate, Stout and Raisin Slice

[Edited to take out links which are now ‘dead’]

I never hear the call to make things that involve coconut, that’s because I don’t have it in the cupboard. However I do have  chocolate, cocoa, flour, golden syrup, vanilla, butter, oats, raisins, egg, soft brown sugar, and one tin of stout left over from bun making – yes, all present – so I don’t have to go shopping for some obscure ingredient.

It’s not that I like chocolate…

This is the first time I have mixed a cake entirely in a saucepan; so the kitchen was disappointingly tidy all the way through, unlike when I make bread.

Mackeson’s stout is a classic, sweet and creamy black beer made with milk lactose and whey.  I Googled it to find out what was in it.  Wikipedia inform me that is why there is a milk churn on the tin. I never notice things like that unless they are pointed out to me; I thought it was a rook from a chess set.

It feels a bit crazy pouring a can of beer into a saucepan and boiling it up with oats and cocoa as the first stage of a cake – cocoa beer porridge – reminded me of Babette’s Feast where the sister is making ale-bread soup.  But I have already used stout in Dan’s new Easter bun recipe so I was on familiar territory.  I am quite proud of my home made vanilla essence, something I learnt from Celia at Figjamandlimecordial which also features in this slice.

What’s it like?  It is  soft and moist with the oats and the stout, not as dense as you might think either, goes very well with a nice cup of tea on a sunny but chilly Friday afternoon. The cake part is chocolatey, juicy with raisins, creamy….and not too sweet – I am not good at describing taste but I am sure you get the idea. The icing is sweeter, as icing should be, but you could always make a different icing if you want less sugar.  I am not going to write out the recipe here, it is only a click away after all! [Edit: this recipe is no longer available on the internet as far as I know, if I see it in a new Dan Lepard book I will update again]