A dedication to all things CHOCOLATE
There’s nothing too fancy about any of the following recipes, but what they do have going for them is their relationship with one of the world’s best ever finds…chocolate. Milk, dark, or white (apparently Swiss scientists have recently discovered a fourth type of ‘ruby’ chocolate too), whatever your preference, you’ll find something creamy and comforting to whip up from the following selection box. We’ve even thrown in a guilt-free option for those days you want something on the healthier side of indulgent.
Salted Caramel brownies (16 greedy portions; 24 not-so-greedy portions)
200g unsalted butter (plus a little for greasing)
200g chocolate (dark or milk)
1 tin of readymade Carnation caramel
1tsp flakey salt
200g golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs
130g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan, then grease and line a 23 x 23cm square tin with greaseproof paper. Melt the butter in a pan, break in the chocolate, then remove the pan from the heat and wait for everything to melt.
2.In a small bowl, mix 175g of the readymade caramel with 1tsp sea salt. Set aside.
- Put the rest of the caramel in a large bowl with the sugar and eggs, and beat (preferably with an electric hand mixer) until combined well. Whisk in the chocolate and butter mixture.
- In a third bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and a generous pinch of salt, then sift this on top of the chocolate mix and beat briefly until smooth.
- Pour half the brownie batter into your tin and level it. Using a teaspoon, spoon half of the salted caramel on top of the batter in five thick, evenly spaced stripes. Spoon the rest of the batter on top and smooth it out very gently. Top with the rest of the caramel in the same stripy fashion, then drag a skewer through the top layer of caramel to make a swirly pattern.
- Scatter with a bit more sea salt, then bake for 25-30 minutes, or until risen well with a firm crust on top; when ready, the brownie will wobble just slightly when you shake the tin. Leave to cool completely, then cut into squares and devour.
No bake white chocolate cheesecake (8)
300g white chocolate
600g soft cream cheese
284ml pot double cream
50g caster sugar
250g raspberries, strawberries and blueberries (mixed how you like)
2tbsp strawberry jam
85g crunchy biscuits (amaretti or ginger nut work well)
- Break the chocolate into a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water to melt, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Line a lightly oiled 900g loaf tin with cling film.
- Whisk the cheese, cream and sugar together, then stir into the (part-cooled) melted white chocolate until well mixed.
- Stir 50g of mixed berries with 2tbsp of jam. Spoon half the cheese mixture into the loaf tin, then spoon the jammy berries down the middle. Top with the rest of the cheese mixture, level, then press the biscuits in to form a base. Cover and chill for at least 5 hours.
- To serve, carefully turn the tin onto a plate, lift it away and strip off the cling film. Arrange the remaining berries on top of the cake however you like.
Dark chocolate pots (4)
300ml single cream
125g dark chocolate
2 egg yolks
15g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan. Put the cream and dark chocolate into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring often, until the chocolate has melted.
- Mix together the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar, then stir into the chocolate cream. Pour the mixture carefully into a jug, then fill four small ramekins.
- Place the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill around them with boiling water up to about 1cm (a simple bain marie), then bake for 55-60 mins until just set – they should still wobble slightly.
- Leave to cool, then chill for at least two hours. Top with whatever you like and eat with a spoon.
Guilt-free chocolate cake
Head pastry chef, Ellen de Jager-Smith at Michelin-starred Jersey restaurant, Bohemia, has shared her recipe for her delicious, healthy, gluten-free chocolate cake – which includes no cream, butter or sugar. (www.bohemiajersey.com)
Ingredients (10 cupcakes or 1 small cake):
100g ground almonds
45g cocoa powder
5g baking soda
5g gluten-free baking powder
140g maple syrup
200g almond milk
200g pitted dates
50g grated courgette
200g olive oil
150g dark chocolate
For the chocolate, avocado and date icing:
15g cocoa powder
60g maple syrup
350g almond milk
Pinch of salt
400g melted dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Sieve all of the dry ingredients together.
- Whisk the eggs and add the maple syrup.
- Blend the almond milk, dates, grated courgettes and olive oil together.
- Melt the dark chocolate.
- Add the dry ingredients to egg mixture to create a smooth batter.
- Fold the almond milk mixture carefully into the batter and pour in the dark chocolate.
- Pour the mixture into a lined tin.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes for cupcakes and 40-50 minutes for a cake.
For the icing:
- Blend everything (except the dark chocolate) in a food processor.
- Add the dark chocolate carefully while blending.
- Decorate as you please.