Tag Archives: chocolate

CHOCOLATE ORANGE TRIFLE

chocolate orange trifle

I think there’s still just about enough time to squeeze in one last moment of indulgence before we all embark on the inevitable dessert-purgatory that is January. Even I might try to exercise some self-control (no promises though, okay…)
But until the clock strikes 12 we can enjoy this. Today is also my Mum’s birthday and I’m pretty sure that she would approve of this truly decadent dessert. Golden sponge soaked in a boozy orange syrup smothered in a rich truffle ganache and a very soft, light, mousse and finished off with fresh whipped cream. I’ve decorated mine with some orange meringues simply because I’ve apparently become the sort of person who has that kind of thing hanging around the pantry!
Here I’ve used the orange sponge from my cranberry & orange Victoria sponge, using quantities for one egg. If you do this it’s best to bake it in a smaller tin or as cupcakes, otherwise it’ll be really thin. You can of course use a shop-bought sponge if you want to save yourself a bit of time, it doesn’t necessarily have to be orange flavoured.

chocolate orange trifle

Ingredients
serves 6

enough orange flavoured sponge cake to line the base of your serving dish

Orange syrup
juice of 1 orange
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp orange liqueur

Chocolate truffle ganache
75g dark chocolate
75ml cream
10g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
zest of 1 orange

Chocolate mousse
90g milk chocolate
3 eggs (separated)
1 tbsp bandy
pinch of salt

125ml double cream
dark chocolate to decorate (I also used tiny orange flavoured meringues)

chocolate orange trifle

Start by making the orange syrup. Combine the orange juice and sugar in a small pan and heat them until the sugar has dissolved and the juice has reduced a bit. Remove the pan from the heat and add the orange liqueur. Leave this to cool a little.
Cut the sponge into cubes and use them to line the base of your serving dish. Spoon the orange syrup over the sponge making sure that each piece of sponge soaks up some of the liquid. Let this sit at room temperature whilst you make the chocolate ganache.
Put all the ingredients for the sauce into a small pan and gently melt them together over a very low heat. Stir the mixture constantly to ensure that the chocolate doesn’t burn or seize. Once it has melted and combined pour the warm ganache over the sponge layer. Now put the dish in the fridge to chill out for a little while, just whilst you make the mousse layer.

chocolate orange trifle
Break up the milk chocolate and put it in a bowl, set over a pan of gently simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stirring it occasionally and then remove it from the heat. Quickly stir in the brandy. This might cause the chocolate to thicken a little but don’t panic as long as it isn’t grainy. Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate, one at a time, whilst it’s still warm and then leave the mixture to cool.
Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl along with the salt, until they hold a stiff peak. Beat one tablespoon of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten the mixture. Follow this by very carefully, using a large metal spoon, folding in the remaining egg whites, a couple of spoons at a time until it is all incorporated and you have a light airy mousse.
Pour this on top of the cooled chocolate ganache layer and then return the dish to the fridge and forget about for a couple of hours so that the mousse can set more firmly.
Finally whip the cream so that it holds soft peaks and then spread it all over the top of the trifle. Finish off with a little chocolate (or meringue) decoration and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.

chocolate orange trifle

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GINGERBREAD TIRAMISU

gingerbread tiramisu

The time has come for Mr Colonial Cravings annual office festive hoopla. I’m not sure they refer to it like this but I think that maybe they should start.
To say thank you for the hours of photographing food that he puts in (my hands are just too shaky to take a decent picture) I’ve made him something extra special.
I’ve combined his favourite Italian treat with something festive from their Austrian neighbours. Gingerbread! And it is so good! If you like gingerbread lattes then you’re going to love this. Seriously, this tastes amazing. Layers of richly spiced sponge soaked in boozy coffee, sandwiched together with thick zabaglione cream. Christmas dessert heaven…

gingerbread tiramisu
You can bake the sponge ahead of time because it keeps really well, and also if it is a tiny bit stale then it tends to soak up the coffee better. Winning all round!
If you don’t have a spring-form cake tin, of just don’t want to serve the tiramisu like this, then you can of course just build up the layers in a serving dish, trifle-style. Either works well for this.

gingerbread tiramisu

Ingredients
serves 10-12

Half the quantity of gingerbread from my gingerbread latte cupcakes, baked in a spring-form pan for about 35 minutes at 180°c.

https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/gingerbread-latte-cupcakes/

300ml strong brewed coffee
3 tbsp sugar
50ml brandy/dark rum (feel free to use more if you like it really boozy)
1 tbsp coffee liqueur (optional)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla paste
225g mascarpone (room temperature)
200ml double cream
dark chocolate to serve

gingerbread tiramisu

Trim away the very top of the cake, to expose the crumb and slice the sponge in half horizontally. Set aside.
Mix one tablespoon of the sugar with the coffee, brandy/rum and coffee liqueur (if using) and let the coffee cool a bit.
Place the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl with the egg yolks and vanilla and place it over a pan of simmering water. Whip the yolks until they are pale and fluffy and have at least doubled in volume. Remove them from the heat and let it cool for a minute or two before beating the mascarpone into it.
Put the cream in another bowl and whip it until it becomes thick and fluffy. Use a large metal spoon to fold the cream into the egg yolk/mascarpone mixture.

gingerbread tiramisu
To assemble the tiramisu place a layer of the sponge back into the springform pan that you baked it in. Brush the surface of it with the coffee mixture. You need it to be saturated but not so soggy that it loses all integrity.
Spread half of the creamy filling mixture evenly over the sponge and then carefully place the second layer on top. Brush this with coffee too, again making sure that it is well moistened but not drenched. Don’t worry, you won’t need all of the coffee mixture. Cover this with the remaining cream mixture and smooth off the surface. Put the tiramisu in the fridge to firm up for a couple of hours.
Dust the top of the tiramisu with some grated dark chocolate (I like to be fairly liberal with it) and run a palate knife around the edge of the tin before releasing the catch and removing the sides of the tin. Carefully transfer the tiramisu to a serving plate. Enjoy!

gingerbread tiramisu

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NUTELLA PROFITEROLES

Nutella profiteroles

I wasn’t joking the other week when I said that I needed more choux pastry in my life. If you’ve never tried to make it before I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is. You don’t even need any fancy equipment to make profiteroles either, just a saucepan, a wooden spoon, a baking sheet and a couple of teaspoons. It’s pretty quick, super easy and will make you feel all sorts of fancy when you show off your patisserie skills.
The filling of these is a super-simple two ingredient Nutella mousse (it’s just whipped cream and yummy Nutella but shhhh…don’t tell anyone.) Despite being so simple it tastes incredible, which let’s be honest, most things made with Nutella do!
I don’t like to serve these with the classic chocolate sauce because I think that it over powers the mousse, and tends to make them a bit too sweet. Just a little chocolate decoration is all that required.
Mr Colonial Cravings was a huge fan of these, I’m pretty sure that if I’d left him alone with them he would have eaten all 16 in one go.

Nutella profiteroles

Ingredients
makes 16

choux pastry
60g butter
120ml water
75g plain flour
2 eggs

filling
200ml double cream
100g nutella

chocolate to decorate

Nutella profiteroles

Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and line a large baking tray with parchment or a silicone mat.
Put the butter and water in a medium saucepan and bring it to boil. Remove the pan from the heat and tip in all of the flour. Vigorously beat it with a wooden spoon until you end up with a ball of dough that has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Lightly beat the eggs. Add about a third of the egg to the pan and beat it in. Once it has been absorbed add another third and beat it again. After the third and final addition of egg, the dough should become soft, smooth and glossy.
Use a couple of teaspoons to drop blobs of the dough onto the prepared baking tray. If you need to smooth off any edges or pointy bits then just dip your finger in a little water first.
Bake the choux pastry for 30 minutes then turn off the oven and open the door a bit, leave them in the oven for a further 10 minutes to dry out a little.
Once they are done you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool. I would recommend poking a little hole in them, somewhere discreet, to let the steam out and prevent them from becoming soggy. You can use this later when you fill them.

Nutella profiteroles
Softly whip the cream for the filling, so that it just holds its shape. Take a big dollop of the cream and mix it into the Nutella to lighten it a bit. Transfer this mixture back into the rest of the cream and whip it again, until it becomes more stiff, but be careful not to over-whip it.
Put the Nutella mousse in a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. Insert the tip into the steam hole that you created in each of the cooled profiteroles and gently squeeze in the filling. Drizzle the top of each one with a little melted chocolate and then pop them in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.

Nutella profiteroles

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CHILI CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE

Chocolate mousse cake

I don’t think that I can actually overstate how bloomin’ amazing this cake is. Even Roald Dahl Willy Wonka style naming wouldn’t come close to describing exactly how delicious this dessert tastes. Not just tastes mind you, the texture is heavenly too, crisp and meringue-like on the top and at the edges, rich and fudgy in the middle. And oh that slight spiciness too, tingly and warm and brilliant. Yes, I am proud of this bake.

Chocolate mousse cake

The cream complements it wonderfully, and I’ve allowed plenty of it (because I’ll always be a West-country girl), but you could of course serve the cake with just a dusting of icing sugar and scoop of ice cream.

Ingredients
serves 8 (but I wouldn’t share it)

150g dark chocolate
4 eggs
100g sugar
75g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract/paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of salt

Vanilla-rum cream
300ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp dark rum
1 tsp sugar

fresh raspberries and mint to decorate

Chocolate mousse cake

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease a spring-form cake tin. Line the base with grease-proof paper.
Chop up the chocolate and melt it together with the butter, either in a double boiler or by using short blasts in the microwave. Let this cool a little.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites and yolks into two large mixing bowls. Add the sugar to the yolks and beat them until they are really pale (the colour of butter) and thick and fluffy. Add the spices and vanilla to this and briefly beat it again.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold a stiff peak.

Chocolate mousse cake
Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture and mix them together, making sure that they are well blended. Adding the chocolate to the eggs (rather than the other way around) will reduce your risk of the chocolate seizing. Take a big spoonful of the whipped egg whites and mix it into the chocolate goo. This will lighten the mixture a bit. Carefully, using a big metal spoon, fold in the remaining egg whites, a couple of tablespoons at a time.
Pour the moussey batter into the prepared tin and bake it for 40 minutes.

Chocolate mousse cake
Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack, the middle will sink a lot but that means that you can fill it with even more cream. Don’t worry if you have cracks in the top either.
Run a pallet knife around the inside of the tin and then carefully release the cake. Hopefully it will come away cleanly and you can slide it off the base and onto a serving plate. Carefully peel away the paper from underneath, this can be a bit fiddly because the top of the cake might be a bit crisp and delicate.
Place all the ingredients for the cream in a mixing bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Either pipe or spoon this on top of the cake to fill in the crater in the middle and decorate it with the raspberries and mint leaves. You can serve any leftover cream alongside the cake or it’s amazing on top of hot chocolate or coffee.

Chocolate mousse cake

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MALTED MOCHA CUPCAKES

Malted mocha cupcakes

These yummy treats have a lovely rich, slightly sticky, moist sponge sitting underneath that swirl of thick, creamy, fluffy buttercream.
I’m a sucker for malt and chocolate together and the subtle background of coffee really brings them together nicely. Because the sponge is made with malt extract rather than powder, it has a lovely rich texture, a bit like a golden syrup sponge. It’s slightly more dense (but not heavy) and sticky than a classic cupcake sponge. In general, I’d say that these lovelies have a bit more going on than your average sponge and frosting affair…

Malted mocha cupcakes

Ingredients
makes about 8 big cupcakes or 6 large and 6 mini

Sponge
40g butter
90g sugar
50g malt extract
100g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 egg
70ml milk
50ml of very, very strong coffee

Frosting
30g dark chocolate
140g unsalted butter
120g icing sugar
2 tbsp cream (or a splash of milk)
50g malt extract

melted white and dark chocolate and malteasers to decorate.

Malted mocha cupcakes

Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with wrappers.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl and then beat in the malt extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and beat it together with an electric hand or stand mixer until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Lightly beat together the coffee, milk and egg in a separate bowl or jug and then add it in two or three batches, to the dry ingredients and beat it well until you have a nice smooth batter.
Divide this evenly between the wrappers and pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. They should be well risen and feel springy to the touch once they are done. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.

Malted mocha cupcakes
To make the frosting melt the chocolate and then set it aside to cool. Beat together the butter, icing sugar and cream until it is nice and fluffy. Mix in the malt extract and then divide the buttercream into two batches. Stir the melted chocolate into one of these.
Carefully spoon the two buttercreams into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, so that they are side by side and both flavours will be squeezed out of the nozzle at the same time. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cakes in pretty swirl and then decorate each one with the crushed malteasers and a little drizzle of melted chocolate.

Malted mocha cupcakes

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WHISKY HONEYCOMB ECLAIRS

Whisky honeycomb eclairs

I think that maybe there should be more choux pastry in my life. It’s way easier to make than you might think. In fact, provided you’ve got strong wrists for all that beating, I think it might be one of the easiest pastries to make.
And who doesn’t love an eclair now and then. Or profiteroles. Or Paris-Brest. Or gateau St. Honore. I think you get the point…
These are made from lovely light and crisp pastry filled to the brim with boozy honey-bourbon whipped cream and crowned with a rich dark chocolate ganache and crunchy honeycomb. Yeah, you know you want it.
I made my honeycomb because it’s dead easy and I couldn’t find any here but you could just crush up a Crunchie if that works better for you.

Whisky honeycomb eclairs

Ingredients
makes 6 small eclairs or 4 full size ones

Choux pastry
30g butter
60ml water
35g plain flour
1 egg

Bourbon honey cream
120ml double cream
20ml bourbon
1-2 tsp honey

Chocolate topping
30g dark chocolate
5g butter
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cream

crushed honeycomb to decorate

Whisky honeycomb eclairs

Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone mat.
Put the butter and water in a medium saucepan and bring it to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and tip in the flour, all in one go. Vigorously beat it with a wooden spoon until you end up with a ball of dough that has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Lightly beat the egg and add about half of it to the pan. Beat this in, once it has been absorbed add the rest of the egg and beat it again. The dough should become soft, smooth and glossy.
Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a very large round nozzle (or if you have disposable bags you can just snip the end off). Pipe the dough onto the tray in thick strips, mine were about 4″ long. If you need to smooth off any edges then just dip your finger in a little water first.
Bake the eclairs for 30 minutes then turn off the oven and open the door a little, leave them in the oven for a further 10 minutes to dry out a little.
Once they are done you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool. I would recommend poking a little hole in the bottom or side to let the steam out and prevent them from becoming soggy.

Whisky honeycomb eclairs
Put all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and whip them until they are thick and fluffy. If you want to pipe in the filling then put this mixture into a piping bag fitted with a smallish nozzle. Otherwise you slice each of the cooled eclairs down the side and spoon in the cream. If you are piping it in then you can enlarge the steam holes a little so that you can poke the tip of the piping nozzle in and then gently squeeze in the filling.
To make the topping put the butter, cream and honey in a small pan and gently heat them over a very low heat. Finely chop the chocolate and then add this to the pan too and stir it until it has melted and combined to form a smooth ganache. Let this cool for a moment or two and then spread it onto the top of the eclairs. Before it sets sprinkle on a bit of crushed honeycomb as a decoration.

Whisky honeycomb eclairs

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SEASALT CHOCOLATE MADELEINES with BUTTERSCOTCH RUM SAUCE

seasalt chocolate madeleines

Oh my giddy Aunt these are good! In fact sitting down to write about them is making me want to bake another batch. Right now. But then I wouldn’t get to share the recipe with you and that would be a travesty.
Delicate, pretty little shell-shaped sponges, rich with chocolate and a slightly salty tang dipped in sweet butterscotch, There’s nothing about that which doesn’t sound great to me. The madeleines have a texture which is not unlike a lighter version of a brownie with a little bit of crunch from the sea-salt. These are all too easy to eat.
I’ve used a slightly different technique this time than with the pistachio and rose madeleines from a few months ago. These don’t have any nuts in them so the batter doesn’t need quite so much assistance in the lift department.
If you have any of the butterscotch sauce left over after you’ve dunked the madeleines then I strongly recommend that you warm it up and drizzle it over coffee or vanilla ice cream. All sorts of deliciousness will ensue. You can trust me on that.

seasalt chocolate madeleines

Ingredients
makes 12
75g sugar
1 egg
75g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
65g butter
1 tbsp milk
50g good quality dark chocolate, melted
1/2 tsp sea-salt
extra chocolate to decorate (optional)

Rum butterscotch sauce

50g butter
100g light brown sugar
85ml cream
1/4 tsp sea-salt
1 tbsp dark rum

seasalt chocolate madeleines

Melt the butter and use a little of this to butter the madeleine mould. Put this in the fridge to chill and leave the remaining butter to cool.
Beat together the egg and sugar until they are thick, fluffy and very pale. Gently sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into this, all at the same time so they are well blended. Fold this into the egg mixture.
Combine the milk and melted butter and then stir this into the batter. Add the chocolate and sea-salt and then mix so that everything is well combined. Let the finished batter stand in the fridge for 1 hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 220°c. Use a teaspoon to put a heaped blob of the chilled batter in each cavity of the chilled madeleine pan. Bake the little cakes for 3 minutes before reducing the oven temperature to 180°c for another 5 minutes.
Leave the little cakes in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

seasalt chocolate madeleines

Make the rum butterscotch by combining the butter, sugar and cream in a small pan. Put the pan over a low to moderate heat and bring the mixture to a gentle bubble. Let it carry on like this for about five minutes. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool a bit before stirring in the rum and the salt. If the sauce is too warm when you add the rum it might bubble up bit so be careful here. You can add a little more salt if you like. Allow the sauce to become quite a bit more cool before serving. If adding the rum makes it too runny then you can re-boil it to thicken it a little more.
Dip the madeleines in the butterscotch or in some melted chocolate or both! No one will judge you here!

seasalt chocolate madeleines

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