Chocolate truffles are ludicrously easy to make and taste so much better than shop bought chocs. These ones do take a bit more time from start to finish than the usual recipes, although for a lot of the time they are just sat in the fridge firming up. Your actual active time is fairly minimal, meaning you’ll be able to get on with other things (exploring other posts on here for example…)
These are so wonderfully light and fluffy, they’re like little clouds coated in chocolate. I can’t decide if they taste more like creamy malteasers or grown-up milky ways (that’s 3 musketeers in America I think.) Either way, they’re really, really good!
Ideally you want to use tempered chocolate for coating the truffles, it’ll be crisper and make them look more shiny. If, like me, you find coating the truffles is a bit of a challenge then you can probably just roll them in chocolate shavings and still get a pretty great tasting treat.
The whipped ganache also makes a pretty amazing frosting for cakes if you want to make something particularly decadent.
makes about 30
200g milk chocolate
200g double cream
2 tbsp malt extract
1 tsp vanilla paste
150g (approx) 70% cocoa tempered dark chocolate for coating (plus sprinkles and wot not)
Chop up the milk chocolate and put it in a large mixing bowl. Put the cream in a small saucepan and warm it over a moderate heat. You want it to be hot but don’t let it boil. Stir in the vanilla and malt extract. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for about two minutes before stirring well. Make sure that the chocolate has melted and is well blended with the cream.
Put the ganache in the fridge and let it thicken and firm up for an hour. Use an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip the ganache until it is light and fluffy, like a thick chocolate mousse. Put it back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, longer if you like.
Line a couple of baking trays with parchment or foil. Use teaspoons, a mini ice cream scoop or a melon baller (whatever you find easiest) to scoop out the truffles and place them on the trays. Because the mixture is so light and fluffy it’s pretty hard to make rolled truffles out of it so just do the best you can. I like to use 2 teaspoons to create mini-quinelles.
You guessed it, you now need to put them back in the fridge, for at least an hour, so that they are as firm as possible when you dip them.
Melt the dark chocolate and use this to carefully coat the truffles, I use a skewer and only dip them very briefly so that the warm chocolate doesn’t melt the centres. Place them on the lined trays and decorate them with sprinkles, a dusting of malt powder or a drizzle of extra chocolate before leaving the coating to harden and become crisp.
White chocolate and raspberry are the best of buddies. I often find white chocolate to be too sweet, almost sickly, but the sharpness of the raspberry in these really reigns it back in and stops it from getting out of hand. Like a sensible friend who knows when to call it a night.
The mascarpone keeps the filling really creamy whilst also making it a little lighter and less truffley than a ganache made with cream. A dark chocolate shortbread crust never did a dessert any harm either. It’s buttery and crumbly and the ideal base for this decadent little tart.
I say little but my ‘individual’ tart tins are 5″ in diameter which seems like a generous portion even by my gluttonous standards. Mr Colonial Craving and I quite happily shared each of these as they are quite rich.
These are just heavenly and with a steadier hand and a little more creativity than I possess I think they could probably make a very fancy dessert for a special occasion.
20g icing sugar
15g cocoa powder
80g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp icing sugar
100g white chocolate
30ml double cream
Grease a couple of loose bottomed, individual tart tins.
Beat together the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder. Once it’s well blended mix in the flour to give you a very soft dough. Spread this into each of the tins using the back of a metal spoon. Cover each tin with a piece of greaseproof paper and place them in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
Pre heat the oven to 180°c whilst this is happening.
Cover each parchment lined pastry base with baking beans and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover the bases (carefully, the bases can be a bit brittle because they are so buttery) and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Leave the bases to cool completely whilst you make the filling.
Warm the raspberries a little and very gently crush them (don’t mash them up too much.) Strain off the juice and set it aside.
Melt together the cream, chocolate and mascarpone in a small pan over a low heat, stirring constantly. Make sure that this is all well blended together without any lumps. Let this cool for five minutes.
Spread the raspberries over the cooled based and then pour over the liquid ganache, making the surface as smooth as possible by giving the tins a gentle shake.
Mix the reserved juice with about 1 teaspoon of icing sugar and gently heat it until it becomes syrupy and slightly thickened. Use this to create pretty marbled patterns on the surface of the tarts and then pop them in the fridge to chill and set. If you have any difficulty removing them from the tins before serving (I did) then just warm the outside of the tin a little with a brulee torch. It works a treat!
This was a total experiment that came about when I needed a cake to take along to something but had just used up the last of my eggs. It’s alarmingly difficult to find free range eggs here (cage free is not the same thing!) and I didn’t have time to go on a hunt for them. I did have a few egg whites in the freezer however and I had successfully replaced whole eggs with coconut milk in my ginger cake (https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/sticky-eggless-ginger-cake/) when I found myself in a similar situation. It had to be worth a try…and it totally was!
200g plain flour
50g cocoa powder (really good dark stuff)
2 tsp baking powder
100g coconut milk
150g soft light brown sugar
50g butter (melted)
2 tbsp rum (optional)
3 egg whites.
150g good quality dark chocolate (finely chopped)
150ml double cream
1 tbsp rum (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and very lightly grease your cake tin before dusting it with a little cocoa powder. Double sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Sifting it twice will get a bit more air into the cake. Stir in the salt. In a different bowl beat together half of the sugar and the coconut milk. Add in the melted butter, rum and milk and stir together. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks in a third bowl (sorry about all the washing up!). Whisk in remaining sugar in two batches to create a meringue mixture.
Beat the wet mixture into the dry ingredients using an electric mixer. Finally fold in egg whites to lighten the whole mixture. Pour into your prepared tin and bake it for around 40 minutes, testing with a skewer to check that it is cooked all the way through.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to cool totally before decorating.
To make the ganache simply warm the cream (with the rum if using) and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt into the warm cream for five minutes and then stir it all together. Put this in the fridge to get really cold and thicken before using an electric mixer to whip it until it is thick and fluffy. Spread this all over the cooled cake using a metal palate knife. Keep the cake cool until serving as the whipped ganache is prone to melting easily, which does make it all the more delicious to eat.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve made chocolate truffles. They tend to be my home-made gift of choice.
I really wanted to have a go at making something with a softer, creamier, liquid filling. Something perhaps a little less rich than a truffle but just as indulgent.
It took me several attempts to get the texture of the filling just right, resulting in plenty of cast-offs to satisfy Mr Colonial Cravings sweet tooth.
Quantities are not as important here as ratios. I made mine to fill a specific mould and was still left with a little excess filling (which I re-warmed and used as chocolate sauce.) You may need to make more or less but it’s a fairly easy recipe to multiply. Be sure to use really good quality chocolate for these. Ideally the shells should be at least 70% cocoa.
Makes 10 moulded chocolates
90g ish good quality dark chocolate
60g white chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp whisky
2 tbsp double cream
Use a bowl set over a pan of boiling water to melt the dark chocolate and then use this to coat the inside of your chosen mould. I like to drop a teaspoon of chocolate into each space and then push it into all the corners with a cocktail stick but use any method that works well for you. Remember to hang onto any remaining chocolate for the bottoms of the chocolates.
Put this in the fridge to firm up and set. If they seem a bit thin once they are set then it’s fine to apply a second coat of chocolate to the mould.
In a different bowl set over the pan of water melt together the white chocolate, cream and whisky. Once it has emulsified set it aside to cool a little before mixing in the butter. Let this drop down to room temperature before carefully spooning the filling into the prepared mould. Place in the fridge to chill completely. The surface of the filling will set ever so slightly.
Finally re-melt the remaining dark chocolate and spoon this on top of the filling to seal the bottoms of the chocolates. Refrigerate again to set and then carefully pop the chocolates out of the mould and pack them into pretty boxes ready for giving as gifts, if you’re of a generous disposition…
Mr Colonial Cravings has requested a cake. He often does. This one is for an afternoon of seasonal festivities at work so who am I to deny him?
I’ve decided to stay away from exclusively British treats and go for something with more universal appeal. Chocolate.
To turn a bog standard chocolate cake into something a bit more festive I’ve decided to give it lots of warming, wintry, spicy flavours and a slightly more dense, moist, almost sticky texture. I was aiming for a chocolate version of Jamaican ginger cake.
I’ve made it in a similar way to brownies, melting the wet ingredients together and then adding in the dry ingredients. Using brown sugar rather refined white sugar really helps with the texture and complements the spices well. The little nuggets of crystalised ginger are so much nicer than simply using ground ginger.
The rum is optional, I didn’t include it in the version for my husbands work (obviously) and just added a tablespoon of water after mixing in the dry ingredients.
You don’t have use a bundt tin for this. I’ve also baked it using diddy little pudding basins, reducing the cooking time to 25 minutes.
175g butter (plus extra for greasing)
100g dark chocolate (chopped)
100g dark soft brown sugar
100g light soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp rum (optional)
60g crystalised ginger
25g cocoa powder
125g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
pinch of seasalt
100g good quality dark chocolate
100g double cream
small knob of butter
1 tbsp rum (optional)
icing sugar/festive sprinkles to decorate
Pre-heat your oven to 160°c.
Melt the butter, along with a little extra in a large saucepan. Brush the inside of your bundt tin really thoroughly with some of this.
Add the chocolate, both sugars, syrup and the rum (if using) to the butter and melt together over a very low heat. Once it’s all amalgamated set it to one side to cool a little.
Finely chop the ginger and stir this and the salt through the mixture.
Beat the eggs and then mix them into the cooled chocolate mix. Make sure it’s all really well combined.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Stir through the ground spices.
Add the dry ingredients, in two batches, to the wet ingredients, mixing it together really well.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for around about 1 hour. Check that it is cooked all the way through by poking a skewer into the cake and ensuring that it comes out clean.
Once baked, leave the cake in the tin to cool for a bit before turning it out onto a wire rack. I find this helps to encourage it to leave all the little nooks and crannies of the bundt tin cleanly.
To make the ganache simply melt together the chocolate and cream (and rum, if using) over the lowest heat possible in a small saucepan. Once melted beat through a small amount of butter, this will give it a nice glossy finish. Let this cool and thicken up a bit before pouring over the top of the cake and sprinkling on any additional decoration.
I may never make a traditional Christmas cake again!
Why have I only just discovered the wonder that is the combination of coffee, cardamom and chocolate? I tried some 70% cocoa chocolate the other day that was flavoured with these two and it was sublime. I have had chocolate with both cardamom and coffee separately but never combined and having finally tasted all three together I’m a bit annoyed with my own brain for not suggesting it sooner.
These rich little pots of gooey-ness are so incredibly simple to make the only excuses that I’ll accept for you not giving them a go must come in the form of a Doctors note. When I was young my Grandma bought me cookbook full of chocolate recipes and I immediately made ‘Pot au Chocolat’ because it looked so easy.
When I say that they are rich I am not exaggerating – the recipe is essentially just ganache so it’s incredibly indulgent. Make sure you use really good quality chocolate for them with a high cocoa solids content.
I like to serve them in espresso cups (partly because it justifies my collection of them.) Ramekins are also fine but I think even the most hardened chocoholic would struggle to make it through anything more generous.
300ml double cream
180g dark chocolate
6 cardamom pods
2 tsp (rounded) ground coffee
Crack the cardamom pods to release the seeds a little and add these, the coffee and the cream to a small saucepan. Slowly heat this over a low light until the cream is starting to think about simmering.
Chop the chocolate into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.
Strain the hot cream through a fine mesh sieve over the chocolate. Discard the remaining coffee grounds and cardamom.
Stir the cream and chocolate together using a spatula or spoon, ensuring that they are really well blended. Any chocolate that isn’t mixed into the cream will mean that the resulting ganache isn’t velvety smooth.
Pour into your chosen serving pots and chill for a couple of hours to set.
Decorate however you like (I piped little puffs of steam out of white chocolate) and enjoy the smug feeling when people tell you how impressed they are!