Category Archives: chocolate

Lamingtons

Sponge, chocolate, coconut. What is not to love?

Sponge, chocolate, coconut. What is not to love?

There was a time in high school we did a lamington drive to raise money for some charity. The organisation we were helping has long left my head but the memory of buying six dozen lamingtons under false names and eating them all myself has not. (See also: Bulimia).

I have banned myself from buying the Woolworths lamington fingers purely because I KNOW I could eat the entire packet. In one sitting. I never have, but the knowledge that I COULD is enough.

What is equally alarming is the fact they are STUPIDLY easy to make. Fiddly? Sure. Messy? My word. But an absolute snap all the same.

This recipe comes from my kitchen bible – Allan Campion & Michele Curtis’s In The Kitchen. I refer to this cookbook more than any other and every single thing I’ve made from it has always worked and been delicious. If you don’t own it, buy it.

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Lamingtons

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 cups dessicated coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a lamington tin with greaseproof paper and then grease it and dust with flour
  2. Beat the eggs and caster sugar together until very thick and really pale in colour then gently fold in the flour
  3. Pour into tin, smooth the batter and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden on top
  4. Cool in the tin for a few minutes then lift out and peel off the baking paper. Cool completely
  5. Put the icing sugar, cocoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, whisking well
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat and cool a little
  7. Now get ready to get messy.
  8. Set up a workstation with the cake cut into squares, then the chocolate sauce, then a wire rack and then a shallow dish holding the coconut and then another wire rack
  9. Dip the sponge in the chocolate until all covered – I use to forks to turn the cake over in the mixture – then put onto the wire rack to let any excess drip off
  10. Roll the pieces in the coconut then onto the final wire rack to dry.

Try not to eat them all.

 

Onward!

 


Chocolate self-saucing pudding (aka chocolate sludge)

I’ve been making this dessert for more than 10 years. There’s a few recipes that fall into that category, so this is going to be the first in a little trip down memory lane.

This recipe came into my repertoire through a mum in my mother’s group. I had an awesome mother’s group, we were open and honest with each other, and met up twice a week for years. While we have all drifted to different parts of Sydney, interstate and even overseas it was a group of women I will always be grateful for having in my life.

I talked about this on ABC radio in a discussion about comfort food. You can hear my dulcet tones here.

Chocolate Sludge

Makes everything better 

Chocolate Sludge

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tblsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Optional: 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts and 1/2 cup choc chips
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Preheat your oven to 160C and grease a smallish baking dish (mine is 27cm x 18cm)
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and cocoa (and the optional nuts/choc chips)
  3. Stir in the butter and milk - the batter will be very thick so don’t be alarmed
  4. Scrape the mixture into the dish and spread it around
  5. Combine the brown sugar and cocoa and scatter over the top of the batter
  6. Pour the boiling water over the mix and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the pudding is set and there’s thick sauce bubbling up around the edges.

Beautiful with ice cream, cream, custard or all of them quite frankly.

Chocolate Sludge into the oven

Into the oven we go

 

Chocolate sludge pudding

The after


Triple Chocolate Praline Tart

Several years ago now (I KNOW!) a became friends with some remarkable women through this blog. A few weeks ago one of those, the MIGHTY Eleanor (from the commentbox) hosted a lunch at which we were honoured to meet some of her ‘real life’ friends.

Naturally I had a fillerbuster of a day getting there, trying to fit in way too many things before heading across town. I arrived in a complete snit after leaving home late and then being held up by some first-time-in-60-years resurfacing of the Harbour Bridge and stupid Eastern Suburbs traffic in which everyone must drive nice and slowly so everyone else can notice they’re driving the latest Lexus, Mercedes or BMW. That and the small but important issue of me taking a wrong turn. Details.

But as I walked into Eleanor’s serene abode (also alarmingly devoid of dust, I think she could be a witch) the blood pressure dropped, the tension in my shoulders eased and I proceeded to spend a sublime number of hours in the company of smart, funny women. Truly divine.

I was on dessert duty and on offering a fruit, custard or chocolate option our host chose chocolate.

Making this tart does not require any special cooking talents but it does require time. As that afternoon at Eleanor’s reminded me, sometimes the best thing to do is stop. Slow down. Take one step at a time and savour each step.

It’s one of the reasons I love making things like this – you have no option but to slow down and in slowing down you take more care, enjoying the process as much as the outcome.

Having made this twice I can say that the flavour is more developed – ie better – the next day.

I also use pecans as I am obsessed with them.

So gather your ingredients, set aside some time and make something outrageously decadent with love. It makes everything better.

Triple chocolate praline tart

From Australian Gourmet Traveller

Pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • 60 pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 30g Dutch-process cocoa
  • 100g cold butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks

Filling

  • 150 gm hazelnuts, roasted and skins removed
  • 175 gm raw caster sugar
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 400 gm milk chocolate, finely chopped

Ganache

  • 160 ml pouring cream
  • 40 ml milk
  • 200 gm dark chocolate (61% cocoa solids), finely chopped

For the pastry

  1. In a food processor combine everything except the egg yolks
  2. Once combined add the egg yolks and pulse until it comes together in a ball
  3. Give it a knead – it is very short and I found it needs a bit of working to get it into a pliable ball – then wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for an hour or so
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 and roll the dough out to 3mm thick to line a 28cm tart case. I find the trick to this is to let the dough come back to room temperature and to then roll out between two sheets of baking paper. It is a really short pastry so don’t worry if it breaks, just smoosh the edges together.
  5. Refrigerate for an hour and then bake blind for 8-10 minutes. Remove paper and weights and then bake for a further 8-10 minutes. Don’t worry if it’s cracked, the filling is solid enough it won’t pour out and turn the whole thing into a red hot mess.

For the filling

  1. Spread the hazelnuts (or your nuts of choice, mine are pecans) on an oiled baking tray and set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar and 60ml water in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook until dark caramel in colour (4-5 minutes) then pour over nuts.
  3. Stand until cool and set (8-10 minutes) and then process in a food processor until finely ground.
  4. Bring the cream to the simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the chocolate and stir until smooth.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in two-thirds of the praline mixture (reserving the remaining to serve).
  6. Spoon into pastry case, smooth top, refrigerate until just set (1½-2 hours).

 

For the ganache

  1. Combine cream and milk in a small saucepan, bring to the simmer then add the dark chocolate.
  2. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
  3. Spread over the tart and refrigerate until just set (45 minutes-1 hour).

Cut into wedges with a hot knife and serve immediately scattered with reserved praline.

 

Seriously, it’s a tart that makes everything better.

 

Onward!


Outrageously easy slice

You can all blame Inner Pickle for this one. Or perhaps the people of Mayflower village from where the cookbook containing the recipe came from. It’s called Easy Slice and while it is that, the name totally underplays what this slice is. It’s like a snickers with coconut. It’s addictive. It is outrageously easy to make. And dangerously easy to eat.

 

Part of me wants to call it Slut Slice because it’s so easy and goes down a treat. What? Too much?

 

My pictures do not do it justice. In fact, when I took them I thought, ‘man, few could make a slice containing all forms of sugar, chocolate and saturated fat could make it look like a lasagne but I have’. Then Mum saw it and asked if it was a lasagne type dish and then BabyMac said the same thing about the meat and cheesy looking picture in my last post.

So maybe I should call it Not Lasagne Slice .


Easy Slice  

Mayflower Village Cookery Book via Inner Pickle

  • 6oz (185g) butter, melted
  • 1 packet Nice biscuits, crushed
  • 1 packet choc chips (mine was 230g as was Inner Pickles)
  • 1 packet walnuts (Inner Pickle’s was 120g, I used unsalted peanuts which I then toasted – I didn’t measure them, instead I just sprinkled them over the top for a good coverage)
  • 2oz (about 3/4 cup) shredded coconut
  • 1 tin (395g) condensed milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a slice tin (18cm x 27cm) with baking paper
  2. Pour in the melted butter then spread over the crushed biscuit
  3. Sprinkle over the choc chips, then the nuts and then the coconut
  4. Pour the condensed milk over the top
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
Let it cool completely before trying to remove from the tin or cutting it as otherwise the base will just crumble into a thousand pieces. I know I know, it’s hard to wait but believe me, it’s totally worth it.

 

 


Honey Nut Slice

OK, I made this for the first time yesterday and am about to go and make another batch. I’m going to put it in a bigger tin so it goes thinner because essentially this is like a florentine and well, me and florentines go way back.

I can’t remember where I got this recipe from – it’s one of those ripped out of something a lifetime ago so apologies to the originator but thanks as well. My life is so much better for having this recipe in it.

I hadn’t bought enough pistachios so I threw in some pecans. So good. So very very good.

Honey Nut Slice

  • 250g butter
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 300g flaked almonds
  • 150g shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 100g dark chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 200C and line the base and sides of 19x29cm tin then grease well
  2. Melt butter then add the sugar, honey, cream and brandy
  3. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and add the nuts
  4. Spread in the tin and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown
  5. Remove from the oven and cool
  6. Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top
  7. Refrigerate and then cut into bite size pieces – store in the fridge.

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