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It’s Easter time! And you know what that means? Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! It’s a glorious time where we can all indulge a little in our favourite cocoa treats. When we think about chocolate and Easter, most people immediately think of chocolate eggs and bunnies, but there are also a plethora of other chocolate treats you can make.

 Perhaps consider making a Chocolate and Marshmallow WeetbixSlice (recipe below), it’s a delicious alternative to traditional homemade chocolates that you can share with family and friends over a cuppa. This slice is a favourite of The Food Book team as it has a crunchy chocolate base topped with deliciously smooth marshmallows. It will be a definite winner with young and old this Easter.

Chocolate and Marshmallow Weetbix™ Slice

Ingredients

Base

  • 3 Weetbix, crushed with hands
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 125 g butter

Marshmallow

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon gelatine dissolved in a little water (or equivalent gelatine leaves)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • few drops of pink food colouring (optional)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180oC and grease a 20cm square tin.
  2. Crush Weetbix with your hands and add to mix together with flour, coconut, cocoa and brown sugar.
  3. Melt butter and stir through dry ingredients.
  4. Press mixture in tin and bake for 20 minutes, and allow to cool.
  5. Make marshmallow by dissolving sugar in the water in saucepan over a low heat.
  6. Add gelatine (or gelatine leaves) and stir until dissolved.
  7. Allow to cool before adding vanilla extract (and colouring) and beating with an electric beater until thick and light.
  8. Pour over biscuit base and allow to set.
  9. Sprinkle with coconut and cut into squares.
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Poaching is a great way to preserve fruits that are in season, and nothing beats a mouth-watering poached pear. Pears have a more buttery and grittier texture than cooked applPearses — you will find a variety in season during winter such as the Packam, Williams and the Bosc pear. This recipe serves four.

  1.  Simply combine in a medium saucepan:
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cinnamon stick.

    Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat and boil for three minutes.

  2. Reduce the heat and add two peeled, halved and cored pears and simmer for 20–30 minutes or until tender.
  3. Remove pears from the syrup and chill them in a refrigerator.

Serve with cream and/or ice-cream for a lip-smacking dessert. Very ripe pears will break down quickly when cooked so it is best to use just-ripe pears for this recipe as they will keep their shape.

Free-form Pear and Chocolate Tart

If you are looking for a more decadent dessert, try the Free-form Pear and Chocolate Tart on p. 423 of The Food Book. Free-form tarts are more rustic than traditional tarts as you make it without a tin. This recipe uses a sweet shortcrust pastry and showcases skills such as kneading, whisking, rubbing in, slicing, rolling out and baking. The end product is always a winner with children and adults alike!

What ideas do you have for pears? We would love to hear about your recipes whether it be a simple salad or something more complex.