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Visit to Radio Sheffield

If you didn’t manage to catch me on Radio Sheffield a few weeks ago talking about this lovely beetroot and chocolate cake I brought in for Paulette and the team  to try. You can make it yourself and see. It’s such an easy recipe and it’s Gluten Free. I recommend trying it. I was pleasantly surprised with how great both the taste and texture was.

 

50g cocoa powder

175g ground almond

1 ½ tsp baking powder

200g caster sugar

250g cooked beetroot

3 medium eggs

200ml sunflower oil

100g melted dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids

Sieve cocoa powder, ground almonds and baking powder into a bowl

Whisk sunflower and eggs together in a bowl

Blend beetroot in a food processor

Add oil and egg mix to almond mix, fully incorporate

Add melted chocolate and stir in

Add beetroot puree and stir in.

Bake in a lined 10 inch cake ring at 155 degrees C (fan assisted oven) for approximately 45 minutes

Use a knife in the centre to test; this should come out clean when baked

 

 

Newsletter

Academy of Chocolate Awards 2019

Academy of Chocolate Awards 2019

After a really busy Easter followed by a lovely Easter break. I returned to Sheffield to receive the wonderful news that I have been awarded two Academy of Chocolate Awards in this years competition . These were two Silver Awards for the Salted Caramel Chocolates and the Spiced Gin and Orange chocolates. I don’t normally make the spiced gin chocolates this time of year but I might make a special batch to celebrate! If you would like to find out more about the Awards then you can follow this link to the website. This Academy of Chocolate have a specific mission to identify the most exceptional chocolatiers and fine chocolate producers with ethical and transparent sourcing of cocoa beans.

It goes without saying; I am delighted to be included in these Awards and to represent one of the Chocolatiers from the UK who have received an Award from this International competition.

Newsletter

Bespoke Wedding Favours

Really enjoyed making some bespoke flavours today for a couple looking for unique flavours for their wedding favours. These are flavours passion fruit white Chocolates and milk chocolate salted Caramels. I was delighted to be asked to make these flavours as they are good flavour combinations and what do you know; they turned out to be delicious

Newsletter

Gin and Tonic with a twist of Lime

Gin and Tonic with a twist of lime

I first started developing this chocolate a few years ago. It was originally a gift for a friend. I had wanted to try making a chocolate in these flavours for a while and it was a good excuse to start. Getting these flavours in a chocolate was tricky and so I need to make it two layers . Since I first made this I have continued to develop the recipe to try and get the most intense flavours possible; zesty lime, warm gin botanicals and the fresh tonic finish. Once I had perfected the recipe I entered it into the Academy of Chocolate Awards 2018. To my surprise and delight I received a Silver Award. I was so pleased as there were thousands of applicants for these awards and Chocolatiers from around the world enter. So I knew there was tough competition.  Gin and Tonic With a twist of lime Chocolates

Since I started making them they have acquired their own little fan club

Festive Chocolates

Festive chocolates

The festive season will soon be upon us. I do love Christmas and in particular I love indulging in some festive treats. Christmas day would not be complete without certain little luxuries. On my list of must haves I would include; nuts (every kind!) Port and Gin and Tonic for drinks, Chocolates of course and cheese and crackers. I also eat a lot of clementine's, boring as that may sound.

The Cocoa Mester treats that are most in demand around this time are Festive Boxed ChocolatesExtra Chunky Maple Syrup Salted Caramel Nut Bar and Sour Cherry Shards. Try as I might I can never seem to make enough of these! If you wish to order any of these in advance please feel free to use the back order option on the shop page. The festive boxed chocolates won't be available until December so back orders until then will guarantee availability.

For now I'm working hard to get stocks of the bars and shards up for the season a head.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee

Sticky Toffee Pudding; a delicious and comforting treat for this time of the year. Made traditionally with dates incorporated into a rich sponge and served with a butterscotch of caramel sauce on top. I've taken my favourite elements of this dessert and made them into a tasty chocolate with a rich date caramel filling. s. It's part of my Autumn/Winter range as I associate  it  with coming in from the cold and  warming up with  a hot sticky toffee pudding and custard. It's definitely the sort of treat I desire when it's cold outside. This particular chocolate is a favourite for wedding favours and corporate gifts all year round, however it's only available to buy in boxes during the Autumn and Winter months. Winter Wonders Boxed Chocolates

Time for Gingerbread

As the leaves begin to fall and everything turns golden my tastes begin change and long for warm spicy flavours. It's now that I begin to make Gingerbread.

There are two types of gingerbread. One is a soft spongy cake mix and the other a biscuit. For gingerbread croutons I make the a gingerbread cake which is then cut up into squares and baked again until in is completely dry, which creates a crunchy crisp crouton. This technique is inspired by the method used for the classic Italian biscotti which you may have been served with a coffee. This biscuit is traditionally baked in a long squashed sausage form. Once baked it is then cut into thin slices and baked again until all moisture has been removed.

The flavours in ginger bread are, for me, heavily associated with Autumn and the run up to Christmas. I used to work in a large Hotel in London and the Pastry menus on the run up to Christmas would have many sweets, pastries and cakes containing the spices ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  These spicy aromas would fill the pastry kitchen and I have always connected these particular flavours to this time since.

Back Soon- Gingerbread Crouton Bar

Great British Bake Off; Pastry Week

Great British Bake Off; Pastry Week

Pastry!! I really enjoyed watching this weeks challenge, it also made me very hungry... I like a good pastry. I was sad to see Dan go as he's a fellow Sheffielder. But it did seem to be the right choice.

I can't say I have ever made samosa's, but I love eating them and I liked the idea of doing these in sweet varieties too.  Oh my Goodness the final Challenge did make me want some kind of pie for dinner. Remember when making any of the following pastries; puff, Danish, short or rough puff. You must rest your pastry after forming. Usually it is also advisable to refrigerate in between stages of cutting to create neat pastry that bakes nicely and keeps it's shape.

On the second challenge; choux pastry was one of the elements which phased some of the contestants. It is really important when making the paste that you cook it out in the pan properly before adding the egg into the mix which is the final stage before piping.  Your mix should come away from the sides of your pan as you cook it out. If you don't cook this sufficiently at this stage you will end up with a sloppy mix which will not rise nicely in the oven. It will also not have adequate firmness to create a good shape for whatever you wish to create. It's important also to mention that you must not open the oven door whilst it's baking.

If you wish to learn more about this you can book our patisserie course to have hands on tuition with choux pastry and other patisserie creations.

Patisserie – Class for Two £255

 

Next week is Vegan week which I'm very much looking forward to seeing, vegan meringue here we come.

Brownie Recipe

This is a wonderful brownie recipe, it's the one I always use when I make brownies at home. It uses milk chocolate rather than dark, which may sound a little sweet. However combined with  the light Muscovado sugar which has a slight molasses taste and a little salt it balances very well

Line a deep baking tin approximately 8 by 12 inches with grease proof baking paper and preheat the oven to 150 degree c

First weigh

200g butter

350g milk chocolate

Into a microwavable bowl, melt together using the microwave. Use short 30 second blasts to avoid burning your mixture and stir each time. You can use a bain marie if you do not have a microwave, however take care not to get steam/moisture into you mix (you can cover the bowl with cling film to protect)

Once you have incorporated the two ingredients together ( you should have a shiny ganache like mixture) set the bowl to one side.

weigh

3 eggs

120g light muscovado sugar

into one bowl and into a separate bowl weigh

50g plain flour

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

half a tsp salt

Stir this mix until  ingredients evenly incorporated

 

Now use an electric whisk to whisk egg and sugar mix until the mixture is doubled in volume, this could take 5 minutes or more. It's important to do this as this is the only raising agent in this recipe, there is no baking powder so air is added at this stage.

Next gently fold the chocolate and butter mixture to the egg and sugar mix, taking care not to knock the air out. Then gradually sieve the flour, cocoa and salt in, folding the ingredients in gently.

Once these ingredients are fully incorporated put the brownie mix into your prepared tin and carefully use a palette knife to evenly spread the mixture .

Bake for 30-35min a crust should form on the top and should be firm, not be liquid underneath. Bake for longer if needed.

Leave to cool on a wire rack and only serve when the brownie has completely cooled

Add nuts or chocolate chips for different variations

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