February 18, 2012

Chocolates

Not just chocolate, but chocolates.

I was in The Chef's Hat with my Mum and we saw these lovely silicone chocolate moulds.  We got one.

Commence the chocolate-making!


I had gianduja and hazelnuts lying around in the cupboard, and an excess of chocolate, so I decided to do gianduja chocolates - something like a Baci.
Mum and I tempered the chocolate (not as traumatising an experience as expected) then painted the edges and bottom of the moulds with it.  Then we plopped a hazelnut in the bottom.  In hindsight, it would have been better to let the first layer of chocolate set, then add another layer so that the outside was thicker.


I let the outside set in the fridge and warmed up the gianduja.



We transferred the gianduja into a Ziploc bag for ease of piping, then filled the moulds almost to the top.


Let them set...then piped some more chocolate on top as the base.


After it hardened a little, I scraped the extra chocolate off the top.


I wasn't totally successful - I probably should've run the palette knife around the sides of the moulds to make sure the edges were cleaner.


However, slightly ratty edges aside, they unmoulded beautifully!



I had a bit of a gleeful fit at this point.


Good news; they tasted amazing.


February 6, 2012

Hedgehogs

Hello, all!  I hope you had an amazing Christmas and New Year!  I spent most of January in South America, particularly in Peru, seeing Machu Picchu and the incredible culture and history there.  I'll put some pictures up here for you shortly.

But for now, I have a lovely little recipe which is simple, tasty and always a crowd pleaser.  Hedgehogs!


Ingredients - base
175g butter or margarine
135g caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 egg
1/2 cup nuts (optional - I usually use walnuts)
250g packet of Marie biscuits (if you can't find Marie biscuits, use any kind of sweet dip-in-tea kind of things - Milk Arrowroots are OK)

Ingredients - topping
250g dark chocolate
50g butter or margarine

Method
1. Put biscuits in a plastic ziploc bag and bash the crap outta them with a rolling pin.  Ahem.  However, make sure it's not dust when you're done, leave some nice chunks that are about 1/4 the size of the whole biscuit.


2. Melt butter, sugar and cocoa and stir until the sugar dissolves.  The microwave is your friend.


3. Make sure the mixture is not too hot then add the egg, coconut, biscuits, and nuts if you're using them.  Mix.  Ensure the biscuits are all covered in the chocolatey mixture.

4. Line a 28 x 18cm pan or equivalent with baking paper, then pour in the mixture and press it down.


5. Put it in the fridge and let it chill for 1 hour, or until firm.

6. When the base it adequately hardened, melt the chocolate and butter for the topping together and mix until combined and smooth.

7. Spread over the base then let it all chill in the fridge again for about 20 minutes.


8. Cut into squares (or any shape you want, really) with a hot knife.


Enjoy!