Chocolate

Perhaps the best week ever as it is chocolate week.

I started my week with the signature bake and I went with a  chocolate fondant tart.  Which is made up of a short crust pastry base and a chocolate fondant filling.  I managed to put my hand through my first shortcrust base so had to start again.  I don’t think I will ever do that again.  The fondant is made from flour, eggs, sugar and butter and chocolate.  The butter and chocolate is melted and then the sugar and is added to the melted mixture and the eggs are quickly whisked in before they scramble.

IMG_3798

My chocolate creation was a sheep which consisted of a shortbread base with twos layers of melted white chocolate then on top of the white chocolate I made white truffles which I fixed in place by using melted chocolate.  To finish off my sheep I piped on milk chocolate that made up his face and also used some for his little legs.

I’m really looking forward to the final and think Nadia will be the winner……….

IMG_3771IMG_3774 IMG_3775IMG_3779IMG_3794

Biscotti

IMG_3550Week two of The Great British Bake Off and it’s biscuits with the fist challenge being Biscotti Biscuits.  Biscotti means cooked twice.

A traditional Biscotti is normally made up of pistachios with white chocolate and cranberries but I have decided to go with a hazelnut and chocolate biscotti.

My Biscotti was made by mixing together flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and adding orange zest, hazelnuts and chocolate chips.  In a separate bowl I whisked together eggs and sugar until they were light and fluffy and then folded this into the dry ingredients.  This was then all folded together to make a soft dough.  I then tipped the dough onto a floured surface and shaped it into a ciabatta shaped.

The trick I found with Biscotti was to make sure it is not over cooked and to remember it will be baked twice.

When I had shaped the dough I then baked the Biscotti for ½ an hour and then left it to cool on a cooling rack.  You must wait for the Biscotti to cool before slicing it into 1cm slices if you cut into slices before the cooked dough has cooled it will crumble.  When sliced I then placed back in a cooler oven for 10 minutes.

These are nice crispy biscuits but I would add more chocolate chips next time.  If you’re lucky to have some biscuits left they will store in a tin for unto three weeks.

Chocolate Spaghetti

I’ve not really had much time to bake this week as I’ve got end of year exams so I thought I would do something simple but what I thought was simple was very hard and definitely didn’t work out like it should have.  After three attempts I had to give up and go back to revising.  I think I need to do this again when I have a bit more time.

Chocolate Spaghetti is chocolate piped onto a baking tray that has been frozen.  IMG_5577When the chocolate touches the baking tray it partially sets the chocolate but not too much and this means you can shaped the chocolate. The idea is to pipe the chocolate onto the frozen baking sheet and then to mould the chocolate into nests but as you can see my nests are not that good but the good news is they can still be eatenIMG_3248

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Triple Chocolate Brownies for my lovely friend Amy’s birthday because all girls like chocolate.

This is one of my favourite recipes and everybody loves them because they are chocolatey and gooey and then when you bite into the brownie you get chunk of white chocolate.  Mmmmmmhhh………………

The recipe I use is not quick as you need to melt the chocolate let it cool and whisk the ingredients for a long time as well as baking for 40 minutes and then I leave them over night so they become gooier.

I had thought about making fudge but went for the brownies.  When I told Amy it was choice between fudge and brownies she said no, chocolate brownies definitely.

IMG_5199

Chocolate Mouse Tart

This was one of my hardest bakes because everything went wrong with it.

I made the chocolate pastry but couldn’t roll it out without it breaking all the time.  I did try different things like putting it back in the fridge for a bit longer and also adding some liquid to it but nothing would make it any better.  In the end I rolled out what I could and patched the pastry pieces together.  I really didn’t like this pastry.

I did some reading on the computer and there are lots of reasons why it perhaps didn’t work.  Like the pastry was to dry, or to cold.  Somebody said that all flours are different so that could affect it another person said to add an egg to the pastry to help it.

The filling is a bit like a brownie as it has the same ingredients and the texture is similar the difference is the quantities and the time it takes to cook.

IMG_5113 IMG_5054

Then to make things worse I managed to over cook the filling but even though I found this bake hard and I made mistakes it still tasted yummy especially with some vanilla ice-cream.

I think I’m going to have to try this recipe again to see if I can get it right.

IMG_5196

Chocolate Eclairs

This week I cheated a little bit and didn’t follow my Patisserie book this is  because I’ve been wanting to make chocolate eclairs for ages and so I jumped over to my Mary Berry cookbook for todays bake.

Chocolate eclairs are made from a choux pastry which is made by heating water and butter until melted and then adding flour and mixing until you have a ball of paste.  Two eggs are then added to the mixture and mixed till you have a smooth and glossy mixture which is then piped onto grease proof paper and baked.

The pastry is cooked at a high temperature for 10 minutes and then the heat is reduced for 20 minutes to allow the pastry to rise.

When the eclairs been cooked and cooled down they are sliced down the middle and filled with whipped cream and then a mixture of melted chocolate, icing sugar and butter  are mixed together to form the chocolate topping which is spread onto of the eclairs.

These eclairs were absolutely yummy and i’m so glad I deviated from my book this week.

IMG_4859

Truffles

This week I decided to make truffles.

I made these because I liked the ganache I used in my bake last week and that is exactly what a truffle is made from.

I made two types of truffles, chocolate truffles rolled in coco powder and Oreo truffles made from crushed Oreo’s and cream cheese mixed together, then shaped into a ball and when cooled they are then covered in melted chocolate and left to set.

To make a ganache heat double cream until it is hot but not boiling. Then pour the cream over the prepared finely chopped chocolate.  Stir up the mixture until it is  fully combined then place in the fridge to set.  You must make sure it hasn’t set too hard as you need be able to be roll the ganache into balls without it melting in your hands.  This can sometimes take up to a day to set.

When the ganache is ready roll them into small balls and then cover each ball in coco powder.

When you’ve finished keep them in the fridge to store that is if you didn’t eat them all like I nearly did!

Did you know:-

Butter is sometimes added to the ganache to give it a shiny finish.

Next week I’m going to start my twelve bakes of Christmas.

IMG_3544

Chequered Chocolate Ganache Cake

As I did my fiftieth blog last week and it is also my aunty’s birthday today I decided to celebrate by doing a showstopper cake from Mary Berry’s Showstoppers cook book.  I have chosen to do a chocolate chequered ganache cake.  Mary Berry says and it says it is not as difficult as it looks.

To get the chequered look you have to split the cake mixture up into three tins but it’s not just about putting cake mixture into a tin you have have pipe the mixture into the tins switching between a chocolate and a plain mix.

Making the cake was not the hardest bit but getting the chocolate swirls that went on top of the cake was really hard.  My first attempt ended up with no swirls and big blob of chocolate on the work surface.  After I cleaned up my first mess I then tried again and this time I got got some great twirls.

The cake is filled with a ganache and the outside is also covered with a ganache.  A ganache is made from chocolate and cream.  Some people say Ganache came from Switzerland and was used for making truffles and other people say it came from France where it was used for cakes.

I really enjoyed this bake and the best bit was when my aunty cut into the cake and saw the checks.

IMG_3488IMG_3490IMG_3502

Chocolate Tart

On Saturday I watched Tom Keridge’s best ever dishes and he made a Chocolate tart, obviously because it had chocolate in it I just had to make it and the chocolate pastry made it even more tempting.

The pastry was made from flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder, salt and 2 egg yolks.

You mix all the ingredients together and then put it in the fridge for 1 hour.

When the pastry has cooled roll it out onto the work surface until it is slightly bigger than the tin then blind bake the pastry  for 10 – 15 minutes (Blind baking is where you cover the pastry with baking parchment and place beans or rice on top, then the pastry is baked)  The reason for blind baking is to make sure the pastry is fully cooked as when the filling is put inside the tart the bottom might not necessarily get cooked.

When the pastry has been baked remove it from the oven and take off the backing parchment  and the beans.  Put the pastry back in the oven for another 15 – 20 minutes until the bottom is fully cooked and dry.

To make your filling melt chocolate with cream and pour the mixture into the cooled pastry place the tart in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

Whilst the tart is setting roast a handful of whole almonds and then chop up to small pieces.  Scatter them over the cooled tart and then make a coffee cream by whisking up coffee, sugar and cream until it holds it’s shape on the whisk.  Using two spoons make quenelles from the coffee cream and place around the tart.  Finish off dusting with cocoa powder.

Then you are done.

IMG_3459