Archives for category: Chocolate

A special birthday cake for my dad!

250g butter, softened
150g golden caster sugar
100g dark chocolate
Capful of vanilla essence
4 medium eggs
150g self raising flour
50g ground hazelnuts
75g whole roasted hazelnuts
80ml milk
2 chewy toffees
125g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Cream together 200g of the butter with the caster sugar. Melt 50g of the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and then stir the melted chocolate into the butter mix. Gradually add the eggs then add 50ml of the milk. Fold in the flour, ground hazelnuts and 50g of the whole hazelnuts with a metal spoon. Divide between two prepared 20cm round tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 mins.

Melt the toffees in a small pan with a tsp of water and coat the rest of the hazelnuts in it. Place on a piece of greaseproof paper to set, making sure the nuts are separated. Beat the remaining butter with the icing sugar to make a smooth cream. Beat in the milk. Melt 40g of chocolate and beat into the butter icing mix as well. Spread half on the top of each cake and sandwich the cakes together. Decorate the top with the coated hazelnuts and grate or shave the remaining chocolate over the top.

Enjoy, with or without candles!



Super easy, super rich dessert that is made in advance. What’s not to like? Just remember to take out if the freezer about ten minutes before serving. This time I served them in little espresso cups, but for an even richer pudding, try those chocolate cups in the ice cream aisle. Some sharp fruit eg raspberry or blackcurrant would be good on the side. This is probably the only pudding I’ve tried that isn’t improved with cream, unlikely as that sounds. The quantities below make four medium servings or eight small ones (eg in chocolate cups).

100g really good quality dark chocolate
5 tbsp condensed milk
4 tbsp double cream

Melt the chocolate and condensed milk in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Take off the heat and stir in – using a whisk – the cream. When completely smooth and mixed pour into serving cups / pots / dishes, cover and freeze for at least four hours. Remove shortly before serving and add any garnish.



Perfect little nibbles for a Christmas party, but be warned, these are very sweet and very more-ish! Easy enough for kids to make too. Quantities below make about 24 snowdrops, which means the chef can try a couple, for quality testing purposes of course….

200g white chocolate
4 tbsp condensed milk
25g butter
8 ready to eat dried apricots
4 good handfuls rice crispies
Hundreds and thousands to decorate

Break the chocolate into squares in a large bowl over a pan of water. Be careful that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the condensed milk and butter and stir occasionally until melted. Meanwhile, chop (or cut with a pair of scissors) the apricots into quarters. Beat the chocolate and milk mixture until smooth and take off the heat to stir in the apricots and crispies. If the mix is very stiff, pop it back on top of the pan for a minute, stirring well. When all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, use a teaspoon or your fingers to put small blobs of mix onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Decorate with hundreds and thousands and leave in the fridge to set (about an hour).



The classic no cook cake – rich, chocolatey and really easy to make. I like to use a mixture of milk and dark chocolate for the top to give it a hit of cocoa but without being too bitter. This recipe is definitely only for those with a sweet tooth. The photo below doesn’t do it justice. Yum!

125g butter
4 tbsp golden syrup
200g digestives, broken into chunks (not crumbs)
100g raisins
3 tbsp cocoa powder
200g milk chocolate
50g dark chocolate

Melt the butter and syrup in a heavy bottomed pan on a low heat. Take off the heat and stir in the cocoa, the raisins, then the biscuits. Press into a square tin. Melt the chocolate and spread over the top. Put in the fridge until just set, then cut into 16 squares and return to the fridge to chill completely.



A trial run for next week’s sixth birthday cake… A soft chocolatey sponge that is really easy to make and smells fantastic cooking in the oven. I only did one layer today, to check the recipe and the new cake release spray works but next week it’ll be a proper double-decker sponge. Topping can be almost anything – this time I melted some chocolate and butter and added sprinkles. Just the thing for a rainy Friday!

175g / 6oz caster sugar
175g / 6oz butter
3 medium eggs
175g / 6oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
15 squares chocolate
1 teaspoon butter

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture and add the vanilla essence. Use a metal spoon to combine, being careful not to knock too much air out of the mixture. Scrape into a prepared 20″ cake tin and bake for about 30 mins at 170 degrees. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter, mix well and carefully spread over the top of the cake. Decorate with sprinkles and leave to set.



I got two lucky stars on the Euromillions this week…but none of the other numbers. So I will have to console myself that someone else won £101m by eating lots of this delicious baking! A tarted up version of the popular millionaires shortbread, the key thing is to make sure that the proportions of base to middle to topping are right. Ie the base is just to hold it together, the other two layers should be generous and roughly the same depth. There’s nothing more disappointing than a meagre layer of caramel. The quantities below make about 16 small but deep (and rich) portions, using a loaf tin rather than a square tin, as is more conventional.

6 oz / 150g chocolate chip cookies, crushed
2 oz / 50g butter, melted
3 oz / 75g butter
3 oz / 75g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
200ml condensed milk
8 oz / 200g milk chocolate
Hundreds and thousands

Combine the melted butter and crushed biscuits and press into a tin. Refrigerate well until set (at least 30 mins). Put the rest of the butter, sugar, condensed milk and syrup into a heavy pan and heat gently until the butter has melted into a smooth goo. Bring to the boil and heat until the liquid has thickened and darkened. Keep stirring, or it will burn! It is ready when a small amount on a spoon sets to a fudgy consistency in a few seconds. Take off the heat and pour carefully onto the biscuit base. Leave to set for 30 mins then refrigerate until needed. Melt the chocolate in a Bain Marie (a bowl above a pan of boiling water) and pour onto the caramel. Sprinkle on the hundreds and thousands. Leave to set – when the chocolate is nearly hard, cut into pieces as big or small as you wish.



I’d like to be able to say that I created an eggless cake recipe for a good friend, or a child in my son’s class… But actually I Googled a recipe to use up some condensed milk, came across a recipe on a blog site and thought I’d give it a go as I’d never tried an eggless recipe. I more or less followed it (but forgot the water). It worked pretty well – good choolatey cake, but a bit dry and definitely needed icing (I made vanilla butter icing). Perhaps the water would have helped… I might try it again with some cherries and kirsch. A useful recipe to have, though, as it doesn’t use either eggs or sugar.

The quantities below will give you enough for a dozen cupcakes; the original recipe in the link at the bottom is for a 9″ cake.

125g / 5oz SR flour
50g / 2oz good quality cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
225g condensed milk
100g / 4oz butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla essence

Sift the dry ingredients together and ensure they are mixed well. Stir in the melted butter, condensed milk and vanilla essence. Stir briefly until mix is smooth. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes at 150 degrees. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

I used my mum’s recipe for butter icing: bit of butter, add some icing sugar and vanilla essence and mix until the right taste and texture, adding a bit more of each as necessary… spread over the top of each cupcake and decorate with sugar strands etc if you like