Tag Archives: Recipe

Triple Chocolate Biscotti

chocolate biscotti

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1.5 large slabs Bourneville dark chocolate, chopped in the blender)

PREPARATION

Line large baking sheet with double thickness of foil. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in semisweet and white chips. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheet in two 10- to 11-inch-long strips, spacing 3 inches apart. Using metal spatula or wet fingertips, shape strips into 11- by 2 1/2-inch logs. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake logs until tops are cracked and dry and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes; cool 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Using foil as aid, lift logs onto work surface. Line baking sheets with clean foil. Using serrated knife, gently cut warm logs crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange half of slices, cut side down, on each prepared baking sheet. Bake biscotti until just dry to touch, about 8 minutes. Turn biscotti over. Bake until top is dry to touch, about 8 minutes. Cool on sheets.

(Dip in melted chocolate of your choice & then drizzle with remaining chocolate – I used 1.5 large slabs Bourneville dark chocolate, melted)

panang-curry-beef photograph

Thailand, a taste sensation

Thailand has been a popular destination with tourists of every age and background for some time and it’s easy to see why if you take a look at what the country has to offer.

Whether you have a limited budget and want to travel to somewhere exotic and beautiful, simply want to spend your time sipping cocktails on a serene white sandy beach whilst watching the world go by, or want to stay in a luxury hotel overlooking a beautiful bay, you’ll find that Thailand has something for everyone.

Aside from its stunning temples, tropical beaches and beautiful green scenery, Thailand has something else that will get you hooked and keep you coming back for more, and that is the delicious cuisine on offer there.

A tongue tingling fusion of Chinese, Cambodian and Malaysian influences, with fresh ingredients, fiery spices and divine flavours, Thai cuisine is, in my opinion, some of the most flavourful and heavenly food the world has to offer.

If I’ve convinced you to make Thailand your next holiday destination, why not take a look at my favourite dishes below:

Tom Yam Gai

Tom Yum-Gai - Thai sour chicken soup Perhaps my all time favourite Thai dish, Tom Yam Gai is a delectable and spicy hot and sour chicken soup that will blow your mind (and your sinuses) and leave you thirsty for more. What strikes me most with Thai food is its ability to let you experience each flavour and ingredient without it all merging into one and this soup is no exception; you’ll get the taste of the lemon grass and beautiful chicken stock followed by the kick of the chilli (ask for it extra hot if you’re feeling brave).

Pad Thai

Pad Thai - Thai Chicken Noodles Thailand’s national dish, Pad Thai is a delectable dish of stir-fried noodles that comes in two varieties depending on where you experience it. There’s the variation dish (influenced by Western culture) and the classic dish which is the tastiest in my opinion.

The classic dish consists of stir-fried noodles with bean sprouts, shrimp, tofu and eggs in a full-flavoured sauce made from fish, tamarind juice and chilli’s. It’s usually served with a garnish of crushed peanuts and fresh coriander which perfectly compliments the flavours in the dish.

Gai Pad Med Mamuang

A simple but yummy dish with few ingredients but divine and perfect when you want something to satiate your appetite. The chicken and cashew nuts (usually locally sourced from Phuket which is a big exporter of the nuts) are perfectly complimented by the sweet soy sauce, garlic and honey; you’ll soon be hooked on this beautiful dish.

panang-curry-beef photographPanaeng Curry

I love coconut milk as an ingredient and it features in many Thai dishes, one of which is Panaeng Curry, a heavenly and creamy dish with plenty of chilli like you’ll find in many Thai dishes.

Usually containing a choice of chicken, pork or beef and served simply with boiled rice, it has just enough of both the coconut milk and chilli to give it a kick whilst remaining a little mellower on the palate.

Tom Kha Gai

Tom kha gai photograph

When it comes to Thai soups, I really can’t get enough of them and never tire of their unique and zesty flavours. If you try the Tom Yam Gai mentioned above, but feel like you want something less hot or with a creamier consistency, then try the scrumptious Tom Kha Gai.

A smooth and creamy soup with chicken and fresh coconut milk, the addition of Galangal (a herb related to Ginger but with a much different taste) gives this soup an altogether different taste than Tom Yam Gai but it is still absolutely delicious.

If you are lucky enough to sample each of the dishes above, I’m sure you’ll agree that Thai cuisine really is delicious!

Article supplied by MoneySupermarket.com, a UK price comparison website where you can save money on flights, holidays, hotels and find cheap holiday insurance.

Vanilla Frosting For Cupcakes & Cakes

vanilla-frosting-on-cupcakesFrosting is usually not my favourite topping for cakes – I prefer real chocolate!
But this recipe – which I discovered by desperation, is really awesome.  I had baked a load of cupcakes to take to the office for my birthday, and needed to get them frosted.  When started searching my pantry I had just a little bit of icing sugar (confectioners sugar) left.  I scratched around the grocery cupboard and found I had a couple of packets instant pudding, and decided to give it a try – mixing it with the icing sugar!

For this recipe, you will need:

Ingredients

1 egg white
1 packet Vanilla instant pudding – I used Moirs Instant pudding
1/3 of the milk as per Instant pudding packet instructions
2 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
Gel food colouring – optional (2ml for pastel colours, increase if you want a darker shade)

Method

Mix instant pudding with milk & chill at least 30 minutes, or until set
Beat egg white until stiff
Using a metal spoon or spatula, fold egg white into instant pudding once pudding has set. If using food colouring, add together with the egg white.
Now sieve the icing sugar over the pudding-egg mixture, and then beat until there are no lumps of icing sugar remaining

This should suffice for 36 cupcakes – depending on how much is used per cupcake. Note that the egg white will cause the icing to harden on the outside if left standing for a few minutes, while still moist on the inside. Icing sugar looks almost like a layer of clay on top of the cupcakes. Works really well if you want to decorate with cupcake art.

Brandied Cherry Balls

brandied cherry balls photoA delicious and easy recipe for brandied cherry balls. A great alternative for an easy dessert – I’m sure all the chocolate brownie fans will love this. It makes a great alternative to chocolate brownies! Also stores for longer than chocolate brownies!

Ingredients

1/2 cup glazed cherries, finely chopped
1/2 cup cherry or regular brandy
85 g Philadelphia cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3-3/4 cups icing
170 g dark cooking chocolate

Ingredients for drizzle

White chocolate
pink food coloring

Directions

  • Place cherries in a small bowl. Cover with brandy; refrigerate overnight
  • Mix cream cheese and 1 tablespoon butter until smooth
  • Add icing sugar and mix until crumbly
  • Drain cherries, keep 2 teaspoons of the brandy
  • Add cherries and 2 teaspoons brandy to cream cheese mixture
  • Roll into balls. Place balls on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet
  • Cover loosely and refrigerate for 1 hour
  • Microwave dark chocolate & 1 tablespoon butter until melted, stirring until smooth
  • Dip balls in melted chocolate and place back on baking sheet

For the drizzle

  • Melt small amount of white chocolate in microwave, add pink food coloring, and stir until smooth
  • Drizzle the chocolate balls with the pink chocolate sauce
  • Refrigerate until set

Makes about 3½ dozen balls

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Tired of baking traditional chocolate cake?  Here’s a nice challenge.  If you thought Chocolate Ganache cake could only be found at the bakery or coffee shop, think again – you can now bake it in your own kitchen!

chocolate ganache cakeIngredients for cake layers

3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon instant-espresso powder
1/2 cup full cream milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened butter
2 cups sticky brown sugar
4 large eggs

Ingredients for ganache filling & glaze

2 1/2 cups fresh cream
560g good quality bittersweet chocolate (finely chopped, or diced in a food processor)

Method

Cake layers

  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Spray 3 20cm round cake tins with non stick cooking oil spray , and line bottoms with rounds of wax paper. Spray the paper as well, and dust pans with flour, knocking out excess
  • Whisk together water, cocoa, and espresso powder until smooth, then whisk in milk and vanilla
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt
  • Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy, then add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition
  • Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing at low speed until just combined.
  • Divide batter among pans (about 2 1/3 cups per pan), smoothing tops. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes for 7-inch pans or 20 to 25 minutes for 8-inch. Cool in pans on a rack 30 minutes, then invert onto racks, remove paper, and cool completely

Prepare ganache while cakes bake

  • Bring cream to a simmer in a 3 – 4 liter  saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate until smooth. Transfer ganache to a bowl and chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thickened but spreadable, about 4 hours. (If ganache becomes too thick, let stand at room temperature until slightly softened.)

Assemble cake

  • Arrange 1 layer on a cake stand or plate and spread 2/3 cup ganache evenly over it. Top with another cake layer and 2/3 cup ganache, spreading evenly, then third cake layer. (Chill ganache if necessary to keep at a spreadable consistency.) Chill cake until ganache filling is firm, about 1 hour. Keep remaining ganache at a spreadable consistency, chilling when necessary.
  • Spread a thin layer of ganache over top and sides of cake to seal in crumbs, then chill 30 minutes. Spread remaining ganache evenly over top and sides of cake

Interesting fact:  The word “Ganache” (pronouced  ɡəˈnɑːʃ/) is the French word for “jowl” originally from Italian ganascia (“jaw”).  Definition of “jowl”:  The flesh under the lower jaw, especially when plump or flaccid.  Used in the sense of chocolate cake Ganache refers to the meaning “cushion”–as the cream seems to “cushion” both the flavor and texture of chocolate.