Home made marshmallows are fun bites to have at any party and as gifts. These squishy bites are cloud-like and melts in your mouth! Perfect for cake decorating or donut-adorning. By adding the fruit powder you prefer, a multitude of flavours can easily be made.
I used Fresh As’s blackcurrant powder here, to give the beautiful purple hues. Check out their range: strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, mandarin, mango, passionfruit, lime…even kaffir lime! Try variations with cocoa powder and freeze dried instant coffee powder too.
- 10g gold strength gelatine leaves (about 5 sheets)
- 200g caster sugar
- 60g water
- 70g egg whites (about 2 size 7 eggs)
- 10g caster sugar
- 15g Fresh As Blackcurrant powder
Mallowpowder for dusting:
- 50g icing sugar
- 50g corn flour
- Mix the ingredients for mallowpowder.
- Line a small tray (15cm x 10cm) with baking paper. Dust a thin layer of mallowpowder on the paper with a fine sieve. Reserve the rest for dusting later.
- Soak gelatine sheets in a container with cold water.
- In a small pot, combine 200g sugar and water. Place a candy thermometer in, making sure it touches the sugar. Bring to a boil, till it reaches 130C.
- In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites and 10g sugar together until soft peaks.
- Once the sugar water reaches temperature, pour it into the egg whites in a thin stream, all the while whisking. Keep whisking for 3 minutes.
- Squeeze excess water out of the soaked gelatine sheets and add to the marshmallow. Whisk till it is combined.
- Add fruit powder and whisk for a further 5 minutes to cool the mixture down.
- Spread onto prepared tray and use a pallet knife to smooth the top. Leave to set for 4 hours or more.
- Dust mallowpowder on your knife before cutting, and cut in downward motion for clean cut sides. Dust cubes of 3cm x 3cm with more mallowpowder.
- Store in a tight lidded box.
Sugar is ‘water loving’ so it might get sticky if you leave it at room temperature for too long. Try freezing the marshmallow cubes to add to hot chocolates and coffees later on.
Finally! A gluten free version of my most requested hazelnut chocolate crunch bar for you all! Be warned: it is as addictive as the normal version and super easy to make. No baking required.
What makes these chocolate bars so irresistible? Two things: the hazelnut taste and the cocoa pops crunch. I tested many different type of gluten free cocoa pops before I was finally satisfied with the taste and texture. I settled on Hubbards’ Thank Goodness Gluten free cocoa puffs. These stayed completely crunchy!
Regarding the hazelnut-chocolate combination, you can certainly change it to suit your latest cravings. Think peanut butter, salted caramel, macadamia butter, almond cacao and also peppermint to name a few.
You can dress the bars up with whatever you like: a dusting of cocoa powder; hazelnut; hazelnut praline crunch; fresh-dried berries. Or left naked. Your options are endless which makes this an ideal ‘bring-a-dessert’ that *potentially* satisfies everyone.
Makes one square tray, cut bars sized to your liking. I got 39 (3 rows of 13 bars of about 1.5 cm by 8cm)
For the crunchy Bottom layer:
- 250g milk chocolate (33% cacao), melted
- 100g roasted hazelnut paste (Nocciola from Equagold)
- 125g (about half cup) chocolate-hazelnut spread (instead of the hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread, you can use the same amount of Forty Thieves’ Cacao Hazelnut butter instead.)
- 2 cups Hubbards Thank Goodness gluten free cocoa puffs
For the filling:
- 300g dark chocolate (70% cacao) broken into small pieces, (I used Solomon’s Gold or Whittakers 72% Ghana will work too)
- 300ml cream
- 50g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- For the bottom layer, line a narrow rectangular tray (or shallow slice box) with 2 pieces of baking paper, with the paper hanging over the sides of the tray. (This will help you lift the slab off from the tray effortlessly.)
- Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering hot water. Once smooth, add the roasted hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread; stir until smooth.
- Fold in the cocoa puffs until the chocolate is combined (It should look like a mess!) Scoop the chocolate mixture to the prepared tray. Press the mixture down into a smooth, even layer. Let it chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
- To make the top layer, place the broken chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream till it is just simmering and pour over the chocolate.
- Shake the bowl a little and let this sit for about 2 minutes, this is so that the chocolate melts smoothly, avoiding any lumps in your final product.
- Add the cubed butter and whisk until ganache is smooth. As you whisk, the cream will magically homogenize with the melted chocolate to form a shiny smooth, pourable ganache.
- Pour the ganache over the cocoa puffs and smooth with a spatula. Leave in the fridge to set, about 1 hour.
- Decorate with whole hazelnuts, hazelnut praline crunch, freeze dried fruits or anything you wish! Place in the fridge to set it a further 2 hours. Slice into bars before serving.
Styled by my little chef.
Having made a delicious salty-sweet combo out of my cornflake crumble and Kohu Road Pure Vanilla ice cream, I needed something to serve it with. Cookie sandwich was an obvious contestant, but I had a particular picture in mind. I wanted something light but not cakey, rich but not heavy. I need, a mousse cake. More so, I need a Darren Purchese cake. I’ve adapted the recipe from Lamingtons and Lemon Tart as follows.
- 100ml thickened cream, whipped
- 180g 72% dark chocolate
- 2 whole eggs + 2 yolks
- 30g caster sugar
*this proportion when baked in a square tin will produce a beautiful but rather thin (1.5cm) cake slice. If you would prefer a thicker slice, double the amounts and bake for 1 hour 15 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a square baking tin with baking paper with enough overhand to lift the cake once cooked. Spray the paper lightly with rice bran oil.
- Melt the chocolate in short bursts in the microwave (2 mins should do it).
- Whip cream till thick and fluffy.
- Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Gently fold half of this mixture into the melted chocolate, then fold in the remaining egg mixture.
- Fold in the whipped cream.
- Pour mixture into the baking tin. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 50 minutes.
- Remove from oven and leave cake to cool completely before chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Lift cake by the baking paper and cut the cake into squares.
This is best served warm with ice cream or milk. Perfect for Mother’s day afternoon tea or dessert.
There are times when you want a fancier dessert for a special occasion. Think entremets but no time to make mousse, sponge, crispy layer and mirror glaze?
This is where you need joint forces of best quality products.
Make a delicious chocolate tart with handmade pastry (Paneton Bakery) and ganache with good quality chocolate. Dress it up simply but elegantly with a big scoop of good quality ice cream or sorbet on top. Decorate with chocolate pearls, chocolate shards, cocoa nibs and cornflake crumble for extra crunch and texture. Voilá!
Here I’ve paired it with Kohu Road‘s Cassis sorbet, simply delicious!
See my earlier post Chocolate Tarts for the recipe for an easy chocolate tart.
(I’m not paid to write these articles – all opinion based on my honest love for artisan products!)
After years of trial and error, I’ve finally got a fail proof chocolate brownie that appears to satisfy the fussiest and hardest-to-please of all critics (aka Miss 8). These brownies are fudgey and chewy, just how we like it. Best served warm with cold milk or ice cream!
- 125g unsalted butter, chopped
- 150g good quality 70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 290g caster sugar
- 115g plain flour, sifted
- 35g Valrhona cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste (not essence)
- Pinch of salt
- Cocoa nibs, hazelnut praline, extra chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C fan forced. Grease a 20cm square cake pan and line with baking paper.
- Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Stir with a heatproof spatula until melted.
- Remove from heat and quickly stir in all your ingredients, except the toppings, until just combined. Pour into the lined pan.
- Sprinkle in your choice of cocoa nibs, hazelnut praline or extra chocolate chips.
- Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out with moist crumbs on the stick.
- Set aside to cool completely before removing from pan.
The secret here is the combined use of dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and with less sugar than normal brownies. This makes it distinctively brownie, not cake.
I hope you will love this as much as we do. These are perfect for school bake sales or bases of entremets. You can easily make more and freeze whole slices in two layers of foil and an air-sealed bag.