Tag Archives: Whittakers

Gluten Free Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bar with Cocoa Puffs


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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.

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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
  1. 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.)
  2. Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering hot water. Once smooth, add the roasted hazelnut paste and chocolate-hazelnut spread; stir until smooth. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. Pour the ganache over the cocoa puffs and smooth with a spatula. Leave in the fridge to set, about 1 hour. 
  8. 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. 

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Styled by my little chef.

 

Little Molten Lava Chocolate Fondants


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J didn’t believe me when I said “Come see gooey chocolate oozing out of these cakes”. Although only six years old, she’d seen a fair few chocolate cakes being cut into and was fairly certain that nothing normally oozes out. Not even from an ice cream cake.

I insisted and together we gathered around the little wobbly bobs of chocolate fondants, with a sharp knife and steady hands I sliced into the centre of the dainty little cakes.

“ooooOOOUUUUU” was the reaction I wanted, and got (phew!!) 🙂

“It’s coming out! Just like lava!” J looked at me, incredulously.

Yes dear, that’s why they are called Molten Lava Cakes!

I love how these turned out, the beautifully rustic looking cakes held its class. What is the secret, you may ask? Well when a chef shares his tip with you, listen up… Baked bean tins! Simon Gault shared his recipe and I’ve been collecting tins over the last few weeks in order to put this to the test…and so glad I did.

The following is my version with slight tweaks e.g. Oven temperature and time.  I also tested with a small 3″ Fat Daddio’s pan but that did not turn out as nice. If you have to make it right now and have not collected tins, you can use small ramekins or dariole moulds with the bottom lined with baking paper. Cooking time will need to be adjusted for a further 3 minutes. Now stop gawking and go make some!!

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Makes 8

5 eggs
5 yolks
1/3 cup caster sugar
250g dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa solids)
250g butter, plus extra for buttering the moulds
3 tbsp flour (or almond meal to make this dessert gluten free)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
icing sugar for dusting

Method

  1. Using an electric beater, whisk the eggs and yolks with the sugar until thick and pale.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double-boiler or in a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined and of an even consistency.
  3. Sift the flour over the mix and fold in until completely incorporated with no lumps. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and place in the refrigerator until firm.
  4. Butter 8 baked bean cans, lightly dust with cocoa powder and place on a baking tray with a square of baking paper under each can. Once the mixture is firm, pipe into the moulds, then refrigerate until set. (Make sure you have cleared some fridge space beforehand to accomodate your baking tray).
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the chocolate puddings for 14 minutes (wooden skewer test will show it is wet). Remove from the oven and, very importantly, allow them to stand for 3 minutes before removing from tins, to avoid cracking. Turn out the puddings onto individual plates by using a sharp knife and go around the sides of the tin. Dust with icing sugar.

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Chocolate hazelnut crunch bar with feuilletine


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Oh dear something as addictive as macarons and needed to be available in the fridge at all times! I’m just glad these are super easy to make and can be whipped up within the hour. Didn’t even need to use the mixer.

What makes these chocolate bars so irresistible? Two things: the hazelnut taste and the biscuit crunch. Devine combination, if you ask me.

If you are unsure what ‘feuilletine’ is, here’s a photo of them. A pile of crunchy ‘leaves’. These are quite hard to source – I’ve found recipes for making them so would be giving that a try next. In its place you can use Gavottes crepes or by crumbling waffle ice cream cones. It will be similar in taste and texture.
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Regarding the hazelnut-chocolate combination, you can certainly change it to suit your latest cravings. I know I would be trying 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 feuilletine (crunchy leaves)

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For the filling:
300g dark chocolate (70% cacao) broken into small pieces, (I used Equagold)
300ml cream
50g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

  1.  For the bottom layer, line a square tray 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.)
  2. Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering hot water. Once smooth, add the roasted hazelnut paste and  chocolate-hazelnut spread; stir until smooth. 
  3. Fold in the feuilletine until the chocolate is combined with the flakes (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. 
  4. To make the ganache, place the broken chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream till it is just simmering and pour over the chocolate. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. Pour the ganache over the feuilletine and smooth with a spatula. Leave in the fridge to set, about 1 – 2 hours. 
  8. Decorate with whole hazelnuts, hazelnut praline crunch or anything you wish! Slice into bars before serving. 

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*if you prefer a sweeter bar, you can make your ganache with a combination of dark and milk chocolate. The total chocolate to cream ratio will need to be altered for the ganache to work, to about 1: 0.8. (for example, 100g  total chocolate to 80g cream.) This ratio will work if you keep the milk chocolate in a smaller proportion to the dark chocolate. I would suggest for 200g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate to 300ml cream.

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Styled by my little chef.

 

Whittakers’ 100s and 1000s Macarons


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OH what fun when Whittakers released the 100s and 1000s pink coloured white chocolate slabs! I did a 100s and 1000s macaron before with a salted caramel filling and now there is an even easier way.

All you do is make your shells, then make the ganache with the chocolate slab and voilà, you have colourful and whimsical 100s and 1000s macarons.

Macarons shell ingredients
(makes about 40 macarons)

150 g icing sugar
150 g almond meal
110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
1 g meringue powder

Follow my basic recipe to make the shells.
If you wish, you can sprinkle 100s and 1000s onto the shells while they are drying.

I paired these with a 100s and 1000s chocolate ganache.

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Ingredients:
120g whittakers 100s and 1000s chocolate, broken into small chunks
60ml pure (heavy) cream

Instructions:
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Stir and let it cool and thicken in the fridge.

Spread or pipe a teaspoon of ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells. These freeze well (up to 3 months).

Well perhaps not just for kids 🙂

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Salted caramel chocolate cake with brandy ganache


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Wow that was a mouthful, but trust me this is an easy cake, done in 2 hours. I don’t normally believe in ‘one-pan’ cakes but this turned out to be the most amazing cake I have done in a while (those who got to eat it loved it).

The cake is adapted from Annabell White’s Chocolate Buttermilk Cake.

The batter is baked separately in two identical pans – reason is being an extremely moist cake, I would have a hard time splitting it in half without it breaking up all over my hands.

It also helped when it comes to adding the salted caramel layer – I could easily spread it on while the cake is warm, without needing to over handle it.

A silky smooth and glossy chocolate ganache is then poured over with much abandon,  letting the ganache glide freely over the cake and sides.

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Quite an indulgent experience especially when the cake’s left overnight so the cake, salted caramel and chocolate ganache got a chance to mix and mingle, producing one moist cake with a real depth of flavour.

Given how quick I got this done, it is definitely a weeknight cake too if you should ever have any cake emergency!

Cake recipe:
ingredients
115g butter
125 g dark chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 tsp Princess cake and cookie baking emulsion from Lorann oils
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

salted caramel
See my recipe from the Salted Caramel Macaron post.

Ganache Recipe:

140g dark chocolate tabs
125ml fresh cream
20g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon whiskey or brandy (optional)

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Cake directions
1. Heat oven to 180 deg C. Grease two 22cm tin and line with baking paper.
2. Heat butter and chocolate carefully in saucepan stirring on medium temperature. Do not over heat. Take off heat, add sugar and baking emulsion straight away while mix is hot.
3. Whisk in buttermilk and eggs with a whisk. Add dry ingredients, whisk gently till just smooth. Pour batter into tin.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Turn out on wire rack to cool.
5. Spread 4 tbsps of salted caramel onto the top of one cake. Place the other cake on top.
6. Make chocolate icing. Put chocolate and butter into a bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan till just boiling and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stiring. Add whiskey or any liqueur of your choice. Pour over cooled cake and using a palette knife, spread the icing around, allowing the ganache to dribble over the edge randomly.
7. Smooth tops. Let the cake sit overnight and it will taste even better the next day.
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