Archive of ‘Chocolate’ category

Pumpkin & Almond Cupcakes

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More pumpkin! These cute little cupcakes are super tasty and look great.  The pureed pumpkin keeps them moist and with the addition of spices gives a perfect autumn flavour.  I added in some white chocolate chips for extra sweetness and a touch of almond extract to balance the flavour of the icing.

Talking of the icing…it is definitely the best part of these cupcakes.  Before now, my absolute favourite cupcake topping is peanut butter frosting.  It is delicous, peanut butter at its finest.  So I thought, why not exchange the peanut butter for almond butter, that could totally work.  It does.

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Chocolate and Hazelnut Babka

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This bread is sort of like posh Nutella on toast.  Now, regular Nutella on toast is just fine but every now and then it’s fun to be fancy.  An enriched dough makes this bread ultra luxurious, especially with the swirls of chocolate and chopped hazelnuts which run through the centre.  It has been brightening up my mornings at work when I haven’t had time to eat before heading out the door, a slice toasted, with a side of banana to add something healthy, makes for a perfect morning meal.

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As usual, bread baking takes a little time but it’s the perfect autumn weekend task, then you’re sorted for breakfast for the week ahead!  The recipe makes enough for two loaves, so I baked up both and have stored one in the freezer for future breakfast emergencies.  The original recipe calls for dark chocolate, but all I had in the house was Greens and Blacks Milk chocolate (my absolute favourite chocolate) which is 34% cacao and I think gives enough deep chocolate flavour without being too sweet.  Adding in hazelnuts adds a lovely texture combination to the bread, as well as helping to recreate the Nutella flavour.

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Just in case you’ve never heard of Babka before (I hadn’t), it is an Eastern European Jewish yeasted loaf. (more…)

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Mocha Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

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Another season, another list.  Over the summer I compiled a summer bucket list which was fairly successful and most things were ticked off.  So, as we are well in to autumn, it’s time for a new to do list!

  1. Spend the day walking in a forest full of autumn colours.
  2. Get to grips with my new DSLR camera.
  3. Finish my quilt (for real this time).
  4. Buy my very own biscuits in the shops!
  5. Enroll in an evening class.
  6. Actually use the ‘Couch to 5k’ app I have on my phone.
  7. Buy the perfect tweed mini skirt.
  8. Make real doughnuts.

The last one on the list came to me after making these baked doughnuts.  Now these doughnuts are delicious, and certainly look the part, but they aren’t really doughnuts.  Making real doughnuts has always scared me a little, all that super hot oil just seems dangerous, which is why I’ve stuck to the baked variety.

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This will be my farewell to baked doughnuts recipe.  The next time you see doughnuts around these parts they will be fully fledged and deep fried, maybe even filled, but until then…

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Macarons

Macarons make me think of three things.  Decadence, holidays and Blair Waldorf.

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Macarons are luxurious little delicacies.  Often brightly coloured, usually exotic flavour combinations and almost always boxed to perfection.  The very act of going in to a Ladurée shop and being hit by the overwhelming scent of sweetness, then choosing your box and selecting a bounty of treats, is so extravagant.  Even the little bag they give you to carry away the little box is so over the top wonderful!  Yes, they are a little pricey but it’s not something I do every day.

Which is why they remind me of holidays.  No trip to London is complete without a stop at the Harrods branch of Ladurée, although last time I tried Pierre Herme instead.  The macarons were divine it’s just the experience, a concession within Selfridges, isn’t quite as glamourous.

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Glamour being an essential part of the perfect macaron, which is why, no doubt, they are Blair Waldorf’s , of Gossip Girl fame, favourite.  Sure she’s kinda mean, and bitchy, but she had the best clothes and even dated Dan Humphrey, she had it all!  Her favourite were pistachio, which is a excellent choice.  I enjoy salted caramel and rose flavours.

Despite all that, these macarons are keeping it real and down to earth in the flavour department.  The name, and the method, and the terminology may be fancy but chocolate and peanut butter is simple and delicious.  My favourite EVER flavour combination.  So making these macarons was a total no-braner!
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Chocolate & Pistachio Cake

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This pretty pistachio cake was made at the weekend for my mums birthday, which is today.  Don’t worry, I’m not giving her a really stale cake for her birthday, we celebrated when she and my dad visited on Saturday.  We had a lovely evening, a quick late afternoon wander around the shops then to Browns on George Square for dinner, where I had an amazing coconut and cardamom brioche and butter pudding.

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So this post is for you mum.  The most wonderfully caring, supportive and awesome mum a girl could ask for and I hope you have had a wonderful day (even though I wasn’t there!).
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