Category Archives: Chocolate

Strawberry and Chocolate Meringue

So BritMums Live 2014, the UK’s biggest social media and bloggers conference has come and gone.  I originally had no intention of going but I was lucky enough to be one of the 6 finalists in the BiBs awards and decided to treat myself to a couple of days of ‘me’ time in London.  Sadly I didn’t go on to win the award but Lucy of Supergolden Bakes was a very well deserved winner.  If you haven’t already come across her blog then go and have a look – it’s gorgeous.  Thanks again to everybody who took the time to vote more me.  It was a very special experience.

The event itself was full of positive energy and was packed with energetic and passionate speakers, leaving me feeling completely reenergised about my blog and about life in general.  I love blogging but the one area I find the most difficult is building my social media presence.  I am just not  comfortable with the whole numbers game and find it hard to chase followers purely for the purpose of stats.  It was therefore such a delight to listen to the lovely Jaume Marin from the Costa Brava Tourism talk about building relationships between their brand and travel bloggers.  As a brand they believe not in the number of followers that you have but more in how you interact with your followers.  This just makes perfect sense to me and I applaud their passion and common sense attitude to working and promoting their brand as well as the bloggers they work with.  I left that session wishing I was a travel blogger 🙂

So what did I get out of my two days at BritMums Live apart from loads of good advice and meeting the lovely Lucy and Elizabeth?  The answer is simply a renewed confidence in myself and a desire to be more creative with my time.  It is not just about being a wife and a good Mum – it is about doing something for yourself,  something that you love and that makes you happy.

And on that note I leave you with an all time classic dessert of a simple but delicious Strawberry and Chocolate Meringue.  Perfect for summer entertaining.
Strawberry and Chocolate Meringue

Strawberry and Chocolate Meringue

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8 - 10 portions

Strawberry and Chocolate Meringue

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites (at room temperature)
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 450ml double cream
  • 2 tblsp icing sugar
  • 350g fresh strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 140°C (275°F) (Gas Mark 1).
  2. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Draw 3 rectangles, 10 x 25cm on the baking paper. You can just fit two rectangles on the one baking tray.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until the soft peak stage.
  4. Add the caster sugar (I add mine all at once) and continue to whisk until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
  5. Add the vinegar and cornflour and whisk for a couple more minutes. The mixture should be able to hold its shape if the bowl is turned upside down.
  6. Prepare an icing bag with a large star nozzle and fill with the meringue mixture.
  7. Using your template, pipe (10cm) lines until you have filled all three rectangles.
  8. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour turn the oven off and leave the meringues to cool in the oven.
  9. When your meringues are cool, melt the chocolate and spread it over 2 of the meringue layers making sure you go right to the edge.
  10. Place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to harden.
  11. Assemble just before serving by whipping the double cream with some icing sugar and chopping your strawberries (leave about 8 whole ones for decoration).
  12. Place one chocolate meringue on your serving dish and spread with one third of the cream and top with half the chopped strawberries.
  13. Place the second chocolate meringue on top and spread with another third of the cream and the remaining chopped strawberries.
  14. Place the plain meringue layer on top and spread with the remaining cream.
  15. Arrange the whole strawberries on top and drizzle over any remaining chocolate.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2014/06/26/strawberry-and-chocolate-meringue/

Strawberry and Chocolate Meringue SliceAnd here you have my two children giving their very own critique of this lovely dessert.  At one point it looks like my daughter has seen a ghost.  I do love them but then I’m their Mum 🙂

Enjoy!

I am submitting this dessert as my entry to the Rix – win a £100 Waitrose Competion.

I am also sharing this post over on Supergolden Bakes Cook, Blog, Share linky. I’m sure Lucy would love for you to come and join in.

I am also sending my post over to the lovely Vicki at Honest Mum for this week’s Tasty Tuesdays linky
Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com
And last but not least over to A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week

Link up your recipe of the week

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

There is nothing that makes me think of summer more than the smell of fresh raspberries. I spent my teenage years growing up on the East coast of Scotland where some of the best raspberries in the world are grown. During the summer school holidays we would set off to the local farms and pick raspberries for the farmers and make ourselves some pocket money. It was easy money for us – we were outdoors, sun shining, the berries were easy to pick and of course we were surrounded by the smell of ripe raspberries. Such good memories and one I wish my children could experience.  So with the sun shining and the barbecue on, a delicious raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake was on order.
Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake
This cheesecake is so light and delicious – summer on a plate!

I have used low fat cream cheese and lovely thick Greek yogurt to make it a bit more calorie friendly than a traditional cheesecake but it still tastes just as good. I normally stick mine in the freezer to set and then just before we are ready to eat our main meal I will put it in the fridge to defrost. I don’t like using too much gelatine so the consistency will be quite soft if left out the fridge too long.  The one in my photo had been out of the fridge for about an hour so you can see that it still holds its shape but is quite soft.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 - 10 portions

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

    For the base
  • 185g digestive biscuits
  • 45g butter, melted
  • 30g crushed praline (optional)
  • For the cheesecake
  • 300g fresh raspberries
  • 300ml Greek Yogurt
  • 150g low-fat soft cheese (Philadelphia)
  • 45g icing sugar
  • 100g white chocolate (melted)
  • 3 leaves Fine Leaf Gelatine

Instructions

  1. Grease a 23cm round spring-release cake tin.
  2. To make the base
  3. Crush the biscuits until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the melted butter and crushed praline if using.
  5. Mix well and pour into your cake tin.
  6. Using the back of a spoon, press down hard until you have a smooth, solid biscuit base.
  7. Refrigerate until cheesecake mixture is ready.
  8. To make the cheesecake mixture
  9. Puree 225g of the raspberries (the rest are for decoration) in a blender, then press through a sieve.
  10. Reserve half of the puree; return the rest to the blender, add the yogurt, cream cheese, icing sugar and melted chocolate and blend until well mixed and evenly coloured.
  11. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 4 minutes.
  12. Remove from the water and squeeze out any excess water.
  13. Place in a saucepan over a gentle heat until melted.
  14. Add the melted gelatine to the cheesecake mixture and blend again until well incorporated.
  15. Pour the cheesecake mixture into your cake tin.
  16. Spoon in the reserved puree and swirl with a knife to make a marbled pattern.
  17. Sprinkle with the remaining raspberries and chill for 3 - 4 hours.

Notes

I nearly always have crushed praline in my store cupboard and love to add it to my biscuit bases to give a lovely nutty and slightly chewy texture to the biscuit base.

http://mygoldenpear.com/2014/06/03/raspberry-and-white-chocolate-cheesecake/

Chocolate and White Raspberry Cheesecake 4The chocolate rose was something I had wanted to try for a long time.  Trying it out on a sunny day was probably not the best idea I’ve had but with a bit of perseverance it did finally work.  I followed the tutorial on http://www.howtocookthat.net/public_html/how-to-make-a-chocolate-flower/ .  The flower will not work unless you temper your chocolate and Anne also shows you how to do this using your microwave.  The petals are so fine that if your chocolate is not tempered they will melt as soon as you try to handle them.  I wouldn’t advise making this at the last minute.  Make it when you have plenty of time and then keep it in the freezer until you need to use it.

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake 2

Enjoy!

It’s Tasty Tuesday time again. Pop over to Honest Mum for a feast of good food ideas.
9VwhltV

White Chocolate Coconut Mousse

I was so impressed with the chocolate coconut mousse that I made last week that I’m back with some more but this time round I wanted to try it with white chocolate.  As you would imagine it is not nearly as chocolaty as the dark chocolate version but it is still very good.  It would make a great filling for a cake or as a small dessert like the one below.

I wanted to try filling some hollow Easter eggs as a dessert for Easter lunch and they turned out just how I wanted.  It does make quite a small dessert but I think with all the chocolate that is floating around over the Easter weekend that is not a bad thing .  Cutting the top off the eggs can be a little tricky but you don’t want a perfect cut anyway and you can always have a few spare in case you break the egg.  Broken chocolate eggs are the chef’s treat 🙂

I think these desserts are more about the fun factor than being any sort of culinary masterpiece but I think both children and adults would be happy to be served one after Easter lunch – I know I would.

Enjoy!
White Chocolate Coconut Mousse

White Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

White Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Ingredients

  • 250ml coconut cream (well chilled)
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 6 small hollow chocolate Easter eggs
  • 2 tsps. lemon curd

Instructions

  1. Using a whisk beat the coconut cream for a couple of minutes until smooth and thick.
  2. Melt the chocolate carefully over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave.
  3. Add the melted chocolate to the coconut cream and continue to whisk for another couple of minutes.
  4. Refrigerate while you prepare the chocolate eggs.
  5. Using a serrated knife, cut the top off each egg.
  6. Spoon or pipe the mousse into the chocolate shell going right up to the top.
  7. Remove a little bit of the mousse from the centre of each egg and fill the hollow with some of the lemon curd.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

You do need to ensure that your coconut cream is chilled before starting. I store mine in the refrigerator so that it is ready chilled. Coconut milk will not work in this recipe - it needs to be the much thicker coconut cream.

http://mygoldenpear.com/2014/04/03/white-chocolate-coconut-mousse/

White Chocolate Coconut Mousse 1

Note:  I did add the tiniest, tiniest pin prick of yellow food colouring to the lemon curd to give it a more realistic colour.

This month’s  We Should Cocoa challenge is all about Easter and is being hosted by Rachel Cotterill .
We_Should_Cocoa_V3

I am also sending this over to Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer’s Treat Petite challenge which is being hosted by Cakeyboi this month and also has an Easter theme.
TreatPetite
I am also submitting this post over to the lovely A Mummy Too’s recipe of the week link up.
recipe-of-the-week
and over to Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday’s link up
9VwhltV

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

At last – Spring has arrived

Blossom on the trees, cool crisp days, daffodils standing proud.  My favourite time of the year.
Chocolate Coconut Mousse 2

As soon as I heard that this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge involved cooking with coconut I knew I wanted to try out this chocolate coconut mousse.  I have come across it many times on the internet but have never got round to trying it out.  It didn’t disappoint!  It is thick and creamy with just the slightest hint of coconut.  It is quick and easy to make.  No raw eggs to worry about.  Just delicious.

I have added 100g of dark chocolate which gives a very strong  chocolate flavour.  You may want to start with a bit less and add more to suit your taste.  It is also very rich so  only a small amount is needed.  I love the contrast of hard chocolate with the creamy mousse so I served mine in chocolate cases which I made by coating silicone cupcake cases in melted chocolate.  I also made small chocolate cones and filled them with the mousse which I think was just about the right serving size.  The mousse does firm up quite a bit if left in the fridge so I think I would only pipe into my serving dishes just before serving.  That way you can give it a quick stir to loosen up before piping.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 small portions

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Ingredients

  • 250ml coconut cream (chilled)
  • 1 tblsp caster sugar
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. Using a whisk beat the coconut cream and sugar together for a couple of minutes until smooth and thick.
  2. Melt the chocolate carefully over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave.
  3. Add the melted chocolate to the coconut cream and continue to whisk for another couple of minutes.
  4. Spoon or pipe into small serving dishes and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

You do need to ensure that your coconut cream is chilled before starting. I store mine in the refrigerator so that it is ready chilled. Coconut milk will not work in this recipe - it needs to be the much thicker coconut cream.

http://mygoldenpear.com/2014/03/20/chocolate-coconut-mousse/

Chocolate Coconut Mousse 1
This is another entry for the fabulous We Should Cocoa challenge which is cooking with chocolate and coconut this month. This month’s challenge is being hosted by Laura over at I’d Much Rather Bake Than …
We_Should_Cocoa_V3
I am also submitting this recipe to A Mummy Too’s Recipe of the Week link up.
recipe-of-the-weekAnd to Dead Easy Desserts over at Maison Cupake
DeadEasyDesserts1-250x250

Chocolate Granola

I love granola but very rarely buy it. For one it is so expensive and secondly I eat too much if it is in the house.  Making your own granola is quick, easy and allows you to control what goes into it and how much you make. The base ingredients for any granola are healthy – oats are full of protein and minerals and have a long list of benefits, seeds are a rich source of the essential Omega-3 fatty acids and nuts are rich in antioxidant vitamins.  So what’s the downside?  Well, all that lovely sweet crunchy yumminess comes from the added sugars and oil which are needed to bring it all together.  That’s where making your own is better as you can play around with different sweeteners –  honey, stevia, maple syrup are all better than refined sugar.  Try different oils too – a popular choice is coconut oil which I do like but it is very expensive.  Add in different nuts and seeds, dried fruit, even chocolate for a very special treat – the variations are endless.  If eaten in moderation then granola has more health benefits than downsides.  The key word here is moderation – I made this chocolate granola last weekend with the intention of taking photographs for my blog but it was polished off by all four of us snacking on it throughout the day.  This weekend’s batch has been photographed and stored away out of sight until tomorrow’s breakfast 🙂

Enjoy!
Chocolate Granola

Chocolate Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 portions

Chocolate Granola

Ingredients

  • 50g brown sugar
  • 4 tblsp water
  • 2 tblsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tblsp honey
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 200g oats
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 50g brazil nuts, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Place the sugar, water, oil, honey and milk chocolate in a pan and heat gently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, cocoa powder, seeds and nuts.
  4. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Spread the mixture on to the baking tray.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, and using a spatula, turn the granola every 10 minutes or so. Watch carefully as it does tend to brown quickly especially around the edges.
  7. Remove from the oven and press down firmly whilst still in the baking tray. Cool completely.
  8. Once cool, break into chunks and store in an air tight container.
http://mygoldenpear.com/2014/03/15/chocolate-granola/

Chocolate Granola 1
This month’s theme for We Should Cocoa is all about chocolate and coconut and is hosted by I’d Much Rather Bake Than …
We_Should_Cocoa_V3I’m also linking up for the first time to Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday link up
9VwhltV
and to a Mummy Too’s Recipe of the week
recipe-of-the-week

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