Tag Archives: dark chocolate

Give Us Today Our Daily Bread


I tried to put the title in Aramaic but then, searching the internet, I found out that in the language of Jesus, there is no mention of bread. I found bread in the Syriac version of the Lord’s Prayer, which is not the original Aramaic. Well, I can not argue with that as my knowledge of both is zero and I decided to go for the English version, thank you very much. Why have I put this title? Because I am writing a recipe with our daily bread, an old, traditional, English one. And it is just amazing because I have never thought of a desert so delicious with bread, the main ingredient. Apart from the desert I used to eat, sometimes, when I was a child, with bread and sugar, very popular among children those days. You just had a slice of bread, damp it with a bit of water and sprinkle sugar on top. And there it was, something quick and nice for the craving children. Now I will write about something that requires a bit of work, but not too much and it is much more tasty. Imho, it is very easy to make and delicious, and I know as I did it myself, lots of times and following different recipes. Today, I am presenting you a very good one, though I haven’t made it yet. It is from “The Lady” magazine, from 30 of November 2004. I will also mention what you can replace as, you know, being creative in the kitchen, is a MUST.

Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 400 ml (3/4 pint) double cream (replace with milk if you don’t have cream)
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) Baileys Irish Cream liqueur (or serve yourself and forget about using it in the recipe)
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar (or any organic substitute you use)
  • 2 vanilla pods, split in half lengthways (or 2 tbsp vanilla sugar)
  • 6 free-range egg yolks (you can do without)
  • 6 whole free-range eggs
  • 10 slices brioche, each slice about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick (or our daily bread)
  • 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (at least 70 % cocoa solids), chopped (please, please, leave the chocolate alone)

Method:

  • Place the cream, Baileys, sugar and vanilla pods in a large saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool. Remove the vanilla pods.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 140ย ยฐC/ 275หšF or Gas Mark 1 and grease a shallow 2-3 pint capacity ovenproof dish. Whisk the egg yolks and eggs together in a large bowl and strain in the cream mixture. Whisk lightly to blend. Cut the brioche slices in half diagonally and arrange in the dish in slightly overlapping layers. Pour the cream mixture over the top and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven or by placing it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water, making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Pour over the top of the pudding. I don’t have to say to dip your fingers in the chocolate. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Place in a baking dish half-filled with warm water and transfer to the oven. Bake until set, about 50 minutes.

Bon appetite!

Biscuits With Love


Today I would love to eat some homemade biscuits. I will not cook them though as I am not in the mood. Would there anyone make them for me? Mum? Anyone? Lol. At least I can describe the way I make them. With love, of course. This is the main ingredient. I am afraid I didn’t write down on the printed recipe, the name of the book I took it from. If anyone knows it, please, write to me. I am concentrating in visualising the biscuits. I made them a few times and I loved them every time. I could eat them all and because the recipe here gives me just a few biscuits, I double the ingredients and I have to my heart’s desire. Yummy! Here they are:

Soft biscotti with chocolate

Biscotti morbidi con cioccolata

Serves 10

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 65 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g chocolate chunks or roughly chopped plain chocolate (use a good one, of at least 70% cocoa)
  • 150 g pistachio nuts
  • 100 g butter, softened
  • 225 g unrefined golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs, at room temperature

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180หšC/ 350หšF, gas mark 4.
  • Grease a baking sheet with a little butter and dust lightly with a little of the flour.
  • Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, chocolate chunks and pistachio nuts in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until well combined.
  • Stir in the flour mixture until it forms a stiff dough. Place the dough on the baking sheet and press onto shape until it is 30 cm long and 10 cm wide.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when you insert it into the biscotti. Remove and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Place on a wire rack and leave to cool to room temperature. Slice into thick fingers and serve with coffee or vin santo.

Bon appetite!

Poires Belle Helene


In the Orthodox countries like mine, we celebrate Saints Constantin and his mother Elena on the 21st of May, so the persons named like that are phoned/or told “Happy name’s day!”. As I am Elena, I was told “Happy name’s day!” a lot yesterday, in fact, most of the day I spent it in the phone answering and talking. It is a traditional custom to do that, or to visit friends or relatives to wish them the same. I had visitors, of course, a couple of friends and I had a nice day. A big surprise expected me when all my colleagues from a previous job wished me in chorus on the phone “Happy name’s day!”. I could hear them crying. That was so nice of them and totally unexpected.

Because of this beautiful name I thought of a recipe that it bears it and I came with a very special one that I made in London for the first time, years ago. ย I made it at home again, just once, for another special occasion and my mom had the chance to eat something fine, elegant, exquisite and delicious. And not just her.

I have found the recipe in “Good Housekeeping – All Colour Party Cookbook”, 1992 at the “Stunning Desserts” chapter. Stunning it is. But at home I was not entirely satisfied with what I had so I searched on the Internet and found another recipe and now I am presenting a ย mix from both. In my humble opinion this is one of the best recipe I have eaten and the feeling can’t be described. When I talk about food, about the recipe I have tried I feel them again, with all that it comes along. A good food gives you something special, a happiness and a smile on your face. If I may say so, it is as satisfying as making love.

Poires Belle Helene

Ingredients:

  • 4 cooking pears (preferably Conference)
  • 50 g (2 oz) sugar
  • 900 ml (1 1/2 pints) water
  • lemon rind and lemon juice from a whole lemon
  • 150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (high quality and at least 70 % cocoa)
  • 3 tbsp orange-flavoured liqueur or Poire William liqueur
  • 1 or 2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream per person (optional)
  • a few almond cookies (thin and crisp, no matter what shape you choose, or more authentic “tuiles aux amandes”)
  • 200 ml double cream
  • vanilla sugar

Method:

  • Put the sugar, water, lemon rind and lemon juice in a deep pot and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Peel the pears quickly (to prevent discoloration), leaving the stalks on. Cut out the cores from the bottom and level them so that the pears will stand upright.
  • Submerge the pears if possible in the pot and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes on medium heat or until tender. Drain the pear, cover and keep the juice. Let them both cool down.
  • Make the chocolate sauce. Bring the pear juice to a boil in a small pot and allow it to evaporate until half of the volume is left. Discard the lemon rind from the syrup. Place the small pot in a bigger one, half full of water (“Bain Marie”) and place over medium heat without allowing the water to boil. Cut the chocolate into small pieces and melt it in the warm pear syrup, stirring until smooth and shiny. Add Poire William or orange-flavoured liqueur for a special twist. And yes, you can dip a finger to taste. ONCE. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • In another bowl, whip double cream with vanilla sugar to make crรจme Chantilly.
  • To assemble, place one pear in each dish, upright. Add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Pour the chocolate sauce on the pear and ice cream. Add crรจme Chantilly. Stick 1 or 2 almonds thins in the ice cream.
  • Serve immediately. I know you can’t wait to taste. But wait: there is somebody missing. Yes, your loved ones.

Bon appetite!

Feeling Blue?


Blue

To be or not to be…

As we all know, a little chocolate now and then makes us happy. Very happy. Especially when we are heartbroken. But as they say, forget love, I’d rather fall into chocolate. :)) I wish!;) No, I’d rather fall into chocolate and Love. For the moment let’s talk about chocolate. Not any chocolate but something special. A chocolate cake full of this aphrodisiac.

I found this recipe a few years ago in a supermarket in Constanta in “BBC Good Food” magazine. In pictures it didn’t look extraordinary. But the look can be deceiving, as we all know. I read the ingredients and then it clicked. This cake had 7 chocolates in it! Imagine that! 7! I searched Google at home at that time to see if I could find something similar. But I couldn’t. There were only cakes with 3-5 chocolates mostly. That was different.

Because of this I decided to make the cake on a special day. It was almost 2 years ago, probably on Christmas, Easter, my name day or my birthday. Or mom’s. Who cares! I made it and it was an instant hit from the beginning. It was sooooo delicious, you can’t imagine. Feeling the chocolate melting in your mouth, the smell, sensations that can’t be described. I just felt happy. Thinking now of it, makes me happy again. ๐Ÿ™‚

For a tastier and why not, funnier description of this simple cake with 7 chocolates try my choice. Because my choice of cake is made with plain chocolate only, of at least 70% cocoa. Yes, you already know that, but bear with me. I was more generous with the cream and chocolate. I would never put only 250 g of chocolate in something but go for 300 g. I know, you agree with me here.

Chocolate Cake

Serves 12

Ready in 1 hr 30 minutes, plus cooling

Ingredients:

  • 250 g flour/ self raising flour
  • 1 baking soda package (in case you don’t find self raising, mix flour with baking soda)
  • 250 g unrefined soft brown sugar (if you don’t have it in your kitchen, choose the white one)
  • 50 g cocoa
  • 250-300 g plain chocolate
  • 250 g butter (again, 80-82% fat if you don’t mind, because I do)
  • 4 eggs

For the cream:

  • 400 g plain or milk chocolate (please, please, please, plain)
  • 300 ml pot single cream (my choice is full-fat)
  • 25 g butter
  • 100-200 icing sugar
  • cocoa powder for dusting

Method:

  • Heat the oven to 160ยฐC/ fan 140 C/ gas 3. Line a 20cm x 20 square cake tin. I use at home my round 26 cm diameter cake tin.
  • Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa together in a bowl. Melt the chocolate (don’t touch it!) and the butter together with 200 ml water in a pan and then beat this along with the eggs into the dry mixture. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. It may crack a little on top but this will be covered by the icing. Cool.
  • To make the icing, melt the chocolate (I said to keep your fingers out of this!) with the cream and butter until smooth and then cool to a spreadable consistency, beat in enough icing sugar to make the icing opaque and stiff.
  • Slice the cake horizontally into 2 or 3 layers and spread some icing (yummy) between each layer. Ice the outside of the cake in a thick even layer and smooth the icing down as much as possible, don’t worry about the top too much. I worry, I want it to be smooth on top too.
  • Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.

Bon appetite!

Blessed those who have tried this out!

PS: while searching this recipe on the net one day, years after, I discovered that it was no longer on the BBC Good Food site. So I turned myself into a detective. And guess what? I looked closely on the printed recipe I had since 2009 and there it was: “Recipe from olive magazine, September 2007.” While you find it here too, the original is from that site and I must add this. I am glad that everybody can access it too, from different sources.