Green & Black’s Chocolate Strawberries

10388123_10152068654042096_7259499987072648998_n10155894_10152068713207096_8251646066935708489_n10390550_10152068739327096_1962195154212776210_n10343688_10152503516813023_8931396454492136735_nNot quite a recipe as such but some very pretty photographs I took of my yummy srummy Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!

An absolute treat that most definitely calls for luxury! I used the best strawberries I could possibly find (Marks & Spencer) and some very indulgent Green & Black’s Milk and White Chocolate! Mmmmmm…..! 🙂

These were a (very) quick treat to take around to Zoe’s for an impromptu BBQ (making the most of the sunshine in the UK) so I didn’t have time to properly temper the chocolate. Instead I went with the tried and tested method of melting the chocolate in a bowl over the hob!

1) It only takes a few moments but its dead easy, simply place the roughly chopped chocolate in a bowl. Half fill a saucepan with hot water, and put the bowl over it, making sure that the bowl does not touch the bottom of the saucepan.

2) Slowly heat the water, ensuring it does not boil. Stir regularly using a flexible spatula so that the chocolate melts smoothly. This way means that the chocolate is slightly thicker than it would be if you had tempered it but it’s still easy to work with! 🙂

3) Once the chocolate has melted, pour it in to a ramekin and grab your strawberries!

4) Dip your strawberries in to the melted chocolate and coat about half of the strawberry, place on to a sheet of baking paper to set and continue the same process with the rest of your strawberries.

5) Once you have finish place the baking tray with your strawberries on greaseproof paper in to the fridge to set for 30 minutes.

6) For the white chocolate decoration, simply follow the same melting directions and very carefully pour the melted white chocolate in to a piping bag (that is opened up over a tall glass) and leave for around 15 minutes for the chocolate the cool and slightly set.

7) Remove the strawberries from the fridge and decorate however you wish with the white chocolate before popping them back in to the fridge for another 20 minutes.

Enjoy with fizz!!!! Any excuse!

Love S xx

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Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

IMG_1226So this week it was another friends birthday….the lovely Marielle!

Marielle didn’t really want to do much for her birthday, she just wanted to keep things really low key – so, I decided to bake her some yummy cakes! It’s simply not a birthday without cake! Marielle and Joe used to be our neighbours and have helped us out quite a lot over the years – especially with little Georgie so I decided to try and make something a bit special and a little different! 🙂

I dont know many people that dont rate a good old Terry’s Chocolate Orange so I decided to try and mastermind some cupcakes for her based around a classic treat!

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These are a little different as 3 layers make up the cupcake; 2 chocolate and 1 orange so a little patience is needed!

I’d never made these before so I was taking a bit of a risk as I decided to adapt another recipe that I use to make a big chocolate & orange marble cake….anyway……here goes!

Ingredients: 

For the Chocolate & Orange Cupcakes (fills 12 muffin sized cases) 

  • 260g soft butter (room temp)
  • 260g caster sugar
  • 260g self raising flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1.5 oranges (grated orange rind only)

For the Buttercream Icing

  • 175g soft butter
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 100g melted plain chocolate
  • 1.5 tsp orange extract
  • A Terry’s Chocolate Orange

Recipe:

1. Preheat your oven to 140 fan/160 or Gas 3

2. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with muffin cases

3. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until fluffy – dont forget the butter should be room temp – (you cant also use an electric hand mixer)

Tip: Mix for a good 5 minutes –  this is what makes the cupcakes big and fluffy!

4. Add the eggs two at a time and sift in a quarter of the flour into the butter mixture and beat until well combined

5. Repeat until all eggs and flour are used up

6. Split the mixture into two bowls equally

Tip: You can weigh them if you want to make super sure they are the same.

7. Add 30g of cocoa and 1 tbsp of milk to one portion and mix to combine all the ingredients throughly

8. Add orange extract and rind to the other portion and mix to combine throughly

Tip: You could also add a small amount of orange food colouring to give it the extra wow factor when eaten!

9. Take two spoons and alternate dollops of chocolate and orange mixture into the muffin cases – I did 1 tablespoon full of chocolate, followed by 1 tablespoon full of orange and then 1 more of chocolate again on top.

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Remember: Your muffin cases want to be filled about 2/3rds full (or just a little over) so try not to under or over fill!

Tip: Looking back it might have been easier and quicker to put the mixture into 2 piping bags and piped the muffin cases….

10. Place the muffin tray in the oven on the middle shelf for approx 40 minutes (all ovens vary so check your cake after 20 mins) IMG_1211

11. Your cupcakes are ready when the skewer can be inserted into the cake and it come out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool for around an hour.

Tip: Dont worry if they seem to take a little longer in the oven!

12.  Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water – once melted set aside to cool slightly

13. Beat the butter and icing sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy

14. Pour the chocolate into the buttercream mixture in small quantities and mix as you add to ensure that you incorporate all of the chocolate

15. Add the orange extract and beat one last time

16. Fill a piping bag with your buttercream icing and using a nozzle of your choice (I went for a classic star shaped one) ice away before adding a segment of the chocolate orange to each cupcake 🙂

17. Enjoy!

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Love S & P x