Thursday, 4 April 2013

Going Cocoa-Loco...

One of the perils of Easter, other than the sudden appearance of a giant fictional rabbit in the garden, is the ridiculous amount of chocolate that manages to wiggle its way into every nook and cranny of the house, the car, down the back of the sofa...

The tidal wave of chocolate at this time of year is almost entirely unavoidable. And why would you want to hide from away from all those boxes of deliciousness at the only time when being a chocoholic is not a burden but a much-envied blessing? But now, after too many evenings spent in a cocoa induced daze; my bedside table has slowly transformed itself in to a miniature replica of the supermarket confectionary aisle, my handbag has begun to resemble that of an overweight shoplifter with a serious sweet tooth, and, most sadly of all, my ability to cram my face with crème eggs has finally begun to dwindle.

But what to do with your glut of foil wrapped chocolates when your sweet-tooth has finally given up the ghost? Hide it in your knicker drawer for an emotional crisis or nuclear disaster? Experiment with chocolate facials? Nah, I reckon the only use for all those neglected eggs and bunnies is to smash them up, melt them down and bake the whole lot into something entirely delicious.
And look no further than these toothsome, devilishly moreish recipes. Why not start your chocolate spring clean with the wickedly delicious Turkish Delight and Pistachio Rocky Road; delicately flavoured with neon pink chunks of Turkish delight and flecked with desiccated coconut. The crunch of pistachio nuts is the perfect contrast to the pillowy softness of pure white marshmallow, but throw in a bit of whatever you have lurking in the cupboard; raisins, honeycomb, almonds, dried cranberries, sour cherries. Get stuck in to the ingredients cupboard and then tuck in with a vengance- They won’t hang around for long...

And if the mountain of chocolate you have to deal with is of the white variety, why not give these delectable Black and White Blondies a go? Moist squares of white chocolate and coconut, flecked with fresh blackberries (see, now you get the name..) they are a chocolate lovers dream; almost good enough to make a certain bunny but a bungalow on the Costa del Sol and hang up his basket in early retirement.

Black and White Blondies

200g white chocolate, chopped
125g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
A pinch of salt
75g dessicated coconut
100g blackberries, halved


Preheat the oven to 170oc, and grease and line a 33/23” baking tray.

In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the butter and 150g of the chocolate until melted and smooth.

Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring well. Add the eggs and vanilla, before folding in the flour and salt until well incorporated.

Carefully mix in the coconut, remaining chocolate and blackberries until they are evenly distributed throughout the mix.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray (it will be quite thick, don’t worry!) and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown but still soft in the centre. Leave to cool and dig in!

Pistachio and Turkish Delight Rocky Road

100g milk chocolate, chopped
100g dark chocolate, chopped
100g butter
150g golden syrup
250g rich tea biscuits
50g desiccated coconut
50g glace cherries
40g mini marshmallows
100g raisins
50g pistachio nuts
3 Frys Turkish delight bars, chopped
A pinch of sea salt


Line a medium sized baking tray (about 24cm square or equivalent) with greaseproof paper.
In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water; melt the butter, golden syrup and chocolate until smooth and glossy.

Put the biscuits in a freezer bag and break with a rolling pin, until you have medium sized pieces.
Mix all the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and stir until full combined. Tip into the lined tray and refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.

When completely set, cut into squares and get stuck in!

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