Chocolates/Truffles, Sweet

Dusted Cherry Truffles

Cherry Truffles

Due to the usual Christmas lull I’ve reduced the amount of sweet making and baking down to a minimum but after I made a Black Forest Gateaux inspired cake I was left with 300ml of double cream.

I decided that it was a sign, a sign to make chocolate truffles! Not that I really needed a sign but you know, inspiration comes in many forms and this time it came in exactly 300ml of cream.

I love to make truffles but the part I don’t like is the rolling and shaping, it is messy and I never seem to do a really good job of it. This time I am going to try different methods one day – rolling in cocoa, coating in chocolate and piping into chocolate moulds.

I have found the ones coated in a dusting of cocoa powder to be the most successful ones to eat so far but they are not the prettiest. I think this is because the truffle mix was a little too soft when I tried to shape and because I am not very good yet at tempering chocolate.

Rolling them in cocoa powder is the easiest to do.

I flavoured the inside of the truffle mix with cherry and rolled in cherry cocoa powder, from the company Sugar and Crumbs. Although these are a little bitter (maybe some icing sugar added next time) they look more like truffles and are easier to shape.

I might be a long, long way from master chocolatier but these look a lot more impressive than the skills required to make them.


Dusted Cherry Truffles

Ingredients

  • 300g Dark Chocolate
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 50g Butter
  • 1 tablespoon cherry liquor
  • Cocoa Powder (ideally cherry flavoured)

Method

Chop up your chocolate and put into a large bowl and set aside

In a pan heat up the cream and butter slowly till the butter melts and the cream begins to simmer. This is where you start to get a few gentle bubbles on the top, try not to boil it!

Immediately pour over the chocolate and stir until it the chocolate has melted

Add in your cherry liquor, or any other flavour you fancy. Add it a little at a time and taste as you don’t want to add too much and make it too strong.

When the mix has cooled a little, refrigerate for at least 4 hours

Take the mix out of the fridge and either using a teaspoon or a melon baller, spoon out truffle sized pieces and working very quickly roll them in your hands till they are ball shaped

Once you have the shape roll them into the cocoa powder and set aside

After all of them are finished, keep them in the fridge in an airtight container and they should last a couple of days (if you don’t eat them all in one night and feel completely sick)

Sweetshop

Old Fashioned sweet shop: Lemon and Orange sherbet dips

Sherbet Lollypops

The first month of a whole new year and I am hoping that this year will be another exciting year.

I love making and eating sweets so I decided to start my 2019 with something that I was excited to try for a while, both because of its simplicity and because there really is nothing more that epitomises a classic sweet shop item – Sherbet dip lollies!

When I was a kid, I usually bought these for 20p from the local shop (from that you can probably work out whether I am younger or older than you) although honestly age is very irrelevant with sweets anyway, just ask my dad!

For these I used a recipe from The Vintage Sweet Book by Angel Adoree to create both the lollies and the sherbet.

For flavouring I went for a classic lemon sherbet, though I decided not to colour it yellow and for the lollies I made them orange flavoured and coloured them using a peach gel colour. Orange and lemon, you can’t really go wrong with that can you?

I have an idea for a fun children’s party – bowls of different flavour sherbet, sugars and lolly pops.

Different colours and flavours with scoops and bags so people can mix and match to their liking. The flavours and colours could be endless and they would beautiful to display.

Although the lollies aren’t fragile, I have not found a way of storing them easily as they tend to go a little sticky. I’m sure that there are ways to do this but I need to look into it more.

Just a little word of warning – although these are simple and cute to make they do involve boiling sugar to a very high temperature so aren’t suitable for kids to help out with.

You may not have the book I used so here are some links to good recipes:

Peppermint lollies

Sherbet dips

Fudge, Sweet

The joys and pitfalls of making fudge

Fudge PartySince I am still at home waiting for HR to sort out everything for my new job I have been spending my time with my family and my stove, specifically I have been making fudge – a lot of it!

I have been really thinking about making it into a little business that I can do part time running the occasional stall here and there. Its really exciting and I’ve always fancied the idea of being my own little boss so now I am really looking it. I have contacted our local environmental health about my kitchen and whilst waiting for them I have been practicing.

Vanilla and Cranberry BrandyI have encountered a lot of issues and was kinda lulled into a false sense of security because my first few batches of fudge came out so well that I thought, “hey, this is easy!”. How wrong I have been. I am currently writing this as a failed batch of simple vanilla fudge has split and is cooling in the kitchen ready to make its way swiftly to the bin. For some reason this time it has split and I have no idea why! Still, I will get back on my fudge horse and try again.
I have learnt a lot though and every mistake tells me what I did wrong so that next time I can fix it. I’ve learnt you can re-cook over heated fudge, not to stir too early to stop crystal formation, the right pan to use, altering the temperature to suit your thermometer. It’s no wonder there is no one recipe that is fool proof.

I will get this and some of the fudge that has worked has been fantastic, my dad even said it was the best he’d ever tasted (my dad will eat anything though!) and my fudge party that I held so friends and family could help me eat some of the mountain was very well received. Now I just need to keep at it… practice, practice, practice and then one day I might be at a stall near you.Whisky and After 8 Fudge

Sweet, Traybake

Chocolate Fudge Mountain

The other day the little-ist Baker went for a walk to the park whilst I stayed home to keep an eye on the workmen who were fixing a window. It was the first time I was kinda alone in the house since she was born so I felt a little excited and decided that I was going to try and make something that I had wanted to do since I was a kid… make fudge!image

When I was about 13 years old I found a recipe to make fudge in a magazine. It looked so easy to do and I had visions of an endless supply of fudge I could make myself. Sadly, it didn’t work so all I got was a large bowl of melted, sticky sugar. I was heartbroken and until a few days ago I never tried to make it again. I knew where it had gone wrong, it was because I had no sugar thermometer to get it to the magic 114c, aka Soft Ball Stage. I tried dropping the bit into a glass of water but it wasn’t accurate enough to get it to work.

This time I was armed, sugar thermometer clipped to the side of my pan… I was ready.

And low and behold – I made chocolate fudge. Not just a little chocolate fudge, a lot of chocolate fudge. In fact, I made enough fudge for a small chocolate fudge mountain in my kitchen. If I wasn’t on a diet it would have been heaven but instead it called me to eat it knowing I had to be a little bit good that week. I decided to bag it up into little individual bags and gave it away to family.

I might have a go at doing this again at Christmas as it would make a lovely little present to give to everyone. The recipe I used was from the Home Made Sweet Shop book which I’d recommend to anyone with a love of old fashioned sweet and a burning desire to make them yourself.

Don’t forget to keep any crumbly bits that break off when cutting. I used these to put into vanilla cupcakes.

Cupcake, Sweet

Liquorice Allsort Cupcakes

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As I said in my last post, this unfortunate baker is on a diet so I had a good idea of baking some cupcakes with a flavour I really don’t like but other people do – liquorice!

I had this cupcake idea a while ago so I had already bought a bag of liquorice allsorts in preparation to use as decoration.

I tried not to make the decoration too girly. This time I went for the ‘dog poo’ swirl on the top instead of my usual rose shape and didn’t use a single bit of glitter.


Liquorice Cupcakes

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For the cakes
4.5oz Self Raising Flour
4oz Margarine (you can use half/half butter and marg if you prefer)
2oz Dark brown sugar
2oz Caster sugar
2 Medium eggs
2 tsp Anise extract

For the icing
In a bowl add a extremely generous tablespoon of Margarine (I always use Stork as I’ve found other brands split) Then add approx 5-6 tablespoons of icing sugar and beat together until very light and fluffy. Add a teaspoon of Anise extract and a small amount of black gel food colouring. Don’t use liquid food colouring as this will cause the mix to be too runny. Mix in another tablespoon of icing sugar and beat until combined. This can be stored in the fridge until needed and either piped on or use a flat knife.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 180oC

In a bowl mix the margarine with the two sugars and beat until it looks lovely and has changed into a paler colour. You can’t over beat at this stage.

Add an egg and a tablespoon of flour and mix until just combined. Do the same with the second egg and another tablespoon of flour.

Add the remaining flour and Anise extract and gently mix together. You don’t want to over beat the eggs in the mix, just to combine them.

If the mix looks a tad dry (this can happen due to variations with the size of the eggs or the different brands of flour) then add a small dash of milk.

Spoon the mixture equally between your cake cases. I used cupcake cases and these made 8 cakes.

Bake in the oven for at least 20 minutes before opening the door to see if they are done. Larger cakes will need 25-30 minutes but very small fairy cake cases will cook in 20 minutes.

To check they are done they should look a light brown colour and should spring back when you gently press on the top.

Once cooked, remove and cool before decorating with the buttercream icing and adding a liquorice sweet to the top.