Chocolate, caramel & peanut slice

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Preparation Time

30 minutes

Cooking Time

40 minutes

Ingredients (serves 16)

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 190g (1 1/4 cups) self-raising flour
  • 70g (1/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 120g butter, melted
  • Caramel filling

  • 1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 70g (1/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 60g butter
  • Chocolate & peanut topping

  • 150g (1 cup) unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 300g good-quality dark cooking chocolate, chopped
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 13 x 30cm (base measurement) loaf pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and 2 opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.
  2. To make the biscuit base, combine the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until just combined. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly over the base. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.
  3. Meanwhile: to make the caramel filling, combine the condensed milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 8 minutes or until caramel thickens (do not boil).
  4. Pour the hot caramel over the biscuit base. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until caramel begins to bubble. Remove from oven and set aside for 1 hour to cool slightly.
  5. To make the chocolate & peanut topping: sprinkle the caramel evenly with peanuts. Place the chocolate and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir with a metal spoon for 3-4 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture evenly over the peanuts and use a round-bladed knife to smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set. Cut into 16 pieces to serve.

Chocolate and blueberry mousse

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ingredients (serves 4)

* 1 punnet fresh blueberries, 200g frozen
* 200g dark chocolate
* 300ml thickened cream


1. Scatter fresh blueberries, or some thawed frozen blueberries, over the base of 4 small-sized serving glasses and set aside.
2. Melt chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water). Remove and cool to room temperature.
3. Beat cream in a bowl to soft peaks, then fold into the melted chocolate.
4. Spoon the mousse among serving glasses over the blueberries, and serve immediately.

Notes & tips

* You can replace the blueberries with strawberries, raspberries, or a berry mix.


Molten Chocolate Cakes

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black Cherry Sauce (see recipe below)
Whipped cream
Shaved Chocolate

Preheat oven to 375&degF. Liberally spray six (6-ounce) ramekins with nonstick spray. In a small saucepan over low heat melt the chocolate and butter, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from heat and cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar with electric hand mixer until "ribbon" stage, approximately 7 minutes. At that stage, it will be pale yellow and look like lightly whipped cream.

Add flour, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, espresso powder, and salt. Beat the batter for 2 additional minutes; add the melted chocolate mixture and beat another 5 minutes. (The batter needs a lot of beating. This incorporates air, lightening the cake's texture.)

Scoop the batter into the prepared ramekins, approximately 3/4 cup of batter in each ramekin.

NOTE: At this point, the cakes can be refrigerated and then baked later.

When ready to bake, place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake 15 to 17 minutes or until puffed and mostly dry on top around edges. NOTE: It's critical to bake these cakes for the right amount of time. Otherwise, they'll either be way too "molten," or end up as brownies. Oven temperatures vary, so check the cakes after 15 minutes. If they're really moist on top, bake one minutes and check again.

Remove cakes from oven and let rest 3 minutes (it's okay if they sink a little).

To unmold, place serving plate on top of ramekin and invert. Carefully remove ramekin, tapping lightly on the plate to loosen cake. Serve the molten cakes warm with warm Black Cherry Sauce, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate.

Makes 6 servings.

Black Cherry Sauce:

1 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 pieces lemon and orange peel (use a peeler to shave of pieces of citrus peel)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 1/2 cups frozen black cherries
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

In a small saucepan, combine wine, sugar, vinegar, citrus peel, and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain and return liquid to pan.

In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with water. Bring wine mixture back to a boil; whisk in cornstarch mixture, and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add cherries and simmer to heat through. Remove from heat; add almond extract. Serve warm.

Whipped Cream:

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 to 3 drops pure almond extract

In a medium-sized bowl, whip cream, sugar, and almond extract to soft peaks.

source: Whats Cooking America

Chocolate Caramel Marshmallow Candy Bars

Monday, September 1, 2008

Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes


* 2/3 cup butter
* 1 egg
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup powdered sugar

* 1/4 cup powdered cocoa
* 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
* 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* .
* 14 ounces (1 package) wrapped caramels, papers removed
* 6 Tablespoons heavy cream
* 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate candy bars, broken into small pieces
* 6 Tablespoons heavy cream
* 1 cup mini-marshmallows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) baking pan with non-stick foil.

Combine butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and powdered sugar in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.

Combine cocoa, graham cracker crumbs, flour and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Mix at low speed until just blended. Spread dough evenly into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 13 to 15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and set. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cool completely.

Place 6 tablespoons cream and caramels in microwave-safe mixing bowl. Cook on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue warming in microwave in 30-second increments until melted and smooth. Cool to just barely warm, but still spreadable. (This may also be done in a double boiler on the stove-top.)

Spread caramel mixture in a thin layer over the cookie bottom and refrigerate for 15 minutes until caramel firms up a bit.

Follow the same procedure used for the caramels using 6 tablespoons cream and the chocolate chunks, mixing until smooth and creamy. Cool to lukewarm, but spreadable. (May also be done in a double-boiler.) Add marshmallows and stir gently until the marshmallows are coated.

Gently spread the chocolate marshmallow mixture over the cold caramel layer. Refrigerate for at least two hours until firm, then cut into bars with a long serrated knife. Dipping knife frequently into hot water will ease the cutting. Refrigerate bars until serving time.

Yield: 36 bars

source: Home Cooking