Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can you have too much chocolate?

I have a couple of 7th birthday cakes planned for the latter part of this week, but today while Mini-2 and I were out doing top-up shopping at the supermarket (we shop weekly, and somtimes need top-up bits elsewhere and we have a killer tactic to blitz it. She bleeps, I bag at the self-service checkouts) we came across a superb bargain.  Very low priced short-dated Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bars, mmm.  Mini-2 is learning my money-saving ways, so wanted to buy 'lots and lots, maybe 5' bars, but I reasonably figured we would use a few less than that in the time we had available, simply because if we made lots of dark chocolate treats - we'd need to eat them all!  And that's definitely not in line with the Scottish Government Healthy Eating Initiative  ;) 
Thinking quickly, I figured we could happily use 200-odd grams so we bought a few and headed home.  Mini-2 took some time out with the 'one-eyed babysitter' (television, ha ha) and I went to check my brain and books for inspiration.  I landed upon one my good friend C gave me as a birthday gift, by the Australian equivalent of Nigella Lawson I believe, Donna Hay.  There were lots and lots of great recipes in there, but I chose the Chocolate Mud Cake for use of chocolate and ease of preparation.
This was very solid, and oddly not that rich to me.  And I felt it needed more than just the simple cocoa powder dusting recommended in the book.   Perhaps a choc ganache, or buttercream would have been better.  Knowing there was far too much for us girls to eat, I offered some of it to some friends, and one tried hers hot.  So I did too, with a drizzle of single cream.  Mmmm, yummy.
Also tonight I wanted to try moulding chocolate, or rather candy melts. I'd seen a YouTube video or one on Wilton (sorry, no link just now as I simply can't recal which one I saw) and had had some success with the last lot of candy melts.  However, I didn't have any moulds, only the best bits of a Christmas Advent calendar. 

As you can see from the photo above, they weren't all nicely shaped, but they were quick and easy to do - simply gently microwave the melts (agan with a bit of vegetable shortening), pour into the mould then refridgerate for 20 minutes or more.  Et voila!