3 ways to enjoy chocolate

Weekend Breakfast With Alison Curtis

3 ways to enjoy chocolate

TodayFM
TodayFM

2:58 PM - 2 May 2014



Coming up on Saturday Breakfast with Alison Curtis:

Oh Baby! magazine are offering up a €500 shopping spree in Cork with accommodation at the Clarion Hotel and dinner at Oysters Seafood Restaurant (Cork’s number one restaurant!)

Irish Times Columnist and owner of ITSA Bagel Domini Kemp will be in studio talking about 3 Ways to Enjoy Chocolate (for those who can't wait, take a peak at Domini's recipes below)

The organizers of Vantastival will be giving us a taste of what’s happening this weekend in Dundalk

Plus we’ll be talking about Phizzfest – Phibsboro’s community and arts festival - which is celebrating 100 years since the first cinema opened in Dublin 7.

Don’t miss Saturday Breakfast, tomorrow from 8am!

Salted Caramel & Peanut Butter Brownies

(Makes 16 brownies)

Preheat oven to 170ºC

  • 350g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 200g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g rapsadura sugar (most health shops will have it)
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp crunchy or smooth peanut butter

Caramel sauce

  • 75g butter
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 125ml single cream
  • Flaky sea salt (not rock salt)

Start with the caramel sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter, sugar and syrup together and simmer for 5 minutes – you’re aiming for a slow, rolling bubbling here. Then remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream. Warning: it will sputter, so protect yourself. Add a couple of pinches of salt and set aside to cool. 

Next, to make the brownies, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over hot water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. While it’s melting, beat the sugar and eggs together until thick and voluptuous.  Then fold in the chocolate/butter mixture and the flour and pour into a 23cm-square cake tin. It helps to line it with parchment, but it’s not obligatory.

Cook for 7 minutes, then remove from the oven and swirl in half the caramel sauce and the peanut butter. Set the rest aside for drizzling later. The mixture will look really liquidy, but don’t fret. Return to the oven and cook for about 30 more minutes. Leave to cool completely before removing from tin, slicing and serving with the caramel sauce and perhaps some crème fraiche. 

Chocolate-covered Caramels

(Makes 20)

  • 400g stoned dates
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 x 280g jar of cashew nut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g dark chocolate, melted
  • A little cocoa powder for dusting

Place the dates in a saucepan with the bicarb in just enough water to cover them and cook until ‘mushy’ (the bicarb helps the dates to break down and makes them less ‘pappy’). This takes about 15 minutes. Then blitz this mixture in a food processor together with the cashew butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Let it cool and then chill until firm. I find it's even easier to chuck into the freezer and when it’s firm, roll the mixture into little 1-inch balls and freeze for about an hour until solid. This bit is hard as they are mega sticky and don’t want to firm up. But you can coax them along by using a little cocoa powder to "dry them". Put on a tray lined with parchment and then dip in melted chocolate and put back n the tray to chill down. Chill in the fridge until the chocolate has set. 

Italian choc cookies

Makes approx 16 cookies

  • 250 g dark chocolate, melted
  • Another 175 g dark choc, finely chopped
  • 50 g butter, at room temp
  • 125 g granulated sugar
  • 25 g Demerara sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 60 g flour
  • 1 good tsp. baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Icing sugar to garnish

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. You melt the 250g dark chocolate in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water. Beat the butter and granulated sugar until vaguely light and fluffy and then add the demerara sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and continue to beat. Pour in the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Then fold in the flour and baking powder. You want the mixture to be just about lukewarm at this stage so that when you fold in the chopped chocolate, it won't all melt. Have your baking trays lined with paper and raring to go Spoon dessertspoon sized blobs on the baking tray, leaving a bit of a gap in between. Bake for 10-12 minutes or so. They will still be quite "soft" but they need to cool down and will then harden slightly. They will remain a little gooey and soft on the centre, but they really are charming to eat with a good coffee. 



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