Wednesday, December 14, 2011

merry christmas

the factory is finally open and the wonderful aroma of chocolate is back in the glen! thanks to everyone who supported us, stuck with us and were heroic throughout this challenging year. may next year bring happiness and good health to everyone.

Monday, January 10, 2011

hot sugar

my middle daughter, elsie, is a calming influence in the kitchen. she is a natural and makes up for her as yet limited palate by a calm and methodical approach that is completely alien to me! it is due to her presence that my initially enthusiastic attempts to make macaroons resulted in an edible end product instead of mayhem and complete family breakdown.

making macaroons is one of the hardest thing i have done in the kitchen only rivalled by fudge and turkish delights.

it must be hot sugar.

emily and i did finally win the battle against turkish delight and managed to make a consistently sticky, pink rose jelly wrapped in dark chocolate that was really popular at limerick market but taking on the sugar thermometer was always a challenge!

the final macaroons tasted good even though they well not the perfectly smooth, deep coloured beauties shown in the recipe book. i will try making them again but not yet. please send me advice and macaroon success stories.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

happy new year fabulous fondant desserts

new year 2011 is not a time for diets. with all the austerity, belt tightening and uncertain economic times ahead, small indulgences are a necessity! keep smiling and make these. aidan likes them hot. i like them cold.

the basic recipe is from this wonderful book by paul simon. after some experimenting, i found that you could flavour them with all the cocoa bean truffle favourites. i flavour with zests and spices before pouring it into tiny metal moulds .

basic recipe

2 eggs

50g brown sugar

1 dessertspoon plain flour

1 dessertspoon cornflour

140g dark chocolate

110g btter

3 dessertspoons whipping cream

preheat the oven to 180 C

grease and dust the moulds with flour

beat the eggs and sugar. seive in the flour and cornflour and continue to beat.

melt the chocolate, butter and cream in a bowl over simmering water.

pour the chocolate cream into the sponge mixture and mix well together.

fill the moulds two thirds full and then add a pinch of orange zest, nutmeg, cinnamon or lemon zest. add another spoon of mixture to seal in the flavour and then pop into the oven for a few minutes! If you are making four big ones they will need abot 7 minutes.

turn them out straight away and eat or wait until the morning and eat with coffee for breakfast nigella style before anyone else is up!