Chocolate and Praline Dipped Madeleines

I’ve made (and scoffed) Madeleines more than a few times.  They’re so easy to make and are the perfect kind of tea cake to stick out on a plate whenever you’ve got someone coming over for elevenses (they’re made to be dunked!).  Traditionally they’re flavoured with lemon, but since it’s Christmas I thought I’d do something a little more fancy pants.  These ones are dunked in melted chocolate and then sprinkled with praline and a little bit of edible glitter (if you can’t use glitter at Christmas, then when can you?).  I’d never made praline before and to be honest it took two attempts; I made the mistake of stirring the sugar as it was heating and it crystallized in the saucepan and looked like snow.  Oops!  How many times have I rolled my eyes as Bake Off contestants make exactly the same mistake?!  Typical!  I got it the second time round though and had more than enough left over.  It’ll be jazzing up my porridge over Christmas I think!  😉

Chocolate and Praline Dunked Madeleines

Ingredients

  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g self raising flour
  • A splash of milk
  • 100g butter melted (and a little extra to grease the tin)
  • 100g chocolate (I used milk, but I bet dark chocolate would be even better!)
  • 100g chopped hazelnuts
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50ml water
  1. Preheat the oven to 200° and grease the madeleine tin with a little butter.
  2. Whisk together the eggs and the caster sugar in a bowl until combined and frothy.
  3. Pour in the melted butter (be careful if it’s still hot – if you pour it in too quickly you’ll get scrambled eggs!), and then stir in the flour.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tray – about a desert spoonful for each madeleine mould should do the trick.  Leave them to rest for about 10 minutes before you whack them in the oven.
  5. Bake for around 10 minutes until the madeleines have risen and cooked through.  Leave the madeleines to cool while you work on the toppings.
  6. To make the praline, scatter the chopped hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden.  In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water together on a low heat until it caramelizes (don’t stir!).  Pour the caramel over the roasted hazelnuts and leave to cool.  Once it’s cooled, smash it with a rolling pin.
  7. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, then dunk the tips of the madeleines. Once they’re all coated in melted chocolate, dunk them into the praline to coat the melted chocolate tip. Leave to set, then scoff! 🙂

Have a great week everyone!  Hope the final run up to Christmas hasn’t got you too stressed! X

What I Did Last Weekend: Christmas Shopping and Country Walks

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Last weekend started off a little earlier than usual because Sunny’s little sister came to stay with us.  On Friday I took her into Cardiff for some Christmas Shopping, which started off with breakfast at my favourite cosy nook, Barker Tea House.  Tina had a massive bowl dog dish of porridge, and I went for their blueberry and bacon pancake stack. 🙂



Here’s one of the weirdest things I did last weekend; I had my face turned into chocolate!  I mean, I have chocolate on my face all the time, so when Candy Mechanics asked if I wanted to be temporarily immortalised as chocolate lollipop – it was just too weird an opportunity to pass up!  They’ve set up shop outside Debenhams in St David’s until the 23rd of December, and for £7 you can create a chocolate selfie!  A perfect stocking filler, don’t ya think?



You can also create your own Chocolate Christmas Cards to send to your favourite people… or you, know, just to scoff yourself 🙂

I think almost everyone put their decorations up last weekend, us included!  Sunny hates doing it (apparently I’m really fussy about it!  Pfft!), so he very kindly enlisted Tina to help out instead.  We got the tree and all the other bits up in record time; what took longest was convincing Bungle that the tinsel, fir and fairy light invaders weren’t scary.  He barked at the wreath on the door all afternoon and still won’t go near the tree.  What a wimp!


On Sunday, I took a couple of birthday presents out for a spin (The Oliver Bonas Jumper is hands down the cosiest, fluffiest jumper I’ve ever owned) and went out for a wintery walk.


We parked up in the tiny village of Michaelston-Le-Pit and picked up the Salmon Leap Trail, which follows Wrinstone Brook and is apparently full of Salmon in the spring.  It’s amazing how many lovely walks there are out in the Vale; now that Bungle’s able to walk a bit further it’ll fun to go exploring next year 🙂








Have a lovely week everyone! x

Brigadeiros

These Brazillian Truffles are dangerously easy to make.  They’re a little bit different from normal truffles; they’re softer and a little gooey, a cross between caramel and fudge.  I’d never heard of them before, but as soon as the recipe popped up on my Pinterest feed when I was mindlessly scrolling one night I knew I had to give them a go.  Bombs of gooey chocolate, I mean, what’s not to like?  Just four ingredients, a little heat, a wooden spoon and a refrigerator is all you need!

Brigadeiros – Brazillian Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (mine was 379ml)
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (and a little more for dusting)
  • 25g of butter
  1. Combine the condensed milk, chocolate, cocoa and butter into a pan and warm on a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You’ll know it’s ready when it starts to thicken and pull away from the sides.
  2. Pour the mix into a bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours – by that time it should have cooled completely and become much firmer and easier to handle.
  3. Mould into balls and dust in cocoa powder then return to fridge until you’re ready to scoff them.  And that’s it!

I think these would make a great DIY gift and could easily be adapted with different flavours (next time I’m trying white chocolate!).  Whaddya reckon? 🙂

Marshmallow Teacake Cupcakes

Happy Friday!  How was your Easter weekend?  Did you get your fill of chocolate, or – like me – were you raiding the supermarket on Tuesday morning for half-price Easter eggs?  I found bags of Galaxy Caramel Eggs for 50p and used my arm to sweep the whole shelf into my basket.  No shame.

Anyway, hopefully you’re not too sick of chocolate (is that even possible?) – clearly I’m not, because yesterday I got a craving for cupcakes and decided to make these bad boys.  The American baking community call them Hi-Hats (marshmallow frosting dipped in melted chocolate), but to us Brits really they’re just cupcakes with a marshmallow tea cake (/poo emoji) perched on top.  I went one better and added a raspberry jam filling – just like real tea cakes.  I thought they were going to be a nightmare to make, but with a bit of strategic freezer-time, they were actually pretty easy 🙂

Marshmallow Teacake Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 175g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 120ml milk
  • Raspberry Jam
  • For the marshmallow cream topping: 1 jar of Marshmallow Fluff (amazing stuff), 250g butter, 300g icing sugar
  • 250g plain chocolate
  1. Set the oven to 180. In a bowl, cream together the butter and caster sugar, then stir in the egg.
  2. Stir in the flour and milk gradually, alternating between the two until you have a light and fluffy batter.
  3. Spoon into deep cupcake cases and then bake for around 20 minutes (or until an inserted skewer comes out clean).  Allow to cool.
  4. In a clean bowl, mix together the butter, icing sugar and marshmallow fluff to create a marshmallow buttercream.  Using a piping bag, pipe a ringed “fence” on the top of the cupcake, then fill the centre with jam.  Pipe around and on top of the jam to create a peak, then place the cupcakes in the freezer to ensure the topping is set and cold enough to keep its shape when you dip it in the melted chocolate.
  5. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (or on the hob, whichever way you prefer!), then carefully dip the cupcakes – topside down – into it.  Tip: It helps if you use a cup for the chocolate rather than a bowl.  Leave the cupcakes to cool in the fridge so the chocolate can set.
  6. SCOFF.

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies

I’m an expert on eating brownies, not making them.  I bake a lot, but the humble brownie is something I’d never bothered to try – until recently.  Now I can’t stop making them (luckily I’ve got plenty of test subjects who are more than willing to scoff my experimental batches!).

Mint-Chocolate Chip Brownies

  • 160g butter/margarine
  • 100g sugar
  • 50g drinking chocolate powder (depending on how strong or weak-tasting it is, you may need to vary the amount)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g milk chocolate (melted)
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • powdered sugar
  • 50g chocolate chips

(You’ll probably notice that I’ve left the mint out of the ingredients list – this is because there are a variety of ways you can add it.  You could add mint flavoured drinking chocolate – which is what I did – or you could swap the milk chocolate for a bar of mint chocolate, or you could add as much freshly chopped mint leaves as you like, as well as a few to decorate 🙂 )

  1. Melt the butter in the microwave (carefully – it makes a right mess if you leave it!), and then stir in the sugar.
  2. Stir in the drinking chocolate powder, and then gradually add the eggs.
  3. Melt your chocolate bar in the microwave (again, keep a close eye – burnt chocolate is unpleasant for two reasons: firstly – because it tastes disgusting, and secondly – wasting chocolate should be against the law) and then stir it in (along with the mint flavouring if you haven’t already).
  4. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
  5. Spoon into an open proof dish and cook at 180 for around 15 minutes, or until you see a nice big crack appear across the top.
  6. Decorate with powdered sugar and chopped mint 🙂