Tag: chocolate

Chocolate swirl meringues

Meringues are the most pleasurable desserts to make from start to finish. From separating the eggs, whisking up a sky of fluffy clouds, shaping them into pretty petticoats, these sweet confections are simply magical. When I was small, I always imagined clouds tasted like vanilla meringues. Slightly crisp on the outside, creamy yet airy inside. As intimidating as they may look, meringues are actually very simple to make as long as you follow a few basic rules. Always whisk egg whites at room temperature, add sugar little by little, and try to keep the whisk as horizontal as possible. It is similar to creating foam, which is a collection of bubbles. The cornflour acts as a binding agent, and the sugar stiffens the foam. The best part of these meringues is folding in the cocoa powder. It instantly forms beautiful long ribbon-like swirls. When baked the cocoa somehow melts inside creating a meringue filled with a soft chocolate fondant. I call this culinary art. These chocolate swirl meringues are timeless delights. I love them best served with crème Chantilly (whipped cream) and semi-drenched in a luxurious dark chocolate sauce.

6 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1 + 1/2 tsp cornflour (I use maïzana)
2 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder
A pinch of fine salt
320 g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 140° C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Meringues:(makes about 5-6 meringues)

In a large glass bowl, whisk the egg whites (I use a pair of electric whisks) and salt on a high-speed until frothy – try to keep the whisk position as horizontal as possible. Add the cornflour and sugar (1-2 tbsp at a time) gradually and continue whisking. You should add the sugar in small quantities until the end of the process. When the egg whites form stiff peaks (this usually takes about 10-15 minutes), gently fold in the cocoa powder. You should create nice swirls in the egg whites. With the help of two large slotted spoons, spoon the egg whites onto the parchment-lined baking tray. The meringues should be about 10-12 cm large and 6 cm high. ‘Twirl’ your spoon around and finish off with a spiky peak. Finally ‘dust’ some cocoa powder on top of each meringue and use a small fork to gently draw a few more swirls.
Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, switch off the oven, and leave them to cool inside the oven with the door slightly open for 15 minutes.

Chocolate sauce:

40 g good-quality cocoa powder
100 ml water
50 g sugar
40 g golden syrup (or corn syrup)
20 g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

Mix the cocoa powder, water, sugar, golden syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a soft boil. Remove from heat and add dark chocolate pieces. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Set aside at room temperature for an hour before serving.

These little ‘meringues’ have been out of the oven for 3 weeks!

Cake pops

I recently started doing these for my son’s birthday in March, then I carried on doing them for my daughter’s birthday last week. They look so pretty and delicious, it’s an irresistible attraction for any occasion.  You can make any variety of cake pops – the classic one are shaped round like a small golf ball, but you can pretty much make them in any shapes you like.  I bought a very cute cake pop mold in the shape of a cupcake, you can order one at   They always end up being the main attraction at a birthday party, and you can cover them in a plastic wrap (like the ones they ahve in lollipop candy stores) and tie it up in a pretty ribbon – perfect gifts for your little guests when they leave the party.

Here’s the recipe for a standard cake pop made with chocolate cake.

Chocolate cake
Candy sticks
Chocolate icing
Chocolate for melting (dark, milk, or white – it’s your choice!)
Colourful sprinkles, dried coconut etc… for decorating
Polystyrene or cardboard box to stick the pops

Bake a chocolate cake (any cake will do, even leftover cakes).  When the cake is cooled crumble it all up. (If you wish to only use half of your cake you can keep it in the freezer for next time).

Add 2 tablespoons of chocolate icing (either bought from store like Betty Crocker), or even better home-made chocolate frosting (see recipe).  Add enough so the consistency is not too moist so you can roll the dough into small balls.

Put your chocolate balls on a plate or a Tupperware and leave it to cool and harden in the fridge for 30 minutes.  They will be firm and easy to work with.

When the balls are ready, melt the chocolate of your choice in either a microwave-safe bowl or in a casserole over boiling water.  Once melted, dip the tip of the candy stick in the chocolate and stick it in the center of the chocolate ball.  Then proceed with the entire pop cake.  Dip it gently until all covered and wait a few seconds to let it drip.  Repeat with remaining cake pops.  Stick each cake pop in the polystyrene or cardboard to let them drip and dry, and decorate to your liking with multicoloured pearls, dried coconut and candies.  Let it stand in the fridge or a cool place for 15 minutes if possible.

Oreo cookie cupcake pop

This is so good & simple!

2 packs of Oreo cookies

Cream cheese

Chocolate for melting & dipping

Cupcake cake pop mold (see picture)

Crumble the Oreo cookies in the food processor along with 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese (I use kiri or Philadelphia cheese).  Be careful not to process the mixture too fine – I like to keep the Oreo cookies chunky so you can see the white and brown of the mixture.

Take enough dough to fit in the mold and press firmly till you achieve the desired shape.  Once finished, put the cupcake pops on a parchment covered plate and store in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Do the same as above for the chocolate melting.

When ready, dip the tip of the candy sticks in the darker chocolate (milk or dark – it’s your choice) and stick it in the center of the base of the cake.  Then proceed in the dipping – make sure to only dip the part that is the base of the cupcake.  Then let it drip a few seconds and proceed with the others.  Once finished melt the white chocolate and add a few drops of your favourite colour (pink for me!).  Dip the top part of the cake in order to achieve a ‘cupcake’.

Stick each cake pop in the polystyrene or cardboard to let them drip and dry, and decorate to your liking with multicoloured pearls and candies.  Let it stand in the fridge or a cool place for 15 minutes if possible.

Chocolate cake à la crème de marron (chestnut cream)

For chestnut cream and chocolate lovers, this is the business! This cake, so popular with my family and friends, is rich in chocolate flavour with an underlying taste of chestnut vanilla cream. Pure satisfaction.

Perfect for any occasions, I baked it for my husband’s birthday today!

435 grs tin sweetened chestnut purée (available in most supermarkets)
140 ml double cream or crème fraîche
50 grs butter (softened)
5 egg whites
80 grs caster sugar
300 grs dark chocolate , melted
6 tbsp plain flour

Pre-heat oven to 150C

Mix the chestnut puree with the double cream/crème fraîche and butter. Melt until smooth. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl and gradually add the caster sugar (when the egg whites start becoming firm) to make a meringue mixture.
Mix the chestnut mixture with the chocolate and flour and fold in the meringue mix. Spoon into a lined caked tin (24cm approx.) and bake for 50 minutes. Let the cake set at least 1 hour. I usually bake it well in advance so it becomes like ‘velvet’ in texture by the time I serve it. Serve with whipped cream.

The best chewy chocolate chunk cookies

Preheat oven 175 degrees (350 farenheit)

225 g butter, softened
125 g white sugar
150 g packed muscovado sugar
2 eggs
10 ml vanilla extract
350 g all-purpose flour
5 g baking soda
10 ml hot water
pinch of salt
200-250 g black chocolate roughly chopped in small chunks (or chocolate chips if you prefer)

Cream the butter with the white and brown sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla, baking soda (mixed with the hot water to dissolve), salt and flour. Mix well and add the chocolate chunks (or chips). I like to make my own chunks but chocolate chips are good too. Instead of black chocolate, you can use white, praline, milk chocolate. As you like!

Take a teaspoon and create a little ball and line them up on a non-stick cookie pan. Make sure the portions are not too big or your cookies will be too large. Bake for 10 min max – you want them chewy in the middle. Remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!