Made with sour cherries

 

Whole Sour Cherries

Whole Sour Cherries

A wonderful gift to a friend or yourself!

A wonderful gift to a friend or yourself!

I love discovering new and exciting produce to enjoy. Verita Vita do the job for you by saucing the best produce from around the world. The team were kind enough to send me a few things to try. I have started with the Sour Cherries as I love the colour and decadence of them.

Here is what Verita Vita have to say:

 To us food is such a unique cultural experiance because it involves everyone and it has existed forever. We are devoted  to keep discovering  unusual  and high quality ingredients  to help you enhance  your dishes. Cooking is an art, so careful selection of  fresh nutritious ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love.  Love for food and love for those you invite to your table…

 Our love for  great food and the need to share our findings are  the driving force behind all we do, whatever it may be  – searching for the best extra virgin olive oils to bring to you, creating new recipe for a tasty  spread or appetizer,  learning the secrets and traditions of making the perfect preserve, producing pure argan oil in  exotic lands  or exploring  vineyards in quest to find that special wine.

 Our promise to you is that we will keep finding the new , the forgotten and the unusual to make your  experience with food  more enjoyable and more healthy of course. After all ” let  food be your medicine and  medicine be your  food ”  Hippocrates has said.

 

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Sweet and  tangy  flavour  of cherries   with every mouthful. 

A real treat  for your  taste buds  –  just spread on some toasted bread ,  use on  freshly baked  scones ,   yummy on  toasted panetone bread,   add to pancakes,  add to cheese boards ,   use as toppings to   cakes and cheese cakes,   or  use with roasted turkey ,  duck and game meats . Wonderful accompaniment to pate and terines.   Your  only  limitation is your imagination . Enjoy it !!!

 

I find the sour cherries really versatile and they work with so many things.

I enjoyed them with my chick pea pancake and my porridge.

 

Texture, flavour and colour

Texture, flavour and colour

 

Like adding magic to my breakfast

Like adding magic to my breakfast

 

My absolute favourite thing to make with the Sour Cherries so far has been sour cherry fudge brownies. I’m not even kidding when I say I had to give them away as gifts as I was eating them every day! Completely addictive. The sour cherries and chocolate work so well together. It is a match made in heaven. Also, it gave the brownies an amazing texture. With the cherries running through the brownie it was a delight in a bite.

 

Getting ready to bake

Getting ready to bake

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

 

 

DSC_0089

 

Ingredients:

450g Caster Sugar

375g Dark chocolate – melted and cooled

375g Butter

225g Gluten and wheat free flour

35g Verita Vita Sour Cherry

6 free range eggs

Live a roasting tin with baking paper and pre heat your oven to 165/Gas mark 3

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool.

Mix the eggs and sugar together and slowly add the chocolate and butter liquid mix. Mix in the flour ( thoroughly)

Finally stir through the cherries, saving some to drop on top of the mixture.

Bake for 35/40 minutes. You want the inside to be slightly gooey.

Ideally leave over night to develop the taste and fudgy texture.

Sour cherry Brownies. A great gift

Sour cherry Brownies. A great gift

Welcome to my new addiction!


Guilt free cookies

Guilt free cookies

 

 

JANUARY BLUES

As I LOVE Christmas I do get a bit of the January blues. December is when you can eat cake and chocolate and people encourage and celebrate this. Then a few weeks later we are in January and its frowned upon. We are bound to New Year resolutions, gym memberships and detox diets. I find it all very depressing. However, I will power through January and try to limit the damage…. To do this I need to have my sweet fix so I don’t feel completely deprived of all the good things in life….

These little cookies may look rather rustic but they taste great and contain not sugar or butter. I kid you not. They are super simple to make, completely versatile and whats more they are good for you!

Ingredients:

150g chick flour (gram flour) You can also use spelt flour

50g ground almonds

1 large egg

85g coconut oil, gently melted.  (ideally extra virgin)

35g chopped walnuts

35g of mixed raisins and sultanas

teaspoon of cinnamon 

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl

 

All of the ingredients are mixed together. Simple.

All of the ingredients are mixed together. Simple.

Shape into cookie size rounds and place on a baking tray/sheet

 

Shped cookies ready to be baked.

Shped cookies ready to be baked.

Bake for around 9 minutes in a pre heated over ( 160 )

I like to drizzle a tiny bit f honey or Agave Nectar over mine… Enjoy with a cup of tea.


 

 

Sweet ingredients for cake

 

CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES

 

Pre heat your oven to 175/325/Gas 3 and line a muffin tin with 10 cupcake/muffin classes

This is my favourite time of year. The month of December has a magical feel to it. I am also addicted to baking with Christmas spices.

You will need:

100g light muscovado sugar

50g caster sugar

150g butter

2 medium eggs

150g self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

25g rasins

50g dark chocolate, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

half a teaspoon of all spice

pinch of salt

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This will take quite a while. I find the muscava

Mmm tuck in….

Mmm tuck in….

do sugar takes a lot longer to cream. However, if you have a very powerful machine such as a kitchenAid it probably wont take that long. Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate over a bain marie and allow to cool ( but not set)

Combine the flour, spices, salt and baking powder together and add two tablespoons to the dry mixture. Add one egg and combine. Add the second egg and gently combine.

Add the remaining flour and gently mix to combine. Add the chocolate and mix until combined and lastly add the raisins.

Spoon or pipe into cupcake cases. Fill just over half way.

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until golden and spring back to the touch. You can also insert a cocktail stick/cake skewer to see if it comes out clean.

Place on a baking tray. once cooled slightly remove from the muffin tray.

All to cool.

For the Buttercream:

250g soft slightly salted butter

300g icing sugar

100g dark chocolate

100g milk chocolate

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie and allow to cool.

Cream together the butter and icing sugar.

Mix in the melted chocolate and whisk for at least 5 minutes.

If the mixture is quite loose allow it to firm up in the fridge.

Once you have piped the buttercream you can decorate with home made or shop bought decorations.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

 


Halloween cupcakes

Halloween cupcakes

Chocolate chunks that keep the chunky shape event when baked!
Chocolate chunks that keep the chunky shape event when baked!

 

Recipe:

100g caster sugar

50g light brown Muscovado sugar

150g unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

125g self raising flour

25g cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

60g Dr.Oetker white chocolate chip chunks

2 – 3 tablespoons of whole milk at room temperature

Buttercream

250g unsalted butter

300g icing sugar

2 tsp Dr.Oetker natural Peppermint extract

green food colouring

2 – 6 tablespoons of whole milk at room temperature

Method.

Pre heat your oven to 170/350/gas 3

Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases

Cream the sugars, vanilla and butter together until pale and fluffy.

sift the cocoa powder and flour into a bowl

Add a tablespoon of the flour mixture and a third of the eggs. Repeat until all the eggs are combined

Gently combine the remaining flour

At this point you may wish to add some of the milk. You are looking for a ‘dropping’ consistency. You do not want the mixture to be loose as it will not hold the chocolate  chunks.

Gently mix in the chocolate chunks.

Bake for 20 minutes of until springy to the touch.

Buttercream.

Place the icing sugar, chopped butter, peppermint and colouring into a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.

If the mixture is dense or thick add a tablespoon of the milk at a time.

Tip – for a pastel colour add a small amount of food colouring. You can keep adding until you achieve the desired amount.

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Witches Hat:

Please book onto one of our classes and our teacher will be more than happy to show you how to make a hat and many other edible decorations.

Happy Halloween!

info@thecocoabox.co.uk

 

 

 

 


Chocolate chunk cookie dough

Chocolate chunk cookie dough

Amazing and delicious chocolate chunk cookies
Amazing and delicious chocolate chunk cookies

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s raining – we need cheering up!  What better way than to bake some chocolate chunk cookies to have with a cup tea.

I made a huge batch of these and then baked them over a few days. I kept the cookie dough in the fridge. I like them warm ( good times)

 

Pre heat your oven to 190/170 fan/ gas 5

Line 2 or 3 baking trays with parchment

Ingredients:

150g of soft butter, I only had salted to had and it worked well for me.

80g Golden caster sugar

80g caster sugar

1 large free range egg

225g of plain flour

Half a teaspoon of bicarb

200g Dr.Oetker chocolate chunks.

2 teaspoons of limited edition caramel flouring by Dr.Oetker

100g chopped pecans – optional

How to make the cookie dough:

I used my Morphy Richard’s stand mixer but you can do this by hand if you don’t have a mixer.

In a large bowl ( of mixer) beat the rebutter and sugar together

Sift in the bicarb and flour and mix in with the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon

Add in the Dr.Oetker chocolate chunks / chopped nuts and mix

Allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and using a teaspoon or tablespoon ( I like monster cookies) shape into mounds and add to the baking tray. Leave at least 2 inches between each cookie as they will spread.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until turning golden at the edges.

Allow to cool slightly so they become firm.

Put the kettle on…..

 

 

 

 

 

 


Come to mama! These little treats are so naughty you almost need to go to church after you have eaten one.

Simple to make and LUSH!

The recipe:

150g margarine or butter

150g caster sugar

100g self raising flour

50g cocoa powder

2 eggs

fresh raspberry’s

 

Gnash

200g dark chocolate

300g heavy or double cream

Makes around 10 or 11 cupcakes

Oven – 160

cook for 18 to 20 minutes

Raspberry cupcakes with a chocolate ganache

 

 

 

 

How to make these bad boys.

Cream margarine and sugar so it becomes pale and fluffy

add the eggs

sieve the flour and cocoa powder and slowly mix gradually getting faster.

Lastly add in the chopped raspberry’s and stir.

Once the mixture is at ‘dropping’ consistency then spoon into cupcake cases.

mixture

 

 

 

 

Tip:

If the mixture is thick and not ‘dropping’ consistency I suggest you add a table spoon of whole milk. Sometimes the cocoa powder can make the mixture a bit dry.

If your oven is really hot cook at 150 (my oven only need to be on 150 to cook them in 18 minutes..)

Allow to cool.

For the Ganache:

Heat the cream in a saucepan on a medium heat. You don;t want to bring the cream to boiling point.

When it is a sneeze away from boiling take off the heat.

Add in the chocolate and gently stir.

 

cream and choc gnash

 

 

 

 

making gnash

 

 

 

 

 

 

gnash

 

 

 

 

Believe it or not I used half fat double cream from M&S.

Leave the gnash to cool then smooth over the cupcakes. Decorate with a raspberry.

eaten one

 

 

 

 

Note:

With the left over gnash I am going to keep it in the fridge over night and make truffles in the morning. I will blog this tomorrow…


Light and east blueberry cupcakes for Summer

Light and easy blueberry cupcakes for Summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you want to be healthy as well as naughty? I understand.

Look no further than blueberry cupcakes. A super food no less. Packed with goodness the humble blueberry is genius.

The cupcake:

150g flour

2 eggs, beaten

vanilla pod or teaspoon of vanilla extract

150g butter

150g sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk

20 blueberry’s

blueberry cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

What to do?

 

With this recipe I decided to throw caution to the wind and I put ALL the ingredients apart from the blueberry’s in a bowl. I whisked with a hand whisk ( I didn’t use the kenwood mixer) until the mixture was at dropping consistency.

I then used a knife to cut the blueberry’s in half and add them to the mixture. I did this so the colour would run into the mixture.

I baked in 18 minutes on 150. However, you may need to have your oven higher. GeT to know your oven and it’s hot spots. It will make your baking life so much easier.

Tip?

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcakes cases as any drips on the edges will burn.

Butterfrosting

250g SOFT butter – must be lovely and soft. You can use salted or un salted.

300g icing sugar

Vanilla – pod or extract

Baby blue food coloring

Whole milk (if mixture isn’t fluffy enough)

Place EVERYTHING into a bowl and hand whisk until you think your arm may fall off…it takes ages to get the butterfrosting nice and light.

Failing that do what I do and save up and buy a Kenwood. Put it all in and let the machine do the work. It is worth the price tag.

I used a LARGE STAR tube and a disposable piping bag.

I also made little butterfly’s from cutters and baby pink sugarpaste.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate philly cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia and Cadbury chocolate philly!

Honestly, it’s amazing if you have a sweet tooth.  I admin its not for high end entertaining but for fun its great.

I think its perfect for making and baking with children,

Here’s what I did.

I used two tubs of the chocolate cream cheese and 1 120g bar of Cadbury milk chocolate.

chocy

 

 

 

 

 

 

I melted the bar of chocolate over some hot water then left it aside to cool and thicken.

choc 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then creamed 150g of butter and 150g of caster sugar. I then added two eggs and 150g of self raising flour and slowly mixed.

When my mixture was at dropping consistent I then spooned in the melted chocolate.

mixing choc

 

 

 

 

I then piped the mixture into cupcake cases.

pipe philly

 

 

 

 

Bake for 20 minutes of 160 or until golden brown. Allow to cool.

Take the two cold tubs of Cadbury chocolate Philadelphia and empty into a bowl.

Add 100g of icing sugar and gently mix in.

I then piped the mixture onto the cupcakes.

cream choc

 

 

 

 

finished


Bad girl cupcakes

Bad girl cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla cupcakes with caramel butter frosting and shaving of orange milk chocolate...

 

Is it wrong?

So the basic sponge is as per usual.

150g margarine or butter

150g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

 

CREAM – I’m using a fab KitchenAid

 

Add 2 eggs

Sift 150g of self raising flour

 

MIX – start slowly and work gradually faster.

 

Spoon or pipe into cupcake cases.

 

BAKE – they should be golden brown.

 

CARAMEL

 

125g of caster sugar – caramelize in a hot pan. I just add the sugar and stirr – I don’t use water – you may wish to watch this video as it is the same process but without the chocolate

 

80g of gently warmed cream

 

Once the sugar is caramelized gently add the warmed cream.

 

STIR – Leave to cool but not harden!

 

http://www.thecocoabox.co.uk/index.php?option=com_seyret&view=video&id=1&videotitle=CARAMEL+FUDGE&Itemid=78

 

BUTTERFROSTING

 

One block of unsalted butter

300g of icing sugar

3 – 4 table spoons of cream

 

MIX – I use my KitchenAid – tip – I cover in a damp cloth to stop the plumes of icing sugar.

DSC_1078

 

 

 

 

Mix in the caramel to the butterfrosting

whisk

 

 

 

 

 

PIPE – I then used a grater to shave chocolate – like it isn’t sweet enough……
done

 


Light and fluffy chocolate cake

Light and fluffy chocolate cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really needed a chocolate fix yesterday in the form of a chocolate so I whipped this up.

 

Ideally it should be eaten the next day but AS IF… that just doesn’t happen in my house I am sorry to say.

 

Ingredients:

 

250g milk or dark chocolate

140g of butter

120g caster sugar

4 eggs

2 tablespoons of self raising flour

2 drops of almond extract – optional

Round cake tin, greased

Icing sugar to decorate

 

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over boiling water

BUT N CHOC

 

 

 

 

 

Stir in half of the sugar and 4 egg yolks. Add the almond extract

CHO N YOLKS

 

 

 

Add the flour

FLOUR

 

 

 

 

Whisk the egg whites to firm peaks and then gently mix into the chocolate batter until completely combined.

Pour into the round tin ( it needs to be quite deep) or you can use a loaf tin.

Bake on 180 for 35 minutes.

EGG WHITES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave to cool in the tin before you remove. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with a cup of tea.