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J is for Jaffas

J

A jaffa is a sweet with an orange flavored outer covering and a chocolate center. They are round in shape, and you’ll often hear jaffas rolling on the floor, especially in the movies. Their round shape makes them escape easily! They’re an Australian and New Zealand institution.

Jaffas

Each year Cadbury’s, the company that makes jaffas in New Zealand, releases 30,000 of their jaffas on Baldwin Street in Dunedin, NZ (the steepest street in the world). This occurs during their chocolate festival.

I like jaffas—it’s the combination of orange and chocolate that takes me back to childhood.

JAFA is also a slang term for an Aucklander. It is short for Just Another F****** Aucklander. I guess, by definition, I am a JAFA Smile

What is your favorite sweet?

Choc Orange Slice

The combo of orange and chocolate is delicious and one that I enjoy very much. The following slice recipe is a winner since it hits both notes. This recipe comes from the book Robyn Martin Bakes.

Choc Orange Slice

Ingredients:

150 grams/5 ounces butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons grated orange rind

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup crushed Weetbix (4 Weetbix)

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons cocoa

Choc Orange Frosting:

1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup icing sugar/confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa

1 tablespoon orange juice

Method:

1. Melt the butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan. To save time and dishes use a large pot.

2. Take off the heat and mix in the walnuts, orange rind and weetbix. Add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and combine well.

3. Line the base of a shallow tin with baking paper and press the mixture into the tin.

4. Bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Frost with the Choc Orange frosting.

Method for Frosting:

1. Mix the condensed milk, icing sugar, cocoa and orange juice until smooth. Spread over base and leave to set.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. The frosting is quite runny but it does set. Cut the slice once the frosting has set.

2. Eat and enjoy! The slice goes great with a cup of tea.

Slow Cooker: Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding

The other night I tried this new recipe for a chocolate pudding. It is from Allyson Gofton’s Slow, a book of recipes for a slow cooker or crockpot. I’ve adapted it slightly for my own purposes.

Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding

Self Sauce Choc Pudding

Ingredients:

3 cups of self-raising flour (I only had plain flour, so I added 3 teaspoons of baking powder)

1/4 cup cocoa

100 grams/7 tablespoons/3.5 ounces butter

1 cup sugar

2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Chocolate sauce:

3 1/2 cups boiling water

1/2 cup dark rum or coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua)

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

Method:

1. Pre-heat your slow cooker on low.

2. Sift the flour and cocoa into the bowl and rub in the butter. (I always grate my butter instead of rubbing it in).

3. Add the sugar and combine.

4. Make a well in the center. Beat the milk, eggs and vanilla and mix into the dry ingredients.

5. Pour the boiling water, the rum/liqueur, sugar and cocoa into the slow cooker. Mix together until incorporated.

6. Spoon the batter into the liquid and cover with lid.

7. Cook on high for one hour then switch to low and cook for another hour.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. This pudding is large and serves eight. There are only two of us so we supplied pudding for the neighbors and everything worked out nicely.

2. We served ours with yoghurt, but cream or ice cream would work just as well.

3. This is excellent comfort food on a cold winter’s night.

4. It was yummy!

5. I’m sorry the photos didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. It was quite late and there was no natural light left.

Choc Pudding in Slow Cooker

 

What is your favorite dessert to have during winter?

Recipe: Chunky Oat Biscuits

Weekend Cooking Meme

Weekend Cooking is a chance to share the food love and is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. On Saturday mornings, publish your post — perhaps a cookbook review or maybe just some favorite food-related quotes.

Make sure to leave a link, so we can read what you have to say. I hope you’ll join in when your weekend (or recent) reading or movie watching fits in with the theme. Remember, the definition of Weekend Cooking is free and easy, if you think your post even remotely fits the theme, grab the button and sign in to Mr. Linky.


Chunky Oat Cookies

This is another new recipe that I’ve tried recently from the 30-Minute Vegetarian by Joanna Farrow. My husband likes this biscuit/cookie because it’s not too sweet. I’m quite fond of them too.

CHUNKY OAT COOKIES

125g/4 oz butter, softened

125g/4 oz caster sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

125g/4 oz porridge oats

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

150g/5 oz plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

175g/6 oz white chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, oats, sunflower seeds, chocolate then add the flour and baking powder. Mix together.

Place dessertspoonfuls of mixture on a greased baking tray and flatten slightly. Bake in a pre-heated oven 180C (350F) Gas Mark 4 for about 15 minutes until risen and golden. Leave to cool on the tray for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Shelley’s notes:

1. I also added dried cranberries to mine. You could add raisins or other dried fruit if preferred.

2. If you prefer milk or dark chocolate use that instead of the white chocolate.

3. This biscuit really did take 30 minutes to prepare and cook.

Hunter’s Decadent Truffles

Weekend CookingI’ve discovered a new meme called Weekend Cooking. It’s hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Since I often post recipes, this is a happy find for me. Follow the link above to Beth’s blog for further info on the meme.

And now to my recipe…

Hunter Blair, one of the heroes from my upcoming release, Eye on the Ball is having trouble in the romance field. He wondered if a box of these truffles might help his cause – at least that’s what he said in my hearing, but this conversation didn’t make the final draft of the book. Here’s the recipe Hunter uses:

Hunter’s Decadent Truffles

Tauranga 076

 

Ingredients:

250 g/1 cup/9 oz cream cheese, softened
500 g/2 cups/18 oz icing sugar (powdered or confectioner’s sugar)
375 g/1.5 cups/13 oz dark chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Sift the icing sugar to remove any lumps and gradually add to the cream cheese until well blended. Melt the chocolate and add to the cream cheese mix until well combined. Refrigerate for about an hour. Once the mix has hardened shape into balls. Roll in nuts, coconut or sprinkles. Refrigerate until eating.

Shelley’s notes.

1. I always make these for Christmas, and since it’s summer down here in New Zealand, the refrigerate until eating instruction is important.

2. I’ve given measurements in grams, cups and ounces. Follow the relevant measurements for your country.

3. For the chocolate – my husband and I like hazelnuts so we use a bar of hazelnut chocolate as part of the chocolate measurement. You could add a few nuts or pieces of dried fruit to the cream cheese mix if desired.

4. I rolled my truffles in coconut, cocoa powder and cupcake sprinkles. Check out the cupcake bling section at your supermarket for different sprinkles. Use your imagination Smile

5. Eat and enjoy with friends.

Corey, the Werewolf, Loves Chocolate, and I Do Too!

Thursday Thirteen

Lone Wolf, my fourth Samhain Publishing release is due out on 23 August. Corey, one of the heroes has a liking for chocolate, which R.J., the other hero indulges.

“Yeah.” R.J. gave him a quick kiss and pulled a small bar of chocolate out of his pocket. He tucked it in Corey’s waistband. “Take care, kid. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

In honor of R.J. and Corey’s story, today I’m giving you a list of my favorite chocolate things.

Thirteen Chocolate Treats That I Adore

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies – I like the ones with huge chunks of chocolate.

2. Pain Au Chocolate – preferably still warm from the oven and partnered with a latte.

3. Hot chocolate – nothing better on a cold winter’s day.

4. Chilli chocolate – very dark chocolate with the bite of chilli peppers. Very yummy!

5. Chocolate cake – rich and moist with thick chocolate icing and partnered with a glass of cold milk.

6. A chocolate milkshake – the thick kind that is hard to drink through a straw.

7. Choccywoccydoodah – I like watching this program on TV. The shop is in Brighton, England, and their cakes look amazing!

8. Whittakers Ghana Peppermint Chocolate – this is New Zealand chocolate. It’s dark chocolate with a mint filling. They have a very cool ad, which is on Youtube, but it has an over 18 warning on it because of nudity. Link to Whittakers’ ad.

9. After dinner mints – I love the combination of chocolate and mint.

10. Moritz ice creams – various flavors of ice cream with a thick coating of chocolate that crackles when you take a bite.

11. Chocolate truffles – hubby makes some delicious ones that have a hint of orange in them. Yum!

12. Double Choc Muffins – for morning tea with a cup of coffee.

13. Scorched Almonds – I usually only eat these at Christmas time. Almonds covered with a thick coating of chocolate. Very addictive because one is not enough.

What is your favorite chocolate item?

Sweet Treat — Chocolate Slice

Chocolate Slice

Here’s the recipe for one of my favorite slices. It’s my father’s favorite too. It’s simple and easy to make and always goes well with a cup of tea or coffee.

250g butter (2.2 sticks/8.8 ounces)
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 T golden syrup
2 cups flour
1 cup coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
chocolate icing (frosting) and extra coconut for decoration

Melt butter, sugar, cocoa and golden syrup in a large saucepan. Do not let the mixture boil. Let it cool then add flour, coconut, baking powder and salt.

Press into a greased and baking paper lined tin and bake at 180C (350F) for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool for another ten minutes. Ice (frost) with chocolate icing. Sprinkle with extra coconut. Cut into squares and store in an airtight tin.

Shelley’s notes:
1. This recipe comes from Seasons, a year of fabulous food by Annabelle White
2. I use the normal bake setting rather than fan bake. If you use fan bake reduce the cooking time.
3. I like to add chopped cranberries or walnut pieces to the mix for a variation. (You’ve probably noticed by now that I like cranberries and add dried cranberries to everything!)

Do you have any favorite slices you like to eat/bake?

Easy Chocolate Mousse: Little Pots of Yummy Goodness

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My husband made these little chocolate mousses last weekend. They were quick and easy to make and delicious! Here’s the recipe:

75 g dark chocolate, chopped and melted. (Use ordinary chocolate rather than chocolate with high cocoa content) (2.5 oz)
2 eggs, separated
25 g butter, melted (1/5 of a stick of butter)
2 Tablespoons caster sugar
1 Tablespoon Tia Maria (optional) We used Kahlua since that’s all we had in the pantry.

Mix the melted chocolate with the egg yolks and butter. Whisk the egg whites and then whisk in the sugar until the mixture is shiny and stiff. Fold the two mixtures together and add the Tia Maria. Divide into four glasses and chill until set. We used espresso cups and garnished the mousse with toasted slivers of almonds. They took 15 minutes to prepare.

Source: Taste Magazine – June 2010

Don’t Go Wine Tasting On An Empty Stomach

After our memorable Cook Strait crossing, we didn’t have much time to have lunch. We grabbed a Subway sandwich each and ate them on the way to our first stop on the wine tour.

There were thirteen of us, and we managed to cover a lot of the world with passengers from New Zealand, Australia, England, Norway and the USA. On the South Island side of the strait it was fine and sunny, so my brother-in-law got the weather right. The Marlborough region sees a lot of sunshine—usually grabbing the highest amount each year—so it’s excellent for growing grapes.

Our first stop was at Drylands, one of the larger vineyards with ties to Australia and the USA. We started with a welcome glass of sparkling wine and gradually worked our way through the list. I like wine, so I sampled most of them—both red and white. Most enjoyable.

The second stop was at Framingham. After another eight or so samples here, and I started to feel the wine. This tour was unlike the samplings I’d done before. Obviously it pays to go on a tour rather than turn up with just hubby. The people behind the counter were most generous with their samples, and we purchased a bottle of Framingham Marlborough Classic Riesling here. For those of you who enjoy wine this is a classic New Zealand, off-dry style wine with rich fruit and a juicy acidity. It has complex varietal characters of lemon citrus, mandarin and stone fruit with a long mineral finish. It’s best served with Asian style cuisine and seafood. Sounds good, right? I intend to have some tonight with my dinner.

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Our next stop was Nautilus Estate where Mr. Munro and I purchased a carton of wine. Nautilus is shipping it home for us. Our quiet bus was growing progressively noisier, and there was much more chatter and laughter by this stage. I was pacing myself, skipping the odd tasting, and I made inroads on their oil/bread samples.

Our final stop was Hunter’s. Hunters is an older vineyard and one of the first in New Zealand to take their wines overseas and scoop gold medals at the wine shows. Mr. Hunter died tragically early in a car accident (age 38) and his wife took over the running of the vineyard. Her name is Jane Hunter and she has received many wine awards, including the inaugural award for women winemakers, world wide. She also has an OBE.

I loved the Hunter wines. In fact there was only one I disliked. Yep, I admit it—I was decidedly tiddly when I left, but I wasn’t alone. We drove to our last stop, the Makana Chocolate Boutique, with the music blaring really loud Beetles and Queen classic hits.

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So, I leave you with a tip—if you intend to hit a wine trail, it’s a good idea to have a hearty meal first. Your head will thank you for it!

Have you been wine tasting before? Do you like wine, and if so, which one is your favorite?

Black Forest Muffins

Whenever I have a cup of coffee in a cafe, I always check out the muffins. Any flavor will do as long as they’re fresh. If I manage to time it when they’re still warm from the oven so much the better. I think muffins are good because they’re reasonably healthy and don’t have as much fat as cream cakes. That’s my reasoning anyway. I also enjoy baking muffins because they’re quick and easy.

When I want to bake a batch I always turn to Alison Holst’s Marvellous Muffin cookbook, which contains recipes for both savory and sweet muffins. The following recipe is an adaptation of her Double Chocolate Muffin recipe. I call them Black Forest Muffins.

Ingredients

1 ¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
¼ – ½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup dried cherries

Place dried cherries in a bowl and add a little boiling water to cover – a few tablespoons. We want to reconstitute the cherries a little. Place other dry ingredients plus chocolate chips in a large bowl. Add the cherries plus the liquid.

Muffins: Dry Ingredients

100 grams of butter (about 8/10 of a stick)
1 egg
1 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter. Beat the egg and combine with the milk, yoghurt and vanilla. Combine with the dry ingredients, folding together until mixed. Do not overmix.

Muffins: Wet Ingredients

Spoon into 12 well-greased medium-size muffin pans or use paper muffin cups. Bake in a hot oven at 200C (400F) for 10 – 12 minutes until centers spring back when pressed lightly.

Muffins: Final Product

Enjoy with good company and a cup of tea or coffee.



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