Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots

According to my husband, I’m the only person who, when there’s a spare half bottle of cream in the fridge, says “Oh a half bottle of cream? I need to make salted caramel sauce”.  Except tonight, I had a craving for chocolate as well, and I’d had this recipe for Chocolate Pots on my to do list for ages so I combined the two and, well, here you go.

This dessert has only 4 ingredients (none of them healthy) but noone said this was a health  blog.  It’s a pretty quick and easy recipe to make in the morning and then have ready for dinner.  If you can avoid eating them for that long…

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The key to the salted caramel not being too sweet is to take the caramel as far as you dare.   It will start to smoke and you’ll think “oh god it’s going to burn” and then it will start to foam a little and someone will say “what are you burning in there” and then just when you think it’s all over and you’ll spend the next half hour cleaning burnt sugar off the pots, drop in your butter and cream and it will be amazing.image

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots (serves 4)

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
45g salted butter
60ml cream

Melt sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat until it starts to melt and then darken.  Swirl the pan (don’t stir it) to ensure it caramelises evenly.  The pan will start to smoke, when the caramel starts to foam and darkens to a dark amber colour, drop in the butter and then stir in the cream, taking care it doesn’t spit and foam on you.  I find I can turn off the heat at this point and the residual heat is enough to melt any hardened caramel into the sauce, but if you still have hard lumps, leave it on the heat and stir until it’s smooth. Taste the sauce, add a pinch more flaky sea salt if you think it’s required (I like my salted caramel on the saltier side). Leave to cool a little before you assemble the pots.  Any residual sauce can be kept in the fridge and served over icecream.  Or just eaten with a spoon.

Chocolate Pots
125ml cream
100g dark chocolate (I used Whittakers 62% which was nice and dark and not too sweet)
20g butter

Melt cream, chocolate and butter over a low heat and stir gently until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Let cool.

To assemble:
Spoon two tablespoons of caramel sauce into the bottom of 4 125ml ramekins. Chill until set.  Gently divide the chocolate between the ramekins.  They will be about 3/ 4 full.  Sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt on top, cover with gladwrap and refrigerate until set. Remove from fridge about 1/2 hour before serving.

These turned out super rich and decadent – the recipe would definitely work as 6 smaller desserts, especially if serving after a bigger meal.

Flu fighter

Recipes of chocolate cake and a smoky pulled pork have gone on hold today as I try and fight off the bugs that my kids have been spreading round.  At least the sun is shining and there’s a distinct feel in the air that spring may be on it’s way.

I love my NutriBullet to get a few more serves of veges into my day. This one is packed with greens and vitamin C with a hit of ginger to fend off the colds…

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Flu Fighter Smoothie

1 cup spinach greens, washed
1 cup pineapple, fresh or frozen (about 1/6 of a whole pineapple)
1/4 lemon, skin on
knob of ginger, to taste
coconut water to fill

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and there are no big bits of spinach.  I find this takes about 30-40 seconds. If you are using fresh pineapple you might want to add a small handful of ice cubes to chill the drink down.

Drink, and rest.

Feel free to substitute kale for spinach, and regular water for coconut water. 

Seeing Purple

Have you ever had purple cauliflower?  I bought one the other day purely because it was cheaper than regular white cauliflower.  And I was wondering what it would look like pureed into babyfood.  Tastes pretty much the same as regular cauliflower to be honest.  Apparently full of antioxidants – bonus!

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Dipping my toes in

It’s been a very long time since I posted anything here.  Not even sure if anyone is reading.  I won’t bother to come up with some long lengthy explanation/excuse, only life got in the way and now the fog has cleared a little from my brain and I’ve got the passion for being in the kitchen back!

Last week I baked up a storm for one of my besties who married her love on a beautiful summers day.  I’ve made a wedding cake before but not such a traditional rolled white fondant one.  Let’s just say my fondant rolling and applying need a bit of work.  Onwards and upwards.  I still think it looked pretty awesome.  And was twice as big as it needed to be.  Noone ever complained about too much cake, right??  I’ll post the recipes soon.

 

Cinnamon Loaf

I didn’t get to bake the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe this week, unfortunate given it was one of my favourite things – Chocolate Truffle Tartlets.  I’ve been feeling a little under the weather so baking has been off the agenda over the weekend, which was when I planned to bake the scrummy looking recipe.  If you want to still follow the bakers, this weeks recipe was hosted by A Whisk and a Spoon, Spike, Good Eats and Cook Book Habit.  I’m looking forward to seeing what they all came out with, seeing as I’m absolutely planning to try this recipe at some point soon.

However, last week while patiently waiting for settlement day on our new house, I decided to pass the time one evening and get baking.  I seem to be on a bit of a cinnamon roll (excuse the pun).  After the success of the cinnamon swirl loaves for the first Tuesdays with Dorie post, I got to unpacking all the baking stuff from the holidays and found the cinnamon, which got me hunting through my book for the next best thing to cinnamon bread – coconut and cinnamon loaf. As my husband keeps pointing out to me, just because it’s baked in a loaf tin, doesn’t mean it’s healthy, and he’s right, this is much more of a cake/loaf than a healthy bread, but that didn’t stop us eating pretty much the whole loaf in just a couple of days!!!!

I first tried this loaf at Bill Grangers Sydney cafe, Bills, when my now-husband and I visited Sydney for our first overseas trip together.  We were visiting a friend who was living in Sydney temporarily for work, and I made three hungry boys queue up outside Bills on a Saturday morning to get a table for brunch.  And was it ever worth it!!  That breakfast is ingrained on my mind, and after nabbing myself a copy of Bill’s Sydney Food book, the scrambled eggs, corn fritters and coconut loaf earned themselves a place in my handwritten cookbook (reserved only for tried and true, must cook recipes!).

The loaf is slightly on the sweet side, and if you managed to not eat it all in the first go, it slices and toasts really well – opinions differ in my household as to whether it’s best with just plain butter (me the purist), or with lime marmalade (my husband’s choice).

The next two recipes for TWD have just been announced and they look even more fun than the first two.  Um hello – rugelach (pastries made of cream-cheese dough, spread with jam and nuts, cut into wedges and rolled up to resemble mini croissants).  And Irish Soda bread – so appropriate for St Pats Day.  Looking forward to getting properly back in the kitchen soon.

Coconut Loaf (recipe by Bill Granger)

2 eggs
300ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2½ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup caster sugar
150 g shredded Coconut (I use threaded coconut but you could use unsweetened dessicated, or flaked)
75g unsalted butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 180°C and lightly butter a loaf tin.

Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla essence together in a jug.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon, and combine with sugar and coconut.  Stir in the milk/egg mixture until combined, then add melted butter and stir until that’s combined too.

Pour into loaf tin and bake for about 1 hour.  I usually test at about 45-50 minutes with a skewer to check if it’s done – if the skewer comes out clean it’s ready!

Resist the urge to cut into this when it’s still warm, as it doesn’t cut as well to make nice clean slices.

You can serve dusted with icing sugar, also I’ve read that lime butter goes well which might be a nice compromise in our household to try next time!!

2012

Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve been here but due to a different kind of “baking” that’s been going on in my belly for the last 4 months, I’ve been a bit off my food lately! Also just to top it off, we have bought a new house and will be moving in 4 weeks, which is super exciting as I’ll finally be able to have some room to move in my kitchen! The new kitchen also has lots of windows perfect for taking photos, so I’m looking forward to being able to really get excited about cooking again!!! Whilst packing I have also found lots of tools and gadgets that have been languishing in the back of my difficult to reach cupboards, and have rediscovered old cookbooks that were lost in the depths of the bookshelves.

We’re going to be in transit for a few more weeks so it will be a bit slow round here for a little while longer, but I do have some baby shower baking to do in the next week or so, and I hope to share the result of Project Wedding cake once I track down some of the photos. Stay posted, promise 2012 will pick up around here!!!!

Weekend

I realised today that I’ve been a bit remiss about blogging the last couple of weeks. Seeing as writing my weekend plans seemed to help me actually follow through:

Planning to try a bagel recipe I found
Replicate a hummingbird recipe that I tried and needs a few tweaks, as I have a few bananas that need using
Perhaps a visit to a market, perhaps Clevedon or Takapuna
Need to restock my freezer with some slow cooked meals and soups
Make stock to clear out the chicken and beef bones that are in my freezer, to make room for aforesaid meals

So let’s see how this goes