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Cover: Loco for cocoa

Recipes with puddings

12May 12

Chocolate Minty Cheesecake

Minty Chocolate CheesecakeMint and vanilla cheesecake makes for a fantastic flavour combination, but if you like mint chocolate, this dessert is for you. Chocolate Minty Cheesecake has a crunchy biscuit base, topped by a cream cheesecake with chocolate mint crunches in every mouthful. It is great for parties, and children love it.  Best served freestanding as it cuts nicely into wedges. You’ll need a loose bottom or spring-form tin to do the presentation justice.

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • 60g digestive biscuits
  • 120g milk chocolate digestive biscuits
  • 60g butter

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 1 tbsp powdered gelatine (or equivalent in gelatine sheets)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 225g full fat soft cheese
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 115g mint chocolate crisp wafers or sticks
  • 2 eggs
  • 115ml whipping cream

Preparation Guidelines:

The base:

  1. Grease a deep, loose bottom, or spring-form tin (7 to 8 inches).
  2. Crush the biscuits either in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or in a mixer.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the biscuits.
  4. Spoon into the base of the tin, and press down a little with the back of the spoon.
  5. Put to chill in the fridge.

The topping:

  1. While the base sets, sprinkle the gelatine over the water in a small bowl. Melt over a pan of hot water and leave to cool slightly.
  2. Beat the soft cheese together with half the castor sugar in a bowl.
  3. Break up the mint wafers or sticks, reserving a few for decoration, and stir into the cheese mixture.
  4. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the cheese mix.
  5. Beat in the cooled gel mixture.
  6. Whip the cream until thick, and fold in.
  7. Leave the mixture until it is on the point of setting (30 mins in fridge).
  8. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then beat in the remaining sugar.
  9. Fold the egg white and sugar; mix lightly but thoroughly into the cheese mix.
  10. Spoon into prepared base, tilt gently to level the surface, and chill in the fridge for a further 3-4 hrs.

To Serve:

Turn out of the tin and decorate with remaining mint wafers or sticks.

Note:    If you don’t have a loose bottomed or spring-form tin, use a flat-based glass dish; your dessert will look like a minty version of Eton Mess when you dish up, but it will still taste great.

Time:  30-40 mins to prepare, 3-4 hrs or overnight to set in fridge

Cocoa Treats:  8 servings

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01May 12

Dark Chocolate and Orange Mousse

Dark chocolate and orange mousseThis exquisitely intense dark chocolate and orange mousse is very simple and quick to put together.

But first… a little background story…

Quetzalcoatl and the cultivation of cocoa

We have to thank the ancient Mayan people for their gift of chocolate to the world.  The Aztecs originally gave it to the Spaniards because they mistook them for gods.  Maybe this is because the Spanish wore armour, and their commanders sported helmets with plumes – which would in the eyes of the Aztecs have linked them to the plumed serpent and guardian deity of the precious cocoa plants, Quetzalcoatl.  Legend has it that Quetzalcoatl was the one who revealed the secrets of the cocoa plant to his worshippers.  He showed them how to cultivate the tree and harvest and prepare the beans.  Quetzalcoatl is the father of all dark chocolatedesserts such as this trifle of four chocolates.

So, in honour of the tale, here is a fittingly dark chocolate Mousse.  It really is a pure celebration of taste and flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 150g good dark chocolate, Lindt 70%, or a darker one if you prefer, broken into pieces
  • 100g bar of Lindt Orange Intense chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 150g marshmallows
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 284ml tub of double cream
  • 45ml hot water, from a kettle that has boiled and left to cool a little
  • 3 tbsp Cointreau – optional… if you happen to have it in the house… if not, the recipe is perfectly scrumptious without it, just up the hot water content to 60ml.

Preparation Guidelines:

  1. Melt the chocolate, butter and marshmallows together over a gentle heat in a heavy-based saucepan, stirring occasionally.
  2. Whilst the mixture is melting, pour the double cream into a mixing bowl and whip it into a thick consistency.
  3. Once the chocolate mixture is molten and combined, take the pan off the heat and stir in the Cointreau.
  4. Fold the cream gently into the cooling chocolate until smoothly and evenly mixed.
  5. Portion the mousse out into 4-6 serving dishes and either enjoy it straight away, or pop it in the fridge for later, or even the next day – if you can wait that long!
Note: For a nice presentation, try placing orange slices on the bottom of the glass as well as one on top.

Time: 30 minutes preparation time

Cocoa Treats: for 4 – 6 people

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10Apr 12

Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Chocolate Cake in a MugWell, here’s a little something completely different from the classic chocolate fudge cake.  There’s nothing posh about this cocoa treat, oh no… but chocolate cake in a mug is fast, fun and tasty to throw together for a mid-week pudding for the kids, or just for yourself whenever you need a little comfort food (shhhh don’t tell anyone).  If you’re making it just for one, simply halve the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tbsp self-raising flour
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 8 tbsp caster sugar
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 6 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 6 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Splash of vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs

You will also need 2 large mugs

Preparation Guidelines:

Split all of the ingredients by half into 2 large mugs. Or, you can simply mix everything together in a bowl, then transfer the mixture evenly into the 2 mugs before cooking.

  1. First add all of the dry ingredients and stir them together with a teaspoon.
  2. Add the egg and thoroughly work the mixture together with the spoon.
  3. Add the oil and the milk and stir again.
  4. Splash in the vanilla essence, pour in the chocolate chips, and keep mixing.
  5. Cook the mixture in the mugs; put each mug in separately for 3 minutes (timing is for a 1000W microwave).
  6. Allow the cup to cool enough to handle it before you dig in to your yummy chocolate cake in a mug.

Note:    The cake mixture should rise over the top of the mug during cooking.

This cake is also really tasty eaten hot with vanilla ice cream, or any other flavour for that matter.  If you fancy it this way, simply transfer it to a bowl to serve and add the ice cream; the combination of hot cake and the ice cream will be wonderful!

Time: 5 minutes to prepare, 3 minutes to cook in the microwave for each mug of cake.

Cocoa Treats: Makes enough for 2 large mugs of cake!

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