The moment I saw those Great British Bake-off contestants tackling chocolate bread, I knew I’d be making chocolate babka.
I first heard of chocolate babka in that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and Elaine fail to buy one for a dinner party, but have never made – or eaten – any type of babka until now.
It turns out that making babka is a time-consuming, fiddly labour of love. Part way through the bread-braiding process, I thought “this is the first and last chocolate babka I’m going to make.”
And then I tasted that pillowy sweet dough laced with swirls and knots of chocolate and nuggets of toasted pecan. If I hadn’t been stupified by deliciousness, I could have happily started making another one immediately…;-)
I’ve been meaning to make a kladdkaka for a while. I live with a houseful of pudding lovers, and I expected this would go down a treat. Apparently, it’s very popular in Sweden, and it’s easy to see why. Dense, gooey, chocolatey – what’s not to like? Continue reading
Nanaimo bars are a national institution in Canada. I’d always assumed these delicious bars of nutty, creamy, chocolatey goodness were first in Nanaimo (a town on Vancouver Island) – and research bears this out.
Loved across the country, there was even a knockout round in the first season of MasterChef Canada where competitors had to make desserts inspired by Nanaimo bars. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I made a batch of chilli chocolate brownies to serve after a Mexican meal. While they were tasty (it’s hard to find a brownie I don’t like), the chilli flavour didn’t feel quite right at that point in the evening.
That sparked the idea of making margarita brownies (it’s also hard to find a margarita I don’t like…) Continue reading
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about chocolates is the element of surprise. Shapes can be a giveaway – square toffees, dome-shaped cherries and so on – as is the printed guide when it exists. But until you commit and sink your teeth into a chocolate, you don’t really know what’s inside.
The acute disappointment of biting into a strawberry cream with its cloying taste of cosmetics. The outrage of a square chocolate unpardonably filled with fibrous coconut. The double delight of getting whatever chocolate you and your brother both favour after he went first and chose wrong…;-) Continue reading
There’s been a hiatus in the Great British Bake-off project, but the girls were never going to let me get away without making the double chocolate tart.
Chocolate pastry is new to me. My go-to pastry recipes have little or no sugar, and I wasn’t confident that would be enough to balance the bitterness of the cocoa. The pastry recipe I followed starts by creaming the butter and sugar, which resulted in a biscuity-crisp crust. Continue reading
I can’t see Paul and Mary being very impressed with this 1970s classic… But as a child, I was wowed by it, particularly the stripes. We called it skunk, but it doesn’t appear anyone else did – my Google search on skunk cake brought up very different results!