Tag Archives: chocolate

Home-Made Ice Lollies

Home-made ice lollies are Fab! and can be as ordinary or as fancy as you like.  I bought a lolly mould some years ago which makes eight lollies and the moulds have little lids which you shove the sticks through.  They are easy to clean and I use the sticks again and again.

Chocolate & Banana Angel Delight awaits the moment when it will become...

At the end of the summer, shops often have loads of lolly moulds on sale.  A few years ago, a local farmer had a batch of misshapen strawberries going begging and it happened to coincide with a sale in Sainsburys and I bought ten packs of lolly moulds for about a fiver and made strawberry lollies for my sons’ school.

You don’t even need a lolly mould, plastic cups can work just as well and you can still rinse them out and use them again and again.  Save lolly sticks from when you buy ready-made lollies and you can use them for your own brand.
If you use a plastic cup, freeze the lolly until it is firm slush, then put the stick in.

If you want to make batches of lollies, gets some food bags with tie seals, take the lollies out of the moulds, seal them into individual bags and pop them back in the freezer.  This way you can use up gluts of fruit or take advantage of special offers in the shops.

Allow a minimum of three hours for them to freeze.

There are lots of things you can use to make lollies:-

... an out of focus but nonetheless delicious Ice Lolly!

Pure fruit juice
Undiluted squash or cordial
Angel Delight / Instant Whip/ or whatever your shop calls an instant, whipped dessert made with milk
Ice cream mix
Pureed fruit
Pureed fruit mixed with cream
Fizzy drinks
Jelly
Condensed milk

And you make them look more interesting by layering the contents:-

Fill the containers half or a third full and freeze them
When they’re frozen, add the next layer and so on
If you’re using Angel Delight, chose two different colours and just put one in first and the next one straight on top then freeze them
Why not try a jelly base, then fruit puree, then Angel Delight then dip it in cream for a frozen ‘Trifle’ on a stick
Add chocolate drops or little bits of chopped fruit or nuts
If you’re really clever, put the lolly moulds at an angle so it freezes on the diagonal
Stuff a piece of flake or chocolate near the middle, allowing room for the stick (this works particularly well with the creamy ice lollies)

And the final touch:-

When you pull them out of the mould you can:-
Dip the ends in sugar strands, chopped nuts, chocolate sprinkles, hundreds and thousands etc
Leave them to melt just a tiny bit and roll the whole thing in sprinkles
Dip them in cream or melted chocolate which will freeze immediately

Suck on a frozen trifle or strawberries and cream whilst watching Wimbledon!

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Filed under Children, Food, Recipes

Chocolate Crispy Cakes – for the able and less able

I haven’t made chocolate crispy cakes since I was ever so wee, and they are generally considered to be a recipe which an amoeba with acronyms could manage.  Despite being an accomplished and confident cook, The Wartime Housewife Buggered It Up. (Sounds like an Enid Blyton re-vamp – I shall publish at once).

I had two bars of milk chocolate in the larder, so I thought I’d use those.  On exposure to the slightest heat, the chocolate solidified into a glutinous, granular mass which resisted all attempts to absorb the syrup.  I stirred and stirred but nothing happened.  I became reckless.  I added an ounce of butter which made it separate, so I added a great dollop of double cream and went at it with a stick blender.  Result!  In went the cornflakes and bish bash bosh.  Crispy cakes with a satisfyingly toffee-like texture.

This is what I should have done:-

CORNFLAKE CRISPY CAKES

Utensils:
1 x heatproof bowl
1 x saucepan
12 x paper cases
a tray to put them on

Ingredients:
6oz / 180g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
3oz / 90g cornflakes
Mini eggs to decorate

Method:
Melt the chocolate into a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water
Stir in the golden syrup
Stir in the cornflakes until they are evenly covered in chocolate mixture
Spoon the mixture into 12 paper cases
Arrange the mini eggs on top – you could also put a tiny fluffy chick in the middle if that’s your bag
Put them in the fridge to set.

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Filed under Food, Recipes, Seasonal, Slider

Decorated Chocolate Easter Eggs – using real eggs

As Easter approaches, I have been trying to think of interesting ideas for eggs or gifts.  It occurred to me that one could decorate real eggs and fill them with chocolate.  If you saw one of these in John Lewis they would cost you a fortune and rightly so as they look so glamorous.

You could have a lot of fun with the designs, using applique, stippling, marbling, or just using a bit of ribbon and some stick-on gems as I have done.  I have a big bag of ribbons, sequins, sparkly things etc so I tend to use what I already have in stock.  This is what I did:-

DECORATED CHOCOLATE EASTER EGGS

Make a hole

Utensils:
1 x large needle
Kitchen roll (paper towel)
1 x heatproof bowl for melting the chocolate
1 x saucepan
Icing syringe
Acrylic paints – matt and/or metallic
Acrylic varnish for matt paints
Paint brushes – thick & thin
Ribbons – assorted
Decorative gems

Melt the chocolate

Scissors
PVA glue
Egg cups
4oz / 120g good quality chocolate per egg

Method:
Using the needle make a hole about ¼ “ / 0.75cm diameter in the bottom of the egg
Waggle the needle gently inside the egg to break up the yolk
Drain the egg into a bowl for use as omelettes or to make a cake

Fill the egg with chocolate

Rinse the inside of the egg thoroughly and leave to drain and dry on a towel
Bring some water almost to the boil in the saucepan and place the heatproof bowl on top
Break the chocolate into pieces and place in the bowl
Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally
Pour the chocolate into the syringe and fill the empty egg shell, leaving a little space for expansion
Wipe any excess chocolate off the shell and leave in a cool place to set
Paint the egg with several thin coats of acrylic paint, making sure not to get any paint on the chocolate
It’s best to do most of the top half first, leave it to dry and then do the remaining bottom bit
When the paint is dry, varnish if you need to and leave to dry

Paint the egg

Then decorate with ribbons and gems, fixing into place with a little PVA

When you come to eat the chocolate, hit the egg quite hard on the side and roll it a bit to crack the shell, a bit like you’d do with a hard-boiled egg.  Then peel the shell off and eat.

A box of eggs

The sadness and yet, the joy!

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Filed under Food Presents, Seasonal, Slider

American style cookies with an English twist

Boy the Elder has been away at Scout Camp this weekend – rather him than me – it’s freezing.  So Boy the Younger and I decided to do some baking to welcome him home and make the most of the oven which was on for the Sunday Roast. We never put the oven on just for one thing!

A year and a half ago I experienced a loss.  I had a small, yellow notebook in which I wrote down and perfected my own recipes and which I had been writing for about five years. It was full up and I was a quarter of the way through a second volume, again handwritten, and I never bothered to commit the recipes to memory because they were written down; I kept meaning to type them up but never quite got round to it. 

You know what’s coming don’t you?  In the last but one house move the book went missing.  Volume 2 made the journey but Volume 1 has never surfaced.  I keep hoping it will turn up, hidden inside another book, or stuffed at the bottom of a box, but I don’t hold out much hope.  It is irreplaceable and I can’t even remember what half the recipes were.  Compound swearing doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I had a great craving for these soft cookies today, so BTY and I did a bit of experimenting and came up with these. They also make a very welcome present, in nice box or tin lined with tissue paper.  Hope you like them.

THE WARTIME HOUSEWIFE’S LUXURIOUS COOKIES – makes about 30

Utensils:
1 large mixing bowl
1 x electric food mixer
3 x large baking trays – greased and floured
2 x wire cooling racks

Ingredients:
6oz / 180g butter
2 large or 3 small eggs
4oz / 120g dark brown sugar
6oz / 180g white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
12oz / 360g self raising flour
12oz / 360g whatever you want to put in – I used:-
          4oz chopped marzipan
          4oz chopped dark chocolate
          4oz quartered glace cherries

Method
:
Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 360 / 4
Beat the butter, eggs, sugars and vanilla with the mixer until creamy thoroughly mixed
Beat in the flour to form a stiff dough.
Stir in all the remaining ingredients until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough
Form the mixture into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on the baking sheets, leaving plenty of space for them to spread – a 12″ tray should accommodate 8 or 9
Bake for 12-15 minutes until pale golden
Leave on the tray to ‘set’  for 1-2 minutes
Transfer to a wire rack to cool

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Filed under Food, Food Presents, Life in general, Recipes

Bread & Butter Pudding and the art of Penitence

Now that there is a slight early morning nip in the air, our tummies are starting to think about winter food.  In colder weather we need more calories, but we can’t really justify them if we never get cold or move about enough.  So, turn down the central heating, put a jumper on, go for some brisk walks and then you can then enjoy bread and butter pudding (using storecupboard ingredients), toad in the hole, steak and kidney pudding and things with dumplings with a completely clear conscience.  (These recipes will appear in future posts).

Personally, I count anything with raisins in as health food because raisins are fruit and slow release energy.  I recently managed to persuade a friend of mine that chocolate was health food (after a wholly unexpected discussion about the value of confession and penitence) on the following grounds:

There is no need to repent of eating chocolate as it is health food.  Chocolate comes from a bean which is fruit, it’s packed full of iron and is a natural antidepressant.  Chocolate is the real Good News.  God /gods don’t get fat because they burn off all the calories moving in mysterious ways.  This is what you must aspire to – move about more and in a mysterious way, then you can eat as much chocolate as you like.  Chocolate is a gift (together with shoes and enthusiastic lovemaking*), therefore you have a duty to share it and, like any other gift, it’s up to the recipient what they do with it.

And I can sell sand to the Arabs. 

BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

Utensils:

1 x medium casserole dish or similar
1 x measuring jug – 1 pint capacity or more
1 x chopping board
1 x whisk or a fork  used with vigour

Ingredients:

8 slices of wholemeal bread – buttered (I like the bread with seeds best)
Butter for spreading on the bread 1-2oz / 30-60g give or take
4oz / 120g raisins
1 pint / 600ml milk
3 eggs
3oz / 90g white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch nutmeg
1-2 tblspn dark brown sugar (according to taste) for sprinkling on the top

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 360 / 4
Grease your casserole dish with a little butter
Cut each slice of buttered bread into 4 triangles and place a single layer in the dish (the bread should allow for about 3 layers so allow a third of raisins per layer)
Sprinkle a third of the  raisins on top of the bread
Do the same for the next 2 layers (use your common sense if the bread runs to more layers)
Whisk the milk, eggs, white sugar and vanilla together with a fork
Pour this mixture over the bread layers
Sprinkle the brown sugar on the top which will give it a lovely golden brown, crispy top
Sprinkle the nutmeg evenly over the top
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Take it out of the oven and let it rest for a little while before serving to allow it to set nicely

Serve on its own or with custard, cream or vanilla ice-cream

                                                                           *  *  *
I would like now to apologise for there being no photograph.  When I put it on the table on Friday night, The Boys and our guest fell upon it like foxes on a chicken coup, by which time it was too late.  Next time we have it I will add a photo.  I also owe you a photograph of fish cakes, which may be on the menu for tomorrow’s dinner.

* not my original wording

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Filed under Family and Friends, Food, Nutrition & Sensible Eating, Recipes, Storecupboard

Chocolate

Chocolate 13.08.09Last week, Mr De Worde and I decided to entertain ourselves with an evening in front of the television set.  This activity is naturally not complete without a full teapot and a large bar of chocolate and I was despatched to the shop having been put on confectionery detail.  There is a massive array of brands and types of chocolate on sale, and I would sell my own mother for a Lindt Bunny, but naturally the Wartime Housewife is keen to combine quality with economy and I can be easily swayed by an attractive package.  My eye fell upon a pink cardboard packet of Co-operative Fairtrade milk chocolate which had a 50’s style picture with an amusing caption on it.  I was really impressed by this, as it is unusual to find imaginative packaging for an own brand item.

It was with absolutely no reluctance that I decided to conduct a taste test into the supermarket own brand milk chocolate (I don’t like dark chocolate but I am happy to sub-contract this one), and my findings were as follows.  I will note that Tesco didn’t sell an own brand Fairtrade bar at the Metro in Market Harborough, but it is available in bigger stores.  Also, I couldn’t find a Fairtrade bar in Sainsbury’s, but when I asked the very handsome young man at the till whether such an item existed, he went to so much trouble to find one for me, I didn’t have the heart not to buy that one as well.

Supermarket brand

Comments

Price

Marks

out of 10

The Co-operative Fairtrade milk chocolate  This was gorgeous; creamy but not too gloopy, chocolaty (?sp) but not cocoa-y.  One immediately wanted a second bar.28% cocoa solids 

 

99p

 

9/10

Sainsbury’s Belgian milk chocolate This was nice, but tasted quite buttery and left a slightly cocoa-y aftertaste.  One bar is quite enough between two people.30% cocoa solids 

 

80p

 

7/10

Sainsbury’s organic Fairtrade milk chocolate This was not nearly as nice as I expected it to be.  It was lovely and creamy, but had a really odd initial taste which I can’t place and left a slight sharpness on the tastebuds afterwards.  One piece with a cup of coffee would be ample.35% cocoa solids 

 

£1.29

 

5/10

Tesco milk chocolate This was really nasty.  It tasted like the unpleasantly sweet, cheap, pretend chocolate you get with ‘Jazzies’ or other children’s sweets. Only suitable for cooking.26% cocoa solids 

 

£1.09

 

2/10

 There is no Waitrose within 20 miles of me.

Homespun Fun with Chocolate

Game 1:  Take a box of chocolates, essentially the ones with different centres.  Take one out of the box without letting your friend see which one it is.  Put it in your mouth and chew it five times.  Open your mouth and let your friend guess which chocolate you took!

Game 2:  Buy several packets of chocolate buttons and place them in the freezer for a couple of hours.  Put as many of them as you can in your mouth at once  and crunch them up without dribbling or choking.  I can manage 45!  What can you do?

Pip Pip!

Post script:  I am sorry to report that the Co-operative packet mentioned above was a Mothers’ Day Special Edition and therefore no longer on sale.  The chocolate, however, is still out there.  Well done anyway, Co-op!

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Filed under Food, Product comparisons