Hetty chatters…

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Category: Baking

Chocolate Mousse and Orange Shortbread Hearts

To put it most simply, this dessert received an almost record number of ‘mmmmmmmmmmm’s from everyone, prepared ahead of time, effortless to both make and serve, and tastes just so…mmmmm.
This is perfect for when you are having guests over. I am a believer in getting the best tastes in the simplest ways, after all, we are busy people, things to do, people to see, baking needs to be efficient , and as much as I love endless hours in the kitchen (and I really really do!) you don’t always have the time. This is a good effective bake, needs very little washing up through minimal bowl usage, and so it really isn’t daunting in the slightest.

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Ingredients for the Mousse

200g good quality dark chocolate
4 large free range eggs, separated
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Whipped vanilla cream to serve (add vanilla seeds to double cream and whip to make your own)

Method

Melt the chocolate gently, and in a separate bowl whisk the egg whites into soft peaks, add the sugar, and continue to whip into stiff peaks whilst waiting for the chocolate. Next, remove the chocolate from the heat and stir in the egg yolks one at a time, at first it looks like it will seize, but it doesn’t, have faith. Add a spoonful of the egg whites to the chocolate, and fold gently with a metal spoon, this will help to soften the mixture, then add the rest of the egg whites in 3 batches, again folding gently so not to remove the air. Spoon the mixture into your chosen vessel and place in the fridge to set for at least an hour. Top with the cream and prepare to serve!

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Happy little pudding lovers! Ben has a spot on his nose to match his jumper…

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It was hard to keep Alice’s pudding still to take a picture, I ate mine too quickly so had to borrow hers to show you the mousse…

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Yep, this was the only state that I could photograph my own pudding in!

 

Ingredients for the Shortbread

125g caster sugar
225g unsalted butter
300g plain flour
50g ground rice
The zest of 6 satsumas, or 3 oranges, think generous here, you want lots of lovely flavour.

Method
Cream together the butter and sugar, then tip in the flour and ground rice, rub with your fingertips like you are making a crumble, so that it becomes very well mixed. Then, combine the breadcrumbs and kneed gently to form a good pliable but stiff dough. Either roll and shape, or push into your moulds.  It is best here to chill for half an hour, but if you impatient like me you will survive if you put it straight in the oven.

Bake at 180 degrees C for about 15 minutes. If you can, get the shortbread out the oven whilst it has barely  any colouring, they will still feel quite soft, but this is the best way to get a nice crumbly biscuit with just enough of a bite.  Transfer to a cooling rack once you can push them out of the moulds, and dust liberally with caster sugar. They keep well in an airtight container, but ours never make it to needing to keep…

christmas blogging

I loooove silicone moulds now, I am officially a total convert! Lakeland, you are a haven!

Enjoy everyone.

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Christmas Foody Ideas #2 Easy Peasy Fruit Loaves

This recipe is pretty much 3 easy steps, requires no messing about, and they are super duper tasty, plus look very sweet in their little containers, and will look even better in my Christmas hampers.

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I saw the postman drive down the drive way and eagerly collected my parcel:

DSC00561Yes more Pipii treats!

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I really did amp up the Christmas atmosphere at this point, I got a bit excited switching on an Ella Fitzgerald treasure trove of warming Christmas songs.

Okay okay enough distractions, recipe!

400ml water
500g Caster sugar
350g mixed fruit, I went for a a mixed bag with some peel in for that little bit of zingy taste, with some dried berries mixed in for color and size difference
50g butter
450g plain flour
1tsp mixed spice
2tsp cinnamon
1tsp nutmeg
1tsp allspice – as much/little spice as you like really, the original recipe I used I felt was just not enough! It was seriously lacking Christmassy punchy warm spices.
1tsp baking powder

Method

In a big pan over a medium heat but your fruit, butter, sugar and water, mix until all dissolved/melted then take off the heat. Next, sieve in your flour, spices and baking powder, combine, then spoon into your prepared cases of choice. It is that simple, a one pan wonder if you like.  Bake at 180 degrees C for about 25 mins for small, 30 mins for medium and 35 for large, just test them, they should be shiny and golden on top, and be clean when a skewer is inserted. Sprinkle over some brown sugar once they are out the oven for a finishing touch.

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I’m going to wrap them in cellophane and tie with a little ribbon for my hampers. Until then, they are going into the freezer, they freeze like a dream.

Enjoy!

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