We’ll Always have . . . Chocolate

The Husband and I are so lucky to have a big garden to go out in and, for the time being, lots of things to do in the house and outside.  The weather has been amazing and I’ve got lots of seedlings planted out – spinach, carrots, parsnips, beetroots and carvelo negro (a sort of long leaved Kale) and more still growing in the potting shed.  The fruit patch has been all tidied up and I’ve laid some black plastic around the bushes to try to discourage weeds as it’s so hard to get rid of them once they are laden with fruit. Rhubarb is amazing and wonderful lightly stewed with the juice of an orange, with my porridge for breakfast.

g1  g2

Self Isolation goes on and we are seeing few cars on the road – and even fewer walkers seem to be pass by our door. It’s as if the whole world is shutting down.  The internet and (positive) social media has really come into its own this week.  I have a few whatsapp groups going on and make a point of calling someone I haven’t spoken to in a while each day. I was thinking, however, that whilst the post office is still open (thank you!) perhaps a letter might be really appreciated. especially to someone on their own or not as knowledeable with technology as yourselves?  Choose some nice stationery, send a photograph or pressed flower or a drawing – sometimes simple things are all it takes for someone to feel cared for.

Anyway, when times are hard (and they are!) the other easy thing to comfort is CHOCOLATE.  Milk or plain, with nuts or raisins or with fillings of caramel or fruit, a little bit of a sweet treat can go a long way. All of these recipes are for more than one – do make them as they are (or even double up) and put them on someone’s doorstep as a surprise!

CHOCOLATE DELICE

  • 200g dark chocolate (cooking or posh) 
  • 1/pt single cream (if you only have double use that with half milk)
  • 1 egg

Break up the chocolate in a bowl.  Bring the cream to a boil and pour over.  Whizz till all melted and add the egg to blend.  Pour into individual dishes and put in fridge till ready. Find a quiet corner with a your book, take a teaspoon and enjoy.

TIFFIN BARS

  • 100 g Butter
  • 25 g Caster Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 4 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 225 g digestive biscuits approx. 15 (or Rich Tea or Ginger snaps or any of the broken biscuits lying at the bottom of your biscuit barrel)
  • 100 g Raisins
  • 230 g Milk or Dark Chocolate

Line your tray-bake tin with greaseproof paper Set aside. Crush your biscuits. You want most of it to be quite fine but leave some bits in bigger chunks to give your Tiffin a bit of texture. Add the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, golden syrup and 30g of milk chocolate to a large bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, stirring often. Stir in the biscuits and raisins and mix well. Press the mixture into your pre-lined tin. Melt the remaining chocolate in another bowl over water, stirring often. Pour over the biscuit mixture and smooth over evenly. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours but ideally over night before cutting into individual portions. You could also add chopped marshmallows/cherries/dried apricots/maltesers – whatever takes your fancy!

 

FRENCH CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM (and before you say, perhaps not leave this on the doorstep before knocking on the door!)
  • 2 oz caster sugar            4 tablespoons water         6 oz plain chocolate
  • 3 egg yolks (freeze the egg whites individually for later or make some meringues)
  •  1/2 pint double cream

Melt the sugar and water together till a light syrup.  Break up the chocolate into a bowl and pour the hot syrup over.  Mix to smooth and add yolks.  Whip the cream until stiff, fold in the chocolate and freeze.  Simples!

Tiffin - Chocolate, Date and Stem Ginger - That Old Chestnut

 

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