Friday, 12 February 2010

Cooking with Green and Black Chocolate

Green and Blacks Taste Test ~ Part 1

Just before Christmas I emailed my details through to put myself forward to taste test some chocolate for Green and Blacks. Lets be honest, you'd be crazy not to!
In the manic mayhem of Christmas, two teenagers, a toddler, baby and husband all with their beaks open waiting to be attended to I completely forgot about the chocolate.
Imagine my complete delight when, in amongst a pile of bills and boring returns from my shop was a large neat but rather weighty jiffy bag.
Inside was an astonishing array of Green and Blacks chocolate, the likes of which I had never seen.
Of course I had tasted Green and Blacks chocolate in the past and indeed sometimes popped a tiny bar in the shopping trolley as an indulgence when the babies weren't looking! Certainly too "rich" for them to taste! Hahaha!!
My first thoughts went to my new cookery book, bought for me by my cousin as she knows how much I love to bake and my passion for good chocolate!
I decided to use my favourite cupcake recipe as follows and use my Green and Black milk cooking chocolate for the icing.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Dusky Butter Icing

Makes about 12 -

100 gms unsalted butter
100 gms self raising flour
90 gms cocoa powder
110 gms caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
3 small eggs or 2 large eggs
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 150C Fan or 160C otherwise.

Ensure that the butter is very soft.
Now simply mix all the ingredients together briskly for 1 minute.
This recipe is wonderful..there's none of this time consuming and usually pointless mixing of eggs, sugar then gradually adding egg and finding it usually curdles anyway!
I must stress that 1 minute is all that is required or the cakes seem to toughen up!
Fill cupcake liners between ½ and ¾ the way up. Fill ½ way up to get an even flat shape, fill ¾ way up to get a nice dome shape.
Bake for 20 minutes in the middle of the oven, but check after 15 by inserting a little cocktail stick.
If there is anything stuck to the stick, then bake for the full 20 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for around 5 minutes and then take them out carefully and allow to cool outside the pan.
While they cool get on with the icing:

Dusky Butter Icing (From the Green and Blacks Chocolate Recipe book)

100g green and blacks milk chocolate (I used the organic cooking variety)
175g unsalted butter
175g icing sugar

Melt the chocolate over some simmering water and cool until tepid.
Beat butter until soft then add the sugar and chocolate.

The cupcakes were their usual delicious light buttery selves but were definitely brought to life by the wonderfully smooth rich chocolate icing.
I usually use cocoa powder which can be overpowering.
My 17 year old son Sebastian said:
"The icing on the cakes was creamy and smooth but not too sweet either which made the perfect balance. Often I find icing too sweet and sickly but this hit the spot"
My 15 year old daughter Sasha who is slightly more fussy and critical remarked:
"Well the cake was a bit dry but the icing was lovely"
Poor Sasha, little did she know how hard it was to save that cake for 5 days for her!
No wonder it was a little dry!

The cakes were a complete success and I am now pondering what to make with my remaining bar of Green and Blacks organic cooking chocolate.

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