Baking, Cakes, Chef, Cookbooks, Cooking, Recipes

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

This post is especially for those of you looking for my Chocolate Biscuit Cake recipe….

I bought Tamasin Day- Lewis’  book ‘Tamsin’s Kitchen‘ a few years ago for two reasons:

1) I had watched some of her programs on TV and liked her cookery style

and

2) it was reduced in from something like €25 to €9 – who says I can’t economise?

It is a a mighty tome with the recipes arranged in sections designed to take you from ‘Easy Things’ to ‘Serious Skills’. At the start of each section there is an introduction on what to expect. She also includes little hints and tips at the top of each recipe. The downside – the recipes are written in paragraph form  rather than points making them (well for me anyway) less easy to follow and very few of the recipes have photos showing what the end result should look like.

So what have I cooked from this book in the last two years? One thing and one thing only – Tamasin’s Chocolate Biscuit Cake – and yes I know strictly speaking it’s not cooking!

I have added a few bits and pieces to the original recipe and left out the cream that she puts in the icing. These additions  may change depending on what’s in the store cupboard so my version is a cross between Chocolate Biscuit Cake and Rocky Road – but I’ve had no complaints yet!

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

What you need:

  • 4oz /110g Butter
  • 4oz/110g Dark Chocolate (I use 70%)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 80z/225g digestive biscuits
  • 3oz/80g mini Marshmallows
  • 2oz/50g dried cranberries
  • Dark & white Chocolate to decorate

What you do:

  • Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash them to crumbs using your rolling pin (who you think of while doing this is your own business!)
  • Put the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a saucepan and allow to melt gently over a low heat. Don’t allow mix to boil!
  • Add the mini marshmallows and dried fruit to the melted mix. Then stir in the crushed biscuits, making sure that they are well coated.
  • Turn the mix out into a lined shallow baking tin (approx 30 *20 cm).  Allow to cool then Leave to set for a few hours (or overnight) in the fridge.
  • Once the cake is set cover the top with melted chocolate, leave it for a few mins then cut into slices (it’s easier at this stage)
  • Then drizzle over some melted white chocolate (After a lot of trials I have discovered that white chocolate buttons are the easiest to melt – Thanks Nicola!)

Now that I’ve pulled this book from the shelves I really must try a few more recipes…….

Happy Cooking !

Catering, Cocktails, Food, Shopping

Summer (yes Summer!) Cocktails……..

My poor blog has been much neglected of late. Despite all my resolutions there always seems to be something else that to done or somewhere else I need to be………

There’s lots I want to share – like the weekend at Inishfood and all the amazing food; the surprise no-menu that I had in Springfort Hall….and of course recipes that I’ve tried from my cookbook collection……..

So let’s start with the most recent – Summer Cocktails in Fallon & Byrne .

I love this shop – they have the most amazing selection of fresh fruit and vegetables; great variety of oils, vinegars, seasonings, savouries, cheese and chocolates to name but a few; one of the best deli counters for lunch or coffee and of course a very tempting wine cellar…….

So when I received a tweet from them asking for my email address I was intrigued…..and not disappointed when I received  an invitation to an evening of summer cocktails, nibbles and natter!  Through the magic that is twitter I soon discovered others that had received a similiar invitation and it looked like shaping up to a lively evening………

It didn’t disappoint – I met up with the lovely Aoife otherwise known as Babaduck and the  debonair Paul from The ShoeBox  in Kilkenny for a catch up and  wander up Grafton Street (there are times I regret leaving Dublin). The sun even made an appearance for the occasion!

Then at the appointed hour we presented ourselves at Fallon & Byrne where the wonderful Jennifer treated us like royalty (despite my falling up the stairs!)

We meet Paul Lambert the man behind the Cocktail Menu who explained that they were using the fresh produce from the food hall to add that difference to their cocktails – and on tasting we agreed! There was so much fresh fruit and herbs in the cocktails they were almost healthy.

I opted for the Poppy Honeysuckle to start – a blend of Jameson whiskey, elder flower liqueur, Sauvignon Blanc, honey, pressed apple juice, lemon juice & passion fruit syrup – all served in a ‘grown up’ Martini glass. I am not a whiskey fan but this was divinely palatable! My companions chose the French 75 and the Mojito.

The staff were most attentive and as soon as our glasses were empty they ‘insisted’ on serving us more….

I went for the Passion Fruit & Jalapeño Margarita (jalapeño-infused tequila, passion fruit, mint and lemon juice) on the recommendation of Lily from A Mexican Cook in Ireland. I’m a bit of a chilli addict and my taste buds loved this. This time my companions went for an Old Fashioned & a Rspberry Caipirinha.

We were also treated to some beautifully crafted canapés – naturally I was very interested (call it industrial espionage!!).  I need to work on getting mine to look this good!

My favourite was the goat’s cheese tartlets followed by the gazpacho – I loved the cups!

It was great to catch with friends and  put faces to more twitter friends –   Rozanne , Caitriona, Aoife (Daily Spud), Aoife (Icanhascook), Dorcas, Catherine….

Before leaving I had to try one more cocktail – a mojito on Paul’s recommendation! Then Cinders headed back to the country  whilst the rest of them partied on to the Tapas Trail launch……..

Thanks to Fallon & Byrne for a lovely evening and to Jennifer for her hard work in organising the event

Take my word for it you should go and try their cocktails for yourself – they will definitely brighten up your summer and if you want my recommendation go for the jalapeño margarita  …

Pssst they have “buy one get one on the house’ cocktails on Mondays & Tuesdays…………….

PS Special thanks is also due  to my ‘chauffeur’ who put up with my post cocktail  giggling all the way home!