Chocolate Truffles

Treat your mum this Mother’s Day with some lovingly made and beautifully wrapped chocolate truffles.

Makes 25

  • 140g good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 142ml double cream
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • Coatings (see point 3 below for suggestions)
  1. Chop the chocolate and place into a large bowl. Heat the cream and butter together gently in a saucepan until the butter melts and cream reaches simmering point. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir the mixture until nice and smooth. (If you’re adding any liquors, add them drop by drop at this stage.) Cool and chill for at least 4 hours.
  2. To shape the truffles,  you have 2 options. Use a melon baller dipped in hot water and scoop up balls of the mixture. Or lightly coat your palms with some flavourless oil and roll the truffles into balls. Place on greaseproof paper.
  3. This is the fun bit. Coat the truffles immediately after shaping. Place toppings into a bowl and lightly roll the truffles until evenly covered. Then place on greaseproof paper to chill. Topping ideas include: chocolate hundreds and thousands, lightly toasted dessicated coconut, crushed shelled pistachio nuts.
  4. The truffles can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for a month (defrosted in the fridge overnight).

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Champagne

The perfect Valentines Day treat. Enjoy!

  • 1 punnet fresh strawberries
  • 200g milk or dark chocolate (chocolate chips work well)
  1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. You can create this by placing a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Heat the water gently and never let the bowl touch the water.
  2. Wash and thoroughly dry the strawberries.
  3. Once the chocolate is fully melted, dip the strawberries in chocolate and place on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
  4. Set aside the chocolate dipped strawberries to cool or refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with a glass of bubbly and enjoy!

Chocolate Mousse

Set your Valentine’s heart on fire with this chocolate mousse. Easy to make and extremely satisfying. And for extra chocolate indulgence, serve topped with chocolate shavings or perhaps some crushed biscotti.

Serves 8.

  • 450g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 5 egg whites
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 300ml cream, whipped
  1. Place chocolate and 50ml water in a heatproof bowl. Place this over a saucepan of hot water and bring to a simmer until the chocolate has fully melted. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
  2. In a dry clean bowl, beat the egg whites until you get stiff peaks.
  3. Add the egg yolks one at a time to the chocolate mixture beating well between each addition.
  4. Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Then fold in the egg whites using a large metal spoon.
  5. Pour the chocolate mousse into pretty serving bowls or glasses and refrigerate until set.

Top tip: Heat the chocolate over a low heat to avoid burning it. To make the mousse light and fluffy, use a metal spoon to fold in the egg whites. This preserves the air bubbles.

Parsnip, Honey and Walnut Cake

This cake is absolutely ‘divine’!  It was created by Sabrina Ghayour, a self-confessed foodie, for this year’s Portobello Market ‘Roots Festival’. Do check out her blog and the supper club she hosts.

As for parsnip in a cake? Not as odd as it sounds. Carrot is popular but we’ve been known to use butternut squash, courgettes and beetroot all to great effect. A great way to sneak in some veg for the kids don’t you think?

Photo credit: Sabrina Ghayour

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 2 heaped tsps cinnamon
  • 4 medium free range eggs
  • 100ml clear honey
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 180ml olive oil
  • 400g parsnips, peeled and finely grated
  • 150g walnuts, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl – flour, cinnamon, soda bicarbonate and baking powder.
  3. In a separate bowl,  beat the eggs. Then add the oil, vanilla extract, sugar and honey to the beaten eggs to make a smooth mixture.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Blend.
  5. Add the grated parsnip and chopped walnuts and stir carefully until you get a smooth cake batter.
  6. Line a 24cm spring-form sandwich tin with oven paper (not greaseproof) and pour in the cake mix. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Once ready, a knife inserted into the cake will come out clean. Allow to cool before serving.