At the end of last month I signed up to take part in a competition over on bakingmad.com and on Feb 1st found out I was one of the lucky 15 bloggers who had been shortlisted to take part. Initially I was sent a baking hamper containing 10 items from Silver Spoon and Nielsen-Massey and was asked to make something for Valentine’s day that I myself, would like to receive. The ingredients were: Silver Spoon Mini Fudge Chunks, Milk Chocolate Cake Covering, Vanilla Paste, Lemon Icing Sugar, Easy Melt Milk and White Chocolate, White Chocolate letters and numbers, White Chocolate Stars, Jelly Dots and Nielsen-Massey Almond Extract.
The rules were to use at least three of the ingredients we were sent and to make whatever we wanted. It was at this point my mind went blank. There was too much choice! After a long brainstorm I decided to use my favourite ingredients – chocolate and fudge – to create 12 chunky cookies (because I love the flavour and 12 because it was relevant for Valentine’s). I then decided to decorate them using Valentine’s colours (because I like attention to detail and things which are visually gratifying!) I also made some chocolates (first time I’d ever done this!) and chocolate dipped strawberries to carry on the ‘romantic’ theme and I’m really pleased with the results of both
Here’s how to make:
Liz’s Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies (my own special recipe created especially for Valentine’s day!)
175g unsalted butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
2 egg yolks (medium)
25g ground rice
1/2tsp almond extract (Nielsen-Massey)
25g dark chocolate, chopped
50g white chocolate, chopped (Silver Spoon)
75g milk chocolate cake covering, chopped (Silver Spoon)
75g mini fudge chunks (Silver Spoon)
200g self raising flour
splash of milk
Regalice in assorted colours
Assortment of chocolate and coloured sprinkles (Including: Silver Spoon white chocolate letters, Silver Spoon white chocolate stars)
Preheat the oven to 160c/Gas Mark 3 and line two baking sheets.
Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolks and almond extract.
Now stir in the ground rice, chocolate, fudge and lastly the flour until combined. (I found it helps to get your hands in at this point – add a splash of milk if the dough seems a little dry).
Set aside the dough, cover with cling film and chill for 20-30 minutes.
Place the dough between two sheets of cling film and roll out to about 1/8th inch thick. Cut out 12 heart shapes using a knife or cutter (these do not have to be a neat as the mix will spread – it’s just a guide for size).
Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes until light golden brown. Quickly use the cutter to re-shape the cookies into hearts.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Eat the offcuts (chef’s perk!)
When the cookies are cool, decorate using icing and sprinkles of your choice. Here I used pink and red regal ice, melted chocolate and various sprinkles to create these effects.
For the chocolates: I melted milk and dark chocolate buttons to create chocolates, adding some cocoa butter to create a softer and smoother consistency. I used strawberry shaped moulds for the dark chocolates and dessert cup moulds for the milk chocolates and filled them with dark chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream). Add in a glass of champagne and I would definitely be a happy girly on Valentine’s Day if I received these!