Pecan Cacao Munchies

Keep Calm & Eat Chocolate

RATING: WOW Factor – Can’t stop at one. Mind you they are very small, so who could blame you? Little healthy biscuits of yummy nuttiness. My husband thought them boring until I added cacao.

You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup almond meal, 50grams butter, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup finely chopped pecans, ¼ cup cacao nibs (or for sweeter, use small chunks of dark chocolate), 1 generous teaspoon of vanilla essence and, set aside approximately 20 whole pecans to decorate.
  • Optional – Place baking paper on an oven tray or as they are so buttery, you could forget the paper.

Abracadabra Pecan Cacao Munchies

OK, begin by creaming the butter and the sugar. Good opportunity to take your rings off and get your hands in. It’s a bugger to clean them after though. Or, you could just put them into one of those blender thingies. The sugar and butter that is, not your hands.

Next, throw in the almond meal, chopped pecans, cacao nibs and vanilla essence. Mix them thoroughly. It will have a very buttery look and texture. Don’t be tempted to add more almond meal unless it is runny. Should be sticky.

Right, the mixture needs to be sticky because you are now going to roll them into little balls – like large malteasers – mmm – now there’s an idea…

Then, pop them spaciously apart on your tray, like say in a 4 x 5 configuration.

Finally, plonk a pecan in the middle of the ball and let it squish from ball to biscuit.

Cook in a low oven, say, 150 Celsius for about 10 minutes or until the tops are lightly brown. Pull out and let them cool. They will be soft at first so don’t manhandle. They’ll harden up in about 20 minutes… then you can taste test.

Invitation

You are very welcome to post photo and story of your Pecan Cacao Munchies.

(c) 2018 Geraldine Barkworth, From Fear To Fabulous Speaking Coach, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au . This article is the personal opinion of the author and no professional cook has been harmed in it’s writing.

Drunken Prunes And Chocolate

Keep Calm & Eat Chocolate

RATING: Epic Fail! Don’t follow this recipe at home.

Disclosure: I made up this Drunken Prunes And Chocolate recipe and no professional cook is responsible. Of course, this is just the beginning of the Drunken Prune Journey…

You’ll Need:

  • 500 grams pitted prunes, 150 ml brandy, dark chocolate chunks, finely grated lemon rind, double creme to add to a very small and intense serving.

Abracadabra

Roughly chop prunes. Place in bowl and throw in brandy knowing you’ve possibly just wasted it. Tip both into super clean glass jar because now you are going to pretend to “bottle it” for a while.

So 1 hour, 1 day or 1 month later, select a gorgeous bowl. Spoon out a couple of tablespoons of very drunken prunes into it. Artfully scatter your dark chocolate chunks. Even more artistically, drizzle a dash of the brilliant yellow citrus rind to lift the darkness.

Now, playfully add a dollop of the double creme or my divine Chocolate Brandy Ice Creme Cake, an earlier successful recipe.

And taste!

Prepare to be very disappointed. My husband ate the chocolate chunks and the cockroaches in the compost bin enjoyed the free booze.

Challenge

If you think you can do better… send me your successful Drunken Prunes And Chocolate recipe plus photo and I’ll add to this post.

© 2018 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Feel free to contact Geraldine for speaking guidance, not cooking advice! www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Chocolate Brandy Ice Creme Cake

Keep Calm & Eat Chocolate!

RATING: TDF (To Die For) Gorgeous Chocolate Brandy Ice Creme Cake that you can say… “I made it myself”! Simple, fast and high impact! This receipe was inspired by Nigella Lawson’s “Meringue Gelato Cake With Chocolate Sauce”.

You Will Need:

  • Loaf tin with high sides, lots of cling film, heavy knife, cutting board, crème beaters.
  • 300ml plain crème, 100g white meringue, 90g dark chocolate, 30ml brandy, Optional berries to scatter across the top when serving, or not!

Abracadabra

Right, begin with whipping the crème. I do it by hand in front of the TV so it takes 30 minutes with a hand beater. That way you can justify day time TV watching. Line your loaf tin generously with cling film with pieces trailing out on all 4 sides.

With a heavy knife, chop up the chocolate block into fine and chunky pieces. Taste test of course. Tip all the chocolate into the crème. Now scrunch the meringue finely into the crème – it is easier by hand and feels very satisfying. Mix it all up. Now add in the brandy. Mix.

Pour and scrape the lot into your prepared loaf tin. Pat down. Now fold over the cling film so it’s a neat packaged log. Pop into the fridge overnight. Turn the tin over and let the ice crème cake plop out. Turn over and unwrap the clingfilm.

Cut your Chocolate Brandy Ice Creme Cake into thick slices. If inclined, artfully drizzle berries over the top. Ta Daa!

© 2018 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Feel free to contact Geraldine for speaking guidance, not cooking advice! www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Persian Rocky Squares

Keep Calm Eat Chocolate

RATING: BW (Beyond Words) Persian Rocky Squares are my own version of dark chocolate Rocky Road which my husband reckons I should sell. He’s horrified I’m sharing the recipe. Make sure you take off your rings and roll your sleeves up. Lots to lick!

You Will Need

  • Cutting board, heavy knife, 1 x heat-resistant mixing bowl, 1 large pan the bowl can sit atop, measuring spoons and cup, 1 x medium square/rectangular baking dish, lined with baking paper.
  • 180g dark chocolate (I use Lindt dark cooking chocolate), smashed up to make melting quicker, 6 chunks crystallised ginger, cut up very fine, 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut, ¼ cup macadamia or brazil nuts, chopped, 60g mini marshmellows, or 6 snakes or 2 Frys Turkish Delight bars, And the secret ingredient… 1 x big teaspoon rose water syrup. Add this only when mixing the dry ingredients.

Abracadabra

Right, start with putting a large pot of water on the stove and balance a flame proof round bowl on the top of the water. Add your smashed up chocolate to the bowl. Heat the water beneath and this heat will slowly melt the chocolate; Keep an eye on it, stir to help along. Make sure it is really runny so pouring will be easy.

Line a medium dish/tray with baking paper for easy removal and do this first before you mix the ingredients. There’s nothing worse than your hands caked in delicious goo while you try to wrestle the baking paper out of the box. Next chop up all the dry ingredients in different sizes to add variety and texture.

Now add the rose water syrup to the dry ingredients and mix through. Once the chocolate is runny, transfer the very hot bowl to the table with a cloth. Working quickly, throw in all your chopped up ingredients and mix thoroughly. Lastly, pour in your rosewater syrup and mx quickly through. The syrup causes the chocolate to thicken so do not waste time here. Scrape the entire mixture into your prepared tray and squoosh it down out to the edges as neat as you can. Take your time with this.

Put in your freezer for a couple of hours then lift the sleeping Persian Rocky by its baking paper. Cut now before its gets too hard and cut into squares with patience. It’s a messy job but someone has to do it and taste test for quality control!

© 2017-18 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Feel free to contact Geraldine for speaking guidance, not cooking advice! www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf

Keep Calm & Eat Chocolate!

RATING: OMG. Yum! Especially with a dollop of crème, butter, crème cheese or if you must, ricotta… because chocolate coconut banana loaf does not contain any butter or oil. We can masquerade it as a health cake if you like. And a disclaimer: I cut the recipe out of a magazine years ago and forgot to include the “Method”. So I improvised until it worked.

You Will Need:

  • Cutting board, mixing bowl, beater/mixer, measuring cup, heavy knife or grater, fork, teaspoon, loaf tin approx. 19 x 9 x 6cm, baking paper.
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Use the middle shelf. Line a loaf tin with baking paper so you can tip it out.
  • 1 large or 2 small, disgustingly soft, ripe and sweet bananas; ask the grocer if they have any tucked away, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 eggs, lightly beaten, Half a cup of milk, Half a cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, Half cup of desiccated coconut, 1 cup of plain flour – I use either spelt flour or 1 & 1/2 cups of almond meal – up to you, 180 g of dark chocolate, chopped into slivers.

Abracadabra

Thoroughly mash the banana with a fork and mix in the vanilla, eggs and milk. When a smooth mush, add in the sugar, cinnamon, coconut, flour and baking powder. Beat until smooth. I use a hand beater. Finally, tip in your delicious chocolate slivers and lumps. Lumps are good because you get a solid chocolate hit now and again, and I always find that exciting!

Pour into your lined small loaf tin. Give it 3 gentle shakes, yes, kind of like a blessing… and in it goes for approximately 20-30 minutes. Keep your eye on it.

It’s difficult to do the long prong test to see if the cake is cooked, because chocolate always comes out gooey. When you feel it’s done, and it will get dry if left too long, tip it out upside down onto a cake rack.

Ok, now self discipline is needed. Give your chocolate coconut banana loaf at least 30 minutes to itself if you can. Turn it over. Cut slowly and lovingly into loaf pieces or one slice at a succulent time. Add butter or crème to spread. OMG.

(c) 2017, Geraldine Barkworth, Goddess Of Public Speaking. Yes ok, it’s a tenuous link between chocolate and public speaking but who cares… it’s chocolate. And we’ve all got to eat, especially if you are doing an energy demanding task like speaking in public. Right?