mutteringhousewife

What does the last of the housewives do?

Tag: peppermint

Better Choc Mint Slice

It’s been a long day, and I’m now officially only treasurer for one organisation again. I could blog about the Oscars, but I didn’t watch them and haven’t seen any of the movies nominated except The Hobbit. I think Twitter does a pretty good summary, and it really looks like metallic is having a moment, doesn’t it? I wish velvet would, also fluffy hair, but heigh ho.

What I wanted to tell you about was that I’ve had another crack at chocolate peppermint slice, and I really think I’m getting there. I’ve done more of a pastry base this time, with a kneaded peppermint fondant and a much harder chocolate topping. I’m also rather pleased to have come up with a recipe that uses one egg white and one egg yolk, I never get around to using leftover egg components.

The base is adapted from one in my perennial favourites, The Good Cookie. They suggest it as a good base for slices, and they’re right. You put in your mixing bowl one cup of flour, one third of a cup of caster sugar, one third of a cup of cocoa powder and 125 grams of cold butter and mix it until the whole lot resembles breadcrumbs. You then chuck in an egg yolk and two teaspoons of cold water and mix until the whole lot starts to come together in a dough like fashion. Press it into a baking paper lined slice tray and bake for about twenty five minutes. If you weren’t doing a chocolate base, you’d use one and a third cups of flour and no cocoa powder, and would probably add in half a teaspoon of vanilla essence and you could also bake until it starts to brown, but you’re not and you can’t, so don’t.

Meanwhile make the peppermint fondant. Beat the leftover egg white until soft peaks start to form, or you get bored, whichever comes first. Beat in two cups of icing sugar. Add in some peppermint essence. I used half a teaspoon, but next time I’ll go crazy and use a whole teaspoon. The fondant will taste minty enough on its own with half a teaspoon of essence, but I think you need more to go with the chocolate. You will have formed a soft dough, which you turn out onto your bench top and sprinkle it with more icing sugar. Knead it like bread dough, you’ll be dissolving the sugar crystals and making a smoother feeling mint layer. Press it onto the cooled base.

I would then leave it lying about somewhere for a few hours, or overnight. Somewhere the ants can’t get to it. The mint layer dries out, which is what I’m after, you may prefer it wetter. Then you spread it with 170 grams of dark chocolate melted together with thirty grams of butter. Harmonie, not Pepe Saya. It’s turned out to be a pretty good ratio, it gives a chocolate layer you can cut without shattering, but not too melty. I would usually melt the chocolate with the butter in a heatproof bowl over boiling water, but I got a bit daring and did it over a low flame in a little glass saucepan, stirring constantly. I got away with it too, and it was easier to scrape out of the saucepan. With the heatproof bowl I never feel I can get all the chocolate out, I have to wait for it to set and then scrape it out and eat it with a teaspoon and that sets a bad example for the children.

20130225-225110.jpg
Perhaps not quite the canonical recipe yet, but much closer.

Advertisements

Two types of Chocolate Muffins

I value audience participation, so I asked the Horror from Outer Space if he were given the choice between chocolate peppermint muffins and chocolate coconut muffins, what would it be? “Bacon muffins” he said.

I think if you’re going to make chocolate muffins, you may as well go all out and make chocolate with chocolate chips. I went looking for recipes, and loosely based my first version on that of an American woman who was making these as a healthy treat for her son who was going off to college. Should I even comment on that? Perhaps not. They were OK, and have been eaten, but required work. The recipe I provide here is more satisfying.

Take a metal bowl and melt about sixty grams of butter in it by sticking it in the oven which you’ve turned on to preheat. I do like avoiding washing up. Once it has melted, you’ll want to leave it to cool for a bit so you don’t cook the egg too early. My original version used oil at this step, but the butter makes it richer. Add a half a cup of milk and an egg and beat it all together. If you’re going down the chocolate peppermint route, add half a teaspoon of peppermint essence to the mixture now, no more, that stuff is strong. Now the dry ingredients. Add a cup of flour, one quarter of a cup of cocoa, one third of a cup of sugar, one quarter of a cup of chocolate chips, two teaspoons of baking powder, one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. If you’re going down the coconut route, add a quarter of a cup of desiccated coconut here. You don’t have to do coconut or peppermint, but I wouldn’t advise doing both. Mix thoroughly, and spoon into those little pattycake cases, I don’t want my kids eating large sized ones of these. It makes twelve if you fill the cases up, then you’ll get those nice muffin tops, rather than the ones resulting from eating too many muffins. I would normally then top with about three chocolate chips per muffin for an even more exciting top, but I got to the bottom of the packet and am resisting opening the big packet I got from Chef’s Warehouse. Bake at 180 degrees for about twenty minutes. When you’re testing for doneness with a skewer, make sure you haven’t stabbed one of the chocolate chips, because that will give you the wrong idea.

20121025-133548.jpg
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I must return to basting my batting.