Coconut Macaroons

I first tasted coconut macaroons in the Christmas Markets in Manchester a few years ago. Although originally macaroons are made with crushed almonds, these coconut versions are actually quite easy to make and are pretty snacks to decorate the table for any sort of party. Or just a comforting sweet bite to bake all for yourself…

Ingredients:
200g shredded coconut
150g caster sugar
2 larges egg whites
8 squares of dark chocolate (or milk if you prefer)

Method:
Simply mix all three ingredients well in a bowl and chill for fifteen minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°. Using an ice-cream scoop, make moulds of coconut half-spheres and space them out on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper.

Bake for fifteen minutes, until the coconut catches a golden colour. Remove from the oven and whilst cooling, melt a small amount of dark chocolate in a ban-marie. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cooled macaroons – or alternatively, dip half of each macaroon in the chocolate and allow the chocolate to set on the baking paper before eating. ~

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Chocolate Biscuit Bars

I believe this is my Grandmother’s take on tiffin:

Ingredients
225g (or about half a packet) broken digestive biscuits
100g sultanas or any dried fruit
50g butter
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
130g dark chocolate
Pieces of half an orange

This is all there is to making these sweet snack bars:

Melt the butter, syrup and chocolate over a bain-marie. Dark chocolate is best to counter the overall sweetness of the bars. If you want to make it interesting, splash a dash of rum! Add broken up biscuits and fruit. I added dates, raisins, apricots, cranberries and goji berries. Stir together and coat with the chocolate.

Pack into a lined tin (tin foil) and if you fancy, add the half orange pieces – pressing them into the top. Allow to chill and harden then turn out the slab and cut with a heavy knife into bars.

Chocolate and Raspberry Gateaux

Ingredients:

75 g Bournville cocoa powder
350 ml boiling water
250 g butter, diced
300 g light brown sugar
250g fine caster sugar
4 eggs
410 g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1tsp honey
1tbsp raspberry liquor (or syrup )

Dissolve the cocoa powder and melt the sugars, honey and butter into the boiling water. When everything is the same consistency, beat in the eggs. Be sure that the water is not so hot as to cook the eggs immediately.

Into a large bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder together. Make a well in the centre and start to combine the warm chocolate liquid, being sure to mix together as you go. You should have a smooth but quite runny cake mix.

Pour the mixture into a pre-lined round baking tin (9″ diameter with a depth of at least 4″), and place in a pre-heated oven for 1hr 30mins at 180°. Take out and check that the cake is cooked through by running a skewer through the centre. If the skewer comes out clean then the cake is cooked.

For the hard icing topping:

Warm 200ml of double cream and melt in 400g of dark chocolate and 100g of icing sugar. Allow to cool until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Make sure the cake is cooled completely before applying the icing.

Top with fresh raspberries and anything else you like.  I added fudge! ~