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Claire Preen Chocolatier

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  • Churros with Chocolate

    In the mood for this delicious Spanish chocolate snack? Grab a deep frying pan and try this recipe!

     

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    Ingredients
    1/2 cup caster sugar
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup butter (chopped)
    1 cup water
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup plain flour
    3 eggs
    1/2 tsp finely grated orange rind
    2 tsp caster sugar (extra)

     

    Method

    1. Mix caster sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

    2. Combine butter, water, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter melts or mixture just comes to a boil.

    3. Add flour, and stir until mixture is well combined and comes away from the side of the pan. Remove from heat.

    4. Beat eggs into the flour mixture one at a time. Add orange rind and extra sugar, and stir to combine.

    5. Spoon mixture into piping bag with 1-cm fluted nozzle.

    6. In a deep pan, pour oil to a depth of 5 cm and heat to 180C/350F. Pipe 8×10-cm lengths of batter into the oil, and cook for 1 minute on each side.

    7. Roll the cooked churros in the cinnamon sugar mix. Melt some chocolate, and you are ready to go!

     

    For more fantastic recipes like this one, try 50 Shades of Chocolate (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here) and Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here).

     

  • Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

    I’ve had a lot of enquiries from chocolate-loving fans of the 50 Shades of Chocolate Facebook page for the recipe for the chocolate swirl cheesecake I posted recently. So … here you go! I like to make mine all the more chocolatey by adding chocolate to the base as well as the filling – oh my!

     

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    Ingredients

    Base
    150 g plain digestive biscuits
    50 g milk chocolate
    80 g butter

     

    Filling
    500 g cream cheese
    1/2 cup caster sugar
    1/2 cup thickened cream
    4 eggs
    125 g dark chocolate

     

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 160C/325F.

    2. Crumb milk chocolate and biscuits in a food processor, or place between sheets of greaseproof paper and bash the hell out of it until it is finely crushed! Add melted butter and combine in a bowl.

    3. Using your fingertips or the back of a spoon, press mixture evenly into the base of a lined baking tray. Place in fridge to set.

    4. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until velvety smooth, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cream and beat until combined. Pour mixture over biscuit base.

    5. Place chocolate in small pieces in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water), and stir until melted and smooth. Drizzle chocolate over the cheesecake filling and make swirls using a skewer.

    6. Bake for 50 minutes or until set. Turn oven off, and leave cheesecake to cool with door ajar for four hours or until completely cooled (to prevent cracking). Cover with cling wrap and place in fridge for one hour to chill.

     

    Serve with raspberries or strawberries for a delightful dessert.

     

    Note: An ordinary baking tray will be fine, or add a cute touch with mini heart-shaped molds! Just keep an eye on baking time if using smaller pans.

     

    For more fantastic recipes like this one, try 50 Shades of Chocolate (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here) and Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here).

     

     

  • Chocolate and Irish Whiskey Bread Pudding

    It’s that time of year that’s all about family and friends, love and laughter, and dare I say … excess calories! This year, why not add more chocolate to your Christmas spread for a festive season that is the sweetest yet?

     

    Here’s a great recipe for a chocolate and Irish whiskey bread pudding that would be perfect for your Christmas dinner.

     

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    Ingredients

     

    Whiskey Caramel Sauce

    1 cup sugar
    1 tbsp corn syrup
    ¼ cup water
    ½ cup warm heavy cream
    2 tbsp softened butter (unsalted)
    ½ tsp sea salt
    100 g toasted hazelnuts, chopped
    25 g chocolate
    2 tbsp Irish whiskey

     

    Bread Pudding
    2 cups milk
    2 cups cream
    200 g caster sugar
    250 g dark chocolate
    8 eggs
    1 tbsp vanilla extract
    500 g bread, chopped into chunks

     

    Method

    1. Make the whiskey caramel sauce first. Stir the sugar, corn syrup and water together in a heavy saucepan until sugar is completely moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring and allow to boil undisturbed until it turns dark amber.

    2. Remove from heat immediately and slowly pour the warmed cream onto the caramel mixture. It will bubble up! Stir in the cream until smooth. Then stir in butter, salt, hazelnuts and chocolate. When slightly cooled, stir in whiskey.

    3. For the bread pudding, combine milk, cream and caster sugar over medium heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take off heat and stir in dark chocolate.

    4. Beat the eggs with the vanilla. Slowly add in the chocolate mixture and bread cubes. Let it stand until the bread has absorbed the chocolate custard. Cover and bake in oven at 180C/350F until custard has set.

     

    Serve with the whiskey caramel sauce and enjoy!

     

    For more fantastic recipes like this one, try 50 Shades of Chocolate (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here) and Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here).

  • Send Us Your Recipe and Win a Chocolate Fountain!

    Send us your recipe and win a chocolate fountain!

     

    A chocolate fountain always goes down a treat at a party. And now here’s your chance to win one! Simply send your favourite chocolate recipe to recipes@50shadesofchocolate.com.au, and each month, the best will win a Nostalgia Electrics CFF965 Mini Chocolate Fondue Fountain.

     

    Couldn’t be a sweeter deal. Good luck!

  • Send Us Your Recipes!

    choc

     

    Exciting news! We are relaunching our website, www.50shadesofchocolate.com.au, this December, and we would love to feature some of our readers’ recipes.

     

    If you have a sinfully sweet, decadent chocolate recipe to share, please email recipes@50shadesofchocolate.com.au.

     

    Our new chocolate website will be a one-stop shop for anyone interested in making anything delicious with chocolate! In addition to a huge range of yummy recipes (both from our fabulous readers and yours truly), the website will also have handy tips, baking do’s and don’ts, a chocolate shopping section and a chocolate blog. Everything fun to do with chocolate, you will find on this website.

     

    We’re working hard on the website now so it’s ready to launch in December. In the meantime, do send us your recipes – even better if you send a photo of your chocolatey creation and/or of yourself! I look forward to getting your emails at recipes@50shadesofchocolate.com.au.

     

  • Emergency: A World Without Chocolate?

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    As an avid fan of all things chocolate, I don’t like what I’m reading this week. Reports are that we are facing a very real crisis: a future without chocolate. Or one where chocolate is so expensive, it’s out of reach except to the small elite who can afford such luxury.

     

    Apparently, the looming crisis is mainly due to a shortage of cocoa beans, as well as increasing demand for chocolate in newer markets such as Asia.

     

    Some industry experts have even gone as far as saying that 2020 will be the year in which we officially run out of chocolate! That’s far too soon for my liking.

     

    My tip as we face this impending doom? Eat as much of the sweet (or bitter) stuff as you can before it’s too late!

     

  • A Chocolate Dress

    A chocolate dress

     

    I read today about a designer in the UK who created a dress made entirely of chocolate. How delicious!

     

    Of course, I’m a big fan of chocolate anywhere, any time. You might think wearing chocolate raises some practical concerns, like not getting too warm – but hey, if that dress starts to melt, just lick it off!

     

    Click on the photo to go to the original news article.

  • Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart

    I posted earlier this week about my current obsession with salted chocolate. The combination of two flavours is just divine – the subtle sea salt together with the dark chocolate creates an intense flavour and reduces the bitterness, resulting in … heaven.

     

    So, to share my love for all things salty and chocolatey, here is a recipe for a salted chocolate caramel tart. Get cooking!

     

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    Ingredients

    400 g chocolate caramel sauce (the recipe for this is on page 33 of my book)
    150 g dark chocolate
    1/3 cup cream
    1¼ cup plain flour
    2 tbsp cocoa powder
    2 tbsp pure icing sugar
    125 g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
    1½ tbsp cold water
    Sea salt to sprinkle

     

    Method

    1. Make the pastry first. Preheat oven to 200C. Sift the flour, cocoa and icing sugar into a bowl and add the butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the water and process until just combined.

    2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute or until the dough just comes together. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest.

    3. Divide the dough into 6 even portions. Roll out each portion until 3 mm thick and cut into 12-cm-diameter circles with a pastry cutter.

    4. Line your individual tart tins with the pastry rounds. The pastry should come up the side of the tray slightly to give the tart an edge. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

    5. Cover the pastry cases with baking paper, and fill with pastry weights or beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and pastry weights. Bake for 5 minutes or until cooked through and dry to the touch. Set aside to cool completely.

    6. Now for the fun part! Place 2 tablespoons of the chocolate caramel sauce in each pastry case. Cover and place in the fridge to chill.

    7. Bring the cream up to a very gentle boil. Take off heat, add dark chocolate bits and stir. Let cool.

    8. Spread chocolate mixture over the top of each tart and sprinkle with the sea salt. Divine!

     

    For more fantastic recipes like this one, try 50 Shades of Chocolate (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here) and Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here).

  • Chocolate-Coated Bacon

    When it comes to chocolate recipes, you think of desserts, cakes and all things sweet. But chocolate works amazingly well in savoury dishes too – my book has a whole chapter dedicated to savoury chocolate recipes!

     

    Here’s an easy one to start you off, combining two of my greatest loves – chocolate and bacon.

     

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    Ingredients
    6 rashers salty smoked bacon
    200 g dark chocolate
    ¼ tsp paprika

     

    Method

    1. Grill bacon till crispy.

    2. Melt chocolate and stir in paprika.

    3. Dip cooled bacon into chocolate until coated on each side, then leave to set.

     

    Serve this as part of a snack buffet, or enjoy it between two – it’s up to you!

     

    For more fantastic recipes like this one, try 50 Shades of Chocolate (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here) and Diva’s Guide to Dinner Parties (purchasers outside Europe or America, go here).

  • Sold Out!

    Sold out!

     

    50 Shades of Chocolate is sold out in newsagents. To buy a copy, please contact the publishers directly – email melissa.collins@keymedia.com.au, or phone +612 8437 4774.