Friday, 28 December 2012

Chocolate Lollipops

These were one of my contributions to the family Christmas dinner, they went down well. I think I'll be making a lot more of these. 

The inspiration came from an episode of Barefoot Contessa. It was holiday special where she came to London to get some foodie inspiration, as you do. 

One of the places she visited was William Curley Chocolate Boutique and they made amazing lollipops, then Ina made her own version and here are mine. 

The great thing about them in they are easy to make but they look impressive.

The Ingredients
300g of chocolate makes about 14 lollipops of relatively equal size. 
I used 300g Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate & 300g of Green & Black Organic Milk Chocolate.

You can use any chocolate you like really.

You will need lollipop sticks of some sort - I used cakepop sticks from Lakeland.

Toppings can be all sorts of things... nuts, dessicated coconut, dried fruit etc. The combinations I have used so far are:
  • Dessicated coconut
  • Dessciated coconut & chopped dried pineapple
  • Chopped Hazelnut
  • Chopped Hazelnut & chopped dried apricot 
  • Mixed chopped dried fruit (dried apricot, sultanas, dried pineapple)
  • Salt
  • Dried chilli flakes
  • Or you can just have them plain
All the combos worked well, although the chili flakes only give a slight after-heat rather than an aftertaste. Things to try very soon:
  • Mixing dark & milk chocolate together
  • Dried blueberries / cherries / cranberries / raspberries / strawberries
  • Chopped liquorice
  • Chopped cookie 
  • Cocoa powder 
  • The combinations could be endless 

The Method
Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a chopping board (you'll probably need two of these).

Place all but 30-40g of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water (medium heat). 

As it melts stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula until all the chocolate is just melted. 

Remove the bowl from the heat.

Immediately stir in the remaining 30g-40g until its all melted and smooth. 

Using a tablespoon, pour the melted chocolate into rounds greaseproof paper. Gravity helps the chocolate naturally fall into a basic circle :)

Place lollipop sticks in the middle of each chocolate round, giving the stick a little twist, to make sure its complete covered in chocolate. 

Sprinkle the tops of the lollipops.

Put them in the fridge to harden quickly. 

Enjoy, and share if possible :) 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

New Favourites

Just a quick post about a new book that we've have been using lately - The Hairy Dieters. Its basically the Hairy Bikers eating a bit healthier.

That's the great thing about it - its not what I would consider 'diet' food, if it was we would have never bothered with it. I'm not interested in eating rabbit food in a bid to get skinny, life is simply too short and I enjoy eating far too much for that.

We got the book on the strength of one episode (the last) of the series we caught on the BBC, and it hasn't disappointed. 

The most used section so far is what the hairys like to call 'fakeaways', healthy versions of your favourite takeaways. There is no 'special' ingredients thats difficult to source which is always good, and another two important factors... easy to cook and easy to eat :)

There will definitely be adapted recipes from The Hairy Dieters appearing here some time soon!