Healthy Chocolate (Epic Fail)

choc

I’ve been on a sugar-free kick, however I still crave sweet food, especially chocolate. So, in my quest to have my chocolate (and eat it too) I found and made this recipe for healthy chocolate. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend it. The chocolate turned out waxy and yucky. After tasting it I threw away my bottle of coconut oil and went straight to the supermarket to buy some proper chocolate*.

Anyway, if you ever get the urge, here’s what not to do.

1/2 Cup coconut oil (an ingredient which is best avoided, in my opinion).

1/2 Cup cocoa

3 Tblspns honey (this was a waste of perfectly good honey. Did you know that it takes 48 bees a lifetime to make two tablespoons of honey? I feel terribly guilty about having wasted the lives of 72 bees to make this recipe).

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gently melt the coconut oil, then whisk in the cocoa, honey and vanilla before pouring into a tin lined with baking paper. I believe you can also add peanut butter, nuts cinnamon or dried fruit to this recipe, but really, I don’t know why anyone would bother.

*Cadbury Dairy Milk, a family size block. And in case you’re wondering, I didn’t share it with the family. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

Tim Tam Truffles

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Recipes for Tim Tam Truffles do the rounds every Australia Day.

Some people dip their truffles in melted chocolate before rolling them in coconut, but I don’t think they really need the additional chocolate. Making the truffles without the chocolate is also more budget-friendly.

2 packets of Tim Tams, any flavour, crushed.

250gm cream cheese, softened

1/2 Cup coconut (approximately, you may need a little more).

Crush the Tim Tams finely, then mix in with the cream cheese. Refrigerate for half an hour.

Roll the mixture into teaspoon sized balls, then roll in coconut and refrigerate.

 

Chocolate Truffles

truffle

These Chocolate Truffles are the bomb. I usually make two batches, using two different types of biscuits. I cover one batch with white chocolate and the other batch with milk chocolate. Yum.

The recipe below is for one batch only, but reverse the quantity if you want some white and some milk chocolate.

 

250gm packet of chocolate chip biscuits. (I use Paradise Triple Chocolate Biscuits).

395gm sweetened condensed milk

100gm milk chocolate

180gm white chocolate

Crush the biscuits finely.

Heat the sweetened condensed milk and milk chocolate gently until the chocolate is melted, then stir into the biscuit crumbs. Chill for ten minutes, or until the mixture can be rolled into balls.

Once rolled into balls, chill the mixture again for a few hours. The balls may have to be re-rolled if they don’t hold their shape.

truffles

Melt the white chocolate using the double saucepan over water method, then dip the balls and place on waxed paper to set.

 

 

 

Coconut Ice

coconut

It’s nearly Christmas! That means it is time to make Coconut Ice! Yay!

2 Cups icing sugar

3 Cups dessicated coconut

1tspn vanilla essence

395gm tin sweetened condensed milk

red food colouring

Mix the sifted icing sugar, coconut and vanilla essence together, then stir in the sweetened condensed milk.

Press half of the mixture into a lined tin (I used a square cake tin).  Colour the remaining half of the mixture using the food colouring and mix well. Don’t get the food colouring on your hands or you will look as if you frequent B&S Balls.*

Press the pink half of the mixture on top of the white half. I used a sheet of baking paper and a glass to roll the mixture flat.

Refrigerate overnight then cut into squares.

*Bachelor and Spinsters Balls, usually held in country towns. These days B&S balls are held in remote areas where the attendees either frock up or wear a suit, drink until they are sick and throw food colouring at each other. I don’t understand the attraction, but loads of people apparently do.

Lemon Toffee Brittle

lemon toffee 2

This recipe for Lemon Toffee Brittle makes a harder toffee than my other Lemon Toffee recipe, this kind is the type you pour into a tray and then break up as you would a Nut Brittle.

1/2 Cup water

1 Cup white sugar

1/2 Cup golden syrup

50gm butter

1 lemon, juice and zest

Place everything into a heavy based saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Bring to the boil and simmer for ages. After about 15 minutes dip a teaspoon into the mixture and test it in a glass of water to check if the toffee is ready. Once the toffee comes out of the water reasonably hard on the spoon it is ready to pour, (and as a bonus, taste testing this recipe is lovely).

Once ready, pour the toffee into a slice tray lined with baking paper. Spread the toffee around to thin it out. Once set, break it into pieces and store in an air tight container.

Lemon Toffee

lemon toffee

I was an expert toffee maker by the time I was 8. This is the first time I’ve ever made Lemon Toffee and I have to admit, the lemon flavour is slightly more grown-up than most of my toffee recipes.

This is a sticky toffee, so it must be poured into patty pans to set. It won’t set hard, so it won’t break up into pieces if you pour it onto a tray.

300ml cream

200 ml golden syrup

300 ml sugar

2 Tblpns butter

Juice and zest of a lemon

Put everything in a pan and heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly. Bring to the boil, continuing to stir until the mixture stays firm on a spoon when you dip it into a glass of water (around 30 minutes – I shouldn’t admit to this, but I read while I am stirring things over the stove).

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Pour carefully into patty pan cases.

 

Caramel Popcorn

pop

Caramel Popcorn is the perfect movie food. Or tennis or football, or whatever you like to watch on television.

1/2 Cup popped popcorn

125gm butter

3/4 Cup sugar

2 Tablespoons honey

1 Cup chopped pecans

Place the sugar, butter and honey into a saucepan, dissolve at a low heat while stirring, then boil like mad until the toffee starts to change colour.

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Mix in the nuts, then mix into the popcorn.

Spread the mixture over a large tray (remember, baking paper is your very dear friend on these type of occasions), then let the popcorn set before breaking it into pieces.

Peanut Brittle

pea 2

When I was a child, a neighbour asked Dad to teach her daughter to drive.

All of us kids piled into the back of the Holden, which Dad used as a paddock bomb and went with him to help out. We picked up the learner driver and Dad drove down to the caravan park, which was completely vacant all winter, where she drove around and around the little streets under Dad’s instructions. We sat silently in the back seat, having been warned by Dad that learning to drive was a serious business.

A few more lessons and she passed her test. She gave Dad a packet of Peanut Brittle to say thank you. Dad and Mum ate the Peanut Brittle all by themselves, because, Mum says, she was afraid we would break our teeth on it. It is probably time to let this injustice go, but I’m not quite ready yet.

2 Cups sugar

150gm butter

1/4 Cup water

250gm roast peanuts (I used raw peanuts, but roasted would have been much nicer).

Combine the sugar, butter and water in a heavy saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil hard for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. If the mixture starts to crystalise, put a tablespoon of water in and stir until it goes runny again.

When the mixture is the right colour, take it off the heat and quickly mix in the nuts. (I ground some salt in at this stage too, to give the toffee a more interesting flavour).

Pour the mixture into a tray covered with baking paper and spread thinly. Leave the mixture to set then crack it into pieces.

pea

 

Peanut Butter Fudge

peanut 3

He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers ate some of the marshmallows I was going to use in this recipe, then complained when he ate a piece of the finished fudge that his piece didn’t have any marshmallow in it. I had to explain to him (after I stopped laughing), that the marshmallow had melted into the recipe.

2 Cups small marshmallows

2 Cups sugar

2//3 Cup evaporated milk

125gm butter

3/4 Cup peanut butter (I used a blend of maple syrup and peanut butter – Yum).

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the sugar, evaporated milk and butter in a large saucepan and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, then boil at a lower heat for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

peanut

Take the mixture off the heat and stir in what is left of your marshmallows, the peanut butter and vanilla. The little coloured blobs in the picture below are the marshmallows that He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers didn’t eat.

peanut 2

Press the mixture into a tin lined with baking paper and refrigerate. Cut into small squares.

Caramel Fudge

Fudge 2

125gm butter

395gm tin of sweetened condensed milk

1 tspn vanilla extract

1 Cup brown sugar

2 Tblspns golden syrup

100gm white chocolate melts

Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, brown sugar and golden syrup. Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Turn up the heat a little and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, simmer for ten minutes, stirring the whole time. Do not leave the mixture at any point or it will burn.

Remove the mixture from the heat and add the white chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has dissolved. Pour the mixture into a tin lined with baking paper.

Set in the fridge for an hour before cutting.