Afternoon, dear readers.
Been a little while, I suppose, since the last post but that’s because I’ve been dealing with the below:-
NewHuman is in fact a relatively straightforward baby to care for, all evidence shows, apart from cocktail hour, at which time he turns into a devil. I don’t know what it is about the late afternoon/early evening that turns babies into demons, but whatever it is must be stopped. I’ve had to type this whole bloody post one-handed. Uncool.
I’ve found myself googling ridiculous things such as fluffy toys that play all sorts of sounds in an attempt to replicate the womb. I have, instead, decided that if it’s cocktail hour for him, it might as well be for me too. Wine ahoy!
Cooking has been happening but mostly repeats of stuff already blogged. E, who has guest posted a couple of times before, to great acclaim and massive page stats, obviously, has Officially Saved My Life and donated the following post. I might actually love her for this. Someone get that woman a cocktail…nay! Get her three cocktails!
Chocolate tiffin. Get to it.
Hi! Me again. Thought I’d do another post to give B some more quality time to work out – or just resign herself to – the mysterious workings of a NewHuman.
Now, I wanted to write about this awesome strawberry bread that I like to make when strawberries are ripe and in abundance, but thanks the hateful weather we’ve been cursed with the strawberries in our garden currently look like this:
Sad, isn’t it? And as I refuse to make use of the meh!flavoured impostors sold by our crappy local supermarket you are getting chocolate tiffin instead.
I found this recipe inside the wrapper of a bar of Green & Black’s cooking chocolate, and thought it seemed rather sophisticated and unusual. Of course, Google swiftly disabused me of that notion, for chocolate tiffin is apparently common as muck. Nevertheless, this particular version was invented by Rachael Nimento, and she used to work at The French Laundry in Nappa Valley, CA, a restaurant where I shall at some point eat and then die happy, so….good enough for me.
You will need:
90g whole blanched almonds
90g whole blanched pistachios (couldn’t find any in aforementioned crappy supermarket. Used pistachio kernels instead. No one died)
140g honey (the original recipe called for golden syrup but I went for honey because TOBLERONE, baby! Though use golden syrup if you want)
400g ginger biscuits
70g good quality cocoa powder
300-350g milk cooking chocolate
Preheat oven to 180c/fan 160c/gas mark 4.
Roast the nuts in the oven for about 5 minutes, until they are just about beginning to take on colour. Time this, and keep a wary eyeball on them. Nuts burn quickly, and pistachios and almonds are a little too pricey to just wantonly incinerate.
Line a suitably sized baking tin with greaseproof paper. Mine is about 15x25cm.
Melt together the butter and honey (or golden syrup).
Crush the ginger biscuits. You can do this bit in a food processor, but I prefer to do it by hand. It’s therapeutic. Remember that overgrown bully back in school? He used to mercilessly take the piss out of you for your awesome 70s style mustard and brown-patterned trousers? Yeah? SMASH HIM.
When the biscuits are crushed to your liking – I smashed about half up finely and left half in larger chunks – combine them with the nuts, cocoa and sultanas in a big bowl. Mix well, then stir in your butter mixture.
Mix again, then press into the lined tin as flat as you can.
Chill in the fridge for two hours or so. Then break the chocolate into chunks and melt in your preferred way. I did it in the microwave like a barbarian – or Nigella – but doing it over a water bath is the the more widely accepted method. Either way, melt it. Look. Molten chocolate. NICE
Get your chilled tiffin out from the fridge and spread half the melted chocolate on top. Using whatever suitable implement you’ve got to hand roughly smooth it over then return to the fridge. Chill for a couple of minutes, until it’s just set, then spread over the rest of the chocolate. Use a fork to create artful patterns:
Not very arty, me.
Put back in the fridge for another ten minutes, until set, then cut into squares. This should yield about 20 or so squares.
It’s very rich, very unhealthy, and very very nice. It’ll keep for about ten days in an airtight container. Next time I make this – and there will be a next time – I’m going to soak the sultanas in booze first. Possibly spiced rum. Yes.