Caramel coconut patties


Caramel coconut patties


‘Bada bing bada boom.’ I’m not only quoting James Caan from the Godfather, but that’s also the fun name of the chocolate from Chocoley.

I know you want to get to the juicy details of these caramel coconut patties, but let me give you a little history on Chocoley


Started in 2004, Chocoley is a family based business. With a passion for chocolate, the family set out to make the best chocolate they could. Father Steve was instrumental in the start of the business, with daughter Coley later taking the reigns, and so the name was born, chocolate, + Coley = Chocoley

Now more than 10 years later and lots of hard work, they have a successful online business, selling high quality products so you can order chocolate ’til your hearts content. 

If you would like to read more  of the families story, you can find it here.

So, back to the goodies. When a company has very specific instructions on how melt the chocolate, you know they are serious about their product and want to you enjoy the chocolate in it’s best form.

When I was contacted by Chocoley, I was asked what products would like to try. So after looking through the extensive choices, caramel coconut patties caught my eye. I had never had coconut caramel and the flavor combination sounded so good, and they are.

So here are all the ingredients that I was sent to make the caramel coconut patties.


Caramel coconut patties


Half of the coconut caramels were coated in the dark candy and molding formula chocolate and the other half I used the extra dark candy and molding formula. I also added some of the drizzle and design white chocolate to some of the patties which  is a great contrast to the dark chocolate.

Caramel coconut patties



Caramel coconut patties                                                 print

(makes 60 – 2 inch round patties)   

Ingredients                 

You’ll also need


Directions

  1. Microwave on low power, in 10 second increments, equal parts Chocoley caramel and Chocoley coconut dough cream center to soften.
  2. When soft, mix together.
  3. Cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the ‘dough’ for a while to expedite the process.
  4. When at room temperature, pinch off small amounts at a time and roll into balls.
  5. Place balls onto dipping sheet lined tray and smash with fingers to flatten into patties. (if the dough is too sticky you can use corn starch on your fingers).
  6. Place patties in the refrigerator while you prepare the chocolate.
  7. Melt the chocolate using the instructions that came with your Chocoley chocolate. Ideally, use a double boiler (or a double boiler insert). Do not let the water touch the bottom of the double boiler. Only let the water simmer. Do not allow it to boil or you may burn the chocolate.
  8. Using a stainless steel dipping tool, dip one patty at a time in the melted chocolate and turn to coat. Tap on edge of pan to get excess chocolate off and prevent excess pooling of chocolate.
  9. Place on glossy side of heavy weight dipping sheet lined tray and refrigerate on levels shelf for approximately 10-15 minutes until set-up (hardened). Don’t leave the chocolate in the refrigerator too long. The chocolate can become too cold and will ‘sweat’  or even crack when brought to room temperature.
  10. Seal in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  11. Store at room temperature in low humidity.

*If you must use a microwave, melt on medium heat for short periods being very careful not to overheat the chocolate.

Caramel coconut patties

Supplies provided by Chocoley.com


Berry custard tart

Berry custard tart
When I think of Spring, I think of colorful fruit and berries. This berry custard tart is a great platform to showcase the gorgeous fruit of the season.

Berry custard tart



The filling for the tart is a classic English custard, which is thick and creamy with hint of vanilla over a buttery crust. 

Berry custard tart


Before baking the tart shell, it is important to note a couple of things so you end up with the best crust possible. Firstly, chill the crust in the fridge to prevent shrinking during baking. Then, the tart crust will be ‘blind baked’. This just means that the dough is cooked and browned before the shell is filled.



Ingredients (yields 8-10 servings )                                 print recipe
For the  pastry

  • 1 egg yolk, cold
  • 2 tablespoons very cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold cut into cubes

For the custard

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup fine bakers sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Kiwi, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries


Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the pastry

  1. In a small bowl mix the egg yolk, water and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. Add the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until small crumbs are formed.
  4. With the food processor running, add the egg and water mixture through the feed tube until it comes together in a ball.  If it seems like it is not coming together, drizzle in a small amount of cold water until it forms a ball.
  5. Remove the dough and wrap in plastic wrap for 10-15 minutes, or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Using a piece of parchment paper larger than the tart pan, lightly flour the paper and roll out the dough  using a rolling pin until you get a circle that is slightly larger than your tart pan.
  7. Lift the dough using the parchment paper and lay the dough into the tart pan and it press up the sides. Use a rolling pin over the pan to cut off excess dough.
  8. Prick the entire dough with a fork evenly to prevent the dough bubbling.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Set aside and allow to cool.

For the custard

  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar.
  2. Over medium heat bring to a boil.
  3. While the milk is coming to a boil, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg. 
  4. Stir together the 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch, then stir into the eggs until smooth.
  5. Whisk 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture. This will temper the eggs and stop them from curdling or cooking.
  6. Add the rest of the milk slowly to the egg mixture while whisking.
  7. Return the mixture to the saucepan, over low heat stir the mixture constantly stirring so the eggs don’t burn on the bottom of the pan, until thickened.
  8. Once the custard has thickened, remove from the heat.
  9. Stir in the butter and the vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
  10. Transfer the custard into a glass storage dish and put plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin. Cover with a lid
  11. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can last up to 1 week refrigerated.

To assemble the tart

  1. Add the cooled custard to the cooled tart shell and smooth the top and spread to the edges.
  2. Top with the berries.


Berry custard tart

Candied orange peel


Candied orange peel


Candied orange peel makes a great sweet snack and even better when dipped in chocolate. But this recipe is not for me to snack on (well, maybe I could sneak just one), this recipe is for my white and dark chocolate florentine cookies.

After making your own candied orange peel, you’ll never buy store bought again.
It all starts with really good oranges. I used Spanish Macetera oranges because of their vibrant orange and their thick skin. Naval or valencia oranges would also work.

Candied orange peel

Firstly, start by cutting the top and the bottom off the oranges. Then using a small paring knife, slice the orange peel from top to bottom, trying to get the least amount of white pith as possible.

Candied orange peel


Then slice the peel into 1/4 inch strips. The strips need to be blanched (boiled) in water to remove the bitterness and for the best results should be done 3 times. Draining the orange peel and changing the water in between.

Candied orange peel



Candied orange peel
When the peel has been blanched and drained, they must be boiled in sugar and water for 45 minutes until translucent, then rolled in sugar and left to dry for 4 hours to overnight. I like using bakers fine sugar for recipes like this because the sugar takes almost no time to dissolve and it makes for a better sugar coating.

Candied orange peel

Now to decide what to do with your candied orange peel. They can be dipped in dark, milk or white chocolate and can be a great sweet treat.

Candied orange peel

Ingredients (yield 1 cup)                   metric conversion                    print recipe

  • 3 Macetera, valencia or naval oranges
  • 2 cups fine bakers sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 3/4 cup water


Directions

  1. Cut the top and bottom off the oranges.
  2. Score the skin from top to bottom around the orange and peel.
  3. Cut the peel into strips, about 1/4 inches wide.
  4. Add water to a medium saucepan and bring to boil.
  5. Add the orange slices and blanch (boil) for 2 minutes.
  6. Drain, discard water and repeat 2 more times. This is to reduce the bitterness.
  7. In the same saucepan, whisk the sugar and the 3/4 cup water.
  8. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and is simmering.
  9. Add the orange peels and reduce heat to continue to simmer until the peels are translucent, about 45 minutes. DO NOT STIR. This will produce sugar crystals, but you can swirl the pan if needed to move the peels around.
  10. Drain the peels onto parchment paper and discard the syrup.
  11. Roll the peels in the sugar and allow to dry on a rack for 4 to 5 hours or overnight.
  12. Store in an air tight container until needed.
Candied orange peel
Candied orange peel


Chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes

Chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes


Well they don’t look like turtles, you say. The name comes from turtle candies that consist of caramel, chocolate and pecans that are shaped to resemble a turtle. 
These cupcakes were made for my husbands birthday. His favorite dessert is turtle cheesecake, but I wanted to make something different for him, so I came up with these cupcakes.

Quite the indulgence, these cupcakes come with a nice surprise inside, more caramel. To me, that just makes a cupcake more exciting because not only do you have fun on top, there’s fun in the middle too. To do this, you cut out a cone shaped section, cut the bottom of the cone off so you’re left with a lid and after you’ve filled the cupcake you just pop the lid back on. 

Chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes.


Storage: I only frost however many cupcakes I need because the frosting will not last as long as the cupcake. I put the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container and they will keep for up to a week in the fridge. Frosted cupcakes will keep about 2 days in the fridge in an airtight container.


Chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes


Chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes


Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)                                        print recipe

For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • Salted caramel sauce (recipe)
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted * (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons roasted pecan pieces. * (see notes)
For the coffee buttercream:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee, cold
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
For the chocolate sauce:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
Directions:

For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cake cups. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk and the vanilla. Set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter until smooth.
  6. Add the granulated sugar and the brown sugar and mix until fluffy.
  7. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. 
  8. Add the chocolate and mix well.
  9. Add 1/3 of the flour/ baking soda mixture, mix well. Alternate with the buttermilk vanilla mixture and flour mixture, ending with the flour and baking soda. Mix until incorporated, do not over mix, it should resemble chocolate mousse.
  10. Fill each cake cup 2/3 full with the mixture using an ice cream scoop.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  12. Cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool.
For the coffee buttercream:
  1. In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Start slowly or you will end up covered in powdered sugar.
  3. Add the cold coffee and heavy cream. If the mixture is too thick, add 1 more tablespoon heavy cream.
  4. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with closed star tip and pipe onto cupcakes.
For the chocolate sauce:

  1. Heat the heavy cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the chocolate while stirring, until melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
To assemble the cupcakes:
  1. Take a cooled muffin. Cut a circle about 1 inch in diameter and 2/3 of the way down the inside of the muffin, will be in the shape of a cone. Remove and set aside.
  2. Drizzle into the hole the salted caramel sauce until 2/3 full.
  3. Take the cone piece that was cut out and remove the cone  so you are left with a circular ‘lid’. Place back on top of the muffin.
  4. With the piping bag filled with the buttercream, pipe onto the cupcakes.
  5. Drizzle the tops with chocolate sauce, salted caramel and sprinkle toasted pecans.

*To melt chocolate, place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, check and stir. Keep doing this until the chocolate is melted. Be careful not to overheat.
*To toast pecans, add to a small skillet. Cook over low heat, turning often, until you start to smell them and they are evenly browned.


Chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes



Salted caramel sauce

Salted caramel sauce

Who doesn’t love a good salty sweet caramel? It can be used in so many ways, from topping off your favorite ice cream, to an orange upside cake. In this case, I made this caramel sauce as a topping, and filling for chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes.

Salted caramel sauce



With just 5 ingredients, this sauce is easy to make and really tastes home made.


Salted caramel sauce


It is important to not have the heat too high while the sugar is cooking, medium heat, when  you see the sugar bubbling as in the picture below. This is also an example of the amber color you are looking for when the sugar is done cooking and is time for the heavy cream.


Salted caramel sauce


Whisking in the heavy cream may seem scary, because it will bubble because of the dramatic temperature difference between the sugar and the cream, but it will not bubble over, just keeping whisking.


Salted caramel sauce


I like to transfer the sauce from the pan to a pouring jug, this makes it easier to transfer the sauce to a jar.


Salted caramel sauce


Ingredients (makes 2 cups)                                  print recipe

  • 1 cup fine bakers sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan add the sugar and water.
  2. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
  3. Increase the heat until the sugar mixture bubbles and continue to cook until it turns amber.
  4. Immediately remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in the heavy cream (it will bubble) until well mixed.
  6. Stir in the butter and the salt.
  7. Allow to cool.

If you are storing the sauce in jars, transfer the mixture to a pouring jug first, this will make pouring into jars easier.

The sauce can be stored in a tight container for up to 2 weeks the refrigerator.


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Chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes
Chocolate caramel turtle cupcakes


Christmas pudding with brandy cream

Christmas pudding with brandy cream


Traditionally the great British traditional Christmas pudding was a labor of love, I think that’s why my mother used to buy them instead of making them. The recipe would consist of a lot ingredients, soaking dried fruit overnight and steaming the pudding for 8 hours, what madness. 

So after much research, I came up with a recipe with fewer ingredients, healthier (no vegetable shortening) and make individual puddings that take only 35 minutes to bake in the oven, instead of 1 large pudding. The mixture can be made 3 days in advance and kept cool in the fridge, so you can just bake them off  Christmas Day and serve them  nice and warm  with  brandy cream. 
Brandy cream is the traditionally accompaniment to the Christmas pudding, it just adds a nice creamy addition to the pudding

Christmas pudding with brandy cream



Ingredients (makes 16 muffin size puddings)    metric conversion       print recipe
  • 26 ounces mixed dried fruit (I used golden raisins, dark raisins, dried cranberries)
  • Zest from 1 medium orange
  • 2 bags black tea
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 7 ounces/14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 oz dark chocolate, finely grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl add boiling water to the 2 teabags, allow to soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the teabags.
  4. Add the sherry  and the brandy to the tea.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dried fruit and pour over the sherry, brandy tea mix and stir.
  6. Allow the liquid to come to room temperature.
  7. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for 1 hour.
  8. In a large mixing bowl whisk the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy.
  9. While whisking add the eggs, one at a time until mixed.
  10. Add the flour, ginger, nutmeg, breadcrumbs  chocolate and mix until combined.
  11. Drain the dried fruit and add to the flour mixture, stir until combined.
  12. Brush 3 muffin pans with the melted butter.
  13. Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, divide the mixture between all the muffin pans, flatten the tops and make them even.
  14. Cover the muffin pans with parchment paper.
  15. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each pudding comes out clean.
  16. Allow the puddings to cool in the muffin pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a cool rack.
Store leftover puddings in a plastic container with lid. To reheat, put the puddings in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 1 minute.


Brandy cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar (use 3 if you like it sweeter)
  • 3 tablespoons brandy

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients (the cream will whip faster if it is really cold)
  2. Whip the mixture until it develops soft peaks.
  3. Serve on top of warm or room temperature puddings.


Christmas pudding with brandy cream


Banana ice cream, 1 ingredient

Banana ice cream


Yes, I know ‘baby it’s cold outside’. Maybe for some, but not here in L.A., it’s warming up (?). Did you know today is National Ice Cream and Violins Day? (and Friday the 13th, but we wont mention that). What does that mean? Who knows, I have not been able to find an explanation as to why we have this day, so I can’t tell you anything about it, but I do know they both rock, classically. That’s why I put a violin the picture, in case you were wondering. What I can tell you is, all you ice cream lovers that can’t digest dairy, who gaze lovingly at those frozen mounds of goodness, step right up, here’s your recipe. This is a 1 ingredient recipe for banana ice cream with 3 choices of toppings.


Along with having only 1 ingredient, the making of the ice cream is done in only 2 steps. Freezing banana slices.
Banana ice cream

Processing the bananas until smooth.
Banana ice cream

Banana ice cream


3 toppings: crushed candy canes, chocolate chips and salted caramel. 
Recipe for salted caramel can be found here.


Banana ice cream


Banana ice cream
Crushed candy cane
Banana ice cream
Salted caramel

Banana ice cream
Chocolate chips


Ingredients   (4 servings)     metric conversion       print recipe

  • 4 very ripe bananas, sliced.

Directions

  1. Spread the banana slices onto a plate and freeze for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Add then to a food processor and process until smooth, scrape down the sides if needed.
  3. Transfer to a glass or plastic storage container with a lid, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.