Mocha Mousse with a hint of Grappa

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My brother and his wife were visiting us last weekend for a  game night.

Yes, we love games. Board games, card games, silly games, funny games… you name it!

For dinner we had a raclette. Do you know raclette? It’s basically sliced cheese topped with mushrooms, corn, ham, pickled veg and much more and then melted and poured over potatoes. Quite simple, but yummy comfort food for cold days.

But it called for a lighter dessert and I went for a mousse. This one I found in a Betty Bossi cookbook. Fluffy cream mixed with mocha chocolate and grappa. Ooo I love some schnaps after eating too much and I thought this one would be perfect after overeating on cheese.

The recipe is super simple, light and because I used chocolate with hazelnut brittle a few crunchy bits were left in. I really enjoyed it.

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Mocha Mousse with a hint of Grappa

  • Servings: party of 4
  • Time: 2h30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
100g Mocha chocolate, crumbled
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp Grappa or water for the non-alcoholic version
1 tbsp strong coffee
2dl cream

1. Add chocolate, sugar, Grappa and coffee into a thin glass bowl.
2. Place the bowl on top of a pot with simmering water.
3. Melt the chocolate and stir the ingredients into a smooth paste.
4. Leave to cool for about 15 minutes.
5. Whisk the cream until it’s just about stiff.
6. Combine the cream with the melted paste and mix well but carefully.
7. Spoon into 4 cups and leave in the fridge for about 2 hours.

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Let’s head over to Angie’s for her Fiesta Friday! Thank you so much for hosting Angie! You’re a star!

Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing

There is a cupcake shop in the town I live in. And I always pass it drooling and craving for one of these. They just look so pretty and their icing… mmmhmm. But… they are super expensive. I mean, I can get a small meal for that price. So I don’t buy them very often.

But last Saturday my girls (I actually mean friends, not children ;-) ) stopped by for a girls night in. So I had the perfect opportunity to try and make some cupcakes myself.

I don’t actually know why, but making cupcakes myself always scared me. I guess it maybe is because I have virtually no experience with piping and a big appeal of cupcakes are their looks, and still they taste lovely. I think that is also why I don’t really like cupcakes decorated with fondant. I honestly don’t know any person who eats that stuff, it is just wonderful for decorating. But for me, it has to taste as well.

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I found this recipe on Pinterest. Do you know Pinterest? If not, off you go check it out now. The sheer abundance of recipes and ideas there is absolutely amazing and these cupcakes just really looked their part. Absolutely amazing. So I had the perfect recipe to share with my friends.

The creator of the original recipe is Juicy and it can be found on completerecipes.com.

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So the piping didn’t quite go to plan. But I am almost proud that it looks piped and not just slapped. I need lots of practice still, but it is definitely a start.

I would really like to try Jennie’s Chocolate and Baileys Cupcakes next. They just looks so scrumptious, and I am sure mine won’t look that pretty, but I can’t get better if I don’t try. Right? :-) So go check them out at Jennie’s blog. Yum, yum.

Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes wit Vanilla Icing

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients Cake
60g Cocoa powder
175g Caster sugar
175g Butter
120g Self-raising flour
3 Eggs
3 tbsp Boiling water
100g Blackberries
1 tsp Baking powder

Ingredients icing
250g Icing sugar
250g Butter, soft
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tbsp Milk

Directions for the cake:
1. Mix the cocoa powder and water in a bowl until smooth.
2. Add the butter and sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add the eggs one at a time.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture.
5. Combine and add the blackberries as carefully as possible.

Directions for the icing:
1. Combine the soft butter with the butter.
2. Once well mixed add the other ingredients and put aside until the cakes are ready.

Prepare 12 muffin cases with one blackberry each in the middle and spoon the batter on top of them. Bake in the preheated oven at 190° for about 13 minutes. Once cooled pipe the icing onto them and place a spare blackberry on the top.

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They were really good and actually because of the icing I left them in the fridge overnight and they were even much better the next day. I must admit, the very first bite felt quite sweet. I suppose the icing is just made with sweet ingredients. But leaving them to rest for a day, they really came together. The original recipe was with raspberries but since I didn’t have any at hand and the lovely blackberries just started to be in season, I opted for the dark option. It was quite a good idea. Since the icing was very sweet, the sourness of the blackberries counterparted the sweetness and it worked very well.

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Right, although this was just a piping experiment, they were tasty and I will bring them over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. Oh it is so inspiring and amazing to see other bloggers offerings every week and I do so enjoy this party. So many absolutely scrumptious dishes and bakes. I can’t describe it, you just have to go and see for yourselves. Happy Friday and feliz Viernes.

Garlic Dipping Sauce

If you have been following my blog for a while now, you know I am a bit of a snackaholic. Yup. I like my snacks when I enjoy some TV show in the evening. Right now it’s 24.

Yeah that’s right, I am that late in the game. Haven’t been interested at all in the past, but now I am totally hooked.

So a good snack has to go with a good show.

The thing is though that I have been eating way too many crisps and nuts and popcorn in the past few months and it totally shows. So last night I decided to get healthy. I love vegetables and I always wanted to try and make my own Garlic Dipping Sauce. So I just went for it.

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I mean it’s not really cooking or baking. And it doesn’t really require a recipe. But it’s healthy and so delicious that I just had to share it with you. Well worth to try.

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Garlic Dipping Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
1 plain yoghurt (500g)
3-4 gloves of garlic, crushed
2 pinches of dried herb mix
1 pinch of paprika
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cucumber seeded, peeled and cut into sticks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into sticks
1 pepper, seeded and cut into sticks

1. Empty the yoghurt into a breakfast bowl.
2. Add the crushed garlic and mix well.
3. Add all the herbs and mix well again.

Serve an a plate with the vegetable sticks and enjoy.

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Cherry Tomato, Rosemary and Red Onion Fougasse

I have been seeing so many wonderful posts about the French Fougasse all over the internet lately.  I have never tasted Fougasse, but it just looks so wonderful. It’s elegant leaf shape lends it an air that reminds me more of an artwork rather than a type of bread. And I have been told it’s a relative of the Italian Focaccia, which I just adore.

So it was high time I used my current spare time to make good use of it.

Oven on, let’s bake (on a different note, are you as excited about the next “British Bake Off” episode tonight as I am?)

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Even uncooked I thought it looked delicious.

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Cherry Tomato, Rosemary and Red Onion Fougasse

  • Servings: perfect for two
  • Time: 1h50mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
250g white flour
3.5g (half a sachet) east-blend yeast
1 tsp salt
0.5 tsp sugar
175ml hand-hot water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
0.5 tbsp olive oil
A few cherry tomatoes
A few rosemary sprigs

1. Mix flour, yeast, salt and sugar together.
2. Add water, oil and mix to a soft dough.
3. Knead for approx. 5-10 minutes. Until soft and non-sticky.
4. Fry the onions until slightly soft.
5. Finely chop a few leaves of rosemary sprigs and add to the onion.
6. Mix half the onion/rosemary mix into the dough.
7. Spread the dough onto the baking tray or the baking paper and shape into a leaf.
8. With a sharp knife cut through the middle and make three slashes along each side.
9. Open the slashes slightly.
10. Gently brush the dough with a bit of water.
11. Spread the remaining rosemary, onion and cherry tomatoes on top of the dough.
12. Leave to rise for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven at 220° and bake for approx. 20 minutes until golden brown.

Apart from the obvious failure (the leaves kind of grew back together so there are no holes in my fougasse) this tasted absolutely amazing. I got the recipe from the bbcgoodfood website. I haven’t altered the recipe, apart from halving the quantity and adding as many tomatoes and rosemary sprigs as I fancied. Next time I think I would add some chopped olives, black ones I think. This might just give it a last boost.

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The texture was very pleasing. I have never managed to bake a bread that turned out this okay. It was smooth and light, which I credit to the extra 5 minutes of kneading. I actually used tomatoes which were a big too big for this small Fougasse. But they are from my parents garden and I rather use something that’s sitting in my fridge than go out and buy something I don’t really need.

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So I think I will be bringing this dish to this weeks Fiesta Friday. I know, I know.. still a bit early to be talking about Friday. We still have another day of baking or eating or both ahead of us. But I was quite excited about this fougasse as I started to devour it, this afternoon and I just had to share it with you immediately.

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Oh and on our table, this was served for a late lunch with recently purchased, alp cheese, salsiz and cold meats. For those who don’t know it, salsiz is a specialty from the recently visited Graubünden. It’s a type of dry meat, almost a cousin of the salami. But smaller, air-dried and usually made with pork meat, although this one has a lot of beef in it too. Yup, me likes my meat too.

Cherry Double Chocolate Squares

I am back!

Actually I didn’t tell you that I would be gone in the first place. But I was enjoying some days in the wonderful Graubünden.

And that’s what wonderful Flims looks like:

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Yup, so I am super relaxed. Because we walked every morning (I would like to say hiked but I guess a 2-3 hour walk doesn’t qualify for this just yet) and lazed around the spa area and the heated pool all afternoon. Heated pool in summer you say? Yeah, up 1081m it ain’t 30°. I know. I am spoiled. Ooo and have I told you about the 5-course meals in the evening? I am sure I gained at least 3kg, but hey, that’s the price I have to pay. Gladly, I think.

So let’s move on.

Having had just the most indulgent days of the past year, you’d think I would start cooking fruity, healthy snacks? Nope, not me. I went for a double chocolate filled with chocolate treat. Because I thought I had to add some sort of healthy ingredient I added some chopped cherries. Not that healthy, but well, I tried.. :-)

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The reason for this treat isn’t just that I am a glutton, it’s also because coming home yesterday I got these cute little baking-tins delivered. Ooo the joy! Beyond description.

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One of them is basically the size of a quarter of a normal sized cake. Perfect I thought. So here they are, my calorie bombs

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Cherry Double Chocolate Squares

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
62.5g melted butter, cooled
1 egg
1.5 tbsp cream
1 tbsp strong coffee (espresso), cooled
62.5g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
62.5g sugar
30g chocolate powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 cherries, chopped
A pinch of salt
A few bits of white chocolate (I used white chocolate with hazelnut brittle)

1. Mix the butter, egg, cram and coffee.
2. Add the flour and all ingredients until the salt and mix well.
3. Spoon into the prepared tray.
4. Place the chopped white chocolate bits on top of the mixture. Slightly push down.

Preheat the oven to 180° and place the tray in the middle for 15-20 minutes. Cut into cubes and sift icing sugar on top if desired.

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I must admit, I still need some practice cutting these into squares. Right now it looks more like left-overs from a cake feast. Oh well..

So I’ll be heading over to Angie’s place for her Fiesta Friday Feast. Hope you’re ready for my double chocolate cherry treats, because they are HEAVY!

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Ooo I almost forgot. Here is the proof that my squares were actually liked, even in raw form. ;-) Happy Fiesta Friday everyone!