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hot chocolate

  • Halloween Treats - Chocolate Bat Biscuits

    I was searching for some fun Halloween recipes and came across these fantastic chocolate bat biscuits on the BBC Good Food website which would look fab on the side of your mug of tea this Halloween!

    Quick and easy to make they are ideal to do with kids this half term!

    Ingredients:

    • 125g butter, softened

    • 85g icing sugar

    • 1 large egg yolk

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    • 1 tsp milk

    • 175g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

    • 1 tsp fine espresso-style powder coffee

    • 50g cocoa powder

    • ¼ tsp salt

    To decorate:

    • 100g bar dark or milk chocolate

    • Chocolate hundreds and thousands

    • Coloured writing icing (or make your own with 100g icing sugar, 2-4 tsp water and some colouring)

    Method:

    Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and pale, then beat in the yolk, the vanilla and milk. Sift the flour, coffee, cocoa and salt into the bowl, then mix together to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 15 mins.

    Dust the dough all over with a little flour, then roll it between two large sheets of baking parchment, to the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the top layer of the paper, stamp shapes with an 8cm bat (or other) cutter, and carefully lift to the lined sheets using a palette knife. Re-roll the trimmings. Cut a 1.5cm x 5mm notch at the base of each bat’s body. This is about right to sit the bats on thick tumblers; if your glasses are finer-edged, make the notches thinner so that the bats stay put. Bake for 10 mins or until the biscuits feel sandy and smell rich and chocolatey. Cool on the sheets for 5 mins, then lift the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

    To decorate, melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. One biscuit at a time, brush chocolate over the bat ears and wings with a small paintbrush, then cover with chocolate sprinkles. Tap off the excess. Pipe faces and fangs onto your bats, then leave to dry. Keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    (Image courtesy of BBC Good Food Recipes)

    Melissa, October, 2014

  • National Chocolate Week - Epic Hot Chocolate

    It is National Chocolate Week and although I am very fond of a chocolate bar/cake/biscuit or anything come to think of it covered in chocolate I thought I would share with you this recipe to make your own hot chocolate mix.

    It is this mix that Rob made as favours in small jam jars at our wedding and we are still getting messages from friends and family saying how delicious it is. Unfortunately we can’t take credit for it as it is a Jamie Oliver recipe, but this winter we are going to experiment by adding in some other flavours or spices.

    Jamie Oliver Epic Hot Chocolate

    Cinnamon – spiked homemade hot chocolate

    Serves 8-10

    You will need 2 pints of milk for this amount of mixture

    2 tablespoons Horlicks

    2 tablespoons cornflour

    3 tablespoons icing sugar

    4 tablespoons quality organic cocoa

    100g good quality dark chocolate (70% coca solids), finely grated

    1 pinch ground cinnamon

    1 pinch sea salt

    The idea is to put all the ingredients into one large jar and then mix before you use.

    Bring the milk to the boil, then add the mixture and give it a good whisk and leave to bubble for a few minutes. It will be lovely and thick.

    For the wedding we thought that they looked really lovely still in layers, so we left them like this allowing guests to shake them before use! We also modified the quantities to make little jars.

    Enjoy!

    (Image courtesy of Andy Tyler Photography)

    Melissa, October 2014

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