Chocolate Concrete Recipe using Food Thoughts Finest Organic Cocoa

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I was over the moon to recently be sent some Finest Organic Cocoa from Food Thoughts. I get through A LOT of cocoa in my house… chocolate cake, brownies, cookies, and did I mention chocolate cake? If I’m honest, I have never really thought about the cocoa I usually buy. Until now, that is!

I’ve heard people talk about “Dutch processed” cocoa but wasn’t really sure what that was. I’ve now discovered that it means the cocoa has been washed in a potassium carbonate solution which reduces the cocoa’s natural acidity. A lot of people say this cocoa tastes smoother. Personally I prefer the more natural taste of chocolate, and so this Food Thoughts one is perfect. It is 100% pure natural cocoa powder, unsweetened and gluten-free. Just as nature intended. Heaven!

I wanted to try it in a recipe which relies on a very chocolatey flavour, so it had to be chocolate concrete (or chocolate crunch, depending on where you live). This was easily my favourite school dinner pudding, and remains a firm favourite family pudding today. We used to have it at school served with pink custard, which I’ve since found out was actually hot pink blancmange. Who knew? A lot of people have told me that pink custard is wrong… it has to be green mint custard. Again, it seems that it depends on where you live as to how it was served. I’ll stick with the pink though! I only found out how to make chocolate concrete a few years ago, when a lovely retired dinner lady gave me the recipe. I’m eternally grateful! I have made this recipe with both Dutch processed, and with this yummy Food Thoughts natural cocoa powder. The difference in colour hit me first. Dutch processed cocoa is a lot darker than natural, where natural is a much redder shade of brown. The main picture is using Food Thoughts cocoa. The next picture uses Dutch processed:

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I prefer the natural cocoa colour. Tastewise, I again prefer the natural cocoa. For me it tastes more chocolatey and indulgent.

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CHOCOLATE CONCRETE

155g unsalted butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

30g cocoa powder

225g self-raising flour

170g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top

  • Preheat oven to 160C. Grease a 12 x 7 inch tin with butter.
  • Mix the sugar and melted butter together, then add the flour and cocoa powder. Mix well until you have a stiff consistency and it is all well combined. Gently mix in the beaten egg.
  • Transfer the mixture to the greased tin, press down using the back of a metal spoon and flatten the mixture firmly into the tin, making sure you press the corners down well too.
  • Dip your fingers into cold water and sprinkle lightly on top of the mixture. Bake in the top half of the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little bit of granulated sugar. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces of desired size, and cool on wire racks. This will make it harden too.
  • Serve on its own or with any flavour of custard to be transported back to your childhood school dinnertimes.

If you want to try Food Thoughts Cocoa for yourself, it is only available in Sainsburys at the moment, but they will be expanding it to more supermarkets in the future. Enjoy!

I was sent this cocoa free of charge to sample and bake with. All views are my own though as honesty is always the best policy.

Chocolate and Baileys Mousse

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Do I have a treat in store for you today!! A friend gave me this recipe a long time ago and I added a bit more Baileys and a bit more chocolate to make it extra indulgent. It is very rich so you probably wouldn’t eat as much as I put in the wine glass in the picture. Obviously I wouldn’t either of course, I just put that much in to show you…erm… what a piggy portion would look like. Ok so I might have eaten that much. Alright, alright, I did! I couldn’t resist.

This is a perfect dessert for dinner parties, or just something delicious to share with friends. It has been the sweet accompaniment to quite a few girls nights in, along with the rest of the bottle of Baileys 🙂 Here is the recipe. Using the cream and yoghurt at room temperature allows the gelatine to mix in perfectly. If you use them straight out of the fridge, the gelatine will set in stringy lumps as you fold it in, as cold temperatures strengthen it. I can tell you from personal experience, that doesn’t taste nice!!

CHOCOLATE AND BAILEYS MOUSSE

2 tsp gelatine powder/granules

2 tbsp boiling water

300 ml plain Greek yoghurt, at room temperature

300 ml double cream, at room temperature

55 g caster sugar

2 eggs, separated, and at room temperature

3 tbsp Baileys

3 chocolate Flakes, crumbled roughly, plus extra to decorate if desired

  • Place the gelatine and boiling water in a small bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water in the pan. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Leave to cool slightly but do not let it set.
  • Pour the yoghurt, cream, sugar and egg yolks into a large bowl and whisk together until it has thickened and the whisk leaves a soft pattern in the mixture.
  • In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Very gently fold into the cream mixture with a large spoon or spatula. Use the lightest touch possible to keep as much air in as you can.
  • Add the Baileys and the Flakes, and fold in gently. Pour the gelatine into the mixture and fold in until all combined.
  • Spoon into a large serving dish or individual glasses and chill in the fridge until set. Decorate with extra chocolate or enjoy as they are.

I know what you’re thinking… you’re welcome 🙂