Category Archives: chocolate recipes

>Chocolate Brownies and Leeds’ Midnight Bell


Everyone loves brownies, and they are deceptively easy to make – everyone has their own version. Just make sure the butter is at room temperature – otherwise you won’t be able to mix it. As for the Cherries and Nuts, use as much as you like. And they are amazing with a good, tasty mild or porter.

Chocolate, Cherry and Brazil Nut Brownies
You will need:
250g Butter
250g Dark Chocolate – at least 70% cocoa solids
300g Golden Caster Sugar
60g Plain Flour
65g Good Cocoa Powder
Half a teaspoon of baking powder
Eggs – 3, plus an extra yolk, beaten together.
About 20 glace cherries, chopped
10 Large Brazils, chopped.

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180c, and grease and line the bottom of a baking tin with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together well, set aside.
3. Smash your chocolate into chunks and put ¾ or it into a bowl over some simmering water. Gradually this will melt. As soon as it is melted, remove from the heat.
4. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Add to this your beaten eggs gradually, and when you have a good paste, you can add the melted chocolate and chocolate pieces.
5. Add the nuts and cherries, and then combine the mixture with your sugar and butter.
6. Dollop the mixture into the tin, and bake for 30-40 minutes. The edges will slightly come away, but the middle will be softer. It’s ready when a skewer put through the middle comes away cleanly.
7. Leave to cool – at least a couple of hours – before slicing.

When enjoyed with the beer, the brownie accentuates the chocolate and roast-nuttiness of the brownies – why not add a little coffee and try that with a smoked porter? Chocolate and Beer – two of life’s pleasures in one hit.


A Warm Salad of Mushroom and Parma Ham with Savoury Toasts

…Right, so onto what we did with those ingredients we picked up at the Bingley Food Festival. We had been inspired by TV (doesn’t happen often) the night before – Thomasina Mier’s show on Spain was decent watching for those into Iberian Cuisine, and her Iberico Ham and awesome-looking mushroom dish gave us inspiration. So, given what we had available, we went along the same lines…

This is a ‘Yorkshire Tapas’ sort of dish – but where Tapas conjures images of heat, lightness and simple but punchy flavours, this is an altogether earthier affair. The Mushrooms and ham combine perfectly, and the simple cheese toasties bring smoke and bite. The ‘Morcilla’ tapas is a Spanish classic and an excellent showcase for good-quality blood sausage. We bought our Parma Ham from the ever-excellent Salvo’s Salumeria in Headingley, Leeds.


Savoury Toasts
You will need:
Two Cheeses – we used Smoked Goats’ Cheese and Manchego. These are interchangeable according to taste, but I really recommend one smoked cheese in there.
Good Olive Oil
Black Pudding, sliced.
Red Onion Chutney – available in most stores, but you could make your own sticky onions if you prefer.

1. Preheat your oven to about 150.
2. Heat a griddle pan, and lightly wipe with olive oil and season the surface with black pepper.
3. Slice your cheeses into chunks, and slice your ciabatta into mini-crostini chunks.
4. In another pan, lightly fry your black pudding slices until crisped on each side.
5. Lightly toast the toasts on the griddle pan.
6. On a baking tray, arrange the lightly toasted toasts and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange cheese on some, and a teaspoon of chutney and a slice of black pudding on others.
7. Place the assembled toasts on a low heat in the oven – this is only to keep them warm and to melt the cheeses.

While they are holding, make your Salad:

You will need;
Three Garlic Cloves
Fresh Parsley, chopped/torn
Two Large Mushrooms, sliced
Some Sliced Parma Ham, shredded
Half a small bag of Spinach Leaves, washed & drained

1. In a pestle & mortar, pound the garlic and then add the chopped parsley and some cracked black pepper. Cover in Olive Oil. This will become your dressing.
2. Heat a large pan. Drop in a little olive oil, and add your sliced mushrooms.
3. When they have soaked up the oil, add the ham. Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up too much; you want the ham to release a little fat, but not to overcook it and destroy the flavour.
4. Add half the dressing; the mushrooms will soak that up too.
5. Toss in the spinach, wilt, then serve onto warmed plates.
6. Finish the dish with the rest of the dressing.

Serve with the toasts!

It may seem like a lot of work but it’s not – just have the oven heated and you can hold the toasts while you make the salad. The smoky cheese brings loads of depth to the toasts, and the sweet/savoury taste of the black pudding toasts complements the ham and mushroom salad in an amazing way. Don’t add salt, by the way – the ham’s got enough to round!


In terms of beer, I paired this with Breconshire Breweries’ Red Dragon. Despite the slightly Dungeons & Dragonslabel, this bottle-conditioned gem is a serious beer – a complex, malt body, with a lively, unashamedly bitter aftertaste, it complements the autumnal flavours of the meal with ease.

>’Toblerone’ Pancakes


Now that the pancake day blogging feast is over, here’s what we did….take one pancake (i’m not gonna patronise you and tell you how to make a pancake; a) you should know, and b) there are plenty of sites/recipes out there), and sprinkle with grated, quality dark chocolate (I use Divine or Green & Blacks), Honey and chopped Almonds. Voila! Toblerone Pancakes. Enjoy.
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