It doesn’t take a genius to work out that I bloody love me some chocolate. White, dark, milk – you name it, I’m a sucker for it. Just look at the chubby baby cheeks I’ve been failing to shift for the past 10 years. Having declared such adoration for all things cocoa, I am also a firm believer in the possibility of having too much of a good thing and when I’m lying horizontal next to the Christmas tree nursing a bout of nausea, I know it’s time to put the chocolate to one side.
You can’t let a good thing go to waste now though can you so I’ve put together a few tasty ways to repurpose your leftover Christmas chocolate when cracking open your 25th selection box just isn’t an option…
Top tips when cooking with cocoa:
- Make sure it doesn’t burn when tempering/melting
- Be careful not to add too much extra sweetness to the recipe
- Work in a cool environment if you can to avoid melting/drip-age
- Boost the chocolate flavour with a shot of cold espresso
- Snap bars in their packaging to avoid mess and sticky hands
Now down to the good stuff…
Fruity Chocolate Florentine
I featured these babies in my edible Christmas present ideas guide because A) they really couldn’t be quicker or easier to make and B) they taste just as delicious as they look – if I do say so myself. All it involves is melting your chocolate down, swirling it into biscuit-sized discs and sprinkling with well, pretty much anything that tickles your fancy really.
Molten Lava Cake
If you’re a fan of cupcakes or a self-confessed brownie addict then a Molten Lava Cake is your perfect middle man and that beautiful, oozy filling is the perfect way to reinvent any leftover chocolate bars. While cupcakes and brownies are the ideal bite for serving alongside a coffee, a molten lava recipe is waaay more sophisticated and makes for a festive pud to impress. Once you’ve found the recipe you’re going to follow, make sure you do some research into cooking temperatures and timings to ensure you nail that signature melting middle.
Oh and don’t be scared to add in a generous glug of Amaretto or Baileys into the mix – ’tis the season to be jolly after all!
Chocolate Banana Loaf
In the name of all things use-up, my chocolate banana bread/cake/loaf recipe is the perfect thing to whip up when you’re due a cupboard clear out. If you’re reading this blog post, I imagine you’re the kind of person who has various bake-based odds and ends knocking around your kitchen so this recipe is a great spur of the moment sweet treat. The addition of chocolate just elevates it to whole new levels of richness and introduces a bit of naughty to complement the nice.
Chocolate Cream Pie
Now this one is a little nod to our friends across the pond but you all know by now that my digestive organs definitely once belonged to a hungry American and with my brother coming home from the US for Christmas, I thought it apt. From what I’ve gathered, a Chocolate Cream Pie recipe calls for a chocolate pudding mix which is topped with soured cream and a whipped topping. Sounds good, right? Watch this space.
Caramel Chocolate Brownie
For this idea, make caramel in the bottom of a pan and add some brownie mix. Bob’s your uncle. You will ultimately create a dessert that is so rich and so gooey that you will have to use a ladel to serve it up and there will be plenty left for licking afterward. Using a cast iron skillet will help to keep the mixture smooth and warm as it bubbles and bakes.
Fudge and Stout Brownies
These squares are very dense (but super delicious) and this is a direct result of using brown sugar instead of white and adding one more egg yolk than a typical brownie batter. When you have altered the mix for a standard brownie bake, add half a can of stout. The malt flavour adds an interesting texture and a rich, robust flavour which is perfect for the festive season.
If you do give any of these chocolate concoctions a whack, let me know in the comments below or give me a shout if you’d like me to create a whole blog dedicated to one recipe in particular.