Posh Chilli

It’s been quite awhile since I put up a savoury recipe, so what better one to share with you than a classic:  chilli con carne.  This isn’t your regular chilli, oh no, it’s a posh one!  Well, that’s what we call it in the Domestic Abode.  And why is it posh?  Instead of using minced beef, I’ve switched it for braising /stewing steak, or if you’re in India, it’s truly posh, as you’ll need to use beef fillet.
This is one of the Domestic Prince’s favourite dishes in my repertoire, which he wolfs down in double quick time.

Posh Chilli

Serves 4 to 6 (depending how greedy you are)

Ingredients

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg braising / stewing steak, cut into chunks
  • 250g chorizo, cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper

To serve

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan or a large casserole dish that has a lid. Fry the beef until it’s nicely coloured. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Pop the chorizo into the pan, fry until it just starts to release its juices and starts to brown. Take out the chorizo and set aside with the beef.
  4. Fry the onion and garlic in the chorizo oil until the onions just start to colour.  Add the spices, chillies and tomato puree and cook for 2 to 3 mins.  Add the balsamic vinegar and chopped tomatoes.
  5. Put the beef and chorizo back in the pan along with the stock. Bring up to a simmer and cover with the lid. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 2 hours.
  6. Remove from the oven, add the kidney beans and pop back in for another 50 to 60 minutes.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. The chunks of steak can obviously be swapped for regular minced beef.
  2. If you want to lessen the heat of this dish, scrape out the seeds from the chillies before adding them in.
  3. If you can’t get hold of smoked paprika, use ground chilli powder instead.
  4. Check after about an hour, as you might need to add more liquid.  I either add plain boiled water, or a drop of stock.
  5. This recipe freezes really well.

What’s your favourite classic dish?

Have a lovely weekend!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Nutella Cheesecake

Well, today’s post couldn’t be more of a contrast from the one on Wednesday about my 30-day squat challenge! If you’re joining in, how are you getting on?  I’ve just completed day 2 – I WILL pass the pencil test!

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you’ll know that I truly adore chocolate, which of course includes the delicious Nutella.  Such is my love for Nutella is that I could easily put a Nutella recipe on these pretty pink pages every Friday, but that wouldn’t help us get our bootylicious bottoms, now would it?!

I would love to take credit for this recipe, but alas, I can’t.  If you love Nigella Lawson as much as I do, then you’re probably already aware of the original fabulous pudding.  I made it for some friends last weekend and it went down a storm!  Just as I can’t order straight off a menu, I seem incapable of following a recipe to the letter.  Some of the people I made this for last weekend were little people, so I made the decision to leave out the hazlenuts.  Yes, I know Nutella is made from hazlenuts, but I find seeing nuts in a pudding is sometimes off putting for children.  I also added 50g more digestive biscuits to compensate for the omission of the hazlenuts in the base, and adjusted the butter accordingly.  And being such a fan of Nutella, I added a good couple of extra tablespoons of Nutella!  This is a super easy and quick recipe to make; the hardest part is waiting for it to set in the fridge.

Nutella cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • 90g unsalted butter, melted
  • 400g Nutella, room temperature (I used more than this)
  • 500 grams cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 60 grams icing sugar (sifted)

Method

  1. Break the digestives into the bowl of a processor and blitz.  Once the biscuits resemble sand, add in the melted butter a tablespoon of Nutella, and blitz again until it looks like damp sand.
  2. Tip into a 22cm/8inch round springform and press into the base either using the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill.
  3. Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth and then add the remaining Nutella to the cream cheese mixture, and continue beating until combined.
  4. Take the springform tin out of the fridge and  smooth the Nutella mixture over the base. Place the tin in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight. Serve straight from the fridge for best results.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, as otherwise you’ll end up with a lumpy cheesecake.
  2. If you don’t have a food processor to whizz up the biscuits, pop them in a zip lock bag and bash them with a rolling pin, then just pop the biscuits in a bowl and mix the butter and Nutella in by hand.
  3. I like a thicker base cheesecake than Nigella’s recipe makes, so next time, I’ll probably double the quantity for the biscuit base and use 1.5 the quantity for the chocolate topping.
  4. This is a perfect pudding to make ahead of time if you’re having people over for supper.

What is everybody up to this weekend?  We’re off to say goodbye to some very special friends this evening 😦 . That’s the downside of being an expat, you meet wonderful people that you would never have met had you not embarked on this crazy journey.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelised Pecans

Hello lovely readers, today’s post is my last until the New Year and it’s another festive themed one to help you with the big day.  I think I might be in the minority in loving Brussels sprouts.  I believe the problem many might have when it comes to this vegetable is that they quite often end up overcooked, owing to the many layers.  And when they’re overcooked it results in that nasty drain-type smell.  I’ve played around with a few recipes and have found that there are a few different ways to cook Brussels which will make them super tasty.  Peeling all the leaves off and sautéing in some butter and a drop of water is divine.  Or the more common: Brussels with pancetta.  However, the one that really struck a chord with my taste buds was this one:  Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelised Pecans.  I’d be surprised if even the fussiest eaters didn’t love this version!

BrussellSprouts

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 300g Brussel sprouts
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 100g pecans
  • 50g light soft brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
  2. Trim and quarter the Brussels sprouts.
  3. Put the Brussels in a roasting tin and toss in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and put in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  Stir once or twice during cooking.  When ready they’ll be a deep, golden brown – crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
  4. Whilst the Brussels are in the oven, put the pecans and sugar in a frying pan and let the sugar melt and coat the pecans.
  5. Once the pecans are all coated, tip them out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave to cool.  When cooled, break into smaller pieces and add to the Brussels sprouts when they’re ready.
  6. Serve immediately.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. The light brown sugar can be substituted for any sugar.
  2. Hazelnuts would work well instead of pecans.
  3. For a salty / sweet dish, add in either lardons of bacon or some pancetta.
  4. Bangaloreans, you can buy pecans in Nature’s Basket in Indiranagar.

Well, this is nearly it for another year!  I wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and to thank you for all of your support for The Domestic Princess.  I am so looking forward to bringing you lots more posts in 2013.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Five easy recipes for a drinks party

Before I moved to India, if we were having a drinks party or people over for supper, I would raid the party selection at my beloved Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.  However, in my new life, unfortunately there isn’t a branch of M&S or Waitrose for me to pop to when we’re having people over, so I’ve had to come-up with my own nibbles / canapés.  They may not look as fabulous as shop bought ones, but I think they’re just as tasty.

Spiced nuts

spiced nuts

Ingredients

  • 350g unsalted and unroasted nuts of your choice – I used pecans, cashews & almonds
  • 70g honey – runny honey is preferable
  • 1/2tsp mixed spice
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp all spice
  • 1/2tsp smoked paprika
  • 60g sugar – I used light brown sugar, but caster sugar would work just as well
  • 2tsp finely ground sea salt

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C.
  2. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  3. Put the nuts in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan put the honey, mixed spice, cinnamon, all spice and smoked paprika.
  5. Gently warm the honey and mixed spices together, until the honey is less viscous.
  6. Pour the honey and spice mixture over the nuts, making sure they’re evenly coated.
  7. Tip them out onto the greaseproof paper and spread evenly.
  8. Put the nuts in the oven for between 8 to 12 minutes.
  9. Check the nuts after about 4 to 6 minutes and give them a toss.
  10. Once roasted, leave to cool.
  11. In a bowl, mix together the sugar and sea salt.  Toss the nuts in the salt and sugar mixture and they’re ready to serve.

Sticky cocktail sausages

Sausages

Ingredients

  • 30 cocktail sausages
  • 3tbsp orange marmalade, with or without peel – I opted for a peel one
  • 1tbsp runny honey
  • 1tbsp lime juice
  • 1tbsp soy sauce

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
  2. Snip the sausages if needed and put in a bowl.
  3. Put the marmalade, honey, lime juice and soy sauce in a saucepan over a low heat until the marmalade and honey have melted.
  4. Pour the sauce over the sausages, making sure they’re all coated.
  5. Tip the sticky sausages and the sauce into a roasting tin and pop in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Give the sausages a toss and another coating after 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Once they’re golden brown they’re ready to serve.

Smoked salmon with lemon creme fraiche blinis

Bilini 1

These have to be one of the simplest, yet one of the scrummiest nibbles / canapés to serve at a drinks party or before supper.

Ingredients

  • Smoked salmon
  • Creme fraiche
  • Lemon juice
  • Black pepper
  • Mini or regular blinis

Method

  1. In a bowl whisk the creme fraiche, lemon juice and a good grind of black pepper.
  2. Place the blinis on the serving plate / platter and place a small dollop on top of each one.
  3. Shred the salmon into small pieces and twist and place on the creme fraiche.

As I said, easy peasy!!

Brie and cranberry crostini

CranberryBrieToastini

Ingredients

  • French baguette – I opted for mini ones, so they’re more of a two bite canapé
  • Olive oil
  • Brie
  • Cranberry sauce

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
  2. Cut the french bread into thin slices and using a pastry brush, brush each side of the french bread slices with the olive oil and place on a baking tray.
  3. Put in the oven for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  5. When cooled, place thin slices of the brie on top of french bread slices
  6. Top with half around half a teaspoon of cranberry sauce.

Triple cheesey straws

CheeseStraws

Ingredients

  • 300g ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 50g Gruyere cheese, finely grated
  • 50g Emmenthal cheese, finely grated
  • Flour for rolling out pastry

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Mix all the cheeses together in a bowl.
  3. Unroll the pastry and on half of the pastry, sprinkle most of the cheese on one half, leaving enough to sprinkle over the top.
  4. Fold over and seal the cheese in.
  5. Lightly flour your worktop and roll out the pastry until it’s around 3-4mm thick.
  6. Cut into 1/2 inch strips and twist.
  7. Pop onto the baking tray and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  8. Put in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden.  Leave to cool.  These will keep for 2 to 3 days.

They’ll be just one more post before I take a little break over the holidays.  I’m off to be reunited with one of my besties!

I hope all your festive planning is coming along nicely!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

PS apologies for the quality (or I should say lack of) of the photographs, I’ve been taking them myself and as you can see, I’m nowhere near as talented as The Domestic Prince who’s my normal ‘tog!

Malted chocolate cheesecake….with a surprise!

Whilst I adore Christmas pudding, especially my Granny Phyll’s Christmas pudding recipe (I’ll share it with you next year), I’m well aware that there are many of you who don’t share my love for it! So, for the non-pudding lovers out there, I’ve created this pudding just for you!

Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 300g malted milk biscuits
  • 110g, unsalted butter
  • 30g golden syrup
  • 7tbsp of malted powder, e.g. Horlicks
  • 50g popping candy (optional, but this is the surprise bit!)
  • 600g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150ml sour cream, room temperature
  • 300g milk chocolate
  • 300g white chocolate
  • Chocolate malt balls, such as Maltesers

Method

  1. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8″ to 9″ (22 – 23cm) springform tin.
  2. Crush the biscuits into crumbs.  I normally whizz them up in my food processor, but not being in my own kitchen, I gave them a good bash in a zip lock with a bottle of wine! Improvisation at its best.
  3. In a saucepan over a low heat, put the golden syrup and butter and leave to gently melt.
  4. Once the butter and golden syrup have melted, give them a quick stir to combine it all and in a bowl put the crushed biscuits, the melted butter mixture and 3tbsp of the Horlicks.  Stir until it’s all combined and resembles damp sand.  Quickly add in the popping candy, if adding it, and press down firmly into the springform tin.  Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge to set.
  5. Melt the milk chocolate and white chocolate in separate bowls over saucepans of simmering water.
  6. Divide the cream cheese, double cream and sour cream evenly between the two bowls of melted chocolate.  In the milk chocolate one, add the remaining 4tbsp of Horlicks.
  7. Using an electric whisk, beat both sets of mixtures until they’re smooth and lump free.
  8. Pour the milk chocolate mixture evenly over the biscuit base.  Clean up any splashes.
  9. Carefully spoon the white chocolate mix on the top of the milk chocolate one.
  10. Pop in the fridge and after about an hour decorate with Maltesers and put back in the fridge for another 4 hours.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Bangaloreans, you can find malted milk biscuits in the Waitrose section at Hypercity.  If they’re out of stock, just use regular digestive biscuits and add 2 extra tablespoons of Horlicks.
  2. For a more Christmassy look, use white chocolate Maltesers.
  3. If you can’t find Maltesers, grate some chocolate and mix with some Horlicks powder and sprinkle evenly over the top.

Children will love the popping candy element of this pudding!

And the best bit of this cheesecake, you can make it a few days ahead and just keep it covered in clingfilm in the fridge.

I hope all your Christmas preparations are coming along nicely.  I have to confess, I have never been this disorganised!  So on that note, I’m off to play catch-up.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Sweet treats: Baileys & praline truffles

Yesterday I promised you a recipe for some sweet treats that you could give as gifts and here they are:  Bailey truffles and praline truffles.  Anybody who receives these will not be disappointed, I promise.

If giving as a gift – just pop them in a plain white dish, wrap in brown paper, tie with some ribbon and attach a tag – it’ll look very chic and will be hugely appreciated!

Truffles

Baileys truffles

Ingredients

  • 125g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 1/2tsp sea salt
  • 125ml double cream
  • 125ml Baileys or Irish cream
  • Enough crushed Cadbury’s Flakes, grated milk chocolate or cocoa powder for coating

Method

  1. In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, put both chocolates, the salt and butter, and leave to melt.
  2. Once melted, whisk in the cream, followed by the Baileys.
  3. Put in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours to allow the ganache to set.
  4. Once set you’re ready to get making the truffles!  Take a teaspoon and scoop out enough of the ganache to form small, one bite truffles (ours got bigger and bigger as we went along!)
  5. Immediately roll the truffle in whichever coating you’ve opted for, and pop in the freezer for about an hour.

Praline Truffles

Ingredients

For the praline

  • 60g nuts of your choice, skinned and roasted (my fav are hazelnuts). Most praline is made from hazelnuts or almonds, however, any nut will work.  Different nuts will give the praline a different flavour.
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 45ml water

For the ganache

  • 180g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 70g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, chopped
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 120ml double cream
  • 1/2tsp sea salt

For the coating

  • Finely chopped hazelnuts or cocoa powder

Method

To make the praline

  1. Line a baking tray or tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Chop the skinned and roasted nuts and put to one side.
  3. Put the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan, and gently heat over a low-heat, shaking the pan occasionally until all the sugar has dissolved.  DO NOT STIR THE MIXTURE DURING THIS STAGE.
  4. Once all the sugar has dissolved, turn up the heat, so the mixture comes to a boil.  When it’s turned a golden brown colour it’s ready.  If you’re using a sugar thermometer, the mixture is ready when the temperature reaches around 160-177ºC (320-350ºF).
  5. Take off the heat and quickly stir in the chopped nuts.  Pour onto the lined baking tray or tin, and leave to completely cool.
  6. Once it’s completely cooled, break into pieces, put into a food processor and whizz as finely as possible.  If you don’t have a food processor or grinder, then with a bit of elbow grease, this can be done with a pestle and mortar.  And if you don’t have one of those, put the praline in a zip lock bag and bash hard with a rolling pin or other similar tool.
  7. Put in an airtight container until ready to use.

Making the ganache

  1. In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, put both chocolates, the salt and butter, and leave to melt.
  2. Once melted, whisk in the double cream and fold in the praline you made earlier.
  3. Put in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours to let the ganache set.
  4. Once set, roll into small, bite-sized balls and cover in either chopped hazelnuts or cocoa powder.
  5. Put in the freezer to harden for around an hour or so.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. When melting the chocolate, be very careful not to let any water drip into the chocolate, as this will cause the mixture to seize.
  2. In the case of both truffles, for a richer flavour, use all dark chocolate.
  3. The Baileys can be substituted for any liquer:  Cointreau, Grand Marnier and rum would all work really well.
  4. When rolling the truffles, speed is your friend.
  5. Keep half the mixture in the freezer whilst you roll them.
  6. These taste best straight from the fridge.

Remember to save a few for you to enjoy!

With much truffley love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Spiced Apple Chutney

Whenever we go to somebody’s house for supper I always like to take a gift for the hosts to say thank you.  Sometimes a bottle of Champagne, sometimes wine, occasionally flowers (it’s tough to get decent flowers here), now and again chocolates, or a small gift that I think they would love.  Sometimes though, I like to take a homemade gift, as it somehow feels a bit more special.  Homemade gifts are especially good if you’re on a tight budget, which can so often be the case at this time of year.

I’m not particularly a chutney fan, although two of the most important people in my life, The Domestic Prince & King are, so I thought I would create a chutney that would be perfect with cold meats, cheeses and crackers or crusty bread, or could be popped into a stylish Kilner jar and given as a gift.

Spiced Apple Chutney

Makes approximately 1.2kg

Ingredients

  • 1kg apples (I used Jazz apples, but any eating apples would work), peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces
  • 200g finely chopped shallots
  • 300g sultanas, raisins, chopped dates or figs
  • 200g demerara sugar
  • 200g dark muscovado sugar
  • 250ml white wine vinegar
  • 250ml apple cider vinegar
  • 5g smoked or regular paprika
  • 15g freshly grated ginger
  • 10g ground all spice
  • 5g ground cloves
  • 15g mixed spice
  • 2tsp of sea salt or 1tsp of table salt
  • A good grind of freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients into a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish (I used my 28cm Le Creuset) and slowly bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 2 to 2.5 hours, stirring every so often to make sure the chutney doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. As it simmers away, the liquid will reduce until it becomes very thick and has a glossy look.  You’ll know it’s ready when you can drag a wooden spoon through the chutney and it reveals the base of the pan that doesn’t immediately rush back together.
  4. Pour the hot chutney into sterilised jars (either put them through a full cycle in the dishwasher, or in a low oven at 110C for 10 to 15 minutes), seal and leave to cool.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. This is a piquant, sweet chutney that would be perfect with a baked brie or camembert and hunks of crusty french bread.
  2. If you wanted to give this a bit more fire, then add a finely chopped birds eye chilli.
  3. You can swap the shallots for regular onions, or red ones would work well too.
  4. If you don’t have any muscovado sugar in the house, any brown sugar will work, or all demerara.
  5. For a more mature chutney, store in a cool dark cupboard for a week or two before consuming.

As I said, I’m not a chutney fan, having confessed that, I must admit that I did enjoy this with some cheese for my lunch today.  I continually surprise myself!

Tomorrow’s post, will be all about sweet treats that make perfect gifts.

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Roasted pumpkin, red pepper & sausage casserole

Just like my love of soup, it doesn’t matter if there’s blazing sunshine or a swirling snow storm going on outside, I always enjoy a tasty, hearty casserole.  Bar a bit of chopping, this dish is relatively quick and super easy, making it perfect for a mid-week supper, when you don’t really have the time to be slaving over a stove for hours! And any recipe that results in minimal washing-up afterwards, will always be a winner with me! Serve with creamy mashed potatoes or if time allows, a delicious crispy jacket potato.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 400g sausages
  • 180g red (bell) pepper (capsicum), chopped into rough chunks
  • 700g pumpkin, shopped into 3cm cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1tsp of smoked (or regular) paprika
  • 50ml red wine
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 400g tin of haricot beans, drained
  • Salt & pepper to season

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Put 1tbsp of the olive oil, the chopped pumpkin and red pepper in a roasting tin, give them a good toss to make sure the pumpkin and pepper has a coating of oil and season.
  3. Put the sausages in a separate tin and pop both tins in the oven for 30 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, turn the sausages over.
  5. Whilst the veggies and sausages are roasting, get a heavy-based casserole dish and heat up the other 1tbsp of oil.  Add in the onions and garlic, and sauté until they’re turning golden brown.
  6. Add in the smoked paprika and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Pour in the red wine, beef stock, chopped tin of tomatoes, Balsamic, vinegar, Worcester sauce and haricot beans and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. When the pumpkin, peppers and sausages are ready, chop the sausages up into bite size chunks (be careful not to burn your fingers) and put them and the veggies into the casserole dish, clamp the lid on and put back in the over for 20 to 25 minutes.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. When cooking with olive oil – just use the regular one and not the extra virgin option.
  2. Choose the highest percentage meat sausages that you can afford.  I use the 97% pork ones from M&S, which are not only scrumptious, but gluten-free too.
  3. Bangaloreans, Bamburies sell tasty “no spice” sausages.
  4. Instead of pumpkin, you can swap it for butternut squash.
  5. Any bean can be used instead of the haricot ones – aduki, butter beancannellini etc. – whatever you can lay your hands on.
  6. For a spicier result, add in half a finely chopped red chilli, or increase the amount of smoked paprika. I found 1tsp a little too spicy, but The Domestic Prince said the heat of the dish was perfect.
  7. If making it for little ones, I’d leave out the smoked paprika.
  8. Double the recipe and pop in the freezer for future meals.

Have you got any casserole recipes you can share?  And would you like to see other casserole recipes on the blog?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Salted Caramel & Nutella Fudge Squares

Well, I am pleased to say that normal service has been resumed and I’m back with a truly decadent sweet treat, involving chocolate of course!  And not just chocolate, but chocolate and Nutella!  I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that I ADORE Nutella.  I love it on toast, on crusty french bread, in pancakes, straight from the jar off the spoon!  I just really enjoy it!  I used to love when we used to go on holiday to France or Italy, as there would be the small little packets in bowls at breakfast, and I would sneak a couple to eat later on the beach!  I wasn’t alone in doing this was I?!

I feel quite guilty that I haven’t shared this divine recipe before now, so for that, I apologise. Now, you might be wondering where my photo of this glorious recipe is?  Well, if you scroll down you’ll see it…..not pretty huh?  So, it’s time to fess up….this was my second (!) attempt at making this for the purpose of taking a picture for the blog.  You see, the first time, I took my eye off the (soft) ball and ended up with a salted caramel layer that would crack the hardest of teeth (still delicious, but definitely a workout for the jaws!).  So, on my second attempt, I was soooo worried about making it too hard again, that I didn’t boil the caramel for long enough, so as you can see from the picture, it’s on the soft side.  I can assure you though, that it’s still delicious.

Makes around 25 small squares 

Ingredients

  • 200g Digestive biscuits or Graham Crackers
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 60g golden syrup or corn syrup
  • 250g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2tbsp water
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 150ml double (heavy) cream
  • 1 1/4tsp of sea salt
  • 40g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, chopped
  • 175g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 200g Nutella

Method

  1. Crush the biscuits, either by bashing them in a zip lock with a rolling pin (very therapeutic if you have pent up anger/frustration!), or as I do, whizz them in the food processor.
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter and 30g of the syrup.
  3. Mix the butter and syrup mixture with the biscuits until it resembles damp sand.
  4. Pat the biscuit mixture firmly into a tin (I use a 20cm/8 inch one) and put in the fridge to firm up.
  5. Put the cream and salt in a saucepan and bring to just below boiling point.  Set aside.
  6. In a heavy-based saucepan, put the sugar and water and give a good stir.  Turn on the hob to a medium heat and let the sugar dissolve in the water and start to boil.
  7. Once the sugar has dissolved, pour in the rest of the syrup and if using a sugar thermometer let the temperature rise to around 238/240F.  If you’re not using a sugar thermometer, then put a bowl of very cold water next to the stove and after around 18 minutes, drop a small amount of the caramel mixture in.  Put your hand in and try to form a ball with it. If you can bring it out and it stays whole, then it’s ready.  If not, carry on boiling until it reaches a ball stage.  N.B.  Please be VERY careful making the caramel.  Sugar burns are horrible. 
  8. Once the sugar mixture has reached the correct temperature, take off the heat and whisk in the salted cream and vanilla.  Be careful, adding these in will cause the sugar mixture to bubble up.
  9. Once the caramel is ready, take the biscuit base out of the fridge, pour the caramel over in an even layer and pop back in the fridge for 2 hours to set.
  10. Once the caramel has set, it’s time to make the chocolate layer!  In a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, put the dark and milk chocolate and leave to melt.
  11. After the chocolate has melted, take off the heat and stir in the Nutella until it’s all combined.
  12. Pour over the caramel layer and put in the fridge until set.
  13. Cut into small squares and enjoy.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. If you’re not a fan of salted caramel (why not?!), then just omit the salt from the cream.  If omitting the salt, there’s no need to heat the cream.
  2. As in the Homemade Twix recipe, if you don’t fancy making the caramel layer yourself, then melt 250g of shop-bought caramels/toffees with 1tbsp of cream, 1 1/4tsp of salt and carry on as per step 9.
  3. If you want a more bitter topping, use 100g of dark chocolate and 115g of milk.
  4. And if you’re not keen on Nutella (again, really?!), then add 200g extra of milk and dark chocolate. I’d probably do 120g milk and 80g dark, but this can be altered according to your tastes.
  5. To give the squares some more crunch, stir in 200g roasted and chopped hazelnuts into the caramel before pouring onto the biscuit layer.

salty caramel & nutella fudge squares

I love sweet and salty flavours, so the saltiness of the caramel against the sweetness of the chocolate, and crunch of the biscuit base, is my idea of heaven!

With much gooey, salty caramel and Nutella love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Lemon Mousse

I love an indulgent chocolate pudding, but sometimes a light, fresh zingy is what is called for, and this mousse is just that!  This mousse is quick and easy to put together, so the perfect pudding.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 250ml of double cream
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest (approximately 60ml)
  • 50g icing sugar or 5g of stevia
  • 2 egg whites

Method

  1. Put the double cream and sugar (or stevia) in a bowl and whip until it starts to thicken.
  2. Add the lemon juice and zest (keep some back to sprinkle on the mousse as garnish) and whisk until it has thickened to soft peaks
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re have formed quite firm soft peaks.
  4. Using a metal spoon, slowly combine the egg whites into the lemon cream mixture.
  5. Once combined, pour into 4 dishes and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  6. When ready to serve, sprinkle on a few strands of zest on each mousse and serve with some gingersnap biscuits.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Be careful that you don’t over whisk the cream, otherwise it’ll be hard to incorporate the egg whites.
  2. If you want a milder lemon flavour, just add 1 lemon.
  3. To make this a chocolate orange mousse, substitute the lemon for orange and add 30g of cocoa powder at stage 1.
  4. If you want to make this a more grown-up pudding, substitute one of the lemons for 30ml of limoncello.

If you make this, I would love to hear what you think!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

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