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CHOCOLATE, HAZELNUT AND GINGER BISCOTTI
300ml castor sugar
10ml baking powder
15ml ground espresso coffee
125ml cocoa powder
grated rind of 1 orange
125ml chopped glacé ginger
100g hazelnuts, lightly toasted
5 eggs, beaten
Sift the flour, castor sugar and baking powder, coffee and cocoa into a bowl.
Add the orange rind, glacé ginger and hazelnuts and mix well.
Add the eggs and mix well.
Using well-floured hands, shape the mixture into two slightly flattened logs about 20cm in length.
Place on a paper-lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Cut into 1cm-thick slices and return to the baking sheet.
Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through the baking time.
Remove and cool.
CHOCOLATE RICOTTA CRUMPETS
500ml self raising flour
60ml cocoa powder
80ml castor sugar
250g ricotta cheese
2 eggs, separated
chocolate cream cheese
Bought chocolate sauce for serving
Sift the flour, cocoa and castor sugar into a bowl.
Combine the ricotta, milk and egg yolks and mix well. Add to the dry ingredients and mix to form a batter.
Beat the egg whites until stiff then fold into the batter.
Lightly grease a non-stick pan with some melted butter and drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the pan.
Cook until bubbles appear, then flip and cook on the other side.
Keep warm in a clean tea towel.
Serve with chocolate cream cheese or chocolate hazelnut spread, drizzled with chocolate sauce.
l Chocolate cream cheese is available from Woolworths.
CHOCOLATE MERINGUE PIE
200g chocolate digestive biscuits, crushed
80g butter, melted
125ml chocolate hazelnut spread
300g dark chocolate
5ml lemon juice
3 egg whites
Combine the crushed biscuits and melted butter and press into a 22cm pie plate or loose-bottomed quiche tin. Put in the freezer to harden.
Spread the hazelnut spread over the base.
Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on a low setting for 1 to 2 minutes until melted and smooth. Allow to cool. Pour on to the base and refrigerate until set.
Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Turn up the heat and boil until the mixture reaches 115°C on a sugar thermometer or test by dropping a little mixture into ice water. If it forms a brittle thread, it is ready.
Just before the sugar syrup is ready, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer to form soft peaks.
Once your syrup is ready turn up the speed on the mixer and beat the egg whites, slowly pouring in the hot sugar syrup. Beat until the mixture is cool.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe blobs over the chocolate mixture.
Use a blowtorch to brown the meringue mixture slightly. You can also do this by placing the pie under a heated grill for a few seconds.
Remove and serve.
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE EGGS
200g white chocolate, chopped
2x250g thick cream cheese
grated rind of 1 lemon
60ml lemon juice
200ml cream, whipped
hollow chocolate Easter eggs
60ml bought lemon curd
Combine the chocolate and the cream and heat in the microwave on a low setting for 1 to 2 minutes until melted and smooth. Cool.
Beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the melted chocolate. Add the rind and juice and mix until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream.
Cut the top off each chocolate egg by heating a sharp knife and pressing it into the chocolate. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into the eggs, filling them right to the top.
Place the filled eggs in a used egg tray and refrigerate until set.
Scoop a small amount of the mixture from the cheesecake and fill with a scoop of lemon curd. Serve the eggs in an egg cup.
* If your lemon curd is a bit pale, add a drop of yellow food colouring.
WHITE CHOCOLATE AND CRANBERRY HOT CROSS BUNS
Makes 16 buns
4 x 250ml flour
10g sachet of instant yeast
15ml ground cinnamon
grated rind of 1 orange
250ml buttermilk, warmed
60g butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
150g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
125g white chocolate chips
extra beaten egg
a pinch of ground cinnamon
125g butter, softened
45ml runny honey
Put flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the cinnamon and orange rind.
Combine the buttermilk, butter and egg and mix well.
Add to the flour mixture and mix to make a dough that is soft but not sticky. Use extra warm water if necessary.
Knead well until smooth and elastic. Knead in the fruit and chocolate chips. Put the dough in an oiled plastic bag and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes.
Once risen, remove from bag, knead gently and divide the dough into 16 equal balls.
Place side by side on a baking tray, cover with the plastic bag and leave to rise until double in size, 30 to 40 minutes.
Brush with beaten egg and pipe a cross over each bun. Bake at 180°C for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush with glaze. Serve warm with spiced butter.
CROSSES: Mix the ingredients together to make a stiff paste. Place in a piping bag fitted with a plain, narrow nozzle.
GLAZE: Boil the ingredients in a saucepan or the microwave until slightly thickened.
SPICED BUTTER: Cream together all the ingredients until well blended.