Tag Archives: Chocolate

Easter Treats – Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Heads

Making and baking is one of my most favourite things to do with my son. Over the half term we went away with some friends, and with three children to entertain I thought I’d take along some simple crafts and kitchen makes to do with them. This was a brilliant idea, the kids loved our daily craft sessions and I got bonus points from the other adults for keeping them entertained. One of the things I packed was a Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Heads kit from choconchoc.

Easter Treats - Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Heads

This self-contained kit was brilliant to take away with us and had pretty much everything we needed. The Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Heads kit from choconchoc costs £12 and includes a large bag of milk chocolate buttons, a paper chef’s hat, a bag of sweets to decorate with and the moulds for the chocolate eggs. The kit is suitable for ages 6+ with adult supervision.

I have tried to make chocolate eggs before, with little success. I liked the simplicity of this kit and I had high hopes that it would be both easy and successful. Or at least more successful, which it was!

Easter Treats - Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Heads

To make, you carefully melt the chocolate. I did this in a glass bowl over a pan of water. I stirred it and stirred it until it was melted, then called the children over. After liberally greasing the moulds as instructed, I got the children to dollop the chocolate in the moulds and spread the chocolate about a bit. So far, so good. I left the eggs to set for a few hours and then went back to them.

For the life of me I couldn’t remove the egg from the moulds, so I scraped the chocolate out, re-melted it and greased the moulds very thoroughly. Again the eggs wouldn’t come out. I must have been doing something wrong, I’m not sure what.

Easter Treats - Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Heads

In the end I lined the moulds with cling film and tried again. This worked really well but didn’t produce a smooth egg. The egg was wrinkled which I actually quite liked. I stuck the two halves of the egg together with some melted chocolate and once that had set we stuck the sweets on with more melted chocolate.

The children were absolutely thrilled with the egg. It looked a bit rustic, but they’d made their very own chocolate egg and it tasted fantastic too. The quality of the Belgian chocolate in these kits is fantastic, it’s really creamy and rich and makes excellent eggs. Or should that be eggcellent eggs?

Easter Treats - Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Heads

Despite my failings as a chocolatier, I would absolutely get this or similar choconchoc chocolate kits again. The kids had a brilliant time making and eating them and I really liked how easy it was to make.

This self-contained kit was brilliant to take away with us and had pretty much everything we needed. The Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Head kit would be a excellent thing to do with the kids over the Easter break.

For more information about the Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Head from choconchoc, visit their website. You can also find choconchoc in John Lewis, Booths and Waitrose.

Easter Treats - Make and Melt Chocolate Egg Heads

We were sent this chocolate egg kit from choconchoc for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups

I love getting homemade cards and gifts from my son on Mother’s Day (and any other day he wants to make me something). As you can probably imagine, we’re quite big on baking at home and we bake for almost any occasion. I’m a firm believer in making life easy for myself. Whilst I’m happy to bake a fairly complex cake, there’s definitely space in my kitchen for incredibly simple recipes. I’ve made these Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother’s Day. They’re very, very easy to make and perfect for kids to make with a little adult supervision.

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother's Day

Not only are they great for kids to make, if you lack confidence in the kitchen, these are so easy to make and look pretty impressive too.

Sparkly Chocolate Cups

Ingredients:
250g of good quality dark or milk chocolate
Cake decorating sprinkles, stars, silver balls, whatever you fancy

You will need:
A saucepan, a glass bowl which will sit in the pan, but so it doesn’t touch the bottom, a metal spoon, some cupcake cases – I used silicone but paper ones are fine.

How to make your chocolate cups:
Boil some water and pour the water into your pan so it’s about 3cm deep. Carefully place the glass bowl in the pan making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This is called a bain marie.

Break your chocolate up into small pieces and put it in the glass bowl, the water in the pan needs to be at a gentle simmer, not bubbling and boiling. Stir the chocolate until it is melted.

Once the chocolate is melted, with a spoon scoop about two dessert spoons of melted chocolate into each cupcake case. Gently shake each one so the chocolate settles.

Once you’ve used all of your chocolate, take your chosen sprinkles and sprinkle as much or as little as you like over the top of each chocolate. Leave them to cool for at least two hours.

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother's Day

Once they’re cool you can either take the chocolates out of their cases and put them in a nice gift box or cellophane bag, or you could just present them as they are in their pretty cupcake cases.

They’re so easy to make and they look impressive, whoever you give these to will be as pleased as punch!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like these super-easy love heart jam tarts.

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother's Day

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

Last year I seriously cut down on my caffeine intake and now I just drink a couple of cups of tea or coffee a week. These days I seem to be very sensitive to caffeine and if I have a cup of coffee too late in the day, I just won’t sleep at night. I don’t want to cut it out completely, but I do have to keep an eye on just how much I drink. With this in mind, I was sent a jar of Barleycup to try.

I’ve swapped my lunchtime coffee for Barleycup and I’ve hardly noticed the difference. Barleycup is made from roasted cereal grains and chicory roots and is free-from caffeine and contains no artificial additives. Barleycup is also gluten-free and certified by Coeliac UK.

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

Not content with just drinking it, I wondered if it would be any good to bake with. It turns out that it was. I made a variation on a chocolate and coffee tart, I made a deliciously indulgent Chocolate and Barleycup Tart which was every bit as good as the original. Here’s my recipe…

Chocolate and Barleycup Tart

Ingredients:
For the pastry –
4oz plain flour
2oz butter, cubed
A pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons of cold water
-or- a packet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry

For the filling –
150g single cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
150g good quality dark chocolate
2 tablespoons of Barleycup powder dissolved in 4 tablespoons of boiling water

Method:

Tip the flour, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Use a knife and stir in just enough cold water to bind the dough together. Do this gradually as you don’t want your pastry to be too wet. Once you’ve made the dough, cover the bowl and chill it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so before rolling out.

Or if you’re using shop bought, ready rolled pastry, take it out of the fridge half an hour before you want to use it.

Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5 or 190°

Take your pastry and roll it out to the thickness of a pound coin. You can either roll it out on a floured surface, or between two pieces of baking parchment. I find the baking parchment method quicker and a lot less messy.

Grease a 20cm tart tin and carefully put the pastry in the tin, pressing it against the sides. Let the pastry hang over the sides of the tin, you can trim it later. Prick the base all over with a fork. Top the pastry with a sheet of baking parchment and cover with baking beans, bake in your pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the baking beans and parchment and pop back in the oven for another 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cool, carefully with a sharp knife trim the pastry so it is flush with the top of the tin.

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

While your pastry is cooling, warm up your cream and sugar in a saucepan. Finely chop the chocolate and once the cream is simmering, turn off the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Leave for a minute and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add in your Barleycup mixed with water and stir until combined.

Carefully fill the tart case with the Barleycup and chocolate mix, level it off and make an artistic swirl or ripple on the top if you want. Put your tart in the fridge for a minimum of two hours, or overnight if you wish.

To serve, garnish with raspberries or chopped nuts. It is very rich, so a little goes a long way.

I can confirm that Barleycup is a great coffee substitute in baking. It works really well, adding a slight bitter note and complexity to the tart. I’ll definitely be baking with it again, I wonder what a Barleycup and walnut cake would be like?

Recipe: Indulgent Chocolate Barleycup Tart

Note: I was set a jar of Barleycup to bake with. I have not been otherwise compensated for this post.

 

Win Luxury Handmade Truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £28

With Christmas just around the corner, there are some things on everyone’s shopping lists – mince pies, Christmas pudding, a bottle of sherry for Granny, not forgetting a box or two of delicious chocolate truffles to give to friends and loved ones.

Back in September we reviewed the new collection of luxury handmade truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates. The new collection includes boxes of Champagne, Pink Champagne, Prosecco and Sea Salted Caramel flavoured truffles. Each box contains 9 truffles and costs £6.99 per beautiful box.

Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles

These beautiful boxes of handmade truffles are presented in a pastel box emblazoned with the phrase “All you need is Love & Chocolate”. They’re eye-catching and appealing boxes of chocolates which would make a lovely gift for someone special, or a lovely treat for yourself.

These luxury handmade truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates are a real treat. They’re as pretty as a picture, they’re utterly delicious and they’d make really lovely little gifts this Christmas.

Find out more about Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles on their website.

Beech’s Fine Chocolates Luxury Handmade Truffles

Win Luxury Handmade Truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £28

To be in with a chance to win a selection of Luxury Handmade Truffles from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £28, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will receive a Luxury Handmade Truffle Selection from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £28.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 13th December 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit

Homemade gifts and treats are always popular Christmas gifts. For many years now, friends and family have requested and been given anything from homemade jam and chutney to freshly baked shortbread. Always wanting to expand my repertoire, I’ve started thinking about making my own little chocolates and truffles. This week I’ve been playing Little Miss Chocolatier with this Organic Chocolate Starter Kit from Indigo Herbs.

Win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit

The Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit contains everything you need to make your first batch of organic chocolate, including a recipe and full instructions. The 750g kit costs £23.99 and is the perfect size for whipping up a batch of real chocolate Christmas treats this Christmas (or at any other time). The Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit contains:

  • Organic Raw Cacao Powder
  • Organic Raw Cacao Butter
  • Pure Raw Vanilla Powder
  • Organic Raw Agave Syrup

Win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit

My task for the afternoon was to make some treats for my family. I wasn’t sure how much chocolate my kit would make, the packaging suggests about 45 small bars but I couldn’t visualise that. I had some Star Wars silicone moulds, so I gave them a good clean and a spritz with some oil so the chocolate wouldn’t stick.

Making the chocolate was really very straightforward. Over a Bain Marie I melted the Organic Raw Cacao Butter, which did take a little while. Once melted I added the Pure Raw Vanilla Powder and stirred it through, then the Organic Raw Cacao Powder; stirring and stirring until it looked smooth and silky, then I added the Organic Raw Agave Syrup and stirred 100 times (ish).

Win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit

I carefully poured the chocolate into a jug and then filled my silicone moulds. I had some chocolate left over, so I made a sheet of craisin bark and a sheet of walnut bark. There was lots of chocolate (which is not a bad thing), so be prepared for that. I left my chocs in a cool place to set. Once I turned them out I was really happy with how they looked. The Star Wars chocolates are especially good I think.

Indigo Herbs sell a broad range of Natural health ingredients including herbs, superfoods, wholefoods and natural botanicals. Sourcing the finest quality ingredients from around the globe since 2005. Their Organic Chocolate Starter Kit is dairy-free; organic; gluten-free; vegan; it’s packed with nutrients and it’s delicious and nutritious. Raw Cacao contains over 300 nutrients, including antioxidants and minerals and it’s sweetened with Raw Agave Syrup which has a low gylcaemic index.

Win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit

Win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit

How does it taste? If you like dark chocolate, then raw chocolate is perfect for you. It’s full of complex, rich cacao flavours, it’s not too sweet or creamy like over the counter chocolate, but it’s a deliciously decadent treat for real chocolate fans.

This Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit would make the perfect Christmas gift for a chocolate loving foodie, or an equally great kit to make your own chocolate gifts for friends and family this Christmas.

Win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit

To buy the kit, or for more information about Indigo Herbs, visit their website.

Win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit

To be in with a chance to win an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit worth £23.99, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will be sent an Indigo Herbs Organic Chocolate Starter Kit worth £23.99.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 29th November 2017.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

A couple of weeks ago to celebrate two friends getting new jobs, a group of us went for afternoon tea at Cocoa Cabana in West Didsbury. To my shame I’ve never eaten there before, but I’ve bought and eaten plenty of their chocolates over the years. I was interested to see what their chocolate afternoon tea would be like, plus it seemed like a bargain at £16.99 each, so I needed to check it out properly. 

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

Cocoa Cabana in West Didsbury is a small chocolatiers and cake makers. They have three small tables inside and on nice days you can sit outside on Burton Road and watch the world go by. There were eight of us, so we took up all of the inside tables. Because of the size of Cocoa Cabana and the work involved in making an afternoon tea you do have to book in advance. 

My friend Sarah had done all the booking and had arranged for us to take some celebratory prosecco with us to have with our tea. There was rather surprisingly no corkage to pay for this. The afternoon tea comes with unlimited tea or coffee, you can have hot chocolate but there is an additional charge for this.

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

We were served pots of good tea and we chatted as our sandwiches were brought to us. I was one of two vegetarians and our sandwiches were brought on separate plates. I thought that was a nice touch as the carnivores often snaffle the veggie sandwiches before I get to them. The sandwiches were freshly made with seeded bread and good quality fillings. There were nice egg sandwiches, cheese and pickle and ham and mustard amongst others.

More tea was poured, prosecco corks popped and a procession of sweet treats were brought to our table. The freshly made fruit scones came with lashings of cream and a salted caramel sauce; a real twist on the classic but one I really enjoyed. It was a little sweet for a couple of my friends, but the sauce was a winner for me.

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

The chocolate tarts were much coveted. Crisp pastry filled with chocolate ganache and topped with a red berry. The tarts were excellent, but very rich and very intense. Most of us managed half a tart each (you can take what you can’t finish home if you’d like).

Following the chocolate theme, there was also a large plate of chocolate brownies. I am not much of a brownie fan, but I shared one with a friend and it was perfectly crisp on top and gooey in the middle. 

What did turn my head was this little plate of prettiness. Tiny eclairs, a teeny banoffee pie, a bite-sized cheesecake, little raspberry chocolate pots, a miniature lemon meringue tart and the lightest, most magnificent pistachio macaron ever.

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

As with every afternoon tea I’ve ever had, there was far too much food, which is probably a good thing. Afternoon tea should not leave you wanting more and the staff at Cocoa Cabana were clearly used to boxing up leftovers. 

The Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana is just £16.99 per person, which is really excellent value. We didn’t feel rushed and the service was attentive but not intrusive. I did need to go home and have a nap directly afterwards, but that is my greed and not a comment on the quality of the food. I liked the separate veggie sandwiches; and the macarons I will dream of for a while yet. I do think the salted caramel sauce should be sold in jars.

The verdict? A good afternoon tea, with some real highlights at very reasonable price, I’ve paid upwards of £25 in Manchester for very average afternoon teas and the Cocoa Cabana afternoon tea was better value and much better quality. Plus the service was accommodating and attentive. It’s nice to have afternoon tea (and chocolate) of this quality available outside of the city centre. Go on, treat yourself (and me).

Cocoa Cabana 128 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2JQ

Visit the Cocoa Cabana website for further information http://cocoa-cabana.co.uk/

Review: Afternoon Tea at Cocoa Cabana, West Didsbury

Note: We paid for our Afternoon Tea in full.

Recipe: Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

The Great British Bake Off has been a real game changer for amateur bakers like me. It’s given me the confidence to try new bakes and introduced the nation to previously unheard of treats from all over the world. Before GBBO I’d never seen or heard of a bundt before, but it soon became a cake I needed to bake. This week I made a Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch and I became this week’s star baker (in my house only).

I’ve wanted a bundt tin for a long time. Every so often I’d have a look around for one but they were always a bit beyond my budget and I couldn’t justify spending that much on a cake tin. A few weeks before Christmas I spotted a Crofton bundt tin in Aldi for around £11 and I couldn’t resist. I’ve been itching to use my bundt tin ever since.

Recipe: Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

For my Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch I used a 250g jar of Opies Black Cherries in Kirsch. I drained the cherries and set aside the kirsch for drizzling over the cake. It was really very good and the boys managed to demolish it in double quick time – always the sign of a successful bake.

Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

Ingredients (serves 16)
150g butter
150g sugar
4 eggs
200g self raising flour
100g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 jar of Opies Black Cherries in Kirsch
1/2 tub of Dr Oetker Easy Milk Chocolate Icing

Method
Pre-heat the oven to 190°. Liberally butter your bundt tin and using 25g of your cocoa powder, dust the inside of your tin so that the powder is stuck to the butter.

Beat your butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the flour, 75g of cocoa powder and baking soda and give them a quick stir, add the eggs and thoroughly combine. If your mixture seems a bit stiff or dry, add a splash of milk.

Drain your black cherries, reserving the kirsch for later. Stir your cherries into the cake batter and pour the lot into your bundt tin. Smooth the top of the batter.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 190°. After 30 minutes, check it’s cooked through with a skewer and remove from the oven. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes.

Once cool, turn out onto a suitable plate or cake stand and decorate. I used half a tub of Dr Oetker Easy Milk Chocolate Icing which you just microwave and then drizzle over with a spoon. I also whipped some cream to serve with it and spooned over some of the kirsch I’d set aside from the jar. Delicious.

Recipe: Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

It was a really lovely pudding and the kirsch made the cake extra moist and a little bit naughtier. I’m looking forward to getting another bundt in the oven.

Recipe: Chocolate and Cherry Bundt with Kirsch

Win a Mint Chocolate Selection from Beech’s Fine Chocolates worth £20

With Christmas just around the corner, there are certain things on everyone’s shopping lists – mince pies, Christmas pudding, a bottle of sherry for Gran, not forgetting a box or two of after dinner mints. For us, a box of mint chocolates are an essential on Christmas Day, but with my mint chocolate loving husband we often have a box of his favourites in the house for him to nibble on after dinner.

Back in May we reviewed some delicious chocolates from Beech’s Fine Chocolates, amongst the selection we sampled were their Original Dark Chocolate Mint Creams which were about the best mint chocolates I’d ever tasted. Smooth dark chocolate and a vibrant minty cream centre. They’re top of our after dinner list now.

Beech's Fine Chocolates

Beech’s Fine Chocolates have been making quality traditional British chocolates in Preston, Lancashire since 1920. They use 100% natural ingredients, and all of their products are gluten free and many are suitable for Vegans. I have a lot of love for Beech’s Fine Chocolates, they make great gifts and they are really good quality.

  • After Dinner Mint Creams 150g, £4.99
  • After Dinner Mint Crisps 150g, £3.99
  • Dark Chocolate Mint Creams 90g, £2.99
  • NEW Luxury After Dinner Mints 130g, £3.99
  • NEW Dark Chocolate Mint Bar 60g, £1.75
  • Dark Chocolate After Dinner Mint Thins, £4.99

For more information about Beech’s Fine Chocolates or to place an order, visit their website – you won’t regret it!

WIN A MINT CHOCOLATE SELECTION FROM BEECH'S FINE CHOCOLATES WORTH £20

This giveaway is now over.

Recipe: Malty Malteser Butterfly Cakes

In my family, September is birthday month and this week it was my brother’s turn to blow out the candles. We weren’t having a big bash for him, but you can’t successfully have a birthday without cake. My brother loves Maltesers, so I thought I’d make him some quick and easy butterfly cakes, but with a Maltesery twist.

I’ve had a jar of malt extract lurking in my cupboard for a little while now, so I knocked up a standard sponge recipe and added a big dollop of the lovely malty stuff. Baked my buns until they were golden and whipped up a chocolate buttercream icing complete with a big bag of smashed up Maltesers. There was no room for candles, but at his age they’re verging on a fire hazard anyway!

Malteser Butterfly Cakes

The little Malteser Butterfly Cakes came out a little darker than a plain sponge would. This is because the dark malt extract makes the mixture darker. They’re not overdone, that’s their natural bronzed colour.

This recipe makes around 12 malteser butterfly cakes.

Malteser Butterfly Cakes

4oz Butter or margarine
4oz sugar
1 dessert spoon of malt extract
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of baking soda
4oz self raising flour

For the buttercream:
4oz butter
4oz icing sugar
1 tablespoon of drinking chocolate powder
10oz of Maltesers

1. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and the stir in the eggs and malt extract.
2. Carefully fold through the baking soda and self raising flour until combined.
3. Dollop into cake cases, there should be enough to make about 12 buns.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 190c for around 15 minutes. Once cooked leave to cool.
5. To make the buttercream, beat the butter, icing sugar and hot chocolate powder until soft and fluffy. Bash up the Maltesers and gently fold in.
6. Carefully cut a circle out of the top of each of your cooled cakes, cut the circle in two, dollop a teaspoon of buttercream into the hole and top with the halves to make them look like butterfly wings.

Malteser Butterfly Cakes

If you love butterfly cakes, you might also enjoy my Peanut Butter Butterfly Cake recipe.

Casa Costello

Review: Beech’s Fine Chocolates

Last year I reviewed some Beech’s Fine Chocolates Easter chocolate treats and developed a very soft spot for this local company producing excellent chocolates. Beech’s Fine Chocolates have been making traditional British chocolates in Preston, Lancashire since 1920. They were kind enough to send me some of their new range of chocolates to try out.

First of all I loved the colourful statement packaging. I really like how colourful and fun they are, each box has a bold pattern which really makes them stand out from the crowd and all the packaging is recyclable. Beech’s Fine Chocolates are made using 100% natural ingredients and all products are gluten free and many are suitable for Vegans. 

After dinner we opened the Original Dark Chocolate Fruit Creams which are made to a traditional recipe using natural fruit oils.  This 150g box contains a selection of  orange, lime, raspberry & lemon cream centres which are covered in dark chocolate.  They boys liked these best, I’m not usually a fan of fruit creams, I often find them a bit sickly, but I liked these, they weren’t too sweet and I very much liked the lime flavour. There were 14 chocolates in this attractive box which retails for £4.75, they are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.  

Beech's Fine Chocolates

In another beautiful box were the Milk Chocolate Covered Dairy Fudge. I’m a bit of a lover of dairy fudge, it’s sweet but not as sweet as the crumbly bags of fudge you get at the seaside. This 100g box does not disappoint and I was a bit reluctant to share. Each box of the Milk Chocolate Covered Dairy Fudge contains 9 chocolates and retails as £2.99. This product is also gluten free.

Beech's Fine Chocolates

Hubs loves mint chocolates, so he opened the Original Dark Chocolate Mint Creams and gave his approval. He liked the smooth dark chocolate and the mint cream which he thought wasn’t too sweet. The 150g box contained 14 of these lovely minty chocolates which are made using English Mitcham Mint oil, which is grown in Hampshire. The mint creams are suitable for vegans and vegetarians and are gluten free.

Beech's Fine Chocolates

I have to confess that I wasn’t really looking forward to the last box of chocolates we tried. Milk Chocolate Coconut Macaroons, I’m not usually a fan of coconut and wouldn’t pick a Bounty out of the selection box, but these were hands down my favourite chocolate of the selection. Lovely milk chocolate and hand-shredded coconut all mixed up together and made into a lovely bite-size macaroon (not a trendy macaron). Apparently these were very popular in the 80s and 90s and they’ve brought them back and I hope they stay!

They cost £2.99 for 9 chocolates and I adored these, perhaps a bit too much. Even if you’re a bit uncertain about coconut I’d say give these a try, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Beech's Fine Chocolates

It’s nice to see Beech’s Fine Chocolates bringing out a new range and reinventing some of their old favourites. They’re a lovely, good quality chocolate and they are good value without looking or tasting cheap. They always have offers on their website, so it’s worth checking out especially if you’re buying a few boxes. I’m very happy to buy Beech’s because they’re fairly local to me and delicious too.