Dessert wins the mealtime popularity contest hands down every time.
But while the idea of whipping up some cupcakes, brownies or even a full-on Victoria Sponge might be appealing, realistically it’s often a quick dash to Sainsbury’s for a king-sized bar of Dairy Milk.
If you do fancy doing dessert properly, the good news for chocolate lovers is those leftover treats can be used as staple baking ingredients.
And luckily for the less domesticated among us, you don’t have to be able to bake like Nigella to master these simple recipes.
1. Creme-egg brownies
185g unsalted butter
185g best dark chocolate
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
3 large eggs
275g golden caster sugar
6 Cadbury’s Creme eggs, cut in half
Preheat the oven to 160 C and grease a 20cm square baking tin.
Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a bowl over boiling water, then leave to cool.
Break three large eggs into a large bowl and tip in 275g golden caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar for around 3-8 minutes until the mixture is thick and creamy like a milkshake.
Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the mousse and then gently fold together.
Hold a sieve over the mixture and sift the cocoa and flour onto it, shaking the sieve from side to side to cover the top evenly. Gently fold into the mixture.
Pour into the baking tin and cook for 15 minutes. Take the brownies out of the oven and gently press the Creme Egg halves into the mix, spacing them evenly apart. Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
Leave to cool before removing from the tin and cutting into squares.
2. M&M’s cupcakes
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
1tsp vanilla extract
100g chocolate chips, melted and cooled
2tsp heavy cream
Plenty of M&M’s
This chocolate buttercream frosting can be used on either plain, vanilla or chocolate sponge cakes.
Using an electric whisk, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sugar. Once all of the sugar is mixed in, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla.
Add the melted chocolate and heavy cream, and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl as necessary to ensure all the chocolate is used.
Spoon the frosting onto the sponge cakes, topping each cake with M&M’s.
3. Crunchie chocolate bark
A generous portion of chopped Crunchie chocolate bars
Hundreds and thousands
Heat the milk and white chocolate in separate bowls until they have fully melted.
Line a large, flat baking tray with baking paper. Pour the milk chocolate onto the paper and smooth it with the back of a spoon to create an even layer.
Next add the white chocolate, creating whatever patterns you like. Keep a little bit of the chocolate mixture to add later if you need it.
Spread the toppings over the chocolate, adding more chocolate on top if needed to keep them in place.
Keep in the fridge for around 30 minutes until the chocolate has set.
Break off into pieces and enjoy.
4. Ice-cream cake
2 1/2 pints ice cream
100g honey roast peanuts
200g milk chocolate, broken up into shards
50g peanut butter morsels or chocolate chips
150g Crunchie bars, broken into shards
150g Bourbon biscuits broken up into crumbs and rubble
Let the ice-cream soften out of the fridge for a few hours before you start.
Prepare a 8-inch springform tin with clingfilm, placing it in both the bottom and sides of the tin so that there is some overhang at the top.
Empty the slightly softened ice-cream into a bowl and mix in the peanuts, chocolate, peanut morsels or chips, 100g of Crunchie shards and 100g of Bourbon biscuit crumbs.
Scrape the ice cream mixture into the tin, flattening the top like a cake, and cover it with clingfilm. Place the cake in the freezer to firm up.
Serve the cake straight from the freezer. Unmould from the tin, pulling the clingfilm gently away before putting on a plate or cake stand.
Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining Crunchie and Bourbon biscuit pieces.
Cut into slices and serve with butterscotch and chocolate sauces, letting both dribble over each slice.
5. Mars bar cakes
75g unsalted butter
5 x 58g Mars bars
360g of Rice Krispies
150g milk chocolate
30g unsalted butter
Melt together the Mars bars and 75g butter.
Mix in the Rice Krispies until the Mars mixture is evenly spread over them.
Spread the mixture into an 8’ x 8’ baking tin and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Melt together the chocolate and 30g butter. Spread over the Krispie mix and leave it back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and cut into squares.
6. Malteaser chocolate cake
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp full-fat milk
100g good-quality dark chocolate, melted
200g dark chocolate
100 milk chocolate
250ml double cream
1 large packet of Maltesers
You will also need 2 x 20cm sandwich tins, greased and the bases lined with buttered baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 180oc/160oc fan oven/350 F/gas mark 4.
In a bowl of a free-standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale, light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and milk, then mix until combined. Add the melted chocolate and mix again until smooth.
Divide equally between the prepared sandwich tins, spread level and bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 22-25 minutes until golden and a skewer comes away clean when inserted into the middle of the cakes. Turn the cakes out of the tins onto a wire cooling rack and leave until cold.
To make the ganache, finely chop both the dark and milk chocolates and tip into a saucepan along with the double cream.
Set the pan over a low heat to melt, stirring constantly until smooth. Pour the ganache into a shallow dish, cool and then chill to firm.
To assemble the cake, place one of the cakes on a cake or serving plate and spoon half of the ganache on the cake and spread. Then scatter with crushed Maltesers.
Cover the top of the second cake layer with ganache, spreading it smoothly with a palette knife. Sandwich the two cakes together and finish off with a good scattering of Maltesers.
Source: The Goddess's Kitchen
7. Chocolate button fairy cakes
For the cake:
4 free-range eggs
225g self-raising flour
225g butter, melted
For the icing and decoration:
110g butter, softened
170g icing sugar
55g cocoa powder, sifted
1-2 tbsp milk
Milk chocolate buttons
White chocolate buttons
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line 2 x 12-hole fairy cake tins with paper cases.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Carefully fold in the flour and butter.
Pour the mixture carefully into the paper cases.
Bake the cakes for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.
Set aside to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the tin.
To make the buttercream, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the remaining icing sugar, cocoa powder and one tablespoon of the milk and beat until creamy. Beat in more milk if necessary to loosen the icing.
Once the cakes are cool, spread the buttercream icing on top of the cakes.
Decorate the cakes with the chocolate buttons.
Source: BBC Food