Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chocolate & Coffee - The End

This is the last part of our cookery class and the end of our dinner party together.

The hard work is done – you can relax now. Your guests are fed and it is time to wind down. I personally love it when people keep sitting at the table and talk about all and nothing. Just clear the plates from the table and bring out the goodies you prepared in advance. There is always room for a chocolate truffle or a light biscuit.

You can of course just serve tea made from a teabag or instant coffee but imagine how impressed your guest are when you serve them a proper cup of tea or a lovely steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee. Coffee with Advoccat is just a special coffee flavoured with Advocaat and topped with cream but which is just delicious. Coffee can be flavoured with any liquor you like – Amaretto (almond), Kahlua (coffee) or even a banana liquor. Your imagination is the limit. 

We have lost the art of tea making since teabags are so convenient. But why not step out of the 'norm' and treat yourself with a lovely cup of tea that actually taste of tea. We have 2 wonderful shops in Cork that specialise in loose tea and can recommend the right tea for you. They not only stock tea but also coffee beans, in case you like to get into 'proper' coffee drinking. Gurmans in 4, Fenns Quay and Little Buddha in McCurtain Street have everything you need to get you started. 

Chocolate is always a treat – especially when they are handmade. Don’t worry if you think they don’t look perfect – it shows that you made them yourself. It is quite easy to make wonderful delicious chocolates if you stick to a few rules. I will be showing you how to make free-formed chocolates as well as moulded ones. Chocolate needs to be tempered if using it for moulds as this will guarantee a glossy finish. With our free-formed chocolates, it’s not necessary as we will dipping them in shredded coconut. These chocolates also make a nice gift for your guests to take home – just put them into a nice box, a little ribbon around and you got a stylish gift for next to nothing.

When choosing chocolate, make sure to check the cocoa content. Never use chocolate flavoured bars – they are made of vegetable fat and some flavouring. It has never been near chocolate. The best chocolate of course is from your local chocolate shop where you can choose between different strengths of chocolate (there is a list of suppliers at the end of the leaflet). But here, I will be using white chocolate – which is basically cocoa butter – that I bought in Aldi. I am working with that chocolate for years, and can’t fault it. I am using mainly the milk and white chocolate.

Advocaat Coffee

1 cup strong coffee     
Sugar to taste
6-8 tsp Advocaat
2 tbsp whipped cream
Chocolate powder

Warm the cup, add the Advocaat. Sweeten the coffee to taste and pour over the Advocaat. Spoon whipped cream on top and dust with chocolate powder.

Indian Spiced Tea (Mix)

Chai can be bought in Gurmans in Fenn's Quay.
Add tea to milk in saucepan over low heat. Use 4 teaspoons loose leaf/4 tea bags for every three cups. Once added, stir the tea constantly. Use low heat to brew slowly and to prevent dangerous overflow. The milk will eventually boil into foamy bubbles. You will notice that the colour has changed from white to a caramel cream colour. At this point, reduce heat or remove it from heat.  It will still continue to infuse. The stronger you want it, the more you should heat it.

Strain it through a tea sieve into cups.


20 glace cherries
250g Marzipan
100g icing sugar
250g shredded coconut
Egg Nogg or Advocaat
White chocolate for dipping

Delicious Easy-Peasy Chocolates
Mix the marzipan, icing sugar and egg nogg (add bit by bit until you have the right consistency) until it is well combined. Form little rounds (as bit or small as you like them – just keep in mind that we need room for the filling).  Fill each round with a glace cherry and mould into a closed ball. Set aside and continue until all of the mixture has been used up.

Place the coconut in a bowl.

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie and dip the balls in the chocolate.  Drop the balls into the bowl with the coconut, making sure they are completely covered. Place in little paper cases and serve.


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