Cooking with chocolate

I love chocolate and chocolatey puddings. I can’t really justify spending money on good-quality cocoa powder and recipes which need cocoa just don’t taste as good when you use value drinking chocolate powder substitute! And so I have been trying out a few recipes that use dark chocolate rather than cocoa powder for their chocolate content. For some reason I can justify £1 chocolate to myself but not £3 cocoa powder. Here are three recipes I’ve tried.

1. This chocolate mousse recipe is definitely a success.  It tastes great with really dark chocolate and seems to be pretty forgiving when you fiddle a bit with the quantities. The trick is to beat in the egg whites a little at a time to help the chocolate mixture blend, espceially with high cocoa chocolate. No picture, but it basically looked like a chocolate mousse…

2. These chocolate orange cupcakes were really easy, although I used some defrosted old margarine icing so they look a bit less professional than BBC food’s picture! These are beautifully moist as you use a lemon-drizzle-style orange-drizzle to flavour the cakes. The initials were those of our guests that weekend, and I had great fun using this cake stand for the first time.

I have struggled to find a sensible chocolate cake recipe without cocoa, but this cake worked reasonably well and certainly tastes more luxurious than ‘normal’ chocolate cake. The icing however, from a different recipe, was genuinely convincing chocolate fudge icing and I will be using the topping from that recipe again for sure!

And the best thing about cooking with dark chocolate is the leftover end of the pack to eat in front of the TV!