Tag Archives: melted chocolate

Leftover Shortcrust Pastry and Chocolate Sauce

Leftover Pastry with Chocolate Sauce (9051)

I have some time on my hands this afternoon and as usual I did a round of my edited photos in my never-ending list of computer files and folders. They seem to get bigger by the minute and sometimes it’s very hard to keep track of things. Having said that I need to check those currently on my phone, which also needs some serious decluttering. Does that word even exist?

Originally I didn’t plan to give you the recipe for the pastry, as I did write a post about it some years ago. I thought “it’s just what I do sometimes when I have some leftovers”, and I *always* end up with leftovers. However to save you a few seconds until you wait for your browser to look it up for you, I decided to include it here anyway. It’s been quite a while. And I would rather have you do this than throwing any extras away.

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Christmas Sweet Chestnut Soup – a.k.a. Imbuljuta


As I write this I’m looking outside of my window and I can just barely see Guildford Cathedral peeping back at me. The fog is quite thick this morning but I am looking forward to some sun perhaps this afternoon. Well, hopefully anyway. This kind of weather brings anticipation for the festivities which are yet to come. I have to say that I prefer all the prep than the actual Christmas week itself. The cooking and baking is fun and in many ways comforting. This is an easy but delicious recipe to get you, and me started. I have been getting some questions on this traditional Maltese recipe, and here is my latest version which really works for me.

Imbuljuta (pronounced something like: Im-bul-yu-ta) is one of my very favourite things to eat. For me, it is the essence of Christmas. It also takes me back to my childhood and it revives the excitement that the season should bring. It used to be served and shared after midnight mass; unfortunately nowadays plain hot chocolate is served instead. Pity.

I apologise for having just one photo here, but I hope to include more in the coming weeks. Unfortunately I cannot find dried chestnuts in my neck of the woods, so I’ll have to wait until the next batch from Malta comes through!

  • 250g dried chestnuts
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate, please)
  • 3 tablespoons golden caster sugar
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole tangerine peel (There’s no need to cut this into pieces.)
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 500ml water
  • 50g dark chocolate, cut into chunks

Give the chestnuts a good rinse under water, discard any that seem off. Place the rest in a large bowl, cover them with a fresh batch of cold water and leave to soak overnight.

The next morning they will be ready to be cooked, but first remove any brown skin that remained attached to the chestnuts. Drain, put them in a heavy-based pan and cover with them with 500ml of cold water. Switch on the heat to medium and let them cook until they are tender, for I would say, around 40 minutes or so.

Add the cocoa powder, caster sugar, cinnamon stick, tangerine peel, cloves and dark chocolate. Give everything a stir and let the ingredients come together and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes or so. Now it’s ready to be scooped into your favourite mug! This is gooey and rich so be careful! Serve hot. But boy, it’s good! Enjoy!

Rob x

Instant Chocolate and Orange Mousse recipe from “Nigellissima”


A little while ago I couldn’t stop saying good things about Nigella’s Chocolate and Orange Mousse. And I still am. I have also been receiving some messages from people asking me to give the recipe, since the link I gave from the Daily Mail has expired. I wasn’t sure about giving the recipe myself, one of the reasons being that I haven’t found it on nigella.com. I said that I would do that eventually though and after giving it some thought this is it. I would suggest, as always, and maybe more than usual, to read the recipe very carefully before attempting it. It’s not difficult. You just need to pay extra attention to some of the steps. It will be worth it, I promise. You will need:

  • 150g dark chocolate, finely chopped (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 175g condensed milk
  • 500ml double cream
  • pinch salt (optional, but in this case I would suggest using it.)
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • zest of ½ an orange

Melt the chocolate in the microwave (or in a medium bowl over some simmering water).  With a spatula, scrape the chocolate from the sides of the bowl and make sure to stir the chocolate occasionally as it melts. Take off the heat and set aside to cool for a while.

In a medium-sized bowl pour in the condensed milk, *half* the quantity of double cream (i.e. 250ml) and a pinch of salt. Whisk (you can do this by hand) till the mixture has just thickened. You should have a fluffy trail of lines/ribbons.

Stir around one third of the whipped cream mixture you just made into the cooled melted chocolate. Don’t be afraid to use some force – nothing will happen to it at this stage.

However from now on you will have to be gentle. Slowly and gently fold the lightened chocolate mixture back into the remainder of the whipped cream.

Then, very gently stir the orange liqueur and the orange juice into the mixture. Divide into 6 ramekins or glasses (each of around 150ml capacity), but do not fill them to the top. You will need some more space for the rest of the whipped cream later on.

Place the containers in the fridge to set. Whip up the rest of the double cream until just before it forms soft peaks and put this also in the fridge in it’s bowl. Before serving, divide the cream on top of the six ramekins and top each one with the orange zest.

This recipe takes a bit of care and a little time, but you will want to make it again and again. (In moderation of course!) It is good. Enjoy!

Rob x

(Adapted from Nigelissima, Chatto & Windus, 2012.)