Devilishly Delicious Deserts: Chocolate Amaretto Pots

Following on from my previous post on these deserts, here's my recipe for chocolate amaretto pots.

Chocolate Amaretto pots
(serves 8-10)
     500ml Devilishly Delicious Pot au Chocolat
     50ml Amaretto liqueur
Pour the chocolate pot pack into a pan and bring to the boil, ensuring to stir regularly. Fold in the Amaretto and pour the mix into your chosen desert pot. Chill for 1-2 hours, or even overnight.

   I made these chocolate pots two ways; in espresso mugs decorated with curls of chocolate and some fresh mint, and in jam jars with a sprinkling of Amaretti biscuits on top and a drizzle of Devilishly Delicious sour cherry coulis.
   I enjoyed thinking of different ideas as to how to best use and present these deserts. The Amaretto is entirely optional, but next time I was thinking of upping the amount used to serve them in the espresso mugs as chocolate shots.

   My previous post explains more about these deserts but you can find them online, in Waitrose and Lakeland and they have a range of different deserts to suit any desert lover.

   I still have Panna Cotta and Créme Brûlée to get planning some ideas as to how I'm going to make them even fancier!

Devilishly Delicious Deserts: Limoncello Syllabub

   I really love spending time in the kitchen, but sometimes I just don't have the time or energy to spend stirring, whisking and folding. On Saturday night, I really was not in the right frame of mind to be creating fancy deserts for visiting family members. Instead, I spent 10 minutes making a Limoncello Syllabub. Sounds impressive, I know...
Limoncello Syllabubs
(serves 6-8)
     500ml Devilishly Delicious Sicilian Lemon Pot
     250g Mascarpone
     75ml Limoncello (or similar)
Pour the lemon pot pack into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer on a low heat for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the Limoncello and mascarpone until soft peaks are formed. Fold the lemon into the cream and pour the mix into desert pots or ramekins. Leave to chill for 2 hours, or even overnight.

Just before serving, I swirled some lemon curd on each, sprinkled with lemon zest, blueberries and mint leaves to finish.

Within minutes, my family had finished these and no one even suspected that they were a vegetarian and gluten free desert. If I hadn't have told them, they wouldn't have even doubted that I'd made them.

These syllabubs were so light and fresh, perfect after a big meal. The Limoncello cuts through the cream and gives a strong lemon warmth. My family are Limoncello fans and always order a desert similar to this at our favourite local Italian restaurant, their only time more Limoncello! It is entirely optional though, as is the mascarpone.
Devilishly Delicious are a brand that create restaurant quality desert packs for consumers to be able to create their own deserts at home. All you do for each desert is heat in the pan for a few minutes, pour into ramekins and chill for 2 hours. But, you really have the chance to get creative.

The four desert packs in the range include; Sicilian Lemon Pot, Pot au Chocolat, Crème Brûlée and Panna Cotta. They also have a range of fruit coulis available in; Mango, Sour Cherry, Raspberry and Green Apple.

You can find them in Lakeland, selected Waitrose stores or Ocado online. Alternatively, use their store locator found here.

Although Devilishly Delicious kindly sent me these sweet treats, I really enjoyed both the making and eating of them. I can honestly say that I am going to buy some and keep them in the cupboard for those last minute moments. And for every other moment because I've been dreaming of their chocolate pots ever since...

Next, I'll post my Amaretto Chocolate pot recipe!

Sinful Chocolate Simnel Cake

   Firstly, I've never even tried Simnel cake but, since writing a piece on the history of it for my food writing class, I now know a fair bit about it. Enough to know that the chocolate Simnel cake I made breaks all the rules...sorry Simnel cake purists!

   There's no fruit and there aren't 11 balls of toasted marzipan representing the 11 apostles (minus Judas).  Instead, I went for a 4 layered chocolate malt sponge, sandwiched between layers of chocolate fudge buttercream, covered in more chocolate fudge buttercream, topped with mini eggs, malteser bunnies and a little dusting of gold stars.
This is the same recipe I used for my malteser bunny cupcakes, just doubled up to make the 4 layers.

Chocolate malt sponge (makes 2 layers):

     115g unsalted butter, softened
     115g caster sugar
     2 eggs, lightly beaten
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     115g self raising flour, sifted (replace 2 tablespoons with chocolate malt powder)
     1 tablespoon milk

Chocolate buttercream:

     250g unsalted butter, softened
     500g icing sugar
     100g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solid), melted and cooled

Mini eggs and malteser bunnies for decoration.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease 2 8 inch round sandwich tins (I used Dr. Oetker's cake release spray).
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add the egg, a spoon at a time, lightly beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the sifted flour and chocolate malt, before adding the milk.
  • Divide between the two sandwich tins and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat these steps again so that you have the four layers.
  • For the buttercream, melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a bain marie.
  • Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a stand mixer and add the melted chocolate once slightly cooled.

Cookie Girl Decorating Class

   On Saturday morning I ventured through the snow to a Cookie Girl decorating class in Kensal Green.  The 2 hour decorating class, lead by Ro, demonstrated to a table full of pinny-clad girls 4 different cupcake frosting techniques; the classic swirl, a rose, iced jems and two tone swirls.
   To decorate the iced cupcakes, the table was full of every type of glitter, flowers, stars, hearts and confetti imaginable. I came to the conclusion, less IS NOT more!
Classic swirl, rose, iced gem and two tone swirl.
   All equipment and ingredients are provided in the class including boxes to take 8 sugary little treats home. I had a voucher for this class from my brother and his ladyfriend, thanks Tom & April!!

Malteser Bunny Cupcakes

Serves 6


     1115g unsalted butter, softened
     115g caster sugar
     2 eggs, lightly beaten
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     115g self raising flour, sifted (take away 2 tablespoons and replace with Chocolate Malt powder)
     1 tablespoon milk

Chocolate buttercream (serves 12):

     150g unsalted butter, softened
     260g icing sugar
     50g plain chocolate

Mini Malteser bunnies.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake tray with cases.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add eggs, one spoon at a time, and lightly beat after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the sifted flour and chocolate malt, before adding the milk.
  • Divide evenly between the cases. Finely chop a few Malteser bunnies, or regular Maltesers, and poke into the cake mix in each case.
  • Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden.
  • Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a ban marie.
  • Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a stand mixer and add the melted chocolate once slightly cooled.
  • Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with a Malteser bunny.

Passionfruit Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing

   Passionfruit is something I've only tried very a cocktail! Since then I've been wanting to try it out in some bakes. A friend - the one who encouraged me to start this blog last summer - bought some passionfruit curd into the office for me. Maybe because he had to endure my ranting about just how good lemon curd is in porridge (a discovery courtesy of Steph from Riverside Baking) even though he doesn't eat porridge. And maybe because of another rant about just how expensive passionfruit is to buy in the supermarket. So thanks for the curd Andy, and for listening to my daily rants! 

   I decided to make some cupcakes filled with oozing passionfruit and a white chocolate icing. The white chocolate I used was a cheeky little corner from the Valrhona white chocolate plate I bought home from my Sunday Afternoon Tea at Podium. I've refrigerated the rest of this to make some more cupcakes or cookies this week, but you could double up the cupcake quantities and make 12 and use all the icing.

Serves 6


     115g unsalted butter, softened
     115g caster sugar
     2 eggs, lightly beaten
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract
     115g self raising flour, sifted
     1 tablespoon of milk

White chocolate icing (serves 12):

     200g white chocolate
     20g crème fraîche
     80g unsalted butter, softened
     225g cream cheese
     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

A few tablespoons of passionfruit curd.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake tray with cases.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Slowly add eggs, one spoon at a time, and lightly beat after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the sifted flour and then add the milk.
  • Divide evenly between the cases.
  • Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden.
  • Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate either in the microwave or over a ban marie.
  • In a stand mixer, beat together the crème fraîche, butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Add the melted chocolate when slightly cooled.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, core and pipe the passionfruit curd into the centre. (I warmed the passion fruit curd with a small splash of hot water and mixed well in order to losen it and make it easier to pipe).
  • Rather than piping the icing, as I didn't find the mix stiff enough, I just spread a spoon of icing over each cake and evened with a small spatula.
I'm now a fully fledged passionfruit fan, so if anyone has any suggestions of how else I can use this curd then I'd love to hear them!

Podium, Hilton Park Lane: Afternoon Tea

   What better way to end a busy week than with cake? Yesterday Harriet and I ventured to Podium Restaurant in the Hilton on Park Lane for a glass of fizz and Anthony Marshall's 'Confessions of a Chocoholic' Afternoon Tea. When I say 'ventured' I mean walking through what felt like the Hurricane level winds we'd experienced during our time in NYC with Hurricane Sandy.

   I'd purchased a Travel Zoo voucher and booked months ago, without realising I'd booked for Mother's Day! With 'Mumma Loves Food' away sunning herself in Dubai and Harriet's mum kindly excusing her for the afternoon we enjoyed a Mother's Day version of the 'Confessions of a Chocoholic' Afternoon Tea.
      Upon arrival we were presented with a tea menu and some samples for a quick 'sniff' of their favourite blends. We opted for Earl Grey with lavender flowers which was the perfect fresh blend to accompany the sugar overload that was to follow. Shortly after a glass of fizz and our sandwiches arrived.

   I went for the vegetarian sandwich option which included: asparagus, parmesan and balsamic vinegar; cucumber, cream cheese and chives; egg and cress; tomato, mozzarella and pesto; emmental cheese and grapes (walnuts as listed on the menu were missing). I wouldn't say that they were some of the best sandwiches I've had, but all perfectly fresh and a good selection of flavours.

   The next course, the start of the three-tiered 'stand of sugar', was mini chocolate chip scones served with a chocolate praline spread, clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam. Harriet enjoyed the strawberry jam and chocolate spread as a combo on her scone. I enjoyed chocolate, chocolate and a little more chocolate!
   Next up, a raspberry and lemon cupcake topped with heart-shaped shortbread. The cupcake was filled with raspberry jam and has inspired me to try something like this this space! I felt that the lemon buttercream was a little too on the sweet side and not enough lemon. The cupcake was beautifully decorated with glitter, pearls, white chocolate, raspberry and the heart.
   For the final course we enjoyed a selection of delicate miniature fancies. These included a Louis Vuitton Victoria Sponge handbag; pistachio macaron, white chocolate and cherry cheesecake topped with a heart-shaped shortbread; lemon and raspberry marshmallow cone; a dress-shaped iced shortbread (which got eaten too quickly for its close-up).
   Which leads me to the final discovery, the entire top tier of the cake stand was in fact a white chocolate plate! Which they kindly boxed for us to bring home. I've yet to tuck into my chocolate plate as it's pretty hefty.

   This Afternoon Tea was girlie in every way and so beautifully presented. I can proudly say that the two of us cleared each cake and crumb, unlike the other diners surrounding us who seemed to fill their boxes for home with the entire miniature fancy course. Who doesn't eat cake, especially when one is taking tea?
Square Meal

Konditor & Cook and Cake Window Shopping

   Yesterday was my ideal lazy day off: being able to wake up late and eat breakfast rolled up in my duvet on the sofa, taking the dog for a nice long walk and catching up with a friend over tea and cake.
   I get excited at the prospect of new cake places to visit, and even though Konditor & Cook is not new to my radar, I've yet to actually visit one of their shops. So yesterday, Nicola and I decided to venture through the rain, awkward TV crews and coach fulls of tourists on Shaftesbury Avenue to visit the Curzon shop.

   Nicola chose a Raspberry Chequer Cupcake which was a raspberry and vanilla chequered sponge topped with raspberry icing. I went for one of their bestsellers, a slice of Curly Wurly cake, dark chocolate sponge with vanilla bean frosting - no wonder this is a best seller, it was definitely one of the best chocolate cakes I've had in a long time...I was almost tempted to order another slice.

   Another recommendation, the best hot chocolate ever! I'm sorry but I just don't like the French style hot chocolate that can be found in places like Paul, or even the milky ones from all those coffee shop chains. Konditor & Cook's, however, is the perfect balance of chocolate and creamy goodness. Its dangerous knowing that there's another shop just 5 minutes walk from my office!
   Afterwards we did a little cake window shopping, so I thought I'd share some of the beautiful displays that we found.
Ladurée Covent Garden, Chinatown, Balthazar Boulangerie & Covent Garden Market.

Honeycomb & Caramelised White Chocolate Brownies

    I was late to the salted caramel party, in fact I've not ever even attempted caramel. It was a 'trend' that I let pass, but caramelised white chocolate was something I knew I needed to try. I first saw the idea on The Little Loaf and since I can't stop reading about it. Seeing as I don't seem to be able to do anything at half measures, I decided to add some honeycomb into the mix which melted and made these brownies extra fudgey and gooey.

Makes 16

Caramelised white chocolate,

     2 x 100g bars of Green & Black's white chocolate, broken into pieces

  • Preheat the oven to 125 degrees. 
  • In a rimmed baking sheet, place the white chocolate pieces and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, stir with a clean spatula and spread evenly to thinly line the bottom of the baking tray.
  • Repeat for 50 minutes, taking out each 10 minutes. You'll notice that after about 30 minutes the chocolate starts to get more golden. 
I'm quite tempted to make another batch to use in another bake, but to try an extra 10-20 minutes. I tried some Valhrona Dulcey in the week and it's much more caramel-y, but I'm almost there! I made this the night before the brownies, stored it in a jam jar, then to melt just submerged it in a bowl of hot water whilst I prepared the brownie mix.


     140g unsalted butter
     200g dark chocolate, chopped
     225g caster sugar
     2 teaspoons vanilla extract
     Pinch of salt
     2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
     1 large egg yolk at room temperature
     85g plain flour
     100g mini honeycomb pieces
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 20cm square tin with baking paper.
  • In a ban marie, melt the butter and chocolate. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Stir in vanilla, sugar and salt.
  • Mix the beaten eggs until smooth.
  • Sift in the flour and beat for 1 minute until the mixture is smooth.
  • Line the bottom of the tin with the mini honeycomb pieces before pouring the brownie mix over.
  • Using a piping bag, drizzle the caramelised white chocolate on the brownie mix.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Allow to fully cool in the tin before cutting into squares.