Chewy Chocolate Love Bites

They say the easiest and quickest way to a man’s heart, or anyone’s heart for that matter is through food. Cover that food in chocolate and for the man in my life I’ve pretty much won him over for life.

Truth be told I basically made these by accident using the remains of a puffed rice mould I was putting together for an anti-gravity cake. With a lot of mixture spare I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it away so decided to roll the rest into balls. A plain puffed rice ball isn’t exactly something to sing and dance about, but coating them in silky dark chocolate and topping with exciting textures/flavours changes the game completely.

Within less than 30 minutes I had delicious and delightfully pretty bites and I only had to show Liam the tray before they were gone.

Makes | 12 bites

Preparation time | 20-30 minutes

200g puffed rice

200g marshmallows

50g unsalted butter

400g dark chocolate

Toppings to decorate (e.g. desiccated coconut, chopped nuts, sprinkles)

1 tbsp olive oil

In a pan melt the butter then add the marshmallows stirring together until the marshmallows have melted completely.

Once fully melted add the puffed rice and combine until fully coated. Tip out into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Warning the mixture will be extremely sticky until it’s cooled.

While the mixture is cooling down chop your chocolate and melt in a medium mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once melted leave to one side while you shape the bites.

Before dipping your hands in the marshmallow mixture, line a baking tray with parchment paper and rub the olive oil between your hands to avoid the mixture getting stuck to your hands.

Okay here goes this could get messy. Take a heaped tbsp. size of the mixture and roll it together in your palm of your hands. Place the ball onto the parchment paper and continue until you have gone through the entire bowl.

Now to get dipping. Set up your bowl of melted chocolate and toppings next to your baking tray of bites and one by one plunge the bites into the chocolate with a spoon coating them completely. Lift them out and pop back onto the baking tray.

Once all 12 bites have been coated pop into a freezer for 5 minutes to let them set a little, then bring them back out and dunk them for a second coat. This time sprinkle with your chosen toppings when back on the baking tray.

Freeze for another 5 minutes then serve.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

red velvet cupcakes 3

Anyone fed up with the colour red yet? I thought I would be, but when it comes to baking, the colour red means Red Velvet Cupcakes, and you can never be fed up with those.

I was going to bake these a few months ago as they are my all time favourite, however the distinct red and white colour scheme makes them perfect for Valentine’s Day. What makes them even more special is their buttery flavour and moist texture. The secret is Buttermilk. This really is a must when it comes to Red Velvet, you simply cannot make them without it. The tangy and creamy flavour adds so much to the sponge, plus it also helps to deactivate the baking powder. The other secret is vinegar as this helps makes the red even redder.

They are deceivingly easy to make and while the red velvet sponge is rather impressive on its own, it’s the smooth, tangy and sweet cream cheese frosting which sets these apart from all others.

Happy Valentine’s Day Red Velvet lovers, these are for you.

red velvet cupcakes

red velvet cupcakes 1

red velvet cupcakes 2


Makes 24 

Prep time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes

For the cupcakes

250g plain flour

2 tbsp coco powder

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

100g soft unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

½ tsp red paste food colouring

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

175ml buttermilk

1 tsp cider vinegar

Cream cheese frosting;

500g icing sugar

125g cream cheese

125g soft unsalted butter

1 tsp cider vinegar

Red sugar to decorate

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line two cupcake tins with paper cases

Combine flour, coco powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Once you have a soft mixture add the food colouring and vanilla and beat well. Prepare for a very vibrant mixture.

While it’s still beating add a spoon of the dry ingredients, then one egg, followed by another spoon of the dry ingredients and the other egg. Add the remaining dry ingredients and combine.

Finally add the buttermilk and cider vinegar until you have a gorgeous silky batter. Divide the batter between the 24 cases and bake for about 20 minutes.

Leave them to cool on a wire rack until completely cold before icing.

For the frosting, put the icing sugar, butter and cream cheese into a processor and blitz. Add the cider vinegar and mix again until creamy and smooth.

Fill a piping bag with the frosting and ice each cupcake generously.

For the red sugar, take two tablespoons of caster sugar and a little red food colouring and mix together. Sprinkle over the cupcakes and leave to set.