Chocolate is for life – not just for Easter!
You can use chocolate and sweets all year round to add decorative details to your home. By filling glass jars, or other decorative objects, confectionary can add colour and pizzazz to your interior.
Apart from using for decorative purposes chocolate can be the main ingredient for some quick and easy desserts.
Here are two of my favourites plus a chocolate sauce recipe which can be used hot or cold on anything from fresh fruit through to ice cream, pancakes, profiteroles, steamed and baked puddings.
Chocolate Apricot Trifle fromThe Dairy Book Of Home Cookery
You will need:
- 1 cream-filled chocolate Swiss roll (or any chocolate sponge cake)
- 1 medium-sized can of apricot halves
- 2 tablespoons orange squash or brandy
- 150ml/1/4 pint fresh double cream
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 level tablespoons sifted icing sugar
- White of one standard egg
- 50g/2oz grated plain chocolate for decoration
- Cut Swiss roll into about 10 slices. Arrange over base of shallow serving dish, overlapping if necessary.
- Moisten with 4 tablespoons of syrup from apricots mixed with squash or brandy. Arrange apricots on top.
- Whip cream and milk together until thick. Stir in sugar then fold in the egg white, beaten until stiff.
- Pile over apricots and chill.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with grated chocolate. Serves 4-6.
Poached Pears With Chocolate Sauce from The Busy Cook’s Book
You will need:
- 450ml/3/4 pint water
- 75g/3oz sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 4 large ripe dessert pears, peeled
- 100g/4oz chocolate
- Bring the water, sugar and vanilla essence to the boil.
- Poach the pears over moderately low heat for 5-10 minutes, turning them occasionally, until they are really tender. Carefully lift the pears from the syrup and keep them warm.
- Break the chocolate into squares and melt it in the syrup over low heat. Beat the mixture well, then simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the spoon.
- Serve the pears warm, with the sauce separately.
- Alternatively, allow the pears to cool, then chill them. They are delicious with hot or cold chocolate sauce and plenty of whipped cream.
Quick Chocolate Sauce from The Dairy Book Of Home Cookery
- 75g/3oz caster sugar
- 75g/3oz soft brown sugar
- 75g/3oz cocoa powder
- 300ml//1/2 pint milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 25g/1oz butter
- Put all ingredients into saucepan. Stand over low heat.
- Stir until sugar has dissolved. Slowly bring to boil.
- Boil briskly, without stirring, for 2 minutes (or until sauce coats back of spoon). If a more fudge like sauce is preferred, boil an extra 2-3 minutes. Serves 4-6.
If chocolate isn’t your bag why not fill jars with a selection of retro sweets. To buy on-line go to the Card Collection’s sweet shop at http://www.thecardcollection.co.uk/collections/all