We have a few friends coming over for dinner this weekend.
We must like them because they’re getting 3 courses!
We tend to split the cooking – which works out well as Justin prefers to do the savoury dishes and I prefer making the sweets. It looks like it’s going to be poached smoked salmon & asparagus to begin. And he’s just set about making some home-made pies for the main course. They look delicious – and hearty too. Celeriac mash and roasted root vegetables on the side. No one will go hungry, that’s for sure!
So, after all that, something light to finish seems in order. I often make panna cotta or crème caramel when a big pudding isn’t required. But I thought I’d go even more delicate this time with a selection of three different petit fours. I’m sharing their preparation as this week’s Cakes & Bakes recipe.
Our guests can have one or ten each, depending on how much room they’ve got left.
Serving them in pretty petit four paper cases really enhances their presentation. They’ll be delicious with an after dinner coffee, port or brandy… a lovely way to end the meal.
- 300g/10½oz dark chocolate
- pinch sea salt
- 2tbs coconut oil
- 215ml/7½fl oz tinned coconut milk
- toasted desiccated coconut, chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and/or cocoa powder to finish
- Break the chocolate up into small pieces and put it into a large heatproof bowl
- Add the coconut oil and the salt
- In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk to the boil before pouring it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth
- Allow to cool, cover the bowl with cling film and leave to set overnight in the fridge (or at least 4 hours).
- Put the toasted desiccated coconut chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and/or cocoa powder into separate wide-bottomed bowls
- Using a measuring teaspoon, scoop out a portion of ganache before rolling between your palms to form a ball before putting it on a plate or baking sheet
- Repeat until all the ganache has been used
- Cover the balls in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Toss in the balls equally between the chopped mixed nuts, icing sugar and or cocoa powder, rolling around the bowls making sure each ball is completely coated
- Carefully place the balls on to a plate lined with parchment paper, recover carefully with cling film and put them back into the fridge to firm up again
- These can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week
- 150g/5oz ground almonds
- 200g/7oz icing sugar
- 2tsp almond extract
- 1 egg white
- 50ml/1¾fl oz whipping cream
- 7g/¼oz sugar
- 12ml/½fl oz water
- 45g/1½oz dark chocolate, chopped
- Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until it comes together into a thick ball (about a minute)
- Turn the marzipan out onto a work surface and knead it a couple of times
- Form it into a pack of butter shape, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about an hour
- Bring cream, sugar, and 60ml/2fl oz water to boil in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves
- Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and the glaze is smooth
- Slice the slab of marzipan into equal sized cubes before rolling each between your palms to form balls
- Using a tooth pick, dip each ball into the chocolate sauce before placing it on a tray lined with parchment paper
- Cover the petit fours carefully with cling film and chill for half an hour
- Any unused marzipan will keep for up to a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
- 125g cashews
- 40g desiccated coconut
- 125g pitted dates
- 2tbs coconut oil
- ½tsp sea salt
- ½tsp vanilla essence
- 1tbs water
- In a food processor, process blitz the cashews and desiccated coconut to fine crumbs
- Add the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt and process again until the mixture forms large, sticky lumps
- Scoop the dough using a measuring teaspoon before rolling between your palms to form balls. If the mixture is too crumbly add another tablespoon of water and blitz again for a few seconds
- Arrange on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper
- Chill in the fridge for an hour before rolling in toasted desiccated coconut and/or cocoa powder to finish
- These can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for 6 months or more
Let’s be honest, how many times do you make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and instinctively reach for the biscuit tin? I know I do… at least once a day! Well, if you want to banish that guilty feeling – or just give yourself a healthier option – these date and nut energy bars are for you.
There are just 3 ingredients and there’s no cooking or baking involved – just a couple of minutes (literally!) in a food processor and a few hours in the fridge.
Healthy, raw-food snacks don’t have to be boring, bland or cranky. These energy bars are going to replace those high sugar, high fat, high calorie cookies & biscuits… well, some of them anyway, I love a crumbly shortbread with a nice cup of Yorkshire tea! 😉