Quick Chocolate Truffles – blitz 150g of dark
    chocolate in a food processor until granular. Heat 100ml of
    double cream, 2tbs of Somerset cider brandy, or any dark rum
    or brandy to hand and 1tbs of muscovado sugar until almost boiling,
    then slowly pour over the chocolate, blending until you have a paste.
    Cover and chill for 45 mins. Once firm, roll into small bite-sized balls
    of about 15g each and dust with cocoa powder. Chill. Makes about 15


    Four Chocolate Cake Fillings and Toppings for Easter

    All make enough to ice one cake

    Chocolate Cream Icing with Raspberries
    Melt 125g of dark chocolate over a bain-marie. Whip 250g of double cream to soft peaks with 1⁄2 tsp of vanilla extract. Fold together with half a punnet of raspberries. Spread through the middle and over the top of the cake. Scatter the remaining raspberries over and dust with icing sugar.

    Pour-over Chocolate Icing
    Melt 90g of unsalted butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir in 3 tbsp of milk, 20g of cocoa powder and 1⁄2 tsp of vanilla extract. Whisk this into 190g of sifted icing sugar. Add 40g of finely chopped nuts. Pour over a cake and allow to set.

    Sour Cream Icing
    Melt 150g of dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Once melted, turn off the heat. Beat in 150ml of sour cream. Sift over 100g of icing sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract and continue to stir. Leave to cool until icing reaches a spreadable consistency.

    Chocolate Fudge Icing
    Set a saucepan over a low heat and dissolve 125g of caster sugar into125g of double cream. Do not boil. Pour over 100g of grated dark chocolate in a bowl and stir to melt, then beat in 75g of unsalted butter until glossy. Cover with cling film and allow to cool and thicken, then apply to a cake with a palette knife.


    Chocolate Fruit and Nut Rounds – the perfect handmade gift for your loved one: Using tempered chocolate (see
    How To), make 5cm discs of melted chocolate on baking parchment.
    As the chocolate is setting, push toasted pistachios, yellow raisins and cranberries into the pools of chocolate. Allow to set and serve with coffee after supper.


    Master the art of tempering chocolate to give your handmade gifts that glossy professional finish. Using a digital thermometer, heat 250g of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan
    of simmering water to 45C. Then cool to 26C, by gently stirring off the heat on a cool surface. Return to the heat, taking the chocolate up to 30C, then remove immediately. It’s now ready to use.


    A Warm Cuddle – Add a few crushed green cardamom pods,
    some fennel seeds, pink peppercorns or mellow chilli flakes
    to simmering milk and allow to infuse for five minutes before
    passing through a sieve. Then pour it over hot chocolate flakes.
    Add a pinch of sea salt to bring out the flavour.