White Chocolate and Baileys Fudge

So clearly I have white chocolate on the mind, and I couldn’t wait another week to add this treasure. I actually decided to make this as a Christmas present a few years ago. As I had a few people on the list, I quadrupled the ingredients. Clearly this was back in the day when I didn’t use a baking brain. Fudge can be tricky as it needs precision with ingredients, quantity, timing and temperature. Luckily, with this combination, even if it doesn’t work out – you can still use it as a fudge sauce for ice-cream. It’s so good and no one needs to be the wiser that ice-cream sauce wasn’t the intention. But, if you get this recipe right, you will never want ice-cream sauce again.

This fudge has been given so many compliments, even people who claim not to like fudge, or white chocolate, or Baileys for that matter. Who doesn’t like any of those three things? Beyond me, and maybe I’m hanging out with the wrong people…but hey, at least they liked this stuff. Be warned – it is addictive. You will want more…so be selective of who really needs a present when you make this. Because I bet you will end up wanting to be the only one on your list. Although if you do share it, you will bask in the glow of people’s love as they will go crazy for this fudge!

White Chocolate and Baileys Fudge

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Ingredients:

  • 500g whipping cream (can use double cream)
  • 450g golden granulated sugar (can use white sugar)
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 100 ml Baileys

Method:

  1. Line a 22xm x 22cm tin, leaving an overhang (or you can use ice-cube trays as a different trick).
  2. Bring the sugar, cream and Baileys to a simmer in a large pan (use a heavy-based saucepan so it doesn’t burn on the bottom and a large one as the mixture will bubble up a lot), stirring slowly.
  3. Ensure the sugar is dissolved (it will stop feeling grainy on the base of the pan).
  4. Turn the heat up to a rolling boil. If the heat is turned up too high, it may crystallize, so keep it at medium-high and keep stirring to avoid it burning.
  5. Adjust the heat until the mixture bubbles without getting too near the top of the pan.
  6. Keep bubbling, boiling slowly for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. It should start to change to a thicker consistency.
  8. Test a small amount of mixture by dropping it into a glass of cold water. It needs to form a soft ball that you can pick up on the end of a teaspoon.
  9. At this stage, the bubbles will have gone from being large and unruly to smaller and more even.
  10. Take off the heat ans stir vigorously for a few minutes before letting it cool for a few minutes then stir in the chopped up chocolate until well combined and melted.
  11. Pour the mixture into the tin (it will start to set once chocolate is mixed in so do this quickly).
  12. Leave to set for a couple of hours (don’t put it in the fridge to set as it will absorb the moisture).
  13. The fudge will set more quickly in the winter as the weather is cooler, so there is no exact timing with how long it will take to harden up. Try not to be too impatient though, it does take a little while.
  14. If it’s a little lumpy on the top, use a pallet knife and hot water to even it out while it’s still cooling. Or melt white chocolate and drizzle over or swirl in for a marbled effect.
  15. Although unlikely you will need to store it as it will be eaten quickly (!), you can store it in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks at room temperature, or up to a month in the fridge.

(I haven’t tried this yet, but might swap out for dark chocolate and Cointreau…)

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White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins

As you grow up, you realise your palate changes. Tastes that used to repulse you actually aren’t that bad anymore. Or flavours that were just “ok” become some of your favourite. This has been the case for me and olives, red wine…and white and dark chocolate. Dark chocolate I find the easiest to bake with as the slightly edgier, bitter tastes often balance out the sweetness in a recipe. White chocolate is a lot harder to manage as it can burn so easily and get ruined. But if you get it right, or the right recipe, white chocolate is a dream.

Funnily enough, I’ve had the same reaction to fruit – strawberries were always my go to. Not that I don’t like them anymore but raspberries and blueberries have upped their game for me over the years. So mixing white chocolate and raspberries – a brilliant, more grown up approach. And I wasn’t sorry.

Muffins are amazing little treats – not a cupcake, so more healthy. Well, that’s what I tell myself. But they are easy to make and light and yummy. So these guys are a great combination…enjoy!

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White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 200g raspberries, fresh
  • 200g white chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin paper cases and preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar.
  3. Whisk together the eggs and milk.
  4. Add the egg mix and melted butter into the bowl with flour.
  5. Don’t over mix, but stir so relatively combined.
  6. Stir in 3/4 raspberries and all the white chocolate chips.
  7. Fill the muffin cases 3/4 of the way.
  8. Cut the remaining raspberries in half (so they form a heart-shape sometimes) and dot onto the top of the muffins.
  9. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden. 
  10. Let them cool on a wire rack.

Marbled Coffee and Almond Cupcakes

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One of my best friend’s is a coffee lover so when I was heading up to stay with her for the weekend in St Albans, I decided to make a coffee-based treat. I didn’t have loads of time, so wanted an easy and quick recipe that would still make a good impression. After looking at various recipe books and online, I found this Marbled Coffee and Almond Cupcake recipe in the 200 Cupcakes book by Hamlyn. This is a brilliant little book with fantastic recipes that I have played with on numerous occasions. And it’s super cheap too – bonus! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hamlyn-All-Colour-Cookbook-Cupcakes/dp/0600620786

I love the marbled effect, so easy and yet people are always impressed with it. I also love how you can mix different flavours. You can substitute the coffee with chocolate (I would guess about 10 – 20g cocoa powder), fresh raspberries or strawberries (crush 75g with tablespoon caster sugar) in this recipe. But there are other fantastic mixes I want to try, you can check them out here:

Marbled Coffee and Almond Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 125g lightly salted, softened butter
  • 125g Caster sugar plus 2 teaspoons
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons espresso coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon boiling water
  • 50g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Prepare 12 cupcake cases on a cupcake tray.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  3. Beat the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour and baking powder in a bowl for about a minute until light and creamy.
  4. Spoon half the cake mixture into a separate bowl.
  5. Blend the coffee powder with the boiling water and stir in half the mixture.
  6. Using a teaspoon, fill the paper cases with the two mixtures, then draw a knife in a circular motion through each cupcake to mix the mixtures partially together to create a marbled effect.
  7. Scatter the flaked almonds over the cakes.
  8. Mix the remaining 2 teaspoons of caster sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over the cakes.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen and just firm to the touch.

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These guys came out well, and the flaked almonds with the sprinkled sugar and cinnamon gave a lovely crunchy topping to the bouncy cake and combines well with the coffee and vanilla flavours. They are great served as is, or with a dollop of fresh cream or vanilla ice-cream. And of course an after dinner cup of coffee…to make sure you stay awake!