Chicken Breast with Mushrooms and Blue Cheese Sauce

This recipe arose due to the need to use up several bits and pieces in the Renegade stores – the cheese and cream being the main driving factors.
Oh the hardship ūüėČ
The resulting dish turned out to be very quick and easy to make, but felt like a real treat Рanother great midweek meal.

Chicken with mushrooms and blue cheese sauceServes 2

Ingredients
2 skinless chicken breasts
a sprinkling of olive oil
6-8 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 knobs of butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
75-100ml white wine
1 chicken stockpot/stock cube
2 dessert spoons (ish) of cr√®me fra√ģche – leave it out if you don’t have any
1 large tablespoon of cream cheese – I used chive flavoured Philadelphia
100-125ml double cream
125-150g gorgonzola, cubed Рor other blue cheese of your choice
2 teaspoons of fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Depending on the cheese you use, and how much of it, you may also need a couple of heaped teaspoons of cornflour, mixed to a runny paste with a little cold water, to thicken the sauce

Music

First you need to butterfly your chicken breasts.

Place your hand flat on top of the chicken – this holds it still and keeps your fingers out of the way at the same time.

Use a sharp pointed knife, and starting at the fat end of the breast, slice across the chicken, almost but not quite cutting it in half. It should still be joined at one edge and you should be able to open it up like a book – or a butterfly’s wings.

cover with cling flim and bash

Once you’ve done that, cover with cling film and bash with a rolling pin. ¬†Not too much – you want to tenderise and flatten it, not pulp and obliterate it.

Rub lightly with olive oil and cook on a preheated grill, turning once, for around 8-10 minutes or until cooked through.

mushrooms

Meanwhile, melt a knob of butter in a large pan and heat until it foams.

Add your sliced mushrooms in a single layer and cook, turning once, until both sides are beautifully browned.  Remove from pan but keep warm.

sauce ingredients

Make your sauce by melting a knob of butter in a pan over a medium heat then cooking the crushed garlic for a minute or so.

Add wine and stockpot/cube and heat until stockpot has melted.

Add cream cheese, cr√®me fra√ģche, cream and blue cheese and continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the cheese has melted. ¬†Do not allow to boil.

If necessary, thicken with a little cornflour paste.

Stir in chopped parsley and plenty of black pepper.

Chicken mushrooms and blue cheese sauce

Place cooked chicken breast onto a warmed plate, arrange sautéed mushrooms on top and pour over the blue cheese sauce.

Chicken breast with mushrooms and blue cheese sauce

Served with petit pois and green beans sautéed in herb butter, and oven baked sweet potato chips.

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Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

Some things are just made to go together: strawberries and chocolate; a needle and thread; Starsky and Hutch; fish and chips; a lazy Sunday and blueberry pancakes.

So sayeth me.

a delicious stack of pancakes

What about you?  Do you fancy some?

Makes around 8 medium-ish pancakes

Ingredients
3 large eggs, separated
115g gluten free plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
140ml milk
A good pinch of salt
Maple syrup and a dot of butter to serve
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If you’re going to need to cook in batches (which is very likely) put¬†the oven on now, at a reasonable temperature, so that you can pop¬†cooked pancakes in there to keep warm while you finish frying their kin.

egg yolk and flourPlace the flour and baking powder into a bowl then beat in egg yolks and milk, creating a smooth batter.  Start with the yolks, then add the milk a bit at a time, beating after each addition.

beaten to peaksWhisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks.

fold togetherAdd egg whites to flour and yolk batter.

fold until just combinedUsing a large metal spoon, cut and fold in the whites until just combined – go gently, taking care to keep in as much of the air as possible.

sprinkle with blueberriesHeat a heavy based pan or griddle on a medium to high heat.  Lightly brush surface with a thin coating of butter or oil then pour on batter Рmake your pancakes as big or as small as you like.

You may need to control the run with a spatula but after a few moments they’ll start to firm up and hold their own shape.

Sprinkle with a few blueberries and continue to cook until the bottom is golden brown.

Turn pancakes over (blueberry side down) and continue to cook until that side is also golden brown.  You may need to press them down gently with your spatula to get even colouring.

Work quickly through cooking your batches as the mixture rapidly deflates and becomes overly runny (still nice when cooked though).Topped with butter and maple syrupServe immediately, stacked high, with a little button of melting butter and a good dousing of maple syrup (far more than it would appear in the pictures!)

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Gluten Free Squishy Gingerbread

a cold and frosty morning
It’s been cold around these parts recently and I’ve got to say that after an exceptionally mild December and January this has been a little shocking to the system. (Hey, I’m British…we talk about the weather ūüėÄ ).

squishy gingerbread

Cold and frosty mornings, grey afternoons and icy evenings have triggered cravings for squishy, sticky ginger cake, thrumming with warm spices and satisfyingly substantial.

Wanna try some?

Ingredients
300g self raising gluten free flour
2-3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
250ml full fat milk (it has to be full fat!)
2 large eggs
150g butter
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
120g¬†brown¬†sugar (the darker and more ‘treacley’ the better – muscovado is ideal)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, mixed with 2 tablespoons hot water

For the Icing (which is not at all necessary but I like it!)
Fresh lemon juice – about 3 teaspoons
Icing sugar – about 4 tablespoons
Music

Grease your baking tin (a 20cm square cake tin is a good size) and line with baking parchment.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170¬įC/325¬įF

Put the flour, ground ginger and ground spice into a largeish mixing bowl and make a well in the middle – set to one side.

Lightly beat eggs and milk together – set to one side.

Melt butter, sugar, syrup and treacle

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and treacle in a saucepan over a low heat.

Remove from heat, then mix in the beaten egg and milk, and the dissolved bicarbonate of soda.

add liquid to flour

Using a hand whisk to mix, slowly and steadily pour the the liquid ingredients into the flour, ¬†continuing to beat until smooth. ¬† The best way to avoid lumpy bits is to make a thick paste with a small amount of the liquid and then slowly whisk in the rest – don’t dump the whole lot in at once or you’ll be chasing little flour capsules for ages!

This is a very runny batter so don’t worry – improbable as it seems, that liquid mix¬†will¬†firm up and become gingerbread ūüôā

pour into prepared tin

It will start bubbling and fizzing as the bicarbonate of soda begins to¬†react, so you need to move quickly to make sure¬†you don’t lose precious¬†‘lift’ for your cake.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45‚Äď60 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. ¬†To decide if it’s done, use a finger to gently press the cake – if it’s springy, it’s done. ¬†If you use the toothpick test and your toothpick comes out clean, you’ve over baked it.

Carefully remove baking parchment

Leave in the tin to cool before carefully turning out and removing baking parchment.

drizzle with icing and cut into squares

To make the icing: mix lemon juice with icing sugar until you reach the desired consistency (about the consistency¬†of pouring cream). ¬†When you’re happy, drizzle over the gingerbread.

Let icing set before cutting into squares. ¬†As you can see, because the top of the gingerbread is sticky it will discolour your icing – it doesn’t affect taste!

squishy gingerbread and hot choc

If you fancy a steaming mug of luxurious, thick hot chocolate to go with this, you should look here ūüôā

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Statistics, Search Terms and Salaciousness

Statistics

Do you find the stats page of your blog interesting?

I do – I find it utterly intriguing working out what brings people here, how they find me and which posts are most popular.

It’s clear we’re living in a world full of sugar junkies (I’ll be the first to hold up my hand and take ownership of that label); sweet treats always garner a lot of attention, whether the posts are recipes or just pictures. ¬†That’s fine by me, given that I’m a cake creator ūüôā ¬†What has been somewhat surprising has been which of my many creations most frequently captures people’s attention.

It turns out that my most popular post to date has been these vagina cupcakes (NSFW!!). ¬†They’ve had easily twice as many hits as the next most popular post, although a mention on Reddit certainly helped that along.

Search

Still, the fact remains that without fail, every single day, someone, somewhere in the world types “vagina cakes” into their search engine and finds my blog (well, I’m assuming it’s different people and not just one, hugely devoted, vagina cake fan).

Now due to Google privacy rules (which I fail to understand, but hey…) most search terms are not visible; however, a seemingly random selection do show up and my word do they raise some questions…

How to muff a vagina” and “sulking the vagina muff” are my current top favourites. ¬†WTF?!!

As Petit Man kindly pointed out to me, the chances are high that people are seeking porn when they stumble across my cake pictures…and they may not even have been disappointed. ¬†I REALLY don’t want to think about that ūüėģ

What is wrong with everyone?! ¬†I’ve made beautiful handbags and shoes,¬†fancy hats,¬†boxes of chocolates and fairytale dessert tables; I’ve even made award winning cupcakes, but no, I am being sought out for my vagina cakes. (Nonononono! ¬†Not my vagina…my¬†cakes shaped like…oh c’mon now, you know what I mean!) ¬†‘The Vagina Cake Lady’ – not really who I set out to become ūüėÄ

By contrast, my second most popular post is thrice baked potatoes – to me a strange and¬†amusing juxtaposition of practical and pervy. ¬†Maybe people just got hungry after…after…doing whatever they were doing with regard to sulking a vagina muff.

Coming in at a close third place is the 3D corset cake made last year for Big Sis’s birthday; a curvy and elegant cake of which I’m still proud. ¬†It seems many are seeking a ‘how to’ for this.

Hmmm

My conclusions?  My readership is made up of people who like sexy cakes and down to earth dinners.

Are you one of them? ūüėČ

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Chocolate & Orange Drip Cake

Chocolate orange drip cake

Drip cakes truly burst into the celebration scene last year and are set to be one of the bigger cake trends of 2016…so I thought I’d better get to grips with them.

Over the top decorations

I love this style of cake – there’s a cartoony visual appeal to the dripping ganache, and the over-the-top, pile it on approach to the decorations is so much fun.

choc orange and gold drip cake

Multi layers of sponge cake covered with chocolate Italian meringue buttercream and drip effect chocolate ganache; finished with orange chocolate cigarellos, gold tinted rolos, mini chocolate orange segments, orange, red and gold sprinkles, hand crafted chocolate shards and hand made chocolate lollipops

Inside

Inside we have alternating layers of chocolate and orange flavoured sponge, sandwiched together with orange curd and chocolate Italian meringue buttercream.

Choc orange drip cake

This was my first effort at a drip cake (which requires more skill than would be immediately apparent) and I’m¬†quite¬† pleased with how it turned out – not 100% happy with it, but not ashamed either!

I’m really pleased with how my buttercream finish is improving and am now full of knowledge that will make the overall finish of the cake¬†so much better next time around. ¬†All in all, a good cake experience.

There most definitely will be a next time around for this type of cake; imagine it¬†in multi colours for a kid’s party…or in pastels and tiered for a bridal shower…or…well, let’s just say it’s a very versatile cake style ūüôā

What do you all think?  Do you like it?

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Thai Style Meatballs with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Thai style meatballs on noodles

Fragrantly spiced meatballs on a bed of noodles, smothered in a creamy but fiery peanut sauce: a quick, easy and very tasty meal, ideal for mid-week when cooking motivation is fading and take-out food is looking appealing.  Way better than ordering in, and not that much more effort.

meatball ingredientsIngredients

For the meatballs
500g minced meat (I used beef here but go with what you like)
4-5 spring onions, finely chopped
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 dessert spoon fresh ginger root, grated
¬Ĺ lime – zest and juice
A small handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 egg

curry paste ingredientsFor the sauce
1 tin coconut milk
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter – smooth or crunchy, as is your desire

For the curry paste
6-7 shallots
3-4 garlic cloves
3-4 red chillies
1 teaspoon peppercorns – crushed
¬Ĺ teaspoon ground coriander
¬Ĺ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
¬Ĺ lemon – zest only
¬Ĺ lime – zest and juice
A handful of fresh coriander leaves

A couple of tablespoons of oil for frying

Noodles or rice to serve

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You’ll need a plate or tray for putting the rolled meatballs on – one that will fit in your fridge. ¬†Got one? ¬†Grand!

all the meatball ingredients in a bowl

Put all the meatball ingredients into a bowl and, using your hands, mix together.

roll into balls

Shape into 16-20 small meatballs and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes (or 10 in the freezer, but don’t forget about them!)

prepared curry paste ingredients

Put all the curry paste ingredients into a food processor.  Or you can use a pestle and mortar Рit brings out more oils, and therefore flavours, but my word do you have to work for them!

ground to a paste

Grind to a thick paste.

Coconut milk

Heat around a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan until it reaches sizzling point then add your curry paste.  Cook, stirring, for a few minutes then add coconut milk.  Bring to a simmer.

Peanut butter

Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter and continue to heat until sauce has thickened.  You may need to use a hand whisk to bring together the oils.  Keep warm on a low heat while you fry up your meatballs; stir occasionally to keep it from sticking.

Thai style meatballs with spicy peanut sauce

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs until they’re evenly browned all over and piping hot in the middle.

Arrange meatballs on noodles or rice, pour over peanut sauce and finish with a sprinkling of chopped spring onion.

Ta da! ¬†Dinner’s done!

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Rich and Hearty Beef Casserole

When you wake up in the morning and the world looks like this, you need something hot, substantial and nurturing on the menu for dinner.

Rich beef casserole served with vegetable bake and rosemary roast potatoes

I think you’d be hard pushed to find something more fitting to that description than this beef casserole – chunks of beef and baby button mushrooms in a meaty, onion rich gravy – real¬†heart-cockle warming stuff. ¬†Bear in mind,¬†of course, it doesn’t¬†have to be snowing in order for you to have it¬†for dinner ūüėČ

To get the very best from the beef this wine infused dish is cooked low¬†and slow in the oven, allowing the meat to gently relax and get to know its fellow ingredients – it is by no means an ‘in a hurry’ recipe. ¬†The good news is that although it takes 4 hours to cook, it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare and needs to be tended only once during the cooking time (and then once more just before serving).

Ideally, it’s cooked in a pan or dish that can go from hob to oven (and back again), that way you don’t lose a scrap¬†of flavour. ¬†Ideal for the washing up situation too.

Rich beef casserole

To my mind all this makes it an excellent dinner for a weekend/day off: a stupendously good meal with just enough preparation and attention required that you can justifiably say you made an effort, but plenty of ‘hands off time’ in which to do weekendy/day off-ish things.

As a bonus, your house¬†gradually fills with the drool inducing, appetite stimulating aromas of herbs and garlic and meat and wine – so good. ¬†By the time it’s ready, believe me, so are you!

Serves 3-4 if presented with side dishes
Serves 2 if eaten with nothing but thickly buttered crusty bread

Ingredients
400g diced beef braising steak
4-5 rashers of streaky bacon, each cut into about 6 pieces (use scissors – so much easier than a knife ūüėČ )
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
3-4 sticks of celery, diced (if they have leaves on, chop those up and throw them in too…they’re full of flavour)
12-14 shallots, peeled
Several tablespoons of olive oil
2 beef stockpots/stock cubes
1 mini bottle (about 200ml) red wine
800ml water
2-3 heaped teaspoons cornflour, in a mug or small jug, mixed to a paste with a little cold water
200g button mushrooms, cleaned but left whole
1 bay leaf
A sprig of thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
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Ok, have you got everything together and done your prep? ¬†Let’s go then…

Preheat the oven to gas mark 2/300¬įF/150¬įC

cubed beef

With the heat reasonably high, heat 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a casserole dish or oven safe pan and brown the beef, a few pieces at a time; remove cooked pieces from the pan and set to one side.

browned shallots

If necessary add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, allow it to heat, then quickly brown your shallots and bacon.  Remove from pan and set to one side.

crushed garlic, diced onion and celery

Having cooked off some of the bacon fat it’s unlikely you’ll need more oil in the pan, but add a little if you need to and allow it to heat up. ¬†Now add the celery, onions and garlic and cook until just starting to brown.

Return the meat to the pan.

wine and stockpots

Add the red wine and stir well, making sure you scrape any  gorgeous, caramelised brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

bay leaf and thyme

Add water, stockpots, bay leaf and thyme and bring to simmering point.

Put the lid on the pan and put it in the oven.

Set a timer for 3 hours.

after 3 hours

After 3 hours retrieve your casserole from the oven.

mushrooms

Add bacon, onions and mushrooms, and a little more water if you think it’s going to dry out too much over the next hour. ¬†Don’t add too much though, you’ll dilute the flavours.

Put the lid back on and put the pan back in the oven.

Set a timer for 1 hour.

transfer to stove top to thicken

After 1 hour take the pan from the oven and put it back on the hob on a medium heat.  Fish out the thyme twig and the bay leaf and discard.

add cornflour

Ladle a little of the gravy into the mug containing the cornflour paste, stirring to mix well.

Pour the liquid back into your pan and cook, stirring continuously, until gravy has thickened.

Rich beef casserole with veg bake and rosemary roast potatoes

Serve with whatever you fancy…mashed potato and green beans…or tiny boiled potatoes, carrots and broccoli…or baked potatoes and mange tout…or…

Shown here with rosemary roast potatoes and cheese topped vegetable bake.

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Utterly Luxurious Hot Chocolate

Question for you: what’s more comforting than a big chunk of chocolate?

Did I hear you say, “Nothing”?

Hmmm.

Let me present you with a big mug of silky smooth, creamy hot¬†chocolate, and then I’ll ask you again…

top with whipped cream

Ok, so now let’s try that question again: ¬†What’s more comforting than a big chunk of chocolate?

Did I hear you say, “A big mug of hot chocolate”?

You are correct! Well done! ūüėÄ

As far as I’m concerned, for true comfort, you can’t beat the hug in a mug that is hot chocolate. ¬†But it has to be real hot chocolate – creamy, thick and luxurious – watery, instant stuff just doesn’t cut it. ¬†And as for¬†low calorie hot chocolate…well that’s just all kinds of wrong!

This¬†is real¬†hot chocolate –¬†as velvety smooth as a kitten’s¬†ear, delicious¬†enough to make you purr.

Serves 2

Ingredients
500ml full fat milk (well, in for a penny…)
150ml double cream
75g dark chocolate
50g milk chocolate
A pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod
3 cloves
Music

First, let’s get your cream topping ready…

Whipped spiced cream

Split the vanilla pod and scrape out seeds with the tip of a sharp knife.  Place seeds and pod into a small pan together with the cream, cinnamon and cloves.  Warm, over a lowish heat, until it just starts to bubble at the edges.  Turn off heat, put a lid on the pan and leave for 30 mins or so.

When cool, pour into a bowl , cover and chill in the fridge.

spiced whipped cream

When it’s thoroughly chilled, pour the¬†cream through a sieve,¬†discarding cinnamon, vanilla pod and cloves, then whip it ’til it’s fluffy.

Or just use one of those super cool pressurised can numbers if you have one (oh the envy!)

luxury hot chocolate

Now on with the hot chocolate…

chocolate

Finely chop your chocolate and place in a pan together with the milk and a pinch of salt.

Warm gently, stirring all the time, until the chocolate has melted – whisk to blend and froth.

pour into mugs

Pour into favourite mugs. ¬†If you want to be over the top decadent (who doesn’t?), now is the time to stir in a shot of Bailey’s…or brandy…or whatever else takes your fancy.

top with whipped cream

Pipe, spoon or squirt the whipped cream onto the top.

hot chocolate & cake

Grab yourself some cake, and settle back to slurp, nibble and relax. ¬†I recommend also watching¬†something old fashioned and comfortable on the TV…Columbo’s always a good bet.

Just one more thing…

ENJOY!

ūüėÄ

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Stuffed Peppers

After a slightly confused conversation with Chef J recently¬†I feel I should explain something, for the benefit of the non-European readers amongst you: what we call ‘minced’ beef/pork/lamb you would call ‘ground’ meat.

You should also be aware that mincemeat (all one word) has nothing to do with meat at all (any more) and is in fact a sweet mixture made with dried fruit, spices, suet and sugar, used for filling pies at Christmas. I say ‘any more’ because originally there was chopped up meat in the mixture; I believe it was a way of using up roast meat left overs, with the spices used to help disguise the less than fresh quality of said meat, but that may be wrong…who knows what went on in the minds of 17th century cooks?!

Does that all make sense? ¬†We don’t want any Rachel’s trifle type dishes now, do we ūüėČ

halved peppers

Serves 4 hungry people

Ingredients
4 red peppers, washed halved and de-seeded
500g minced pork (or beef or lamb – as you fancy)
1-2 red onions, finely diced
1-2 celery sticks, finely diced
1-2 carrots, finely diced (no need to peel unless they’re very old carrots)
a good glug of olive oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¬Ĺ teaspoon ground coriander
¬Ĺ teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 red chillies, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 slices of cheese – not pre-sliced, processed nastiness – some slabs¬†of something good, like a very mature cheddar, carved from the block. ¬†Don’t forget to eat one or two pieces, for quality control purposes.

For the sauce
a splosh of olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 courgette, diced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 vegetable stock pot/stock cube
¬Ĺ a glass of white wine (optional)

Music

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180¬įC/350¬įF

diced courgette and onion with tinned tomatoesFor the sauce – heat the olive oil, add onions and courgettes and cook over a low heat until the onions begin to caramelise (go a little bit brown and sticky!)

Add wine, tinned tomatoes and stock pot. Stir well to mix, bring to a simmer then turn off heat and set to one side.

diced red onion, carrot and celeryIn a different pan, heat a small amount of oil, add minced pork and cook, stirring, until there is no pink left.  Drain off any excess fat, put in a bowl and set to one side.

Now heat another glug of olive oil, add onions, celery and carrots and cook over a medium to low heat until soft but not brown.

spices and chopped garlicAdd chillies, garlic and spices and cook for another minute or so.

Throw the cooked meat back in and give it a good stirring to be sure everything’s mixed well.

Pour a layer of sauce into the bottom of an oven proof dish,keeping a few tablespoons in reserve for topping your peppers.

slices of cheese on topFill each pepper half with meat mixture, squashing it down well with the back of your spoon. Top each one with a spoonful of the reserved sauce and a slice of cheese then place into the sauce bedded dish.

Baked peppersBake in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes, or until the pepper has cooked. To test cookedness, you’ll have to put on you asbestos fingers and give it a little squeeze – I know of no other way!

served on a bed of riceServe on a bed of steamed rice with now thickened sauce spooned over or around.
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Chocolate Pistachio Meringues

chocolate & pistachio

These crispy, chewy little treats are filled with gently¬†whipped chocolate pistachio ganache and are just divine; the saltiness of the nuts and the bitterness of the dark chocolate create the perfect foil for the sweetness of the meringue. ¬†A little effort is required but I promise it’s worth it!

Recipe makes enough ganache to fill 12 mini meringues

Ingredients

You will need 24¬†baked chewy centre mini meringue shells (little bite sized ones look fantastic); I’ve included the ingredients below but to avoid repetition will direct you to the recipe for chewy centred meringues for the method…sorry if this means you’re flip-flopping between pages.

For the Meringue
4 large egg whites
A small pinch of salt
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
¬Ĺ to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

(For meringue method, see here)

For the ganache
100g good quality dark chocolate
50g (yes, by weight!) double cream
A small handful of finely chopped salted pistachio nuts

For decoration
50g good quality dark chocolate
A sprinkling of finely chopped salted pistachio nuts

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If you’ve not already spotted it, the method for making the meringues is here; what follows¬†is how to make the filling:

chocolateChop 100g chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl.

chocolate and creamWarm the cream and pour over the top. ¬†The cream doesn’t need to boil, or even simmer – just a bit hotter than is comfortable for your (clean) finger is fine.

melted chocolate and creamLeave to sit for a minute or two then mix until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth glossy mixture.

If the cream cools before the chocolate has fully melted, put the bowl over a pan of hot water and continue to mix until everything’s lump free.

Allow to cool for several hours – it needs to be at room temperature to whip.

Colour comparisonBeat until texture and colour become lighter (see helpful picture with ‘before’ ganache at the top of the beaters and ‘after’ at the bottom) . ¬†Go as fluffy as you wish but don’t go too far – once you reach a milk chocolate colour you should stop. ¬†I stopped a bit before that because I wanted to.

fold in crushed pistachiosFold in the small handful of chopped pistachios.

chocolate & pistachio ganache fillingCarefully pipe a layer of ganache onto a meringue shell then gently place another shell on top, creating a sandwich. ¬†Use a slight twisting motion to set the tops onto the ganache – don’t push or your meringue shells will collapse!

Place on a rack.

chcolate & pistachio meringuesMelt the remaining 50g chocolate and drizzle over the meringue sandwiches.

Sprinkle with remaining chopped pistachios and leave to set.

Try not to eat them all.  At once.

ūüėČ

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