Tuesday, 31 December 2013

We Should Cocoa - the Alcohol Round-up

Getting into the Christmas spirit, so to speak, was something many of you seemed more than willing to do - 26 boozy chocolatey recipes made their way into this month's We Should Cocoa challenge where the special ingredient was alcohol. All entries are perfect for the festive season and although I was completely stuffed on Christmas Day, I can't help being a little bit sad that these treats didn't grace my table too: truffles, trifles and much much more ...

Thanks to everyone for their fabulous contributions to both this and previous challenges throughout the year. I hope to see you again in 2014 and wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Linzi from Lancashire Food is hosting next month's challenge, so do check out her blog tomorrow.

I've noticed a number of people using Google+ for their blog comments. Those of us, who are not on Google+ are unable to leave comments it seems. Rest assured, I have read them all.

Unusually for me, I managed to get an early entry in with this, my first successfully rolled Chocolate Log filled with a whipped boozy chocolate ganache made with Thorntons chocolate liqueur.

Phil from As Strong as Soup has gone all 70s retro and come up with this rather splendid revival of the forgotten Malakoff Trifle. Phil's take on it is a slightly healthier version of what was a very full on cream and rum concoction.

I've always hankered after buns for breakfast, freshly baked and warm from the oven. One day I might manage it and when I do, these chocolate and mincemeat sticky buns from Dom of Belleau Kitchen are likely to be a strong contender. Packed with brandy mincemeat and lots of dark chocolate these are just perfect for Christmas.

With stunning photos of assorted vintage teacups filled with Chocolate Mint Mousse, Karen of Lavender and Lovage gives us a visual feast. Made with cream, crème de menthe and After Eights, these sound perfect for rounding off a festive meal.

Now for a special birthday cake - a Tiramisu Cake from Life Can Be Simple to celebrate her sister's birthday. Kahlua is the booze used in this coffee lover's delight and plenty of mascarpone to go with it too.

Now I do like a glass or two of mulled wine at Christmas. Whatever the quantity I make, there always seems to be some left over. What better way to use it than in these Mulled Wine Cupcakes from Janine of Cake of the Week?

I was hoping we'd get some chocolates for Christmas and I wasn't disappointed. These   wondrous Truffled Prunes from Alexandra of The Lass in the Apron would have been the highlight of my stocking if I'd found any in there. Chocolate ganache made with Grand Marnier is stuffed inside a succulent prune which is then covered in chocolate - definitely something to dream about.

Sour cherries, cranberries and raisins soaked in brandy is a good start to anything I reckon. Rebecca of BakeNQuilt must have thought so too; she confesses that not all of the mini chocolate fudge fruitcakes she baked for gifts made it out of the front door.

Now, I have made chocolate mincemeat and I have made chocolate pastry, but I haven't yet combined both to make chocolate mince pies. Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe has inspired me. Her chocolate mince tarts look pretty and sound delicious, especially as the mincemeat is made with whiskey - something else I haven't tried.

Festive Christmas trees top this Baileys chocolate dessert made by Angela of My Golden Pear. They are small but highly photogenic and delicious to boot. She says the last drop of Baileys Irish Cream was used, but strangely made no mention of any new bottle hiding in the cabinet ...

Bake a chocolate cake, douse it in whisky; cover it in a chocolate fudge whisky icing, then eat it with a satisfied smile on your face. So did Laura from I'd Much Rather Bake Than ... with this "I must make it very soon myself" chocolate whisky bundt cake.

Can Christmas be complete without some creamy homemade fudge? Elizabeth from her Kitchen Diary has come to the rescue and given us this decadent no cook vodka chilli truffle fudge. Vodka was Elizabeth's alcohol of choice and the chillies are an inspiration that has me longing to try some.

I've been on a bit of a biscuit mission this past month - mostly shortbread I'll grant you, but I'm very keen to try a few more recipes before the festivities are over, especially if the contain Amaretto. Craig of The Usual Saucepans has come up with a flavour combination that has particularly tickled my fancy and his double chocolate, cinnamon and Amaretto cookies sound quite scrumptious.

This chocolate coconut rum cake made with Malibu from the Nutty Tart sounds really rich and delicious. Simple to make, but with lots of dark chocolate and coconut rum, this is another recipe I absolutely must try.

The next tipple to be used is ale in another dark and luscious looking cake. Described as a chocolate log for grown ups, Claire from Under the Blue Gum Tree gives us Chocolate and Ale Cake taken from Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food.

Chocolate mousse made with cherry brandy, topped with a layer of sour cherries and then covered in vanilla cream and chocolate sounds sublime. Chris from Cooking Around the World created this Blackforest gateaux pudding in an attempt to create a simpler dessert version of the classic Black Forest Gateau. A resounding success I reckon.

More boozy truffles come our way via Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker. Great to have around at Christmas, these Irish Cream chocolate truffles make a fabulous gift too. Ros has, of course, made these with Irish Cream.

Hannah of Corner Cottage Bakery reckons her chocolate port sauce was made for pouring warm over Christmas desserts. Having seen this rich chocolate, port and cream confection in a jar, I reckon it's good to go all by itself. As for the Icelandic chocolate she used in making it - well, go look for yourselves.

Tiffin is one of my favourite chocolatey treats ever, so I was really pleased to see this Christmas Tiffin from Siobhan of Tasty Recipes and Other Stuff. The addition of honey sounds particularly appealing as does that of brandy and it's a gift I would very much have appreciated.

Baileys Chocolat Luxe is used to very good effect in this Baileys Chocolate Luxe Cheesecake over at Caroline Makes. Light and creamy with lashings of mascarpone cheese, this is yet another dessert I'd have been happy to see on my Christmas table.

Jean from Baking in Franglais made a Black Forest Trifle using kirsch in a trifle dish I am quite envious of. I know just how good it was as we had one on our Christmas table this year and it proved to be very popular.

These Christmas profiteroles from Natalie of HungryHinny got her through to the finals of the Plymouth Chamber Christmas Bake Off, which she very cleverly won - hooray. Filled with a chocolate orange and brandy cream, no wonder the judges were intoxicated by her artistry.

Suelle of Mainly Baking starts her post off in fine style by declaring that there is always a chocolate dessert on her Christmas table. She finishes it off well by presenting us with this scrummilicious Amaretto truffle cake using, you guessed it Amaretto along with amaretti biscuits.

With a dislike for cold custard, cream (I didn't know this was possible) and jelly, constructing a trifle can be somewhat challenging for Rachel Cotterill. However, necessity is the mother of invention and this rather gorgeous sounding Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Trifle with cherries soaked in kirsch was the result.

At the last minute comes a beautifully coloured festive Kumquat Cheesecake from Galina of Chez Maxima. Using port and white chocolate as well as cranberries and a whole host of other delectable ingredients, I'm rather wishing I could tuck into this dish along with all the others.

Ice-cream for Christmas may not sound the obvious choice over here in the Northern Hemisphere, but in New Zealand it's perfect. It is what CT and I had on Christmas Day the year we were in New Zealand. Ours wasn't half as delicious as Lucy's sounds. Check out this rich rum and raisin ice-cream over at The KitchenMaid but take care, you might get hooked. Rum is of course the booze of choice for this dessert.




11 comments:

  1. All the luvly chocolate creations speak for themselves. Delicious round-up. Thank you! I hope to see some more in 2014, too.

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  2. Wonderful round up! The moulded chocolates I was planning to enter didn't work at all, so I melted them down, crossed my fingers and turned them into truffles, which are apparently very nice but definitely not worthy of blogging!

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  3. Yes please to all of the above. Another spectacular WSC.

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  4. Some delicious dishes there, I hope I'll be able to join in a bit more, I seemed to lose my way with the blog challenges as the year progressed!

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  5. Wow! So many really beautifully made desserts! Attests to the talents that come together for We Should Cocoa!

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  6. Lovely round up! Well done everyone!

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  7. Chocolate and alcohol certainly goes together well.

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  8. I must be good, I must be good! I will not rush to the kitchen now and start baking with chocolate! Oooooh tempting recipes! Happy New year and all the best for 2014 xx

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  9. LOVELY theme, hic, and a suitably boozy round up! Happy New Year! Karen xxxx

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  10. Oh no, I forgot to send you my one! http://kitchen-maid.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/treat-me-rum-and-raisin-ice-cream.html
    It's very boozy and I think you'll like it...

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  11. A fine round up indeed. Plenty of suitable treats to get me through the dark days of winter. Do I detect the hint of a trifle revival? Maybe it's just the time of year.

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