How To Melt Chocolate Perfectly Every Time!

Hands up if you have tried to melt chocolate, and in a blink of an eye it has turned into a rough and grainy blob of uselessness?

You are not alone!

I have done it a few times, a damn expensive waste of the good stuff.

How to melt chocolate perfectly

 It only takes a tiny drop of moisture or burst of steam to instantly destroy chocolate!

After much practice these handy hints will ensure you get your chocolate smooth and glossy every time.

GOLDEN RULES FOR MELTING CHOCOLATE

* Always use a non-porous bowl. Metal, glass or ceramic is perfect. Plastic bowls will often have residues that remain on the surface that can ruin your chocolate quickly.

* Do not use a wooden spoon to mix the chocolate with. They can contain moisture or cooking residue as well.

* Always break up your chocolate into small pieces, it speeds up the process and reduces the risk of overheating.

* Do not use chocolate straight from the fridge, condensation will create enough moisture to make it seize.

MELTING CHOCOLATE ON THE STOVE

This is my preferred method of melting chocolate and it works for me every time.

Simply place a saucepan on the burner over a low heat with about 1 cm of water in it.

Ensure you use a bowl that is big enough to sit securely in the saucepan without touching the water and do not lift the bowl up off the saucepan until the chocolate is melted.

Stir continuously with a metal spoon until completely melted.

Turn off the burner and place the bowl on a board to protect your bench and allow to cool slightly, unless a recipe indicates you to do otherwise.

MELTING CHOCOLATE IN THE MICROWAVE

This method caused me the most grief, but a little fine-tuning and I have got it to work. As microwaves heat things so unevenly it is so important to do this in small bursts.

Use a glass or ceramic bowl and place the bowl and chocolate in the microwave.

Using 50% power, microwave the chocolate in 30 second bursts.

Stir really well after each 30 seconds with a metal spoon.

When the chocolate is almost completely melted, do not place it back in the microwave. Just keep stirring it and the last little bits will melt.

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Here is some fun melted chocolate inspiration for you.

Enjoy a Hot Chocolate Bath.

Get some yummy Hot Chocolate drink inspiration to warm a chilly day.

Make a fabulous chocolate and caramel Lava Slice.

What is your favourite chocolate recipe?

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things!

Where to start, the list is veryyyyyyyyyyy long!

I have many things that I love, and are truly passionate about…..so here goes, my loves in pictures!

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This covers the most important things in my life, my two girls and my best friends. Miss 17 and Miss 13 are my reason for living and laughing. This pic also includes one of my besties that I have been friends with for 34 years!

crystal

Spending time with mum, dad, my brother and sister in law, always involves great food, bubbles, wine and good times, blessed to still have both of my parents who retired up to the Sunshine Coast, so I have a permanent holiday home at the beach to visit whenever I like, good stuff!

prada

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I love shoes, and have lot’s of them, that these are also in my favourite colour, the hottest of hot pink, makes them perfect!

coffee-5

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Life without good coffee, is no life at all. I love coffee as long as it is not the instant variety. Our coffee machine works overtime in this house, as both my girls are into coffee. I don’t mind tea either and will often start my day with a Tetley’s or something yum from T2.

Chocolate

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Chocolate and I are the best of friends, thank you very much Mr Cadbury and all the beautiful European deliciousness and the creators of marzipan and everything else in between.

ikea-besta-billy-bookcase-combo

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Books, books and more books, just can’t get enough. Reading, learning and flipping through glossy magazines is my favourite way to enjoy some down time. Very rarely will a novel be in my hands, I love to learn, so non-fiction piles up high on my bedside table!

fiji

Heaven on earth in my eyes involves a beach, a pool or a pond (preferably with a 5 Star Resort attached to it – no camping for this little black duck). Adore the water and a holiday just ain’t a holiday for me unless water is a major player. After travelling the world with my family and being a corporate travel consultant for 13 years, I have seen my fair share of beautiful water wonderlands, and I love everyone of them.

aroma

Aromatherapy is my go-to medicine, relaxant, fix just about anything joy! You will often find me dripping and dropping my favourite blends, for my health and happiness. Pure essential oils are an important tool for me and my girls.

I could go on forever, but had to stop somewhere!

Getting comfy on THE LOUNGE today Musings Of The Misguided, come and get cosy too!

A Magical Mothers Day

I am blessed, I have two gorgeous girls that love me to bits, I have a wonderful mother and an awesome brother that slaves for hours in the kitchen preparing a feast worthy of royalty so that mum and I can relax and enjoy our special day.

Today I celebrated my 17th Mothers Day, and when my family get together for an occassion, it is all about the food. My family have spent decades in the hospitality industry, so it really is all about the food. A BBQ chook from the supermarket just will not cut it.

This morning there was hugs and kisses and gifts and a yummy breakfast (not served in bed, as I do not do crumbs amoungst the sheets!).

Coffee in my new Mothers Day Mug

Coffee in my new Mothers Day Mug

Our family get togethers are not quite as frequent as they used to be since my parents retired up to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, but it is lovely when we do get together and my brother kindly volunteers to do Mothers Day for us.

Today we were treated to :-

Baked Ricotta on a salad of Baby Greens, Walnuts and Pear

Fillet of Beef with Herb butter, Potato Bake and Green Beans

Double Chocolate Tart with Caramel Pecans and Burnt Fig Ice Cream

And there was chocolate...

And there was chocolate…

I love our get togethers, over a glass or three of Sav Blanc, we get to catch up on all the gossip and everyday goings on that you miss out on when you are caught up in busy everyday life.

This very contented mum is going to bed with a very full stomach, very grateful for the loving family I have, very pleased that I didn’t have to decide what’s for dinner and I didn’t even have to do the dishes, yay!

Hoping that you had a wonderful day or were able to make your Mother feel extra special.

What wonderful things did your Mothers Day entail?

Chocolate, Almond And Carmel Slice – An Easy And Delicious Treat!

One of my BFF’s son is having a birthday party today, and I never like to go to an event empty handed, so yesterday I whipped one of my favourite slices. Chocolate and caramel are two of my flavour loves, so this slice ticks all the boxes!

You can even pretend it’s healthy – well it does have almonds and apricots in it – hehe 🙂

slice

Chocolate, Almond & Caramel Slice

INGREDIENTS

  • 125 gm butter
  • 1 tspn vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 200gm block milk or dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (diced)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk

METHOD

  • Line a 28 x 18cm slice pan with non-stick baking paper
  • Place butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to melt
  • Add the brown sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to combine
  • Add vanilla essence, flour and baking powder and stir well until combined
  • Pour the mix into your prepared pan and press down to cover the base
  • Bake for 12 minutes at 180c
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes
  • Sprinkle the chocolate, almonds and apricots evenly over the cooked base
  • Pour the condensed milk gently over the top
  • Bake for 18 – 20 minutes at 180c until golden
  • Allow to go cold in pan before removing
  • This slice is best prepared in advance so that it has at least 2 hours in the fridge before serving.

Simple, yummy and is the perfect party treat, ENJOY!

What would we do with condensed milk?

 

 

47 Things About Me!

There seems to be a trend on some blogs that I have been reading of late, that are sharing ‘About Me’ posts, with the number being determined by how old you are……and as I am 47, that how many are going on the list!

The younger you are the easier it will be to complete your list……but I have 47 things to find….so here goes!

  1. I was born in Melbourne, Australia
  2. Have lived overseas in Papua New Guinea and Fiji
  3. Spent more than a decade as a Corporate Travel Consultant, so have filled quite a few passports with stamps
  4. Have one brother
  5. Both of my parents are still alive and thriving
  6. I love Chocolate
  7. Have a two gorgeous daughters Miss 16 and Miss 13
  8. Seperated, but not yet divorced, that will happen soon (paperwork under construction)
  9. Sav Blanc is my wine of choice (but it HAS to be from New Zealand)
  10. Love to cook and pretty damn good at it! (come from a family of culinary genius’s – so unfair advantage there!)
  11. Love coffee (but not the instant pretend variety)
  12. I am a trained Massage Therapist
  13. I have published 2 books with more on the way
  14. Currently working at 2 part time jobs, don’t adore either of them, so are scheming a change in that department!
  15. Love travelling
  16. Got a gorgeous fluffy cat called Tiger
  17. Favourite food is definately Thai (Green Curry Chicken)
  18. Second favourite food would be Indian (Vindaloo with roti’s)
  19. Have been blogging for just over a year and love it
  20. Addicted to Marzipan (inherited trait from my German parents – so it’s not my fault)
  21. Passionate about Aromatherapy, always have something yummy in the diffuser
  22. Favourite colours Hot Pink, Jade, Red and Purple
  23. CANNOT wear brown or yellow (look really ILL if I do)
  24. Love reading
  25. Spend wayyyyy to much time on Facebook and Pintrest
  26. Very rarely read a novel, prefer something motivational, inspiring or learning
  27. Looking forward to welcoming an iphone5 into the family, my 4 is going to my youngest who smashed her 3 🙂
  28. Avid student of the Law of Attraction, yet to master it, but I am a work in progress
  29. Go to the gym regularly, the eye candy gets me off the coach, and I do feel better and stronger for it
  30. For many years had a weight issue, but lost around 28 kilo’s and they have been gone for almost 2 years now
  31. Used to always eat when I was stressed, but don’t any more
  32. Have had a hysterectomy after I almost died battling HUGE fibroids and almost renal failure, not the plan of mine!
  33. Adore Christmas and all they hype, glitter and glitz that goes with it
  34. Can’t stand rude people
  35. Love and cherish my friends, some that I went to school with are still in my life and I appreciate that
  36. I am really good at doing the ‘worry’ thing, that would have to be one of the best things I am learning to control at the moment
  37. I love convertible cars and my next car will be one
  38. Very partial to French Champagne
  39. Always have my toe nails painted in Summer and don’t bother in Winter
  40. Retail Therapy is my therapy of choice
  41. Really enjoy fine dining and the effort that goes into creating gorgeous cuisine
  42. Adore the ocean, no holiday is complete without it in my books
  43. Prefer natural treatments for ailments rather than main stream medicine, but only where appropriate!
  44. Still have really oily skin, you would think by now IT would have dried out (bonus of not many wrinkles though)
  45. Favourite fragrance is Tuscany Per Donna (discontinued but still available on Ebay) have sooooo many positive comments when I wear it
  46. WHEN I have time to spare I enjoy crafting
  47. I am grateful for where I am now and looking forward to wonderful things in the future!

Simple things bring me great JOY!
Spill the beans, share yourself and leave your link in the comments!

World Wide Chocolate Shortage?…..OH NO!!

I can’t believe the simple action of opening my ninemsn home page could cause such feelings of fear!

No, it was not the usual headlines of sad and upsetting horror’s occuring in the world that made my stomach lurch, and as shallow as it may be, this headline sure did:-

Are chocolate supplies about to run out?

I do NOT want to hear that the world is on the brink of chocolate supply crisis, or that there is skyrocketing demand for cocao (the magic raw ingredient), or that there is instability in the main growing regions!

Even though I have lost almost 30kg, I did it WITHOUT giving up chocolate! I might not eat as much in one sitting as I used to, but it is a regular addition in my diet, and I know I have read ‘that chocolate is good for you’, one small piece of dark chocolate a day (who only eats that?)!

I have never checked the ‘Use By’ dates on a block of chocolate (as it never lasts long enough for it too be an issue), but maybe I need to start stockpiling my favourites. What will the Easter Bunny deliver next year if there is no chocolate? What will I make when I am next time I have to bring something to a friends for dinner, I am always relied on to bring the sweet stuff, funny that!

Sweet or Savoury – Whats your ‘poison’?