Terry’s Chocolate Orange – shrunk!

There’s been a bit of a hoo-ha recently because the makers of Toblerone have changed the design of it as a cost cutting exercise. Now the triangles are gone and Toblerones resemble a toast rack as the gap between the chocolate is so large you could slot a piece of toast in between them. I’m not a big fan of Toblerone so I wasn’t too bothered by that change. You can see the differences here.

However I’ve always loved Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and last night I was settling down to watch the new Danish crime programme Modus when I decided it was time to have a wee bit of chocolate to go with the murders! My chocolate tin (old shortbread tin) was unusually bare, but I always put chocolate oranges into peoples’ Christmas stockings so I had a stash of them already bought. Well – needs must, and I broke into one of them.

After tapping and unwrapping I didn’t pay much attention to the segment as I put it into my mouth – well you have to concentrate on the screen when you’re reading subtitles. But my tongue discovered that there was something definitely different about it. I examined one of the segments and saw that the design has been changed completely. Previously each segment had always been completely flat and closely interconnecting with all the others in one complete sphere with just the word Terry’s inscribed in the chocolate.

Terry's Chocolate Orange Shrunk!

Now as you can see from the photo I took each segment is only flat on one side and the other side has a fancy design on it, meant to look like an orange segment no doubt, but the upshot is that it is concave which means a lot of chocolate is missing!

The weight on the packaging says 157 g. They used to be 175 g. This is just an absolute con as the package is the same size as normal but the contents are much less, making a bigger profit for the manufacturers. This is the sort of thing that happens when companies are sold on to multinationals. I’m disgruntled, but at least so far they seem to be using the original ingredients. I’ve just discovered a Telegraph article about it which you can read here.

Terry’s chocolate was one of the several manufacturers set up by various Quaker families who wanted to have businesses that did no harm to humans and were entirely peaceful. Cadbury’s are apparently no longer using Fairtrade chocolate but are still using the Fairtrade logo. These business folks obviously feel no shame, whatever makes a bigger profit is acceptable in their world. The Quaker families will be birlin’ in their graves! I just knew that when Mondelez International took over these businesses it wasn’t good news.

Cadbury’s – it gets worse and worse

I’ve always seen myself as being a bit of a chocolate connoisseur, I blame my dad as he enjoyed taking me to the local Italian cafe and it had a great stock of chocolate of the more luxurious type, such as Lindt and Suchard and I remember a Dutch variety similar to Aero which was much harder than Aero but still had the bubbles.

Anyway, for everyday chocolate I was happy to eat Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, so I (along with loads of other people I’m sure) was not at all happy when Kraft took over Cadbury. Although they assured everyone that they would be using the same recipe, I had my doubts. Sure enough it seems that although the actual recipe might be the same, Dairy Milk does not taste lovely and creamy as it did before. Apparently this is because they are now using American milk which is much sweeter but less creamy than UK milk. So I gave up eating Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and moved on to what had been my second favourite chocolate – Galaxy. Another favourite of mine is Terry’s Chocolate Orange and I dread the recipe for that changing. Terry’s was takne over by Kraft even earlier than Cadbury’s.

But recently I bought a big packet of fun size Fudge fingers, (do you think they are Fudge thumbs?) really I bought them just in case we had some fun size visitors at Halloween but no ‘guisers’/trick or treaters came to our door. Of course I opened the packet to eat one, well I couldn’t let them go to waste could I? I know they will go straight to my waist but such is life! Anyway, I realised immediately that the fudge fingers don’t taste anything like they did, in fact I’m not getting any creamy fudge flavour at all, just an overwhelming sweet taste they don’t even look similar inside. Too late I remembered that the fudge is made by Cadbury, so it isn’t only their chocolate which has been affected by the changes of ingredients.

Earlier today I noticed this article in the Guardian which is about Cadbury or I suppose I should say Kraft adding sultanas to the iconic Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bar. It’s thought that they are replacing the classic ingredients with cheaper ones.

In some ways this is quite good for me as I used to really look forward to ‘Creme Egg’ season, but after they changed the ingredients in that I tried one and didn’t bother to have any more, you can read about it here. That article says that a company called Mondelez now owns what was Cadbury, I’m not sure if that is a Kraft offshoot or what.

But everyone needs a pick me up or treat every now and again and my treats of choice are disappearing. I also tried a bar of Green and Black a while ago, a type of chocolate which is supposed to be superior to others, but I only ate a small bit as it didn’t taste an awful lot different from that disgusting baking ‘chocolate’.

Cadbury was such a big part of British culture, that purple/blue wrapping copied by cheaper supermarket own brands because they knew that it would be more attractive to buyers. But the penny pinching and greed of the new owners has ruined it all for anyone who can remember the originals.

Of course over the years a lot of chocolate goodies have disappeared from the shelves. I loved Fry’s chocolate cream bars, occasionally you see the plain fondant ones, but the bar which had a variety of flavours was my favourite, the pineapple cream bit was luscious. (Jack says the bar was called a Five Centre and he thinks it was originally made by Fry’s which merged with Cadbury’s in 1919 but they still kept the Fry’s brand name for various chocolate bars.)

If you want a trip down memory lane you might like to have a look at the old Cadbury adverts from the good old days below. I must admit I don’t remember them all, although the Flake adverts are unforgettable.

Chocolate, Banana And Toffee Pie

This one went down well with the whole family. It will serve 6.

For the base:
65 g/2½ oz unsalted butter
250 g/9 oz chocolate digestive biscuits

For the filling:
397 g/13 oz tin of condensed milk
150 g/5 oz plain chocolate
120 ml/4 fl oz creme fraiche or single cream
1 tbsp golden syrup

For the topping:
2 bananas
250 ml/8 fl oz creme fraiche
2 tbsp strong black coffee

Melt the butter in a pan. Crush the biscuits using a rolling pin if you don’t have a food processor. Put the crushed biscuits into a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix well and press onto the base and up the sides of a 23cm/9in loose-based flan tin. Leave to set.

To make the filling: Place the unopened can of condensed milk in a saucepan of boiling water and cover with a lid. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Do not allow the pan to boil dry. This caramelises the condensed milk and you can buy this ready made in tins if you don’t want the faff of doing it yourself.

Remove the pan from the heat after 2 hours and leave it until it has completely cooled. Do not open the can whilst it is still hot, it is very dangerous as the contents are under pressure due to the heat.

Melt the chocolate with the 120 ml creme fraiche or single cream and golden syrup in a heatproof glass bowl over simmering water. Stir in the caramelised condensed milk and mix well, then spread the mixture over the biscuit crust.

Slice the bananas and arrange them on top of the chocolate filling.

Mix together the 250 ml creme fraiche and coffee then spread the mixture over the bananas.

Decorate with grated chocolate or chocolate curls. The easiest way to make chocolate curls is to use a potato peeler on the edge of a bar of chocolate.

Chocolate Spice Cake

cake

Chocolate Spice Cake


I baked this cake for G’s birthday last week and it went down well. I first did this one 30 odd years ago but for some reason I hadn’t done it again. I think it does look kind of 70s – ish but it tastes good and is dead easy.

8oz self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 level tsp cinnamon
6 oz butter or marg.
5oz sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
3 eggs
4 tablespoons milk

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the syrup then the eggs one at a time. Mix well then add the flour, cocoa and spices. Mix together until it is all well combined and if the mixture seems too stiff add up to 4 tbsp. milk.
Divide the mixture equally between two 8 inch sandwich tins which have been well greased and bake at 350 F, 180 C , gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes.
When cold, sandwich them together and cover with buttercream
icing. Decorate to your taste. I used glace cherries and almonds.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing
10oz icing sugar, sieved
5oz butter
2 dessertspoons cocoa powder
1 dessertspoon milk

Cream together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and butter until
well mixed and smooth, then beat in the milk.

Eat. Yum.

Chocolate Pudding

chocolate up and over pudding

chocolate up and over pudding

Everybody loves chocolate pudding, especially in the colder weather which I can feel coming already and this is a great recipe for those times when the whole family is asking – What’s for pudding? and you haven’t had time to think about it. All of the ingredients are what I would call ‘store cupboard essentials’, nothing fancy, but it tastes great.

Pudding

75g/3oz self-raising flour
1 rounded tablespoon of cocoa powder
125g/4oz soft margarine
125g/4oz granulated sugar
2 eggs

Topping and sauce

1 rounded tablespoon cocoa powder
125g/4oz demerara sugar
300 ml/ 1/2 pint hot, strong black coffee. Instant is fine – use 3 teaspoons added to the water.

Grease an oven proof dish of 2 pint capacity.

Put all of the pudding ingredients into a mixing bowl at the same time and with a wooden spoon or electric mixer, beat until smooth.

Tip the mixture into your greased dish and smooth flat.

Sprinkle 50g/2oz demerara sugar over the top.

Add the remaining 50g/2oz demerara sugar to the hot coffee and stir well. Carefully pour the coffee over the pudding mixture.

Bake at gas mark 4, 350 F, 180 C for about 50 minutes or an hour.

As if by magic the sponge rises over the coffee mixture during the cooking and a sauce is formed underneath.

It’s lovely served hot with ice-cream or cream.
It should serve 4 people.

Peanut and Chocolate Tart

This dessert goes down very well with the family, but it’s really a special occassion thing as it must be very fattening. My lot are all at the stage where they are only going to grow out the way as they have stopped growing up, and this pudding recipe is very moreish.

Peanut and chocolate tart

Peanut and chocolate tart


200g chocolate chip cookies (crushed)
100g melted unsalted butter
200g cream cheese (Philadelphia)
200g peanut butter
100g sugar
120 ml. double cream

For the topping:
125 ml. double cream
80g sugar
70g plain chocolate
60g unsalted butter

Crush the chocolate chip cookies in a plastic bag, giving them a good bashing with your rolling pin. Mix the melted butter into the crushed biscuits until well incorporated. Then tip the biscuit mixture into a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. Smooth it out and press well down around the edges. Place the tin in your freezer for 20 – 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir the sugar into the cream cheese and the peanut butter and mix well, until it is smooth. Whip the cream to the stiff peak stage and carefully fold it into the peanut mixture.
Spoon this mixture onto your chilled biscuit base, and smooth it level.

For the topping.
Place the remaining sugar and cream into a heavy pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, without stirring. Remove from the heat, and after a minute or two, add the remaining chocolate and butter. Stir until it has all melted, then leave it to cool slightly before pouring carefully onto the peanut mixture.
Chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Serves 6 – 8 people, depending on how greedy you are.
Obviously this is a great recipe for preparing the day before your guests come, leaving you free to get on with the main course.

This recipe is based on one from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s column in The Guardian. His has a baked base which I tried and didn’t like, it was too soggy for my taste.

Peachy Chocolate Bake

Peachy Chocolate Bake

Peachy Chocolate Bake

We had this for our pudding yesterday for the first time, and I’ll definitely be doing it again.

7oz/200g plain dark chocolate, broken into squares
4oz/115g unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated
4oz/115g sugar
15oz/425g tin peach slices, drained
serves 6

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3

Melt the chocolate with the butter in a glass bowl over simmering water. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and pale.

Beat the egg yolk mixture into the melted chocolate and butter mixture, until well combined.

In a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Fold in the beaten egg whites.

Fold the drained peach slices into the mixture, then tip into a buttered ovenproof dish.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until risen and just firm. Serve hot with cream or ice cream.

This pudding has a serious amount of chocolate in it, and as there were only 3 of us again for Sunday dinner, I halved the quantity of everything except the peaches. It worked out perfect for 3 people who don’t want to end up like elephants. I baked it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, which gave a nice slightly dried out, crisp texture to the surface.

I got this recipe from a book called Heavenly Chocolate by Christine France.

Chocolate Mousse

cropped-choc-cream-cloud-good
This is a real favourite with my family. I can’t remember where I got the recipe from but I do recall that it was called Chocolate Cream Cloud but it is really just a lovely easy mousse.

6oz or 150g of dark chocolate
4 large eggs (separated)
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 pint of whipping or double cream
alcohol of choice (optional)

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water. Separate the eggs and whip the whites until stiff. Remove the bowl of melted chocolate from above the pan and stir with a wooden spoon until it is smooth and a bit cooler. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and stir until smooth.
Then add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate. Mix together well with the wooden spoon.
Using the metal spoon fold a small amount of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then add the rest of the beaten egg whites. Now whip the cream until stiff.
If you are going for the wickedly adult version – add a dessertspoon or more of your choice of booze to your dessert glasses (Tia Maria, Baileys or Grand Marnier are all good.)
Now spoon a quantity of the chocolate mixture into the glasses.
Fold about half of the whipped cream into the remaining chocolate mixture. Spoon some of this into your glasses. Then spoon in some cream and keep layering it all until your glasses are full.
Decorate with grated chocolate. The easiest way of doing this is to use a potato peeler on the edge of the chocolate. Not nearly such hard work or messy as a grater.
For a mocha version add a heaped teaspoon of instant coffee granules to the cream before whipping it. Yum.
Obviously you should use fresh eggs for this but in over thirty years of making this dessert with raw eggs I’ve never had any problems – even with toddlers eating it.

Pear Upside-down Pudding

This is a nice chocolatey variation of the pineapple pudding I featured in an earlier post. Chocolate and pears are a great classic combination.

Pear upside down pudding

Pear upside down pudding

1 large tablespoon golden syrup
1x410g can pear halves,drained
8-10 glace cherries
125g (4oz) margarine
125g (4oz) sugar
2 eggs
125g (4oz) self-raising flour
1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder

Cover the base of a 18 cm (7inch) deep cake tin with the golden syrup.
Arrange the pears rounded side up, on the base of the tin. Place the glace cherries into the spaces between the pears.
Cream the margarine and sugar. Add the cocoa powder and stir the mixture until it is well combined.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in the flour. Beat well then spread the mixture evenly over the pears and cherries.
Bake in a pre-heated oven, 180C (350F,) gas mark 4 for about 50 to 60 minutes, depending on your oven. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pudding and invert the tin onto your serving plate. Serve hot with cream or ice cream.
This pudding serves 6 people. If you want a larger one, use a 10 inch tin. Arrange pear halves over the whole of the base of the tin. Spread the sponge mixture on top and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.