Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Sweet, creamy and chocolaty, you'll find this easy to make homemade fudge irresistible. Recipe makes about 16 squares.


1/2 pint (300 ml) double cream
1 cup white sugar
2 ounces (60 g) dark cooking chocolate, grated


1. Thoroughly grease an 8 inch (20 cm) square cake tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Combine the cream and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. Dissolve the sugar over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
2. Slowly bring the sugar mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally, over a medium heat, then cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (110 degrees C) on a sugar thermometer.
3. Stir in the grated chocolate until melted, then quickly pour it into the tin. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until firm.
4. Cut the fudge into squares. Store in an airtight container. If liked, wrap the squares individually in pretty paper to give as small gifts.

Tip: A sugar thermometer is an essential piece of equipment for making confectionery. Ensure the sugar has dissolved completely before boiling the mixture. Once dissolved, boil rapidly, without stirring, to prevent the sugar crystallizing and giving the fudge a gritty texture.

Tangelo Bran Muffins

An easy and light way to start the day. Tangelo (a hybrid fruit produced by crossing a grapefruit with a tangerine) zest gives these breakfast muffins a refreshing zip. Recipe makes 12 muffins.


1/3 cup tangelo juice
1 cup bran cereal
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons grated tangelo zest
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sultanas
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
Pinch salt


1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt.
3. Add to the bran mixture along with the currants and sugar. Stir until combined.
4. Spoon into greased deep muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) or until golden brown.

Chicken with Asparagus

Low in calories, this easy boneless chicken breast and vegetable stir-fry is an excellent choice for slimmers. Recipe serves 4.


8 ounces (250 g) asparagus spears
Boiling water
Salt to taste
7 ounces (220 g) snow peas
1 pound (500 g) boneless chicken breasts, skinned
Freshly milled pepper
2 teaspoons cornflour
3 spring onions or pickling onions
3 tablespoons sunflower or corn oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon medium sherry
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
6 sprigs chervil or flat parsley


1. Cut woody ends off asparagus. Cut spears into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Cook asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water straight away to retain fresh green color.
2. Top and tail snow peas. Cut into diamond shapes.
3. Cut chicken breasts into thin strips. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to round dish. Sprinkle with cornflour and rub well into flesh with fingers.
4. Peel and finely chop spring onions or pickling onions.
5. Heat oil in wok until hot, but not smoking. Add chicken and stir-fry briskly for 1 minute. Remove from wok. Drain on rack or absorbent kitchen paper.
6. Add spring onions, asparagus and snow peas to remaining oil in wok. Stir-fry briskly for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken, stock, sherry and soy sauce. Mix thoroughly, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Return chicken to wok and stir in well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Flavor lightly with nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
7. Wash and dry chervil or parsley. Take leaves off stalks. Mix into stir-fry.
8. Serve with boiled new potatoes.