Last week was chocolate week on the Great Irish Bake Off and MyHome.ie’s Neil Reid impressed the judges to see himself through to another week of the TV3 show.
Below are his thoughts on the week’s events.
I’ll start by saying that chocolate is probably my favourite thing in the whole world. It’s indulgent, fun, and good for you (ok that last one might not be true). It can be a tricky beast to work with and it does require a lot of attention. But when you get it right the results are to die for.
Our challenge this week was to create a “Chocolate Selection Box”. We had to create 6 elements and present them to the judges in a box. The theme of mine was “Tastes and Inspirations of Ireland”. I took memories and recipes that were in my family for generations and put a chocolate twist to them.
I wanted to push the boat out and show that I deserved to still be in the show. I had chocolate week ear marked as one I really wanted to get to, to show what I could do. I chose to balance my 6 elements between baking and other chocolate work using flavours like Strawberry, Baileys, a raspberry (just for Lilly) and Dulce/Dilisk (a Seaweed) to lift the chocolate and add colour to my presentation.
My 6 Elements were, Chocolate Scones, Chocolate Madeleines, Chocolate Mousse and Sponge Squares, Baileys Fudge, Chocolate Cookies with Strawberry white chocolate infused filling and White Chocolate and Dulse/Dilisk truffles.
I was over the moon with the reaction from the judges when I revealed my jewellery box of chocolate treats. It was a great feeling. There are two things I’ll take from this week; I’ll never make a Swiss Roll again and don’t try make fudge under time pressure.
So onward I go to week 5 and International Week after getting through a shock double elimination. It won’t be the same in the tent without the ever comical Mr Carter and the wonderful Darina. Great to see Clare rise back up after bread week to collect her second Star Baker and well deserved again.
Here’s a couple of my recipes for you to try out –
These only take 8 or 9 minutes to bake and are the perfect complement to a tea or coffee:
150gr Unsalted Butter
115gr Plain Flour
2 level tbsp Cocoa Powder (70% where Possible)
2 level tsp Baking powder
2 Medium Eggs
90gr Castor Sugar
Large Tbsp honey
5 tbsp milk
Madeline Tin – lightly butter and flour (I used a little cocoa powder to flour it as they were chocolate):
- Melt butter and set aside
- Sieve flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl
- Beat Eggs, sugar and honey in different bowl and fold gently into flour mix
- Add milk and butter to complete batter
- Cool in the fridge for 1 hour
- Spoon your mix into the Madeline Tin.
- Oven at 170Deg
- Bake for 7-9 mins
Chocolate Mousse Squares:
2 Medium Eggs
50gr Castor Sugar
50gr Plain Flour
150gr Dark Chocolate
75gr Unsalted Butter
2 Large Eggs (Seperated)
- Oven at 180Deg
- Heat eggs and sugar in bain maire
- Whisk until thick and pale and remove from Heat
- Sift over Flour and gently fold
- Pour into 7inch square tin
- Bake for 12-15 minutes
- Cool For 5 Mins and remove from tin to cool fully
- Melt chocolate and butter
- Remove from heat and let cool for 5 mins
- Stir in Egg yolks
- Whisk whites to soft peaks and fold in
Place double layer of cling film in tin – Place Cake back in and pour Mousse Over it – Cool for 2 Hours
Cut into squares and place raspberry on top to serve.