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    Entries in coffee (3)


    Chocolate Tia Maria Fridge Cake 

    last of the chocolate coffee liqueur fridge (ice box) cake

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    Oh, have you tried replacing some of the cream in your ganache for plain Greek yoghurt?

    Even if yoghurt isn't in your top 500 foods, once added to ganache a little bit of magic occurs. Well, ok not "magic" (I'm trying to sell you on the idea because I like it so much), but rather the yoghurt has a two fold effect of lightening the texture of the ganache and adding an acid component that cleans the palate. 

    I like a ratio of 50% cream to 50% Greek yoghurt. The yoghurt ganache can be made with white, milk and dark chocolate. Think white chocolate yoghurt ganache with strained passion fruit puree for truffles or dark chocolate yoghurt ganache sauce with profiteroles or for your berries and waffles. What follows is the basic ratio/method that you can use in your existing recipes, plus a retro fridge cake laced with Tia Maria that the my step son Daniel declared was so nice "I could eat this everyday". 

    Chocolate Tia Maria Refrigerator Cake


    Sponge fingers come with different amounts of biscuits depending on the brand... from 250g to 400g but the following recipe makes plenty of ganache, in fact you might have some over to top a cupcake or two. 

    I x packet of savoiardi/sponge finger biscuits

    125 ml (quarter of a cup) of very strong brewed black coffee  (you can make up instant if you don't have shots of expresso handy) 

    1/4 cup caster sugar (superfine) 

    3 tablespoons of coffee liqueur (add more coffee if you want to avoid the alcohol) 

    1 tsp of pure vanilla extract/essence

    150g  (5oz)  milk chocolate, roughly chopped

    150g  (5oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped

    250 ml (one cup) thickened cream (whipping cream)

    250 ml (one cup) plain thick Greek yoghurt

    Place the sugar and coffee in a saucepan, bring to a rapid boil and boil one minute or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in Tia Maria and vanilla extract. Set aside. 

    Melt the chocolate with half the cream in a heat proof bowl over pan a simmering water. Remove from heat and stir through the remaining cream and yoghurt. Refrigerate until the ganache is thick enough to spread. 

    Divide up your sponge fingers, I made my cake by laying six sponge fingers side by side and allowed another 12 sponge fingers to create two layers on top. *This size will give you leftover ganache, if you are using a larger packet of biscuits you will use all the ganache. 

    Spread some of the chocolate ganache onto your cake platter to secure the first row of sponge fingers. 

    Start to build the cake by dipping biscuits in the coffee/tia maria solution, lay six across the bottom, top with ganache, dip another six biscuits lay those on top of the base layer, top with ganache and lay final layer of dipped biscuits on top. Use remaining ganache to cover the sides and top of cake. 

    Chill for 4-6 hours. 

    Optional: decorate with your choice of chocolate curls, grated chocolate, chocolate coated coffee beans or crushed choc/coffee candy bars. 

    adapted from no bake Irish gateau Hamyln all colour cookbook: 200 chocolate recipes 

     Happy Baking :)

    You might also interested in no bake Tia Maria Treats

    Or perhaps you have been hankering to make a Chinese dragon  


    Aunty Clare's Chocolate Frog Grog

                                         aunty clare's chocolate frog grog

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    A tiny town is Mangalore; so tiny in fact the entire town is comprised of "the pub". My Aunty Clare owned the Mangalore Hotel, where I spent many a school holiday in the hotel kitchen or waitressing in the lounge, occasionally a sheep would wander through the bar... but those stories are for another day. 

    mangalore hotel situated two hours north of Melbourne 

    When my Aunt and Uncle eventually retired to another nearby town they took with them more scotch whisky than you can imagine. Scotch whisky that turned up in all sorts of desserts, cakes and preserves. You will have to combine the thought of that whisky with Aunty Clare's that day find of "bulk bags of slighty deformed Cadbury's Freddo Frogs" to explain how I found myself in a country kitchen unwrapping chocolate frogs for Aunty Clare who was about to whip up a batch of frog grog.

    Frog grog is really just another version of homemade Baileys Irish Cream and you can replace the chocolate frogs with the same weight milk chocolate of choice, but I do love all the shot glasses lined up with their accompanying chocolate frog "chaser". 

    I started with the labels... Eat Drink Chic has vintage apothecary labels you can download here. Once downloaded pop the labels into photoshop or art software of choice to customise. 

    customise the labels


    Cadbury Freddo chocolate frogs 

    Aunty Clare's Chocolate Frog Grog

    makes just over 2 litres, store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.


    2 x cans of sweetened condensed milk

    1 x can of evaporated milk

    1 and 1/2 cups thickened cream (thickened cream in Australia contains a little gelatine, you could use fresh bottled liquid whipping cream instead)

    200 grams (7oz) Cadbury Freddo Frogs 

    3 cups of Scotch Whisky

    1 tsp pure vanilla extract/essence

    1 tbl instant expresso coffee dissolved in 1 tbl of boiling water

    extra chocolate frogs for serving


    Place all your unwrapped frogs in a large heatproof bowl and melt gently over a pot of barely simmering water. 

    *tip... avoid overheating by removing frogs from heat when they are two thirds melted and stir to melt remainder. 

    Place your bowl of melted frogs on your bench and slowly whisk in the two cans of sweentened condensed milk. Then whisk in the evaporated milk, cream, dissolved coffee and vanilla extract. Once that's all combined finish by whisking in the whisky.

    Pour the mixture through a mesh strainer into a large jug and decant into sterilised bottles. Glue on your labels and you are all finished. Best left for at least 24 hours, before enjoying chilled over ice... don't forget the extra frogs! 

    You may have seen on facebook that our puppy has been renamed "Gallifrey" and I'm nursing broken ribs at the moment.

    I'll be back baking and blogging in May, hope to see you then :)

    More of Aunty Clare? Try your hand at making a batch of scotch whisky marmalade for your puddle cupcakes.

    Or more Grog? Try Bundy Banana Cupcakes or make yourself a toffee topper... here


    Sugar Bark

    coffee sugar bark pieces decorate a chocolate "cupcakecino" 

    This is for my friend Cindy, who is not going to start spinning toffee threads any time soon ;) An easy alternative to traditional toffee garnishes is sugar bark.

    Cons; it doesn't last very long (one hour max) so it has to be made at the last minute

    Pros; it's so fast to make (4-6 minutes) with no toffee pot to clean!!

    You just need sugar, preferably caster sugar (superfine)... and for clear shards that's all you need. You can also add cinnamon/spices, seeds, cocoa nibs, nuts slivers or like I did instant coffee granules & coffee sugar bits.

    Try adding white & black sesame seeds for a garnish for an asian custard dessert, almond slivers look and taste gorgeous in sugar bark or go savoury and pair clear shards with char grilled scallops. 


    Line at baking tray with a silicone baking mat (at this point my friend Cindy is going to tell me she doesn't have a silicone baking mat... GOOD GRIEF WOMAN... buy yourself one at K-Mart!!)

    Sprinkle caster sugar evenly on the silicone baking mat and bake in a preheated 180c oven for 4 to 6 minutes.

    here I've added a few coffee granules and coffee sugar to get a darker/streaky effect 

    Alternatively you can grill/broil the sugar... either way keep an eye on the sugar, once it starts to melt it browns quickly. Your aiming for a light to mid amber colour.

    thicker sugar on you tray will give you an almost "bubble sugar" look, caster sugar with a little different brown sugar will give you streaks, thin sugar (mine with a coffee granule in it) will give you a clear finish. 

    Cool for 15 to 20 minutes, break into shards use immediately. 

    That's it you have sugar bark.

    Faux Cappuccino

    To make a faux cappuccino, push an unwrapped baked cupcake (preferably moist cake like mud cake) into a cappuccino cup, top with sweetened whipped cream, sprinkle with cocoa or drinking chocolate and top with shards of sugar bark. This works well with for individual tiramisu's too.

    Happy Baking :)

    you might also like;

    quick tiramisu cupcakes