I absolutely love buying new cookbooks. It really is becoming a bit of a problem as I’m running out of room for them due to my ever-expanding collection! Other people flick through magazines or a paper when they have a bit of down time, I read cookbooks! It has not been unknown for me to have a pile of them next for my bed for a little bit of bedtime reading…possibly a bit concerning….!
I love the inspiration that new cookbooks can bring – they can open your eyes to new techniques and flavour combinations. Looking up recipes on the internet just isn’t the same (although I do a lot of this too). There is also the bonus of beautiful food photography that can give any amateur a goal for the future, not to mention the interesting and helpful forwards and tips often found on the last few pages.
When the GU cookbook came out, I could not resist giving it a try! Although I do try to limit the amount of calorific ‘naughty’ cooking I do, the GU cookbook seemed like a good place to turn to for the occasional treat. Plus, I am aware that there is still a lot I have to learn in relation to cooking with chocolate so this book seemed ideal.
I bought the cookbook from Amazon however, there are several other good deals out there. You can even purchase a Kindle edition of the cookbook….I must admit I have never understood why someone would buy a cookbook for their Kindle, call me old-fashioned but I just think a lot of the magic is lost!
The first thing that struck me about this book is how strangely it is laid out! There are chapters for ‘Breakfast and Brunch’, ‘Feeding Friends’, ‘Treats’, ‘Teatime or Anytime’ which seems fairly straight forward however, the book contains not only chocolatey treats, but also savoury type dishes, so I found it strange that the book wasn’t laid out more similar to a ‘traditional’ cookbook which features starters, main courses, desserts, bakes etc. I have found, over time, that it is more difficult to locate any of the recipes I have previously seen whilst flicking through without using the index however, maybe this is just my frazzled brain talking and others do not find the ordering of recipes a little irritating!!
Anyway….this cookbook features some stunning recipes that I cannot wait to try such as ‘Jaffa cake lollipops’, ‘Raspberry chocolate mousse pops’ and ‘Chocolate stuffed crust pizza’ as well as many recipes for chocolatey gifts such as ‘Milk chocolate, orange and cardamom truffles’, ‘Chocolate bubble wrap’ and ‘Chocolate macaroons’….watch out for chocolatey gifts this year people! The two chefs who created the recipes for this book, Fred and Jerome, have also devised some delicious ‘savoury’ recipes which contain small amounts of chocolate to add a depth of flavour such as ‘Open dark chocolate venison raviole’ and ‘Rabbit ragu’; I have already tried the Gulash and it was delicious so these strange-sounding recipes are definitely worth experimenting with!
For a Christmas bake sale at work, I decided to try the ‘Triple Chocolate Cookies’ recipe, and I am certainly glad I did! These cookies melt in your mouth and give a real chocolate hit so the cash spent on the chocolate chips is most definitely worth it.
Triple Chocolate Cookies
Makes approx 30 cookies
225g light brown soft sugar
Tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
Half tsp bicarbonate of soda
Half tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
150g dark chocolate chips
150g milk chocolate chips
150g white chocolate chips
1. Cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes using a mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract and mix again until well combined.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the egg mixture until just combined then lightly knead in all of the chocolate chips.
3. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 24 hours. This makes a big difference to the texture of the final cookie – if you decide to cook them straight away the cookies will have a firm rather than soft, melt in the mouth texture.
4. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees when ready to bake and line a few baking trays with baking parchment.
5. Roll the cookie dough into 30 equal pieces roughly the size of a walnut in it’s shell. Place the cookie dough on the prepared baking trays allowing room for the cookies to spread a bit when cooking.
6. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden but still soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
YUM!! These cookies really are delicious! Another great thing about this recipe is that, once you have rolled the dough into cookies, you can place the dough balls in a tuppawear container in the freezer for up to a month and you can bake the cookies from frozen when needed, they will just need to stay in the oven a little longer! Perfect for impromptu guests or when you need something for a bake sale in a hurry!