Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Hello Readers

I have received some requests for the Chocolate Truffle Cookie recipe and so, as promised, here is the recipe.

It is vital that you use the best quality chocolate with a high cocoa solid content.  I used a Green & Blacks chocolate and cocoa powder. You will need to use proper cocoa powder and NOT drinking chocolate powder.  I used large eggs.  If you are using the best chocolate then don't spoil it by using vanilla flavouring.  Use a good quality extract - it is worth it in the end.  And unsalted butter too. The initial batter making process is fairly simple but you will need to leave the mixture for about 3 hours before baking so make sure you have enough time in the day to make these cookies.   Good luck and enjoy the cookies.


250g Plain Chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids)
60g Cocoa Powder 
110g Unsalted Butter
3 Eggs
200g Caster Sugar
1.5 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
75g Plain Flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
150G Plain Chocolate  (min 70% cocoa solids)

  • Put the oven on to 180C/350F
  • Chop up the two quantities of chocolate and keep them separate. The 150g will be going into the final mixture so needs to be chopped quite small - about the size of peas is a good measure.
  • Melt the 250g of chocolate together with the butter and cocoa powder over a pan of simmering water.  Do not let the water boil or allow it to come into contact with the bottom of the bowl as this could burn the chocolate mixture. Stir carefully until fully melted.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool but not set.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together using an electric mixer until pale, light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla extract to the egg & sugar mixture.
  • Combine the egg mixture with the cooled chocolate mixture.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, and salt).
  • Gently fold in the dry ingredients and the final 150g chopped chocolate.
  • Cover the 'dough' and chill for at least 3 hours.  Even after chilling the mixture will be quite soft.
  • Using a suitable spoon take portions of the mixture and roll quickly into balls, about 3cm across.
  • Place the balls 5cm apart on a baking sheet lined with silicone paper. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes.  The top should be crisp and the centre should still be slightly soft.
  • Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minute before removing to a cooling rack.

Obviously they are best eaten on the same day but if you can resist them for a day or two they are equally tasty but they will have a more chewy texture.

Next time I make them I will count how many it makes and add this information to the blog.

So there we are.  Hope you enjoy cooking them.  Let me know how they turn out for you.

Kim x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


The weather is not being to good to us at the moment here and I really am missing the summer sunshine.  Looking at my work I came across a vibrant post card that I had made last summer and thought this would be a good thing to focus on today, maybe chase away the rain?

I have a large stock of water colour card, big A3 sheets of the stuff and one of my favourite past-times is laying colour down in random places, spraying with water, moving inks around, spraying with more ink and generally getting messy. The end results are totally unique and often very surprising.  For this piece I used diluted Ranger inks but any water based ink works well.  There are lots of sprays, shimmers and inks out there.  I often make up my own using either empty spray bottles from previous shop bought product or sometimes you can find refillable spray bottles in the holiday section of your pharmacy.  Add mica powder for shimmer if you want too.  You can get some interesting colours cheaply by using the centres from felt pens.  The core of the pen needs to be dropped into a small amount of water which colours the water.  Be aware that this ink may not be archival quality and so don't use on anything precious.

I took one of these large inked A3 pieces of card and cut it down to roughly postcard size.  Final cutting to be done at the end so that straight lines in the design ended up perfectly aligned. This gave me a bunch of cards with the same colour scheme.  

I used a big rubber stamp of a butterfly and a saying to decorate this card.  I used a permanent ink, I generally use Stazon, in black so that I could add more colour to certain areas knowing that the images would not run.  The nature of the water colour card meant that the image is not as crisp as it would be if stamped onto a flat surface.  I like this 'broken line' look.

I placed the saying first keeping it off centre and low also trying to find a lighter area so the saying is easy to read. I then stamped the butterfly making sure I had one as complete as possible given the size, and stamping others off the card.  Using less diluted inks in the same colours I then added more colour to the butterflies and the border of the saying not worrying too much about keeping the ink in the lines. Once cut to size I finished off the card by inking around the edges.  

Enjoy your day.

Kim x

Thursday, 5 July 2012

A Classic Card

Hello All

Today I thought I would share with you one of my more classic card designs.  Following the pattern of main feature, ribbon and space I created this within minutes of receiving some new stamps from Lavinia Stamps.  I love the silhouette style of the stamps. They lend themselves perfectly to being stamped over a 'full moon' background.

So, first things first, I masked the moon.  Using a round sticker (I have plain office type ones but really any circle shaped sticker would do) I first made the sticker less tacky by sticking it to my t-shirt.  It means that the sticker is more likely to come off without dragging any of the paper with it.  The sticker will be rubbed over so it does need to be very low-tack.  Of course you could cut one, but it is vital that the edge is crisp and that the circle is perfectly shaped for this to work well.

Stick the circle on the piece of card - final positioning can be done later when the card is trimmed. I used a shimmer card in a creamy colour.

Using a Tim Holtz ink pad and applicator I inked over the moon paying attention not to make the colour too intense.  The subtle fading in parts make the sky look more believable - even in the strangest of colours.
Carefully remove the sticker.  If the sticker sticks then you haven't wasted much time or product but you have learnt a valuable lesson which hopefully you can resolve on your next attempt.  Maybe less pressure when rubbing or more de-tacking?

Using the stamps I then inked them using the same Tim Holtz ink and placed the images carefully making sure part of the image went over the moon. Avoid placing the image bang in the middle of the moon.  Stamp another 2 images in the same way, placing one away from the moon completely and the other going over the moon if there is space.  Clear stamps on acrylic blocks are perfect for this type of careful positioning.

Once I was happy with the design I trimmed the image down to about the size of a playing card or ATC.  Using the same ink pad again I aged the edges of the trimmed card  staying well away from the moon and centre.

Adding mini-brads at the corners before mounting on a piece of backing card means the backs of the brads are hidden and will not catch your finger when opening the card.

I love square cards at the moment.  I buy plain ones and cover them with interesting papers. Using a couple of pieces of backing paper in a pleasant off-centre way and then covering the join with a ribbon adds interest. Or simply use one piece and add a strip of toning card.

Looking forward to sharing more crafty things tomorrow - bye bye for now.

Kim x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


Hello Readers

 Chocolate Truffle Cookies
I know I missed a day - it was down to the real world.  Some of us still have to earn a crust.

Talking of crusts, I thought I would blog about some of my baking exploits.  I love cooking and I am constantly clipping recipes from magazines which I intend to try.  The recipes are stored in a folder under headings such as SOUPS, PARTY FOOD, CHEESE and VEGETARIAN.  By far the biggest section though is the one called BAKING.

With a lot of cooking I usually look at the picture.  For me a recipe simply has to have a colour picture.  Words don't stimulate my taste buds enough.  I can look at the picture and imagine what it tastes like and if it is a savoury dish I can go straight into the kitchen and make it.  OK, it may not end up being what the recipe has suggested it is but the end result is always edible.  

It is a different story where baking is concerned.  I see baking as more of a science, a chemical process if you like.  There has to be accurate measures, timed cooking, specific ingredients and perfect temperatures.

I recently made a selection of biscuits for some friends who told me they were delicious. Well,  I already knew this as I had sampled quite a few of them before they were delivered.  They were bagged up so they would travel well and  I printed labels with the ingredients so that everybody knew what was in them. 

The Chocolate Truffle Cookies are crammed to bursting with chocolate. They also contain home 'grown' eggs from the family hens, Poppy, Lin, Sesame and Henrietta. Good work girls.  The biscuits crack on top during the cooking and if you measure the mixture out carefully with a small scoop they all come out the same size.  It is the consistency on size that makes them look professional I think.  

Traditional Shortbread
The Shortbread is of course 'all butter', non of that butter substitute that claims to be just like butter.  It isn't, so I don't even bother using it.  It really does make a difference buying good quality ingredients.  I use unsalted butter which is great for sweet dishes as well as savoury.

The Nobblers are oaty and feel like they are doing you some good. They are my version of the commercially available oat biscuit with a very similar name.  They are quite crisp when they first cool but become softer and chewier with keeping - if you can resist them. Either way they taste great. 

My idea is this, if you want to see one of the recipes you will need to leave a comment saying which one you would like to see more of and the one with the most comments will be published next week. Cheeky I know but worth a try right?

Till tomorrow.  Take care.

Kim x