Monday, 21 May 2012

Chocolate Between the Pages !

As most of us know Allen Lane published more than just orange and white Penguin books.  During the 1960's he published a couple of boxed sets of Classics, one in orange and one in black spines to mark Penguin's 30th anniversary.
These small books over the years have often been lost from their original sets and can be found lying on shelves singly in Op shops or second hand book shops.  He also published smaller Classic box sets of 10 books to a set. They may have been Travel or Biography or in this case, Cooking.

My post today talks about one small little book that has a big impact. Your Little Book of Chocolate.
This particular book was actually reprinted as a Gift to give subscribers from House & Garden magazine and was published after Allen Lane left Penguin. However a Penguin is a Penguin is a Penguin? No, not at all except where CHOCOLATE is involved..... And it only cost me 20 cents.

This small book is an excerpt from Helge Rubinstein's fascination with cooking and she wrote the original book, The Chocolate Book from which these recipes are taken.

"When you have breakfasted well and fully, if you will drink a big cup of chocolate at the end you will have digested the whole perfectly three hours later, and you will still be able to dine." 
(J.A. Brillat-Savarin, Physiologie du gout, 1825)" 

I am not able to read or drive this week as my eyes are going through a surgical tune up this week and last so I thought what Penguinese could I get up to so I don't get behind in my postings. Cooking!!  This little book has been looking at me for sometime and time to make a choice.

I decided I would make two of the recipes, share them here and basically see the results.

The Table of Contents is quite varied for such a small book. Simple Chocolate Mouse both white and dark. Kentucky Chocolate Pie, Cream Cheese and Cocoa, even an Economical Chocolate Ice Cream.

I decided upon Brownies. As an American Australian I can never go past Brownies. It was one of the main food groups of childhood in midwest America.  My other choice was Chocolate Yoghurt Ambrosia.  I thought if it had yoghurt in it then it would be healthy.

I hope you enjoy these recipes. Both of them came out as promised by the author. Both were extremely simple and both of them are delicious.

Click to enlarge photo

Chocolate Yoghurt Ambrosia
Refreshing and very quick and simple to make.
300 ml (1/2 pint) plain yoghurt
300 ml (1/2 pint) double cream (I used single cream as the shop did not have double)
25 grams (1 oz.) plain or bitter chocolate (I used eating dark chocolate but would be good w/ baking                            
6-8 teaspoons soft brown sugar (or more to suit)   I didn't want it too sweet.

Whip the yoghurt and cream together until the mixture becomes light and quite thick.
Grate the chocolate finely and blend in.
Pour into six or eight individual ramekin dishes and sprinkle each dish with a teaspoon of soft brown sugar.
Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  The mixture will have set like a junket, and the sugar will have dissolved into a rich brown syrup. 
Sprinkle on a little more sugar before serving, if you wish. (I sprinkled more grated chocolate instead)


Click to enlarge photo


110 (4 oz) unsweetened cooking chocolate
50 grams (2 oz) unsalted butter
75 grams (3 oz) plain flour
good pinch of baking powder
good pinch salt
2 eggs
175 (6 oz) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
50 grams (2 oz) pecans or walnuts

Set the oven at gas mark 4 (180 C) 350 F
     Melt the chocolate  (in a bowl over a pan of boiling water) and, when cooled a little, add the butter cut into small pieces. Stiar until the butter has melted and blended with the chocolate.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt.
Beat the eggs together with the sugar and vanilla until fluffy and blend in the chocolate and butter mixture.
Fold in the flour and then the roughly chopped nuts.
Pour into a greased 20 cm (8 inch) square baking tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted just comes out clean.
Allow to cool, then cut into squares - they will turn fudgy as they cool.

(As I didn't use dark baker's chocolate the brownies came out a bit lighter in colour but they still taste very good and they have the thin cake crust across the top and are chewy in the middle, just as a brownie should be!)



  1. I wonder if these recipes would work with carob? Substitution isn't always successful, which is a shame, because I can't eat chocolate. Hope your eyes are OK.

    1. I don't see why they wouldn't work. You just might need to use a bit more of the carob to get the flavour strong enough. Worth a try. Good luck. Thanks for your comment. Pam

  2. The recipes sound and look delicious but the brownie one is a lot of trouble for just an 8" sq. pan. I use Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines brownie mixes and substitute applesauce instead of the oil. They turn out great and are so easy.


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