a pan containing chocolate chili

spooky chocolate chili sin carne

A staple of our Halloween parties, and (whisper it quietly) also vegan. It’s completely inauthentic but very tasty.

  • 3 red onions, choppeda pan containing chocolate chili
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 pointed peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 small red chilis, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1x200g tin sweetcorn
  • 2x400g tins red kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 mushroom stock cubes dissolved in 500ml boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons red lentils
  • 50g dark chocolate

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Sweat the onions gently until they are soft but not coloured.  Add the crushed cloves of garlic and all the chopped vegetables,  add the smoked paprika and stir it all around. Put a lid on the pan and leave the veg to simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes, the stock, the sweetcorn and the red lentils and leave to simmer again for a further 20 minutes. Taste and see if it needs any more chili.  Add the kidney beans and the dark chocolate, broken up into pieces. Simmer again for a further 20 minutes, this time with the lid off.  Season with ground black pepper (you may not need salt depending on how salty the stock cubes are), and a squeeze of lime juice.

Triple chocolate brownies

triple choc brownie

Morgan’s speciality. This mixture makes about 18 and lasts about as many minutes after they’ve cooled down enough to eat.

  • 250g good quality dark chocolate
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 125g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g broken pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 50g white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C or gas mark 3.

Put 3-4 cm water into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over a medium heat.  Break up the chocolate, cut up the butter and put both in a mixing bowl. Put it over the pan of gently simmering water and turn the heat off. Stir occasionally until melted together and smooth. Alternatively, put the broken up chocolate and butter into a microwave-proof bowl and microwave on full power for 10 seconds, take out and stir, then put back in for another 10 seconds, etc. until it’s all melted.  Only 10 seconds at a time, mind, or you could end up with burnt chocolate and nobody wants that.

Meanwhile, break the 3 eggs into another bowl, and pour in the sugar.  Whisk the sugar and eggs together until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture using a rubber spatula to get all the chocolate out of the bowl.  Mix thoroughly together.

Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix thoroughly. Stir in the nuts if you’re using them.

Line a baking tin about 20x30cm with a piece of foil or baking paper and pour in the mixture, using a spatula to get the last scrapes out.  Smooth the top of the mixture in the tin.

Put the tin on a shelf in the middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.   Don’t cook them for too long – better a bit squidgy than too solid.

Take the tin out of the oven and stand it on a wire rack.  Sprinkle the white chocolate chips over the top while the brownies are still hot, to give them a chance to melt a bit. Leave until cool enough to cut into squares.

the Cullimore “Family Heirloom” chocolate cake

The one and only birthday cake, stolen from the Be-Ro cookery book and still available on their website (but they recommend – horrors! margarine…). Make it with drinking chocolate if you must – but cocoa makes it actually taste of CHOCOLATE.

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 225g caster sugar
  • Half level teaspoon salt
  • Half level teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) cocoa
  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 5 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • Half teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 180°C, gas mark 3-4.  Grease two 8 inch (20cm) tins and put baking parchment at the bottom. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and cocoa together. Rub in the butter.  Beat the eggs, add in the evap and water and vanilla extract. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture and beat well. Split the mixture between the two tins and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes. If it’s slightly undercooked, so much the better (it really shouldn’t be crispy around the edges!).  Turn out onto a rack.  When cold, sandwich and top with the icing.

For the icing:

  • 60g butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 250g sieved icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 180°C, gas mark 3-4.  Grease two 8 inch (20cm) tins and put baking parchment at the bottom.

Melt the butter, blend in the cocoa, then stir in the hot milk and vanilla and the icing sugar.  Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and thick.  If it looks like it’s separating, don’t worry, just beat it a bit more and add a bit more hot milk, and if it looks really thin then add some more icing sugar.  Let it cool a bit before spreading it on the two cakes and sandwiching them together.  If the icing’s thick it’s like chocolate fudge, if it’s thinner it goes nice and shiny but you might have to catch the drips down the side of the cake. No hardship there.