Divine Chocolate and Raspberry Truffle Cake recipe

By Linda Collister

Very pretty and special – For Valentine’s Day

Makes one large cake


For the sponge:
200g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
4 tbsps Amaretto Disaronno (amaretti liqueur)
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar plus 3 tbsps extra
6 large free-range eggs, at room temperature, separated
A good pinch cream of tartar
A good pinch of salt
100g ground almonds
125g plain flour
25g flaked almonds
125g fresh raspberries
For the icing:
150g Divine Dark Chocolate, broken up (available at supermarkets)
1 tablespoon Amaretto Disaronno
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 heaped tbsp golden syrup

To decorate: fresh raspberries, icing sugar, chocolate shards or curls

21cm springform tin, greased and base-lined


Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4.

Put the chocolate and Amaretto into a heatproof bowl.
Set over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and leave to melt gently.
Remove the bowl from the pan, stir the chocolate gently until smooth then leave to cool until needed.

Beat the butter until creamy, using a wooden spoon or an electric whisk. Then beat in the 200g sugar (save the rest for later). When the mixture looks very light and fluffy beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk until just frothy, then add the cream of tartar and the salt and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and stands in soft peaks when the whisk is lifted. Whisk in the reserved 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Using a large metal spoon gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture, followed by the ground almonds. Add a quarter of the egg whites and fold in. Sift half the flour on to the mixture and fold in, then half the remaining egg whites. Repeat with the remaining flour and whites. Gently fold in the flaked almonds and raspberries, using just a couple of movements so the mixture is not over-worked, then spoon the mixture into the tin and spread evenly.

Bake in the heated oven for 55-60 minutes until just firm to touch and a cocktail stick inserted into the centre (avoiding the fruit) comes out clean. Run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the tin then leave to cool and firm up on a wire rack for 15 minutes before unclipping the tin.

When completely cold set the cake on a serving platter.

To make the icing melt the chocolate with the Amaretto as before, remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the butter and syrup to make a smooth and glossy icing. Leave to cool, stirring form time to time, until thick enough to spread over the top and sides of the cake.

Leave to set and just before serving decorate with raspberries. Dust with icing sugar and chocolate shards or curls.

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wedsbloghopChicken stir fry recipe

Soy Seasoned Chicken Stir Fry.

An aromatic dish, flavoured with Kikkoman Soy Sauce and Chinese five spice powder.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

225g (8oz) basmati or long grain rice
3tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce
1tsp runny honey
1tbsp Chinese five spice powder or paste
1tsp chopped fresh parsley
450g (1lb) skinless boneless chicken breasts, diagonally sliced strips
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
150g (5oz) baby sweetcorn, halved lengthways
150g (5oz) oriental mushrooms such as Enoki
Coriander leaves to garnish


  1. Rinse the rice and place in a saucepan. Cover with enough water to cover the rice by 2.5cm (1inch). Bring to the boil, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer over a very low heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, Mix together the soy sauce, honey and Chinese five spice powder and parsley. Pour over the chicken and toss well to coat evenly.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok and fry the onions and peppers for 5 minutes. Add the sweetcorn and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and marinade and stir fry for 5 minutes. Now add the mushrooms and stir fry for 3-5 minutes.

Serve with cooked rice and garnish with coriander leaves

Pork wraps recipe

A classic Chinese dish, made using lean pork with a wonderful Kikkoman soy sauce glaze.


Serves 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cals per serving: 420

Fat: 12

Carbs: 29

Sugars: 13.9

Salt.: 3g


700g loin of pork joint, fat and skin removed.

5 tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce

2 tbsp demerara sugar

2 tbsp orange juice

3 tbsptomato puree

1 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder

12 –16 Chinese pancake wrappers

6 tbsp hoi sin sauce

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced

1 small cucumber, finely sliced


  1. Pre heat the oven to 190 C, 375 F, gas 5. Make 6 x 2.5cm deep cuts into the pork joint.
  2. Line a roasting tin with a double layer of tin foil and place the pork in the centre.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the Kikkoman Soy Sauce, sugar, orange juice,tomato puree and Chinese five spice powder. Spoon over the pork, then scrunch up the foil around the sides of the pork to form an open parcel and roast for 1 hour, basting occasionally, until cooked through.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Finely slice the meat, shredding it if possible and toss back into the roasting tin with the cooking juices. Baste with the flavoured juices and grill for 5 minutes, to crisp up the meat.
  5. To serve: warm the wrappers and spread with a little hoi sin sauce, a scattering of spring onions and cucumber. Top with the crispy pork and roll up.



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Five biscuits seems like a lot of favourites but they have always played a part in my life so here you go!

It is funny how hard it is to concentrate on biscuits and not get caught up with chocolate bars, cakes and all manner of things.  Biscuits, think biscuits.

five biscuits

1. Custard Creams – I would not say they are the tastiest in the world but they have that comfortable sense of familiarity about them.  Can you remember a time when you did not know what a custard cream was?  They remind me of home.  These days, they are the biscuit of choice when my children come home from school and run through to Grandad’s biscuit tin.  There was also the rather embarrassing incident when I was a teenager and in a drunken state asked a Catholic priest whether he would like a “Cussy Wussy” whilst leaning over him in a most inappropriate way.  I was never really destined to be a nun.

2. Bourbons – They are as familiar as custard creams.  However, they are better because they involve chocolate.  You can probably tell a lot about a person by the way they eat these delights.  I take off the top layer and then lick the cream.  Yes, even now that I am a grown-up girl.

3. Millies Cookies – These are wonderfully calorific and naughty.  They come in all sorts of flavours and are so tasty.  One of the main reasons I like them is that I associate them with becoming an adult and making my own choices.  When I went to college, a new friend took me to the kiosk where they were selling them.  She already knew all about them and was amazed I did not do so.  There were many things I had to learn at aged 18 and cookies were just the start.  Of course, my children take trips to Millies for granted because times really have changed a lot.

4. Digestives – I am probably cheating here but I include both the plain and the chocolate ones.  I love the taste of the plain ones and there is no better comfort for period pain or any sort of angst than a packet (or three!) of choccy digestives. Weirdly, you could be disgusting and binge eat them with female friends but blokes and children tend to make comment about your gluttony.

5.  Fox’s Biscuits – I am loyal to my roots and love all Fox’s Biscuits.  I was brought up within a couple of miles of the biscuit factory.  Most of my Mum’s friends and relations had worked there at some point.  If you stayed for 25 years on the production line, they rewarded you with a gold watch.  However, you had to put up your hand if you needed the loo so someone could take your place.  My friend H went to work there briefly and was making brandy snaps.  She hated the smell and I seem to remember her then boyfriend bought her some brandy snaps once as a gift and she nearly threw them at him.  There is a particular chocolate biscuit that Fox’s make that I like with a bumper outer biscuit layer and chocolate inside.  However, you can’t really go wrong with any Fox’s biscuits.

Perhaps we should all confess whether we are dunkers or not?  I confess to dunking.

What are your five favourite biscuits?

Red pepper soup recipe

Beat the Arctic Weather with this Super Swedish Soup
With the cold, rain and blustery weather attacking the UK at present, why not warm your cockles this January with this soup-er recipe from Sweden, where they know a lot more about food perfect for dealing with arctic weather.

Healthy, warming and finished off with Sweden’s King of Cheeses Västerbottensost which is now available in Waitrose priced at around £4.60 for 200g, this dish can’t fail to banish the January blues.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Grilled Prawns

Serves 4


4 red peppers

5 unpeeled garlic cloves

Rapeseed oil

1 chicken stock cube

500ml/18 fl oz water

Juice and rind of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp salt

2 pinches pepper

50 g/2 oz dark rye bread

12 cooked king prawns

7 tbsp grated Västerbottensost

Flat leaf parsley, chopped

4 wooden skewers


Preheat the oven to 225°C/425°F/Gas 7.

De-seed the peppers. Arrange peppers and whole garlic cloves on a baking tray. Drizzle a little oil over and roast in the oven approx. 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Bring water and stock cube to the boil.

Peel the peppers and garlic cloves and place in a food processor with stock and lemon juice.

Blend to a smooth soup; if necessary, add more water to improve consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Crumble the bread and fry in a little oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Fry the king prawns in a hot frying pan approx. 1 minute and thread three onto each skewer.

Mix cheese, bread croutons, grated lemon rind and parsley.

Reheat the soup if necessary and pour into four bowls. Serve with a king prawn skewer and the cheese mixture.