About the Author

Claire Preen Chocolatier

How To

  • Chocolate Frosting

    Chocolate frosting

    You can change and add flavours to this frosting as you like. Be adventurous and try some of your favourite flavours!

  • Getting Whipped Cream Right

    back Getting Whipped Cream Right

    Throughout the website, I will state whip to soft, medium or stiff peak. The following explains what these whipped states are!   First of all, make sure your cream and equipment are cold! Start whipping at a medium speed, and once the cream has started to thicken,  increase the speed.   Soft Peak Lift the […]

  • How To Make a Bloody Good Brownie

    Bloody Good Brownie

    Brownies: How do you like yours? Chewy, fudgy or cake-like? Soft or firm, crispy top or not – the choices are endless! They all have the basics of butter, chocolate, sugar, egg and flour, but there are a number of different things you can do to determine their outcome.   A Quick Fact The brownie […]

  • How To Make Fudge

    How to make fudge

    One of the problems when making fudge is ensuring that the sugar crystals don’t get in the end product, as that will make the fudge grainy instead of the smooth, creamy, sweet delight that it should be. Using two forms of sugar (sugar and golden syrup or corn syrup) in the recipe can help stop […]

  • Understanding Shortcrust Pastry

    Shortcrust Pastry

    Making pastry is not difficult, but there are a couple of key things that you need to bear in mind.   1. Use a knife to start blending in the fat, and use your hands to ‘rub in’ only when the fat is too small for the knife. This stops your hands from warming up […]

  • 3 Types Of Meringues

    meringues

    Meringues Which meringue shall I whip up today? The common meringue, the sophisticated Swiss meringue or the Italian meringue?   Oh, the dilemma!   The ingredients for all three standard meringues are identical, apart from some added water for the Italian meringue. Ingredients 8 large egg whites 1lb/454 g sugar Pinch salt For Italian: As […]

  • How To Melt Chocolate

    melted choc

    There are three ways to melt chocolate when it is on its own: direct heat, over a double boiler or in a microwave. I far prefer the double boiler method, and the only time I use a microwave is if I’m melting a small amount to pour over something delicious just for myself.   Direct […]

  • How To Make Yorkshire Puddings That Will Rise

    Yorkshire Puddings

    Seems strange to have this in a chocolate recipe book and website, but I have included my delicious Chocolate and Banana Toad in the Hole recipe, so if you want Yorkshires that rise like the gods they are, then please take note!   Flour: I don’t go into much detail about flour in my recipes, […]

  • What Is Ganache?

    ganache

    A ganache is often made when making individual chocolates, as well as for cakes and other desserts. It is a simple mixture of cream and chocolate, plus quite often a flavouring.   The fun you can have with the flavourings is huge. When warming your cream, pop in a chilli or a few coffee beans, […]

  • Difference Between Frosting, Icing and Glazing

    Frosting

    Having lived in Europe, Australia and America, it is quite clear that the terms frosting, icing and even glaze are used in interchangeable ways within recipes. However, they actually ARE quite different, as seen below!   Frosting Frosting is the thickest of the three. It has a cream or a butter base and generally will […]

  • Cooking with Eggs

    eggs

    The humble egg is made up of the white and the yolk, and both play an important part in cooking and baking.   Egg Whites The egg white is made up of 90% water and 10% protein and works as a leavening agent. It also holds the structure of many baked goods such as meringues. […]

  • Decoration Ideas – Chocolate Curls

    Chocolate Curls

    Chocolate Curls   Ingredients 1⁄2 cup chocolate   Method 1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler. 2. Pour chocolate onto a clean worktop. 3. Spread chocolate out into a thin, even layer and let set for 5 minutes. 4. Using a wide, firm spatula, dig the edge of the spatula into and under the chocolate […]

  • Cooking with Sugar

    Cooking-Sugar

    When cooking with sugar, all equipment must be dry, and you should use a heavy-bottomed pan. You can cook sugar using a dry or wet method. Dry is used purely for caramelization. (You can caramelise through the wet method as well, but it is better to use the dry method.) Wet is used when you […]

  • Decoration Ideas – Chocolate-Dipped Apple Chips

    How to make decorations - choc apple slices

    Ingredients 2 apples 1⁄2 cup sugar 1⁄2 cup water Lemon juice 1 cup chocolate   Method 1. Peel, core and slice apples and brush with lemon juice. 2. Bring the sugar and water to a simmer until all the sugar has dissolved and the temperature hits 180F. Add the apple slices in the sugar syrup […]

  • Decoration Ideas – Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Chips

    How to make chocolate coconut chips

    Ingredients 1 fresh coconut 1 cup chocolate callets   Method 1. Pierce coconut and drain. 2. Bake the coconut at 350F for about 15–30 minutes, until the shell cracks. Split coconut in half. 3. Using a sharp knife, prise the coconut loose from the shell. Using a mandoline, thinly slice the coconut. 4. Layer the […]

  • Chocolate 101

    chocolate

    Life of a Cocoa Bean Dark Chocolate Milk Chocolate White Chocolate Couverture Chocolate Cooking Chocolate Compound Chocolate What Is in Your Chocolate Bar? What Can You Do with a Chocolate Nib?   There are so many different types of chocolate out there that it can be a bit confusing to figure out what chocolate is […]

  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda

    baking soda baking powder

    Baking soda is also known as bicarbonate of soda. These two are the same product – different names in different countries. It is a chemical leavening agent that is used in baking, but it needs some form of acid to activate it.   If you are making a mixture that has acidic ingredients in it, […]