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  1. Rum chocolate truffles with cake crumbs

    This recipe is very popular at Christmas, but I tend to make it any time I want something slightly different than just traditional chocolate truffles. The addition of cake crumbs in this rum truffle recipe is just genius, and it makes these ever so slightly addictive. You can easily swap a normal sponge cake for a gluten-free one to create truffles suitable for people with gluten sensitivity. You can also use a chocolate cake instead of Madeira cake for extra chocolate taste.

    If you want to, you can also leave out the rum if you are making these with children or use rum essence (you’ll need about one teaspoon, depending on the strength of your essence). The rum can be swapped for any other alcohol, but flavour wise rum seems to work well with chocolate.

    Once made, these rum truffles with cake crumbs last up to 7 days, but I have to say they usually disappear a lot quicker than that.


    270g Madeira cake (or any simple vanilla sponge cake)

    50 mil double cream

    100g dark plain chocolate (or milk, if you prefer sweeter version)

    3 tablespoons of rum (or to taste!)

    ½ teaspoon of a good quality vanilla extract

    Tiny pinch of salt (mixed in the vanilla extract to dissolve)

    Milk or dark chocolate soft vermicelli or cocoa powder to roll your chocolate truffles in


    Here is what you do:

    Place the cake sponge in a bowl and crumble the cake either by rubbing with your hands (it’s best to use catering food gloves for this) or using a food processor.

    Heat the double cream and bring it to boil. Add the chopped up chocolate and leave to melt. If the mixture is too cold to melt, just heat it gently until all chocolate is melted. This can be done easily in a microwave. Add the vanilla extract and the pinch of salt to the cream mixture and blend in. When nearly cold, add the rum or rum essence and then add into the cake crumbs and mix well till evenly combined.

    Using your catering gloves again, take about a large teaspoon of the mixture together and form a ball. While the cake mixture is still sticky, roll in the chocolate vermicelli, making sure that the whole truffle is nicely covered. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm and serve straightaway.

    These chocolate rum truffles with cake crumbs are also a perfect gift to take to your friends or a dinner party. Just pack them in pretty boxes or bags with a ribbon and a little gift tag and your friends will love you forever!

    And in case you’ve got now the ‘chocolate truffle making bug’, here is a simple rum truffle recipe together with chocolate truffle making tips to help you to make the next batch of chocolate truffles successfully!

    Until next time, happy chocolate making


  2. Charles Bridge - Prague at night


    So, we’re halfway through January 2019 and it’s time for the first blog of the year. Perhaps I should start with just finishing off last year and the last party we did on December 21. It was eventful since we very nearly didn’t make it at all – not only that but we were on the point of emailing our apologies – from the airport of another country.

    We were booked to hold a rolling series of children’s chocolate lollipop classes by Lloyds Bank at their Chatham HQ. It was part of bring your children to work event and other entertainment was also laid on to create a festive party atmosphere.

    The previous day we were also booked – to arrive on a scheduled flight back to Gatwick from Prague where we’d been visiting Magdalena’s relatives for a few days. But the only the only thing flying around Gatwick that day were drones! Was it the same drone spotted by lots of people or different drones seen by the same people? Looking back on it now it all seems a bit of a mystery. In fact, it would be simpler to just put the sightings down to a passing UFO.

  3. My memories of 1970s chocolate bars

    Ah Yes, now you’re talking. As a kid who became a teenager by the end of the decade, this was my time to enjoy a childhood of chocolate. And now get to write about it nearly 40 years later. So, here are my personal memories of 1970s chocolate bars.

    My personal favourite chocolate bar – perhaps influenced by the tv adverts – was Nestle’s Texan.

    ‘Sure is a mighty chew’ was the catch line for this chewy nougat and toffee bar which was briefly back on the shelves in 2005. The cartoon tv ads usually featured a US cowboy who spoke the famous line with a Clint Eastwood mock accent. Often he’d be tied to a cactus plant out in the desert surrounded by Mexican bandits. ‘What is your last request?’ the captain of the firing range would ask before giving the order to shoot. Cue, some hours later, to a sunset, with the bandits by now fast asleep and the cool cowboy still chewing his Texan bar. Cactus plant uprooted, he’d then walk equally slowly into the distance.