Baklava cigars using Whittaker’s white raspberry chocolate

*A day later I have come to the conclusion that next time I make these I will use a traditional honey based syrup, the sugar one just doesn’t cut it for me. I like the sticky ooze too much.

I was lucky enough to be sent a bar of the new Whittaker’s white raspberry chocolate. I am a big fan of the chocolate and love the white chocolate variety for baking. Adding raspberries to the mix can only be a good thing, right? After pondering what to make I hit upon the idea of baklava cigars and remembered a recipe I had seen on the Australian Taste site. When I looked at the recipe things just got better, it calls for cardamom in the syrup. Cardamom and white chocolate are one of those random but fantastic blends. Anyway, back to the making, it was an easy and impressive thing to do. Next time I will make double the syrup called for as there isn’t quite enough sticky goodness for me.
As per usual, I did things a bit differently.
I used whole almonds and ground them in the food processor, then added the squares of chocolate and ground that with the sugar.
I used 1 sheet of filo per cigar. This made an easy time of the folding. I placed one sheet flat, buttered it, folded it in half vertically, buttered the top and placed the mix about 2cm from the bottom. Folded the bottom up over its self, tucked in the two vertical sides and rolled. I hope
that makes sense.

From Taste.co.au
Ingredients    

105g (3/4 cup) slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
100g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tbs caster sugar
12 sheets filo pastry
60g unsalted butter, melted
225g (1 cup) white sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) water
5 cardamom pods, bruised
Place the almonds, chocolate and caster sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the filo on a clean work surface. Cover with a clean tea towel, then a damp tea towel (this will prevent it drying out).
Use my method or –
Brush 1 filo sheet with melted butter. Top with another filo sheet and brush with melted butter. Repeat with another filo sheet and melted butter. Cut into quarters.
Spoon 1 tablespoonful of almond mixture along the centre of 1 narrow edge of each filo stack. Fold in sides and roll up to create a cigar shape. Place, seam-side down, on the lined tray and brush with melted butter. Repeat with remaining filo sheets, almond mixture and melted butter. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, place white sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Add cardamom pods. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens. Stir in the lemon juice.
Place cigars in a heatproof dish. Drizzle over the syrup. Serve.

Micky’s minty mean delights

Ingredients

250 ml cream
25g butter
1tbs golden syrup or honey
1 bar of Whitaker’s peppermint dark ghana (250g)
1 bar of Whittaker’s dark chocolate
Cocoa and icing sugar for rolling

Method
Put cream,butter and syrup/honey in a pan
Bring to the boil

Pour over the mint chocolate and 30-50 grms of dark bar

Leave for 5 mins.

Stir together until smooth,

chill in the fridge stirring every 15 mins (3 x)

then every 5 mins (3 x)
Once hard, form into balls with a teaspoon and your hands.
Refrigerate the balls until hard (another 15 mins at least).
Then….
Put the bar of Whittaker’s dark chocolate into a bowl and melt.

Leave to cool slightly.

Put icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl

Take the ganache balls out of the fridge.

Dip into the melted chocolate, then roll in the cocoa / sugar mixture.
Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks if they last that long!

Spog-sjokolade koekies (chocolate-filled shortbread)

http://www.rainbowcooking.co.nz/recipes/spog-sjokolade-koekies-chocolate-filled-shortbread

Ingredients
200 gram butter
1/4 cup (50 ml) castor sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
2 cups (500 ml) flour
200 – 250 gram slab chocolate
In New Zealand: use a 250 gram slab of Whittaker’s Dark Almond with 62% Cocoa
Of course you use your favourite flavour too.
Icing sugar to dust
Method
Cream butter and sugar together.
Add water. Add flour and mix thoroughly.
Cut chocolate into blocks.
Fold each block of chocolate into enough dough to cover it completely. The dough wrapping should be about 5 mm thick.
Roll it between the palms of your hands to shape it into a barrel.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes.It should have the colour of straw, but should not be brown.
Dust with icing sugar while biscuits are still warm.