We Should Cocoa
Spiced Apple and Cranberry
What an awful day it was yesterday; it was foggy and grey all day and when I went to open up the hen house first thing in the morning, there was water dripping off the trees in a sinister “plop plop” manner, whilst the dew was so heavy that it resulted in soggy pyjama bottoms! The Coronation chickens were VERY underwhelmed with the weather and looked so dejected all huddled up together under the pine tree. Only one thing for it, a baking day and a late entry to be baked for We Should Cocoa, that enticing monthly challenge which is run by Choclette and Chele on alternate months.
November’s challenge was a rather tricky one, it was Apples ~ now I am not normally phased by any combination of ingredients, but chocolate and apples got me scratching my head for ideas……..it’s strange how certain combinations are perplexing! I wanted to make some chocolate apples for Halloween in the manner of toffee apples, but could not find the sticks ~ then little sticky buns crossed my mind…….I then had a “light bulb” moment, a spiced apple and cranberry chocolate bake in the manner of a seasonal treat ~ and eureka, it worked!
I preserved some dried apple rings earlier this year, a recipe I will share later, the dried apple rings are wonderful when added to cakes, bakes, tarts, cereal, porridge etc. I also had a large bag of semi-dried cranberries (Craisins) and so the recipe was devised, JUST for We Should Cocoa! I added some of my own home-made mixed spice as a BIG nod to the forthcoming festive season and then just to over gild the lily, I added pecan nuts and edible glitter on the melted chocolate topping…….job done!
These naughty little bars would make great gifts for Christmas, cut them into small pieces and present them in little cellophane bags with “glittery” ribbon and bows……I managed to get 15 bars, but I could have cut them smaller (or larger!) and therefore the yield is a bit of a moveable feast. As you can see from the photos, I was a little heavy handed with the edible glitter, and why not at this time of year? I was VERY indulgent and used a high 85% cocoa solids chocolate for the topping, but do use any type of chocolate that you prefer ~ my mum prefers milk chocolate.
So here they are without further ado, my entry into November’s We Should Cocoa challenge ~ sorry they are late Choclette and Chele, but sometimes life just has a habit of getting in the way of life!
See you all later and have a brilliant weekend.
Spiced Apple and Cranberry
(Makes between 15 and 18 bars)
200g digestive biscuits
100g butter, plus some for greasing the tray
3 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
50g dried cranberries
50g dried apple rings, chopped up into small pieces
100g high quality chocolate, such as dark 70% to 85% chocolate
pecans, to decorate
edible glitter, to decorate
Butter an 18cm/7″ sandwich tin or tray.
Put the digestive biscuits into a large freezer bag, seal and crush them with a rolling pin, until they are uneven crumbs.
Melt the butter and the syrup together in a large saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the cocoa powder, mixed spice, cranberries and chopped apple pieces. Stir well before adding the biscuit crumbs.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press down firmly and evenly.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, when melted, spread the chocolate over the biscuit and fruit base and then decorate with pecan halves.
Chill for an hour before cutting into squares/bars and then store wrapped in foil for up to a week, preferably in a cool place such as the fridge.