Chocolate = Happy & Coffee = Relief {a book review and mocha choca madeleines}

I cannot express enough how refreshing John Whaite's debut cookbook is! The book is full of original flavors and ideas. After a read through it’s apparent that the book is very aptly named, John Whaite Bakes: Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood, as there are plenty of recipes to either lift one out of a bad mood or relax after a hard day and so on…

My favorite time to bake is when the girls are in bed and the house is quiet. I do love baking with them too, but there is something about having the kitchen to myself and loosing myself to the process of baking. It’s during that time I know I will be reaching for this book for inspiration.

Just by the titles of the chapters you know this book is going to be full of emotionally charged bakes. Chapters include an Introduction; Baker’s Notes; All-Important Armoury; Simple Essentials; Seeking Sweet Solace; Calming a Bag of Nerves; The Mood for Food and Love; Edible Nirvana; Memoirs of a Baker; Simple Speedy Solutions; Deepest Darkest Desires; The Artist Within; and Happy Hour

So, the only question is where to start? Here is a list of recipes I can’t wait to try out. They are mostly sweet, but there are a nice amount of savory recipes too that aren't listed here.

Overnight Rustic Loaf
Midnight Blues Tart (picture above)
Plait of Worries Loaf
Apricot and White Chocolate Flapjacks
Coconut and Lemon Bakewell
Italian Feeding Frenzy Focaccia
Eastern Sweet Spring Rolls
Plum and Pinenut Loaf Cake
White Chocolate and Raspberry Melting Cake (picture)
Tropical Sponge Pudding
Lemon and Poppy Seed Scones
Strawberry and Custard Shortbreads
Bakewell Muffins
Sunflower Seed Soda Bread 
Mocha Choca Madeleines w/Chocolate Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
Individual Apple Strudels
Spiced Sticky Toffee Pudding
Cherry Brandy and Brazil Nut Brownies
& all 8 cocktails (think some of these will be tested in a few weeks on my birthday)

Madeleines have been showing up everywhere and have been on my list of stuff “I must bake one day” for ages. So, after purchasing another special tin, much to my husband’s dismay, I made John’s …

Mocha Choca Madeleines w/Chocolate Dipping Sauce
100g salted butter
2 large eggs
100g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp instant freeze-dried coffee or 1 ½ tsp coffee extract
85g plain flour
15g cocoa powder

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas5 and prep your madeleine tin. Just like when making anything in a mould it needs to be greased, usually with butter or odorless oil, then lightly dust flour and tap out excess. Done.

Melt the butter either on the hob or in the microwave just be sure not to let it boil.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and coffee until light, fluffy, and tripled in size. This is very easily done in a freestanding mixer, but possible using a hand-held electric whisk. Will take about 15 minutes give or take a few.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the egg mixture and carefully pour in the butter. Gently and John means very gently fold in the additions until smooth and silky.

Using a teaspoon fill the madeleine tin, about 2 tsp per mould. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the madeleines are slightly brown around the edges, John also says to turn them out of the tin as soon as they are baked or they will stick. It was my first ever time making them so I took his advice and they came out no problem!

To make the sauce whisk together 2 tbsp golden syrup, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, and 1 tbsp water.

Then dip and enjoy!!

These can be made in a shallow bun tin if you don’t want to buy yet another baking tin. I love to have any excuse to buy another tin, but that's just me! Just use about 2 ½ tsp of the mixture in each cavity and bake for a minute or two longer.

I was very pleased with these!! It was my first time every baking and trying madeleines! These ones were perfect: not too chocolaty, but a perfect amount to satisfy a craving. Also, I think the addition of coffee takes it up a notch. I made my own coffee extract ages ago, but I have seen it in online and in stores that sell baking stuff. Or use instant freeze-dried coffee like John says too! :0)

Ever since John was announced as the winner of last years Great British Bake Off; he seems to be everywhere! I stalk follow him on twitter and I can’t help wonder when he finds time to sleep? I also wonder what he’ll do next? If this book is anything to go on, we can only expect great things from him!

notes: book gifted by publishers

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