Second only to Brussels sprouts in the list of Christmas foods kids love to hate has to be Christmas pudding. What better time of year, then, for a chocolate expert to provide us with some tasty alternative dessert ideas? Originally from South Africa, Veronica Mack has been working with chocolate for 20 years. (Jealous? Us?) She specialises in moulding the sweet stuff into all sorts of shapes: ‘I do a lovely chocolate chess set,’ she confides. Here she shares some chocolatey recipes that require slightly less dexterity, and you can make them together with your kids – as long as you don’t mind telltale brown fingerprints all over your nice clean work surfaces.
Chocolate coconut biscuits
2ml vanilla essence
10ml baking powder
1 pinch of salt
30ml cocoa powder
1 cup coconut
100g melted chocolate (to drizzle on top of the biscuits)
Preheat oven to 180˚C.
Cream butter and sugar together.
Beat eggs, add vanilla essence and add to the butter mixture.
Sift in dry ingredients, add coconut and mix well.
Scoop teaspoon-sized mounds onto a prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes.
Cool on rack.
Drizzle with melted chocolate.
3 eggs, separated
125ml hot water
10ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
5ml vanilla essence
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Mix cocoa and hot water, allow to cool.
Separate the eggs and combine egg yolks, oil, sugar, vanilla and cocoa mixture.
Add to sieved dry ingredients, mix well.
Whip the egg whites until stiff, fold lightly into the cocoa mixture. Bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes.
Allow to cool and decorate with chocolate frosting.
Crunchy chocolate squares
(great for those times when you just can’t wait)
2 Mars bars (58g each)
675ml Rice Krispies
Chop the Mars bars and place together with the butter and syrup in a microwave safe container.
Heat on high for two to three minutes until melted, stir well.
Stir in Rice Krispies.
Press into the base of a lined square baking tin.
Refrigerate until set.
Cut into squares and decorate with candy.
Children can join in Veronica’s ‘Fun with chocolate’ classes every first and third Saturday of the month at Tavola (04 344 5624), Century Plaza. Sessions run from 10am-noon and cost Dhs100. All ingredients are provided, and attendees can take home the results of their work (as if you needed another reason to send them).