Stonehenge Slice Recipe

This is another easy and tasty slice from the Country Women’s Association slice cook-book. The first time I made this, I followed the recipe and used dried apricot, but this time I used crystalised ginger and it worked a treat.

Consider it to be something like Adult Chocolate Crackles. I guess it’s called Stonehenge Slice because you could cut it into thin slices and assemble your very own Stonehenge, if you really wanted. Or even get more creative.


  • 185 g dark chocolate (I prefer 55%)
  • 125 g butter
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125 g pieces of crystalised ginger
  • 3 1/2 cups rice bubbles (probably something like 125 g, too)


  1. Chop ginger into small pieces.
  2. Grease a 18cm x 28cm slice tin.
  3. Break chocolate into pieces and put chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 60 seconds.
  4. Chop butter into pieces and add to bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds then stir. Keep going like that until just melted.
  5. Place rice bubbles in a large bowl and combine with the ginger and sugar.
  6. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix together gently.
  7. Press into the slice tin, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  8. Cut into slices in the tin before serving. (Keep unused slice in the fridge.)

Double White Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

The other key part of the recipe from my “Recipe Club” dessert (the previous part being the Ice Magic) was the ice-cream itself. The main problem here for me is that I don’t currently have an ice-cream maker; the last one exploded in the pantry when it got too hot one summer. So, I needed to find a recipe that explained how to make it without one.

I was rescued by a recipe book called Ice Cream (of course) by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis. Sadly, this book has been in my possession for several years now without ever being used. It survived several house moves when other books were culled, and clearly there was method to the madness since it turned out to have exactly the sort of recipe that I was looking for.


4 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
1 teaspoon (5mL) corn flour
300mL milk
250g white chocolate (happily Whittakers still makes good chocolate in 250g blocks)
2 teaspoons (10mL) vanilla extract
300mL whipping cream (~35% milk fat)


With the egg yolks, caster sugar and corn flour in a large bowl, stir with a fork until it is well combined and slightly bubbly.

Then pour the milk into a saucepan, place over a medium heat on the stove, and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and drizzle into to egg mixture, stirring all the while, and you’ll end up with a basic custard mixture in the bowl.

If you’re like me, you’ll have ended up with milk cooked onto the bottom of the saucepan, and will need to get another one or do a quick clean.

Pour the custard mixture back into a saucepan, place over a low heat on the stove, and stir constantly until the mixture thickens, perhaps to the consistency of a pouring custard. It will also get really smooth at that point, which is another good indicator. Don’t try to over-thicken the custard.

Remove the custard from the heat, and pour into a large, freezer-proof bowl.

Break 150g of the white chocolate into small pieces. Then gently stir those pieces into the hot custard, along with the vanilla extract. Leave it to cool for 20 mins or so, and then place in the fridge to chill. This should take about another hour.

Put the cream into a bowl (yes, another one), and whip it with an electric beater until it has thickened, but “still falls from the spoon”. You should see the cream beginning to form little lumps at this point, and it will have doubled in volume.

Remove the bowl of chilled custard from the fridge, fold the whipped cream into it, and put it in the freezer for three hours.

Remove it from the freezer. Using a fork, pull the icecream away from the sides of the bowl. Then, using an electric beater, blend together the frozen and unfrozen parts of the mix for about a minute. The ice cream mixture should be the same consistency as a good milk-shake. Return to the freezer again for another two hours.

Finely chop the remaining white chocolate, so that the pieces are about the same size as choc bits.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer again. Follow the same approach as before with the fork and electric beater, and this time stir in the white chocolate as well. The ice cream mixture should be the same consistency as a thick-shake. Return to the freezer again for another two to four hours, or until firm.

Makes about 1L of ice-cream, so will serve about 8 if presented in cones or about 4 if presented in bowls.

Ice Magic Recipe

I’m in a “Recipe Club”, where we get together once a month for dinner, to share food on a particular theme, and try out favourite recipes or those we hope will become favourites. This month, the theme was chocolate, and I had volunteered to make a dessert.

Towards the end of summer, I had gotten into Cottee’s Ice Magic again (although, to be honest, it was the Woolworths’ brand version). It had been years since I’d had it and was surprised that it was still good. And, as you do, I’d been wondering how it works and whether you could make some yourself that tasted *really* good.

So, this was in the back of my mind when I was trying to think up a chocolate dessert, and so I decided to see if the Internet knew the answer. And it did.

The main trick was finding refined Coconut Oil. It is the essential ingredient, as it is liquid above ~24 degrees Celcius but solid below that. Hence, it is liquid at room temperature (at least, in summer) but sets when poured on ice-cream.

I easily managed to find a jar of Melrose Organic Refined Cocout Oil (Butter) in a random health food store in Melbourne city. Unless you really want a coconut taste, make sure you get the refined variety rather than the virgin variety.

My final dessert was home-made double white chocolate ice-cream with almond praline and this recipe for Ice Magic over the top. However, that’s for another post.


40g good quality chocolate (it will taste just like the chocolate)
15mL refined coconut oil


If the oil has turned solid, stand in a bowl of hot water until it returns to liquid state.

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave-safe container. Place in a microwave on a low setting (e.g. 30% of a 800W unit) for a minute or so until the chocolate sags and is beginning to melt, then remove.

Stir the oil into the chocolate until fully combined, forming a chocolate syrup.

Pour the syrup over cold icecream to serve. It should set within a minute, forming a hard chocolate shell.

If the syrup sets while you are storing it, you can microwave it back to life or rest the container in a bowl of hot water.

Serves 2-3 people.

Choc-Mint Biscuit Recipe

We took some time off, over the Cup Day long weekend, and I took some of that time to do some baking. The most recent Donna Hay magazine (issue 47) has many seductive pages of biscuit recipes, and I succumbed to this one that makes biscuits that taste like a cross between a choc-fudge brownie and an after dinner mint. Donna Hay calls them Chocolate Peppermint Crackles, but it would be simpler to just call them Choc-Mint Biscuits.


1/2 cup (125mL) hard peppermint lollies
200g dark chocolate
80g butter
1 1/2 cups (375mL) brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (310mL) plain flour
1/2 cup (125mL) cocoa
2 teaspoons baking power
1/3 cup (80mL) milk


Get the butter out and allow it to soften.

Start by turning the hard peppermint lollies (I used the supermarket’s home-brand peppermint) into a power that the biscuits will be coated with. Put the lollies into a food processor or spice/coffee-grinder and process until they become a fine powder. Set it aside.

Break up the dark chocolate into small pieces for melting. You can either melt it the traditional way (in a heatproof bowl sitting above a simmering saucepan of water) or the fast way (a minute or so in the microwave). Either way is fine as the chocolate will be going into the biscuit mix, and it doesn’t matter if the chocolate loses its shine. Once the chocolate is mostly melted, stir until it is fully melted. Then set it aside.

Now we can start on the biscuit mix.

If the butter isn’t soft, give it a little zap in the microwave. Place the softened butter and brown sugar into a mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.

Add both eggs, beating well after adding each. Add in the vanilla. Then beat on high for another 2-3 minutes until the mix is pale and creamy.

Add the melted chocolate into the mix, and beat well.

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder into the mix, stir in the milk, and then beat until smooth.

Cover the mixing bowl with cling wrap and put into the fridge for 30-60 minutes, until the mix is very firm.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355 degrees Fahrenheit).

Spread some of the peppermint powder onto a plate.

Take the mix out of the fridge. Scoop out heaped teaspoons of the mix, roll them into balls, and roll the balls in the peppermint powder until thoroughly coated.

Lay the balls out, well-spaced, on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes. The balls should spread out and the white coating should crack.

Cool on the trays. Makes between 40-50 biscuits.

Like a chocolate brownie, they are probably better the day after baking.

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Melbourne Chocolate

Melburnians seem to take their chocolate heritage for granted. I still find it amazing, and while I still do, I want to jot it down here.

Both Melbourne citizens and Australians in general are fans of chocolate. According to IBISWorld, chocolate and confectionery in Australia is a $2.5b per year industry. If we look at Nielsen’s list of the top confectionery sold in convenience stores during the year to February 2009 by share of value, the top chocolate bars (candy bars, for US readers) were:

  1. Mars 2Pak 80g
  2. Snickers 2Pak 80g
  3. Cherry Ripe 85g
  4. Mars Bar 65g
  5. Twirl Bar Kingsize 63g
  6. Snickers 60g
  7. Kit Kat 45g
  8. Boost 80g
  9. Turkish Delight Twin 76g
  10. Cherry Ripe 55g

I’m listing these to highlight an interesting fact. However, we need to examine where each of these chocolate bars were invented:

Yep, the Cherry Ripe holds two of the top ten places for chocolate bar sales, and it was invented in Melbourne. (All the rest come from three places: US, UK and Ireland.)

Noted Melburnian Sir Macpherson Robertson (1859 – 1945) founded the MacRobertson’s chocolate company which, according to Wikipedia, was responsible for the Cherry Ripe, Freddo Frog, Bertie Beetle and Snack. The chocolate company was sold to Cadbury-Schweppes, and the Ringwood-based factory continues to this day. Sadly, they don’t offer any public tours.

The MacRobertson name no longer appears on the Cherry Ripe wrapper, but it does live on in Melbourne through a highschool, a bridge, and the building of the National Herbarium of Victoria.

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Fun Facts About: Chocolate

Last week I gave my ninth Toastmasters speech. Since the CC#9 project is Persuade with Power, I thought I’d make it easy for myself by picking an easy topic: persuading people to eat more chocolate.

In doing the research for the speech, I found out some cool things about chocolate. Well, I think they’re cool, and since I’m writing this, I get to decide.

  • Carl Linnaeus, the guy who came up with the system scientists use today to name and classify all living things, decided that the name of the cacao plant was not particularly descriptive, so he gave it the name Theobroma, which means in Latin, “food of the gods”. This continues to be its scientific name today.
  • For most of history, chocolate was a drink. This is what attracted it to a bunch of English Quakers, who promoted it as a healthy alternative to alcoholic drinks. The names of some of those Quakers are still well known today: Fry, Rowntree, Terry and Cadbury. Ironically, chocolate only became available as a chocolate bar in the 19th century, courtesy of the inventions of one of them: Fry.
  • An important chemical in chocolate is theobromine, which is present in chocolate in quantities several times that of caffiene. Unfortunately, it is the chemical that makes chocolate poisonous to animals, but in humans it is known to be a stimulant, a better cough-suppresor than codeine, and helpful to asthmatics.
  • While 90% of the world’s cocoa is produced in small farms, the chocolate industry is dominated by major manufacturers such as Hershey’s, Mars and Nestle. To address this imbalance in bargaining position, the Fair Trade system is also applied to chocolate, and Cadbury has recently committed to source all their chocolate for the Dairy Milk chocolate bar in the UK from Fair Trade sources.

Oh, and the speech went well, by the way. Only one more to go before I’ve completed the basic set of projects. The last one will be a bit trickier – it has to be an inspiring speech. Wish me luck…

That’s what I call a chocolate bar

61% chocolate KitKatOn the way home tonight, I innocently stopped for some chocolate before I got on the train. Instead of going into the Coles, which had long queues, I went into the asian grocery next door. Little did I know that they had a range of chocolate imported from Japan.

Well, Melbourne Central has a lot to answer for because, I brought home one of these KitKat bars. Have you ever seen a 61% chocolate KitKat? Yum. They are very fine. And the Meiji chocolates that I bought there have mostly been eaten now too. They might not survive the evening.