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Siúcra’s American Beauty Cake

Celebrate the Fourth of July with this gorgeous cake, which combines light fluffy mousse and rich chocolate sponge for a dessert you won't be able to resist!

Banana Bread with Almond Butter and Chocolate Chips

From: Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast

These mini banana bread loaves are deliciously moist and are extremely easy to throw together. I’ve added some chocolate chips to this recipe but you could use some toasted chopped nuts instead if you prefer. This recipe will also fill a 900ml loaf tin and will take about 50 minutes to cook in the oven.

Chocolate Orange Tart

From: Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast

This decadent and delicious chocolate orange tart is perfect for a dinner party dessert. Serve up generous slices on its own or with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream and cups of coffee!

Christmas Feast: Black Forest Brownie Trifle

From: Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast

This recipe might look a little complicated but in fact it's incredibly easy. If you're very short of time use shop-bought brownies, a carton of readymade custard that you stir the melted chocolate into and a couple of posh jars of cherries in kirsch. Whatever way you decide to do it always use the best quality dark chocolate you can afford. It's best to leave the final part of the assembly to the last minute for the most spectacular impact.

Affogato al Caffè with Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscotti

From: Kitchen Hero: Donal's Irish Feast

Affogato is good at any time of year and it is an incredibly easy dessert to prepare. Choose the best vanilla ice cream you can find and make sure you use good, strong espresso (regular brewed coffee will not work here). The recipe for the biscotti makes about 30 but they keep very well in an airtight container.

Coeliac Friendly Chocolate Brownie

“If you are a chocolate lover like me, our homemade chocolate brownie will be guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. It is by far our most popular Dessert here in Café 31 and has been modified to suit coeliacs who are often limited when it comes to the choices available for their final course. It’s rich, chocolaty and the coconut ice cream acts as a delicious contrast to the bitter Valhrona Chocolate we use. It will also hold well after freezing if you have leftovers, but from our experience, you won’t!”

Oatmeal, Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

From: Neven Maguire: Home Chef

The inspiration for this recipe was given to me by Mary Flahavan. I like it so much that we now make it up in batches and keep them in Kilner jars in our rooms for guests - in case they're feeling a bit peckish after a long journey but don't want to ruin their dinner.

Chocolate Sauce

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

Rich and dark with a lacquer-like shine, chocolate sauce is a classic and it is easy. The most important ingredient is clearly the chocolate, so search for the best quality you can find. I use Valhrona, a wonderful chocolate from France, and generally use the 62% cocoa solid version. If I need a particularly intensely flavoured sauce I will use 70% cocoa solids. I serve the sauce with ice creams and some chocolate puddings. The sauce is best when freshly made but will keep in the fridge for several weeks. If I have stored it for a while, I always warm it up gently before serving.

Chocolate, Prune and Armagnac Pudding with Chocolate Sauce

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

These puddings, soft and yielding, are delicious and, without doubt, made for chocolate lovers. The combination of ingredients is a classic one but with timeless appeal. The cooked puddings will sit happily in a warm oven for at least an hour before serving and, indeed, could be made ahead of time, allowed to cool and re-heated in a bain-marie in a warm oven. The prunes in the recipe can be replaced with cherries - a delicious variation - in which case I would soak them in Kirsch. Cognac can replace the slightly dryer Armagnac with the prunes. The pudding can be cooked in a large dish or in individual ramekins or even tea cups.

Lacy Nut Biscuits

From: How to Cook Well, with Rory O'Connell

These lacy and deliciously crisp biscuits keep perfectly for several days. Serve them with ice creams, sorbets, granitas, mousses and soufflés and anything to do with chocolate. They are also perfect with perfectly ripe fruit such as pears or peaches.


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