St Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so what better time to pull up some chocolate recipes? I couldn’t do chocolate without adding in a few classics for you.

All the recipes are easy to do, although some do take time like my Chocolate Cake. It’s a family favourite and always comes out when it’s time to make a birthday cake and I must admit to getting carried away with the decorations on the top. My recipe for Banoffee Pie is one I copied from someone else, but again very easy and I have put the Spanish name for Caramel just in case you think it is not available in Spain?
Buen Apetito

Banoffee Pie

250g Digestive Biscuits
100g Butter
400g Dulce de Leche (caramel)
2 Bananas
300ml Whipping Cream
2tbsp Grated Plain Chocolate

Melt the butter gently in a small pan or microwave. Peel and slice the bananas. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Place the biscuits into a strong food bag and crush with a rolling pin. Alternatively put in a food process and pulse until finely crumbed. Transfer crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter. Place the crumb mixture into a lightly greased 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin and press down with your fingers around the edges and along the sides. Place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. Spoon the dulce de leche over the biscuit crumb base. Cover the caramel with a layer of sliced bananas. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the layer of bananas and grate the chocolate over the top. Serve immediately or chill for around 30 minutes more in the fridge.

Marshmallow Brownies

240g butter
150g dark chocolate
60g cocoa or drinking chocolate
150g plain flour
500g caster sugar
5 eggs
150g chopped marshmallows

Melt the butter and chocolate together very gently. Mix the cocoa with the flour and the sugar and, taking the butter off the heat, mix together. Mix in the beaten eggs and fold in the marshmallows. Turn the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven 190º for 20 minutes or until cooked. Allow to cool and slice.

Ma Millbank’s Chocolate Cake

200g butter
200g caster sugar
4 eggs
150g self-rising flour
50g cocoa
1 heaped tsp baking powder
Chocolate for top of cake

Heat oven to 190º. Beat the butter until creamy, add the sugar and again beat until creamy. Sieve flour, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl and leave to one side. Add eggs 1 at a time with a spoonful of flour, (this will stop curdling). When all eggs mixed in, add the remaining flour, but mix only until a smooth mixture. Too much mixing will lose all the air in the mixture. Pour into two cake tins and when oven is at temperate, cook for 20 minutes or when a sharp knife comes out clean. Do not open the oven door before at least 15 minutes or cake will drop.

Butter Cream

100g butter
50g icing sugar
50g cocoa powder

Cream butter and add sieved icing sugar and cocoa until smooth. If too runny add more icing sugar; if too stiff add a few drops of cold water. Wait until cake sponge is cold before applying the butter cream.

Melt chocolate in glass bowl above some hot water and pour over the top of the cake and decorate, or double the butter cream quantities and spread the top with butter cream and decorate.

Rum Truffles

100g trifle sponges
4 tbsp rum
4 tbsp black coffee
25g slivered almonds
1 tbsp icing sugar
25g butter
100g strong chocolate
Chocolate strands to decorate

Dice the sponges and place in shallow dish. Grill nuts for 5 minutes, turning until toasted. Allow to cool. Put icing sugar and butter into a bowl and beat together. Add the sponge, juices and almonds and mix well. Set aside. Break chocolate into squares and place in a glass heat proof bowl over a pan of hot water. Leave until melted and stir until smooth, remove from the heat and mix into sponge mixture. Set aside to cool until firm enough to roll. Using a spoon, scoop out a small portion and roll into a ball. Roll in the chocolate strands and place in a paper case.

Chocolate Chip and Banana Muffins

1 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup margarine
2 eggs
4 bananas
1⁄3 cup water
11⁄3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 cup chocolate chips

Mix sugar, margarine, eggs, banana & water in bowl. Then add your flour, baking soda, salt & baking powder in the same bowl & mix together. Mix in chocolate chips by hand in desired. Set oven at 350°F. Put mixture into Muffin cases in a tray & bake for 25 minutes.