Now Serving – Luscious Orange Martini

By The Gentleman

Dark Chocolate

We were pretty happy with our first impression of the Cocktail Kit subscription service. The recipe and spirits provided allowed us to make a damn fine Espresso Martini . Naturally though we wanted to do our own thang because what really excites us about the Cocktail Kit is it’s ability to open us up to some new techniques and spirits we might not have thought to try before. So we put on our creative hats (okay there is no hat, we just kind of went on a tangent while enjoying our Espresso Martini) and came up with something rather decadent, delicious and a little bit naughty, the Luscious Orange Martini.

Dark Chocolate

Luscious Orange Martini

30ml 666 Vodka

30ml Tia Maria

30ml dark chocolate orange syrup (we used Willie’s Cacao Luscious Orange)

10-15ml fresh orange juice (I kind of just gave half an orange a good squeeze, you don’t want too much juice)

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Ice

Grated chocolate for garnish

Orange twist for garnish

Dark Chocolate

To make the chocolate orange syrup break up your chocolate, in this case the 50g block of Willie’s chocolate, and melt it over a double boiler, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. When it starts to melt add a few drops of chocolate bitters and a teaspoon of water at a time until you get a pourable, syrupy consistency.

Dark Chocolate

Grab a fancy coupe glass and chill it down with some ice. In your oh so grown up Boston Shaker pour in the vodka, Tia Maria, chocolate orange syrup, orange juice, and two dashes of bitters. Half fill with ice and then shake like the wind. When your hand starts to feel like it might be getting frostbite then you’re down. Ditch the ice from your glass, and add a dash of bitters to the glass. Now double strain the drink using the Hawthorn strainer and the tea strainer. Grate some more chocolate over the top (get some height so it looks you’re one of those fancy TV chefs) and cut a length of orange peel to twist and hook over the side of the glass.

Dark Chocolate

We’re going to make a big call here and say that this is up there as one of the Top 5 cocktails we’ve made here at The Cocktail Challenge. “What?! How could you make that statement?” I hear you say, well let me explain why this cocktail will rock your socks. We’re partial to a bite or two of chocolate…okay a block or two, but this isn’t about our mild chocolate addiction. It doesn’t matter if it’s the cheapest block in the store or something you feel you need to mortgage your house for we just need all the chocolate all the time. Willie’s is a nice chocolate that’s just starting to catch on in Australia and this drink tastes EXACTLY like the chocolate we used. It’s amazing and almost a little like black magic that we were scared…of it’s awesomeness. You get bitter dark chocolate, but the vodka and Tia Maria actually soften some of that really bitter chocolate and make it really smooth to drink. You then get this lovely orange after taste that’s not too overpowering and provides a nice fresh contrast to the chocolate. This is pretty much exactly how the chocolate tastes. The bitters also give it a bit of an aromatic kick that is always welcome. It’s a decadent drink yet it’s not sickly or too sweet. It’s rich and quite velvety with a gorgeous chocolate colour and we could easily spend an evening enjoying a few of these. Also the last mouthful is something to be savoured as the grated chocolate has melted and there’s some syrup that settles at the bottom, which makes for a thicker, even more intense final flourish to the drink.

Dark Chocolate

The Espresso Martini shook up our coffee routine and the Luscious Orange Martini can definitely shake up your dessert because sometimes it’s just as good to drink your dessert as it is to eat it.

 

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Disclaimer: The Cocktail Challenge was provided a free “The Sampler” Cocktail Kit as well as a Bar Kit for this article. Although this post is sponsored all opinions are our own.

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Boozefood – Triple Choc Double Nut Beer Brownies

By The Gentleman

Beer Brownie

It’s been a while but we’re back with some more Boozefood and we think you’re going to like love this one. There’s not a lot of things that can compare to the sheer delight of biting into a gooey, chocolatey, crispy brownie. Try and fine one, it’s going to be difficult. I’ll wait…Back? Good. Anyway, anyone on a diet may want to look away now because these Triple Choc Double Nut Beer Brownies have enough sugar and chocolate to put you in a coma.

Beer Brownie

Triple Choc Double Nut Beer Brownies adapted from Kitchy Kitchen

Ingredients

100 g semi sweet chocolate

115 g of butter, browned

4 eggs, at room temp

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder – I used Mörk’s 65% with River Salt

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I didn’t use any extra as the Mörk was already salted)

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

1/2 cup Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

25 g Lindt Dark Almond Chocolate

3/4 cup mixed chopped nuts (I used almonds and pecans)

Beer Brownie

Directions

Preheat oven to 175C

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. I just do it in the microwave because I’m lazy, but you may want to go the whole hog and do it in a bowl over boiling water. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter until it just turns golden brown (about 5 minutes). Combine the butter and melted chocolate, you may want to do this over a low heat but make sure you scrape it real good so none of the chocolate burns, then add your beer (and take a swig for yourself, you’ve earned it).  In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and shiny (2 minutes). Continue beating on low while adding flour mixture and wet ingredients alternatively. Finish with the bitters, nuts and your broken up almond chocolate, folding in. Do not over mix. Pour into a buttered and lined 9 x 13 pan. The baking time will really depend on your oven. It could take up to 40-45 minutes, but in my Fan Forced oven it only took 25 minutes. I recommend putting it on for 20 minutes and then checking the middle with a skewer to see how it is going. You want them to be just set and not too dry.

Beer Brownie

Waiting for these things to cool down was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure in my life. Yes that’s right, MY LIFE! The smell was just heavenly, chocolate and nuts, and people were wondering in off the street thinking we were having an open inspection (yes real estate humour!). The flavour didn’t disappoint either. I explained to The Lady that they were a dense, gooey chocolate overload with a crispy, cracked top and she replied calmly, “It’s not just a brownie, it’s a way of life”. I knew there was a reason I liked her because it’s true. You’re either one of two people, those that like cakey brownies or those that like gooey, cracked brownies. This one is for all the gooey people out there (a statement that would be so wrong, but it’s brownies so it’s so right). It’s set just enough to hold its shape and not crumble when you take a bite out of it. As soon as you bite into it you’re mouth is filled with chocolate, but it’s not overly sweet thanks to the use of good quality bittersweet dark chocolate. The nuts provide some crunch and a nice change of texture to the gooey chocolate. The beer and the bitters provide a malty, spicy aftertaste that sits pleasantly on your tongue. I really can’t say too much more about these brownies because it’s just making me want to eat even more of them.

Beer Brownie

So do yourself a favour and make yourself these brownies. It may not change your life (it’s more likely to shorten it), but damn you’ll get lost in a moment of chocolatey heaven you’ll never want to end and that’s something we can all do with every now and then.

Beer Brownie

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Now Serving – Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate

By The Gentleman

Hot Chocolate

After what felt like one of the coldest and wettest winters down under we are finally on our way to Spring. Just to spite everyone though, the weather has decided to remind us that it can still be damn cold and wet in September. While it may be rather miserable outside, The Lady and I realised it’s also the perfect opportunity to indulge in some boozy hot chocolate to celebrate the last of the wintery weather. We also really wanted to make something a little naughty with our recently acquired Mörk hot chocolate powder. So, without further ado we present to you Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate (I have no idea why it is called this, but The Lady was rather adamant this would be the name).

 

Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate

Naughty Whipped Cream

300ml Thickened Cream
1 teaspoon Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
1 teaspoon Mörk Dark Chocolate and River Salt Cacao Powder

 

Make your cream first. In a jug beat your cream with an electric mixer. When it is almost whipped, add your chocolate bitters and cacao powder. Give it another quick whip so everything is mixed together. Put in the fridge until you’re ready. You’ll have some left over for more delicious treats the next day. You can now start making your ho cho!

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

2 tbs Mörk 65% Dark Chocolate and River Salt Powder

200 ml milk

1/2 tbs maple syrup

1/4 tbs brown sugar

Pinch of salt

60 ml Bulleit Bourbon

Marshmallows

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

 

In a small saucepan over a medium heat whisk together your chocolate powder, maple syrup, brown sugar, pinch of salt and 50ml of milk. When it becomes smooth and oh so velvety, add the rest of your milk. Whisk again and leave for about 4-5 minutes to heat through. The hot chocolate isn’t going to get scalding hot and nor do you want it to be. After your hot chocolate mix heats up add your bourbon. You only want to leave it on the heat for about a minute so everything gets nice and warm but the alcohol doesn’t cook out of the bourbon. Grab a mug and drizzle a few drops of chocolate bitters in the glass. Pour in your hot chocolate then top it with a good dollop of whipped cream. Top it off with a marshmallow that has been rolled in chocolate bitters. Marvel at your chocolatey creation and enjoy immediately!

Hot Chocolate

Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate has a whole lot flavour going on. The Lady and I have already indulged in quite a few Mörk hot chocolates on their own and they have a lovely rich chocolatey flavour. It’s not overly sweet or sickly compared to some other powders. This is perfect for this boozy hot chocolate as it means the brown sugar and maple syrup aren’t going to send you into some kind of sugar induced coma. Mörk’s gorgeous, deep dark chocolate flavour also means it can stand up to the two shots of bourbon. The Lady isn’t a fan of solo dark spirits and reckons some people may want to dial the booze back a bit as it can be quite strong but I found it to be a suitable amount. Sure, the first sip was a bit potent but for the majority of the drink it was a delightful blend of chocolate and bourbon with the bourbon giving the drink a subtle spiciness and warmth. The extra chocolatey whipped cream just heightens the chocolate and spicy flavours. We are definitely a fan of adding chocolate bitters to whipped cream and it gives an added creaminess and richness to the drink without diluting the chocolatey goodness. Seriously, this is definitely a chocolate lovers drink as it’s chocolate on chocolate. The marshmallow is a nice little presentation touch and the whole drink has a real dessert feel to it. Something indulgent and special to cap off a cold night out or a snuggled night in.

Hot Chocolate

Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate is our way of sending off winter and the last of the cold weather in boozy style. Spring is upon us and that means fresh, fruity and refreshing cocktails are the go but goddamn we’re going to miss the indulgent mug of chocolatey goodness that is the Sir Mörkalot’s Naughty Hot Chocolate. Till next time winter.

 

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