Chocolate & Orange.

First week of placement as a third year is done. I only managed to do 18 hours instead of 30 but at least I managedĀ something. 13 hour shifts are exhausting, especially on a surgical ward. It is so different from what I am used to but my mentor is incredibly supportive. Out of all of my placements this is the first time I am properly supernumerary. Which means I can fully focus on learning nursing skills. The first week is always the most difficult. Figuring out the routine and not feeling like a spare part!

I thought I would start with a classic combination: chocolate and orange. It is well known and, quite frankly, delicious! Now that it is getting dark quicker in the evenings I felt something comforting would be ideal. I picked up my DSLR camera for the first time in a while to take the pictures for this post and really enjoyed using it again.

Chocolate Pastry

I enjoy making pastry and think I’m good at it, but I have never gone further than flour, butter and water. A lot of the recipes I looked at suggested 2 tbsp of coco power. I wanted my pastry to be richer than that so I went for 50g!

200g plain flour

50g coco powder

125g butter, I like to use salted

2 tbps cold water

First mix the flour and coco powder together. Make sure the butter is well chilled and cut into cubes. Rub the butter into the flour mix until it makes a fine crumb. The secret to pastry is cold ingredients and hands! I sometimes run my hands under the cold tap to make sure I don’t melt the butter.


Add the water and bring everything together. It takes a while and I was tempted to add more water but it doesn’t need it! I like to tip everything out onto a counter once it starts coming together to kneed it for a few minutes. Wrap the pastry in cling film and pop in the fridge to chill.

Heat a fan assisted oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a tart tin with butter and roll out the chilled pastry.


To blind bake the pastry prick the base with a fork (not all the way through), add a layer of grease proof paper and top with baking beans. This stops the bottom of the pastry from puffing up when cooking. Because it is chocolate pastry it is difficult to tell when it is cooked. I did mine for 15 minutes with the baking beans and 10 minutes without. I always keep the pastry scraps until the case is blind baked to use as patchwork in case there are any cracks. Leave to cool.

Orange Jam

When it comes to jam my usual approach is chuck some fruit in a pan with sugar and hope for the best.

3 large oranges, save about 1/2 the peel of one orange

1 tsp lemon juice lemon juice

350g sugar

250ml water

Peel and chop the oranges trying to get rid of as much of the pith as possible. In a large pan add 200g of the sugar, lemon juice and the chopped oranges. Stirring occasionally to stop it from burning, cook until the juice has reduced down and it’s a nice thick consistency. Take off the heat to cool down. With the peel saved from earlier finely chop this into strips. In another pan add the rest of the sugar with the water and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add in the peel and cook gently until they appear opaque. Drain and add to the rest of the orange. Spread the jam over the pastry base.


Chocolate Filling

I used 100g 80% dark chocolate and 150g milk chocolate

200ml milk

150ml double cream

3 eggs

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Gently heat the milk and cream in a pan. Roughly chop the chocolate and add. I used a whisk to bring the ingredients together, then take off the heat. Whisk in the eggs one at a time being careful not to make chocolate scrambled eggs! You will notice the mixture becoming thicker. I added the nutmeg as this recipe is based on comfort and nutmeg makes me think of warm winter evenings sitting by the fire. Gently poor the mixture into the pastry case. There will be some left over. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the chocolate mix has set and bounces back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool in the tin. I don’t think it needs any fancy decoration. Maybe a dusting of icing sugar but that would be all!


Just want to say a wee thank you to those who have supported me so far through liking the Facebook page, reading my first post or messaging me directly. As I said before putting myself out there like this is out of my comfort zone and I have really appreciated the response so far.





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