Tag Archives: recipe

Sunday Cook Off: Sticky Chocolate Brownies

This week I made some brownies on a whim, I had a craving for some sort of cake and wanted something easy so I went to my recipe bookshelf and got cooking. This recipe is from The Chocolate Box, I haven’t got a photo because there are none left – but hey, everyone knows what a brownie looks like, right?

100g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
75g dark brown sugar
125g dark chocolate
1 tbsp syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp either chocolate or vanilla essence (I used lots of vanilla, as always)
100g plain flour
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder

1. Lightly grease and line the base of a 20cm square tin. Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

2. Place butter, sugars, dark chocolate and syrup in a large heavy-based saucepan and heat gently, stirring until mixture is smooth and blended. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

3. Beat together eggs and essence in a jug. Whisk it into the cooling mixture.

4. Sieve together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and fold gently into the chocolate mixture using a metal spoon.

5. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 25 -30 mins. Remove from the oven when the edges are becoming crisp and coming away from the tin, and when the middle looks just set.

Leave to cool in the tin. When completely cool, cut into squares.

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Sunday Cook Off: Ferrero Rocher Torte

This week’s Sunday Cook Off is slightly different, as I haven’t actually made the recipe below yet. But it is the closest approximation that I can find to a heavenly dessert that I tried this week, it’s a bit complicated but hopefully delicious in the end. This slice of amazingness is a Waitrose own brand concoction that I happened upon when faced with an array of unappealing fruity desserts. In my book, if it’s not chocolate, it’s not dessert.

The inspiration for this week can be found here (and wait until it’s on offer like I did, because no supermarket should charge £10 for a mass-produced cake, no matter how good it is): http://www.waitrose.com/shop/ProductView-10317-10001-154693-Waitrose+S%2Fchoc+chocolate+%26+hazelnut+tort

If you fancy making your own, and I will be once I’ve finished chomping my way through the one above, then look below for the recipe, or go here: http://www.fabulousfoods.com/articles/952429/chocolate-hazelnut-torte-recipe

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 cup caster sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon bicarb

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup boiling water

Nutty syrup:

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nut extract or flavoring

Hazelnut Praline:

  • 1/4 pound shelled and skinned hazelnuts
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups icing sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180*C and prepare a 9 inch cake tin

2. To make the cake portion, mix sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla and beat until well combined.
3. Stir in the boiling water and pour the batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 30-35 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool in tin for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack. Once cooled completely, put it into the freezer until stiff, then slice it in half horizontally.
6. To make the syrup, combine sugar and water in a saucepan, bringing it to the boil until the sugar has dissolved.
7. Simmer for 5 mins, remove from heat, and add extract. Stir, then allow to cool.

8. To make the praline, liberally coat a baking pan with vegetable oil, place the hazelnuts on it in a single layer, and set it aside.
9. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat and cook until the mixture turns amber.
10. Immediately pour the syrup over the hazelnuts, let it cool completely, and break it into small pieces. Then put them into ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin. Transfer them to a food processor and mix until finely ground.

11. To make the frosting, in a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer and then pour it over the chocolate chips and let it sit for a few minutes. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
12. Place the pan in a bowl of ice water, stirring constantly until cooled. Then gradually beat in the powdered sugar and whip until smooth, thick and fluffy.

13. To assemble everything, brush half of the syrup evenly over one half of the cake. Then spread about a third of the frosting onto the top of that half and sprinkle it with half of the praline.
14. Place the other half of the cake layer on top, brush it with the rest of the syrup, and spread the remaining frosting along the top and sides. Press the remaining praline into the frosting on the sides and sprinkle some on top if you’re feeling fanciful. Chill for a bit before serving.

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Sunday Cook Off: Spiced Apple Cake

Spiced perfection

My friend has recently gotten engaged and is busy planning her wedding, centred around the theme of apples and buttons. As a rather excited bridesmaid, I’ve been trying to think of a good cake to make for her (I’m a bit of feeder, cake is what I do), and decided on an apple one. As it was my first time making it, I followed the recipe pretty closely, if I was to make it again I would probably leave the cake in the over for a little longer, as I’m not a fan of squidgy centres. Other than that, delish.

125g butter

225g dark muscovado sugar

2eggs, lightly beaten

225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

300g cooking apples , peeled, cored and diced

2 tbsp clear honey

2 tbsp unrefined demerara sugar

 

1. Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.

2. Cream the butter and muscovado sugar in a food processor for a couple of minutes, then mix in the egg.

3. Sift over the flour, baking powder and spices. Fold together, then stir in the apple.

4. Pour into a buttered, base-lined 20cm springform cake tin and bake for 1 hour, or until risen and browned.

5. Combine the honey and demerara and spread over the cake while still warm.

6. Remove the cake from the tin and serve with cream or ice cream. Keeps for 3-4 days wrapped in foil.

To view the original recipe, and a lot of other tasty conteders visit: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/9925/squidgy-spiced-apple-cake

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Sunday Cook Off

This week’s Sunday Cook Off is going to be a little bit delayed, as I’m planning to make a rather special cake on Tuesday. My friend has just gotten engaged so I’m making it for her and her brand spanking new fiancé! I’ll update this post when I’ve finished constructing the most ambitious and complicated cake I’ve ever made…wish me luck!

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Sunday Cook Off: Chocolate Ripple Teabread

Didn't quite manage to get a picture before tucking in

 

This week I made Chocolate Ripple Teabread, taken from a Cadburys chocolate recipe book that I’ve had for years. At the moment I’ve got my eye on one of my signature dishes, a Chocolate Marble Cheesecake – but that’s for another week.

Recipe

200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

200g unsalted butter/margarine, softened

1 tsp ground mixed spice

175g caster sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla essence (as always, I used more)

225g self-raising flour

1/2 (half) tsp baking powder

100g milk chocolate, chopped (to decorate)

1. Prepare a 1kg/2lb loaf tin. Put the chocolate (not the stuff for decoration) in a heatproof bowl, place over a pan of gently simmer water and leave until melted. Stir in 25g of the butter and the spice.

2. Place the remaining butter, the sugar, eggs and vanilla essence in a bowl. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Spoon one-quarter of the mixture into the tin. Spread one-third of the chocolate mixture over the cake mixture. Repeat the layering of the cake mixture and chocolate sauce, finishing with a layer of cake mixture [how many times can mixture be used in a sentence?!]. Sprinkle with the chopped chocolate.

3. Bake in a preheated over, 180*C (350*F) for 1 1/4 hours or until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. **I found that, after 45 mins, my cake was well done and starting to burn, I’ve no idea where they got an hour and a quarter from, but when I make this again I’ll probably put it in for 40 mins max.** Leave in the tin for 10 mins and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4. Gobble.

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Sunday Cook Off: Cheese and Guacamole Toastie

Mmm...cheese...

On a snowy kind of day all you want to eat is a bit of comfort food, so I turned to my latest obsession – chunks of Double Gloucester and lashings of guacamole between two slices of crusty bread. Nom. It’s not particularly complicated (By which I mean it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever made), and it helps to fulfil my daily cheese quota. I am a great lover of cheese, my friend and I used to live by the rule that anything can be tasty as long as you add enough of the stuff.

There isn’t really a recipe for this one as it’s quite self explanatory, but I’ll give you a rough guide.

1 – Take two slices of bread and butter one side of each. Slice as much cheese as you think is necessary and set to one side.

2 – Heat a frying pan (don’t add oil or anything else, that’s what the butter is for) and put in one slice of bread, buttered side down. Spread the guacamole on top and add the cheese, then pop on the second slice with the buttered side facing up.

3 – Wait a few minutes for it to crisp up and then flip and repeat.

4 – Gobble it all up.

Apologies for the poor photo, but I was really quite impatient to get my teeth into the fatty goodness. And for some reason it’s come out sideways, again, sorry.

I’ve got to be honest, there aren’t a lot of recipes that I use that are particularly healthy, so maybe don’t come here on a Sunday if you’re struggling to be content with a Slimfast. I particularly enjoy cakes. But that’s for next week…

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Brainwave

Since I started this blog, I’ve been trying to find a way to write about all the things that interest me while keeping the entire thing a coherent series. Well, I’ve finally come up with something: I have 7 kinds of mind, one for each day. So every week I will log about something different every day, keeping with a theme.

So this is going to be my new format:
Sundays are for a cook off, whether it’s a new recipe I’ve discovered or my own personal little experiment, it’ll be on here.

Mondays are when you need a pick me up, I’ll post whatever has been amusing me to help get you through your case of the Mondays.

Tuesdays are when I get to escape on a travelling adventure, whether I’ve actually moved from my computer screen or not.

Wednesdays are when it gets serious, I’ll write about that week’s big issue/story in the news. If I’m honest, it’ll probably be a rant of some sort.

Thursdays are all about me, a little update of what’s been going on in my highly exciting life that week. It’ll be gripping I’m sure.

Fridays are for the best celebrity gossip or media news that I can find. From a review of the latest Sherlock (just how exactly did he survive?!) or the most titillating story of the pitfalls of fame.

Saturdays are potluck. Whatever I’ve wanted to write about that doesn’t fit into one of the above categories, it could be anything. How exciting!

So hopefully I’ll be able to stick to the new format, and I look forward to flexing my typing muscles as I try to keep up with the pace of blogging every day. Enjoy!

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