Friday, 18 April 2014

Squidgy Malt Loaf

Recipe adapted from Bangers & Mash

Squidgy Malt Loaf

75ml hot black tea
90g malt extract
10g black treacle
10g golden syrup
25g demerara sugar
50g sultanas
50g dried figs, chopped
25g dried cranberries
25g dried blueberries
1 egg, beaten
125g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1. Grease and line a 450g loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/mark 2.

2. Combine together the tea, malt extract, black treacle, golden syrup, demerara sugar, sultanas, figs, cranberries and blueberries in a large bowl. Mix in the egg, then sift over the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and fold to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt ad cinnamon. Gradually fold into the wet ingredients. Briefly mix until there are no more flour pockets, then fold in the pecans. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, cover with foil, then continue to bake for a further 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes away clean.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, until firm, slightly risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool a little. Brush some golden syrup over the top and leave to cool completely.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Peanut butter truffle brownies

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest

Peanut butter truffle brownies

For brownie layer:
140g (10 tbsp) unsalted butter
57g milk chocolate, chopped
200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
1tbsp instant coffee
2tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp kahlua (optional)
2 eggs
43g (½ cup) cocoa
80g (½ cup) plain flour
¼ tsp salt
113g milk chocolate, chopped
For the peanut butter ganache:
85g plain chocolate, chopped
3tbsp double cream
2tbsp smooth peanut butter
½ tbsp kahlua (optional)
To decorate:
85g milk chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/mark 3. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with baking pan, letting the edges hang over the side.

2. For the brownie layer, add the butter and 56g milk chocolate to a bowl and microwave or set over a pan of simmering water to melt. Add the coffee, vanilla, kahlua (if using) and egg and whisk until smooth and well combined.

3. Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt and fold into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate and pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top has set. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

4. For the ganache, add the cream to a heatproof bowl and bring to a simmer by microwaving or setting over a pan of simmering water. Stir in the chopped plain chocolate and mix together until the chocolate has melted. Add the peanut butter and kahlua (if using) and mix to combine.

5. Pour the ganache over the top of the brownies and smooth out. Melt the milk chocolate and drizzle over the top. Leave the brownies for 2 hours to set at room temperature (or 1 hour in the fridge) before slicing into squares.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Red Velvet Cheesecake Layer Cake

Unfortunately Dr. Oetker has decided to discontinue their range of liquid food colourings. The gel replacements supposedly give a more vivid colour, but unfortunately have never given me good results with red velvet cakes. Sigh. The scarlet-hued cake tasted delicious regardless.

Recipe from Recipe Girl

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

For the cheesecake layer:
450g cream cheese
135g (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
pinch salt
2 eggs
80ml I(1/3 cup) sour cream
80ml (1/3 cup) whipping cream
1tsp vanilla extract
For the cake:
390g (2 ½ cups) plain flour, sifted
300g (1 ½ cups) granulated sugar
3tbsp cocoa
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp salt
2 eggs
360ml (1 ½ cups) vegetable/rapeseed oil
240ml (1 cup) buttermilk
60ml (¼ cup) red food colouring
2tsp vanilla extract
2tsp white wine vinegar
For the cream cheese frosting:
110g (½ cup) unsalted butter
450g cream cheese
1tbsp vanilla extract
280g icing sugar, sifted

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/mark 3. Place a large roasting pan on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Grease and line a 9-inch springform pan and wrap two layers of foil around the bottom and up the sides.

2. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and mix in the sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan in the roasting pan and pour hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan so that the water comes about an inch up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 45 minutes, until set and not jiggly. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack, then place into the freezer and freeze for several hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/mark 4. Grease and line two 9-inch baking pans.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the eggs, oil, buttermilk, food colouring, vanilla and vinegar and beat together until well combined. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out of the pans to cool on the racks completely.

6. Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Leave for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool completely.

7. For the frosting, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar.

8. To assemble, place one cake layer on a cake plate. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and remove from the pan. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the cake and top with the other cake layer. Spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
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