Thursday, 22 November 2012

Peanut butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best peanut butter cookies ever, and what's more, the yield is surprisingly large- this one-egg recipe is enough for around 30 cookies, depending on the size you make them. They also freeze really well (just leave out for a few hours to defrost or gently microwave).

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Peanut butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

110g unsalted butter
270g peanut butter
150g caster sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
1 egg
1tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
170g milk chocolate chunks/chips

caster sugar, for dusting

1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C/ 350F/Gas 4. Line a baking trays with baking paper.

2. Beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugars. Mix in the egg, milk and vanilla extract.

3. Fold in the chocolate chips and roll teaspoon-sized pieces of the dough in the extra caster sugar. Place on the prepared baking trays, leaving about an inch between each blob, press down very gently with the back of a fork and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Rolo Chocolate Brownie Cake

Recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes

Rolo Chocolate Brownie Cake

400g unsalted butter
200g plain chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
200g caster sugar
200g plain flour
2 tubes rolos (+ extra for the top)
For the filling and ganache:
400g dulce de leche
400g milk/plain chocolate, chopped
300ml double cream

1. Pre heat the oven to 150°C/ 300F/Gas 2. Grease and line a couple of 20cm cake pans with baking paper.

2. In a bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt together the butter and chocolate.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and creamy. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture and once well combined, sift and fold in the flour.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and gently press in the rolos over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until just firm.

4. Once the cakes have cooled, remove from the pans and spread the dulce de leche over the top of one of the cakes and refrigerate to allow the caramel to set a little. Sandwich with the other cake layer.

5. For the ganache, Heat the cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and pour over the cream. Mix until homogenous, place in the fridge to set a little if necessary, and spread over the top and sides of the cake. Top with rolos.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Salted Caramel Brownies

The swirls of caramel enveloped in blankets of chocolate velvet comprising this dessert really do render it more of a truffle than a brownie. These do need to be refrigerated before slicing and serving, but they could also be served after freezing to give a more solid, frosty result.

Recipe from Poires au Chocolat

Salted Caramel Brownies
Makes about 30

For the salted caramel:
75g caster sugar
50ml double cream
10g unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
For the brownie:
100g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
75g golden syrup
275g dark chocolate, broken
4 eggs
70g plain flour, sifted
sprinkling of cocoa nibs or chopped quality chocolate

1. For the caramel, heat the sugar in a heavy based saucepan, and without stirring, allow to melt into a deep-golden colour. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in about 1/3 of the cream. Whisk in the rest of the cream and return to the heat, if necessary, to re-melt any re-solidified sugar. Mix in the butter and salt and set aside.

2.Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/mark 2 and line  a 20x20x2.5cm baking pan with greaseproof paper.

3. For the brownie, place the butter, sugars and golden syrup in a saucepan and heat gently until completely melted. Remove from the heat and mix in the chocolate, stirring until melted and well combined. Beat in the eggs and then fold in the flour.

4. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and pour over the caramel in dollops. Run a knife through the mixture to swirl the caramel and batter together. Bake for 20 minutes, or until just about set. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and chill in the fridge overnight or allow to firm up in the freezer. Slice into portions.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Pink Lemonade Bars

When I made these lemonade bars, the light bulb in our kitchen had stopped functioning and as darkness drew closer to the early evening, depending on only the light from a desk lamp, the photos turned out rather moody.

I think these are best chilled a little, and a wonderful accompaniment is a little vanilla chantilly cream- just whip some double cream to soft peaks and fold in a touch of vanilla extract or the tip of a teaspoon of vanilla paste (you could also use half cream, half greek yoghurt).

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Pink Lemonade Bars
Makes about 30

For the shortcrust base:
50g granulated sugar
¼ tsp lemon zest
 1/8 tsp salt
115g unsalted butter
125g plain flour, sifted
For the filling:
140g fresh or frozen raspberries
2 eggs
150g granulated sugar
60ml lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
40g plain flour

icing sugar

1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C/ 350F/Gas 4. Grease and line an 8x8x2 inch baking pan, leaving some paper hanging over two of the sides.

2.For the base, blend together the sugar, lemon zest and salt in a food  processor or medium-large mixing bowl. Mix in the butter and, once combined, add the flour until just combined. Transfer the dough into the baking pan and press in to evenly cover the base and press about ½ an inch up each of the sides. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown at the edges and dry on the surface.

3. For the filling, blend the raspberries to a puree in a food processor (or directly press through a sieve) and strain through a sieve to remove seeds, ensuring you have at least 80ml of smooth raspberry puree

4. In a bowl or food processor, beat together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the raspberry puree and stir in the flour.  Pour the mixture over the crust and bake for a further 25-30minutes, or until just set. Cool on a wire rack before slicing into portions and dusting with icing sugar.
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