The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake

This really is the ultimate chocolate fudge cake. I couldn’t improve it if I tried. It is the sort of cake you’d want to eat the whole of when you’d been dumped.

Four gorgeous layers of light, moist, cocoa-laden cake come together with a generous coating of thick, luscious chocolate frosting and rich dark chocolate ganache. This cake is truly indulgent, and every chocoholic’s dream! (Just don’t think about the amount of sugar involved….)

Recipe

For the cake

3 cups self- raising flour

2 + 1/2 cups caster sugar

1 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp + 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 + 1/3 cups vegetable oil

1 cup milk

1 cup boiling water

1 cup soured cream

4 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla essence

For the icing

300g good quality dark chocolate

300ml double cream

400g salted butter

700g icing sugar

50g cocoa powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees(c) and line 8″ tins with greased proof paper then set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Add the oil and milk and mix until well combined, the mixture should be quite thick at this stage.
  4. Gradually add the boiling water, mixing carefully after each addition.
  5. Add the sour cream.
  6. Mix in the vanilla essence and whisk in the eggs one by one until all of the ingredients are well combined. At this stage the mixture will be very runny so don’t worry that the consistency isn’t the same as other cake recipes.
  7. Divide between baking tins and bake in the oven until a skewer comes out clean. This may be between 30-45 minutes depending on how many tins you’ve used and how deep you’ve filled them.
  8. Once cooked remove the cakes from the oven, cool in the tins for 15-20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. To make the icing, first make the ganache. Put the cream and chocolate in a pan and heat gently until all of the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.
  10. In a separate bowl, combine the softened butter with 1/3 of the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add another 1/3 of the icing sugar along with 1/2 of the cooled ganache and mix until incorporated.
  11. Add the remaining icing sugar gradually, tasting after each addition until the icing is sweet enough (if the mixture becomes too stiff add a little milk).
  12. Layer the cake with icing, ganache and raspberries, leaving enough to put on top of the cake at the end.

x

 

Banana Muffins

This recipe isn’t anything ground breaking or new, but it’s super easy and the caramel butter icing takes your average banana muffin from good to great. Perfect for an afternoon snack or dessert! Equally, additions such as blueberries, chocolate chips, raspberries, nuts etc.. make for a decadent breakfast that’ll pair perfectly with your morning cup of tea or coffee.


Here are a few tips:

  1. Make sure you use over ripe bananas, the riper they are the moister the muffins will be!
  2. When you combine the two together, only mix until they combine. If you over mix the wet with the dry, your muffins will be heavy, tough, and dense.
  3. Fill your muffin pans all the way to the top. Set the initial oven temperature high, then lower it as the muffins bake. Setting the oven to a “high temperature burst” lifts the muffin top up quickly and creates a tall crust.

Recipe

Recipe from the blog Sally’s Baking Addiction

For the Banana Muffins

3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (very careful not to overmeasure)

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup caster sugar

¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar

1 cup (240ml) milk, at room temperature

1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil

3/4 cup mashed banana (2 small, very ripe bananas)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Caramel Butter Icing

250 g salted butter (softened)

500g icing sugar (sieved)

4 tbsp caramel sauce or a few drops of caramel essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees(C). Fill a muffin pan with cases and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. Whisk in milk, oil, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract. Mixture will be pale and yellow.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Avoid over-mixing, which will produce tough, dense muffins. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be extremely thick and somewhat lumpy.
    Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top.
  5. Bake muffins at 200 degrees(C) for 5 minutes. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce oven temperature to 180 degrees(C) and continue to bake for 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. To make the butter icing, put the softened butter, caramel sauce or essence and half of the icing sugar into a medium bowl and beat well.
  8. Slowly add the remaining icing sugar, tasting after each addition until the icing is sweet enough. You may not need to use all of the icing sugar, if the icing starts to become too stiff you can add a little bit of milk to loosen it up.
  9. Fill a prepared piping bag with the butter icing and pipe swirls on top of the cooled muffins. I like to use a star shaped nozzle for cupcakes and muffins.
  10. Top with slices of banana (either fresh or dried banana – the dried banana will keep better if not being eaten on the day of baking)
  11. Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. (They also freeze well ~up to 3 months).

S’mores Cookies

Summer is fast approaching and we’re all trying to eat better around here. There are currently only three of us in my house and we’ve been on a serious health kick.

I love food, I love healthy food, and I love vegetables. But, sometimes, a little sweet indulgence is needed to get me through those long days in the library. So, having put so much effort into eating well over the last few weeks, I thought that if I was going to give in to temptation, I’d better make it count.

I’d seen this recipe crop up a few times on Instagram on several different accounts and finally decided to give it a go. It is by far the fastest, easiest chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve ever made, and although I’m probably biased towards whatever cookie I’m holding in my hand at the moment, I think it might also be the best.

I know that everyone is very particular about their chocolate chip cookies. There are so many, many chocolate cookie recipes out there that it’s hard to figure out which one you should go for. But, I can assure you that this recipe will not disappoint.

Seriously, these cookies are an absolute game changer. They’re huge, soft, buttery, chocolatey, marshmallowy, caramelized biscuity goodness that will take your life to another level.

I’ve used the caramelized biscoff biscuits instead of the traditional grahams crackers in these cookies (mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t find any grahams crackers in my local shop), but either one will work just as well as the other.

If you have the patience, let the dough chill in the fridge overnight or at least 30 minutes before baking. It will let the flavor become deeply caramelized, and the cookies will have more color, but slightly less spread.

I prefer to use an ice cream scoop to portion out my cookie dough mainly because 1. perfectly equal sized cookies results in less dispute in the house over who gets the biggest one, and 2. it’s a lot quicker than using table spoons and then rolling the cookie dough into a ball using your hands.

Recipe

(from Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady – makes roughly 20-25 cookies)

1 cup salted butter, chopped

3 1/4 cups all purpose (plain) flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tps vanilla extract

12 ounces, semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

To decorate

Mini marshmallows

Galaxy chocolate bar, broken up into squares

Biscoff biscuits or grahams crackers

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees(c). Line 2 baking trays with greased proof paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over the lowest heat possible, stirring occasionally. Take care that the butter does not sizzle or bubble which means it’s losing moisture.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Put the butter, sugars and vanilla essence in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until just combined. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir in the dry ingredients until barely blended. When things are still looking a bit floury, stir in the chocolate until all of the ingredients are just combined.
  5. Roll the dough into balls, about 3 tablespoons each or a medium sized ice cream scoop, and arrange them on the prepared trays, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie to allow room for them to spread whilst baking.
  6. Top each cookie with marshmallows, galaxy chocolate chunks and broken up biscoff biscuits and then put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Bake until the tops are cracked and lightly golden, roughly 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. You may want to add more toppings half way through the bake to ensure the whole of the cookie is covered after spreading.
  8. Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool on the tray for 2 minutes to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Cupcakes

These light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes are suitable for any occasion and a perfect recipe for anyone new to baking!

Vanilla cupcakes are something that I’ve been baking with my mum ever since I first stepped into the kitchen, they’re one of the basics and a pretty important recipe for any baker to have in their repertoire.

The recipe is pretty basic so I’d be impressed if anyone managed to go drastically wrong making these cupcakes, however, I’ve put together a few top tips to ensure that a perfect bake is achieved every time:

  1. Make sure to cream the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes to ensure that your mixture is really pale and airy with no big lumps of hard butter.
  2. Always bake with room temperature eggs. I never refrigerate my baking eggs, so they are always ready to go.
  3. Remove the butter/ margarine from the fridge a couple of hours before baking to take the chill off it. When baking margarine and eggs that are at room temperature should combine without curdling.
  4. Remember to sift your flour – to avoid lumps of flour in your cupcake batter.
  5. Always fold your dry ingredients into the mixture, this will stop you knocking any air out of the batter.

Recipe

For the cupcakes

6oz caster sugar

6oz butter or margarine

3 eggs

60z self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

For the butter icing

250g salted block butter

500g icing sugar

2 tbsp mascarpone

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (c) and fill a cupcake or muffin tray with cases and set aside. It should make 12-16 cupcakes depending on the size of cases you use. I tend to make 12 large cupcakes using the larger muffin cases and a muffin tray.
  2. Beat the butter/ margarine, sugar and vanilla essence together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 1-2 tbsp of flour each time to avoid the mixture curdling.
  4. Fold in the remaining flour and baking powder and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Spoon in to the prepared cases and bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown in colour and a skewer comes out clean.*NOTE* Baking times will vary depending on your oven, so don’t be afraid to leave them in for longer or take them out earlier than I’ve recommended.
  6. Once the cupcakes are baked transfer to a wire rack to cool down before icing.
  7. To make the icing, start by cutting the block of butter into slices and microwave in a bowl for 20-30 seconds to soften (or leave out at room temperate overnight).
  8. Transfer the softened butter into a larger bowl, add then add the mascarpone, vanilla essence and  1/4 of the icing sugar. Beat well.
  9. Slowly add the rest of the icing sugar mixing well after each addition until the butter icing is pale in colour, light and fluffy. Make sure you stop the mixer halfway through creaming and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. *You may not need to use all of the icing sugar, just keep tasting the icing until it’s sufficiently sweet.
  10. Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle – I use the star shaped tip for cupcakes. Fill the piping bag with the butter icing and then pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake.
  11. Decorate the cupcakes as you wish, the base flavour is vanilla so it’ll go with pretty much anything! I’ve chosen to top my cupcakes with strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries, but raspberries, blueberries or any other fruit would work well!

Ideas:

*Add a little cinnamon to the cake mixture and top the cupcakes with fresh blackberries.

*Top the vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing, raspberry or strawberry sauce and a flake to look like the 99 ice creams you get from ice cream vans in summer.

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies


It’s almost the end of Easter, and with exams growing ever closer I’ve turned into a bit of a hermit. I’ve resorted to alternating revision with stress relief (procrasti)baking and blogging. Your waistlines can thank me later.

Over the weekend, I developed a pretty fierce craving for rich, decadent brownies and decided that raspberry cheesecake brownies sounded even better. I’ve taken my favourite brownie recipe and adapted it by simply swirling some vanilla cheesecake mix through the batter and topping with raspberries before baking.

My base brownie recipe uses a mixture of both cocoa powder and chocolate for the ultimate richness of flavour. Although the recipe involves beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy before adding the eggs, flour and chocolate etc… (which, to those of you familar with baking methods, makes it sound more like a recipe for a sponge than brownies) the lack of raising agents means that there is very little allowed to lighten the load here -this is pure, unalterated, chocolatey goo.

If you’re short for time you can resort to the ‘all in one’ method, which essentially involves chucking all of your ingredients into a bowl and beating thoroughly so that they are fully incorporated.  Although this will produce an equally tasty brownie, I’ve found that taking the time to beat the batter vigorously after adding the eggs helps to create a meringue like outer layer which rises as the mixture bakes forming an irresistibly crisp crust around the rich, fudgey chocolate centre.

Recipe

For the brownies:

200g good quality dark chocolate

250g block butter (salted)

300g caster sugar

60g cocoa powder

60g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

3 eggs + 1 egg yolk

For the cheesecake topping:

100g cream cheese

1 tbsp mascarpone

3 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

150g raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees(c), and line a 23cm x 23cm square tin with greased proof paper.
  2. Set a bowl over a pan of simmering water making sure that the bowl does not touch the water. Add the chocolate (broken into pieces) and allow to melt, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Increase the speed on the mixer to high and continue to beat the mixture for a few mixture until the volume increases slightly.
  5. Fold in the melted chocolate followed by the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  6. In a separate bowl combine the cream cheese, mascarpone, caster sugar and vanilla essence.
  7. Spoon the brownie batter into the tin and then top with the cheesecake mixture. Using a knife or spoon swirl the cheesecake mix into the top layer of brownie batter (you may not need all of the cheesecake mix) and then top with raspberries before baking.
  8. Bake for around 30 minutes (a skewer should come out sticky, but not coated in raw mixture). When the brownies are ready remove from the oven and allow to cool (and set) before removing from tin and transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Happy baking x

Mary Berry’s Banana Bread

Don’t get me wrong, I love bananas, however once they start to turn brown I won’t touch them. I like them almost under ripe so that the fruit inside is still firm.

So, what are you meant to do with all of those bananas that you forgot about in the back of your cupboard or in your fruit bowl that are now past their best by quite some way?

For me, the answer has to be banana bread. It is utterly delicious and the natural sweetness of the fruit lends itself perfectly to baking! While it’s still not as healthy as eating bananas by themselves,  it’s at least slightly better than a cupcake smothered in copious amounts of butter icing or a deep fried, sugar coated doughnut.

When I told one of my friends that I was making banana bread they threw up a bit of a par-larva about the name. Which to be fair is understandable seeing as, strictly speaking, banana bread is more of a loaf- shaped cake.

Personally I’ve never understood the difference between banana bread and banana cake, and seeing as I can’t come up with a reasonable explanation I’m guessing that it probably isn’t all that significant! In fact, categorising it as a bread rather than a cake just legitimises it’s consumption at any time or hour of the day (i.e. making eating cake for breakfast socially acceptable), explaining why this is such a popular and successful recipe!

 

 

The great thing about banana bread is that it doesn’t matter how long they’ve been sitting in the back of your cupboard for forgotten about. In fact, in order to make the best banana bread it’s a well known fact that your bananas should be so ripe that they practically dance into the oven by themselves.

When I’m in need of a recipe quite frankly there’s only one person to turn to, and that is of course the queen of baking Mary Berry. This recipe has everything you’d want from banana bread, it’s moist, hearty and packed full of flavour!

I’ve added blueberries to the recipe but this isn’t strictly necessary, it just depends on how adventurous you are with your banana bread. Feel free to stick to the classic recipe or make your own additions such as chocolate chips, raspberries, peanut butter chips etc etc…

Mary Berry’s Banana Loaf Recipe

Ingredients

100g Softened Butter

175g Caster Sugar

2 Large Eggs

2 Ripe Bananas (mashed)

225g Self Raising Flour

1 tsp. Baking Powder

2 tbsp. Milk

150g blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Fan 160C / Gas 4.
  2. Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin, then line the base and sides with greased proof paper.
  3. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended.
  4. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface. At this point you can sprinkle a few oats on top before baking.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean if the loaf is ready.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel of the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Happy Baking! x

Coconut Flour Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

I’m always a little sceptical about ‘healthy’ baking, it doesn’t quite have the same rich, sweetness that we all seem to crave. However after hearing a lot about the benefits of using coconut flour in recipes I decided to give it a go, and the result was extremely successful! 

Coconut flour is one of the healthiest flours available, it’s tricky to work with but rewarding in the right recipes! 

 

It’s rich in protein, high in fibre and as it is not a grain based flour it’s also low in carbs. As it’s a natural byproduct of coconut milk production it contains medium chain saturated fatty acids (i.e. the good type of fat) which gets used for energy not stored as fat and also improves metabolism. Coconut flour is also a great source of manganese which supports bone health, nervous system function and helps maintain optimum blood sugar levels. 

 
Coconut flour is extraordinarily absorbent so a little goes a long way. The key is to add adequate liquid and lots of eggs to act as a binder to prevent a dry or crumbly result. It is a unique gluten-free flour with a different composition to your standard grain-based flour meaning that there is no straight forward substitute for it. (I’d recommend trying out a few ‘tried and tested’ recipes before experimenting with it yourself).

 

Recipe: 

1 cup coconut flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

4 eggs

2 tbsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp honey

1/2 cup coconut oil (vegetable oil can also be used)

3 bananas (mashed)

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (C) 
  2. In a bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil.
  3. Add the coconut flour and bicarbonate of soda and incorporate.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon the cookie dough onto a prepared baking tray (I use greased proof paper, but greasing the tray itself will also work). These cookies won’t spread out or rise once baked so I use a spoon to flatten the tops before baking. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes 

Happy baking ! x

 

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

I love pancakes. Whether they’re they thick american style ones, the classic crepe, covered in chocolate or smothered in maple syrup. These fluffy, light, blueberry filled beauties are no exception.

This recipe has to be my all time favourite (of course this may well change as I experiment and try out new recipes, however, for the time being this one tops the rest by a long way). It’s quick, easy and makes big, thick, fluffy pancakes! I honestly cannot emphasize enough how easy it is to make pancakes from scratch! Buying the ingredients also works out a lot cheaper than those naff packet mixes, and besides, they always taste ten times as good when you’ve made them yourself.

I usually only make pancakes once a year on the infamous pancake day, however having woken up to a torrential downpour outside I thought breakfast called for something a bit heartier than your standard granola and yoghurt or scrambled eggs on toast.

The basic recipe is pretty versatile. You can eat them with maple syrup, ice cream, nutella, fruit, lemon and sugar, and the list goes on…  I top them with a homemade blueberry sauce that comes together in less than 10 minutes with just a few staple ingredients. It’s delicious and can be eaten with anything like pancakes and waffles or stirred into greek yoghurt or ice cream!

The key to making fluffy, thick pancakes is to keep the batter thick. It should barely spread when you scoop it onto the pan. The next tip that I cannot underline enough is to keep the frying pan on the low side of medium. You also have to be patient and wait for bubbles to appear on the surface of the batter before flipping them over (difficult I know, but they’re worth the wait, trust me). Once you’ve flipped your pancake, it cooks much faster on the other side, just a minute or two.

I’d recommend using a non-stick pan as it’ll make your life a lot easier, however it’s not absolutely necessary. The key is to use a little butter or oil to grease the pan before the first batch, the first few are more likely to stick however DO NOT PANIC, this just means you’ll have to eat a few before any of your housemates even realise that you’re making pancakes!

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Recipe

For the pancakes:

2 cups self raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup caster sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups milk

2 tbsp butter (melted)

2 tsp vanilla essence

  1. Mix together all of the dry ingredients and then add egg, milk, butter and vanilla.
  2. Whisk well until all ingredients are incorporated and there are very few/no lumps in the mixture. At this point add any additional ingredients you’d like in your pancakes (for example blueberries, chocolate chips, lemon zest etc…)
  3. Heat frying pan to a medium heat and pour in the batter. I tend to use a small ladle, or 3 to 4 tbsp for each pancake.
  4. Flip the pancakes once bubbles appear on the surface. Once flipped they will only take a minute or two to finish cooking.

*The batter can be made up to a day or two in advance, just cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge*

For the blueberry sauce:

2 cups blueberries

1/4 cup water

3 tbsp honey or sugar

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, water and sugar or honey. Stir frequently, and bring to a low boil.
  2. Simmer until the blueberry sauce is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  3. Remove from heat and serve.

 

Raspberry Chocolate Fudge Tarts

I found this recipe in the Konditor and Cook cookbook and it’s now one of my favourite go-to recipes. They’re seriously easy to make and would be worthy of any French patisserie!

Photo 11-08-2014, 10 24 48

The shortcrust pastry is probably the hardest element in the recipe but the principles are simple. All of your ingredients must be cold and you should mix as little as possible to avoid a tough dough.


I make the pastry by hand however a food processor will also work if you’re short for time!

50g caster sugar

1 medium egg yolk

100g salted butter, cut into cubes

150g plain flour

Method

  1. Put the sugar and egg yolk in a mixing bowl, combine briefly with a wooden spoon and then add the cold cubed butter. Using the spoon or your fingers blend them until they come together. Sift in the flour and quickly work everything into a dough.
  2. Shape into ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3-4mm thick and use to line small tart tins.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 175°C/gas mark 4 then line the pastry case with kitchen foil, draping it over the edges a little and fill with baking beans or rice.
  6. Bake blind for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  7. Lift out the foil with the beans or rice and return the pastry case to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

The pastry shrinks slightly as it bakes so I tend to trim the edges AFTER the blind bake, it ensures the pastry lines the case  fully and gives a clean finish.
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For the tart

75g unsalted butter

300ml double cream

250g (good quality) dark chocolate, chopped

200g raspberries

For the decoration

75g white chocolate, chopped

Fresh raspberries

For the filling

  1. In a saucepan on low heat melt the butter, then add the cream and bring to near boiling point.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until fully melted and a smooth ganache.
  3. Pour into the tart cases and smooth out with a palette knife if needed.

To decorate

  1. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, or in a microwave. (If using a microwave be very careful, white chocolate burns easily)
  2. Using a piping bag, pipe the white chocolate in S or zigzag shapes over the top of the tart starting wide then getting narrower towards the end. Using a toothpick or skewer create some feathered swirls, Florentine paper style.
  3. Top with raspberries
  4. Chill the tart until ready to serve.

Happy baking!

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Monday! I’m going to kick start my blog with a classic triple chocolate chip cookie recipe because, after all, who doesn’t love cookies?! (or chocolate for that matter)

Photo 09-05-2015, 18 35 41

 

To start this recipe I use salted butter (the stuff that is rock solid and comes in block), it’s a bit of a pain to work with HOWEVER it does result in the best cookies. If you’re super organised (unlike myself) then take the butter out the night before or a few hours before to soften to room temperature. Or, if you’re as forgetful as I am then just soften it beforehand by chopping it up then sticking it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds depending on how big the chunks are.

Photo 10-05-2015, 13 01 21

The brown sugar gives them a good spread, and that chew that I love. However don’t panic if you don’t have any/ don’t have enough, replacing the brown sugar with caster sugar will result in an equally tasty cookie (just with a slightly different texture)! Likewise, using dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar will also work if you’re looking for more of a caramel tone, crispy edges and even chewier center.

Photo 09-05-2015, 18 29 21

 

This recipe should make roughly 15-20 cookies depending on how large you make them. However, if your friends are anything like my housemates then it’s probably worth doubling the mixture in order to make a decent number of cookies after they’ve ALL insisted on trying the cookie dough (after all, it is the best bit)!

So, here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup plain flour

1 cup strong white flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 cup caster sugar

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp cornflour

3/4 cup butter

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla essence

2 cups chocolate (chopped) – I use a mixture of milk, white and plain chocolate

  1. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla essence together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and beat well.
  3. Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and cornflour) until well  incorporated. The mixture will be quite stiff.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.
  5. Chill in the fridge for 20 mins – during this time preheat the oven to 180 degrees (c)
  6. Roll the dough into balls (roughly the size of a golf ball) and then place on prepared baking tray. Make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading.
  7. Bake for ~10 minutes until the edges of the cookie are just firm to touch. *Note: the cookie will be very soft at this point, but they will begin to set as they cool down.
  8. After the cookies have cooled slightly transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely.

 

These cookies are best on the day they are baked but will keep for around 4 days in an airtight bag or container.

Enjoy!