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Fudgy Biscoff Brownies

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These are probably the best brownies that I have ever made. They are thick and rich and fudgy and moist, everything that a brownie should be. The buttery, brown sugar and spice-flavored cookie biscoff just takes them to a whole new level! Not familiar with this yummy treat? Biscoff Spread is a cookie butter made from Biscoff Cookies. Besides it being totally delicious, the spread is vegan and nut-free. I love it on toast, in sandwiches or its just as delicious right out of the jar.

Ingredients:

170g brown sugar

110g granulated sugar

230g Choclate chips

110g butter

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilllia extract

140g plain flour

175g Crunchy or smooth Biscoff Spread

6 Biscoff Biscuits

 

Preheat oven to 170C.

Line a 8 x 12-inch brownie pan with greaseproof paper, leaving at least 1 inch hanging over the sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray or lightly grease with butter.

Place both sugars into the bowl of your mixer, Set aside.

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Melt chocolate and butter over low heat.

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Once melted, add the Biscoff spread and stir until the speed has melted and mixed in with the chocolate.

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Remove from heat and pour into bowl of your mixer with sugar and begin mixing on low speed.

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Add eggs, vanilla, and salt. Add flour, a spoonful at a time until fully incorporated.

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Pour into prepared baking pan. Break the biscoff biscuits and sprinkle them over the brownies.

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Bake 35-40 minutes.

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Allow to cool before you cut into squares.

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Coffee and Walnut Cake

047Who doesn’t love a slice of coffee and walnut cake with a cup of tea or coffee. Coffee and walnut cake is one of those flavours that’s seriously underrated and usually forgotten but this traditional cake never fails to please; its bitter-sweet flavours make it one of my all-time favourites. This classic coffee and walnut cake is topped with an easy espresso-infused buttercream icing.

Ingredients for the sponge:

50g walnut pieces

225g caster sugar

225g soft unsalted butter

200g plain flour

4 tsp instant espresso powder

2 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

4 eggs

1-2 x 15ml tbl milk

Ingredients for the butter cream frosting:

350g icing sugar

175g soft unsalted butter

2 ½ tsps instant espresso powder dissolved in 15ml boiling water

25g walnut halves to decorate

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Butter the two sandwich tins and line with baking parchment.  Place the sugar and walnut pieces into the food processor and mix until it becomes a fine powder.

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Add the butter, flour, espresso powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and eggs and beat to a smooth paste.  Add the milk by pouring slowly with the motor running. This should loosen the mixture.

Divide the mixture between the two sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the sponge has risen and the tops feel springy.

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Cool the cakes in their tins for approximately five minutes then remove to a wire rack.  Gently peel off the baking parchment.

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Whilst the cakes are cooling you can begin to make the butter cream. Place the icing sugar and butter in the food processor and wiz until smooth.

Dissolve the espresso powder in the boiling water and add to the icing mixture while still hot and blend.

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Place one half of the cake onto a plate, spread half of the icing mixture on top and spread evenly.  Place the other cake on top and place the rest of the butter cream on top.  Decorate with walnut halves.

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Crepes With Lemon And Sugar

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Lemon sugar crepes are as simple and easy to make as you can get. They’re not difficult to make – just your basic crepes – and you can fill them however you like.  I have to have mine as I always did as a child, sprinkled with granulated sugar and squeezed with lemon juice. There is something very special about a soft crepe, crunchy granulated sugar drizzled with sour lemon juice .

Ingredients:

30 grams unsalted butter melted (plus more for frying)

150 grams plain flour 

325 ml milk 

large egg

The best thing to have to make proper crêpes is a copper crêpe pan, but they are rather expensive and you probably would only use it once or twice a year so a normal frying pan will do the job just as well.

Melt the butter in the frying pan and then turn off the heat and let it cool a little.

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Put the flour into a bowl, whisk the egg and milk in a jug and then combine together wishing gently to get rid of any lumps.

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Just before making the crêpes, add the melted butter.

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Heat a frying pan and ladle 2–3 tablespoons of batter into the pan then quickly swirl so that the batter forms a thin pancake covering the base of the pan.

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This will cook in a minute so flip it and cook for 30 seconds to a minute on the other side.

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Put onto a plate and drizzle some lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar or onto some baking paper while you continue with the rest of the batter.

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Cupcakes

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These little gems are absolutely gorgeous! These raspberry filled cupcakes, topped with dreamy white chocolate buttercream, have a surprise in every bite. This recipe post is for Valentines day and trust me, your other half will be made up with these!

Ingredients for the vanilla cupcakes:

110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)

225g caster sugar

2 large eggs

150g self-raising flour, sifted

125g plain flour, sifted

120ml semi-skimmed milk (at room temperature)

1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract

65g Raspberry Jam

12 raspberries

10g dried raspberries ( stocked in Waitrose)

 

Ingredients for the buttercream:

115g unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

225g icing sugar

85g melted white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases. In a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, this should take about 3-5 minutes.

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Combine the two flours in a separate bowl.

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Put the milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a jug and gently whisk.

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Add one third of the combined flour to the butter creamed mixture and beat well, then pour in one third of the milk mixture and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.

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Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them about two thirds full to allow the mixture to rise when cooking.

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Bake in the oven for about 20 minuets. Remove from the over and allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before you move to a wire rack to cool completely.

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While the cupcakes are cooling you can make your buttercream. Put the butter, half the milk and the vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and blended.

Sift over the icing sugar and, with the mixer on a low speed, continue mixing until the icing is smooth and has a spreading consistency. If it is too stiff, beat in a little extra milk.

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Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or using a bowl over a saucepan with boiling water.

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Once the chocolate as melted leave to cool for a few minutes then add to the buttercream and beat for a good 2 minutes until the chocolate is incorporated.

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Once your cupcakes are completely cool you can start to add your raspberry jam filling. To do this I use a apple corer to make a small hole in the middle of the cupcake, alternatively you can simply use a sharp knife to make a hole.

Then pipe or spoon the jam filling into the hole. You can then pop a little of the cake sponge on top so the jam is hidden.

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Top the cupcake with your vanilla buttercream using a round tip within a piping bag.

IMG_6780Place a raspberry on top of the cupcake and either sprinkle the dried raspberries pieces or stick round the edge of the buttercream.

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IMG_6800Yummy raspberry centre with a smooth white chocolate buttercream!

 

 

Nutella Filled Doughnuts

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As its world Nutella day I thought I’d share this srummy recipe with you lovely lot. These doughnuts are incredibly light and fluffy and are filled with indulgent Nutella. I’ll have to be honest – donuts are not the easiest recipe to crack! I had to work through some failed attempts to achieve the perfect consistency. From my personal experience you should always go by time it takes for the dough to double in size and not the number of hours or minutes listed in the recipe.
Ingredients:

250g plain flour

30g caster sugar

110g caster sugar for coating

1 tsp salt

2 tsp dried yeast

2 eggs

zest of half a lemon

75ml warm water

65g butter, softened and cut into small squares

400 ml vegetable oil

Put all the ingredients for the donuts, except the butter, into the bowl of a free standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work on a low speed for about 4 minutes, until combined and  the dough is elastic.

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While the mixer is still running, add the butter piece by piece, until incorporated. You should no be able to see any butter . This will take about 6 minutes.

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Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with cling film. Set it aside in a warm place to rise and double in size.

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When the dough has risen, punch it down, and put onto a well-floured surface. Gently pat down the dough into a square about 1cm thick and cut out 12 donuts using a 5cm round cutter.

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Place the doughnuts on a lined baking sheet, cover with cling film again, and set aside to rise for an hour or until the doughnuts to puffy.

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When the donuts are finished their second rise,  they should look a little puffy (see below).

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Place about 3 inches of oil into a saucepan, heat the oil over a low flame, until it reaches 170C. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, place a small piece of dough in the oil, and when it bubbles and rises to the surface, the oil should be the right temperature.

Fry the donuts a few at a time for about 1 minute each side or until they are golden brown.

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Place the donuts on paper towels to soak the excuses oil, and  then toss them in the sugar.

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Make a small hole on the side of the doughnuts and pipe some Nutella into each doughnut!

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Jammie Dodger Cupcakes

IMG_8259These little beauties have everything – a soft light sponge cake with just enough strawberry jam hidden away in the centre topped with amazing vanilla buttercream.  I decided to translate one of my favourite biscuits into cupcake form and though they look pretty impressive, they are actually very easy to make.

Ingredients for the vanilla cupcakes:

110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)

225g caster sugar

2 large eggs

150g self-raising flour, sifted

125g plain flour, sifted

120ml semi-skimmed milk (at room temperature)

1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract

65g Strawberry Jam

12 mini Jammie Dodgers

Ingredients for the buttercream:

115g unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tbsp milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

225g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases. In a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, this should take about 3-5 minutes.

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Combine the two flours in a separate bowl.

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Put the milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a jug and gently whisk.

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Add one third of the combined flour to the butter creamed mixture and beat well, then pour in one third of the milk mixture and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.

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Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them about two thirds full to allow the mixture to rise when cooking.

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Bake in the oven for about 20 minuets. Remove from the over and allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before you move to a wire rack to cool completely.

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While the cupcakes are cooling you can make your buttercream. Put the butter, half the milk and the vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and blended.

Sift over the icing sugar and, with the mixer on a low speed, continue mixing until the icing is smooth and has a spreading consistency. If it is too stiff, beat in a little extra milk.

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Once your cupcakes are completely cool you can start to add you strawberry jam filling. To do this I use a apple corer to make a small hole in the middle of the cupcake, alternatively you can simply use a sharp knife to make a hole.

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Then pipe or spoon the jam filling into the hole. You can then pop a little of the cake sponge on top so the jam is hidden.

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Top the cupcake with your vanilla buttercream using a swirl tip within a piping bag.

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Add a mini Jammie Dodger on top of the buttercream swirl. And hey presto there you have a sweet srummy Jammie Dodger Cupcake!

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Banana and Cinnamon Muffins

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Love banana bread? Get the same great flavor wtih sweet muffins that bake a whole lot faster!

These moorish muffins are light and fluffy, they are great for a healthy breakfast treat or as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. They are great eaten both hot right from the oven or cold.

Ingredients:

350g plain flour

¾ teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

160g caster sugar

375ml buttermilk

1 large egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

75g unsalted butter (melted)

400g mashed banana

 

Makes 14-16 muffins

Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a food processor and wiz until combined.

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Put the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and mix to combine.

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Slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat on a slow speed until all the ingredients are incorporated.

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Pour in the melted butter and beat until incorporated. Stir in the bananas with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed.

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Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minuets or until golden brown and the muffin bounces back when touched. As soon as you take the muffins out the oven dip them upside-down into a little sugar mixed with cinnamon and leave to cool.

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Ultimate Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are sure to please! I think that I am just completely unable to resist the chocolate peanut butter combination. Chocolate and peanut butter has to be the best food combination ever created  The thought of a peanut butter filling inside a chocolate cupcake just got me so excited.

First there is a super moist dark, decadent chocolate sponge cupcake witch is filled with delicious peanut butter. Then they are dipped into silky melted chocolate, have a swirl of creamy homemade peanut butter buttercream and are then garnished with half a Reece’s piece. And then last but not least drizzled with dark chocolate.

Ingredients for chocolate cupcakes:

100g self-raising flour

20g cocoa powder

140g caster sugar

a pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

120ml whole milk

1 egg

¼tsp vanilla extract

60g Crunchy or smooth peanut butter

 

Ingredients for peanut butter buttercream:

300 g unsalted butter, softened

120 g peanut butter

540 g icing sugar

4 tablespoons whole milk

Ingredients for cupcake topping:

200g dark chocolate

12 Reece’s pieces

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

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Whisk the milk, egg and vanilla extract together in a jug, then slowly pour about half into the flour mixture, beat to combine and turn the mixer up to high speed to get rid of any lumps.

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Turn the mixer down to a slower speed and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

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Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full.

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Take 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter a place in the centre of each cupcake and gently push the peanut butter into the centre. Be careful not to push it all the way to the bottom.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

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While the cupcakes cool break the chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl. Sit the pan over barely simmering water and allow the chocolate to melt. Remove the heatproof bowl from the pan.

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Once the cupcakes are completely cool take one cupcake at a time and dip the top of the cupcake into the dark chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off and the place back down to set.

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Next beat the peanut butter and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth. Then add the icing sugar and milk and beat until all combined.

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When the dark chocolate  has set you can begin to pipe your peanut buttercream. Using a spatular, place as much buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.

Pipe a swirl of peanut buttercream on top of the set chocolate.

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Using the remaining melted dark chocolate (reheat in microwave if necessary, in 30 second blasts) drizzle over the top of each cupcake for extra decoration.

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Then cut the six Reece’s pieces in half and pale a half on top of each cupcake.

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And there you have it! The Ultimate Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcake!

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Malteser Blondies

IMG_8197I couldn’t resist these Maltesers Blondies by Jo Wheatley when I saw them in Sainsbury’s Magazine. Children find these brownies-with-a-twist irresistible, if the grown-ups don’t get there first …

Ingredients

100g white chocolate, chopped, plus 50g extra for the topping

125g unsalted butter, diced

225g light soft brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

3 large eggs, beaten

100g plain flour

50g self-raising flour

4 tbsp Horlicks

135g Maltesers

60g milk chocolate, chopped

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease a 20cm square baking tin and then line it with baking paper.
Place the 100g white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the butter and melt gently together over a pan of simmering water.

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Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and combined, and leave to cool slightly.

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Add the sugar, vanilla extract and beaten eggs to the slightly cooled melted white chocolate and butter. Stir well to combine.

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Sift both of the flours and Horlicks powder into the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.

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Fold in 100g Maltesers and the milk chocolate and spoon into the prepared tin.

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Bake on the middle shelf for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin.

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Melt the remaining white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Meanwhile, lightly crush the rest of the Maltesers. Drizzle over a little of the the melted white chocolate. Then scatter over the crushed Maltesers, and finish with the remaining melted chocolate.

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Cool, then cut into squares.

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Snickers Blondies

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These fabulous blondie bars are simply to die for! Rich, gooey caramel, chocolate, marshmallows and peanuts fill every bite of this decadent, rich, tempting bar. If you are looking for a delicious new traybake-type recipe to try this holiday season this is sure to be on the top of your list.

 

Ingredients

125g soft unsalted butter

225g plain flour

¾ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

175g smooth or chunky peanut butter

225g granulated sugar

225g light brown soft sugar

3 large eggs

¾ tsp vanilla extract

200g dark chocolate, chopped

50g mini marshmallows

200g salted peanuts

 

For the topping

100g granulated sugar

100ml double cream

25g unsalted butter

100g milk chocolate

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 5cm-deep 20 x 30cm baking tin with butter, line the base with nonstick baking paper.
Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and ½ teaspoon salt together in a bowl; set aside.

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In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the peanut butter, butter, granulated sugar and light brown soft sugar at a medium speed until smooth.

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Beat in the eggs, one and a time, followed by the vanilla extract.

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On a low speed, gradually add the flour mix, then the chocolate chips, marshmallows and most of the peanuts. Let the mixer start to fold these into the mixture.

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Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin.

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Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the brownie is golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.

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Loosen the brownie with a knife and turn it out of the tin.

For the topping, combine the sugar, ½ tsp salt and 100ml water in a medium pan.

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Whisk it a bit to help dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer.

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Once the bubbling syrup starts to take on a caramel colour, watch the pan closely. It will turn from a golden colour to a dark brown very quickly. You’re aiming for a deep amber colour – this may take a while but be sure not to take your eyes off the pan. The syrup can easily burn.

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Remove the pan from the heat. Slowly and gradually pour in the cream, whisking the mixture to stop it from boiling over. Whisk in the butter until the caramel is creamy and smooth.

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Leave to cool slightly before pouring it evenly over the brownie, spreading it with a small spatula if necessary.

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Then scatter the remaining peanuts over the caramel and leave for 1 hour to set.

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I then melted some milk chocolate and drizzled over the top before cutting into square pieces.

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