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Oreo Layer Cake

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Try this for that special occasion.  Delicious and not as sweet as it looks.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake:

100g plain flour

40g cocoa

200g granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

60ml buttermilk

60ml vegetable oil

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

60ml hot water

10 quartered Oreos

 

For the Vanilla Cake:

180g plain flour

200g granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

110g butter, chopped into 1″ cubes

2 eggs

120ml milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

10 quartered Oreos

 

For the Oreo Filling:

230g softened cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla

200g icing sugar

480g double cream

 

Garnish:

crumbled Oreos (about 10)

Halved Oreos

Chocolate ganache

Star piping tip

 

Chocolate Ganache:

1 tablespoon butter

160ml double cream

225g dark chocolate chips/dark chocolate broken into small pieces

 

Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line two 8″ cake pans.

Chocolate cake:

In a stand or electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and mix until combined.

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Add the two eggs and mix.

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While the mixer is beating, slowly add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla.

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Then add the hot water slowly.

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Once the batter is combined, add quartered Oreo’s and gently stir using a wooed spoon or spatula until the Oreos are evenly dispersed.

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Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to sit on a wire rack before removing from pan and allow to cool completely.

Vanilla cake:
In a stand or electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.

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While mixer is turning, add the cubes of butter one at a time and mix until the butter has broken up into tiny pieces and the mixture resembles sand.

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Add eggs and continue to mix.

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While mixer is turning, slowly add milk and vanilla.

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Mix until batter is smooth. Once batter is combined, add quartered Oreo’s and stir a couple of times, being careful not to break up the Oreo’s.

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Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.   Allow to sit on a wire rack before removing from pan and allow to cool completely.

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While cakes are cooling, prepare filling. In a stand or electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the double cream until stiff peaks form.

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Set aside in the fridge.  In a clean bowl switch to a paddle attachment and beat the cream cheese until soft.

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Add the icing sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth.

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Next add the whipped double  cream to the cream cheese mixture, and mix until smooth.

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Ensure that both cake layers are even and level by trimming the tops if they are domed. Place the chocolate cake on a cake board and smooth about 100g of filling onto it in an even layer.

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Next place the vanilla cake layer on top and repeat with another thin layer of filling (crumb coat).

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At this point, I  place the cake in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes, which helps to set the icing. Then once removed from the freezer apply a second coat to the cake with the filling.  Place remaining filling into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip and place in the fridge for later.

Chop up about 10 oreos or more if needed and place around the bottom of the cake.

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To prepare the chocolate ganache heat the double cream in the microwave for about 1 minute. Then while the cream is still hot add the butter and chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate and leave for another minute.

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Then start to stir the cream with the chocolate. It may look like the cream and chocolate has split but keep going until you have a thick dark ganache.

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Using a spoon pour the chocolate ganache onto the edge of cake, a small amount at a time.

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Place some crumbled Oreos in the centre of the cake, and using remaining cream cheese filling, pipe large open stars in a circle.  Place a half Oreo between every star.

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Chocolate Splodge

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This is such a simple and quick recipe which results in the most amazing fridge cake!  Fantastic for summer BBQs, kids parties or even just for tea.  So easy, stress free and can be done far in advance.   Make sure you grab a piece as once the family know about it, it will be gone in a jiffy.

550g digestive biscuits

275g unsalted butter

275g good quality dark chocolate

275g raisins

300g condensed milk

500g good quality milk chocolate

Line the base and sides of a 24cm x 34cm baking tin with greaseproof paper. Place the digestive biscuits in a large bowl and break them up into small pieces with the end of a rolling pin.

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Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally.

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Once melted remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the raisins and condensed milk.

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Fold in until the broken biscuit pieces are incorporated.

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Press the mixture into the tin, making sure to press it into all the sides and corners. Try to get it as flat and even as possible. Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to set.

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Melt the milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

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Then pour it over the ‘splodge’, spreading it evenly and neatly.

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Put it back in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until set. Cut the splodge into bars.

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Chocolate Chip Raspberry Layer Cake

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This super moist chocolate chip layer cake infused with fresh juicy raspberries is just perfect for afternoon tea this spring. The buttermilk gives the cake a lovely creamy and moist texture.

Ingredients:

405g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
230g unsalted butter, melted
350g granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
480ml buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150g raspberries
135g milk chocolate chips

 

Milk Chcolate Frosting Ingredients:
230g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
400g icing sugar
95g  cocoa powder
4 tablespoons double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chocolate chips and raspberries for decoration, optional

Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Grease three 20cm round baking pans with butter. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl. Set aside.

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Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl.

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In a free standing mixer whisk the granulated sugar the the melted butter slowly adding the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.

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Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until hardly any lumps remain. Try not to over mix the batter.

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Fold in the chocolate chips.

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Divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans. Then place the raspberries and gently press them down into the batter. Doing this rather than folding them in with the chocolate chips avoids breaking the raspberries and making them bleed within the batter.

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Bake for 22-25 minutes. You can loosely cover the cakes with foil halfway through cooking to prevent the tops from getting too brown. Cakes should be done when a toothpick is inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans then transfer to a wire rack.

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While the cakes are cooling, you can start to make the frosting. Cream the butter in a free standing mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the icing sugar and the coco powder to the creamed butter. Mix on a low speed.

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Add the double cream and vanilla extract.

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If the frosting is too thick add a little more double cream however if the frosting is too thin add some icing sugar until you obtain your desired consistency.

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Place the 1st layer on your cake stand or plate. Evenly cover the top with the chocolate frosting. Top with the 2nd layer, add more frosting, then the third layer. Cover the entire cake with the leftover frosting. Top with chocolate chips and raspberries.

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Mini Cadbury Cream Egg Brownies

IMG_7033If I had to pick one thing I’m most looking forward to at Easter it’s definitely the Cadbury Creme Eggs. I love the creaminess inside the chocolate shell. I wish they make this ginormous egg so I can eat the filling with the spoon.

As you’d expect, these brownies are incredibly sweet, but if you’re a fan of creme eggs that probably won’t worry you. They are very fudge, rich and gooey – possibly the naughtiest brownies I have ever made.

Ingredients

185g unsalted butter

185g dark chocolate

85g plain flour

40g cocoa powder

100g cadburys mini creme eggs (100g bag)

3 large eggs

275g golden caster sugar

Preheat oven to 160C.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate together either in the microwave or in a bowl over boiling water.

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Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in the golden caster sugar.

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With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar until they look thick and creamy, like a milk shake. This can take 3-8 minutes, You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture becomes really pale and about double its original volume.

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Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula.

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Hold a sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and sift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly. Gently fold in to the mixture.

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IMG_7017Then cut the cadburys mini creme eggs in half then just add them into mixture making sure they are evenly spread!

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Pour the chocolate mixture into a square 20cm baking tin and level the mixture so its flat.

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Place in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. ( I like mine to still be slightly gooey and fudgy in the middle so tend to bake for 20 minutes maximum.)

Remove from over and leave in tin to cool.

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Once the tin feels cool, gently remove and place onto a wire rack to cool further. Cut into squares and serve.

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Hot Cross Buns

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For as long as I can remember, Easter has always been celebrated with some hot cross buns in my family. Hot cross buns are small, spiced, sticky, glazed fruit buns with pastry crosses, which are traditionally eaten on Good Friday.  Served as a classic Easter treat, the buns can also be enjoyed at any time of year.

Ingredients for the buns:
300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more
50g butter
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
1 egg, beaten
75g sultanas
50g mixed peel ( I left this out as I’m not keen on peel)
zest 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Ingredients for the cross:
75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

Ingredients for the glaze:
3 tbsp apricot jam

Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.

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Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a free standing mixer bowl.

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Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg.

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Mix well using a dough hook attachment until everything comes together and you have a sticky dough.

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With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest and cinnamon. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

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Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.

Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece) Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface.

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Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.

Heat oven to 200C. Mix the 75g of flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.

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Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

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Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks.

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While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.

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American Pancakes

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I am a big fan of English pancakes (crepes), but not for me the once-a-year treat, I eat them often usually with lemon & sugar, but this year I fancied making American Pancakes ready for Shrove Tuesday. You know the ones, those thick, spongy American pancakes that are eaten with warm maple syrup and crispy fried bacon. You can easily cook these pancakes by dolloping the batter onto a hot griddle (smooth or ridged) or in a heavy based pan.

The pancakes are light and fluffy and great to make for this coming Shrove Tuesday or even just for a weekend brunch. Try adding a large handful of fresh blueberries or chocolate chips to the batter before cooking.

Ingredients

135g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp caster sugar

130 ml milk

1 egg

2 tbsp melted butter

To Serve

Maple syrup (ideally the real stuff)

Butter

Blueberries

Bananas

Chocolate Chips

 

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl.

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In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.

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Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a whisk beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing. Then let the batter stand for a few minutes.

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Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a ladle of batter. It will seem very thick but this is how it should be.

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Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen a little.

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Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.

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Serve with lashings of real maple syrup, crispy bacon and extra butter if you like. You can experiment by adding bananas and chocolate chips or some fresh blueberries.

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Chocolate Chip and Oreo Cookie Squares

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These Chocolate Chip and Oreo Cookie squares are nothing short of heavenly. I think the chocolate chip cookie base with a layer of Oreo truffle which is then topped with milk chocolate is the perfect combination.

Ingredients

115g unsalted butter, softened

65g granulated sugar

100g light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

190g plain flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

350g chocolate chips

30 Oreo cookies

100g cream cheese

2 teaspoons shortening (Trex)

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line an “8×8″ pan with foil and grease.

Cream butter and both sugars until combined using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment.

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Combine flour, bicarbonate of soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside. Turn mixer on low. Add the egg then mix in vanilla extract.

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Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

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Mix in 150g of chocolate chips.

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Press the chocolate chip dough into the prepared pan. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

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Bake bars in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden.  Let cool completely.

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Place Oreos and cream cheese in a food processor and run until the mixture forms a sticky mixture.

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Place the Oreo mixture on top of the cooled cookie and press with your hands to flatten into an even layer.

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Heat the remaining 200g of chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons of Trex in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth.

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Pour over the top of the Oreo truffle layer and spread evenly. Chill in fridge until set, a few hours.

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To minimize the chocolate cracking when cutting, let the bars come to room temperature before cutting.

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Valentines Vanilla Cupcakes

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Why spend money on chocolates when you can treat your valentine to homemade cupcakes? Bake up some sweets for your valentine this Valentine’s Day with these tasty love-themed cupcake decorating ideas.

The best part about these cupcakes, though, is the decoration. There is no limit when it comes to decorating. With so many ways to make them and so many flavors and colors to use, you can make any boring vanilla cupcake something extra special.

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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

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Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases.

In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, this should take about 3-5 minutes using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minuets after each addition.

Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Put the milk and vanilla extract in a jug.

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

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them about two thirds full to allow the mixture to rise when cooking. Bake in the oven for about 20 minuets (regular size case) or 15 minutes (mini size cases).

Remove from the oven and carefully place them onto a wire rack to cool.

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To decorate:

Ingredients

Icing sugar

Red, Pink and White royal icing

Roll out the white royal icing on an icing sugar dusted surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out with a round cookie cutter and apply to the cupcakes. Alternate the colours if you wish.

Roll out the red and pink royal icing to 1/8 inch thick. Using small heart shaped cutters or a sharp knife, cut out a few heart shapes. If you have small letter shape cutters, you can cut out the words ‘I Love You’ or ‘Be Mine’ and using a little icing sugar mixed with water stick them onto the circular icing. Alternatively you could just sprinkle some pink edible heart decorations on top of the white icing.

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Triple Treacle Chocolate Cookies

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These treacle cookies are soft, chewy, full of chocolate and hold a hint of wonderful flavours. Chocolate is used three times within; coco powder, chocolate chips and big chocolate chunks making these perfect for chocolate lovers. To achieve the crackled appearance on top of the cookies, and to release some of the gooey melted chocolate, once removed from the oven tap the top of the cookie firmly using the back of a spoon.

Ingredients for the cookies:

110g unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

200g brown dark sugar

100g granulated sugar

85g Black Treacle

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

310g all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda

170g dark chocolate chips

140g dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks

Ingredients for the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

150g granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute. Allow to cool.  Add the egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, black treacle, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and salt and whisk until all combined and the batter is smooth.

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Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and stir to just incorporate. The batter will be thick.

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Fold in the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.

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Preheat oven to 180C and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and stir to combine.

Using a cookie scoop, form a ball of dough and then roll through the cinnamon-sugar.  Place on baking trays, spaced about 2 inches apart (to allow the cookies to spread).

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Bake for about 7- 8 minutes, or until tops are just set. Try not to over bake otherwise you will lose the gooey chocolate and soft and chewy texture.

Once removed from the oven, gently tap the top of the cookies with the back of a spoon to flatten them. This will create the crackled appearance and allow some of the melted chocolate to ooze out.

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Leave cookies to cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes before moving them to a rack to finish cooling.

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Nutella Swirl Peanut Butter Blondies

IMG_6644These blondies will definitely satisfy Nutella and peanut butter lovers. They are made from brown sugar, peanut butter and melted butter which makes them super soft, yet gooey. Milk chocolate chips are then added and Nutella is then swirled on top to not only give the blondies a great appearance but to add depth, richness, and a pop of chocolate.

This recipe is ideal, you will only use one bowl and they’ll be ready in 30minutes!

Ingredients: 

110g unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

175g light brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

150g plain flour

150g milk chocolate chips

1 tablespoon peanut butter

75g Nutella

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking tin with aluminium foil and grease.

In a microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

Wait a minute before adding the egg so you don’t scramble it. Add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

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Add the flour and stir until just combined.

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Stir in the milk chocolate chip chips.

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Add the peanut butter and stir until evenly dispersed.

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Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

To create the marbled pattern shown, drizzle the Nutella over the batter in three parallel lines, evenly spaced. Next rotate the pan 90 -degrees. With a toothpick, starting at the top of the pan, drag the toothpick through the Nutella 5/6 times.

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Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.

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Allow the blondes to cool in the baking tin for about 40minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. You can then cut into squares to serve.

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