Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Dark Chocolate Chip Brownie Cookies

If your looking for a seriously dark chocolate cookie, then this is definitely it. There so rich you wouldn't want them any bigger than this, or eat more than just one. These are also easy to make, so it's a great choice to make with the kids over Easter. Easter means one thing to me since I'm not religious, and that's a chocolate overload. Duh!
These the best/worst kind of biscuits to give to kids; as these are the kind of biscuits that end up all over their faces, because there just so good; but there the kind that keeps them quiet for awhile, whilst they chomp through chocolaty goodness. Whilst recently going through my recipe cut outs, i found a very similar recipe in an old magazine, so obviously, the crunchy exterior and soft interior, appeals so much that its in a food magazine.

Dark chocolate is my favourite, but feel free to use milk or white chocolate chips if you have kids.If you wanted you could also add nuts, e.g macadamia, hazelnuts or almonds, for extra crunch and another flavour. These would be great served with coffee, but, if you like coffee allot then you could swap the vanilla extract with coffee extract; Et volia you have chocolate, and coffee cookies. As with most chocolate recipes, the best chocolate and cocoa powder you can afford, use, it makes a massive difference in this recipe.


400g dark chocolate chips
225g butter
200g caster sugar
200g dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp treacle 
2 tbsp vanilla extract 
450g plain flour
125g Cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 170
2. Beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy
3. Beat in the treacle, vanilla and eggs( be careful not to over beat)
4. Mix in the sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and flour
5. Stir in the chocolate chips
6. Gently knead the mixture and shape into thick "sausages", chill for around 1 hr
7. Cut the dough with even sized thickness( the mixture can be frozen at this point and cooked from frozen)
8. Place on baking tray and bake for 10 mins or until starting to firm up ( it's the kind of biscuit that firms up more out of the oven)
9. Drizzle with white or dark chocolate if wished
10. Enjoy

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Salted Caramel, Almond, and Chocolate Fudge Tart

One week until the Easter holidays! yay! Oh, wait, that's just for my sisters. Great... That means, i still have an extra week, of getting up at ridiculously early o'clock, for work experience. I just want to go to bed, and cry. To get me through the tough weeks; i thought that chocolate, was really, the only answer. Since my sisters will have a head start in holidays , i thought i deserved a head start, in the chocolate eating department. So i made this gorgeous tart(man.... i love salted caramel and chocolate).

salted caramel, almond and chocolate tart on grey marble
The best part is obviously the salted caramel, but if you've read my blog before, you'll know that I can eat it by the spoonful, so that shouldn't be too much of a surprise. The tart keeps well, as the layers don't have that much moisture, which cause a soggy bottom. The chocolate filling has a soft texture, somewhere between a brownie, and a mousse; which goes nicely with the crunch of the nuts and crisp pastry.
salted caramel, almond and chocolate tart on grey marble
Like with all chocolate recipes, use the best chocolate you can afford, it really makes a difference. I used left over plain sweet pastry, but feel free to buy, or make a sweet chocolate pastry, if you feel like going on a chocolate blowout. I used almonds as they are probably my favourite nut, and what i had to hand, but feel free to use whatever nuts you like e.g. Hazelnut for that Nutella vibe, or pecans would work well too.
salted caramel, almond and chocolate tart on grey marble


x1 quantity of sweet pastry

75g sugar
25g butter
100ml double cream
1 large pinch sea salt
50g almonds

chocolate filling:
100g dark chocolate
75g butter
2 large eggs 
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cocoa powder

1. preheat the oven to 180°c/ gas 4.

2. roll out the pastry, line with grease-proof paper, and fill with baking beans, bake for 20 mins. remove the baking beans and cook for a further 5-10 mins until golden.cool

3. While the tart is cooking, make the salted caramel. Dissolve the sugar with 2 tbsp water, cook until the sugar turns golden.

4. Reduce the heat, add butter, cream and golden syrup.stir until smooth and thickened. 

5. remove from the heat, add the sea salt.

6. leave to cool for a few minutes

7. pour onto the tart case, scatter with chopped almonds.set aside

8. for the chocolate filling. melt the chocolate and butter together, in the microwave or over a bowl of simmering water, until smooth. set aside and leave to cool.

9. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk and sugar for about 6 mins until thick and pale, and doubled in size.

10. carefully fold in the chocolate and cocoa powder.

11. pour into the tart case. bake for 20-25 mins or until its set and formed a crust.

12. leave to cool before cutting. Dust with cocoa powder before serving. enjoy.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Roasted Balsamic Beetroot

I do seem to have a thing for roasted veg at the moment, and they always end up in some form of salad, often with feta, and almonds. I would promise to stop, but you might have a few more recipes heading your way soon, as my mum enjoys salads too(it's a secret at the moment, but i will make her several salads on mothers day for lunch, just don't tell her yet!).
I served it as a side salad mixed with lemon couscous, to grilled salmon, but feel free, to serve it on its own as a side dish. This time i roasted beetroot instead of carrots, as they add a lovely colour, and have a stronger flavour than carrots. I also love, in roasting the beetroot, as the earthy flavour is toned down, and turned into sweetness, and the flavour intensifies, which can easily replace meat in salads, as I'm not a massive meat eater, particularly at lunch time. 


beetroot- peeled and cut into even pieces 
garlic cloves (i used 4)
spring of fresh rosemary
olive oil
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper


1. preheat oven to 190°, gas 5.
2. toss beetroot in olive oil, add garlic and rosemary
3. roast for 20 mins 
4. remove, toss in balsamic vinegar, season
5. roast for a further 10 mins, or until cooked through
6. sprinkle with chopped almonds and feta
7. enjoy, or add to lemon couscous with chopped parsley 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Belguim Biscuits

These are for the days when you feel like a pretty biscuit; Something a bit more fancy than a plain old digestive, or rich tea (which are both some of my favourite biscuits: which is why they must be kept out of sight when I'm around!). They also make great gifts, as they are probably one of the prettiest biscuits, a great Mother's Day gift as the look dainty and pretty, with speckles of pink.

They are spiced with cinnamon and mixed spice, and remind me of German Christmas biscuits, but without the jam. The raspberry jam is traditional, and I've sprinkled them in freeze dried raspberry powder, as it has a good strong raspberry flavour, but traditionally they would be sprinkled with raspberry jelly crystals.
There also great addition to a bake sale as the look impressive and something a bit different than cupcakes to raise money. Such as, for Comic Relief on the Friday 13th.These make a great gift particularly around Christmas time, as the spices are Christmassy: i usually give these to both my aunt, and my mum. Just don't put raspberry jam in them, unless you know there going to eat them immediately (within a day),as they will go soft quite quickly.

Ingredients- Biscuit

225g butter
1 cup sugar
1 dtsp golden syrup
2 eggs, one white kept aside for later
3 cups flour
1 dstp cinnamon
1 dstp mixed spice
1 tsp cocoa 
1 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

1. preheat oven to 180° .
2. cream together the butter, sugar and golden syrup, until light and fluffy
3. add one egg and one yolk, beat well
4. sift together the flour, spices, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
5. add the dry ingredients and mix to form a ball
6. roll out the mixture, around a pound coin thickness, cut with a cutter and place on baking tray
7. bake for 10- 12 mins or until starting to brown
8. leave to cool

9. when cool, make the royal icing

Ingredients -royal icing

1 egg white icing sugar 
raspberry jam
raspberry powder/ jelly crystals

1. mix the egg white and icing sugar to form a spreadable icing
2. spread icing on half of the biscuits and sprinkle with freeze dried raspberry powder
3. sandwich together with raspberry jam 
4. enjoy 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Sticky Gingerbread Loaf

With the weather slowly getting warmer, and the first day of spring a few days ago; i thought i would say farewell to the cold, and perhaps rain? Who am i kidding! i live in England. To say "goodbye",I made a sticky gingerbread loaf, with all the wintry spices, that warm you from the inside out( I'm talking about the ginger, btw).

 sticky gingerbread loaf with butter
I made this for my dads birthday,(yes, i know it was in May, i just haven't got round to posting this yet. Sorry.) it kept well, so is a great choice if you know someone doesn't eat allot of cake, but you still want to give them something.
sticky gingerbread loaf with slices and butter on top of a slice with a knife to the side
Serve it with butter, which is what we had it with, as it was quite dense like a malt loaf. or if you wanted to turn it into a dessert, warm it up and serve with hot custard. If your going to serve it as a pudding, or eat it on its own with a fork, to make it even more gingery and delicious, when its still warm pour over stem ginger syrup with chopped stem ginger pieces. 
sticky gingerbread loaf

sticky gingerbread loaf

sticky gingerbread loaf

slices of sticky gingerbread loaf


1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

350g flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 whole nutmeg, freshly grated
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
4 tbsp milk
175g black treacle
175g golden syrup
175g dark brown soft sugar
175g butter
2 eggs, beaten

1. preheat oven 170°

2. sift flour and spices( incl the pepper) together
3. mix the bicarb and milk together, set aside
4. melt the treacle, golden syrup, sugar and butter with  150ml water, until blended
5. add the syrup mixture to the flour, beat vigorously with a wooden spoon
6. when the mixture is smooth beat in the eggs, a little at a time
7. then beat in the milk and bicarb mixture
8. pour into a prepared tin and bake for 1 1/4- 1 1/2 hrs, until well risen, firm to the touch and has slightly shrunk away from the sides
9. remove,allow to cool. 
10. best eaten when matured for a few days. enjoy