Marmalade Brownies

With just a few simple tweaks, you can elevate your brownies to a different level. If you love orange flavour in chocolate, you’ll love these. I reduced significantly the amount of sugar and marmalade from the original recipe and it worked out very well. They are very fudge, gluten-free, with the perfect amount and flavour of bitter orange. Even better the next day!

GLUTEN-FREE MARMALADE BROWNIES

Ingredients:

200g dark chocolate

100g butter

4 eggs

100g sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons ground almonds

5 tablespoons marmalade

3 tablespoons flaked or chopped almonds

pinch of sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line 25cm square tray with baking paper.
  2. Break the chocolate into the heatproof bowl and melt over the simmering water or in the microwave. Add the butter, stir well to combine.
  3. Separate the eggs. Whisk the egg white until meringue-stiff. set aside.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla, then fold in the ground almonds.
  5. Add the cooled but still warm chocolate mixture into the yolk batter. Then gently fold in the egg whites, a third at the time, do not knock the air too much.
  6. Pour the ready mixture on the the prepared tin.
  7. Gently warm the marmalade in a small saucepan with the spoon of water until it’s a bit loose. Then spoon this over the brownies mixture randomly. Sprinkle with the almonds on top and seas salt, bake for 20-25 minute or until the knife inserted int he middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin completely before removing and cutting into the squares.
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Chocolate Shortcakes with a Peanut Butter Filling

A fiend of mine suggested baking together from time to time, so we did, our first session. It was more chatting than baking, but it seems more fun that way, especially when there’s G&T involved.

We decided to bake two things: something savoury (we choose Zucchini Cheese Cake) and something sweet, like these Chocolate Shortcakes from Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home book. Both bakes were absolutely delicious and I highly recommend.

Chocolate shortcakes with Peanut Butter filling

CHOCOLATE SHORTCAKES WITH A PEANUT BUTTER FILLING

Ingredients:

Shortcakes:

340g plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
80g caster sugar
65g unsalted butter
85g milk chocolate chips
60ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
20g demerara sugar

Filling:

280g full fat cream cheese
60g crunchy peanut butter
60g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and then add the caster sugar. Rub the butter into the ingredients and then add the chocolate chips.
  3. Mix the double cream, vanilla extract and two eggs in a jug and pour this into the flour mixture. This will form a rough dough when you stir it.
  4. Lightly flour a surface and pat the dough down onto it to a thickness of about 3-4cm. Cut out small discs using the cookie cutter (about 6-8 discs).
  5. Place the cakes onto your tray and put them into the freezer for 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Remove the cakes from the freezer. In a small bowl beat the last egg and brush the tops of the cakes. Sprinkle the demerara sugar onto each cake and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  7. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and the peanut butter until it’s smooth and then add the icing sugar.
  8. Once the cakes are baked and cooled, cut them in half and spoon a few teaspoons onto the bottom halves of the cakes and sandwich the cakes together.

 

Chocolate and Raspberry Mini Cakes

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It’s exactly a year ago since I wrote my first blog post. Happy 1st Birthday, Blog ! 🙂

I’ve really enjoyed my first year of blogging…
Just wonder why it took me so long to start it the first place 🙂

I would like to say thank you to everyone who follows this blog and takes the time to read what I have to share.  Here’s to another year & happy eating!

Let’s go straight to celebration with…

CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY MINI CAKES

Ingredients:

4 eggs

200 g sugar

100 g plain flour

80 g cocoa powder

185 g butter, melted

1 punnet raspberries (about 250 g)

For the chocolate sauce:

100 dark chocolate (roughly chopped)

50 ml double cream

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C, and butter liberally 8-10 mini moulds/mini pie tins.

2. Beat the eggs and sugar with the mixer until light and creamy (aprox 3 minutes), then add in the flour and cocoa powder, continue to beat until well incorporated. Pour in the melted butter and beat for a further few minutes until it looks like smooth, dark, rich batter.

3. Spoon 1 large tablespoon batter into each of the prepared moulds, then place 2-3 raspberries in the middle of each mould and top with a further tablespoon of cake batter.

4. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until a skewer comes out dry. Allow to cool before removing from the moulds.

5. Meanwhile prepare the chocolate sauce. Gradually heat the chocolate and double cream over a low heat stirring constantly.

6. Remove the cakes from the moulds, drizzle over with a hot chocolate sauce and decorate with remaining raspberries.

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Chocolate and Hazelnuts Biscotti

These biscotti are loaded with chunks of hazelnuts and chocolate, and are perfect for dunking in your coffee. They are crisp and crunchy, with a deep chocolate flavor that comes from adding both unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate to the batter. You can make them as crunchy as you prefer by leaving them longer in an oven during the second bake. Original recipe asked for pistachios but I didn’t have them on hands, so I used the hazelnuts instead and was pleased with the result. IMG_4646

CHOCOLATE AND HAZELNUTS BISCOTTI

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe)

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons butter, softened, plus more for baking sheet

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for baking sheet

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup toasted hazelnuts

1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180C. Butter and flour a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beat until well combined. Add flour mixture, and stir to form a stiff dough. Stir in toasted hazelnuts and chopped chocolate.
  3. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet; form into a slightly flattened log, about 30 x 10cm. Bake until slightly firm, about 25 minutes. Cool about 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 150C.
  4. On a cutting board, using a sharp knife, cut biscotti diagonally into 2.5cm slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet, and bake until crisp but still slightly soft in the center, about 8 minutes (or longer, depends on how crunchy you want them to be).

The Naughty Senator Cake

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I am a sucker for any recipe with history or any interesting background story. So when I heard about the Naughty Senator Cake, I was intrigued immediately. Why such a title and what is so naughty about it?

Apparently, Melissa Gray, producer for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and author of All Cakes Considered, came up with the idea for her Naughty Senator pound cake after two sex scandals involving members of Congress. “I settled on peppermint, chocolate and rum,” she writes. “Peppermint, because the senators and congresspeople I’ve met over the years at NPR always seem to smell of mint. It’s a public speaking thing. … Chocolate, because it’s rich and so are most senators. Rum, because, well, rum means debauchery to me. Or at least a sizeable impairment of judgment.”

Was this story true or not, I don’t know for sure, but it definitely made me want to make this cake. If you like the classic Marble Cake and the mint flavour, you are going to love this cake. The light and slightly crumbly texture is perfect without even being frosted. Rum gives the cake an extra kick and the minty flavour is my favourite part. It is even better the next morning paired with a cup of mint tea.

Another reason why I made this cake because it was my Mum’s Birthday today,(Happy Birthday Mum) and although sometimes because of the distance, we cannot meet up so often, we have this tradition when for any member of the family for their Birthdays we make a cake in their honour and celebrate with them this way. She will get a picture of the cake, but we will get to eat it ; )

To be honest, with this cake I always stick to the original recipe, the only change I always make I reduce the amount of sugar. (I tend to do this for most recipes I try)

 THE NAUGHTY SENATOR MARBLE CAKE

Ingredients:

300 white sugar

25 cocoa

225 g butter, soft

large eggs 

375 g plain flour

teaspoons baking powder 

½ tablespoon salt 

250 ml milk 

teaspoons peppermint essence (or extract)

½ teaspoon green food colouring 

teaspoons rum (or rum extract)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Coat a bundt pan heavily with butter or cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and all of the cocoa. Set aside.

3. Cream butter with a mixer at medium speed, gradually adding the remaining sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.

5. With the mixer on low speed, add 125 g of the flour mixture; beat, then add 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the milk and beat again. Repeat until all of the flour mixture and milk are blended into batter. Beat on medium-high speed for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Pour half of the batter into a clean medium bowl. Add the peppermint flavouring and a couple drops of green food colouring (just enough to turn the batter pastel green) to one bowl of batter. Pour two-thirds of the green batter into the bottom of the cake pan. Set aside the remaining green batter.

7. Clean off your mixer beaters, dry, and return them to the mixer. Add the cocoa-sugar mixture to the yellow batter and add the rum. Beat until smooth.

8. Using a spatula, pour the chocolate-flavoured batter over the green batter in the cake pan. Layer the remaining third of green batter over the chocolate batter. Marble by taking a small rubber spatula or plastic knife and cutting through the middle of the batter ring to the bottom of the pan. Bring the spatula or knife toward you and then up toward the side of the pan. Rotate the cake pan with your other hand and repeat. You’ll do 2 rotations total, no more.

9. Bake for 1 hour. When the cake tests done (an inserted toothpick comes out clean), cool for 15 to 30 minutes in the pan, then removed onto a cake rack.

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Chocolate Pear and Cardamon Cake

We are thinking to go away this week-end, so, last night I wanted to make some cake which would be easy to take with us and to have as a snack with a coffee or even as a breakfast cake. I had basic ingredients in a cupboard and three ripe pears. Pears and chocolate, chocolate and cardamon, cardamon and pears, these are the classic combinations, so why not to mix them together. This is very easy to make but delicious, light and fragrant everyday cake. Pears give a nice texture and make the cake moist. Serve it still a bit warm with cream or an ice-cream, as a pudding, or let it cool completely and have it as is with coffee or chai latte 🙂
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CHOCOLATE PEAR AND CARDAMON CAKE

Ingredients:

3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, chopped into chunks

1 cup plain flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

100g butter

150g dark chocolate

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

6-7 cardamon seeds, peeled & powdered
(you can opt out the cardamon seeds if you don’t like the taste of cardamon)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170C.

2. In one bowl combine together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, powdered cardamon & salt, put aside.

3. In another bowl, place butter and chocolate, melt it, using the microwave or bain-marie method. Stir well to combine butter and chocolate, add sugar and beat well, using mixer. Add eggs, one at the time, beating well in between. Then add in flour mixture, alternating with milk. Make sure it is mixed well before transferring in to the prepared, buttered and lined with the paper tin (I used 20x20cm square one).

4. Carefully distribute the chopped pears on top of the batter and bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry when you insert it in the middle of the cake. Let the cake to cool for about 15 minutes. Dust with icing sugar.

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Cake with Ricotta & Chocolate

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If you don’t have or don’t like chocolate you can easily replace it with vanilla, orange peel, lemon zest, any candied fruit, raisins or dried cherries. Just remember that raisins should be pre-soaked in hot water for half an hour and a good squeeze. Whatever on you’ll decide, at the end, you should get a delicious & fluffy cake.


CAKE WITH RICOTTA & CHOCOLATE


Ingredients:

300 g flour
300 g ricotta  
150 g butter 
4 eggs 
100 g sugar 
150 g chocolate chips
100 g walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt

I normally would use a round a spring form, of a width of approximately 27 cm but as you see on a picture, I’ve used some fancy fluted savarin pan instead and it worked just fine.

Method:

1. Beat the butter at room temperature (softened) with sugar, at low speed. Add the ricotta, again beat the mixture is a little cheese consistency. Whipping (slowly) add in eggs, one at a time.

2. Mix flour with baking powder, salt and sift, and to ricotta mix, in very small portions.

3. The chocolate chips and rather coarsely chopped walnuts (candied cherries, raisins or dried peel, whatever you decide), mix in a separate bowl and add to the batter. Combine well everything.

4. Grease form with the butter and sprinkle flour, shake off. Put the cake in a pre-heated to 180 degrees oven for about 1 hour. Check it with a knife or a toothpick, if dry finish.