Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Chocolate brownie cookies

This is a complete winner of a recipe from waitrose. Well I made one change, I did not let the cookies cool then drizzle in chocolate. No no no. I kept the roll of dough in the fridge and cut a few of over a few days. I tucked in to them about 10 minutes after they came out of the oven for complete warm cookie/brownie bliss. I imagine if you left them to completely cool they would lose some of that fudgey goodness. If you are more patient than me and do let them cool, let me know what they are like!

Chocolate brownie cookies

150g dark chocolate
110g butter
100g golden caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
1/2 egg
1/2 tbsp golden syrup
Tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
Tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Gently melt half the chocolate and set aside to cool a little. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, syrup, vanilla and melted chocolate until combined. Add the remaining ingredients including the remaining chocolate (chopped)' and bear until everything is incorporated. 

Transfer the dough to parchment paper and shape into a rough sausage 20cm long. Wrap in the paper, twisting the ends and chill for at least an hour.

When ready to eat the cookies preheat the oven to 180C/160C FAN and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice cookies off the sausage about 1cm in width. 

Place on the prepared sheet and bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on the sheet for ten minutes, they will be very very soft. After 10 minutes remove the cookies from the sheet and either transfer to a wire rack to cool or eat.

A few notes, the slices may not hold together, just squish them back together or place the pieces like a jigsaw on the baking sheet, the pieces will merge during baking. Do not attempt to remove the cookies from the sheet early, they are just too soft. Oh and I implore you to eat them while warm, fudgey and delicious. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Arugula (rocket) and walnut pesto

Yes this is not a sweet bake, it's not even a bake. I will explain. Alpha bakes starts again this month and Caroline and Ross are joining forces with Dom of Bellau Kitchen and his random recipe challenge. As a quick aside, go spend a while drooling over the lovely looking food on the blog...

So the letter is 'A' and I was supposed to chose a random book and stab my finger at something beginning with 'A' in the appendix. 

So I let Mark pick the book, yet it was not a book, it was a recipe folder with scraps I have collected. The only thing in it beginning with A was a recipe I grabbed from an American magazine. Hence why the word arugula and not rocket! Still no swaps, that's the rules.

It is an easy easy recipe, 100g rocket, 50g rocket, 50ml olive oil, 50g Parmesan. Blend in a food processor, adding more olive oil if needed or if you like a loose pesto.

I did not add Parmesan as I am not able to eat cheese, I added some nutritional yeast for a sharp salty edge. And to be honest this pesto was declared delicious by Mark so I am happy. 

I have had it in a wrap with chickpeas, kale and avocado, it was lovely. 

Mark has been enjoying it in bagels with roast beef.

I will also be putting spoonfuls of it on my pizza later on in the week. I will try and remember to add a picture.

I love making my own different pestos and this is a nice one to add to the collection.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sticky toffee pudding (dairy free)

At Easter I go over to my fianc├ęs family home. Easter Sunday sees the traditional leg of lamb, followed by whatever I create as a pudding.

This is a tricky one I often make two desserts to keep all happy. It's even more tricky now I cannot eat dairy. 

I love the fantastic oh she glows blog from Angela Liddon, on there is a divine sticky toffee pudding. I used agave syrup instead of brown rice syrup, dark muscavado sugar and pure sunflower spread.

Everybody complemented this pudding and could not believe there was no butter or cream. An added bonus of this pudding is that it a little healthier than your standard sticky toffee without being a boring no fun dessert.

The blog is beyond gorgeous go take a look, and next time you need to please others (not to mention yourself) make this pudding!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Carrot tray bake

I do love a good indulgent piece of carrot cake, this is not a recipe for that style of cake. This is a carrot cake for the days when you need your cake to be less sweet, less showy. It's also perfect if you are not a fan of layers of frosting and the accompanying sugar rush.

It's a great cake to have with a cup of tea, as a small snack that will not ruin your appetite for whatever deliciousness you have planned for later on.

We both liked the flavour of this cake, not very sweet which allowed the carrot, cinnamon and raisins to shine. It was a good texture not too crumbly which made for easy eating. The maple syrup icing was a last minute addition, but a welcome one adding just a little interest. I added chia seeds, purely because I love them and am adding them to everything, feel free to use poppy seeds or just leave the seeds out.

Carrot tray bake

200g carrot, finely grated
120ml maple syrup
180ml almond milk (dairy milk is also fine)
75ml groundnut oil, or other flavourless oil
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar 
170g white spelt flour (plain white is also fine)
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
2tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp mixed spice
10g of chia seeds, or poppy seeds or omit the seeds
75g raisins

A little icing sugar and maple syrup for the top (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170C/150CFAN. Line a 8 inch square pan and grease the sides and the parchment with a little oil. I used a pan 7 by 8 inches and did not lime it as it was silcon, it worked just fine.

Mix the wet ingredients including the carrot in a medium bowl. In a large bowl mix all the cry ingredients including the raisins. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients a third at a time and mix, by hand, until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin, level the batter with a pallets knife or spoon then bake in the oven for 45 minutes until golden and springy.

Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, and if desired, mix maple syrup with icing sugar to form a fairly thick icing that will still drizzle of the end of a spoon and artistically drizzle across the top of the cake.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Lemon and coconut bundt cake

I have a horrible feeling my poor blog will suffer a little whilst writing my PhD thesis, it's only being a week and a bit and I have not managed a post. To be honest after a day of writing the last thing I want to do is do more writing.

Interestingly my thesis writing is definitely going to be fueled by cake, so there will still be lots of baking... Enough chat I have four baked goods not yet posted so I better get on it!

First up is one of the baked goodies I took to work for my birthday last week. I wanted something without nuts and chocolate or dairy to cater to everyone's allergies and/or Lenten promises! This lemon and coconut cake came to the rescue. It attracted my eye as quite often coconut is paired with lime. It was simple to make and although it is vegan it required no tricky to get hold or unusual ingredients.

The cake itself tasted lovely, the lemon contrasted nicely with the coconut. The texture was lovely, no one at work could believe it was vegan. Apologies for lack of pictures, I forget when I take things to work the opportunity to take a photo before its devoured is very very slim.

The coconut theme will be continuing shortly, my mum made an amazing lime and coconut cake when I went home for my birthday, it was amazing, I had to have two slices in one day, just to check it was amazing you understand. I will have to get that recipe...

And about to come out of the oven is yet another coconut cake... This time with orange! My own creation it will appear on the blog soon.