Brownie Cookie Bites

Happy New Year!

It’s been a while since I have properly blogged on the bakes I have made, and believe me – I have baked quite a bit recently. I have just had no time to actually create the posts. So look out, I will be more attentive in future.

Anyway, I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas break. Im currently in use up mode as we still have so many lovely Christmas goodies left over,  so I thought I would use some bits up and this recipe includes chopped up chocolate money.

These brownie cookie bites are quite simply delicious. Who doesn’t love a cookie AND a brownie? I made the first batch of these, and my hubby and daughter went to town on them. So I can definitely recommend these as a sure fire crowd pleaser.

Ingredients for the Brownie

75g Baking Margarine

40g Cocoa Powder

225g Caster Sugar

2 Eggs

50g Plain Flour

Method for the Brownie

Melt the margarine in a pan on a low heat. Once melted, add in the sugar until fully dissolved. Then add in the cocoa.

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Remove from the heat, and add in your eggs and mix. Then mix in your flour and combine altogether.

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Ingredients for the Cookie Dough

125g Butter

175g Soft Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Egg

150g Plain Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

100g Chocolate chips

Method for the Cookie Dough

Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat, then add in the sugar and stir. It will separate slightly, but this is okay. Remove from the heat and add in the vanilla extract.

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In a separate bowl, add in the flour and baking powder. Once the butter and sugar mixture has cooled slightly, add in the egg and stir. Once combined, add the wet mixture to your flour and mix together until combined.

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Now, as we have just had Christmas, my house is still full of Christmas chocolate. So instead of adding 100g of chocolate chips, I have chopped up 100g of chocolate Christmas coins. Chop up and throw into the dough mix and stir together.

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Now you have your brownie and cookie dough mixture, you can begin to compile the bites together.

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I have used a mini tartlet tray which is such a handy baking tray to get. You can use it for all kinds of miniature treats. I like to bake things small if I can, as they usually end up at parties or I take them to work, so you are able to get more treats out of a single batch of mixture.

Spoon a teaspoon of the brownie mixture into the tray first, followed by a teaspoon of the cookie dough mixture.

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Bake at 200°C/390°F/Gas Mark 6 for 14 minutes. Once baked, leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tray.

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You might find it a bit tricky to get these out in one piece, but its fine if the cookie part comes out first and  you then have to take out the brownie part, simply place the cookie part on top of the brownie and squidge together so they hold together.

The cookie part should be crunchy, followed by the gooey cakey texture of the brownie. Simply delicious. Why have one treat, when you can combine the two. Even better would be to eat them warm with some vanilla ice cream. Give them a go and enjoy!

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Twix Cake

I needed to bake for my works Macmillan coffee morning and I always like to try something different. My father always pops over my house to see my daughter every Saturday, and he always brings her a packet of sweets as a treat. Last week, he brought a packet of mini Twix in a bag, and I got to thinking. I would love to use these as part of a cake – and this is when I decided to create my Twix cake.

Ingredients

8 oz Baking Margarine

8 oz Caster Sugar

4 Eggs

8 oz  Self Raising Flour

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tin of caramel

300g Milk Chocolate

20ml Vegetable Oil

As many Twix as you wish to put on your cake (I used 32 single Twix!) OMG!

A Bag of Mini Twix

Method

Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.

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Add in your eggs (remembering to add in a table spoon of your flour at the same time to avoid your mixture splitting). Bring together and add the remaining flour.

Finally, add in your vanilla extract and combine. Spoon your cake mixture into a 7 inch cake tin and bake at 150°C/300°F/ Gas Mark 2 for 75-80 minutes until cooked through.

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Once your cake has completely cooled you can begin to melt your chocolate. I usually melt my chocolate in a Bain-marie, by placing boiling water in a pan. Then putting the chocolate in a heat proof bowel on top of the pan of boiling water, being very careful. Stir the chocolate occasionally to make sure the chocolate melts evenly and doesn’t catch. I did put about 20ml of vegetable oil into the chocolate so it became a better consistency so it would spread onto the cake better.

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Now, here is where I cheated. Im not afraid to admit I take the occasional shortcut, but hay, this cake was made on a school night and I only had so much time. Here enters a tin of Carnation caramel – its gooey, its sweet, lets face it, its absolutely scrummy. Lather the caramel on top of your sponge cake, making sure you check on your melting chocolate.

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Once your chocolate has melted, remove the pan from the heat, and then remove the heat proof bowl and leave to the side to cool slightly for about 5 minutes. Once cooled ever so slightly, being very careful, literally pour the chocolate all over the top of your cake. Using a spatula, begin to spread the chocolate out so that it starts to go over the edges, making sure that the entire cake is covered. Don’t worry if the cake looks a bit messy, the Twix decoration will hide any un-neatness.

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Now the fun bit – add on the Twix all the way round your cake. I had mine so there was no gaps but that involved A LOT of Twix – so feel free to change the way you add them on.

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For the decoration for the top of the cake, I found some lovely Gold sprinkles in my cake larder so added these, as well as some mini Twix bites that seem to be new in the shops recently – they look very cute and a perfect finish for my cake.

This cake is def not for the faint hearted, but it is very scrummy and very easy to make. Give it a go and enjoy!

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Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These are simply delicious! I cannot lie to you! They are light, they are lemony, they are gooey – they are just scrumptious!

Sometimes, just sometimes you fancy something a bit different. Something a bit more special than a regular cupcake – and this is it! Have them for elevenses, for a treat, for dessert, for whatever reason you can justify in making them –  just make them.

Ingredients for Cupcakes (this will make 12 muffin sized cupcakes)

6 oz Baking Margarine

6 oz Caster Sugar

3 Eggs

6 oz Gluten Free Self Raising Flour

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.

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Add in your eggs (remembering to add in a table spoon of your flour at the same time to avoid your mixture splitting). Bring together and add the remaining flour. I made these cakes Gluten free, however if you wish to make gluten ones, just substitute the gluten free flour for regular self raising flour.

Finally, add in your vanilla extract and combine. Spoon your cake mixture into 12 muffin sized cases and bake at 150°C/300°F/ Gas Mark 2 for 30-35 minutes until cooked through.

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Whilst your cupcakes are baking, you can make your meringue.

Ingredients for the meringue

4 Egg Whites

115g Caster Sugar

115g Icing Sugar

Method

Firstly begin by separating your egg whites from the yolk.

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Beat them with an electric hand mixer or in a free standing mixer and beat on a medium speed until the egg whites resemble a fluffy cloud, and stands in stiff peaks when you lift your whisk.

Then turn up the speed on your whisk and start to add in the caster sugar, a spoonful at a time. This time the mixture should look thick and glossy.

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Set aside the whisk and grab a spatula or a spoon. Then gently fold in the sifted icing sugar 1/3 at a time until completely blended together. You should be then left with a gooey snow drift meringue, it’s now ready.

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Once your cupcakes have cooled, using an apple corer, scoop out some of the cake from the middle and spoon in a dollop of lemon curd. You then will need to replace the sponge that you have just removed, and simply push back into the centre. Don’t worry too much if it looks a bit messy and crumby – you are going to be topping it with the meringue, so no-one will notice – honest.

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Then you need to put the meringue on the top. You can either scoop it on top, or as I did, piped it. I used a 2D nozzle and pipped swirls on top of the cake. You then can either pop them under the grill, or as I did – blow torch them. This is always great fun, but I must stress to be very careful when using a blow torch.  Just grill / blow torch them until the meringue turns a lovely brown colour – be very careful in not burning the meringue also.

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These are completely delicious, gooey and just scrummy. They are a bit different from a regular cupcake, and I think these are really special. Give them a go and enjoy!

Lemon Drizzle Cake

This has to be one of my most favourite cakes. It’s light, it’s moist and most importantly….. it’s extremely lemony and I just adore it.

Ingredients

3oz Baking Margarine

3oz Caster Sugar

3 Eggs

3 oz Self Raising Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

Grated zest of 1.5 lemons

For the drizzle

The juice of 1.5 lemons

Caster sugar to taste

For the icing

4oz Icing Sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Method

Cream together the baking margarine and caster sugar until light, pale and fluffy.

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Add in the zest of 1.5 lemons and mix together. I really love lemon, so if you prefer a more subtle lemon flavour, use less lemon.

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Then add in your eggs, flour and baking powder then mix to combine together.

Grease and line a baking tin and add in your mixture. Bake at 150°C/300°F/ Gas Mark 2 for 45 minutes.

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Whilst your cake is baking, begin to make the lemon drizzle syrup. I used the juice of 1.5 lemons and about 100g of caster sugar, however depending on how tart your lemons are, you may need to increase or decrease the amount of sugar. Set aside as you will be needing this one you cake has come out of the oven.

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After about 45 minutes, remove your cake from the oven, checking to make sure that it is cooked through. Whilst still warm, use a fork and  prick your cake all over,  then gently spoon your lemon syrup all over the cake. Leave to completely cool.

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To make your icing, sieve the icing sugar and squeeze the lemon juice in and stir to combine. You should have quite a thick icing. Then grab a spoon and scatter all over your cake. Delicious.

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All Kinds of Chocolate Cake

Who doesn’t love a chocolate cake? This cake certainly isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s chocolatey, it’s fudgy, it’s gooey and it’s simply delicious! When I was making this cake, I asked my daughter what it should be called. She came up with All Kinds of Chocolate Cake and I love this title. It sums up the cake perfectly.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Fudge Cake

200g Dark Chocolate

200g Butter

125g Cold Water

1 tbsp Instant Coffee Granules

85g Plain Flour

85g Self Raising Flour

25g Cocoa Powder

1/4 tsp Bicarb of Soda

200g Light Brown Sugar

200g Caster Sugar

3 Eggs

75ml Milk

Method for Chocolate Fudge Cake

Using a measuring jug put 125ml water and the 1 tbsp of instant coffee granules and stir together.  Get a saucepan and melt the dark chocolate, the butter and the coffee mixture until all melted together, then set aside to cool slightly.

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In a bowl, put in all of your dry ingredients, the flours, the sugars, bicarb of soda and the cocoa powder. Add in the 3 eggs and milk then mix to combine altogether. Once your chocolate fudge sauce has cooled slightly, add into the bowel and mix together. You will be left with quite a runny cake mixture, this is fine and how the consistency is supposed to be.

Line two 7 inch round sandwich tins and separate the mixture evenly into the tins. Bake at 140°C/160°F/ Gas Mark 3 for 1 hour and 20 minutes until cooked evenly throughout.

IMG_1740 IMG_1765Whilst your cake is baking, you can make this rather yummy white chocolate buttercream frosting. Don’t waste a morsel of this scrummy-ness. If you have extra left over, make sure you lick the spoon, spatula and bowl clean – this is very important.

Ingredients for the White Chocolate Buttercream

200g White Chocolate

280g Butter

280g Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

Method for the White Chocolate Buttercream

Using a bain-marie method, place a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt your white chocolate making sure to stir occasionally to make sure it melts evenly and doesn’t spoil.

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Whilst your chocolate is melting, in a separate bowl, mix together the softened butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy.

Pour in the melted white chocolate and combine altogether. You will have created the most creamy buttercream ever – its heavenly.

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You can now move onto creating the chocolate ganache – see, I did tell you that there was A LOT of chocolate in this cake!

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache

200g Dark Chocolate

285ml Double Cream

2 tbsp Caster Suger

Method for the Chocolate Ganache

Place the cream and the sugar into a milk pan and put on a medium heat until it comes to the boil.

In a separate bowl, break up your dark chocolate into chunks and pour over the cream and sugar mixture and stir until completely combined and it starts to thicken up. Then set aside as it will thicken up as it cools down.

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Make sure you are keeping an eye on your cakes in the oven. Once cooked through, take out and leave on a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Once cool, you can begin to assemble your cake. Using the white chocolate buttercream, sandwich the two layers together and then crumb coat the cake until completely covered in frosting. Do not worry if you can still see some if the the cake underneath, or if you have spots of cake in the buttercream, we will do another layer. Once your crumb coat is done, pop into the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

Add a second layer of buttercream and make sure its placed in quite evenly. I then used a toothed scraper tool to give a bit of texture to the frosting, however you can leave this plain if you wish.

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You are now ready to put on the ganache. If you have found that by the time you are ready to decorate your cake, that your ganache has set too much, simply pop it on top of a pan of simmering water (still in its original bowl), and heat and stir until you get a pouring consistency.

Using a tablespoon, pour the ganache on top of your cake. Using the back of the spoon, move the spoon in circular movements until the ganache goes over the edge of the cake and you see it dripping down the sides. Delicious.

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I then finished off my cake with some Milk Tray chocolates placed in the centre as the finishing touch.

This cake may seem like a lot of work, but its not really at all, and you are left with a very scrummy cake. So give it a go, and enjoy!

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Breakfast Muffins

These Breakfast muffins are scrummy, light and full of goodness. They are super easy to make, and most kids will love them as they still taste sweet due to the honey and fruit. Due to the natural sweeteners used, these are much better for them, and great if you are trying to get more fruit into their diet.

I found this recipe on BBC Goodfood – which is an amazing source with a vast amount of recipes. I made these for some lovely people at work who had been working very early shifts, so I thought they desserved a nice breakfast treat.

Wet Ingredients

2 Beaten Eggs

150ml Low Fat Natural Yogurt

50ml Rapeseed Oil

100g Apple Sauce

1 Mashed Banana

4 tbsp Clear Honey

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Dry Ingredients

200g Wholemeal Plain Flour

50g Rolled Oats

1 1/2 tsp of each Baking Powder, Bicarb of Soda and Cinnamon

100g Blueberries

A hand full of mixed seeds and more oats for the topping

Method

Firstly mix together all of your wet ingredients into a small bowl (2x beaten eggs, 150ml natural low fat yogurt, 50ml Rapeseed oil, 100g apple sauce, 4tbsp clear honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract and one mashed banana). Put everything in the bowl all together and stir everything until mixed together.

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Next, in a separate bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients (300g wholemeal flour, 50g Rolled Oats and 1 1/2 tsp of each baking powder, bicarb of soda and cinnamon). Mix together and then pop in the blueberries, i’ve used frozen fruit here and its absolutely fine to add them into the mix still frozen as they will thaw and cook through when in the oven.

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Mix everything together and generously fill 12 muffin sized cases. Sprinkle over the top of the muffins some more of the rolled oats and the mixed seeds.

Bake in the oven at 180°C/350°F/ Gas Mark 4 and bake for 25 minutes until cooked through.

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I can’t tell you how amazing my kitchen smells when these are baking. I want to nibble them immediately when they are out of the oven.

These will be fab to make if you have friends coming over for morning tea if you want something more healthier, but still feel like you are having a treat. They are also great for the kiddies packed lunches – my girly loves them. Go on, give them a go, and enjoy!

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Mini Egg Illusion Easter Cake

I thought id give the illusion cake another crack (geddit?), as the Smarties cake was such a complete hit, so here is one especially for Easter. You will be surprised by how easy these are to make, and this will make a fantastic centrepiece to your Easter table.

Ingredients for the cake

12oz Baking Margarine

12oz Caster Sugar

6 Eggs

12oz Self Raising Flour

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Bag of Mini Eggs

Chocolate Easter Egg

6 Chunks of Milk Chocolate

Ingredients for Chocolate Fudge Frosting

125g Butter

250g Icing Sugar

30g Cocoa Powder

Splash of milk

Method

Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F/ Gas Mark 2.

Cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in your eggs (remembering to add in a table spoon of your flour at the same time to avoid your mixture splitting). Bring together and add the remaining flour. Finally, add in your vanilla extract and combine.

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Line 2x 7 inch round sandwich tins with greaseproof paper. Split the cake mixture evenly into both cake tins and bake for about an hour until cooked through.

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Whilst your cakes are baking, you can make your chocolate fudge frosting.

Begin by melting the butter in a pan on a low heat. Once melted, sieve in the icing sugar and cocoa powder a little at a time, until evenly combined and any lumps melted and combined. Add in a splash of milk to even out the consistency.

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You should have a glossy sheen to the frosting.  Once ready pop into a bowl for the frosting to cool completely. It will become thicker as it cools.

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Once your cakes are completely cooled, you can begin icing and decorating your cake. If you are using a cake board, make sure that you spread a little frosting on the board before you pop on your base layer. This will make sure that the cake doesn’t slip or slide off the board as you are decorating.

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Add your base layer and spread the frosting as the filler, before popping on your top cake layer.

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Then with the rest of the chocolate fudge frosting, spread evenly over the top and sides of your cake. Once done, begin adding the chocolate Matchmakers to make the nest effect around the sides of your cake.

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You are now ready to create the (easy) illusion part of this cake. You will need a thick straw (I used three skewers as I had no thick straws at the time), then you simply pop them into your cake off centre, you need to cut a small hole in the egg and then pop the Easter Egg on top of the straw / skewers, being careful to balance it correctly. Add on your Mini Eggs to the top of the cake and spread evenly so the top of the cake is completely covered.

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You will then need to melt about 6 chunks of chocolate so you can ‘glue’ the mini eggs onto the illusion sticks / straw.

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Using a knife or a small spatula, add the melted chocolate to a Mini Egg and place on your illusion structure, start from the bottom up as this will be much easier. Once you have places a few on, leave for a couple of minutes whilst the chocolate sets, before adding another layer on top. Slowly build the eggs up until you have reached your big chocolate Easter Egg.

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Then leave to set completely for an hour and then you are done. These type of cakes are so effective and look amazing, plus they are quite tasty too. Give it a go and enjoy!

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