Individual Chocolate Toffee Brownies

Chocolate Toffee Brownies

Sometimes you need to indulge, and these Chocolate Toffee Brownies are a great way of doing just that! They are deeply chocolately, chewy and oh so satisfying! I had a bad case of that Monday-morning feeling yesterday, so I made a cup of tea and ate 2 of these little beauties and life suddenly seemed much brighter. I swear there’s magic in a good brownie!

The marshmallows melt and bubble and turn into gooey toffee inside the brownies. It wasn’t intentional when I added marshmallows to the mix, but it was a great result. Sometimes some of life’s greatest discoveries are by accident and this is one of those!

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 500g caster sugar
  • 120g plain flour
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 250g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 handfuls of mini marshmallows
  • 30g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Continue reading

Advertisements

Oat and Coconutty Cookies

Oat and coconut cookies

These cookies are delicious, and I’m kidding myself that my 7 year old eating them counts towards his 5-a-day. There ARE 2 different kinds of fruit in the biscuits PLUS oats (which ARE after all a superfood) so I think even with the addition of lots of sugar and butter they can’t be all that bad!

They’re chewy and coconutty with sweet juicy sultanas. Perfect with a great cup of coffee!

Ingredients:

  • 85g/3oz porridge oats
  • 85g/30z desiccated coconut
  • 20g sultanas
  • 100g/4oz plain flour
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar
  • 100g/4oz butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

These are super simple to make.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 if you’re using a fan oven), Gas 4.

Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan, then mix in all the other ingredients and stir well.

Spoon tablespoons of mixture onto a baking sheet with room between to allow for the biscuits spreading.

Bake for 8-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Oat and coconut cookies

The original recipe was adapted from WW1 Anzac biscuits here.

Chocolate Raspberry Pudding

Chocolate raspberry pudding

This wonderful deep, rich and warming pudding is a variation the Chocolate Pear Pudding from Nigella Express. I tried the original recipe and wasn’t sold on the idea of pears with chocolate, so decided to try remaking it with some raspberries I had in the freezer.

This version is wonderful and would be even better served with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top of the hot pudding (which is all melty in the middle). *Pudding heaven*

Devastatingly, we didn’t have any ice-cream in the freezer when I made this.  Oh well, I guess that just gives me the perfect excuse to make it again next week.

Chocolate Raspberry Pudding

Ingredients

  • 300g frozen raspberries
  • 125g plain flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 150g soft butter (plus extra for greasing)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400ºF and grease 6 small ovenproof ramekins or dishes.
  2. Put all the ingredients except the raspberries in a food processor and blitz until you have a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
  3. Mix in the raspberries then spoon into the dishes.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Let stand out of the oven for 5 or 10 minutes (otherwise there will be very burned mouths) then top with a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream and enjoy! *sigh*

Chocolate raspberry pudding Chocolate raspberry pudding

Parmesan Dinosaur Biscuits

Cheesy parmesan dinosaur biscuits

Why don’t shop-bought biscuits ever taste this good?

It’s easy to forget that you can make savoury biscuits for kids too. As long as you remember to point out that they’re CHEESY biscuits so that the kids don’t expect them to taste sugary, then these will be a big hit.

It was the dinosaur footprints which sealed the deal for my 7 year old, especially when he realized it was one of his dinosaurs which had made the footprints when I wasn’t looking (I just DON’T know how those footprints got there, what a NAUGHTY dinosaur!) Even though he’s 7 and is MUCH too old for that sort of thing, he still giggled and then wolfed them down.

They scored an impressive 9 and a half out of 10 apparently. I was later told they would have scored 10/10 but he wasn’t sure about eating the footprints even though I promised they really were Marmite (he’s not so relaxed about the whole dirt idea).

The great thing about these biscuits is that they’re tasty enough for grown-ups too. They’re light and buttery and rich and crumbly and oh so very moreish! Just serve with a glass of red wine instead of a cup of juice.

Ingredients:

  • 100g butter (room temperature)
  • 80g Parmesan cheese (fresh and finely grated)
  • 100g plain flour
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Marmite to make the footprints (optional)

Put the butter, Parmesan, flour, salt and pepper in a mixer until it comes together to form a loose dough.

Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and roll out until about 5mm thick. Don’t knead or overwork it, just press together into a ball and then roll.

Cut out rounds using a floured biscuit cutter (I used the top of a jam jar approx 4cm across).

Place the biscuits on baking tray and then have some fun. First the toy dinosaur needs to stamp in a puddle of Marmite, then he needs to carefully press his footprints into the surface of the biscuit dough.

It would probably wise to wash the dinosaur first, although I don’t want to sound like I’m lecturing you on hygiene. After all I’m a firm believer that a bit of dirt will do their immune systems good, so wash and disinfect the dinosaur at your discretion…

Bake for around 8 minutes at 180 degrees C.

Cool on a wire rack

Cheesy parmesan dinosaur biscuits Cheesy parmesan dinosaur biscuits

This Week in Short: Baking and Breakouts

Baking recipes

Oh dear, I seem to have over-indulged this week… Something which is confirmed by the big zit on my chin and the fact that my jeans feel uncomfortably tight! It’s been a week of baking and sweet treats which has been fabulous but I’m REALLY feeling the urge to eat some salad and squeeze some juice now! Pass the fruit bowl please!

Slutty Brownies: Just HOW Good Are They?

Slutty Brownies

Slutty Brownies seem to be every food blogger’s go-to recipe at the moment. They are being pinned, posted about and shared all over every social network I look at and they always look mighty fine. So how could I not try them? In truth I’ve been craving them for a couple of weeks now, but only got around to making them yesterday.

So are they worth all they hype?

Frankly? No. They’re alright in terms of amount-of-effort vs reward, but in terms of a delicious treat, I’d much rather eat this, or this (particularly that one), or this, or even this!

The combination of ready-bought biscuit-mix, muffin-mix and soggy Oreo biscuits just isn’t particularly great. If it was made with homemade ingredients it would be much nicer, but it would still have those damp soggy Oreos in the middle and it’s the whole slutty easiness which makes the recipe so appealing in the first place…

Even my 7 year old’s response was ‘mummy, I don’t really like this‘ and half the brownie was left on the plate. Gobsmacked is not the word. It’s a chocolatey treat, I didn’t think it would be rejected by a small boy.

That’s not to say they’re totally without merit. If you’re looking for an easy treat which involves minimum effort then by all means give them a try – I’d love to know whether you’re as underwhelmed as I am or whether you’ve found the secret to making them truly delicious…

You don’t really need a recipe for slutty brownies, but I’ve made you handy infographic which tells you pretty much all you need to know. If you did need a ‘proper’ recipe for Slutty Brownies I got mine here.

Let me know what you think 🙂

Slutty Brownies

Why Jason Statham is Making Me Fat

Madeleines

So, I was innocently watching The Ipcress File as I pottered around the kitchen. I love the fact that I can watch telly on my iPad while I’m doing the dishwasher! Anyway, back to Ipcress: as you may know Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) is a bit of a foodie. The movie starts with him slowly and precisely grinding his own coffee and making a fresh caffetiere of coffee, which would presumably have marked him out as a real gourmet in the Sixties.

I’m not being a coffee snob, I just have a cosy vision of everyone in England drinking Camp instant coffee in the Sixties, and I’m sticking to it.

And it got me thinking about having a nice fresh cup of coffee and perhaps something sweet to go with it, and so we’re back to Madeleines and Jason Statham

I had half a lemon left over so I decided to try a variation on the original recipe. I added the grated rind of a lemon and a few chocolate chips to the mixture, and by the time Harry Palmer got to talking about champignons in the supermarket we were scoffing freshly baked Madeleines…

I MUST give that Madeleine tin back to the friend I borrowed it from, it’s obviously not good for me to have one. Madeleines are just too easy to make (and eat)!

Anyway, here’s Michael Caine making pedantic 1960s coffee…

Madeleines