Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m beginning to see a bit of a trend with my food posts, they all seem to be biscuits, cakes or puddings!I like to think that’s because they are the most appealing recipes rather than I eat more sugar than health-food but I’m beginning to wonder.

It doesn’t help having children of course. I’d rather bake and give my 7-year-old home-baked biscuits than rubbish stuffed full of aspartame and trans-fats. Still, it isn’t doing my waistline any favours, especially when the biscuits are THIS delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 250g/9oz butter
  • 150g/5.5oz caster sugar
  • 300g/10oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 50g chocolate chips

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/Gas 4/fan oven 160 degrees.
  • Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy
  • Stir in flour, orange zest and milk and mix well
  • Add the chocolate chips and mix gently
  • Divide the mixture into 18 portions and put flattened balls of cookie dough on your baking sheets, leaving room for the biscuits to ‘spread’ in the oven
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
  • Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets then remove to a wire rack to cool and crisp up.

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toffee Apple Fail

Toffee Apple Fail

I never stopped to consider how hard it would be to eat a toffee apple when your front teeth haven’t come through yet. This wasn’t even a toffee apple, it was a chocolate-dipped apple which has to be easier. As you can see my 7-year-old gave it a valiant try but truly struggled to get into the darn thing. Thank goodness I didn’t bother making a batch of toffee apples at home! Maybe next year…

Heart Healthy Banana Cake

Heart Healthy Banana Cake

This is a cake you can feel virtuous about eating. Not only is it packed with over-ripe bananas that you don’t know what to do with (I seem to constantly have this problem), but it’s also bursting with sultanas and cinnamon and tastes *amazing*! (recipe below)

It does have butter in it, but only 50g for the whole cake. The way I look at it butter (in moderation) has got to be way healthier than margarine (which after all is a by-product of the petrochemical industry – yeuch) and I’m just not as keen on cakes made with oil. So the butter was worth it IMHO. You could alwasy substitute it with oil if you prefer. I tried to find the conversion and found that 50g of butter = approx 50 ml of oil, but I haven’t tried this so let me know if you have more experience please! ūüôā

Also, I was trying my new silicone cake tin out – only ¬£5 from Ikea – how good is that? I just wish I’d bought their loaf tin from the same range, cakes always seem to get stuck in my regular loaf tin! Gotta love Ikea! Anyway, it left such pretty patterns in the bottom of the cake that I decided to whip up some chocolate ganache and spend a calming half an hour piping melted chocolate into the pattern (see my finished efforts below). Very satisfying!

Plus it meant my 7-year-old was very keen to eat the cake and had 2 slices – any way I can get fruit into him has got to be a good thing!

It was also such a healthy cake that I felt justified having a slice of it for breakfast this morning. What a great start to the day!

Heart Healthy Banana Cake

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Fairies in a Jar? More like Toxic Sludge…

Fairies in a Jar? More like toxic sludge...

You’ll know by now that I’m throwing a Harry Potter Party for Halloween next week. It’s getting to that stressful sage of pre-party planning where you’ve planned everything you can but it’s too early to actually DO anything yet! Well, too early to start cooking anyway! I’m feeling a bit stressed with the prospect of making chocolate wands, exploding chocolate frogs, pumpkin pasties and death by chocolate-cake as well as lots of other things I’ve probably forgotten!

Anyway, I’ve made some garden lanterns to light my November barbecue but I suddenly thought how lovely it would be to have some ‘Fairies in a¬† Jar’ for the garden. Glowing, glittery pretty jars, “how magical” I (naively) thought…

So I had a good search around and there seemed to be two main ways of making Fairies in a Jar. One with glow-in-the-dark paint which you dab around the jar and then have to charge in sunlight, and the way I chose: with a glow stick and some glitter. Continue reading

Store Cupboard Heroes: Chocolate Jam Cake

Chocolate Jam Cake

This is a great and easy-to-make everyday cake. I very much subscribe to the Marie Antoinette school of cake-eating where cake is an expected part of the day rather than a special treat. This cake is plain enough to stop you feeling like you’re over-indulging, but it’s dense and moist and tasty enough to hit the spot. It’s also National Chocolate Week this week (apparently) so that’s an extra excuse too.

It’s based on a Nigella recipe which uses Marmalade to flavour a chocolate cake, but I fancied a strawberry version and very delicious it is too!

I think using black cherry jam would be equally delicious…

It’s great served still warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or left to go completely cold and eaten in big slices with a cup of tea.

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Chocolate Toffee Brownie Cake

Chocolate Toffee Brownie Cake

This is made using the same recipe as the Chocolate Toffee Brownie recipe I posted yesterday. Don’t kid yourself though, it may look like a birthday cake but it’s actually an enormous chewy, dark and delicious chocolate brownie topped with cream cheese icing. It’s worth warning people, otherwise on first bit they might think you’ve made the heaviest sponge cake in the world!!!

One word of warning: I wouldn’t recommend using the same Happy Birthday candles I did. By the time you’ve lit them all it’s a bit like a blazing inferno and they’re dripping wax all over the cake. Not the end of the world, as long as you don’t mind slightly waxy frosting…

Anyway, see the brownie recipe here. Just tip into a cake tin and cook for an extra 10 minutes.

Chocolate Toffee Brownie Cake

The  cream cheese frosting recipe is below:

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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

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