Sunday, 5 March 2017

Flapjacks

I love a quick and easy tray bake. With life being super busy at the moment, I haven't had the chance to make any elaborate baking. I, however, always have time to make a quick and easy tray bake. I've made the recipe before and it's incredibly easy and quick to make.



Makes 16
175g butter
350g jumbo oats
a pinch of salt
175g light brown sugar
100g dark chocolate (optional)

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 20x 20 x 2cm square tin with non-stick baking parchment. Take half the oats and process them in a blender or food processor until they are reduced to a coarse powder. Tip them in a bowl. Add all the remaining oats and the salt, and mix well.
Heat the butter, sugar and syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. Pour into the oats and stir well to combine.
Tip into the prepared tin and level the top carefully, using the back of a spoon to press it down well. Make the surface as even as possible, especially along the edges and in the corners.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and slightly puffy, but check periodically to make sure the mixture is browning evenly. It should be evenly golden, bubbling a little have a wonderful nutty, buttery smell.
Leave to cool a little in the tin, then and cut into 4 along each side. Cool completely in the tin.
If using the chocolate, melt it in a heat bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Pipe or drizzle the chocolate in lines back and forth across the pieces, or dip each one to coat half the top. Leave to set, and store in an airtight tin. These are best eaten within a day or two of baking.
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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Rum Laced Rocky Road

EAT THIS BEFORE YOU START YOUR NEW YEARS DIET. I almost made a month without posting something chocolate related. Almost, but not quite. This time of year, our home is filled with rum, dark and white, all hailing from Jamaica (as we used the Havana Club rum some time ok), alongside other over indulgent food goodies. I often want a quick chocolate and alcohol hit, but do not fancy anything cakey. This is where no-bakes come in, because you can quickly create an over indulgent chocolate treat that is quick to prepare and even quicker to eat. The rum gives this rocky road a warmth and additional depth, for me, this makes rocky road ridiculously addictive. I struggled to stick to one square and I'm sure you will too. 





Ingredients
100g soft butter
100g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
3tbsp dark rum
300g chocolate digestives
2 tbsp milk
80g marshmellows 
3 tbsp golden caster sugar
50g dried apricots


Method
Melt the butter and milk chocolate in the microwave in a 30 second blast, add the rum. Put the chocolate digestives in a freezer bat, bash the biscuits with a rolling pin - you want a combination of biscuit pieces and crumbs. 
Fold the biscuits in the butter-chocolate mixture, add the milk marshmallows, sugar and dried apricots.
Tip into a lined baking tin, flatten with a wooden spoon, leave to set for at least 1.5 hours. 

Enjoy and have a wonderful New Year.

xxx
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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

BBC Good Food Show Winter 2014 (Part 1)

The nation's favourite food show returned to Birmingham from 27th - 30th November 2014. That show of course is BBC Good Food Show Winter. I have been a big fan of the BBC Good Food Show after first attending in 2011, little did I know back then, is that in a couple of years time I would become an official BBC Good Food Show Blogger. For those who do not know what that means, a selected group of bloggers in the Midlands share via social media the most up to date news and reviews from the show. There is usually a get together prior to the show which I unfortunately missed for the Summer show (as I was in Spain) and missed out on a fabulous opportunity to spend time at Brompton Cookery School held by the lovely Marcus Bean. For the Winter Show, there was no official pre-show get together, instead we were sent an array of samples from some of the food producers of the show. I'm pleased there was a mixture of sweet and savoury samples as my tastebuds can easily filter between the two. I was also  introduced to an array of talented artisan bakers and cooks who produce an array of delicious food. My excitement started prior to the show, shaving received all these fabulous products.

BBC Good Food Show samples.

Let's start with my favourite (although I really shouldn't have favourites) sample.
Delicious Alchemy specialise in gluten free products. I really don't know a lot about gluten free allergies as I do not have any, but what I do know is that I'm quite discerning on whether a product should be on par or expected, as stated on the tin. The Good Food Show Bloggers were sent a selection of Bread Mix, Chocolate Brownies and Cookie Mixture. I promptly made the gluten free Chocolate Brownies, which before I show you the picture, I pre warn you, I  added malteres which I know has gluten, but can be removed for those with the intolerance. I loved this mixture, it was incredibly easy to make (melt butter, add two eggs, mix in the packet, bake and eat) and it was demolished quickly in my house.
Delicious Alchemy

Delicious Alchemy

Baked In specialise in home baking kits, their mottos is making Home Baking Simple. They sell a range of chocolate brownies which can be superbly be made in a mug in 5 minutes. Using this fabulous kit, I was able to make brownies in three easy steps: melt butter, heat in the microwave for 1 minutes and leave to cool for 5 minutes. There are a range of flavours: chocolate orange, expresso and gluten free flavours. Baked in also sells cooke mixers and baking its. This a wonderful product for those who love baking but are incredibly pressed on time or for those who enjoy the fruits of baking but not the best baker. 
Baked In

Baked In

Ardens specialise in luxurious nibbles. I can certainly vouch for that as unfortunately me and my family demolished the lovely goodies before any photographs were taken. Ardens specialise in flaky and butter pastry twists, crunchy bites and slow cooked bread bakes. I loved the selection of products and the flavour combination were superb:cream cheese and spring onion melts, Italian pesto bakes and spinach gruyere twists. Any foodie would be satisfied with these goodies.
Ardens

The Garlic Farm based on the Isle of Wight offer products, as the name states including garlic. This farm has been going for some time and the result is glorious; many different varieties of garlic infused in a range of products. The Pork Scratching was perfectly infused, the garlic paste was delightfully pungent and have used this when making homemade chips. I could instantly tell with the garlic paste that this product is not the standard garlic used in products as there was an enhanced flavour.  I have not yet tried the garlic beer, so I will have to keep you updated via social media sites with how this tastes. 

The Garlic Farm

Sponge Cakes is a brand that I discovered when I attended BBC Good Food Show Winter 2011. I brought several slices of their sponge cakes, so was incredibly pleased that they were giving 2 free mini sponge cakes to the Bloggers. Me and Laura from Full To The Brum were fortunate to be given a third free mini sponge from their new gluten free range. I was impressed that Sponge Cakes have expanded their range to include little morsels of deliciousness. I chose to sample the Coffee and Walnut cake, Bounty cake and Gluten Free Apple Crumble.

Sponge Cake


Sponge Cake.

Sponge Cake
Genius, is a company specialising in gluten free products. They have a range of products: bread, pastry and cakes. I was fortunate to receive the bread and blueberry muffins. I was impressed by the size of the gluten free brownies and the packaging. As an individual who does not have an allergy I can certainly say that this is the perfect muffin for those with allergies, there is a slight nutty texture, which I presume is due to the rice flour that may have been used. They stock their products at online and selected supermarket stores in the London area.
Genius

Farringtons  is the first seed to bottle producer whose range of products are featured in many shops around the UK. Faringtons specialise in their is sell a range of products including: rapeseed oil, dressing, mayonnaise and chilli oil. I received their rapeseed oil which has the lowest saturated fat when compared to other oil products and also has a subtle nutty flavour. I used the rapeseed oil when making my homemade chips, which was delectable. 


Disclaimer: I received all the above products to review, I was not required to write a positive view and as always, all opinions are my own. 

xxx

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Coconut, marshmellow and all spice brownies

If it has chocolate in it, I am sold. Many of the sweet baking that I do includes the well-loved ingredient chocolate in one way or the other, it has to be done. One of my other favourite ingredients is coconut, it is so tropical and exotic and to be honest quite addictive. With an impending Caribbean holiday looming, I thought I would get myself in the tropical mood by making my own exotic twist on a classic rocky road brownies. I like to have a nice supply of chocolate bakes in the freezer, it sounds weird but I like to have a slice or square of chocolate cake or even a no-bake like rocky road within 5 minutes of deciding I need chocolate. Being a fan of all things Caribbean, I added some traditional Caribbean flavours; all spice and nutmeg alongside the coconut  which made this brownies a caribbean dream with every bite. I also had to add some peanuts, I actually wanted to use cashews but there was none in my cupboard so I went along with this family favourite ingredient.The brownies are topped with my quick chocolate ganache which makes the bake rich and several marshmallows are scattered over.
Would I make this again? Of course, but next time I'll have a bite with a sip pina colada.
Here is how my coconut, marshmallow and all spice brownies turned out:




Dry ingredients






Eggs and butter added


Coconut and marshmellows


Peanuts and mini eggs


Pre bake






Chocolate ganache

Recipe for coconut, marshmellows and all spice brownies.

225g butter, melted
100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
140g caster sugar
3tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
50 g dessicatted coconut
50g peanuts
1tbsp all spice
1tsp nutmeg
50g marshmellows
100g white chocolate
A packet of mini eggs or smarties (optional)

For the frosting
125g dark chocolate
100g butter, melted
50g marshmellows

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas mark 3. Grease a 23cm/9 inch square shallow baking tin and dust lightly with four.
Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, spices and baking powder and make a well in the centre. Stir in the melted butter and eggs and beat well to mix throughouly.
Stir in the peanuts, coconut, marshmallows, mini eggs. Pour into the prepared tin, scatter the pieces of white chocolate in the tin and bake for 35 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Place the dark chocolate and butter in a heatproof jug and heat in the microwave in 30 second blasts, stirring after each blast. When the chocolate and butter is melted, leave to cool, this will thicken.
Once the brownies are baked, leave to cool and then pour over the chocolate ganache.

Enjoy
xxx
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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Lime and coconut traybake

I love simple tray bakes, they are almost always easy and quick to make. I tend to make classic tray bakes when I am pressed on time but I still want a cake fix. I'm a fan of classic flavour combinations such as lime and coconut. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of the coconut sprinkled on to, but not to worry you still should see how gorgeous this simple cake is, with the lime rind oozing out. This recipe is taken from the talented Jo Wheatley's Home Baking, which is one of my favourite baking books. I've never made a lime syrup before and wondered how it would take, it's very similar to a lemon syrup but with a sharper punch. This tray bake is very moreish and I will definitely will make this again.
Here is how my lime tray bake turned out:
Lime and coconut cake


Lime and coconut mixture

Lime and coconut pre bake

Ingredients
300g margarine or unsalted butter, softened
270g caster sugar
320g self-raising flour
5 large eggs
finely grated zest of 2 limes
50g desiccated coconut

Topping
75ml water
100g caster sugar
200g icing sugar
finely grates zest and juice of 2-4 limes
50g desiccated coconut

You will need a 20x 30 cm baking tin, greased and lined with baking parchment.

Method
Preheat the oven to 170c/325f/gas mark 3
Tip all of the cake ingredients (except the lime) into the bowl of a free-standing mixer and beat for r2 minutes until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and spread level using a palette knife.
Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for above 50-60 minutes or until well risen, golden and a skewer inserted int the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make a lime syrup by bringing the water and caster sugar to the boil in a sauce pan. Reduce the heat and let the syrup simmer until thickened and the back of a spoon. Add half the juice and zest and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Remove the cake from the over and pierce the top of the cake all over with a wooden skewer. Slowly drizzle over the syrup whiles the cake is still warm and in the tin but be careful not to flood it.
Make the icing by combining 3 tbsp of the remaining icing sugar. Set aside.
Toast the desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over a low-medium heat until the coconut turns golden - this will happen quickly, so don;t leave the pan unattended.
Remove the cake from the tin, pour over the icing top with the toasted coconut ad remaining lime. Leave to set for half an hour and then slice into squares.

I'm sharing this recipe to Love Cake, hosted by Ness from JibberJabberUK. This months theme is Back to School and I'm sure these flavour combinations will go down well with teenagers in their packed lunch box.
xxx
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Monday, 23 June 2014

Chocolate and Ginger Tiffin

One of my favourite chefs, Levi Roots describes this sweet treat as "A superior chocolate biscuit cake, ginger, nuts, sultanas, chocolate - how can we go wrong?". I agree, you can't go wrong with chocolate especially when Caribbean flavours are infused in this chocoholic treat. It's been a while since I made a dish from Sweet but I have pencilled so many sweet dishes from this book, many of my upcoming posts will include recipes from Sweet. I'm used to making a no bake dish with digestives but the ginger nuts offer a fiery dimension to the dish and I love the addition of the nuts and sultanas. If you are making this dish, I'll have to warn you that it is quite addictive and I struggled to stick to one piece.

Here is how my chocolate and ginger tiffin turned out:
Chocolate and ginger tiffin

Chocolate and ginger tiffin

Ginger biscuits crushed

Ginger nuts in tin

Chocolate melted

Chocolate filling in pan

Chocolate and ginger in tin pre set

Chocolate and ginger tiffin set

Recipe for Chocolate and Ginger Tiffin.
Serves 8 225g ginger biscuits
150g unsalted butter
2tbsp golden syrup
1 1/2 tbsp coco powder
75g almonds or hazelnuts (or whatever nuts you fancy)
50g sultanas
150 g dark chocolate (I used half milk/half dark)
I also added glace cherries & white chocolate

Method
Pulse the biscuits in a food processor or, alternatively, place them in a sealed plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they are completely crushed biscuits and small chunks.
Line a 15cm (6 in) square baking tin or plastic container with foil or non stick baking paper, ensuring that the lining extends over the edges of the tin so, later you can easily lift the tiffin out of the tin once it has set.
Melt the butter and the syrup together in a heavy based saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the coco powder, nuts and sultanas and stir until everything comes together. Press the mixture into the tin so it iis around 3 cm (1 1/4in) thick once flattened out. Leave to cool, then refrigerate until set.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring that the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Pour the chocolate over the tiffin and leave to set (put it in the refrigerator to speed it up.
Once completely hard, lift the tiffin out of the tin, holding onto the foil or the baking paper. To serve, cut the tiffin into small squares with a sharp knife.

xxx
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Monday, 9 December 2013

Xmas Brownies.

It's December so that can only mean one thing, Christmas recipes. This is the first year that I have shared my own recipes on my blog and thought it would only be right to share my recipe for Christmas brownies. I love brownies, they are gooey, moist and delicious and I have added two Christmas ingredients in this bake: glace cherries and Brazil nuts. With every bite, the glace cherries and Brazil nuts really come through and enhances this classic tray bake. I love the texture of the glace cherries in this bake and will probably stock up on some so I can make this bake in the new year. I like to add Christmas decorations (mainly green, red and white sprinkles which can be brought from Home Bargains) to make my Christmas brownies more colourful.  My only recommendation is that this should be eaten with mulled wine for a true experience.
Here is how my Christmas brownies turned out:
Christmas Brownies.


Christmas brownies.

This was super simple as I used the microwave to melt the chocolate, butter and also to make the ganache.
Melted chocolate.


Butter added to melted chocolate.

I then added the eggs, vanilla and sugar to the mixture and mixed everything together.
Eggs and sugar added.

I then added plain flour to the mixture, followed by glace cherries and Brazil nuts and mixed into the mixture.
Glace cherries and Brazil nuts.

Once everything was in-cooperated I placed the mixture into a brownie tin and baked for around 35 minutes.
Brownie mixture.

Brownie mixture pre-bake.

Once baked, I left to cool. Meanwhile I heated 100g dark chocolate and 50g butter in the microwave in 30 second blasts and left to cool.
Baked brownies.

Lazy girls ganache.

Recipe - makes 15 squares
100g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
115g butter, plus extra for greasing
3 eggs, beaten
5ml vanilla extract
300g caster sugar
200g glace cherries
50g Brazil nuts, chopped

For the chocolate topping
100g dark chocolate
50g butter

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5. Grease a square cake tin or brownie tin and line the base with baking parchment.
2) Break the dark and milk chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and heat in the microwave in 30 second blasts *4 and stir after each blast until the chocolate is melted.
3) Once the chocolate has melted stir in the beaten eggs. vanilla and sugar. Mix all the ingredients well together.
4) Sift the flour into the chocolate mixture. Add the glace cherries and chopped Brazil nuts until combined. Pour the mixture into the brownie tin.
5) Bake for around 30-35 minutes. The brownies are cooked when the mixture is set yet moist, leave to cool in the tin.
6) When the brownies are baking make the chocolate gancache topping. Place the dark chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl and place in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir.  Leave to set and spread on top of the brownies once they are cool.

I am entering my Christmas brownies to a number of blogging challenges this month. First up is Calendar Cakes whose theme this months Jingle Bell Rocks, this is hosted by the lovely http://www.dollybakes.co.uk and http://lauralovescakes.blogspot.co.uk/.

Next up is Lets Cook Christmas Food hosted by Nayana from http://www.simplysensationalfood.com/. This theme focuses on vegetarian Christmas party food.

Next up is Alpha Bakes which is hosted by http://themorethanoccasionalbaker.blogspot.co.uk/ and http://www.carolinemakes.net/. This monthly theme asked followers to bake a recipe from a randomly selected letter, this month it is X.

I'm also entering my Xmas Brownies to Tea Time Treats which is hosted by http://www.whatkatebaked.com/ and http://www.lavenderandlovage.com/. This months theme is Festive Foods Gifts, I think my brownies would make a lovely Christmas gift.

I'm also entering into Treat Petite  which is hosted by http://www.cakeyboi.com/ and http://www.thebakingexplorer.com/, this months theme is Happy Holidays.

Another blogging challenge I'm entering my Xmas brownies to is to Four Seasons Food hosted by http://www.delicieux.eu/ and http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk/, this month's theme is Party Food.
The Biscuit Barrel Challenge is up next, this month's theme is Quick and Easy which is hosted by http://idmuchratherbakethan.blogspot.co.uk/. Although my brownies are not biscuits, this blogging criteria is as long as the bake fits in a cookie or biscuit container the entry will be accepted. My brownies are super quick to make especially when you melt all the ingredients in the microwave :-).

Finally, I'm also submitting my Xmas brownies to Family Foodies which is hosted by http://www.eatyourveg.co.uk and http://bangermashchat.wordpress.com/. This months theme is Kids Christmas. I'm sure all the kiddies will love making and eating my  Xmas brownies.

xxx
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