Friday, 27 December 2013

Mince Pie Bakewell Tart

Recipe adapted slightly from Recipes From A Normal Mum

Mince Pie Bakewell Tart

For the short crust pastry:
250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cold and cut into little cubes
1 egg
For the frangipane:
150g unsalted butter, softened
150 caster sugar
150g ground almonds
3 eggs 
1 egg yolk

320g mince meat
icing sugar, to dust

1. For the pastry, mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Blend in the butter and blitz until evenly distributed and a breadcrumb appearance is achieved. Add the egg and incorporate using a butter knife until the mixture forms blobby crumbs. Transfer the dough onto a work surface, shape into a ball and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Once the dough has chilled enough, unwrap the cling film and roll out the dough on a lightly-floured work surface. Press into a 20cm tart dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/mark 4.

3. Put some baking paper into the pastry case and pour over some baking beans or raw rice. Bake for 10-15 minutes, before removing the beans/rice and baking paper and returning to the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the pastry is dry. Remove the pastry from the oven.

4. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and mix in gradually, in teaspoon sized amounts. Fold in the ground almonds.

5. Spread the mincemeat in an even layer over the pastry, to a thickness of about 5mm. Spoon the frangipane over the top and carefully spread it around so cover the surface evenly.

6. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Dust liberally with icing sugar.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

White Chocolate Rocky Road

Recipe adapted slightly from Sorted Food

White Chocolate Rocky Road

300g white chocolate
80g pistachios
100g shortbread
50g mini marshmallows/chopped marshmallows
30g dried blueberries/cranberries
handful glace cherries

1. Line a baking pan with clingfilm.

2. Break up the chocolate and add to a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and remove from the heat.

3. Break the shortbread into small chunks, then add to the melted chocolate along with the marshmallows, dried fruit and cherries. Mix well until well combined.

4. Spread the mixture evenly into the lined pan to a thickness of about 5cm. Fold the cling film over the mixture and compress well. Refrigerate for 3 hours, until completely set. Slice and serve.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:170g (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature150g (¾ cup) dark brown sugar
50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
1 egg
2tsp vanilla extract
250g (2 cups) plain flour
2tsp cornflour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
90g (½ cup) dark chocolate chips
90g (½ cup) white chocolate chips
90g (½ cup) milk chocolate chips


1. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then add the sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (for best results, divide the dough into blobs at this stage and freeze for 24 hours or more) before baking.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350F/Gas 4. Line baking trays with baking paper.

4. Divide the dough into balls of about 1 tablespoon each. Bake for 8-9 minutes (10-11 minutes if baking from frozen), until only just golden brown around the edges. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Hazelnut Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

4 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 ½ cups plain flour, sifted
4tbsp nutella

1. Grease and line a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 180◦C/350F/mark 4.

2. Mix together the bananas, butter, sugars, egg and vanilla. Add the bicarbonate of soda, salt and hazelnuts and stir to combine. Fold in the flour until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan.

3. Add the nutella, in blobs, to the top of the batter down the centre. Run a knife through the nutella to swirl it into the batter.

4. Bake for an hour, or until a toothpick poked into the centre of the bread comes away clean. Cool on a wire rack before removing from the pan and serving.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

S'mores Brownies

Recipe from Bakergirl

S'mores Brownies

113g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
28g (1/3 cup) cocoa
78g (½ cup) plain flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
128g (¾ cup) chocolate chunks
71g (½ cup) crushed/crumbled digestives
128g (1 cup) marshmallow fluff

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/mark 4. Line an 8x8 inch pan with baking paper.

2. Mix together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix in the cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder until completely combined and fold in the chocolate chunks and crushed biscuits.

3. Microwave the marshmallow fluff for about 10-20 seconds and briefly fold into the brownie batter- there should be visible streaks of marshmallow fluff throughout.

4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until set around the edges and the middle is just about set but still retains a small wibble.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Jamie's Ultimate Gingerbread

Another festive recipe!

Yes I am very excited.

Recipe from Jamie Oliver

Jamie's Ultimate Gingerbread

Ingredients:400 g shortbread170g demerara sugar
3tsp ground ginger
40g mixed peel, chopped
40g crystallized ginger, chopped
70g plain flour
1 pinch baking powder
40g golden syrup
40g treacle
70g unsalted butter


1. Pre heat the oven to 170°C/ 325F/Gas 3. Line a 20x35cm baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Combine the shortbread, sugar and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger in a food processor and blitz until fine crumbs are produced. Remove 100g of the mixture and set aside. Add the remaining ginger to the food processor along with the mixed peel, crystallized ginger, flour and baking powder and pulse until well mixed.

3. Add the syrup, treacle and butter to a large saucepan and heat gently to melt. Add the mixture from the food processor and stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking tray and press down to a dense and even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the tray from the oven and sprinkle with the reserved crumbs, pressing them down well. Slice into pieces and leave to cool in the tray before serving.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Recipe from Bakers Royale

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

For the rice krispie layer:
57g (4tbsp) unsalted butter
213g (5 cups) marshmallows
4tbsp hot chocolate powder
142g (5 cups) cocoa rice krispies
¼ cup crushed peppermint candy canes
For the chocolate glaze:
113g (2/3 cup) dark chocolate
1tsbp double cream
4tbsp icing sugar, sifted
4-5 tbsp water
For the white chocolate glaze:
85g (½ cup) white chocolate
10g (2tsp) butter
To decorate:
4tbsp crushed candy canes

1. Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil.

2. Place the marshmallows, butter and hot chocolate powder into a large pan and heat gently until melted. Stir to combine, then mix in the rice krispies and crushed candy canes. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and leave to cool for 30-40 minutes.

3. For the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmerign water. Heat, stirring to combine, until smooth and completely melted. Add the sugar and mix to combine, then stir in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dipping consistency is reached.

4. For the white chocolate glaze, combine the white chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Heat over a pan of simmering water or microwave briefly until melted.

5. To assemble, pour the chocolate glaze over the rice krispie layer, refrigerate for about an hour and then drizzle with the white chocolate glaze and sprinkle with the additional crushed candy canes. Refrigerate for another hour before slicing.
To make pops, shape the rice krispie treat into balls. Insert a cocktail stick into each piece and then dip them individually into the chocolate glaze. Leave to set before drizzling with the white chocolate glaze and sprinkling with the additional crushed candy canes.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

White Chocolate Cashew Blondies

Recipe from More Sweets Please

White Chocolate Cashew Blondies

For the blondies:
1tbsp instant coffee
1tbsp water
1tsp vanilla extract
113g (½ cup) butter
320g (1 ½ cups) light brown soft sugar
1tsp salt
2 eggs
273g (1 ¾ cups) plain flour, sifted
170g (1 cup) white chocolate chips
113g (1 cup) unsalted cashews, roasted and coarsely chopped
For the frosting (optional):
170g (1 cup) white chocolate
227g (2 cups) icing sugar
60ml (¼ cup) milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
85g (6tbsp) unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/mark 4. Grease and line an 8x8 inch pan.

2. Stir together the instant coffee, water and vanilla in a medium bowl until dissolved.

3. Add the butter, brown sugar and salt to the bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the flour, then fold in the white chocolate chips and cashews.

4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes away clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. For the frosting, melt the white chocolate and leave it to cool to room temperature.

6. In a separate bowl, stir together the icing sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix in the butter and beat until smooth. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate and use to frost the blondies. Chill before slicing.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Kit Kat Cheesecake Bars

Recipe adapted from Bakers Royale

Kit Kat Cheesecake Bars

For the base:
280g (2 cups) digestive crumbs
100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
113g (8tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
340g cream cheese
60g (¾ cup) cocoa
66g caster sugar
1 egg
8 kit kats
For the chocolate layer:
283g chocolate (dark or half dark/half milk)
113g (8tbsp) unsalted butter 
For the white chocolate lacing:
57g white chocolate
60ml (¼ cup) double cream

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/mark 4. Line a 9x13 inch pan with foil, leaving a slight overhang.

2. For the base, place the biscuit crumbs and sugar in a bowl with the butter and mix to combine. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes.

3. For the filling, beat together the cream cheese, cocoa, sugar and egg until smooth and well combined. Place the kit kat bars on top of the crust and pour the cheesecake batter over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the sides are set and the centre is almost set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before refrigerating for at least 8 hours.

4. For the chocolate layer, combine the chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the completely melted and combined. Pour over the cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until set.

5. For the white chocolate lacing, bring the cream to a boil and pour over the white chocolate. After 3 minutes, stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe thin lines across the top of the set chocolate layer. Drag a toothpick perpendicularly through the lines, starting from the top of the pan. Repeat but starting from the bottom of the pan. Continue dragging the toothpick through the lines, alternating between starting from the top and starting from the bottom. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until set.

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