So I've moved into to my accommodation properly now. It is truly amazing! I would recommend uni to anyone and I've only been here one week! We've decided to start cooking as a flat. The idea really excites me - I'm such a child when it comes to baking and cooking. Made an Indian with my flat mate Hollie last night and I must say it was rather scrumptious. Bought the ingredients for my home made lasagne, so thinking of making a flat size portion and getting people to chip in. I'll keep you posted on my recipe - it's a gorgeous home bake to remind me of home.
In terms of my brownies - WOW. Everyone that tried them really enjoyed them, dare you to give them a try! According to some of the flat mates, such as 'Big Geordie', he "Approves how delicious my brownies are". My recipe included Thornton's fudge and smarties, for a dash of pastel colour. Scrummy or what!
Blogging at the moment, however, is proving so difficult with the slow Internet. Had to sit outside with a Wifi dongle to even have a chance of blogging, I'll keep trying though! My next blog will contain some delicious but cheap and cheerful recipes for you to try. Student life steals your pennies but I'm determined to FEAST like a queen!
Keep calm and eat a cupcake.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
All of my friends and family will tell you just how much I love brownies. I love baking them, eating them, sharing them - everything about them! Nom. Nom. Nom. My brownie recipe is my most frequently used recipe and has become increasingly popular over the last year, with my peers. Well, they don't have a choice really - I have practically thrust brownies in their face to help me determine the best recipe.
Everyone has their own ideal brownie. I believe a brownie should be lightly crisp on the outside, with a soft gooey, but dense inner texture. I like my brownies rich, chocolatey and warm with ice cream or a nice fudgey brownie, with a cup of coffee on a cold day. However you may like your brownie - I'm sure that you can achieve the ultimate with this recipe. I have tried them with nuts, substituted fudge pieces, smarties and chocolate buttons for kids...this recipe is the king of brownie versatility.
Jess' Trade Mark Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies
- 250g unsalted butter (extra to grease)
- 250g plain chocolate (minimum 50% solids)
- 100g white chocolate (Green and Blacks is fantastic!)
- 4 medium eggs
- 175g muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 75g plain flour, sifted
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
- 150g finely chopped fudge pieces
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 200d/c (180 fan oven), grease a baseline a brownie tin (preferably 8in square shallow).
- Melt the butter and plain chocolate in a heatproof bowl oven gently simmering water. Once melted together, take off the heat and put to one side.
- In a separate bowl, melt the white chocolate over a pan of gently simmering water. Once melted, put to one side to cool slightly.
- In a separate large bowl add the eggs muscovado sugar and vanilla extract and whisk together until the mixture is pale and slightly thickened.
- Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, 100g fudge and a pinch of salt to the bowl, then carefully fold in the dark chocolate mixture. Use a large metal/wooden spoon to combine the mixture, until a smooth batter is formed. Do not over mix or mix too roughly or the batter will seize up.
- Pour the mixture into the tin and spoon the melted white chocolate over the top. Use a fork to swirl a marble effect over the top and scatter the remaining fudge pieces on too.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25minutes but remember to keep an eye on them - over baked brownies are a bit tough! Also, when you take them from the oven the top should look slightly crisp, but don't be afraid if the centre looks a little wobbly. This will set with the egg as it cool and will leave a delightfully moist brownie, with a melted fudge centre.
- Leave in the tin to cool and transfer to a board for presentation. The mixture should make 16 shop size pieces, however will make a larger number of small bites if baked for an event. Serve with ice cream, a cup of tea or just scoff them whilst they are slightly warm. Half of my batches always disappear within the first 1 hour of them being out of the oven. Keep on brownie watch!
This recipe is very versatile. You can happily substitute the fudge for halved pecans, walnuts or pistachios or if you're a chocoholic like me smarties, white/milk/dark chocolate buttons also work a treat. In addition, dried fruit may make a nice alternative, chopped glace cherries or raspberries may make a refreshing accompaniment to the dense chocolatey flavour of the brownie mixture. 100grams of your chosen brownie filling should be enough in the mixture but save some for the topping. Also, feel free to remove the white chocolate marbling if its too sweet for you!
On a rather funny note...I have had one disaster with this recipe! Make sure you follow the recipe or things may turn out a little crumbly! The right amount of egg is vital if a brownie is to set rigidly enough to serve out in pieces, remember that! I once tried to make a batch with the wrong size egg - substituting does work but not with eggs! It turned out as a delicious crumbly mess. However, it didn't stop any of my friends from getting a spoon out and eating it from the baking tray! If this does happen, just put in a serving dish and top wish whipped cream and chocolate shavings or top with vanilla buttercream and refrigerate to set. This makes a scrummy cake, which proves even disasters can be delicious!
TOP TIP: Me and my best friend have a rather humorous but fabulous baking tip : Always carry a spoon, in case there's cake - and this proved very useful with my brownie disaster!
So no matter what your brownie outcome is, I'm sure it'll be tasty as hell and gone in less than a minute.
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Red Velvet Beautiful Baking: Irresistible Recipes: Rich, Moist Chocolate Yogurt Cake...
Just starting to get the hang of this blogging! Here's the recipe for one of my favourite cake recipes, courtesy of my Nan. I've never had a problem with the recipe - it's my fail safe chocolate sponge and it's one that always goes down a treat! This recipe delivers a beautifully risen sponge, with a dense traditional heavy cake texture. It is fantastically moist and will last for well over a week in a concealed tin - retaining its homemade deliciousness. Give this a try and wow your friends and family with such a simple recipe, boasting such wonderful results. This cake is perfect as a base cake for elaborate sugar paste decorations, as an afternoon tea cake and for simply scoffing! Eat up :)
Rich, Moist Chocolate Yogurt Cake
Serves 1 deep 8in round tin (30-40mins), 2 7in round cake tins (40-50mins) or 1 Large Heart Shaped tin (1hour+)
- 5floz Vegetable Oil
- 5floz Natural Yogurt
- 4 Level tbsp Golden Syrup
- 6oz Caster Sugar
- 3 Medium Eggs
- 8oz Self - raising Flour
- 3 Rounded tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 Level tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 Level tsp Salt
- Prepare a 160deg.c oven, from cool and line/grease your chosen tin (base and sides).
- Place the oil, yogurt, syrup, caster sugar and eggs in a bowl and beat (with a wooden spoon) until a smooth, pale paste like consistency is formed.
- Next, sift the flour, cocoa powder, bi carb, and salt into the liquid mixture and combine until well mixed.
- Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin(s) and bake in the centre of the oven. Times for tins given above. In the latter half of the baking period, test the cake with your fingers by pressing lightly on the sponge - if the cake bounces straight back after the pressure is removed, it is done. Another method is to use a skewer - if it comes out clean, the cake has baked through.
- Leave the cake in the tin to cool, before turning it out onto a wire rack.
- Decorate the cake as you wish
- Melted galaxy/green and blacks chocolate (and sprinkles/smarties/dragees)
- Sugar-paste designs (flowers, animals etc)
- Split in two to make a buttercream sandwich and also top with buttercream (flavours such as butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla, raspberry and coffee would work fantastically)
- Or eat plain as a rich tea cake - this cake is quite dense and very moist due to the butter being replaced by the oil and yogurt. I believe this cake works just as well straight from the oven.
I have altered this recipe to make a golden syrup yogurt cake. By replacing the oz of cocoa with additional flour, you can remove the choclateyness of the cake and the cake will be flavoured by the syrup. This works particularly well as a tea cake also, but is equally as nice with a fresh cream and jam filling or with fresh fruit or even a syrup based buttercream!
Get Baking Chocoholics!
A list of all my recipes will be archived on my Irresistible Baking Page...feel free to explore.
Thursday, 8 September 2011
There are millions of magazines and books that you can buy that show you how to cook and how to be more inventive in the kitchen. I have more baking books than I do have reading books and I'm an english student, it's crazy. My secret obsession really! I love looking at different ways to achieve fantastic tasting cakes and cookies and testing ways in which I can personalise recipes and develop flavours. Some of the simplest recipes, I find, can be the hardest to perfect, but every challenge involves a fun filled baking journey! My ambition, with baking, is to be a writer for a magazine. Writing is my trade and baking is my passion and combined, I am literally in heaven! GoodFood and Delicious magazines are fantastic examples of the kind of place i see myself in years to come. I wouldn't even mind having my own bakery - somewhere you can really taste my enthusiasm, rather than just gawp at it, drooling on the internet! Oven mitts crossed for me, please!
Well hello there baking bloggers! I guess i am kind of new to this blogging thing, but thought I'd give it a go - share my kitchen wonders with you guys!! I've always been interested in all kinds of baking, ever since i was little and baking fairy cakes and chocolate sponges with my nan. My favourite baking experience was always pouring melted galaxy chocolate over a rich chocolate brown, freshly baked sponge (made by my good old nan :)). As I've grown up, I've always been given freedom in my home kitchen, to experiment and create all kinds of wonderful and delicious things. When i was about 10 i remember my dad teaching me how to make bacon and spring onion omelette's - so simple, yet so delicious. Once I'd started being more adventurous, I guess i couldn't stop and I'm still going today! Every day brings a new challenge, but with baking it's always a challenge i accept. My motto is - you can always turn a disaster into something beautiful, no matter how much of a mess you make following a recipe or a plan, there's always something tasty hidden in there. Experimenting is the key to amazing things in baking, there's always something new to be created.
So go get baking, silly :)