March 22, 2011 § 8 Comments
A few weeks ago the delicious Brydie over at CityHippyFarmGirl pondered about what songs to make cupcakes too? Well lately I’ve been listening to a lot of country music, it’s my guilty pleasure, and there’s something to do with a tune about a dog, a woman and a pickup that makes me want to bake.
I first made these biscuits when the A Team came over for dinner. I wanted something light and chocolate based so I fiddled around with a melting moment recipe and excavated the pantry until I found three types of chocolate: dark, white and cocoa. For a dessert served with ice cream they were good, but I felt they were too chalky and dry to live in the biscuit jar for random sweet-time-snacks.
So today was back to the drawing-board with the support of Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood.
‘Cause I got friends in low places,
Where the Whiskey drowns,
And the Beer chases my blues away,
But I’ll be okay,
Now I’m not big on social graces,
Think I’ll slip on down to the oasis,
Oh I got friends,
In low places.
Chocolate Melting Moments with White Chocolate Cream Filling
125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2c icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4c plain flour
1/4c rice flour
1/4c (unsweetened) cocoa powder
1/2c ground almonds
100g (2/3c) dark chocolate, chopped
20g (3/4oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 tbl coffee liqueur, Baileys, whiskey etc.
White Chocolate Cream
75g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
50g white chocolate, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 170C/325F. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Sift in flours, cocoa and almonds and stir with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough.
Shape teaspoons of the dough into balls, place on the prepared trays 1.5 inches apart and flatten slightly. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Chocolate Spread: Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir until chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and place in a clean bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then add butter and liquer. Stir and spread immediately.
White Chocolate Cream: Cream the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Stir through melted chocolate with a butter knife.
Spread one biscuit base with chocolate and white chocolate cream, top with a second biscuit. Grate extra dark or white chocolate over biscuits before serving.
November 15, 2010 § 9 Comments
Some people are mad about chocolate. AB for example, she loves the stuff. So does NB and JJM. Yesterday I was printing out my last essay at uni and the woman next to me threw up her hands in a huff and exclaimed:
“I can’t handle the stress, if I don’t have some chocolate soon I’m going to cry”
Does anyone else get the vibe that beach walks and bruschetta aren’t going to calm her nearly as much as they do me?!?!
Personally, I’m not a major chocoholic. If I am going to admit my vices it would be along the lines of cheese-bingeing or bread-addiction. Saying that, it’s 5:30 in the morning and I’m lying on my living room floor with a cup of coffee and a square of dark chocolate, trying to convince my body that YES! It does want to go and teach three hours of gym in 30 minutes. A great time for a touch of sweet!
But I understand that people love chocolate, and that’s great because I love making the world a happier place with a little chocolatey-infused love. Baking makes me calm and watching the people in my life enjoy my creations makes me happy, so this cake is my #2 secret to a less stressful world. Perhaps I should forward the recipe to that woman at uni…
Serves 10-12 (mmmm maybe!)
This is a Nigella Lawson recipe. It’s amazingly simple because everything, including the icing, is done in the food processor. Try to channel the domestic goddess while you’re baking by looking sexy and seductively licking the spatula (but then rinse it before you use it again please!) NB says this is the best thing I have ever cooked, I see where his loyalties lie…
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line two 20cm round cake pans.
Sift 1½ cups plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda and 1/3 cup good-quality Dutch cocoa into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a knife blade. Add 1 cup (220g) caster sugar, 165 unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature, 3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten, 2 tsp vanilla extract and 3/4 cup (180g) sour cream. Process for 2-3 minutes until a smooth, thick batter forms.
Using a rubber spatula, divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and smooth the tops (insert seductive spatula lick here). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Melt 180g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped, with 75g unsalted butter, chopped (either in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave, remember to stir). Place into food processor with 1 tbs golden syrup, 1 cup (160g) pure icing sugar, sifted, 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, at room temperature and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Process until smooth.
When the cake is cool spread one with 1/3 of the icing, place the other cake on top and ice all over. Decorate the sides with coconut and the top with strawberries if that’s your thing.
Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. ~Ernestine Ulmer
September 26, 2010 § 1 Comment
Baking again? You ask, as though I have little else to do with my time. Au contraire dear friends, if you have a spare 15 minutes you can whip up this cheeky little brownie mixture and then sit down on your (imaginary sigh) verandah with a lime and soda and a magazine while the oven does its thing. This is the baked ideal on a weekend when the troops want something sweet but you want to be spending your day outdoors reveling in the glorious Spring weather (or fall weather, depending where you are – in which case a warm brownie and a glass of milk would be perfect!).
The recipe is a decadent, rather dense brownie, which is great for cutting and would be the perfect picnic food as it holds together and travels well. I have a very bad oven with no fan to circulate the heat so it is often a case that cakes are cooked from the outside in. As I didn’t want to dry out the edges of the brownie I pulled it out of the oven at 50 minutes, which for the most part resulted in a perfect fudginess and I just had to sacrifice the very centre piece which was too gooey for use. Your oven may yield a different result but remember it’s better to lose just a little bit than feed people over-cooked cake (we have our reputations to look after don’t we?!).
Cheesecake swirl chocolate brownies
Makes 12 (if you want to share…)
Preheat oven to 180C and line a 22cm tin with non-stick baking paper
In a saucepan over low heat, melt 200g dark chocolate and 250g chopped butter, continuously stirring.
Place in a bowl with 4 eggs and 1 ¾ cups brown sugar and whisk to combine.
Twice sift together 1 ⅓ cups plain flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add to bowl and whisk until smooth.
Pour into prepared tin.
To make cheesecake swirl, place 250g cream cheese (softened), 1/3 cup caster sugar and 2 eggs in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Place large spoonfuls of the cheesecake mixture on top of the chocolate mixture and use a butter knife to partially combine.
Bake for 50 minutes or until set.
July 16, 2010 § 2 Comments
I love baking. My stepfather is a shearer and when I lived at home my mum and I would spend all Sundays baking to stock up his ‘smoko’ esky for the coming week – lamingtons, ginger nuts, lumberjack cake, raspberry coconut slice and chocolate everything… When I moved to Sydney two and a half years ago to live alone I was suddenly without a stomach to send my creations (I don’t have much of a sweet tooth myself), so it is with great joy I now live with two chocoholics – although I need to wean them onto the things i like (raspberry friands, coconut biscuits, carrot cake etc) – and NB who will devour a tray of biscuits or brownies within a couple of days! We’re back baby!!
My brother and I adored these biscuits when we were growing up – I think it was afternoon tea of cookies and milk that got me through my HSC, the taste takes me back to sitting at our wide stainless steel island bench, listening to mum potter around the kitchen, reading cookbooks and playing scrabble.
Triple chocolate cookies
Preheat oven to 180°C.
With electric beaters, beat 150g butter (at room temperature), 1/2 cup caster sugar, 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence until very pale and creamy.
Add 1 egg (lightly whisked) and beat until combined. Add 100g chopped dark cooking chocolate (I used Plaistowe although Lindt has just released a new 70% cocoa cooking chocolate), 100g chopped white chocolate and a handful of chopped dates (if you like hazelnuts or peanuts etc add them now also) and mix with a wooden spoon.
Sift together 1 3/4 cups SR flour with 2 tbs cocoa powder, add to butter mixture and mix until combined.
Use a tablespoon to make rounds of mixture and gently flatten onto the tray, approx 3cm apart.
Bake for 15-17 minutes.
Enjoy with a cold glass of milk or a hot mug of cocoa.
Triple word score!