June 15, 2012

Peanut Butter Cups


Gosh, it has been a while.
To anyone who's reading this, I am very sorry.
But here, as always, have some delicious photos of some very delicious homemade peanut butter cups that I made a while ago.


I used Nigella Lawson's peanut butter bars recipe for the filling, and melted chocolate for the outside.  I used a paintbrush to thickly coat the outside of the foil moulds, let that cool, then popped in a peanut buttery pellet and topped that with more chocolate.


There's something especially cute about one little tidbit that you can just pop into your mouth and eat like that.  The wrappers were also adorable.



April 29, 2012

Chocolate Crackle Cookies


Everyone knows these delicious cookies by a different name - chocolate crackle cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies, chocolate snowcap cookies, and my grandmother calls them snow-covered turtles.

Whatever you call them, they are sweet and soft, chocolatey and scrumptious.

Source: cuisine.com
Ingredients
100g softened butter/margarine
150g white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
160g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
60g icing sugar (for dusting)

Method
1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between, then beat in the vanilla extract.

3. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, then add the baking powder and salt.  Fold into the batter.  Yes, it will look sticky and not at all cookie dough-like, but that's OK.  It's why the biscuits turn out so soft in the end.


4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2-ish hours.


5. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (338 F)

6. Place the icing sugar in a zip-lock bag/plastic bag - you could use a bowl and roll the dough balls around in there, but I've found that using a bag is easier.

7. Take tablespoons of the cooled batter and roll in icing sugar.  Try not to touch the batter too much because it's sticky and it will cling to you like nobody's business.


Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Make sure to leave room as they spread when baked.


8. Bake for 14 - 15 minutes.  The icing sugar coating should have cracks in it, the outside should be firm-ish and the inside should still be squidgy.


9. Leave to cool on a tray for 5 minutes, then consume with joy.


March 18, 2012

Chewy, Chunky Blondies


Blondies.  Chewy, sweet, chock full of chunks-blondies.  Delicious!

Recipe Adapted From: The Brown Eyed Baker
Ingredients (21 x 31 cm (8 x 12 inch) brownie tin)
310g flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter/margarine)
225g butter/margarine
275g brown sugar
125g white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips, or 6 oz chopped chocolate
1 cup butterscotch chips (I didn't have these, so I used chopped white chocolate instead)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (not desiccated)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (325 F)

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt.  This is optional.  I'm usually too lazy to do this.

3. Beat the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy.



4. Add the eggs one by one, beating after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.

5. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

6. Chop up the walnuts and chocolate if you're not using choc chips.




7. Add the chocolate, butterscotch chips, nuts and coconut.  Mix until combined.



8. Pour the mixture into a brownie tin lined with baking paper.



9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  The top should be a nice golden colour.

10. Let cool and cut into squares or bars.





February 18, 2012

Chocolates

Not just chocolate, but chocolates.

I was in The Chef's Hat with my Mum and we saw these lovely silicone chocolate moulds.  We got one.

Commence the chocolate-making!


I had gianduja and hazelnuts lying around in the cupboard, and an excess of chocolate, so I decided to do gianduja chocolates - something like a Baci.
Mum and I tempered the chocolate (not as traumatising an experience as expected) then painted the edges and bottom of the moulds with it.  Then we plopped a hazelnut in the bottom.  In hindsight, it would have been better to let the first layer of chocolate set, then add another layer so that the outside was thicker.


I let the outside set in the fridge and warmed up the gianduja.



We transferred the gianduja into a Ziploc bag for ease of piping, then filled the moulds almost to the top.


Let them set...then piped some more chocolate on top as the base.


After it hardened a little, I scraped the extra chocolate off the top.


I wasn't totally successful - I probably should've run the palette knife around the sides of the moulds to make sure the edges were cleaner.


However, slightly ratty edges aside, they unmoulded beautifully!



I had a bit of a gleeful fit at this point.


Good news; they tasted amazing.


February 6, 2012

Hedgehogs

Hello, all!  I hope you had an amazing Christmas and New Year!  I spent most of January in South America, particularly in Peru, seeing Machu Picchu and the incredible culture and history there.  I'll put some pictures up here for you shortly.

But for now, I have a lovely little recipe which is simple, tasty and always a crowd pleaser.  Hedgehogs!


Ingredients - base
175g butter or margarine
135g caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 egg
1/2 cup nuts (optional - I usually use walnuts)
250g packet of Marie biscuits (if you can't find Marie biscuits, use any kind of sweet dip-in-tea kind of things - Milk Arrowroots are OK)

Ingredients - topping
250g dark chocolate
50g butter or margarine

Method
1. Put biscuits in a plastic ziploc bag and bash the crap outta them with a rolling pin.  Ahem.  However, make sure it's not dust when you're done, leave some nice chunks that are about 1/4 the size of the whole biscuit.


2. Melt butter, sugar and cocoa and stir until the sugar dissolves.  The microwave is your friend.


3. Make sure the mixture is not too hot then add the egg, coconut, biscuits, and nuts if you're using them.  Mix.  Ensure the biscuits are all covered in the chocolatey mixture.

4. Line a 28 x 18cm pan or equivalent with baking paper, then pour in the mixture and press it down.


5. Put it in the fridge and let it chill for 1 hour, or until firm.

6. When the base it adequately hardened, melt the chocolate and butter for the topping together and mix until combined and smooth.

7. Spread over the base then let it all chill in the fridge again for about 20 minutes.


8. Cut into squares (or any shape you want, really) with a hot knife.


Enjoy!