Nutella Rock Drops Cookies

Yep, the apron is back on! What better way to start but with our favourite chocolate spread? This is my second time of making these in two days, they are soooo easy and it answers the question: convert or not convert (into grams)? The first time I did, only because my cup doesn’t fit in my flour tin and I didn’t want to make more washing for myself… This time, I didn’t….

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼cup oats
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla
  • 90g cold butter, diced
  • splash of vanilla extract *optional
  • ½ to 1 cup of nutella

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 190°C/170°fan/ Gas 5 and prepare a large baking sheet, greased and lined
  • I put buttermilk at the top of my list because: 1)In the UK, I never had any 2) It simply isn’t sold in France. So it has to be made first to be ready when required. Add 1 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice to 250ml of milk. Do not stir.

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  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, soda, salt and ground vanilla.

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  • Cut the butter in and mix it in with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
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OK, I use gloves, I hate when it goes in my nails…

  • Add the buttermilk and mix with a spatula until just combined and no more. Add the vanilla extract if used.

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  • With a knife, swirl the Nutella into the dough: first time I didn’t measure but this time I did. The boys liked them more with a “heavy hand in the jar”…

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  • Scoop the dough onto the prepared sheet. Makes 15 to 18 rocks

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  • Bake for 15 to 18mn, until golden brown

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And the answer? don’t convert, an extra bowl to wash won’t make that much difference. They came out exactly as I wanted in the first place, even if the boys asked for “more Nutella”. The first time, when I used a converter and measured all the ingredients, I found that it made for a wetter dough which spread out whilst baking and ended up with slightly burnt edges…

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Chocolate & Pear Sponge Cake

It’s been a while but Christmas did what it does best, piling on the pounds, a couple at least, so I thought it best to stay away from baking for a bit…. I actually baked this cake a while back and simply forgot to post it! Pears compliment really well chocolate and it adds a healthy touch… My baking apron is back on!

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Ingredients:

  • 175g softened butter
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 3 lightly beaten eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp espresso powder *optional
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp room temperature milk
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a 23cm/ 9″ round loose-bottomed cake tin, greased and lined
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Gradually, add the eggs to the mixture, beating well after each addition. Don’t worry if it starts to look a little curdled.

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  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, coca powder, espresso powder if used and salt.
  • Fold the dry ingredients gently into the creamed mixture until well combined.
  • Stir in the milk and pour the mixture into your cake tin. Level the surface.

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  • Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter.

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  • Bake in the oven for about 1 hour until the cake is just firm to the touch and the sides have started to shrink from the side.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10mn before transferring to a wire rack.

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