Browkies

Its name gives it away: part Brownies, part Cookies…. I first saw it on a Kids TV channel, in France, but it never gave the recipe. Quick search on Google revealed that it wasn’t an American invention as I thought but completely French. The Brownie side had to be experimented on so it was baked to perfection at the same time as the Cookie topping. Here goes!

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Ingredients:

Brownie:

  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g flour
  • 75g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • chopped nuts {optional}

Cookie:

*Follow recipe https://farandoleofcakes.com/2015/05/21/simply-perfect-chocolate-chip-cookie/

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a baking pan 30cm×20cm / 12″x8″

For the Brownie:

  1. melt the chocolate and butter together
  2. Add eggs, one at a time
  3. Add sugar then flour
  4. Pour into your prepared pan and set aside. You can, if used, sprinkle the top with the chopped nuts

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  • Prepare the cookie dough and drop spoonfuls on top of the brownie mix: I used my trusted ice cream scoop, it makes it easier to spread it as the bottom mix isn’t thick

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031  it is up to you how thick or thin you want the cookie layer

  • Bake for 40 to 50mn until a tester comes out clean

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♦♦♦ One with the Nuts:

BROWKIES

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Simply Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

If I keep baking cookies, it’s because I am never quite satisfied with them: I have searched long and wide for that perfect cookie that “looks the part, smells the part” and more importantly “tastes the part”…. I believe I found it! My older son tells me “You can stop looking now Mummy” so time to share!

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Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 85g soft light brown sugar
  • 75g sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk straight from the fridge
  • 200g flour
  • 100g rolled oats
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt (but not if you’re using salted butter)
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla
  • Chocolate chips ( 3 large handful)

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 170°C/ 150°fan/ Gas 3 and line 2 baking trays: it makes 12 to 14 cookies
  • Melt the butter and set aside to cool a little
  • Add to both sugars and cream together
  • Beat in the vanilla and eggs until the mixture is light and creamy

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  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats,soda, salt and ground vanilla

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  • Slowly (speed 1) mix the dry ingredients to the creamy mixture until just blended
  • Fold in the chocolate chips

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  • Using an ice cream scoop (I find the medium sized one works best), drop the dough onto the baking trays, well apart

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  • Bake for 15 to 18mn, until the edges are slightly toasted. When I have 2 trays, I swap them after 10mn, back to front and top to bottom

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  • Leave to cool for 5mn before transferring to cooling wire

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and resist for as long as you can….

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Courgette cake

As part of my Courgette day, to accompany the puff potato and courgette pie…. clearly I had an abundance of courgettes!

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For this one, I was inspired by a recipe from Anna Olson and made it my own…. I will add the American measurements which  I used this time as many times have I heard it doesn’t work the same… it does!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup melted butter – 125g
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup sugar – 130g ( I mixed in light brown for colour)
  • 1 to 2 tsp of finely grated orange zest: as you prefer but you don’t want it to overpower the taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup flour – 200g
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ salt
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup grated courgettes, loosely packed
  • chocolate chips, as little or as much as wanted

Streusel topping:

as in: https://farandoleofcakes.com/2014/07/17/banana-cake-with-streusel-topping/ but substitute 1 tbsp of cocoa powder with flour

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and grease or line a loaf tin
  • Beat the butter, eggs, sugar, zest and vanilla extract together in a large bowl
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vanilla powder
  • Stir in the courgette to coat it with the flour
  • Add this to the wet mixture, stirring until just blended.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips (if using) and scrape the batter into the prepared pan
  • Top evenly with streusel
  • Bake in the oven for 50 to 60mn, until tester comes out clean
  • Cool the cake completely in the pan until turning out to slice and enjoy!

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Puff Potato & Courgette Pie

Last month, I ended up having a “Courgette Day” when that vegetable made it into a cake, no surprise here, and a savoury pie, yes it does happen too! I am a bit late posting the recipes but the boys have been on my computer non-stop and I am just too tired by evening…. So here goes, a lovely vegetable pie.

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and no, I didn’t make my own puff pastry. Quite frankly, it is too time consuming and the shop-bought ones are perfect, make sure it is made with butter!

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables: mainly potatoes (4 or 5), thinly sliced, boiled for a few minutes,drained and cooled, and grated courgettes. I added thinly sliced onions and red pepper.
  • diced bacon or lardons
  • 450g puff pastry
  • 150ml double cream
  • Seasoning
  • 2 beaten eggs

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/ 180°fan/ Gas 6
  • In a bowl, mix together all your vegetables and bacon

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  • Stir in 2 tbsp of the cream and plenty of seasoning: salt&pepper obviously, and my favourite: a pinch of nutmeg
  • Divide the pastry in half and roll out one piece to the size of the oven plate (I used my stone pizza). Roll out the other half but make it 1 cm bigger all around.
  • Place the first circle on your oven tray and top with the potato mixture, leaving a border

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  • Brush the border with a little of the eggs
  • Top with the larger circle of pastry. Seal well and crimp the edge
  • Cut a steam vent in the centre, wide enough to accommodate a small funnel
  • With the back of a knife, mark a pattern and brush with a little of the eggs
  • Bake for 30mn

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  • Mix the remaining beaten eggs with the rest of the cream and pour into the pie through the steam vent, lifting the sides of your tray in turn to allow even spreading

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  • Return to the oven for a further 15mn then leave to cool for 30mn before serving

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Dried Figs and Apricot Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

I baked this because I was left with so many dried figs that just eating them wasn’t going to make them disappear…. the perfect excuse for a cake that might not sound that interesting, doesn’t have that “wow” look about it but just taste soooo nice, and so the neighbours still mention it, I might have to make another one! Perfect for Coffee!

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Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 cup of dried figs, chopped up (scissors work best here)
  • 1 cup of dried apricots, chopped up, mixed with dried strawberries, just to try

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  • 420g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 170g soft butter
  • 175 sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml crème fraiche (sour cream)

Streusel:

In a small bowl, combine:

  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 60g soft butter
  • 40g flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

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Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4. Grease and flour a 28cm/ 11″ ring tube springform pan
  • Sift together the first 5 dry ingredients and take 1 tbsp of the flour mixture to sprinkle over the dried fruits to stop them from sinking into the cake whilst baking
  • In a stand mixer, beat the butter until fluffy then slowly add the sugar and cream together
  • Add one egg at a time, beating for at least 3mn after the last addition
  • Add the vanilla extract and not to worry if it looks curdled

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  • Add the flour mixture alternating with the cream, starting and finishing with the dry
  • Fold in the fruits by hand
  • Spoon 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the streusel. repeat that layer and top with the last of the batter

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  • Bake into the middle of the oven for 50 to 60mn ( mine took 55 exactly). Remove to a wire rack and let it cool for 20mn

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  • Remove from the pan to let cool completely. A dusting of icing sugar completes the picture

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Football Cake

It might be a bit strange to post now about a cake I made over a month ago but With work and my computer playing up, it is only now that I am managing to post about my 2nd son’s birthday…. The idea came to me 2 weeks before the due date, at night as sleep eluded me: he hadn’t asked about his cake yet ( the usual being whatever cake with an icing cake topper picture) and I was thing, he loves football so what about…..

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I am sharing this with you to show you that anyone can do that sort of thing: I had never attempted anything of the sort before and I am no professional! All you need is to get organised, this was done over 3 days!

  • Day 1: bake a chocolate cake, simple 8″ round cake and once cooled put it in the food processor to make it into breadcrumbs. Mix in a chocolate fudge made to taste and enough to bind it all together into a ball

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  • Day 2: I bake another chocolate cake, rectangular this time, as my hubby pointed out the ball had to be perched somewhere! That’s when I came up with the idea of a “pitch”…. Covered with chocolate buttercream

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  • Day 3: I spent the morning just decorating…. I had cut out polygon shapes on icing paper to create an exact football but quite frankly it became too fiddly and geometrical for my liking…. did you know that on a football, the white shapes have 6 sides and the black ones only 5? you do now!

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And it doesn’t have to be to size either! That was just enough to feed about 10 hungry boys!

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Nutella Brioche Star

Otherwise known as “Pizza with a twist” revisited, on the sweet side! What can I say about it? 3 letters: OMG!

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Brioche dough:

As per the twist, in my bread machine, dough setting, mine is liquid in first:

  • 2 tbsp milk + 2 eggs
  • 225g strong bread flour, sprinkled over the liquid to cover it
  • ½ tsp salt + 1 tbsp sugar + 50g melted butter + 1½ tsp easy-blend dried yeast in separate corners

Once cycle over, I knocked it back gently onto a floured surface and divided the dough in 4 rolls, working one at a time, covering the others aside.

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This time I rolled the doughs and used a plate 20cm/ 8″ wide to cut them into neat discs, actually smaller than the pizza as not meant to be a meal onto itself!

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Make sure the chocolate spread is of a almost melting consistency to spread over each layer as you don’t want it to “move”. Layer them onto your baking sheet so you can slide it on your baking tray with ease.

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Cover with the 4th layer and centre a glass in the middle in order to make your first cuts. At that stage I put my pizza stone in the oven, preheating at 220°/ 200°fan, to warm up

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Remove the glass and using a pair of scissors, do the remaining cuts, 16 in all, then start twisting!

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Take 2 slices in each hand and twist twice, going opposite way ( right hand goes right and left hand goes left) and tuck in

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You should end up with something that looks like this:

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I baked it in the oven for 20mn the removed it from the stone and baked it on the sheet for a further 5mn

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It was a resounding success and disappeared in 10mn!

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In the end I had to save myself 2 “petals” in order to quality control the result, of course!

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Chai Tea Biscuits

These were baked as part of an experiment as I have defected to Chai lattes to cut down on my coffee intake! As you can imagine they taste “different” but they are very moreish! Alexandar (my little baker assistant) can’t get enough of them, but that’s alright: low in fat and sugar, what more can you ask for!

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Ingredients:

  • 60g light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp dry chai tea, about 4 tea bags: here you can experiment, I have used my spicy ones, cardamom, vanilla…. mixed up too!
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 125g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp rose water, if you don’t like the taste, use vanilla extract
  • 115g diced chilled butter

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and line 2 baking trays: this makes about 30 biscuits
  • Process the sugar, tea and salt together until the tea has been ground to a fine powder
  • Add the flour, rose water or vanilla and butter and keep processing until the mixture begins to hold together
  • Add a little cold water (you shouldn’t need more than 2 or 3 tbsp) until the dough just comes together
  • Turn it out onto a floured surface (I used plain flour) and shape into a log
  • Wrap into clingfilm and refrigerate for 15mn
  • Roll out to a thickness of 3mm (1/8″) and cut out rounds using your favourite biscuit cutter
  • Transfer onto your trays, I sprinkled mine with coloured granulated sugar, I think the lilac works best
  • Bake them in the oven for 18 to 20mn until they begin to colour
  • Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely and get dunking!

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Chocolate Crumble Square

I made these when the boys were on holidays. It ticked all the right boxes: chocolate, custard and crumble! And they look luscious! Not only that, they are dead easy to make!

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Ingredients:

  • Cold custard made with 200ml of milk
  • 175g softened butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 25g cocoa powder, sifted

Topping:

  • Rub together 50g flour+40g diced butter, at room temperature
  • Stir in 15g vanilla sugar (2 sachets) + 1tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a baking pan 30cm×20cm / 12″x8″
  • Place the butter, sugar, eggs, flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl and beat until smooth and creamy
  • Spoon into the prepared pan and level with a spatula
  • Drop small dollops of the custard over the top, swirling into the chocolate mixture
  • Scatter the topping over the top
  • Bake for 30 to 35mn and leave to cool in the pan
  • Dust with icing sugar and cut into 12 generous squares!

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Chocolate Fudge Cake

Today is Chocolate Cake Day! As if I needed another reason to bake…. Tuesdays are busy days for me so I didn’t have much time to do it in: but no need to worry, this recipe is so quick and easy!

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Preheat: oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a baking pan: either use an muffin tin, it will make 16 to 18, or an 8″/20cm round tin. Today I opted for my kugelhopf tin

In a large bowl: sift together and set aside

  • 350g plain flour
  • 175g sugar (I mixed white and brown just because I ran out of the white)
  • ¼tsp salt

In a small bowl: mix together and set aside

  • 125ml buttermilk ( last minute so milk + 1tsp white vinegar left for 5mn)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coffee extract (or 1 tbsp good instant espresso powder)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda

In a small pan:

  • melt 230g butter
  • add 4 generous tbsp cocoa powder
  • pour 250ml boiling water, stirring well and once brought back to the boil, remove from heat

All together:

  • Pour the chocolate liquid over the dry ingredients, mixing gently, allowing for the liquid to cool down: you should get something that looks like a dough

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  • Add the wet ingredients over it and mix together with a wooden spoon. Pour into your prepared pan

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Bake for 35mn as a cake or 18 to 20mn as muffins.

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Leave to cool for 10mn before turning onto a wire rack. I used melted milk chocolate and sprinkles for finishing touches!

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That easy! Now enjoy as my boys did!

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