Salted Fudge Brownie Cookies

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So waaaaaay back when- in a time when we could still hug each other; be in public without looking like random members of GI Joe or when Lysol still stocked grocery store shelves, I baked brownies. A LOT of brownies. The quantity of brownies baked in my kitchen was only just outdone by the amount of experimental cupcake flavors I would try tempt people with (Vanilla genoise w/ white truffle buttercream frosting, topped with strawberry, black pepper and a balsamic drizzle anyone?) Brownies satiated my passion for baking and my love of chocolate. In fact so much so was this the case that I ended up winning the title of Observer Food Monthly Best Reader’s Recipe 2014. The victorious recipe was my Smokin’ Pig Licker Brownies and can be found here if you interested.

Anyway I digress, as so often seems to be the case when I write these days! The current abundance of time indoors led me to wonder if this basic brownie recipe could be tweaked and applied to cookie format. And I was not to be the first. I’ll be perfectly  honest and admit I was utterly coerced by the glut of crinkle cookie images that seemed to be flooding my feed along with those of the omnipresent sourdough. The cookie recipe here follows pretty much the base template of brownies – melted choc/ butter combo; dry ingredients stash and sugar/egg volume. A dash of baking powder adds some leavening power to the cookie “dough balls” and stops them becoming a singular cookie en masse on the baking tray.

Overall I gotta admit to them being a tasty success, if thinner than I expected. I guess the word “brownies” in my head is synonymous with thick and chunky (applies to me in all walks of life!) so I was a little perturbed when these cookies baked to be a bit thinner. Nonetheless they still had the fudgy texture that I love of brownies and the crinkle topping certainly provided a certain visual ASMR.

So add these the long ever-growing list of what I should start calling “Quarantine Cookies”. Little morsels of baked goodness that have become my tasty alternative to crossing days off a calendar. The only downside being that whilst my repertoire is expanding so too, it would seem, is my waistline!

Stay safe!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa (if you can’t get this standard cocoa is fine as long as it’s unsweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coffee extract
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup fine sugar
  • 2 eggs, large
  • Optional: Flaky sea salt, to finish (I use Maldon)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and Kosher salt until combined.  Set aside until needed later
  3. Combine the butter and chocolate pieces in a bowl over a pan of water. Gently heat over medium-low heat until melted, stirring occasionally to combine. When fully melted remove the bowl from the hot water/ heat, add in the coffee extract and give one final stir to combine. Set aside until needed
  4. While the butter/chocolate mixture is melting, combine the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until pale and increased in volume
  5. Slow and steadily add the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and fold them together until uniform in color and it is just combined
  6. Sift in the dry mixture, again fold it in until just combined
  7. Using a large (3 tablespoon measurement) scoop drop batter balls onto your prepared baking sheet, spaced at least two inches apart.  The batter will be quite runny and will spread significantly as the cookies bake.  (Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of flaky sea salt, if using)
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are crinkled and slightly domed. Remove cookies from the oven and transfer the pan to a wire baking rack to cool. The cookies will flatten and crinkle even further as they firm up and cool down

*These cookies will keep in a sealed container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months

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#Recipe Station Cold Brew Coffee Company- Food Collaboration

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Before moving to Canada I’d never really heard of cold brew coffee. I guess it was something that maybe slipped under the radar of my London life in the deluge of Hoxton Hipsters, deconstructed menus and “free-from” frenzies. But here in Toronto it’s huge. In fact “huge” is too small a word to relay how prominent it is. Now that the “Unicorn” and “Fraken-Frappe” craze has passed, “Cold Brew Coffee” is THE thing- each and every coffee shop having their own take on it.

I’ve tried (quite) a few and hand on heart, whilst the other one is holding my coffee, the best one I’ve tried is by the team at Station Cold Brew Coffee. Available in a variety of formats from the travel-friendly stubby to their innovative “Nitro Can” to the customisable concentrate (and so much more) there’s something to suit coffee-lovers galore. You can find out more about them here. You can also catch the team on Dragon’s Den airing September 28th at 8.00pm EST/PST on CBC.

I have already mentioned that I think Station Cold Brew Coffee is the best and since I only work with the best, we teamed up to do a collaboration. You’ll find here a collection recipes showcasing their wonderful caffeine-laced beverage. Ranging from sweet to savory the recipes feature Station Cold Brew Coffee in unexpected, but always delicious, ways. I do hope you enjoy!

Station Brewnies (7)

Station BREWnies

A few years ago one of my brownie recipes picked up an Observer Food Monthly award for Best Readers Recipe. The recipe combined chocolate, chilli…oh, and crispy bacon! It’s a pretty good example of my recipe development ethos- think outside the box! This recipe for Station BREWnies is kind of a redux, a 2.0 version combining chocolate, crispy bacon, and this time, coffee. I hope you enjoy!

Makes 9 or 12, dependent on selected baking tin

Ingredients

Brewnies

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6 ½ oz dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/3 cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups packed, golden yellow sugar
  • 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup 100% unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup pecan pieces

Ganache

  • 2 oz semi-sweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Bacon shards

  • 3 strips of unsmoked bacon (or 4 if making 12 brewnies)
  • 2 tablespoons pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons golden yellow sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Station Cold Brew Concentrate

*Equipment note:

This mix will yield 9 Brewnies if made in an 8”x8”x1.5” deep proprietary silicone brownie pan, or 12 brewnies if made in a standard 12”x9”x1”deep baking pan

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C and grease, or line, the baking pan if using. If you are using a proprietary silicone brownie pan there is no need to prep it (see Equipment note above)
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thickened, fluffy and increased in volume
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt
  5. Add the cold brew concentrate to the cooled chocolate/butter mixture, and stir to combine
  6. Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  7. Sift in the dry ingredients, and fold together.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecan pieces until well combined.
  9. Pour your mixture into your chosen pan and gently spread to level the surface.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins if using deeper proprietary brownie pan, or for 20-25 minutes if using shallower baking pan
  11. When done remove from oven and leave to cool completely in the pan before removing or cutting into squares

Bacon (Step 1)

  1. Chop each bacon strip into 3. You should end up with 9 or 12 pieces (depending on your final number of brewnies) and place in a bowl
  2. Add the cold brew concentrate and mix with the bacon pieces. Set aside and leave to soak
  3. Chop the pecan pieces until fine. Add to a bowl with the sugar and mix. Set aside until needed

Ganache

  1. Gently heat the heavy cream in a in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Don’t let it boil- you want it just hot enough to bare putting a finger in. When ready, remove it from the heat, add the chocolate pieces and stir to melt
  2. Continue stirring until the mixture is well combined and glossy. It will look a little separated and mottled at first but if you keep stirring it will come together in a uniform mixture. Set aside to cool and thicken

Bacon (Step 2)

  1. Set your oven to medium high broil
  2. Remove the bacon pieces from the cold brew concentrate and dredge in the pecan/ sugar mixture. Press so the mixture sticks
  3. Place on a foil lined baking tray, top each piece with any additional pecan/ sugar mixture and place until the broiler grill under they start to crisp and bubble. DO NOT leave unattended as they won’t take long and you don’t want them to catch!
  4. Remove when done and leave to cool

To finish

  1. Once all components have cooled you are ready to assemble
  2. Smear the top of each brewnie with some ganache and top with a bacon piece
  3. Serve and enjoy. They go particularly well with an ice-cold Station Cold Brew!

**The “done-ness” of the brewnies can be checked by inserting a skewer, cocktail stick or toothpick into the mixture about 1” from the edge. It should come out with a little mixture/ crumbs attached.

Station Brewnies (5)


Kickstarter Overnight Oats (2)

Kickstarter Overnight Oats

We’ve all been there. You’ve hit the snooze button too many times so now you’re rushing around in a manic frenzy. One sock on whilst you jam a slice of toast in your mouth and running out the door is never a good way to start the day! These overnight oats massively cut corners and give you a filling and satisfying breakfast. Combining a hearty helping of oats and fruit with your (much needed) cup of coffee you’ll be making those meetings in no time at all!

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Quick Oats
  • ½ cup Jumbo Oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • Berries, to taste
  • Nut and seed mix, to taste

Equipment

1 medium Kilner jar or Mason jar

Method

  1. Place the quick oats and jumbo oats in a Kilner jar or Mason jar and stir to mix
  2. Add in the almond milk, cold brew concentrate, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir well until all ingredients are well mixed
  3. Close the jar and place in the refrigerator overnight or for 7 hours minimum
  4. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and stir. Add the berries, nuts and seeds to top
  5. Serve and enjoy a tasty kickstart to your morning routine!

Kickstarter Overnight Oats (3)


Pork n Beans n Joe (3)

Pork n Beans n Joe

Pork and beans is one of my all time favourite recipes. Comforting, filling and so tasty it begs to be on everyone’s “Know How” list. This recipe came from the mental image of a Wild West campfire. The cowboys surrounding it comparing stories and scars whilst filling their hungry bellies. And what  better way to wash it down? A cup of joe!

Dependent on serving portions, usually a good serving of 4

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup shallots, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 4 slices thick cut peameal bacon, or pork loin, chopped into pieces
  • 1 tin (540ml) tin white kidney beans or haricot beans
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (pasatta)
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons muscovado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (I use maple mustard)
  • ½ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • Salt and Pepper, to season

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C
  2. Lightly fry the garlic and shallots in a tablespoon oil in a skillet.
  3. Add the bacon pieces and continue to fry until browned. Remove from heat and leave to cool until needed
  4. Empty the contents of the beans tin (incl water) into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients
  5. Stir well to combine
  6. Add the bacon/shallots/garlic mixture, season with salt and pepper stir well again
  7. Transfer to complete bean mixture to a baking dish (mine is 9 ½” diameter x 1.5” deep) and place in preheated oven
  8. Bake for 50-60mins, stirring occasionally
  9. The liquid will reduce and the overall mixture thicken. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy! Try topping with cheese shreds, and serving alongside crusty loaf

Pork n Beans n Joe (1)


Early Bird Cinnamon Rolls (1)

Earlybird Cinnamon Rolls

Saturday mornings mean cinnamon rolls in my house. I guess you could say it’s become somewhat of a tradition since my family and I moved here to Canada. Mornings (in general!) also mean something else to me – coffee. In the words of wise Chief Hopper (Stranger Things) “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation”. The recipe for these rolls combines my favourite things of a weekend morning- cinnamon rolls slathered in cream cheese frosting and coffee. Definitely cause for contemplation.

Makes 12

Ingredients

Roll dough

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons quick rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew concentrate
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup fine sugar

Filling

  • 2 teaspoons fresh cardamom seeds, crushed finely
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar

Glaze

  • 1 cup (8 oz block) cream cheese
  • ¼ stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • Zest 1 orange

Equipment

12”x9”x1”deep baking pan

Method

  1. Gently heat the milk and butter over a medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Remove and leave to cool.
  2. When cooled, add in the cold brew concentrate and olive oil, stir to combine and set aside until needed
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer (with dough hook attachment in place) combine the flour, yeast (to one side) and salt (to opposite side)
  4. Add the egg and start the mixer on a low setting
  5. Pour the liquid mixture into flour mixture in a steady stream
  6. When all the liquid has been added increase the setting to medium and mix for 8 minutes, until all the mixture comes together into a dough ball and the bowl sides are clean
  7. While the dough is mixing lightly oil a large bowl
  8. After 8 minutes of mixing remove the dough from tip the dough from the mixer bowl into the pre-oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling wrap. Leave to rise until doubled in size
  9. While the dough is rising, make the filling
  10. In a bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, cardamom seeds and cinnamon
  11. Beat (either by hand or electric beater) until fully combined and fluffy. Set aside until needed
  12. When dough has doubled in size, tip out onto a lightly oiled surface
  13. Punch and knead the dough, for about 5 mins, until all the air has been expelled from it (called “Knocking Back”)
  14. Stretch and shape with your hands into a long rectangular shape, approximately 16” x20”
  15. Spread the butter mixture over the dough, covering the entire surface
  16. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough into a tight log shape
  17. Trim off the uneven ends and then slice the remainder into 12 equal slices
  18. Place the roll slices into your prepared tin, cut side up, in a 3 x 4 arrangement
  19. Cover with oiled cling wrap and allow to rise until double in size again, about 45- 60 minutes
  20. Preheat your oven to 350F/180C
  21. Bake the risen roll sin your preheated oven for 25- 30 mins, until golden. (If the rolls start to brown too quickly at the edges, cover with foil and continue to bake until all are baked)
  22. Remove from the oven when baked and set aside to cool while you make the glaze
  23. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine whip the cream cheese and butter until fluffy
  24. Add in the cold brew concentrate, orange zest, 1 cup of icing sugar and whip until well combined
  25. Add in the second cup of icing sugar and whip until smooth and well combined
  26. Spread the cream cheese topping over the warm rolls to your preferred thickness
  27. Serve warm and oozing the topping!

*Breakfast Make Ahead

If you want to start your day in a tasty Station Cold Brew way, these can be made up to step 19. Place the cling wrap covered rolls in the refrigerator and let them have their second rise overnight. In the morning, remove the rolls and allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before final baking. You can also make the cream cheese topping the night before, cover with cling wrap and have it ready for spreading on the baked rolls.

Early Bird Cinnamon Rolls (2)


Coffee & Walnut Cake (3)

Coffee & Walnut Bundt Cake

Here is a revamp on that classic British baked staple- the Coffee & Walnut cake. I’m sure Mary Berry would spit out her battenburg at the thought of tampering which such a classic (if she were ever to read this?) but irreverence can sometimes taste oh so delicious! Spiking the cake with blackcurrant provides a pleasing tangy contrast to the delicious sponge. The glaze and nuts are just an excuse to add more of that wonderful coffee flavour. If you like Coffee and Walnut cake, I’m sure you’ll love this.

Makes 1 large bundt cake

Ingredients

Bundt Cake

  • 3 ¼ cups cake & pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 sticks butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup blackcurrant conserve

Syrup

  • ¼ cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup

Glaze

  • 1 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Station Cold Brew Concentrate

Candied Walnuts

  • 14 walnut halves, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 cup Station Cold Brew Concentrate

Equipment

  • 10-Cup bundt cake tin

Coffee & Walnut Cake (7)

Method

Bundt Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350/180
  2. Prepare your bundt tin by coating either liberally with softened butter and flour, or cake release spray. Ensure every crevice receives ample coating
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for approximately 10 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Sift into a different bowl. Set aside until needed
  5. In a skillet over a medium height, lightly toast the walnuts. Stir them frequently to make sure they don’t catch and burn. Remove from the heat an skillet, leave to cool for a few minutes, then roughly chop. Set aside until needed
  6. In a jug combine the sour cream, coffee concentrate and vanilla extract. Set aside until needed
  7. Fill a piping bag with the blackcurrant jam. Tie and set aside until needed
  8. After 10 minutes of creaming the butter/sugar, reduce the beater speed to slow and add the eggs one at a time, alternating with 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture
  9. Increase the beater speed to medium and continue to add the flour mixture 2-3 tablespoons at a time, mixing well in between. The mixture will get quite thick and stiff
  10. Once all the flour mixture has been added, add in the liquid coffee mixture, pouring in a steady stream. Continue to mix until well combined
  11. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cooled, chopped walnut pieces
  12. Fill the bundt tine with half the cake batter. Using a teaspoon or small spatula knife create a shallow trough in the middle of the batter, all the way around the tin
  13. Pipe the jam into the trough all the way around the tin
  14. Add the remaining cake batter ensuring that the jam ring is completely covered. Gently level the surface of the batter
  15. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 mins. You can test with a skewer but be aware that you may hit the jam ring so some jam may come out on the skewer. You just don’t want any cake batter
  16. When baked remove from oven and set aside to cool on a rack

Syrup

  1. While the baked cake is cooling prepare the syrup. In a jug add the coffee concentrate and maple syrup, and whisk well to combine
  2. After 10 mins of the cake cooling use a skewer or cocktail stick to make random holes over the surface of the cake
  3. Drizzle it over the cake 1 tablespoon at a time until it has all been added
  4. Allow the cake to cool fully

Candied Walnuts

  1. While your cake continues to cool, make the candied walnuts to top the finished cake
  2. In a saucepan add the dark brown sugar, coffee concentrate, walnuts and heat over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to high and continue to heat for 5-8 minutes – stirring frequently to ensure the walnut laves are coated in the sugar mixture
  4. Remove from the heat and carefully place the mixture on a lined parchment tray. Using the forks separate each of the nuts, allow to cool and set. *Please be extremely careful here as the molten sugar mixture can burn. DO NOT attempt to separate the nuts using your fingers!

To finish the cake

  1. When the cake has fully cooled, invert and remove it from the tin
  2. In a large jug combine the icing (confectioners) sugar and coffee concentrate. Whisk until you have a smooth, viscous liquid.
  3. Drizzle the glaze over the bundt cake in a desired pattern. You can cover the cake surface completely or drizzle in strands. Using a spoon may help you here.
  4. When the glaze has been added, place the candied walnuts on the surface in a pattern to your liking
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Coffee & Walnut Cake (22)

*The cold brew coffee concentrate used in the recipes in this post was supplied free of charge by Station Cold Brew Coffee Company.

For further disclaimer information please see here

#Recipe Candycane Brownies

 

 

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And now January has set in. Tinsel and lights have been packed away. Christmas tree carcasses litter the sidewalks- emaciated reminders of festivities past. On the whole January would appear to be a pretty “grey”- The Month of M’eh. Each mouthful of chocolate or candy is now succeeded by a guilty pang of remorse. “December was pretty indulgent, I really shouldn’t be eating this”…said no one in my kitchen. Ever!

“Seize the moment. Think of all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”

Erma Bombeck

There’s usually a surplus of sweet treats of some variety in my house after the festive season. This year is was candy canes. Having fulfilled their duty of adorning the christmas trees for the best past of a month (and surviving the voracious eyes of my children!) it’s now time to put them to an alternative, and somewhat tastier, use.

For something so small and simple candy cane have an assortment of end uses in the kitchen. Aside from having a good ol’ fashioned chomp on them, there are recipes available for flavoured vodkas, cupcakes, and hot chocolate. I opted for using them in one of my favourite flavour combinations- mint and chocolate. My Candy cane Brownies are rich, indulgent treats laced with peppermint and studded with chewy, mini nuggets of stripped cane and chocolate chumks. Just for good measure there’s an extra sprinkling of smashed candy canes topping each brownies with extra festive whimsy.

Having arrived in our new home of Canada just ahead of the festive blitz I had little time for baking and experimenting with the new array of ingredients that have since become available to me. New brands, varieties and flavours lined shelfs, all there for the taking in my greedy mitts. The cocoa powder I used here, Fry’s (which is a Dutch processed cocoa), resulted in a much darker and richer chocolate flavour compared to those I’ve used in the UK. I’d highly recommend trying to get your hands on some if you can! So this recipe provided the perfect excuse for not only using up the excess candy canes but also as a trial for using unfamiliar ingredients. I hope you like them. And yes I know it’s strictly speaking a christmas recipe and the festive season is done and dusted, but just them of them as a legitimate excuse for resurrecting it for a brief few minutes. Enjoy!

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Candy cane Brownies

makes 12

Unsalted butter 185g, cubed

185g Bakers unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces

1 tablespoon Nielsen Massey peppermint extract

3 eggs

275g caster (superfine) sugar

85g plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

50g Fry’s cocoa powder

50g Bakers semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small chunks

50g peppermint candy cane, broken into smalls pieces

To decorate

75g peppermint candy canes, smashed into irregular pieces

  • Set your oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a deep 12″x9″ baking tray with baking parchment.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thickened and fluffy, then, in a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  • Stir the peppermint extract into the cooled chocolate mixture, and the fold into the egg mixture.
  • Sieve in the dry ingredients, and fold together.
  • Mix in the chocolate chunks and candy cane pieces. Fold again until well combined.
  • Pour your mixture into the lined tray and gently spread to level the surface. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. To test- insert a skewer into the mixture about 1 inch from the edge of the tin and it should come out clean.
  • To decorate-sprinkle the top of the brownies with the smashed candy cane pieces and gently push into the surface so the stick.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares, and serving.

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#Recipe Brownie Fries w/ Raspberry Ketchup & Yuzu Mayo

So this recipe originally started as an idea to create smaller “bite-size” brownies with a difference. Sadly after a quick Googling (!) I found someone else had beat me in creating the concept. Oh well, imitation is the best form of flattery as they say. Brownie Fries or “Fruffles” (a portmanteau of Fries + Truffles) as they appear to be called in some places Stateside have been around for a while. Usually they’re served with a berry compote “ketchup” and yogurt “mayo” but not one to let a chance for experimentation go by I decided to mix up the flavours a bit.

Berry ketchup and yogurt mayo? Oh no, no- not for me! So all aboard the “Flavour train” for a raspberry dipping sauce with fresh and spicy notes thanks to basil and black pepper, paired with rich, creamy and zingy mascarpone dip. Here’s my take on Brownie “Fries” and they’re deep-dipping, lip-smacking good!

 

Brownie Fries (2)

Brownie “Fries”

185g unsalted butter, cubed

185g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, broken into pieces

eggs 3

275g caster sugar

85g plain flour

1 tbsp Espresso powder

50g dark chocolate chips

50g milk chocolate chips

100g pecans, lightly roasted and roughly chopped

To decorate

125g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, broken into pieces

125g milk chocolate, broken into pieces

Coarse sea salt to sprinkle

Freshly ground vanilla (Dr. Oetker do a wonderful grater/grinder)

Raspberry “Ketchup”

75g fresh raspberries

Handful fresh basil leaves, torn

½ tsp black peppercorns

Yuzu “Mayo”

250g Mascarpone cheese

100ml single cream

1 tsp agave syrup

2 tbsp Yuzu juice

  •  Set your oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a deep 12″x9″ baking tray with baking parchment, or 9” x9” brownie tray (with short dividers removed).
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thickened and fluffy, then, in a separate bowl, combine the flour and Espresso powder. Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Sieve in the dry ingredients, and fold together until just uniform in color.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans until fully incorporated.
  • Pour your mixture into the lined tray, or brownie pan, and gently spread to level the surface. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, then leave to cool completely in the tin before removing.
  • Start by cutting the brownie slab in to 3” wide strips. If you’re using a brownie pan the long dividers will already have done this for you. Next, rotate the strips 90 degrees and cut strips approximately ¾ inch wide. Arrange on a sheet of baking paper with about 1 inch space between.
  • To finish, melt the dark and milk chocolates in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag and snip a small piece from the end to make a fine nozzle.
  • Pipe the melted chocolate over your brownie fries so that it drips down over the sides, forming the “batter coating” to your “fries”.
  • Leave to cool for about 15 mins then sprinkle lightly with seas salt and grind over fresh vanilla.
  • Leave to finally set.

To make the Raspberry “Ketchup”

  • In a bowl combine the fresh raspberries, basil leaves, and black peppercorns.
  • Using a hand blender, blitz until a fine pulp.
  • Pass through a sieve to a bowl below.
  • Set aside until serving.

To make the Yuzu “Mayo”

  • In a bowl combine the mascarpone cheese, cream, agave syrup and yuzu juice.
  • Beat until fully combined.
  • Spoon in to a bowl for serving.

To serve

  • Arrange the brownie fries alongside the ketchup and yuzu mayo.
  • Now dip away to your heart’s content!

Brownie Fries (5)

Wired for Sound! #recipe #brownies

So this morning saw me chatting to the imitable food presence that is William Sitwell on his “Biting Talk” show on Soho Radio. Some of you may recognise him from such things as the Mastechef food critics table, or from Waitrose Kitchen magazine. By the by, conversation ranged from cupcakes (of course!) to beards (well why not) to cartoon franchising (you’ll just have to listen for that one!) If you missed out here’s the link below for you aural delectation…

As only expected for #thebeardedbaker I brought along some baked goods for sampling. Yes, I know it was only 9am in the morning but (a bit like gin!) it’s always cake o’clock somehwere in there world. So the team at Soho Radio had the pleasure (I hope!) of trying out two new recipes for brownies and cupcakes-

cupcakes

My “Hot n Smoky” caramel cupcakes of caramel sponge filled with a smoked caramel centre, topped with caramel buttercream frosting and sriracha cinder toffee shards.


Brownies

Chocolate  Cherry & Cheesecake Brownies- Chocolate, Cherry and double-chocolate brownies topped with White Chocolate & Pink Peppercorn Cheescake

In the event that these have piqued your intrest and tingled your tastebuds here’s the recipe for the Chocolate Cherry brownies. Do bear in mind that these are exceptionally rich- a chocolate motherload not for the faint-hearted! As such I recommend cutting them down into half the traditional brownie size.

Chocolate Cherry & Pink Peppercorn Cheesecake Brownies
Makes 18 (deep pan) or 40 (shallow pan)

Ingredients
185g unsalted butter 185g, cubed
185g 70% cocoa dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3 eggs
275g caster sugar
85g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tbsp Espresso powder
50g 70% cocoa dark chocolate chunks
50g white chocolate chunks
100g glace cherries, halved
1 egg
280g cream cheese
60g caster sugar
3 tbsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
50g white chocolate chunks

Method

  • Set your oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line a deep 12″x9″ baking tray with baking parchment. * See note for brownie numbers
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or bain-marie), stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thickened and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.
  • Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
  • Sieve in the dry ingredients, and fold together.
  • Fold in the chocolate chunks and cherries until well combined.
  • Pour your mixture into the lined tray and gently spread to level the surface.
  • For the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese, caster sugar, and egg in a separate bowl until smooth.
  • Melt the white chocolate (either over hot water or in a microwave in short bursts).
  • Add the pink peppercorns and melted chocolate into the cheesecake mixture and mix well.
  • Pour/ place blobs of the cheesecake mixture on top of the chocolate brownie mixture.
  • Swirl with a knife or a skewer to create a marbled effect throughout the batter
  • Place in the oven for 35-40 minutes, then leave to cool completely in the tin before removing from the tin or cutting into squares.
  • Leave to cool, then serve.

*If you use a 12” x 9” tin you will get 20 brownies (cutting 4 x 5) and then divide further down in half to give you 40 brownie “bars”. If you use a 9” x 9” silicone brownie pan (available from Lakleand) you’ll get 9 deeper brownies which you can cut down in half to give you 18 brownie “bars”.