What I’ve been cooking this summer

This summer I’ve discovered a fabulous new salad, two great cakes and a new gluten free cookie recipe.

Carrot and edamame salad with soy ginger dressing

Salad:

  • 1  x 450g packet of frozen shelled edamame beans
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded or grated
  • 2 spring onions or half a red onion, finely sliced
  • a generous few handfuls of salad greens, some shredded
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the edamame for 2-3 minutes or until tender (they float to the surface). Drain well and run under cold water to stop them cooking further.

To make the dressing, put everything into  screw cap jar or small bowl and mix well to combine.

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Mix well then drizzle over the dressing. There will probably be more dressing than needed, but it is delicious with whatever salad you are making the next day, or over cooked rice or noodles.

This is a slight adaptation of a recipe by Emma Galloway published in Cuisine in issue 197, Nov/Dec 2019.

Chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake

Cake

  • 120 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 300 grams caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 390 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt

Filling and Topping

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 175°C.

Butter a by 23 x 33 cm baking pan and line the bottom with baking paper. This makes a big cake! I used a roasting pan because none of my cake tins are that large.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 300 grams sugar. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla.

Whisk flour, bicarb soda, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl.

Alternately mix in sour cream and then dry ingredients into butter mixture until both are used up and the batter is smooth and very thick.

In a medium bowl with clean beaters, beat eggs whites until stiff, then fold gently into batter.

In a small dish, combine the cinnamon and remaining 100 grams caster sugar for filling and topping.

Spread half the cake batter in the bottom of prepared pan and spread smooth. Sprinkle with half of cinnamon-sugar mixture and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Dollop remaining cake batter over filling in spoonfuls. Use a spatula to gently spread it over the filling and smooth the top. Sprinkle batter with remaining cinnamon-sugar and remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/chocolate-chip-sour-cream-cake/

Lemon blackberry yoghurt loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) + 1 tablespoon (10 grams) plain flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (230 grams) plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 255 grams) blackberries, frozen
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a 22 by 11 by 7 cm loaf pan. Line the bottom with baking paper. Grease the sides of the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Mix the berries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2008/04/lemon-yogurt-anything-cake/

 

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies (gluten free)

Makes 26 to 28 cookies with a 1 2/3 tablespoon scoop. I used a 1 1/4 tablespoon quenelle scoop loaded up generously and made 25 cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups (335 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (450 grams) smooth peanut butter
  • Coarse-grained sea salt, to finish

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the light brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract, then the peanut butter until smoothie and completely incorporated. Yes, that’s all you need to do. So easy.

Scoop out mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.  I had an appointment to attend to I put the scooped out cookies on the baking tray into the freezer for over an hour before I baked them. This is recommended to get the tallest cookies and the striations across the top of the cookies, but I did it out of necessity and poor timing.

Sprinkle the cookies lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake cookies for 14 to 15 minutes. When finished, cookies should be golden at edges.

They’ll need to set on the sheet for a minute or two before they can be lifted intact to a cooling sheet. Once they have cooled completely they are crisp outside and soft inside. Delicious!

This recipe is also from Smitten Kitchen, published online at https://smittenkitchen.com/2015/10/salted-peanut-butter-cookies/

Peanut butter, bacon and dark chocolate cookies and chocolate whoopie pies: gluten free goodness

Now that’s a blog title I never thought I’d write!

The cookies were polarizing. I mean. Come on. Peanut butter, bacon and dark chocolate??

A little bit greasy, but the flavours were fabulous. They were made for craft night a few weeks ago. Rory devoured the leftovers. I might have helped a little bit too.

Peanut butter, dark chocolate and bacon cookies

recipe from Joy the Baker

  • 1 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large handful dark chocolate pieces

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 °C. Line trays with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined. Add egg and baking soda and mix until well combined. Fold in cooked bacon and chocolate pieces. That’s it. It really is that easy
  3. Roll into large walnut sized balls before placing on the baking tray and squishing to flatten slightly.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes.

The whoopie pies were not such a hit, but this was mainly the fault of the filling because the cakey-cookie part of them was delicious. The filling was too sweet and didn’t have enough flavour. Easy to change this though: Even a teaspoon or three of instant coffee would make a big improvement.

 

Chocolate whoopie pies

recipe from Taste

  • 125g butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Filling (add instant coffee or orange zest or something else to lift the filling out of blah)

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition
  3. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl.
  4. Add half the flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add half the buttermilk. Stir. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and buttermilk until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter in a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Pipe 3cm wide rounds onto prepared trays, 5cm apart, allowing room for spreading. Stand for 15 minutes. The recipe said to pipe 32 of them. We had lots more than this
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until tops are firm. Cool on trays.
  7. Make Filling: Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in icing sugar and cocoa. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm fluted nozzle. Pipe filling onto 16 rounds. Gently top with remaining rounds.

Christmas dresses for my nieces

When I said the blog would return to garment sewing, I didn’t say that all my Christmas sewing was over!

Reindeer Retro Dress

Before the final fitting (after which, the hem went up about 10 cm)

Pattern: BurdaStyle 02-2011-101

I’ve made this pattern before, for Felicity.

One of the 13 year old nieces likes retro styles, so this was an easy pattern pick for her.

Size: 36-44, I made a 38 with a 36 waist and a small bust adjustment. I did the small bust adjustment ‘properly’ using the slash and overlap technique (the By Hand London blog has a good post on both small and full bust adjustments)

Fabric: Christmas quilting cotton for the bodice, cotton gingham for the contrast neck and sleeve edges (from the inherited part of my stash) and rayon shirting for the skirt from Gay Naffine’s workroom.

Changes I made:

I raised the neck by adding 15 mm extra to the base of the neckline scoop so that it was not as deep and about 10 mm to the side neck to decrease the width and adjusted the back neck up about 15 mm too.

I cut the back skirt with a centre back seam and moved the zip to the centre back.

But the main change was, of course, to add those contrast neck and sleeves edges.

I cut these out like a facing and interfaced them. I ran a line of stitching on the outer edge, clipped and pressed the edge in. Then I stitched them to the neck edge right side to wrong side.

Trimmed the seam (aren’t those reindeer cute?),

then flipped the ‘facings’ to the right side and topstitched them down.

This is how it looks from the inside

And, to finish it off, I added a button tab and a button to the back neck

Patchwork Birds Sundress

(that’s a small part of the cooking reference library belonging to He Who Cooks in the background of this photo)

Pattern: BurdaStyle 05/2010 #114

Size 34-42, I made a 34 with a small bust adjustment. Not ‘properly’ this time: I folded out half of the dart width in a wedge up to the neck, then gathered the smaller amount of width here rather than darting.

Fabric: Christmas quilting cotton, with cotton bias tape (from the inherited part of my stash) as a flat piping and lined with a soft cotton batiste, also from the inherited part of my stash.

This is a cute pattern.

 

And to top of all that cuteness, just look at these Rudolph chocolate tartlets!

For the tartlets you’ll need:

  • 250g packet of Butternut Snap Cookies (a delicious buttery cookie made by Arnotts)
  • 65g unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup single cream
  • 200g dark chocolate
  1. Place 12 biscuits over each hole of a twelve hole round based tartlet tin. Bake for 2-3 minutes at 180°C or until soft. Remove from oven then carefully press softened biscuits into tin to mould into a cup shape. Allow to cool. Remove from tin and transfer to serving plate. Repeat with remaining biscuits.
  2. Place butter, cream and chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. Refrigerate until cool but not set – about 20 minutes.
  3. Fill biscuit cases with 1 heaped teaspoon of chocolate mixture then place in refrigerator for 20-25 min or until set and ready to serve.
  4. To turn these chocolate tartlets into Rudolph tartlets, you’ll need regular and mini marshmallows for the eyes and faces, jaffas for the noses and pretzels for the antlers. Cut the marshmallows in half and press them into the chocolate filling cut side down. Stick the jaffas on with a dot of chocalte icing, and use the same icing to add pupils to the mini marshmallow eyes.

recipe from Taste

They taste good too!

Autumn baking and Downton Abbey dress WIP

Ginger nuts

This great recipe is thanks to Jorth.

  • 200g butter
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten (or 4 eggs -see update note below)
  • 3 1/2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 6 teaspoons ground ginger (yes, I know that’s a lot, but ginger nuts need to be gingery!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C and line baking trays. This recipe makes 60 biscuits. I used three trays in the first bake one and two in the second.
  2. Melt the butter and syrup together in a saucepan.
  3. Add the sugar and beaten eggs to the melted butter mixture.
  4. Sieve the flour, baking soda and ginger together to mix and then add that too.
  5. Mix together well. My mixture was a bit dry. Looking at my biscuits and Jorth’s, I think my less perfect and more cracked at the edges biscuits are because I should have added some liquid or another egg. Or perhaps its because I used raw caster sugar, and more might have fitted in the cup. I should have trusted my instincts and added another egg. They are very yummy though!
  6. Roll into balls about 3cm diameter, place on trays and squish flat with a fork. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra raw sugar. I used demerara sugar, because raw caster sugar is too small to look good
  7. Bake for 12 minutes.

These are deliciously crisp the next day. Perfect for dunking in a cup of tea.Or hot milk before going to bed. Or cold milk after school. Or..

 UPDATED August 2020

This is what they turn out like when you double the amount of eggs

Stickier dough. I blobbed them onto the baking tray rather than rolled the dough into balls. And there was no way you could squish them with a fork without removing half the dough. So I didn’t do that either. Or sprinkle with sugar.

But they are delicious! Soft and chewy.

Berry cream cheese coffee cake

This recipe is from Food Wanderings in Asia

I fell for Jo-Ann’s strawberry version whilst ‘researching’  on Pinterest. Her photos are delicious!

Butter Cake & Crumb Topping

  • 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (a mixture of two parts of cream of tartar to one part of bicarbonate of soda)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flakes

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 250 g (a bit more than 8oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg

Berry Filling

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries and blackberries, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 1.5 teaspoons cornflour
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 20 cm round spring form pan with baking paper.
  2. Prepare the berry ‘jam’. Combine the cornflour and water. Add the berries and sugar to a pan and cook over low heat until the berries release their juices (about 5 minutes), then add the cornflour mix and stir until well combined. Stir for another minute or two until it has thickened. Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the cake.
  3. Prepare the cream cheese filling. Beat the cream cheese on medium speed for about 30 seconds until smooth. Add in the sugar and egg and beat until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Prepare the cake. Rub butter into the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside (this will be the crumble topping). Add the baking soda and baking powder to the remaining mixture and mix well. In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Stir gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Put it all together. Spread the batter in the pan, about 1 cm higher up the sides and leaving a 1 cm border around the edges (like making a well). Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter, being careful not to go beyond the border. Spread the berry jam on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crumbs over the berry filling and top with the almond flakes.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake.

This is a bit of a time consuming recipe. It’s not light in texture or calories, but makes a delicious cake.

 

Downton Abbey dress (BurdaStyle 08-2013-109)

Like the cake, this is a time consuming project too.

Lots of different fabrics (stretch cotton, silk chiffon, velvet, satin lining) and notions (button, piping, velvet ribbon, zip, iron on interfacing and organza).

It should be worth it in the end though… Just like the cake was.

 

 

Chewy choc chip cookies

These biscuits (cookies for you north Americans) are just right with a coffee for Mothers day.

And they are even better when your daughter makes them for you!

Ingredients

2 cups plain (all purpose) flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

170 g butter, melted

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 cups milk chocolate chips

1 Mum who loves biscuits

Directions

Preheat the oven to 165 °C (325 °F).

Sift together the flour, baking soda; set aside.

Cream the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk.

Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll dough into course balls about 3 cm diameter and place on baking paper on tray about 8 cm apart. Squish the balls gently to flatten. Don’t squish them to much or else you’ll have to eat them uncooked, or if you’ve already had enough cookie dough, you’ll have to reroll them and re squish them a bit more gently.

Repeat until the tray is covered. Check the biscuits are not too close together and rearrange so they are at least 6 cm apart. Eat a bit more dough.

Put the trays in the oven and forget to put the timer on. Go and do something more important like check Pinterest for new images of One Direction. Make sure you have a Mum close by that loves biscuits and doesn’t want them to burn. She’ll check them after about 12 minutes and take them out of the oven. They’ll have lightly browned edges but still be soft.

Let your Mum eat at least one while they are still warm. Save the rest for Mother’s Day.

Should make at least 12, and might make up to 20 if you don’t eat any dough before you put them in the oven. We’ll have to make them again to confirm this…

Modified from allrecipes.com

Cinnamon cookies

Mmm yum, cinnamon cookies


A very easy recipe from Ms Gourmet at Gourmet Warrior.

 

Chewy Cinnamon Cookies

Ingredients

75gm unsalted butter
1/3 cup of brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup golden syrup
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups of self-raising flour, sifted
Icing sugar for dusting

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 (180C in fan forced electric oven). Combine the butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan. Over a low heat, gently melt the butter and dissolve the sugar and syrup together without boiling.
2. Set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then stir in the cinnamon and sifted flour and mix until well combined.
3. Roll heaped teaspoons full of the mixture into walnut sized balls and place 5 cm apart on a tray that has been lined with baking paper. Flatten gently with a fork.


4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are slightly browned. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool and lightly dust with icing sugar before serving.


Makes about 20 when you use the recipe correctly and about 46 very hard biscuits when you double the recipe and then realise you don’t have enough golden syrup so you substitute honey and maple syrup to make up the measure.

They are very yummy, with that slight tang from the golden syrup under the cinnamon deliciousness and a chewy texture.

And another good thing about them?

Minimal dishes!

Oh, and baking hasn’t overtaken my main love (sewing, just in case that wasn’t clear..) but I am considering taking up crochet after seeing these beauties around the streets of Adelaide:

image source: Bike Art Adelaide

Anzac biscuits on Anzac Day

Anzac biscuits are a sweet biscuit popular in Australia and New Zealand, and the story goes that these biscuits were sent by wives to soldiers during World War I. The ingredients don’t go off easily, and there are no eggs (egg producers sent all the eggs for the war effort) so there is possibly some truth to the story. Whatever, they’re yummy!

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was established in World War I and Aussies and Kiwis remember those soldiers and all others today, April 25, on ANZAC day.

We didn’t get up for the dawn service, but Felicity made a batch of Anzac biscuits this afternoon.

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats (oat flakes)

1 cup plain (all purpose) flour

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup dessicated coconut

125 g ( 1 stick) butter

1 tablespoon golden syrup ( if you can’t get this wonderful Aussie ingredient, try substituting maple syrup, honey or molasses)

1 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

2 tablespoons boiling water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line or grease two oven trays.
  2. Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the syrup and butter together. Mix the soda and the boiling water and add to the melted butter and syrup.
  4. Add butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Drop the mixture by teaspoons on greased biscuit tray. The mixture will make 24 biscuits, but if you make 13 big ones like Felicity and you still squeeze them onto one tray, they spread together and you end up with one big biscuit…
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  6. Cool for a few minutes on the tray then slide them onto a wire rack. They could be quite soft, depending on how big you made them.
  7. Enjoy with a cuppa tea.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com.au

Oldies but goodies (Cornflake cookies)

Cornflake cookies must be THE most successful bit of marketing ever.. Surely the person who dreamed up the first marketing plan to recognize the potential of putting a recipe on the side of a box should get a noble peace prize (well it prevented a lot of nastiness in our house). Everyone knows that people do not communicate at breakfast… it is far more polite to read the cornflake packet and ignore your siblings, so this recipe must be the most read recipe of all time.

Kellogg’s began in Michigan, USA and did not arrive in Sydney, Australia until 1924. The original source of the recipe, is unknown, but seems to have became popular, during the depression around the 1930s, in Australia the biscuits became more prominent in the 1970s and I guess with the arrival of American movies and serial TV shows like M*A*S*H, Australians gradually adopted American culture and biscuits became cookies.

Back when I was a boy… (Groan not again I hear the kids say) my mother being an Australian mum would have baked cornflake biscuits (and when I was big enough to see over the top of the kitchen bench, I did too) but things move on and times change so when I wanted to bake some cookies, I had to improvise and Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cookies were born. This particular cereal makes a great alternative to cornflakes they add a nutty flavor, sugar and crunch.

Now there is not much new that I can add to a recipe that has been doing the rounds of Doctors surgeries and other waiting rooms, featuring in Womens Weekly and Better Homes and the like for over 40 years, but I have two tips:

Tip 1… Forget two spoons. Using an ice cream scoop makes a near perfect sized scoop of biscuit dough (ooops showing my age)… ahem… cookie dough.

Some recipe variations crush the Cornflakes\Crunchy nut and mix it through the dough; we just rolled each scoop of the dough in the cereal to cover. I guess that’s RICF for the under 21 year olds and rolling in cornflakes for the rest of us.

Both little kids and big ones just love this sort of cooking; it is easy quick and best of all has only a small wash up.
Mr R joined me in making these and we had a ball (I can’t LOL because my mouth is full of Crunchy nut)

Tip 2: Make sure you get to eat at least one, before he gets his hands on them and they all disappear!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sifted plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125g Butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • few drops vanilla essence
  • 2 cups Crunchy Nut/ Cornflakes

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix well.
  • Mix in the egg, and vanilla.
    Gently roll scoops of dough in the Crunchy Nut/ Cornflakes
  • Place balls of coated mixture onto an un-greased baking tray
  • Bake for 12-15 mins. until firmed and slightly browned.
  • Makes 10 big ones.

They are sooo ‘chocolatey’ I could almost die

Ok all you people that are trying to lose the extra weight post Christmas…don’t even look…the following pictures are likely to cause you to throw your good intentions to the wind.

Everyone should have a signature dish and chocolate brownies are the one Miss F is famous for. Whenever we have a picnic or special occasion the cry goes up all over the household …Brownies… Brownies… Brownies… Brownies.
I am sure you get the idea. We love these brownies.…Soft and gooey in the middle, crusty on the top and very chocolatey.
The recipe is good with nuts but the raspberries provide that little extra ‘zing’ that makes these special.

Go make some you know you want to!

Chocolate brownies

115g dark chocolate
190g unsalted butter
160g plain four
20g (2 rounded tablespoons) cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
380 g brown sugar (or half and half with caster if you run out like we did last time)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125 g pecans or walnuts or frozen raspberries (all optional, all yummy)

Method:

1. Grease and line a 20 cm square tin. Preheat oven to 180 C
2. Melt the butter and the chocoalte (we use the microwave and melt them seperately- makes more dishes that way, and reduces the risk of the butter making the chocolate too hot, maybe..).
3. Allow chocolate and butter to cool.
4. Sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa.
5. Beat the eggs lightly then add sugar and vanilla extract. Stir until just combined.
6. Fold the melted chocolate and butter into the beaten egg mixture. Then fold in the flour mixture (and nuts if you are adding them).
7. Spoon into the tin, smooth the top (and poke in frozen raspberries if you are using them), bake for 25 minutes (unless you’ve added frozen raspberries, and then you have to bake for longer. We added an extra 10 minutes, but it was still fairly wobbly in the middle when we pulled the tin out and the brownies are a bit too fudgy and gooey. Delicious but messy).
8. Allow to cool in tin before cutting into squares.

Recipe adapted from DK Childrens Cookbook, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2004