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Strawberry & White Chocolate Blondies

22 Oct

Hello all,

For what feels like the first time in a lifetime, I’m finally writing a post! My absence has been for a good reason however – I was on work placement in the fantastic Cully & Sully office for 6 months. It was a hectic but amazing summer in which I gained invaluable experience and knowledge along the way. I’m now back to reality ( & college) with a bang! This year is my 4th and final year of Food Marketing & Entrepreneurship in UCC. With studying, there comes study breaks… and being the food obsessed creature that I am, I find nothing more relaxing than pulling out a few cookbooks & rustling up some treats to beat the college blues.

So, out of this, these blondie babies were born! Blondies are the chocolate free alternative to brownies, hence the ‘blonde-ness’! If I shortbread cookies and a sponge cake had babies, blondies would be the result.  Although I could practically survive on chocolate and little else the rest of my life, sometimes you just feel like something a bit lighter & fruitier. Here’s where these babies come in. See the below…

Recipe: (Adapted & modified from Good Housekeeping)

Makes 16

  • 175 g (6oz) Irish butter
  • 275 g (10oz) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (I used Ogran egg substitute due to my intolerance. You can find it here or in any good health shop)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g (7oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 175 g (6oz) white chocolate chips
  • 225 g (6oz) strawberries, hulled weight (you can use fresh or frozen, however if using fresh, freeze them for 4-6 hours or overnight so they are solid. They will mush into the batter otherwise)
  • 50 g (2oz)  granulated white sugar

Equiptment: 8 inch square baking tin

Method:

  1. Set oven to  180°C (160°C fan). Grease tin with butter & line with parchment (greaseproof) paper. In a pot large enough to fit the finished mixture, melt the butter & brown sugar, whisking to incorporate. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. While the sugar/butter mix is cooling, toss the strawberries & 50g (2oz) of granulated sugar together in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk in eggs (or ogran if using) and vanilla into the cooled butter/sugar mix. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Now add the white chocolate chips & strawberries and place immediately into tin, patting it down and spreading evenly.
  4. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until it is firm to touch. Check it while baking at the 30 minute mark, as fruit can easily catch and burn if the oven is too hot.
  5. While still warm, cut into 16 slices & serve with lashings of whipped cream.

 

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Death by Chocolate Biscuit Cake

23 Apr

Hello all!

So if you, like me, have a TONNE of chocolate still lurking around the house from easter, this is the recipe for you! It’s a recipe I’ve been making for years and years and no matter who I make it for, it’s always a winner! See the recipe for this beauty below..

 

INGREDIENTS
• 400g chocolate (200g milk, 200g dark)
•100g salted butter

•1 can condensed milk

•300g digestive biscuits

•share bag maltesers

•4 crunchie bars

•100g white chocolate chips

•50g toasted pecans

DIRECTIONS
Melt the 400g of dark/milk chocolate & butter in a Bain Marie. Crush the digestive biscuits in a large bowl into chunks & add the rest of the dry ingredients. Add the condensed milk to the melted chocolate & stir through dry ingredients. Leave to set in a square 20×20 cm tin for 3-6 hours. Cut & enjoy!

 

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Healthy Seed & Nut Flapjacks

7 Apr

Hello all!

So with summer looming, attempts are at an all time high to be healthy. I, however, have the sweetest tooth in all the land and no matter how much of a health kick I’m on I always try to make some treats to keep me on the straight and narrow. These flapjacks do just that. They’re perfect if you’re craving something sweet and need an energy boost. I’ve used pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flaked almonds in these, but you can put whatever nuts/seeds/dried fruit you like!

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

  • 100g rolled oats
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 20g flaked almonds
  • 20g sunflower seeds
  • 20g pumpkin seeds

Wet ingredients

  • 75g butter plus extra for greasing (or coconut oil for a vegan option but if using, add a pinch of salt as it increases the flavour)
  • 50g coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

Equiptment: 11 x 7 ” rectangular baking tin

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Grease and line the baking tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the butter or coconut oil in a large pot. Add the coconut sugar, maple syrup and vanilla and heat until bubbling.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the pot and mix. Pour into the tin and bake in the oven until golden brown (about 20-30 minutes)
  5. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and slice, then leave to cool completely.
  6. Serve & enjoy!

*These will keep for a week in an airtight sealed container.

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Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Hazelnut Tart

24 Mar

Hello all!

So I’m not gonna lie, this is definitely up there amongst the top 3 nicest things I’ve ever made. Legit, this baby tastes like HEAVEN on a plate. If you’re looking for something that is unapologetically rich and decadent, then you’ve hit the jackpot. This recipe is based on a video I saw over on the fab Donal Skehan’s site and have wanted to take my own stab at it ever since! (See his original recipe by clicking here)

Anyhoo, without further ado, I present to you the recipe for this beauty… It’s a little time consuming but TRUST ME, it’s worth it.

NOTE: I would reccomend splurging on buying double cream rather than single as it may affect the consistency of the ganache & caramel when it sets if normal fat content Irish cream is used.

For the shortcrust pastry

  • 125 g plain flour
  • 55g cubed cold butter
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

For the salted caramel

  • 125ml double cream
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 25g butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (use a good quality one- I like maldron)

For the chocolate ganache

  • 240 ml double cream
  • 220 g chocolate (I used 110g milk chocolate, 110g dark 70% chocolate)

Equiptment: 22cm x 3cm tart tin (removable base)

Method

  1. Firstly, make the pastry and bake it blind. I whizz all of the ingredients except the water in a food processor until it’s the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Then gradually add the water until a ball of dough forms. NOTE: Don’t over mix it as the dough will become elastic and won’t be short. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until thin, then line the tin with the pastry. Lightly prick the base with a fork. Line the pastry shell with greaseproof paper then pour in some baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the baking beans/greaseproof paper and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden
  3. Toast the hazelnuts until golden brown and leave to cool. To remove the skins, roll them in a tea towel and they should come off super easy if they are toasted enough.
  4. Next, make the salted caramel. Heat the sugar on a medium heat until it melts. Then closely watch it until it turns a deep amber colour. Once it reaches this stage, add the cream, salt and butter, stirring to incorporate it well.
  5. Leave the caramel to cool and thicken slightly, then pour into the cooled pastry tin. NOTE: make sure you put the tart on a baking tray if it has a removable bottom as the pastry shell may come out if you try to move it! Scatter the toasted hazelnuts on top.
  6. Leave this to set in the fridge while you make the ganache. Heat the cream (You can do it in a pot or microwave) then add the chocolate buttons and stir until they’re melted. Pour on top of the caramel/nut/pastry base. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  7. Leave to set at a cool room temperature for 2 hours or in the fridge for 1 hour.
  8. Slice & enjoy – Prepare to be showered with compliments as people devour this beauty 😉

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter No-Bake Oat Bars

24 Feb

Hello all!

These no bake oat bars are super easy to whip up and taste SO good. These beauties are so addictive and are the perfect weekend treat to have in the house! I used organic Meridian peanut butter my first time making these and a more processed version (Kelkin) in my second trial. I did prefer the taste of the organic nut butter but it’s totally down to personal preference! Roasted almond or hazelnut butter would work really well here too. The bars will keep fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe

Oat layer

  • 8 oz butter
  • 4 oz light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz oats (I used half normal, half jumbo oats for different textures)

Chocolate layer

  • 3 oz dark chocolate
  • 3 oz milk chocolate
  • 6 oz crunchy peanut butter

8 x 8″ square tin, lined with parchment (greaseproof) paper

Method

  1. Melt butter in a pan and add the sugar. Heat over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble. Add the vanilla extract and oats and mix.
  2. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the tin. Now make the chocolate layer.
  3. Heat the milk and dark chocolate with the peanut butter in a glass dish in the microwave in 20 second intervals until the mixture is melted and mix to incorporate ingredients.
  4. Spread 3/4 of the chocolate mixture over the oat base. Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture over the chocolate layer and drizzle the top with the remaining chocolate/peanut butter mix.
  5. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours and cut in to squares. Keep in a fridge for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.

Enjoy!

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Nutella Braided Bread

29 Jan

Hello all!

 

So this year, I’ve decided I want to start learning all things BREAD. Where better to start than making this super healthy, vegan, calorie and guilt free one?! (Lies). I’ve long wanted to attempt making this beauty and have seen many versions of this type of bread on social media in different shapes, sizes etc. This is an adapted version of a lovely recipe I found on the Inspired By Charm blog (click link to see original recipe). I added extra yeast and chocolate chips to mine which made a huge difference. I also omitted the egg wash so that I could eat it too – I found it wasn’t necessary at all but you can add it if you want a deep golden brown finish.

Ingredients (In cup measurements as was using an American recipe!)

  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • Handful dark chocolate chips
  • Handful milk chocolate chips
  • Cornmeal for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water to use as an egg wash (optional)

Method

  1. Mix yeast with ¼ cup of the water. Let it sit for 10 minutes to activate in a warm place.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the yeast and the remaining water, mix on low with a dough hook attachment to combine ingredients. Turn speed up to medium, and knead dough for about 7 minutes.
  3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl loosely with cling film, and then leave in a warm place (I put it in the coolest warming oven of an Aga – roughly 40-50 degrees C). The dough is ready when doubled in size (which took mine about an hour).
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to form a rectangle, roughly 12 x 15”. Spread Nutella in an even layer on the surface, leaving a ½ inch border of dough. Sprinkle on chocolate buttons. (I heated the Nutella slightly to make it easier to spread – about 15 secs in a microwave). Roll tightly in a rolland place on a parchment-lined / silicon-lined baking tray that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cut the dough down the middle with a knife, leaving one end intact. Twist ends overtop each other, making sure to turn cut side toward the top. Cover dough loosely with cling film, and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. If using – brush surface of the bread with the egg wash. Bake bread for 25-28 minutes until deep golden brown in colour. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and sieve some icing sugar over the top for a pretty finish.

 

& Enjoy! – trust me, this bad boy won’t hang around the house too long if my experiment was anything to go by…

 

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Snickers Peanut Butter, Caramel & Chocolate Cream Pie

2 Oct

This recipe is hands down one of the best creations I’ve made to date! It was inspired by a girl boss inspiration of mine – Marissa Carter, owner of Cocoa Brown Tan and baking queen extraordinaire. The minute I saw her making this beauty on snapchat I had to get baking at the weekend. The original version had solely peanut butter however I adapted it to make this drool worthy snickers version.

Without further ado, I give you the best thing you will EVER make:

Ingredients 

Pastry

  • 1 & 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup salted butter (cold)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2  cup water (as needed)

Nuggets

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

Filling 

  • 2 & 1/2 cups full fat milk
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tin cooked condensed milk (Caramel – see note below)

NOTE: Boil condensed milk tin on high/medium heat in a saucepan of water covering it for 2 hours. You can buy condensed milk already boiled as Nestle brand ‘Caramel’ or dulce de leche)

Topping

  • 500ml cream
  • 150g salted peanuts
  • 75g milk chocolate
  • 75g dark chocolate

 

1 x 9″ pie tin (deep). Can also be done in a tart tin

Method

To make the pastry, Blitz all ingredients in a food processor EXCEPT the water until fine crumbs form. Add enough water to make it into a smooth dough, then chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (fan). Roll out the dough until it reaches about half a cm in thickness then blind bake the pastry shell in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown. (Line tin with parchment & fill with baking beans to blind bake)

Meanwhile, make the peanut butter ‘nuggets’ by tipping the icing sugar and peanut butter in a bowl and beating with an electric whisk until dry nuggets form. NOTE do not over beat as it will turn into an icing.

Once the shell has cooled start the filling. Mix 1/2 cup milk with the cornflour in a bowl. Add remaining milk to pan & heat until steaming. Whisk in cornflour and heat mixture until it thickens, then add the vanilla, peanut butter & caramel tin whisking until smooth. Toss the nuggets in to the base of the pie shell, then pour in the filling on top. Cover with cling film & leave to firm up and cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

To make the toppings, heat 50 ml of the cream with the two types of chocolate until melted – i usually do this in 30 second bursts in the microwave. Leave sauce to cool. Whip the remaining cream. Take the pie out of the fridge and spread generously with whipped cream , topping with plenty of salted peanuts and dousing the entire pie with chocolate ganache sauce.

Happy baking – I promise you won’t be disappointed with this one 😉

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