Friday, 21 June 2013

Flourless Chocolate Brownie With White Chocolate Chunks {Gluten Free!}

Just as the brownies were making their way out of the oven and onto the cooling rack, my sister walked through the front door, home from another late shift. 

Naturally this oblong tray, oozing with dark chocolate, filled the house with a smell so potent that her first words were: “We better be having some of that, I’m starving.” 

I threw a mini hissy fit.“No!” I said, “They’re not made with flour so I need to let them cool completely before I turn them out.” 

You can imagine her reply, right? I wont quote, but every time she calls me a stingy bitch it takes until I make a generous offering to forget about it. 

In the living room: “That’s what baking is all about right, sharing with your loved ones?” 

The irony is that I wanted to photograph the brownies, to share on here. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the underlying message is incredibly important. This week I have finally found solace in that family just has to be the most precious thing on the actual solar system. 

I can’t believe it took me this long to realise that there is not one fudgy, after dinner (cos’ its that indulgent) brownie not worth sharing with your family as soon as it comes out of the oven.

The Recipe:  Flourless Chocolate Brownie with White Chocolate Chunks

Brownies adapted from Nigella Lawson's Flourless Chocolate Brownies with Hot Chocolate Sauce & recommended by one of my fave bloggers Londonbakes

225g 55+% dark chocolate
225g unsalted butter 
150g ground almonds
200g caster sugar
3 medium eggs, from the fridge 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
150g white chocolate bar, roughly chopped

Note:  You can use plain flour instead and still get amazing, gluten filled results. But don’t be afraid to use ground almonds, its healthier (ish), means you can share them with even more people AND adds an extra flavour element which pretty much transforms these into 'sumin' else'! 

Makes 8 large brownies 

The Method:

In a medium/large saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate on medium heat until silky smooth, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Take off the heat, add vanilla & sugar and stir. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 170 C. 

Add the eggs one at a time into the saucepan. Next add the ground almonds stir, you should have a thick brownie batter. 

Fold in the white chocolate chunks and pour straight into a 9 inch rectangular tray lined with foil or parchment paper.  

Bake for 30 minutes. 

Leave to cool on a wire rack, turn out of the pan and cut into squares.

I just had an epiphany that reassured me that subbing almonds for ground hazelnuts would turn these into Nutella brownies. Erhmaaagaaad.

Love Em xx

Sunday, 9 June 2013

{3 Ingredient} Nutella Stuffed Nutella Cookies

Here’s a thought: do we sacrifice the taste of something when using less ingredients?

Are we as bakers, chefs, domestic gods/goddesses attracted to the recipe calling for just three ingredients because it tastes better, takes up less of our time or to savour our wallets? 

So I was waddling through the supermarket up until this point, convinced that if a recipe was dead easy, the end result was gonna be dead tasty. Though this is sometimes the case, it’s not worth denying that the more care and cash involved, the better the cake. Or cookie. Or fish pie, which by the way, Nigella does best.

But what savvy, “No Bake, No Ingredient” recipes have done is shed light to Nutella’s versatility! You can make a cookie out of Nutella, flour and 1 lonely egg. It will be chewy and nutty. You wont be amazed, but pleasantly pleased. 

AND THEN. You can stuff it with everyone’s favourite (literelly everyone) Nutella, again!!!! Its like a fast track ticket to cloud nine, only its not a cloud, it’s a floating mass of Nutella. 

Have you ever heard of bread pudding with Nutella spread on to the bread prior to baking? You have?! Please, please share it with me!

Turn it down a notch. 

What about Nutella spread on home-baked crusty bread? What about all the other ruddy delicious chocolate spreads out there? Like this. 

Want a single serving portion? No problem. Find it in Turkish sweets aisles, in cute little aluminium tubes with a lid disguised as a playful red hat. Not joking.

The Recipe: Nutella Stuffed Nutella Cookies 

Only slightly adapted from Butter Baking's Nutella Stuffed Easy Nutella Cookies

280g Nutella
150g plain flour
1 large egg
100g Nutella, for the cookie centers

Makes 12 large cookies or 18 small cookies 

The Method

Add the Nutella and egg to a mixing bowl and combine.

Add the flour all in one go and beat until you can no longer see white streaks. The dough will be thick.

Line a baking tray. Take a small amount of dough and roll into a ball, then flatten with your palm and place on baking tray. Next, add a scant teaspoon of Nutella to the middle of the cookie. Take another piece of dough, roll and flatten then place on top of the Nutella and seel the cookie with your fingers.

Repeat until you no longer have any dough.

Bake for 8-16 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. I baked mine for 18 minutes!
Make un-stuffed Nutella cookies with leftover dough by rolling into a ball and squishing with your palm.
Nutella stuffed Nutella stuffed Nutella Nutella Nutella 

I've heard that peanut butter pairs well with an egg and some flour, too. Love Em xx

Monday, 3 June 2013

4 Ingredient Nutella {No Bake} Cookies

Can we all just agree on one thing? We all have those days, sorry, WEEKS where baking just…doesn’t go the way we planned.

The inspiration is all there, right in front of our screen as we scroll endlessly through Pintrest and Foodgawker.

A few days of drooling fly away and BAM - we know exactly what it is we want to bake, or create. But the final execution? Not so golden.

Like the lavender shortbread bars I made earlier on in the week, with this pin in mind. Final outcome? If it were extracted and left to ferment, it would have made the ultimate perfume. That’s it. No melt in the mouth shortbread bars to share, sorry world L

Oh well. All in the past, right? Next time, there’s no doubt in my mind that whatever I bake will be worth it. So much so that when loved ones take that one bite (because that’s all it takes) they will puke rainbows. And enjoy it.

Nutella No Bake Cookies nearly didn’t make it on the blog. Back to the cookie board I go…  

Then a day passed. Flavours and textures did their godly ‘thang’ and chewy chocolatey disks were born. After the third bite, the taste of Ferrero Roche’s suddenly crept up, just without the crunch from the wafer and hazelnut. The secret addition of cornflakes, totally made up for the sad fact that this isn’t a Ferrero. Sorry guys. But trust me, it works.

So I guess the moral of the story is never give up. Keep going. Seriously. Don’t stop until you’re happy. 

The Recipe: Nutella No Bake Cookies

1 jar nutella (200g)
600g cornflakes
180g melted dark chocolate
60ml canned coconut milk

Makes 30 Cookies

The Method

Melt chocolate and set aside.

Spoon a whole jar of Nutella into a food processor with the blade setting. Pour cornflakes and coconut milk on top. Pulse until the chocolate has covered the cornflakes - 30 seconds.

Add the melted chocolate to the mixture, pulse until completely blended.

Remove mixture from the food processor and form into rounds with your hands.

Leave to set in fridge, or eat as is. Nutella cookies will last for at least 5 days in the fridge.

Question of the day - what was your latest baking mishap?

Love Em xx
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