Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Chocolate and Almond Biscottis

Ahhhh chocolate.. today I had to make something with chocolate, it's been too long since I've had it. I have been looking and looking to do something with chocolate, almonds and chocolate chips (again, using what i have home), but not a basic cake or brownie.. and I found biscottis! I made them last month with pistachios and they were very yummy, but nothing beats a chocolate biscotti to go with a cuppa.
I have mixed a few recipes and came up with the one below. The biscottis taste great, i like the extra chocolate chips, they add extra goodness to those yummy biscottis!
This is actually my second try. I made them yesterday and burnt them a little - they didn't taste too bad, but I really wanted to make them right, so I had another go today; and it is a success!

That will make 15 to 18 biscottis
55gr butter, softened
125gr caster sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
145 gr plain flour
30gr cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
Big pinch of salt
Handful of sliced almonds
Handful of chocolate chips

Preheat the oven 175°C.
In a mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until smoothly blended. Add eggs and vanilla extract, beat again until smooth. In another bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Mix into butter mixture until smooth. Stir almonds and chocolate chips into dough. Shape the dough into a log on the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for about 10 minutes. Slice the log into 1/2 inch slices. Place slices back on sheet, and bake for another 6 minutes. Flip slices over and bake for 6 minutes more. Ready!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Chocolate and Cherry Bread (Brioche) Pudding

Guess what, more berries today! But it should be the last recipe with berries in a while :-) Today I am using some cherries and chocolate (still using the ingredients I already have).
I found this recipe of Chocolate Cherry bread pudding on this lovely blog and thought it was perfect for tonight. I am going out to dinner at a friend's house and of course volunteered to make dessert! I didn't want some heavy creamy chocolaty dessert, instead, I think this bread pudding is ideal, and I have never ever made bread pudding before.. so here's my opportunity to impress :-)

200gr pitted sweet cherries (I used frozen ones)
235gr sugar
235ml Sherry or Amaretto
1 loaf brioche (oh, yes, I did have to buy that one!)
200gr chopped dark chocolate
700ml milk
2 tsp of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
3 large eggs

Make the cherry compote: In a saucepan bring the Sherry and 100gr sugar to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cherries and continue to simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the cherries have softened and the liquid has thickened. Set aside and leave to cool down
Preheat the oven 175°C. In a large saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla to a simmer. At the same time, whisk eggs, remaining sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Once the milk is simmering, pour a small amount into the egg mixture while whisking. Then pour the rest of the milk, whisking constantly.
Then prepare the baking dish, greasing it with butter. Slice the brioche and place the slices at the bottom of the dish, sprinkle half of the chopped chocolate. Cover with the cherry compote, then the remaining brioche and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate. Pour the custard mix over the bread and let it soak for 5min.Bake 40 minutes.

It looks so lovely, crunchy on top, and I'm sure all gooey in the middle. I have to wait a few more hours before I can taste it.. cant wait!!!!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Raspberry & Blueberry Clafoutis

More berries today.... I am still in the process of using whatever ingredients I have already at home and even after 2 blueberry recipes, I still had many frozen berries in the freezer. So I decided to make something simple but so good: a clafoutis. I have made clafoutis since I was little. My grandma would make us a clafoutis on wednesday afternoons. Apple clafoutis and cherry clafoutis are the traditional ones. Today I used rasperries and blueberries, with a zest of lemon.. Let's see how this turns out!

Well, I have to say, it's delicous!
You see that piece missing, I've just had it! The acidity of the lemon and raspberry and the sweetness of the flan is just the perfect balance. It's a light dessert, fresh and reminds me of summer. Now you enjoy it too :-)

65 gr plain flour
75 gr sugar
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
Zest of a lemon
90 ml milk
200 gr Raspberries, Blueberries
Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Whisk in the eggs, butter and lemon zest + juice of half the lemon until smooth. Add the milk and mix until light and very smooth.
Pour the batter into a quiche dish and scatter the raspberries and blueberries on top.
Bake for about 25 minutes, until the clafoutis is golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Coconut and Blueberry Muffins

I have decided to make the best of what's in my baking cupboard, fridge and freezer... I will use what I already have at home for my next recipes. I have plenty of frozen berries, chocolate, nuts, and other ingredients.
I had been thinking for a while how to use the 200gr dehydrated coconut I had in the cupboard. I originally got it to sprinkle on some chocolate shortbreads = 15 gr!
So I browsed the gojee.com website (thanks Julie for the link!) and found this very appetizing recipe of coconut and blueberry muffins. Perfect since I had some frozen blueberries left from last week's Polenta cake.
These are delicious and the coconut gives them an unexpected twist..

Making 12 medium size muffins
260gr all prpose flour
1tbsp baking powder
100gr sugar
1tsp salt
50gr toasted coconut
1 egg, beaten
60gr melted butter
235ml milk
fresh blueberries -150 gr (more if wanted) 


Preheat oven 200°C. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin, lining it up with paper muffin cups. Set aside. Sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir in toasted coconut. Whisk the egg with the melted butter and milk. Add to dry ingredients and mix lightly till combined.
Toss blueberries with 1 T flour and fold into batter. Spoon the batter into muffin cups. Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes (I baked the first batch for 23min, the second was done in 20min)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Lemon & Blueberry Polenta Cake

So, I didn't have time to bake anything special this weekend but was planning on baking a polenta cake. I just had to find the right recipe. I found this cake, with lemon and blueberry. It is delicious. The polenta gives it a crunch and the yogurt some lightness.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

100gr sugar
90gr polenta
100gr ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
100gr soft butter
100ml natural yogurt
100gr blueberries
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, adding a tbsp of ground almonds with each egg. Stir through the polenta, baking powder, zest and lemon juice, and remaining ground almonds. Then add and stir in the yogurt and blueberries. Pour into a cake loaf and bake for 50m to 1hr (a skewer should come out clean)