Thursday, 24 November 2011

Chocolate & Oreo Brownies

Mmmm I love the smell of the warm chocolate. I have just taken out of the oven some delicious chocolate brownies and I can't wait for them to cool down to taste them.
I used to watch that show on BBC Two called "Baking Made Easy" on Saturday mornings, while I was at the gym (unfortunately, it only broadcasted for a few weeks) and I came to see Lorraine (the pastry chef) bake those great chocolate brownies with a twist, as she added some Oreo cookies in them. I had to try them too..
I have baked those brownies several times and they're always a success as the recipe is so easy to follow. The brownies are soft and moist and dense with chocolate. Ohhhh they are perfect!
So, If you love chocolate as much as I do, try them and even add different cookies to see if it works out!

Here is the very easy recipe:
165 gr butter
200 gr dark chocolate, grated, or finely chopped
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod / vanilla extract
165 gr brown sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp cocoa powder
A pinch of salt
a pack of Oreos (around 150 gr)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with butter, then line with baking paper. Melt the butter and the chocolate in a pan over a low/ medium heat. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. The add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it.
Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake for 25–30 minutes. Leave to cool down and indulge yourself a big piece of brownie!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Broccoli and Goat's Cheese Quiche

For today's lunch, I chose to make a quiche. Basically, anything that is the fridge can be made into a quiche. I chose broccoli and goat's cheese.
You can easily add bacon or salmon to make this quiche even more delicious :-)

For the dough, follow the bread dough recipe I used in the leek and ham quiche.
The rest of the recipe is as easy as this: Cut a broccoli and boil it for 4-5 min (the time will depend if you prefer the broccoli crunchy or not). Cut the broccoli into pieces and place it on the dough (previously lined in a pastry case). Scatter pieces of tasty goats cheese over the broccoli. Then beat 2 large eggs or 3 small eggs with 120ml of milk and 120ml of single cream, add salt and pepper to your taste (maybe some paprika, or nutmeg) and pour the mix onto the broccoli and cheese, and bake it at 200°C for 45min in a preheated oven. Bon appetit!

Note: it is optional to blind bake the dough for 20 minutes to prevent from soaking all the water from the broccoli while it bakes. I did not do it this time, but will try next time I make a quiche.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Lemon Tart

At the moment, I don't work and I have plenty of time to bake and blog new recipes. I also have the opportunity to bake dishes that take a big more time and effort.
Today I am making one of my favourite tart: a lemon tart. I know i can also share it with my friend Laeti because it's one of her favourite too :-)
We like it very tangy and tart, so if you want to repeat the recipe less tangy, simply put less lemon juice and less lemon zest.

Shortcrust pastry (home made or already made) or a plain tart pastry
Juice of 6 lemons
Zest of 3 lemons
40 gr butter
4 large eggs
200 gr caster sugar
165 ml cream

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Blind bake the pastry for 20-25 min and an additional 10 min without the weights/ beans.
At the same time, prepare the filling: lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl with a fork. Add butter, cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar to the bowl. Place the bowl on the top of a sauce pan au bain marie (double boiler). The water needs to be simmering and not boiling. Use a heatproof spatula and stir constantly to prevent the mix from sticking at the bottom of the bowl. You need to stir until the filling thickens enough to stay on the spatula (it normally takes 20-25min). Strain the filling into the bakes pastry case ( to remove lumps), smooth the top and bake for 20min.
The tart needs to cool down and can be served at room temperature or slightly cold.

Egg Noodle & Vegetable Stir Fry

A quick and easy yummy lunch: veggie stir fry with egg noodle. Just stir fry some red pepper, spring onions until they soften. Then add the carrotts and courgettes. Boil the egg noodle for 4 min.
Finish the stir fry with some soy sauce/ ketjap, and nuts ( I added sesame seeds, but I thin cashew nuts would be great!) Mix it all together and you get this yummy meal:

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

American Pancakes

Breakfast time! What is the easiest, fastest home made breakfast? Pancakes. I have to admit that I normally make crêpes (the thin pancakes) in the evening, but for breakfast I think the American pancakes are much better.
While they cook, you can prepare a cuppa and get the marmalade and everything else ready to enjoy breakfast.
This batter is not too sweet so you can make bacon and eggs to go with the pancakes but I've had mine with strawberry jam and it was delicious. What is your favourite topping?

135gr plain flour (sifted)
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
130 ml milk
1 egg
2tbsp melted butter

Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together. In another bowl, beat the egg and milk.
Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients: add the milk & egg mix + melted butter. Beat the mix until you get a soft batter (it should be thick though). Cook the pancakes on a medium heated pan. Eat them warm.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Chocolate Brownie cake

I have just moved to a new flat, city, country and that kept me busy and away from baking, for a while.
Finally settled in my new home, I craved a cake. I have all basic ingredients in the pantry and some cake tins and I was thinking of a cake I could make. I don't have an egg beater yet and and that doesn't leave me with a lot of possibilities.. So I found a recipe of a chocolate brownie cake that I changed a little (again, because I didn't have all the ingredients) - and to my surprise it turned out quite good. It is so chocolaty, gooey, sweet.. yummy! I ate a piece nearly right after baking it, and I served it with some plain yogurt. (it looks broken on the picture because i cut it when it was still hot and fell apart)
So, chocolate lovers, aprons on, let's bake!

Here is the easy recipe to follow
100 gr butter
250 gr caster sugar ( if possible, half of brown sugar)
140 gr dark chocolate
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 gr flour
1/2 tsp of baking powder
Optional ( i didn't have): 1 tbsp golden syrup and 2 tbsp cocoa powder

 Preheat oven to 180C
Grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Melt the butter, caster sugar, brown sugar, chocolate (and golden syrup) tpgether on low heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Break the eggs into the bowl and whisk Add the eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder (and cocoa powder) to the chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin and bake for 30 min. Eat warm or cold :-)