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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chocolate Hot-Pots

This my friends, is something else. It is stupidly delicious. It's a marriage made in heaven. It's the best thing you'll ever taste. It's also a recipe by Nigel Slater. I do like him.

Listen to this: Melted chocolate (of the best kind), nutella, butter, sugar and eggs all combined in a ramekin and cooked to a gooey perfection. Sound good? Want more?

Thought so. Well you're going to need 6 buttered ramekins. An electric beater. A couple of bowls and a a couple of spoons.

Turn the oven on to 200 Degrees Celsius. Break 200g of chocolate into rough pieces and put it in a bowl over simmering water. Let this melt without stirring, occasionally poking any unmelted chocolate down into the liquid chocolate. Mmm liquid chocolate..

Put 100g/1/2 cup caster sugar (or sifted sugar) into a food mixer or bowl. Separate 3 eggs and add the yolks to the sugar. Beat until thick and creamy.In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites till airy and almost stiff. 

Stir 60g butter into the chocoalte and leave to melt, then gently stir 2 tablespoons nutella (or hazelnut spread). Fold the chocolate mixture into egg and sugar, then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites with a metal spoon. Take care not to over mix. Also, try to get rid of any floating drifts of egg white. Eww. 

Scoop into the ramekins and place on a tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, till risen. 

The tops should be cracked and the centers still slightly wobbly. Try to resist diving a spoon into these pots until they're cooked. Although it's not the end of the world should your spoon jump before you can catch it..

I recommend serving this heavenly pot with something to cut through the richness such as clotted cream, greek yoghurt or creme fraiche.

Ahh the deliciousness! I made these the other night after having made a Pad Thai with Kev. The recipe made enough to fill 6 ramekins. I was hoping to store them in the fridge and freezer for at least a couple of days but when I had guests around the following night, they couldn't get their eyes off them either. I'll have to make another batch asap.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Home-Made Cluster Crisp

I am a bit of a cereal freak. I like it a lot. I have been known to stand in the cereal isle of the supermarket for at least 20 minutes whilst I scope out ALL the options. It's a very important business.
The other day my cereal container was empty and I got my excited pants on as that mean't needing to get more cereal (yes, restocking the cereal container is always an exciting time). However, I didn't want to make a special trip to the supermarket there and then so decided to make my own.

I change my mind frequently about what I like in a cereal, it usually depends on the day. On this particular day I felt like something fairly simple. No nuts, no dried fruit, no chunks. I wanted crunch, not too heavy not too light. I ended up mixing together some oats, maple syrup, oil, spices and putting it into the oven to bake. On another tray I spread some cornflakes and drizzled maple syrup on top, gave it a quick stir and then into the oven with the oat mixture. Whilst they were cooking, I was talking to friends who were on their way home and my cornflakes burned terribly. Keep looking when you're cooking guys. Gee. What a waste of cornflakes.

After waiting for the other lot of cornflakes and maple syrup to cool with the oat mixture, I tossed the two together.

I'm not one to brag, but it tastes a lot like cluster crisp (only my favourite cereal)! I was stoked. Here's the recipe in case you're excited about this too:

Home-Made Cluster Crisp
4 cups rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup oil
2 cups cornflakes
1/4 maple syrup 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two large trays with baking paper. Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together to combine then spread onto one of the prepared trays. Bake for about 7 minutes or until slightly golden. I like mine the be crunchy but not too crunchy. Leave it is for longer if you like it extra crunchy. 

Pour the cornflakes onto the other tray and drizzle with the maple syrup. Bake for 3-4 minutes - be careful not to burn them as I did!

Leave cereal to cool completely then combine them together. Pour into your cereal container and you're away laughing (or munching...). 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Long time no see


As you may have noticed, it's been a really long time since I blogged. It's not that I haven't been baking, it's that I haven't had the urge to blog about it. Today that urge came back. I think that deserves some kind of celebration, don't you? We'll get to that in a second.

For now I should probably inform you all of something terribly exciting. Two weeks ago I purchased a KitchenAid. A pistachio coloured KitchenAid. I can feel your excitement too. I still get goosebumps when I see it. I highly recommend them. I know we all know that they're amazing, but they're even better than we think.

I made this Ruffle cake for my best friends birthday the other day with it. I used an Italian Meringue Icing. It used A LOT of butter (500g!). I don't think I would have attempted making it without the KitchenAid.

There are three layers hiding under that icing. How much cooler would it look with and extra cake on top to give it extra height?

I've been making these for presents and have found them to be a handy homemade gift! I thought I'd share them with you seeing as Mother's Day season and all! The cookies are super tasty too...

Now for celebrating. I felt like something fudgy, chocolatey, and crunchy. So I decided to make these:

Mocha Cookies

Sweet little thumb print mocha cookies that is. They sussed out my craving in no time.The perfect way to celebrate.
150g butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp coffee granules mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp cocoa
20 chocolate buttons

Pre-heat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. 
Beat butter with an electric beater or a cake mixer. Add sugar, egg yolk and coffee paste. Beat until smooth. 
In a separate bowl, sift flour  and cocoa and mix to combine. In two batches, add to the butter mixture.
Mix well until all combined. You might have to get your hands in there!
Form into balls and place on lined tray. Press a chocolate button into each ball.
Bake for 12 minutes.
 Have a great weekend.