Desserts


Do you love anyone enough to give them your last Rolo?

My answer would usually be yes, everyone. In fact, they can have the whole packet.

You see, I’m not actually a fan of Rolos – toffee has never been my thing and the chocolate isn’t good quality enough to make up for that.

So this brownie recipe was the thing to make my buy my first packet of Rolos since the nineties.

These were nice, novelty brownies. I’ve definitely had better brownies in the past – with a more chocolately flavour and chewier texture, but these were pleasant enough and would be good to make for a bake sale or to bring to a party.

Salted Rolo Brownies

Salted Rolo Brownies

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

Makes 12 large, or 24 brownies

  • 200g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
  • 200g plain chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
  • 125g light muscovado sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • ½-1 tsp sea salt flakes to taste
  • 126g bag Rolos, half chopped, half left whole
  1. Heat the oven to 170°C/fan150°C/gas 3½. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin so the baking paper comes higher than the tin. Melt the 200g butter and the chocolate together in a saucepan, stirring, over a low heat. Don’t overheat as the chocolate may seize. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. 05.In another mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, eggs and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate to combine. Sift in the flour and cocoa, then fold through the batter with the sea salt to taste.
  3. 06.Mix the chopped Rolos into the batter, then pour into the prepared tin. Press the whole Rolos into the surface. Bake for 25-30 minutes until firm to touch but still gooey in the middle – they’ll continue to cook as they cool. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then transfer to a board and slice. If you’re stuck for time, put them in the fridge to set.

I’m a big fan of James Martin. I have a few of his books and his classic recipes never fail me.

This is actually become a running joke in my house, as everytime he comes on the TV he is called my TV boyfriend. I wish. (I really do).

Apparently, the way to my heart is through a great pudding, This sticky toffee pudding is a go to recipe for me and delivers everything you want from a sweet, gooey pud.

The recipe is taken from BBC Good Food magazine and appeared as a dish on ‘Operation Hospital Food‘, where James featured in a documentary that focused in improving the food that hospital patients are served (see, he’s a nice bloke too. *swoon*).

That’s why this recipe serves 10 people – or two very greedy people over the space of a few days.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

  • 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 175g pitted dried dates
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tbsp (0.017 litre) bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g self raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp (0.0029) vanilla extraxt
  • 2 tbsp (0.03 litre) black treacle
  • 1 tbsp (0.017) golden syrup
  • 50g butter
  • 50g soft dark brown sugar
  • 25g black treacle
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 300ml double cream

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5

2. Butter a 20cm / 8” square cake tin with butter and flour

3. Using the food mixer with a bowl and whisk attachment, blend the butter and sugar together

4. Place the dates and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil

5. Slowly add the golden syrup, treacle and eggs to the butter mixture and carry on mixing

6. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed and then add the flour

7. Once all the ingredients are combined turn off the mixer

8. Puree the water and date mixture and add the bicarbonate of soda

9. Quickly add this mix while it is still hot to the egg mix

10. Once the mix is combined pour into the buttered and floured cake tin and bake for 40 – 45 mins at 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6 until the top is firm to the touch

11. Leave to cool

12. Put all sauce ingredients except for the cream into a sauce pan

13. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved

14. Add the cream and bring to the boil

15. Stir the boiling sauce until the desired consistency is reached

16. Reheat the sponge in a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4

17. Cut the pudding into squares and serve with the toffee sauce

These aren’t the most glamorous looking bakewells ever, since they don’t have the traditional icing/cherry combo.

But I MUCH prefer the flavour of these, given that I love lemon and hate cherry. And marzipan. Bleurgh.

I also think that these are more genteel and dainty than a traditional bakewell. I didn’t have any almonds to decorate the top which, as well as making them look even prettier, would have added another texture.

The best thing about these is the ooze of lemon curd that seeps out when you cut them open, which provides a real lemony hit.

These are incredibly moreish and I’ll definitely be making them again.

Lemon Bakewell Tart

Lemon Bakewell Tart

Recipe from BBC Good Food

For the sweet pastry

  • 85g butter, at room temperature
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the filling

  • zest 2 lemons
  • 100g butter, at room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 25g plain flour
  • 6 tbsp lemon curd
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To make the pastry, place the butter and lemon zest in a food processor and blitz until soft. Sieve in the icing sugar and blitz again until light and creamy. Mix in the egg yolk with 1 tbsp water, then add in the flour until it’s just combined.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, bring the pastry together into a ball, then wrap in cling film and flatten lightly to form a disc. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
  3. Roll out the pastry and use to line six 10 x 2cm loose-bottomed tart tins,trimming off any excess. Put in the fridge while making the filling. If pastry breaks or cracks, patch up with any trimmings.
  4. To make the filling, beat together the lemon zest, butter and caster sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, including a spoonful of the ground almonds with each addition. When all the egg has been added, mix in the remaining ground almonds and flour.
  5. Spread the marmalade or curd over the bases of the tart cases. Spoon over the filling and smooth with a palette knife or spatula. The tarts will be full to the top, which is fine. Sit tarts on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins until lightly golden. Remove from the tins and serve warm or cool, dusted with icing sugar.

 

It probably goes without saying, but you really need to like chocolate orange to enjoy this tart.

It’s not my favourite flavour combination.

So why did I make it, you ask? Because the picture in the magazine looked pretty and I had a load of oranges that needed to be used up.

It was nice enough. The filling was smooth and full of orange flavour and chocolate complemented it well. It’s just not something I’m ever going to get giddy about.

I really like the idea of buying pre-made pastry and sprucing it up with a bit of flavour to get a more homemade effect. I’m going to try this in future with lemon zest or some thyme leaves in savoury pastry.

Chocolate Orange Tart

Chocolate Orange Tart

 

Recipe from BBC Good Food

Ingredients

  • 375g pack sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • plain flour, for dusting

For the orange filling

  • 5 medium oranges, zest and juice kept separate
  • 200ml double cream
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 85g caster sugar

For the chocolate drizzle

  • 85g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup

Method

  1. Tear the pastry into a food processor, add the cocoa, pulse until combined, then knead a few times on a floured surface until evenly brown. Use to line a 23cm fluted tart tin, and prick the base several times with a fork. Chill or freeze until very firm. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Put the tart tin on a baking sheet then line the pastry case with overhanging baking parchment. Fill with baking beans, then bake for 15 mins, or until the sides of the pastry have set firm. Remove the beans and parchment, then bake for 10-15 mins more until the pastry feels dry all over. Leave to cool.
  3. Strain the orange juice, then measure 250ml into a heavy-based saucepan. Add the cream and bring to the boil. Strain again if necessary. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl, then gradually whisk the hot cream into the mix. Wipe out the pan, return the custard to it and cook gently for about 10 mins over a low heat, whisking frequently until steaming and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a jug, whisk in the zest and pour the custard into the pastry case. Cool, then chill for at least 4 hrs, or ideally overnight, until set.
  4. Melt the drizzle ingredients together until smooth, spoon some over the tart, then return the tart to the fridge. Serve the rest of the drizzle warm for spooning alongside the chilled tart.

IMG_3844

 

 

The salted caramel trend is still going strong – and quite right too. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and consequently never really ate caramel much, but I adore salted caramel. I could eat it by the bucket.

I usually double the amount of salt in any recipe to make it more to my tastes, but left the amounts as they were quoted in the recipe for this one.

I think my caramel could be a smidge darker, but overall I was quite pleased – everything was cooked through properly and it stayed together, which I count as a success!

Salted Caramel Tarte Tatin

Salted Caramel Tarte Tatin

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

Ingredients

  • 8 braeburn apples
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 375g block all-butter puff pastry
  • Plain flour for dusting

Method

1. Peel, core and halve the apples. Don’t worry if they turn brown – you won’t notice in the finished tart. Put the sugar in a 20cm ovenproof frying pan (measured across the base) with 50ml water, then melt the sugar slowly over a low heat. Once the sugar has melted, turn up the heat and bubble for 5 minutes or so to give a golden caramel (don’t let it get too dark – see above right).
2. Take the caramel off the heat immediately and stir in the butter – it will foam quite vigorously. Sprinkle the caramel with the sea salt (it will melt into it), then arrange the apple halves on top, cut-side up, so they fill the pan – slice any leftover apple into wedges to fill in the gaps (the apples will shrink as they cook). Put the pan back over a gentle heat, then cook for 5 more minutes. Turn the heat off and let the apples cool completely.
3. Heat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin, then lay over the cooled apples in the pan. Trim the pastry using the edge of the pan as a guide, then carefully tuck it inside the edge around the apples, making sure they don’t move. Bake for 30 minutes until dark golden and puffed. Remove from the oven, stand for 5 minutes, then carefully invert the tart onto a serving plate.

Mmmmmm

Mmmmmm

Kieran loves millionaire’s shortbread. I love salted caramel. So this was always going to be popular.

Millionaire’s shortbread is of course shortbread, layered with caramel and chocolate. I usually find it a bit too sweet for my taste,  but this ‘billionaire’ version includes peanut butter and salted caramel, the salt in which offsets the overall sweetness. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s still really rich and decadent.

It’s a lot easier to make than it looks too. All of the layers are relatively quick to prepare – you just have to have patience while you wait for them to set.

Billionaire's shortbread

Billionaire’s shortbread

Recipe from BBC Good Food.

Cuts into 15 big slices or 20 smaller ones

For the base

  • 225g butter, chopped into cubes, plus a little for greasing
  • 140g unsalted peanuts, toasted and cooled
  • 225g plain flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 85g golden caster sugar

For the peanut butter layer

  • 140g butter
  • 225g smooth peanut butter
  • 140g icing sugar

For the salted caramel layer

  • 2 X 397g cans Carnation caramel
  • 1½ tsp flaky sea salt or ½ tsp fine sea salt

For the chocolate-toffee topping

  • 3 x 100g bars dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 140g soft dairy toffees
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp flaky sea salt
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm rectangular cake tin with baking parchment – the best way to do this is with 2 long strips of parchment. Put the ingredients for the base in a food processor and blitz until it starts to clump together – don’t worry if the peanuts are still a little chunky, they will add a lovely texture. Tip onto your work surface and knead briefly to bring together as a dough. Press the dough into the base of your tin in an even layer. Bake for 25 mins until golden, then set aside to cool.
  2. To make the peanut butter layer, melt the butter and peanut butter in a small pan and mix until smooth. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, then pour in the hot butter mixture and stir to combine. While the mixture is still warm, pour over the base and smooth out with a spatula. Chill for 2 hrs until set.
  3. To make the caramel layer, put the caramel and salt in a pan, bring up to the boil and simmer vigorously for 2-3 mins, whisking continuously, until the colour darkens a shade or two and the caramel thickens slightly. Leave the caramel to cool for 20 mins (see tips, below). Once cooled, pour it over the peanut butter layer and return to the fridge for a further 2 hrs.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Meanwhile, put the toffees and the milk in a small saucepan and gently heat. They will clump together and struggle to melt at first, but keep heating and eventually they will turn into a runny toffee sauce.
  5. Remove the tin from the fridge and pour the chocolate over the salted caramel layer, tipping the tin to spread the chocolate over the surface. Use a spoon to quickly drizzle the caramel over the chocolate in a thin loopy pattern (or see tip, below). If the toffee starts to get too thick, add a splash more milk or cream and pop it back on the heat until runny. Sprinkle over the sea salt flakes and put the tin back in the fridge to chill for 2 hrs before slicing.

I mean, I surely don’t need to explain to you why I made this.

Unless of course, you don’t know what a jaffa cake is, in which case you have my deepest sympathies.

In short, it’s a orange flavoured cake/biscuit thing, with a layer of orange jelly, coated in chocolate.  It’s usually bitesized – and if you’re of a certain age, the only way to eat them is like this:

It would be quite difficult to do that with this giant version, which is possibly one of the best cakes in the known universe. It’s the first time I’d made jelly from scratch and it turned out really well. The cake is moist and the chocolate is, well chocolatey. It’s also a whopping 822 calories per slice, so make it for a crowd!

Giant Jaffa Cake

Giant Jaffa Cake

Clearly, I couldn’t wait for the chocolate to set before cutting off a slice.

Recipe from BBC Good Food

  • 250g pack butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 100g full-fat natural yogurt
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • zest 4 large orange (use the oranges below)

For the orange jelly

  • juice 5 large oranges (about 500ml), save the zest of 1 orange to finish
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 6 gelatine leaves

For the chocolate ganache

  • 300ml pot double cream
  • 200g milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  1. First make the jelly. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line with cling film (you can use the 23cm tin that you will bake the cake in, but you’ll have to make this the day before so that you can remove it before making the cake). Remove the zest from 4 of the oranges and set aside for the cake. Tip the orange juice and sugar into a saucepan and gently heat to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for a few mins until soft. Remove the gelatine from the water, squeeze out any excess and add to the warm orange juice, stir until the gelatine has dissolved. Pour the liquid into the lined cake tin and chill for at least 4 hrs or preferably overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and line a 23cm round cake tin with baking parchment. Tip all the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Spoon into the tin and smooth over the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 mins, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then invert onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  3. Now make the ganache. Heat the cream in a small pan until hot. Put the chocolate in a small bowl and pour over the cream, leave for 10 mins, then mix well – you should be left with a smooth chocolate sauce. Leave at room temperature until the ganache cools and thickens a little (you can put it in the fridge to speed this up, but keep an eye on it, as it will set quickly).
  4. To assemble the cake, place it on a cake stand and trim the top to give you a flat surface. Warm the apricot jam in the microwave until a little runny. Paint it over the top of the cake, then flip the orange jelly out of its tin, and position on top. Using a palette knife, swirl the chocolate ganache over the orange jelly, letting it dribble down the sides of the cake a little. Serve straight away or within 24 hours.

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