Friday 2 April 2021

Pecan Fudge Brownies


Pecan Fudge Brownies

230g unsalted butter

115g dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped

45g cocoa powder

2 teaspoons espresso powder

150g castor sugar

110g brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3 eggs

60g plain flour

Grease a 20 x 20 cm pan with butter and line the base and sides of the pan with baking paper.

Combine the chocolate, espresso powder and 15g of the cocoa powder in a heat proof bowl and set aside.

Put the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until melted and starting to simmer. Immediately pour it over the chocolate mixture and leave it to sit for 2 minutes. Then stir until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together both sugars, vanilla, salt and eggs for 10 minutes on medium high.

With the mixer going, add the melted chocolate mixture and mix until incorporated.

Sift in the flour and remaining cocoa powder and the pecans. Fold gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, drop the pan a few times onto a bench top. This gives the brownies that crackly top. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes. Leave to cool completely in the pan before slicing.  Recipe slightly adapted from here

Thursday 14 January 2021

Soft Sourdough Discard Buns

Making delicious sourdough bread is only one side of the sourdough story. Making delicious things with the discard is the flip side.

Soft Sourdough Discard Buns

Makes 8

For the Dough:

355g bread flour

7g (1 sachet) of dry yeast

110g cream, at room temperature

110g water, at room temperature

37g caster sugar

1 egg

35g unsalted butter, softened

125g sourdough discard

8g salt

To Finish:

Egg wash, (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)

Sesame seeds

Put all the dough ingredients except the salt, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix for 2 minutes on low speed. Add the salt and mix again on low speed for a further 8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap (I use a disposable shower cap - cos I'm cool 😜), and leave at room temperature for about 1½-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

Once risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into eight equal portions. Shape into balls and place on a baking paper lined tray, making sure to leave enough space between them so they can rise and spread a little while baking. Cover with a piece of oiled plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until puffy.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place a rimmed baking tray on the bottom of the oven.

Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Pour a cup of boiling water into the baking tray on the bottom of the oven and slide the buns onto the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Leave buns to cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday 6 January 2021

Sourdough Discard Waffles


I spend half of my life making sourdough bread, and the other half finding ways to use the discard.

Sourdough Discard Waffles
Makes 3 large waffles

140g plain flour

6g baking powder

30g caster sugar

4g salt

2 eggs

170g full cream milk

225 sourdough discard

40g melted unsalted butter

Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

Whisk the eggs, milk, discard and butter in a separate bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. It should be the consistency of pancake batter. Thin with more milk if necessary.

Cook in a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

from here

Saturday 2 January 2021

Kahlua Lamingtons

Very few things beat the charm of a Lamington. 

Kahlua Lamingtons
Makes 18

For the Cake:
230g plain flour
220g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
70g vegetable oil
3 eggs, room temperature
150ml full cream milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Icing:
180g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
200ml full cream milk
40g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar, sifted
20g cocoa powder, sifted
2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 tablespoons hot water
200g unsweetened desiccated coconut

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 160C fan-forced. Grease and line a 20x20cm cake pan.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. 

Combine the milk and vanilla in a measuring jug.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.

With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl down after each addition.

Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, alternating between each, starting and finishing with the flour mixture,

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs.

Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the pan to cool completely.

Make the Icing:
Put the chocolate, butter and milk in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add the icing sugar, cocoa powder, stir until incorporated. Add the Kahlua and enough hot water until the mixture is the consistency of pouring cream.

Cut the cake into 18 fingers (or the size you prefer). Using two forks, dip each piece into the icing and letting any excess drip off, then dredge in coconut. 

Slightly adapted from here

Saturday 19 December 2020

Chocolate Bourbon Cupcakes with Silky Chocolate Frosting

It's been so long since I last blogged, I'm having to learn from scratch again. I can't keep doing this to myself. While I may not have been blogging with any kind of regularity, I haven't been as neglectful in the kitchen, so at least there's that.

These deeply chocolatey, rich and tender cupcakes are a complete joy to make and eat. Stuff one in your gob and tell me they aren't what cupcakes are meant to be..., but not with your mouthful, please.

Chocolate Bourbon Cupcakes with Silky Chocolate Frosting
Makes 9

For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup espresso coffee, brewed
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 cup Greek yoghurt, room temperature
1/2 caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Frosting:
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 180C and line 9 muffin tins with liners. Set aside.

Put the coconut oil, bourbon, coffee, egg, yoghurt and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed until blended. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed until just combined.

Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Make the Frosting:
Put the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium speed for about two minutes, until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on high speed for about 2 minutes, until fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Thursday 30 July 2020

Lemon Drizzle Bundt

It's been so long since I have blogged consistently. Consistently might be a stretch as this is only the second post in a couple of weeks since my "return", but I'm taking anything I can get as this point. It's been so long that the program I use to create these posts has completely changed, so you'll have to hang in there while I relearn everything. But now that we are in lockdown again, I have plenty of time... and plenty of cake. 

Lemon Drizzle Bundt

For the Syrup:
125ml water
125ml caster sugar
125 lemon juice

For the Cake:
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
220g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup thick plain Greek yoghurt
300g self raising flour
4 teaspoons baking powder

Make the Syrup:
Place all the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Boil for about 5 minutes until it just starts to thicken and become syrupy.

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl on an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat for about 10-15 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the yoghurt and beat until well combined. Fold through the flour. Spoon the batter into a greased 4cm bundt tin and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.. Remove the cake from the tin and place on a cooling rack. Pierce all over with a skewer and pour the syrup all over.


Sunday 12 July 2020

Small Batch Sourdough Croissants

It's been a long time between drinks, but here's a recipe worthy of a comeback. 

I've made a lot of croissants and quite a few sourdough croissants over the years, but these are the best and easiest so far. The fact that the recipe only makes six is a bonus... hear me out.  Most recipes I've used make a dozen or more croissants which, naturally, means handling a much larger amount of dough. I don't know about you, but the thought of rolling dough out to nearly a metre long and trying to keep it cool over and over is just too much for me to deal with. Plus, having more than six buttery, golden, flaky freshly made croissants in my house at any one time is flirting with danger.

Small Batch Sourdough Croissants:
Makes 6

100g active sourdough starter
250g baker's flour
30g caster sugar
6g salt
1 egg
80g water
25g unsalted butter at room temperature
140g butter, cold

Place starter, flour, sugar, salt, egg water and room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low until it just comes together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and slap and fold dough about 3 times until reasonably smooth. Form into a ball and put it into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 2 hours.

Twenty minutes before the end of chilling time, take the cold butter out of the fridge and place it between two sheets of baking paper. Thwack it with a rolling pin until it is about 20cm x 20cm.

Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a floured counter. Roll it out to about 25cm x 25cm. Put the butter block on top of the dough so it's like a diamond in a square. Fold the corners of the dough to meet in the middle of the butter block and press the edges of the dough together to completely seal in the butter. Put it in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough to 46cm long and 25cm wide. Fold the top down about 2/3 of the way, then fold the bottom to meet the top. Then fold it in half again. The block should be abut 25cm x  8cm. Put it in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a floured counter, making sure the the shorter side is parallel to you. Roll the dough again to about 45cm long and 8cm wide. Fold the top down to the middle, then fold the bottom over the top so that you have a rough square. Put it in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough until it is about 25cm high and 6mm thick.  Cut the croissants into triangles with bases about 8.5cm wide.

Roll the triangles of dough starting with the base, rolling to the tip. Place on a baking paper lined tray with the tip tucked under.

Put the whole tray into a large plastic bag and seal. Leave to proof at room temperature (about 21C), for 18-20 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Brush the croissants with egg wash (an egg beaten with a little water), and bake for about 25 minutes or until deeply golden.