Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Pumpkin Pie BrowniesIt’s the time of year where I can start putting pumpkin into absolutely everything. This happens every year, and it’s one of the best things about autumn. Some prior examples from the blog include things like pumpkin cinnamon buns, nutella pumpkin pies and pumpkin & black eyed bean curry. You can see everything pumpkin here. I love make spicy pumpkin soups, pies and bundt cakes. I’m not just talking ‘pumpkin spiced’ either as none of that junk has pumpkin in it, just a blend of spices that’s sold to you as the taste of autumn. I decided to experiment with one of my favourite go-to recipes, my brownies. I’ve made cheesecake brownies before and this falls into a similar territory and while I was worried about flavours and moisture levels, the Pumpkin Pie Brownies were a huge success. Read more

December: Cake Care Package & Christmas Orders

cake care package December

It’s December, and we all know what that means. It means that Christmas is right around the corner. Which is completely nuts, as I swear that the last I looked it was June. I’ve got a host of lovely festive recipes coming up over the weeks ahead, or you can see recipes which I’ve done for Christmas in the past for some inspiration, but before then I want to talk about what this means for December’s Cake Care Packages.
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Salted Caramel Brownies

Salted Caramel Brownies

A few weeks ago I took two of my favourite and simplest recipes, and put them together. I took my ultra-indulgent Chocolate Brownies and my Salted Caramel, covered one in the other pre-bake, and made Salted Caramel Brownies. Damn, they are good. Really good. I think I’ve reached peak brownie. They all got eaten before a single photo could even be taken. So I had to re-bake them (such a shame, I know). The trick is to layer half of the brownie mix, then add some caramel, top with the rest of the brownie mix and then enthusiastically drizzle more caramel on top before you stick it in the oven.

Salted Caramel Brownies (25 of 30)

Salted Caramel Brownies (11 of 30)

I’ve also (finally) got myself a new lighting set up. It’s a bit late, as the days are actually getting longer, but it now means I can take photos on an evening without having to rely on pesky yellow light/half light. It’s been particularly awkward since moving to London. I used to take photos on my lunch break in Leeds, but just can’t do that here, what with not being able to come home at lunch anymore.

Salted Caramel Brownies (18 of 30)

Salted Caramel Brownies (22 of 30)

Also, I’m looking for a London based Gin buddy. Applications accepted in the comments below. Must be keen on adventures, museums, gin and cake.

 

Salted Caramel Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16-24 brownies
Ingredients
  • Jar Salted Caramel (Store bought or home made)
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250g best dark chocolate
  • 115g plain flour
  • 53g cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 370g golden caster sugar
Instructions
  1. Melt together the butter and dark chocolate, by placing a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture together as it starts to melt, over a low heat. (You can do this stage in the microwave, but I don’t own one). Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. While it is cooling, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted) and grease/line your tin.
  3. Over a medium sized bowl, sieve the flour and cocoa powder in together.
  4. Roughly chop the white and milk chocolate into chips and set aside.
  5. Break the eggs and caster sugar into the bowl of your electric mixer and whisk on high speed until it looks thick and creamy. This can take anywhere between 3 and 8 minutes. When you take out the paddle, as it dribbles onto the surface and leaves a trail for a second or two then it’s perfect.
  6. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Slowly folding it until it’s completely incorporated. You want them mixed without knocking out all the air you just added in to the mixture with the whisking.
  7. Sift the flour mix into the egg/chocolate mix and mix until it’s completely combined. Again, being careful not to knock the air out. Followed by the chocolate chips.
  8. Pour half the mixture into the prepared tin. Dribble a layer of Salted Caramel (I warm it to make it easier) over the bottom layer. Pour over the rest of the brownie mixture and spread it out gently. Dribble more Salted Caramel on top. How much is up to you.
  9. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes (20 if using the smaller pan). You’ll be able to see if it is done by wobbling the tray slightly. If the middle wobbles it needs a little longer, so put it back in for another 5 minutes.
  10. Once cooked, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack, still in the tin and leave to cool completely before removing and dividing in to squares.
 

Triple Chocolate Brownies

First of all, sorry for the lack of updates. As I am still laptopless in the evenings it’s kinda getting in the way. I am also no longer with a copy of lightroom, so apologies if the photos aren’t quite so good. My fingers have got so itchy that I’ve actually stayed in work late to get this posted, and likely will be doing so a few times this week (I’ve got Guinness cake and Blue Cheese Scones to write up as well)… Anyway, BROWNIES. My greatest foe (not really, but I had a couple of disasters the other week when I tried making some using various different recipes I found on the old interwebs. I knew I should have stuck to the usual one). I also got myself a new giant brownie pan. So wanted the excuse to make them. I thought I’d keep it simple with some triple chocolate brownies.

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I’m fairly sure I’ve ranted before about shop bought brownies being too cakey and how, to me, that’s just not what a brownie is. It should be a gooey, chocolatey mass of awesome.

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For a smaller 20cm tin halve the ingredients.

Update (September 2016): This recipe requires some serious whisking, I’d recommend you did this with an electric whisk or at the very least a hand-whisk.

Triple Chocolate Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 250g best dark chocolate
  • 115g plain flour
  • 53g cocoa powder
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 4 large eggs
  • 370g golden caster sugar
Instructions
  1. Melt together the butter and dark chocolate, by placing a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture together as it starts to melt, over a low heat. (You can do this stage in the microwave, but I don’t own one). Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. While it is cooling, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted) and grease/line your tin.
  3. Over a medium sized bowl, sieve the flour and cocoa powder in together.
  4. Roughly chop the white and milk chocolate into chips and set aside.
  5. Break the eggs and caster sugar into the bowl of your electric mixer and whisk on high speed until it looks thick and creamy. This can take anywhere between 3 and 8 minutes. When you take out the paddle, as it dribbles onto the surface and leaves a trail for a second or two then it’s perfect.
  6. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Slowly folding it until it’s completely incorporated. You want them mixed without knocking out all the air you just added in to the mixture with the whisking.
  7. Sift the flour mix into the egg/chocolate mix and mix until it’s completely combined. Again, being careful not to knock the air out. Followed by the chocolate chips.
  8. Pour this into the prepared pan. Ensuring that it is spread evenly, by pushing it around gently with the spatula.
  9. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes (20 if using the smaller pan). You’ll be able to see if it is done by wobbling the tray slightly. If the middle wobbles it needs a little longer, so put it back in for another 5 minutes.
  10. Once cooked, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack, still in the tin and leave to cool completely before removing and dividing in to squares.

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Pecan Blondies and No Sleep

Insomnia. Or something. Well whatever I have it’s annoying. Really annoying. I got ill on Sunday night, when I went to bed (tired) and got feverish. I only had an hourish sleep. But it’s extended to 3 nights on the trot now. With little sleep, but now just minus the fever. The third night, Tuesday night, I tried a few things in advance to wear me out. I cycled and I baked. Tried to fill my time up a bit. It didn’t work. I ended up with just a couple of hours again. If anyone has any solutions that may help me to sleep, leave them in the comments below. Please!

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However, as I said, I did end up baking, in an attempt to be active. I tried my hands at one of the recipes from the Hummingbird Bakery book that I was given for Christmas (thanks gran!). I opted for the blondies, partly because I’ve never made any before and partly because I already had everything but the white chocolate and pecans already in. I am now without a brownie, so I used my “bar” tray instead, which meant for slightly reduced cooking time and already portioned off blondies. I’ll leave in the timings for both in the instructions below!

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Pecan Blondies and No Sleep
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 150g White Chocolate
  • 125g Unsalted Butter
  • 150 Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 120g Shelled Pecan Nuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C(150°C fan assisted).
  2. Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Don’t allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Melt these together, stirring occasionally.
  3. Take off the heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring well. At this point the mixture may split but don’t worry.
  4. Add in the vanilla and the eggs, beating well as you do to stop the eggs from scrambling.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until everything has incorporated well and the nuts are spread throughout the mixture.
  6. Grease the baking tray you are using and add the mixture.
  7. Place in the oven. If using a divided bar tray like mine, bake for approx.. 20 minutes until the edges are golden but the center still soft. If using a tray then bake for 35-40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tray on a wire rack. Divide up.

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