It’s been a very busy, but quite exciting, couple of weeks. Not only did I go on a week’s trip to Madrid & Barcelona (which I’ll be getting into soon on the blog), but I popped up to Leeds for the 2017 Bloggers Blog Awards, where I was shortlisted for ‘Best Food Blog’. After winning last year, and having some incredibly strong competition, I was incredibly humbled to discover I’d won. Thank you so, so much to everyone who voted for me. You have no idea how much it means to think that people like my ramblings about cheese and cinnamon enough for me to have won an award once, let along twice. It was also wonderful to see so many old faces on the night, as well as meeting a bunch of new ones. These events have all gotten in the way of actually doing the blogging though, so it’s time for another Bake Off Bake Along; Marmite Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread.
I’m almost 3 weeks into Vegan May and so far, so good. Yeah, OK, I miss cheese a little bit, but having gone to Club Mexicana last weekend and eaten some of their Vegan Cheese Fries the craving was satiated slightly. We hosted some friends over the weekend for Eurovision and I decided to try and bake something for us all to share after we’d had a little bit too much to drink. Having tackled vegan cinnamon buns I wanted to do something else which usually relies pretty heavily on dairy, a Vegan Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart. Caramel usually has stacks of cream and butter, a ganache filling is filled with cream and pastry, almost by definition, is crammed full of butter. Read more
This is my last post before Christmas, and I’ve saved a pretty great recipe for my last of the year. I’m sat on a train from Glasgow Central to Oban to catch a ferry over to the Isle of Mull to see my parents for Christmas. It’s the perfect time to write up a recipe, with lakes disappearing off into the distance out of one window and snow topped mountains out of the other. I’ve just demolished the emergency rations of leftover Salted Caramel Brownie from this month’s cake care package deliveries and it feels apt, as this particular recipe is for a Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart, which I baked for our friend Christmas last weekend.
I know it’s a couple of weeks late, but my American workmate hosted a Thanksgiving party, and here’s the recipe I said I’d make. Things have been so busy, and I’m now without internet until I don’t know when, so things may become even more intermittent, apologies in advance. Anyway, I said I’d bring a pie and considered a re-bake of my Nutella & Pumpkin Pie but decided it was finally time to make a Pecan Pie. I’ve meant to for ages, but the cost of Pecans and (before this year anyway) I felt my pastry skills weren’t up to scratch. I’ve been practising with pastry a lot this year, I’ve made a number of pies, and a pecan pie felt like the next logical step, especially at this time of year.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- While it is cooling, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan assisted) and grease/line your tin.
- Over a medium sized bowl, sieve the flour and cocoa powder in together.
- Roughly chop the white and milk chocolate into chips and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.