Salted Tahini Dark Chocolate Cookies

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Tahini is not only delicious in savoury sauces and dips but is also absolutely divine with chocolate. There is something terribly tempting about these Salted Tahini Dark Chocolate Cookies. Crispy edges, chewy centres and bitter hints of sesame and dark chocolate; they’re like elegant, grown-up versions of classic chocolate chip cookies.

*makes 10 cookies

Ingredients:

  1. 75 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 80 g light brown sugar
  3. 40 g caster sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 75 g tahini
  7. 90 g flour
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/4teaspoon baking soda 
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 100 g dark chocolate, chopped (70% cocoa is ideal)

Method:

  1. Start by browning the butter. Add unsalted butter to a small pan over low heat. Cook until butter has browned and smells toasty. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in both the sugars.
  2. Whisk together for 3-4 minutes, until fully combined. Add in the egg and whisk for 5-7 minutes. Then add in the vanilla and tahini and mix until combined.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Fold until just combined and some traces of flour remain.
  4. Add in the chopped dark chocolate and fold to combine.
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once rested, scoop out the dough using a small ice-cream scoop and place on the tray, leaving enough room between each. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and bake for 10-11 minutes.
  7. At the 6 minute mark, take the tray out and bang on the kitchen counter a couple of times before returning to the oven. Do this again at the 8 minute mark.
  8. Let cookies cool completely on the tray before serving. 

Double Chocolate Cookies

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With big pools of dark, bitter chocolate and toasty walnut bits, these double chocolate cookies are decedent and fudgy; perfect dunked into a tall glass of cold milk.

*makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  1. 137g flour
  2. 20g cocoa powder
  3. 3/8 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced
  6. 25g caster sugar
  7. 100g light brown sugar
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 75g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  10. 50 g walnuts, chopped

Method:

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a medium bowl and  stir together. Set aside.
  2. Put the butter in large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and light. Add the sugars and vanilla extract, and beat together for 2 minutes until smooth.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix together until you have a mixture that looks like wet sand.
  4. Add in the chopped chocolate and fold to combine. Don’t over-mix.
  5. Tip out the mixture onto a work surface and gently press together to form a  dough. Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 3 hours ta least.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking trays with parchment paper.
  7. Remove the dough from the fridge and, using your hands, make small balls of dough. Place on baking tray about 2-3 cm apart apart. Bake for 7 minutes and then press chopped walnuts onto the top of the cookies.
  8. Bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until the cookies are dry but not firm to touch.
  9. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Mascarpone Fudge Frosting

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I love using olive oil in baking. It results in a wonderful texture and makes sure the cake stays incredibly moist. The savoury flavour comes through, and goes particularly well with chocolate. This cake is rich, decadent and intensely chocolate; the perfect pick-me-up. The cake recipe itself is vegan, for a vegan variation of the frosting, use my 3-ingredient Vegan Whipped Ganache.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 135 g all purpose flour
  2. 50 g  cocoa powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  5. a pinch of salt
  6. 225 ml milk of your choice (soy, almond, regular all work)
  7. 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  8. 150 g caster sugar
  9. 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  10. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  1. 150 g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  2. 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  3. 3 tablespoons icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line an 8×11″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and sift twice.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, vinegar, sugar, oil and vanilla extract.  Pour into the flour mixture and whisk until well combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40-55 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from tin and leave to cool completely.
  6. To make the frosting, add the mascarpone cheese into a bowl and whisk until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
  7. Spread frosting on top of cake, when cake has cooled completely.

 

Banoffee Ice-cream Pie

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This shockingly easy, no-bake banoffee ice-cream pie recipe combines a buttery Parle-G crust, luscious dulce de leche, thick slices of fresh banana, and a delicious layer of vanilla ice-cream. It’s the easiest, quickest, most divine no-bake pie you’ll ever make!

Ingredients:

  1. 100 g Parle-G biscuits, or any digestive biscuit
  2. 70 g unsalted butter, melted
  3. 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
  4. 2 large bananas, sliced
  5. 300 g vanilla ice cream, softened

Method:

  1. To make the dulce de leche, place the two (unopened) cans of sweetened condensed milk in a deep saucepan. Pour water on top, making sure it comes up about 2 inches above the cans. Cook on low heat for 3 hours, making sure the top of the cans are always covered with water. Top with small amounts of boiling water, if necessary.
  2. Once the 3 hours are up, remove the cans from the pan and let sit overnight to cool. The cans should not be opened before they have cooled down or the contents might splatter all over you kitchen.
  3. In a food processor, place the biscuits and pulse until you have a fine crumb. Add in melted butter and pulse for a few seconds until combined.
  4. Transfer to a 9 inch spring-form cake pan lined with parchment paper. Using the back of a spoon, press the crumbs down until you have a smooth, even layer.
  5. Next, empty the contents of the cans on top and smooth with a spatula.
  6. Arrange the banana slices on top. Pour the softened ice-cream and place in the freezer for 6-7 hours at least. Use a sharp knife dipped in warm water to cut pie into clean slices.

Orange and Ginger Cake with Candied Walnuts

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I have a soft spot for citrus desserts, and this cake is no exception. What I love about this cake, besides its buttery crumb, are the bitter-sweet undertones of ginger and walnut. This cake is the epitome of warmth, with vibrant orange zest, spicy fresh ginger and bitter candied walnuts.

*makes one 2-layered 8-inch cake, serves 8-10

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 267 g flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 175 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  6. 250 g granulated sugar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 223 ml greek yogurt
  10. 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  11. 2 tablespoons orange zest

For the frosting:

  1. 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 200 g powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon orange zest
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 tablespoon milk

For the candied walnuts:

  1. 50 g walnuts
  2. 20 g granulated sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and line two 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, ginger, orange zest and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and greek yogurt to the butter mixture and fold until combined.
  5. Divide and pour the batter into the prepared baking pans and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, to prepare the frosting, add the butter to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes). Add in the powdered sugar in 2-3 batches and mix on medium-high speed until frosting is very creamy and light. Add in the vanilla and orange zest and mix to combine. Add milk (if needed) to adjust the consistency. Frost between and top top of the cakes.
  7. To make the candied walnuts, add the sugar to a saucepan over low heat and cook until sugar has almost melted. Add in the maple syrup and salt and whisk to combine.
  8. Finally, add in the walnuts, making sure to coat all of them in the sugar. Cook until they look crispy and smell toasty. Spoon walnuts onto a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool completely before placing on top of the cake.

Cinnamon Rolls

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If you’re like me, and you have an undying love for buttery cinnamon rolls, this recipe is for you. Soft and gooey all the way through, smothered with cinnamon brown sugar and drizzled with a vanilla cream cheese icing that drips into the middle and soaks into every single bite.

*makes about 10-12 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  1. 85g luke-warm milk
  2. 5g active dry yeast
  3. 285g flour
  4. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  5. 25g granulated sugar
  6. 80g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  7. 2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the filling:

  1. 20g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 75g light brown sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the icing:

  1. 70g powdered sugar
  2. 37g cream cheese
  3. 1-2 tablespoons milk
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, add the warm milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon out of the 25 g of granulated sugar needed for the dough. Mix until combined at set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, the rest of the granulated sugar and salt. Using a stand or electric mixer with a bread-dough hook, running on low, slowly add in the yeast mixture. Next add in the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Add in the butter, one cube at a time. Wait for each cube to get incorporated before adding in the next.
  4.  Turn up the speed to medium-high and let the dough knead for about 10 minutes.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day, before you take out the dough from the fridge, prepare your filling. Add the cinnamon and brown sugar to a bowl and whisk to remove any lumps.
  7. Next, take out your dough and place on a lightly floured surface. The colder the dough, the easier it will be to roll out.
  8. Roll the dough into a 1.2″ thick rough rectangular shape. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but should be almost twice as long as it is wide.
  9. Next spread the room temperate butter on to the rolled out dough, leaving a small border from all sides. Coat the butter with the cinnamon sugar, making sure you cover the entire surface well.
  10. Using the the long edge of the rectangle away from you, start rolling towards you to form a tight log.
  11. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1 1/2″ thick rounds and place onto a baking tray leaving an inch of a space between each of them.
  12. Lightly cover with a kitchen towel and allow to proof for another 2 hours in a warm space.
  13. When ready to bake, place the baking tray in an oven pre-heated at 180°C. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until golden brown.
  14. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. In a bowl, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla and a tablespoon of the milk. Mix to combine until you have a very thick glaze (you may need more of the milk). Next, add in the cream cheese and whisk well to combine.
  15. Let the cinnamon rolls cool for 10 minutes before glazing.

 

Orange and Olive Oil Loaf / Vegan

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I love the yellow and unforgettably tender crumb of this cake thanks to fruity olive oil and beautiful winter oranges. This dreamy combination results in a simple, rustic loaf, which is then drizzled with a creamy orange glaze.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 280 g flour
  2. 170 g caster sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 125 ml mild olive oil
  5. 130 ml orange juice, freshly squeezed
  6. 190 ml soy milk / almond milk
  7. 2 tablespoons of orange zest
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  1. 50 g icing sugar
  2. 1 tbsp orange juice

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Line a 9×5″ loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl. mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla, orange juice + zest and milk.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together until combined. Transfer batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-43 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.
  5. To prepare the glaze, add the icing sugar into a bowl. Add in the orange juice and mix with a spoon until a thick glaze forms. Pour on top of cooled cake and enjoy!