Ultimate Fudge Brownies

IMG_0271.jpg

These brownies have a thin, delicate, crackly top that gives way to a gloriously fudgy and gooey brownie centre. Flavoured with dark undertones of coffee and salt, they make for the perfect indulgent treat.

Notes:
*For that shiny crackly meringue top, make sure you whisk your egg and sugar mixture for exactly 10 minutes. Since brownies don’t have any leavening agent, the air you whisk in now is what will give them that light yet fudgy texture.
*This recipe uses browned butter that adds a lovely toasty flavour. Don’t be afraid to take your brown butter to the edge. I cook it until it is just slightly burnt – you can’t taste the burnt butter, it will just add more flavour!
*To cut perfect brownie squares, let the brownies cool completely in the pan and then place the pan in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Then use a large sharp knife and score the brownies where you want to cut them – for example if you want 9 squares, make 3 equally spaced lines horizontally and vertically. Then align the edge of the knife with each line and cut in one swift motion. 

 

Ingredients:

  1. 220 g butter
  2. 113 g dark chocolate, chopped
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 140 g sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  6. 100 g  brown sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 40 g cocoa powder
  10. 60 g flour

Method:

  1. Grease an 8×8-inch pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang (so you can lift out the brownies). Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, add in the chopped chocolate, coffee, and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa powder.
  3. Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until brown and toasty. Pour the butter over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until completely smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, add the sugars, vanilla, salt and eggs. Using an electric mixer, whisk for exactly 10 minutes (this is very important).
  5. Then, pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
  6. Finally, sift in the flour and remaining cocoa powder and fold together.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the pan from the oven and bang the pan on your kitchen counter 2-3 times (this is essential for the crackly top). Return to the oven and bake for an additional 9-11 minutes.
  8. The brownies will look like they’re not done, but will continue to cook as they cool. Allow brownies to cool completely in the pan, then remove from the pan and cut into squares.

 

Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache / Vegan

IMG_5999-2.jpg

Sometimes you just want a simple chocolate cake (and sometimes actually means all the time if you happen to be me). This cake is simple, dark and indulgent. It’s my favourite chocolate cake recipe, and might just become yours too.

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 sunflower oil
  10. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the whipped ganache:

  1. 200 g dark chocolate, chopped
  2. 150 ml hot water
  3. lots of ice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two 8 inch cake tins with baking 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 tins for 10 minutes, then remove from tins and leave to cool completely.
  6. To make the ganache, add the chocolate into a large  heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.  Leave the chocolate to melt, then stir until smooth and silky. Remove from heat.
  7. Pour the hot water into the bowl of chocolate and mix until nice and smooth.
  8. Place the bowl in a dish filled with ice cubes.  Using an electric whisk, and quickly whisk the chocolate and water mixture thoroughly and quickly until stiff peaks form.
  9. If you don’t get peaks, melt some more chocolate and whisk in quickly.
  10. Spread the ganache between and on top of the cakes.

 

Brown Butter Cake with Chocolate and Cherries

IMG_1681.jpg

I absolutely love this cake for its deep, toasty notes. It’s a cake, beautifully light, infused with brown butter and studded with bitter bits of chocolate.

The brown butter needs to be prepared ahead of time as it takes time to solidify.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 150 g butter
  2. 180 g all purpose flour
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. a pinch of salt
  5. 120 ml milk
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 150 g granulated sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 70 g dark chocolate, chopped

For the chocolate frosting:

  1. 100 g dark chocolate, chopped
  2. 75 ml hot water
  3. lots of ice
  4. handful of fresh cherries

Method:

  1. Place butter in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir until it melts completely. Continue cooking, stirring continuously until the butter turns brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Pour the butter  into a heat-proof bowl and chill until almost solidified.
  2.  Preheat oven to 180°C . Line an 8 inch cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside. Mix milk and vanilla in a separate bowl, set aside.
  4. Whisk the browned butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  5.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Alternately add flour mix and milk mixture. Mix until smooth. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
  7. Pour into prepared tin and bake for about 30-35 minutes.
  8. Let the cake cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove from tin to cool completely.
  9. To make the frosting, add the chocolate into a large  heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.  Leave the chocolate to melt, then stir until smooth and silky. Remove from heat.
  10. Pour the hot water into the bowl of chocolate and mix until nice and smooth.
  11. Place the bowl in a dish filled with ice cubes.  Using an electric whisk, and quickly whisk the chocolate and water mixture thoroughly and quickly until stiff peaks form.
  12. If you don’t get peaks, melt some more chocolate and whisk in quickly.
  13. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and top with the cherries.

IMG_1668-2.jpg

Spiced Chocolate Crème Caramel

IMG_3559.jpg

This fall I have been loving everything warm and spicy. Everything that brings comfort – that warm, fuzzy feeling. And there’s something about this spiced chocolate crème caramel that makes it absolutely perfect for October’s stormy days. A dark just-set custard, fragranced with soft undertones of cardamom and cinnamon, served in a pool of bitter caramel. It’s a dessert that is rich and indulgent, yet mellow and light.

Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients:

For the caramel:

  1. 65 g sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon cold water
  3. ⅔ tablespoon hot water

For the chocolate custard:

  1. 1½ cups whole milk
  2. 1½ tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 vanilla bean, split
  4. 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  5. 2 black pepper pods, crushed
  6. 1 cinnamon stick
  7. 60 g dark chocolate
  8. 2 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Coat the insides of 4 ramekins with cooking oil.
  2. To make the caramel, in a small saucepan, heat the sugar and cold water over low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, swirl the pan occasionally until the caramel has reached a dark golden colour.
  3. Remove from heat and add in the cold water to stop the cooking.
  4. Pour the caramel equally into the 4 ramekins. Do this quickly as the caramel will start to set. In case the caramel has hardened, heat it again for a few seconds until it reaches a pouring consistency. Set the ramekins aside.
  5. In a larger saucepan, add the milk, vanilla bean + seeds, cardamom pods, black pepper pods and cinnamon stick. Let the milk come to a light boil and remove from the heat.
  6. Add in the chopped chocolate and whisk together.
  7. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to let the flavours develop.
  8. Once cool, sieve the mixture.
  9. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Pour in the chocolate milk and mix until combined. If there is any foam on top, use a spoon to skim it.
  10. In a deep baking tray, place the ramekins and then pour in the chocolate mixture into the ramekins. Pour boiling water into the baking tray. Cooking these in a bath ensures even cooking.
  11. Bake for 50 minutes. A good way of testing if they are done is to giggle the ramekins. The centre should be almost set, not fully.
  12. Let the ramekins cool completely and then set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  13. To un-mould, dip the ramekins in hot water for a few seconds. Then run a knife along the edge of the custard and flip onto a plate.

IMG_3578.jpg

Chocolate-dipped Orange Biscuits

IMG_2500.jpg

These soft, chewy orange biscuits are probably one of my favourite biscuits ever. But they’re not just orange biscuits. They’re orange biscuits dipped in bitter dark chocolate and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Lightly fragranced with fresh oranges, they’re bright and sunshiny. But it’s the luscious, dark, bitter chocolate that makes this biscuit for me. It’s the kind of biscuit that’ll take to straight to biscuit heaven, and that’s a place I’m sure we all want to be in.

Makes about 15 medium sized cookies

Ingredients:

  1. 70 g butter
  2. 30 g sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon honey
  4. 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  5. 1 teaspoon orange zest
  6. 80 g flour
  7. 20 g almond meal
  8. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  9. 100 g dark chocolate
  10. ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  11. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl, cream the butter, sugar, honey and orange juice.
  3. Sift in the flour, almond meal and baking soda. If the mixture looks too wet, add a little more flour. It should come together to form a slightly wet dough.
  4. Divide the dough into 15 equal sized balls. Then, flatten by pressing each ball of dough between your palms.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies are dry to touch but not hard. Let the cookies cool at room temperature and then place in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. This helps the chocolate glaze stay on the cookies.
  6. In a saucepan, over low heat, toast the sesame seeds until golden. Leave to cool.
  7. Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Add in the coconut oil and stir.
  8. Dip half of each cookie in the chocolate and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Immediately sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  9. Place the cookies in the fridge to help the chocolate set.

IMG_2510.jpg

Cherry and Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream / No Churn

IMG-1604

Summer-time is wonderful. Because, you’ll find an abundance of plump, red cherries everywhere. And that has resulted in me eating them up, in just about anything – cakes, tarts, and this ice cream. I’ve forever wanted to make ice cream with cherries, beautiful swirls of cherry red in snowy white heaps. And so, this cherry and chocolate chunk ice cream was born. The almost-to-die-for combination of dark chocolate chunks and tart cherries, has to be one of my favourite things about this ice cream. With a creamy, smooth and melt-in-your-mouth texture, its heavenly, and probably the fastest way to hear angels sing.

AC9DFBED-825E-4B2E-AF88-CDB2529E73F6.JPG

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup cherries
  2. ¼ cup dark chocolate
  3. ¼ cup milk chocolate
  4. cup whipping cream
  5. ½ cups milk
  6. ½ cup sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon cornflour
  8. ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Add the milk and sugar into a saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the cornflour to a small bowl and add in a tablespoon of the milk. Mix and set aside.
  3. Cook the milk and sugar, stirring continuously for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to about a cup.
  4. Add in the cornflour mixture and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of condensed milk.
  5. Take it off the heat and add in the vanilla extract.
  6. Let it come to room temperature and then place in the fridge or freezer to cool.
  7. To prepare the cherries, pit them and then cut them in half.
  8. Chop up the chocolate into chunks. I prefer chopping it into uneven chunks.
  9. Add the whipping cream to a large bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in the cold milk and sugar mixture.
  10. Fold in the cherries and the chocolate then pour into an air-tight container. Freeze the ice cream for at least 6 hours or overnight.

 

Dark Chocolate And Salted Caramel Ice Cream / No Churn

IMG_20170430_173156421

I’ve been making chocolate ice cream for a while now, but putting it toasted peanuts and caramel was a revelation. Because it perfectly captures the essence of my favourite candy bar – Snickers. I think I’ve just made the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever made. Well, it’s more than just chocolate ice cream. It’s dark and dreamy, buttery and caramel-y. There’s bitter bits of dark chocolate, crushed toasty peanuts, and swirls of golden caramel.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 g milk
  2. 250 g heavy cream
  3. 4 tablespoons sugar
  4. ½ teaspoon cornflour
  5. 150 g dark chocolate
  6. semi sweet chocolate chunks
  7. ½ cup toasted peanuts
  8. 6 tablespoons salted caramel sauce

Method:

  1. Add the milk and sugar into a saucepan and place over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the cornflour to a small bowl and add in a tablespoon of the milk. Mix and set aside.
  3. Cook the milk and sugar, stirring continuously for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced to about half.
  4. Add in the cornflour mixture and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of condensed milk.
  5. Add in the dark chocolate and stir until melted.
  6. Take it off the heat and let it come to room temperature
  7. Store the mixture in the fridge to cool completely.
  8. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  9. Fold the cream into the chocolate mixture.
  10. Fold in the salted caramel sauce and crushed peanuts.
  11. Store in an air-tight container or a baking tin covered with cling-film and secured with a rubber-band.
  12. Freeze for 8 hours at least.

IMG_20170430_173358798