Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Shortcakes Guest Column!

Very pleased to say that I had a column published on HugoFox.com last week. Just a little bit about how I got interested in baking and the lemon loaf recipe which has been the most popular post on the blog since it started.

Check it out!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Double Chocolate Muffins

Ok so you may have noticed that the recent posts have all involved chocolate.... What can I say, I'm going through a major chocolate phase at the moment. I'm usually not a chocaholic, but something's just clicked recently and I can't get enough! Particularly dark chocolate.

These muffins are fantastic. As with the chocolate chip cookies listed below, the ones you get from supermarket bakeries are difficult to replicate at home. But these beauties come out fluffy and delicious and are easy to do at home. Impress your friends!

Look great. Taste great.

You will need:
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 130g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 160ml milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 160g unsalted butter, melted
  • 120g dark chocolate, chopped roughly

To make:

Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees centigrade

Line your muffin tray with paper cases. This recipe makes 12

Cream together the sugar and eggs in a mixer, or using a handheld electric whisk

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl

In another bowl, or measuring jug, combine the milk and vanilla extract

Gradually add these two mixtures to the eggs and sugar bit by bit, alternating between the two

Beat the mixture until well incorporated

Stir in the melted butter with a wooden spoon until well incorporated

Then stir in the chocolate until well incorporated

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full

Bake for around 30 minutes

Leave the muffins to cool slightly in the tray before turning them onto the wire rack to cool completely

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

All the women in my family are big fans of the American style soft and chewy cookies you buy at supermarket bakeries. And yet, we've always had problems replicating their texture when baking our own. They always seem to come out crispy rather than that delectable chewy texture we all love. So you can imagine my delight when I found the PERFECT recipe for re-creating my favourite cookies. Not only do they taste wonderful, they're surprisingly quick and easy to make! When they're this easy, you wonder why you bother buying the packets from the supermarket!

How can you resist!?

You will need:
  •  225g unsalted butter
  • 350g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2.5 tsps bicarbonate of soda
  • 225g dark chocolate, chopped roughly
To make

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade

Cream together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or a handheld electric whisk)

Add the egss one at a time and mix well. Make sure to scrape down mixture from the sides to incorporate everything

Beat in the vanilla extract on a slow speed

Add in the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Keep mixing until a smooth dough is formed

Stir in the chocolate chunks by hand until well dispersed

Arrange small amounts of the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Ensure they are well spaced as cookies will expand in oven

Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown

Allow to cool a little on the baking sheet before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely

This recipe will make approximately 24 cookies. But they won't last long! Trust me.