Pecan Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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I love nothing more than a warm cookie, oozing with chocolate, just out of the oven. These Pecan Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies are rich and sinful, filled with bitter pools of dark chocolate. The pecans bring with them a beautiful, toasty warmth, that just works so well with the chocolate. They’re the perfect melt-away-in-the-mouth texture.

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*makes about 16 cookies

Ingredients:

  1. 170 g flour
  2. 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  7. 80 g granulated sugar
  8. 50 g dark muscavado suagr
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  11. 150 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  12. 100 g pecans, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the butter and sugars. Using and electric mixer, beat the two together until light and fluffy (at least 5 minutes). Add in the egg and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  4. Fold in the flour mixture. Finally fold in the chocolate and pecans (reserve some to top the cookies with just before baking).
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 36 hours (a longer rest results in a better texture and flavour).
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop the dough on to a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  7. Top with the reserved chocolate and pecans and bake for 9-11 minutes. At the 6 minute mark, take the tray out and bang on the counter a couple of times before returning to the oven.
  8. Top with sea salt and enjoy!

 

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Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

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This carrot cake is full of warm, spicy flavours, perfect for fall. It’s basically a hug in cake form. The crushed pecan bits add subtle hints of toasty bitterness, and the orange brings with it the needed brightness and freshness.

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Ingredients:

For the cake:

  1. 125 g all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoons baking soda
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 teaspoon orange zest
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 140 ml sunflower oil
  7. 100 g granulated sugar
  8. 50 g dark muscavado sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 140 g grated carrots
  12. 20 g pecans, chopped
  13. 20 g raisins

For the cream cheese frosting:

  1. 100 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  2. 50 g powdered sugar
  3. ½ teaspoon orange zest
  4. 20 ml whipping cream
  5. 10 g coarsely chopped pecans, for topping cake

Method:

  1. Grease and line a rectangular baking pan. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a larger bowl, add the oil, eggs, orange zest and sugars and whisk well until combined. Add in the vanilla.
  4. Add the flour into the wet ingredients and fold together.
  5. Then fold in the carrots, pecans and raisins.
  6. Bake for 30-33 minutes.
  7. Let cake cool completely. Meanwhile prepare the frosting.
  8. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar, a little at a time. Then add in the cream and orange zest and beat for another minute.
  9. Spread on top of cooled cake and top with chopped pecans.

Ultimate Fudge Brownies

 

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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.

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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 and line an 8×8-inch pan. 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 simmering. 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.
  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 the counter 2-3 times (this is essential for the crackly top). Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-11 additional minutes.
  8. The brownies will look under-baked in the centre, 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.

 

Caramelised Nut Tart

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This tart is rich, decadent and incredibly delicious. A nutty filling that’s flavoured with sweet vanilla and, a crispy biscuit crust that brings together all the complex flavours in the filling.

Ingredients:

  1. 120 g digestive biscuits
  2. 67 g unsalted butter, melted
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 60 g brown sugar
  5. ½ tablespoon honey
  6. ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  7. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 160 g assorted nuts of your choice (I use almonds, cashews and walnuts), roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. To make the crust, grind the biscuits in a ziplock bag. Add in the melted butter. The mixture should be thick and sandy.
  3. Transfer into a 7 inch springform tart tin and pack tightly at bottom and up the sides.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, honey, vanilla and cinnamon.
  5. Fold in the chopped nuts and transfer into tart tin.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle the top with melted chocolate.

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Cherry Upside-down Cake

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If you know me at all, you’d know that upside-down cakes are my absolute favourite. You never really know what they’re going to look like until they come out of the pan. Maybe that’s why I love them. Finding that beautiful layer of caramelised sugar and fruit on top of the cake is magical. Every single time. Even more magical when the fruit in question is cherries.

Ingredients:

  1. 40 g salted butter
  2. 80 g dark muscovado sugar
  3. 250 cherries (halved and pitted)
  4. 200 g  all purpose flour
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  7. ¼ teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 125 g salted butter (softened)
  10. 165 g granulated sugar
  11. 2 eggs (room temperature)
  12. 150 ml greek yogurt (room temperature)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a 9 inch round springform pan with butter and cover the bottom of the pan with baking paper (I used a sheet pan for this recipe, but if you want to ensure your cake comes out in one piece, go with a springform pan).
  2. In a small saucepan, melt together the 40 g butter and muscovado sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until combined and sugar is melted.
  3. Spread the caramel over the baking paper in the bottom of the pan. Place the cherry halves cut side down over the caramel.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then mix in the vanilla.
  6. Alternately add in the flour and yogurt. Fold together until combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, over the cherries. Smooth the top.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Check the cake at the 25 minute mark and cover the cake with foil if  the top seems to be browning too much.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove the cake from the pan. Serve warm with ice cream.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

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These Peanut Butter Cookies have the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth texture, with perfectly crisp edges and a salty peanut butter centre.

*makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  1. 180 g flour
  2. ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  3. 100 g salted butter, softened
  4. 90 g granulated sugar
  5. 90 g brown sugar
  6. 180 g crunchy peanut butter, room temperature
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy
    (about 4-5 minutes).
  3. Mix in the peanut butter and then the egg. Add in the vanilla.
  4. Fold in the flour and baking soda until just combined.
  5. Shape the dough into balls and then place on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each ball.
  6. Use a fork to flatten the cookies, then press in the opposite direction creating a criss-cross pattern.
  7. Bake for 9 minutes and leave to cool completely.

 

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Rhubarb and Lime Galette

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With all the brightness from the zesty lime, and sour notes from the rhubarb, this galette not only looks like a showstopper, but is incredibly delicious. 

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  1. 180 g flour
  2. 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  3. ¼ teaspoon salt
  4. 150 g butter (very cold, cut into cubes)
  5. 3-4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  1. 4-5 thin rhubarb stalks (leaves removed)
  2. 1 lime (zest and juice)
  3. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 1 tablespoon cane sugar

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cubes of butter and rub them into the flour until you have a crumble. There should still be some large chunks of butter.
  2. Drizzle with ice water, one spoon at a time, and mix gently until the dough just comes together. Do not knead.
  3. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap. Rest the dough in the fridge for at least one hour.
  4. Roll out the dough into a large circle about 1/8 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface.
  5. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
  6. Slice the rhubarb stalks in half, and then into smaller pieces. They should be roughly the same size. Place them in a bowl with the lime zest, juice, granulated sugar and cornstarch. Arrange the rhubarb pieces in a decorative pattern on top of the dough, leaving a border around the edges. Fold the dough over the rhubarb and press gently to seal.
  7. Place the galette in the freezer for 15 minutes, meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  8. Brush the edges with the egg wash or some milk, then sprinkle with cane sugar.
  9. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the edges are golden-brown.

 

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