Flour-less Chocolate Cake

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Rich, fudgy and soul-satisfying. This flourless chocolate cake is exactly what you need make a bad day better. It’s the kind of cake you don’t need an occasion to bake, because it’s just that good.

Ingredients:

  1. 150 g dark chocolate, chopped
  2. 70 g unsalted butter
  3. 4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  4. 90 g granulated sugar
  5. 20 g cocoa powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 7 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper.
  2. Add the chopped up chocolate to a heat-proof bowl. In a saucepan, heat the butter until it is just simmering.
  3. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for about 2-3 minutes and then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  4. Add the 4 yolks to the chocolate and whisk to combine. Then sift in the cocoa and salt. Mix together until combined. The mixture will be thick and stiff.
  5. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks or a meringue forms.
  6. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold gently to combine. Then add in the rest of the egg whites and gently fold through until all mixed together.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 21-23 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then release and allow to cool completely. The cake will collapse and form cracks on the surface as it cools.

Orange and Chocolate Crème Caramel

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Chocolate and orange are both excellent flavour power-houses on their own and even better when put together. This crème caramel  has the richness of chocolate and the freshness from seasonal winter oranges to make a delightful treat. A dark just-set custard, fragranced with soft undertones of cardamom and cinnamon, served in a pool of bitter caramel. 

 

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 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  6. 1 teaspoon orange extract
  7. 1 teaspoon orange zest
  8. 1 cinnamon stick
  9. 60 g dark chocolate
  10. 2 egg yolks

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, and the cinnamon stick. Let the milk come to a light boil and remove from the heat.
  6. Add in the chopped chocolate and orange extract and whisk together.
  7. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes to let the flavours develop. Once cool, add in the ginger and orange zest and leave for another 15 minutes.
  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.

 

Banana Bread

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  1. 250 g flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. a pinch of salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 110 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  6. 145 g brown sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 80 g Greek yogurt
  9. 2 cups ripe bananas / about 3-4 ripe bananas (mashed)
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  11. 50 g chopped walnuts (optional)
  12. chocolate chips (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the yogurt, mashed bananas, and vanilla extract on medium speed until combined.
  5. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a spatula, until no lumps remain. Do not over-mix. Fold in the walnuts.
  6. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and top with chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 60-65 minutes. Loosely cover the bread with foil after 30 minutes to help prevent the top from getting too brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow the banana bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Chocolate Peppermint Winter Wonderland Cake

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This delicious chocolate cake topped with peppermint buttercream and adorned with whimsical chocolate trees will make all of your winter wonderland dreams come true. And although the cake layers are only chocolate, they are anything but ordinary.  This vegan chocolate cake is the only chocolate cake you will ever need.  It is velvety, moist, and full of flavour!

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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 peppermint buttercream:

  1. 100 g unsalted butter
  2. 190 g powdered sugar
  3. ½ teaspoon milk
  4. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

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 buttercream, use an electric mixer to whip butter until pale and fluffy.
  7. Add in the peppermint extract and vanilla extract and half of the powdered sugar and mix until combined.
  8. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix on low speed until blended and increase to medium-high speed and whip until light and fluffy. Add milk if needed and mix well. Spread between and on top of the cooled cakes.

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!

 

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.