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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Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache / Vegan

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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

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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.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

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There is nothing more comforting than freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. And these cookies are just perfect. They’re crisp on the outside yet soft and chewy on the inside. The kind of beautiful fudgey chewiness that just melts away in your mouth.

Ingredients:

  1. 90g white sugar
  2. 200g packed brown sugar
  3. 110g unsalted butter
  4. ½ teaspoon salt
  5. 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 200g all purpose flour
  8. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  9. 7 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Add the butter to a small saucepan and place over low heat. Cook the butter until it is brown and gives off a toasty aroma. Immediately transfer to a heat-proof bowl to stop the browning. Let the butter come to room temperature.
  2. Now add in the white and brown sugar and whisk well for at least 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Add in the egg and egg yolk and whisk well. Now add in the vanilla extract.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking soda and fold to combine.
  4. Finally, fold in the chopped chocolate pieces.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably over-night.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  7. Scoop the cookie dough using in ice-cream scoop, leaving enough space between each of the cookies. Bake for 12-15 minutes. At the end of 7 minutes, take out the tray, sprinkle some sea salt on each cookie (optional) and bang it on you counter. Repeat the banging process every two minutes till the end of baking time. Leave the cookies to cool completely.

Tips for the perfect cookie:

  1. Whisk your butter and sugars very well. This results in the perfect crisp on the outside, soft in the middle cookie.
  2. When you chop your chocolate, make sure you have uneven sized chunks. This adds a nice variation to your cookie are creates beautiful pools of chocolate.
  3. Let your dough rest in the fridge. The longer you leave it to rest, the better the flavour will be. You can even leave it to rest for up to 3 days.
  4. Do not over-crowd your tray when you bake the cookies, they need space to spread and cook evenly. With an ice-cream scoop you may only be able to fit 4-5 cookies on one tray.
  5. Bang your tray every two minutes after the 9 minute mark! It sounds crazy but it works.

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