Tiffin

It’s Tiffin time! Technically this does not count as a bake, it’s more of a smash and melt. Yum. To make these glorious beauties you need: 

  • Half a packet of digestive biscuits
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 big squeezes of golden syrup
  • 120g butter
  • Handful of sultanas
  • 200g dark chocolate

Melt the butter, sugar, syrup and cocoa powder together to make a delicious chocolate butter. Smash the biscuits to within an inch of their being- but leave some big bits because everyone likes chunks. It’s just a fact. Mix the crushed biscuits into the chocolate butter and throw a handful of sultanas in. Mix and press into a shallow lined baking tin. Melt the chocolate and pour on top. Allow to cool at room temperature and then pop in the fridge to solidify properly. Using a sharp knife, divide the tiffin into yummy sized pieces. Takes about an hour to solidify. 

Happy Tiffin day people!!! It’s really nice on top of ice cream. 

Valentine’s biscuits

I had a good bash at making some heart biscuits. They are a little wonky but that’s because they’re full of love. Wonky love. The method was surprisingly fiddly, I used the following recipe:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/slice-and-bake-valentines-biscuits

The recipe involves making a basic vanilla shortbread and colouring one third of the dough pink. The pink dough is cut into lots of hearts which are stuck together and frozen in a log. 2 hours later you wrap the frozen hearts with the rest of the pliable plain shortbread mixture. Many more hours chilling the biscuit dough and then you slice them up and bung ’em in the oven. Pretty tasty buttery treats. 

Anyway. Fill your Valentine’s Day with butter…… buttery hearts!

Double chocolate cookies 

This cold January night calls for some double chocolate cookies. For anyone who’s doing a healthy new year thing, it’s worth scrapping it for this treat. You barely need any ingredients, it doesn’t break the bank (just good habits). To make these delicious beauts, you need: 

  • 200g dark chocolate 
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 tin of condensed milk
  • 225g self raising flour
  • white chocolate buttons 

Melt the chocolate and butter together and mix in the rest. I know. That’s it. Lazzzzzyyy. Place the mixture in the freezer for five minutes and prepare a baking tray with parchment. Make small balls with the mixture and pop on the tray with good spaces between them. The mixture tends to spread in the oven. I always put extra white chocolate buttons on top of each cookie. Gives a sense of occasion in my opinion. Bake for 15 minutes at 160 degrees. They are done when they have spread and sort of cracked. My advice is eat them warm with a blob of ice cream. Goodbye rubbish January. 

Caramel Shortbread 

I haven’t had a great track record with caramel shortbread. I’ve burnt the caramel and struggled to get the shortbread off the tray etc. However. That time in my life is over and I now welcome my new and improved self. Behold, my successful caramel shortbread following James Morton’s recipe online. Dead simple and dirt cheap to make. 


Check out those layers !

My tips for avoiding caramel shortbread disasters:

  • Watch your shortbread in the oven and don’t let it go too dark around the edges 
  • Don’t over handle the shortbread dough- just bring it together and avoid excessive play
  • Constantly stir the caramel on a medium heat, if you see dark brown bits bubbling up – whisk them away! 
  • Use your nose to check it’s not burning
  • Don’t put the chocolate in the fridge once layered on top of the caramel- leave to cool at room temperature for excellent shine
  • Line the tin with paper, so much easier than butter. Less risky!
  • Don’t forget to buy the condensed milk (I always forget!)

This recipe uses salted butter for the shortbread and the caramel- I have to say NOM! Wouldn’t be the same without the salt. 

http://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/the-ultimate-millionaires-shortbread

Olive oil fennel poofs!

I felt like a baking something a bit weird and wonderful tonight. I think for the first time in a very long time I put down the butter. I know. Unheard of in these rather confusing political times. So I googled olive oil biscuits and found a doughy situation on the following website :
Super Quick and Easy Olive Oil Biscuits

I followed the recipe and then decided to just keeping adding things so I threw in some semolina, sugar and 2 tablespoons of fennel. They baked really fast and I was glad I oiled my tray well. I sprinkled the golden dollopy looking biscuits in icing sugar and had a taste. Not bad! Actually rather interesting. Fennel it turns out is delightful in a biscuit! 

And if you do pick up the butter and smother it all over it , it’s even better!!!!

So much for putting the butter down. 

What a tuile to tell…

I decided to make some tuiles tonight. Pretty tricky business if you ask me… it’s fiddly and burns your fingers as you have to work so quickly. Tuiles are very delicate, shapely French biscuits made with lots of whisked egg whites to keep them light. If you are on the good end of a tuile then it should be crisp, golden and absolutely delightful. However, if it’s anything like my first attempt then they are soggy, thick and quite frankly a little disappointing.

I followed the tuile recipe very carefully and realised after trying it free style that it was a very bad idea. Also, it is good to check that your oven remains on whilst baking as mine has a timer on it and I stared blankly into my oven wondering why the hell nothing was happening.

Anyway, I digress. A stencil is required, ideally made from baking parchment or thin plastic. This way you can spread the mixture awkwardly onto your NON STICK baking tray (greased with a little oil) through the stencil. I tried baking the tuiles onto baking parchment itself – don’t bother with that, noone has time for that crumbly mess.

Cook at gas mark 3 for about five minutes and quickly whip it off the tray with a palette knife or spatula like implement. It’s very important to burn your fingers whilst draping them carefully onto a rolling pin (that where the flavour comes from 😜).

Voila! 3 hours later you have one excellent butterfly tuile. Hmmmm. Filling.

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/22236/vanilla-tuiles.aspx

Christmas gingerbread

 
Gingerbread is so fun to make and they smell glorious right from the start. I followed a BBC website recipe but upped the spices a bit (an extra tsp of ginger and one tsp ground  nutmeg). Simply mix the spices into the flour, rub in some butter and then add sugar, eggs and golden syrup. It’s cheap to make and is a great idea for a Christmas present. I took mine to my Christmas work fuddle today and they were DEMOLISHED. So I really do recommend this recipe. Also chilling the biscuit dough is really important so that you get the right shapes at the end and it is easy to roll out. Gingerbread dough is generally a dry mixture so never be tempted to add more liquid otherwise you won’t get the right bite to it. 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/gingerbread_men_99096