Tag Archives: chocolate: milk

Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

24 Aug

Everything’s been a little bit stressful and crazy lately. The Husband has been working especially hard and has been completely exhausted, so I thought I’d bake him a little something to cheer him up.

These are a complete comfort food: dense, rich chocolate brownies studded with milk chocolate chunks and marbled with swirls of velvety cream cheese. It’s like two desserts in one! Try to resist. Seriously.

The basic brownie recipe comes from Marian Keyes’ wonderful Saved By Cake cookbook, which I’ve altered to add the milk chocolate chunks and cream cheese swirls.

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

225g dark chocolate (70%)

225g butter

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

100g brown sugar

100g caster sugar

170g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

100g milk chocolate

For the cheesecake swirl:

200g cream cheese

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 egg

1. Grease and line a square cake tin and set aside, then preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (that’s 325 degrees Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 3).

2. Break the dark chocolate into pieces and melt with the butter, either in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water or in the microwave, until all the lumps are gone and the mixture is smooth and silky. If microwaving, do so in thirty second blasts, stirring between each zap in the microwave.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the 2 eggs, both the egg yolks, the caster sugar and the brown sugar with a stand mixer or handheld beaters until the mixture becomes thick and is the colour of light toffee.

4. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, and gently fold together to avoid the mixture congealing.

5. Sieve together the flour, baking powder and salt and fold into the chocolate mixture.

6. Break up the milk chocolate into pieces/chunks and gently fold into the brownie mixture.

7. To make the cheesecake mixture, beat together the cream cheese, caster sugar and the egg with electric beaters or a stand mixer in a new bowl for 1 -2 minutes until thick and creamy.

8. Pour half of the brownie mixture into the prepared tin.

9. Dollop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter.

10. Pour the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese dollops.

11. Spoon more of the cheesecake mixture over the top of the brownie batter in large dollops and marble using a flat bladed knife.

12. Bake for 28 -30 minutes, until the cream cheese swirls have started to firm up. Allow to cool in the tin for approximately 2 hours before turning out the brownie and cutting it into squares.

Store in an airtight container – though I have to say, I don’t think these will be sticking around for long!

As a side note, this post is also dedicated to my wonderful friends Tarryn and Pete, who are celebrating the safe arrival of their first child, a beautiful boy named Percy. Congratulations guys! Sending lots of love and hugs across the seas to you and the bubba! ❤

You can view Tarryn’s lovely blog Butter & Buntings here.

Enjoy! xx

Mars Bar Slice

29 Apr

For a variety of reasons, I’ve been feeling horribly, inescapably homesick over the last couple of weeks. And sometimes, when you’re far away and the cure – going home – is impossible, you need to bring a bit of home to wherever you are.

Mars Bar Slice is pretty much a childhood staple where I’m from, and there’s no question why. It’s gooey, crunchy and chocolatey, with just a hint of caramel flavour from the Mars Bars. It’s incredibly fast to make, there’s no oven baking time, and it’s deliciously, unapologetically calorific. It was one of the first things I ever made with my grandmother when I was a very small girl, and it immediately takes me back to sunny afternoons in her garden, drinking lemonade and eating home made picnic fare on a blanket under the lemon tree.

Sometimes you just need a taste of home, you know?

MARS BAR SLICE

 50g butter

1 tbsp golden syrup

4 x 54g Mars Bars

60g Rice Bubbles (or Rice Krispies, if you’re not from Australia or New Zealand)

200g milk chocolate

20g Copha/Crisco/Trex/whatever vegetable shortening you can find

MAKES APPROX. 21 SERVES

1. Grease and line a rectangular baking tray with either foil or baking paper, then set aside.

2. Slice each Mars Bar in half lengthways and then cut into small pieces.

3. Cube the butter and then place it in a small saucepan with the golden syrup and the Mars Bar pieces, stirring continuously over a low heat for approximately five minutes, or until the mixture has melted together and is smooth, thick and glossy. It may take several minutes for the nougat from the Mars Bars to fully melt into the mixture – just keep stirring, it will happen! Remove from the heat when the mixture is ready.

4. Pour the Rice Bubbles/Rice Krispies into the melted Mars Bar mixture and stir to combine. The mixture will become very, very thick and sticky extremely quickly.

5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press it down and into the corners with either your fingers or the back of a metal spoon so that it sticks together and the surface is smooth.

6. Place the tin into the fridge for 20 minutes to cool and harden the mixture.

7. Meanwhile, get your ch0colate, break it into pieces and place it in a microwave-safe bowl.

8. Add 20g of chopped vegetable shortening to the chocolate pieces.

9. Microwave in 30 second blocks of time, removing the bowl and stirring before each new burst in the microwave. The chocolate and shortening should melt together and be shiny and smooth.

10. Remove the tin from the fridge and pour the melted chocolate over the base of the slice so that the surface is completely covered.

11. Return the tin to the fridge for a further 30 minutes so that the chocolate can fully set.

12. Once the chocolate is fully set, remove the tin from the fridge and carefully lift the slice out of the tin by slowly lifting the sides of the foil/baking paper. Peel away the foil/baking paper and place the slice on a clean chopping board.

13. Using a large knife (I run mine under hot water for a few seconds to heat the blade), cut the slice into square pieces and serve. It will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for several days – except you probably won’t be able to resist it long enough for it to get anywhere near going bad!

Enjoy! x

Triple Choc-Chip & Peanut Cookies

18 Nov

My husband and I are still house sitting for my dad, which means that I have plenty of time to bake at any time of the day or night – bliss! (Hey, it’s the small things…). Woo hoo!

Today has been the first semi-hot day of the season – only about 35 degrees Celsius (or 93 Fahrenheit), but you know how that first hot day in late spring pretty much knocks you for six? Well, that’s what today has been like, so cranking up the temperature on the oven probably wasn’t the best idea when it came to keeping the house cool…but we did end up with a nice big batch of cookies, so it was worth the added heat!

This is actually the first time in years that I’ve deviated even slightly from my usual choc-chip cookie recipe, but I couldn’t help it. My dad has a massive container full of peanuts in the cupboard, and they’ve been calling to me. So, here we are:  Triple Choc-Chip & Peanut Cookies!

I know that you probably have a favourite choc-chip cookie recipe which you’re reluctant to part with, but if you want a bit of a change, give this one a go. They’ve already been given the thumbs up from The Official Taste Tester (AKA my husband), and I’m quite pleased with them overall. I wouldn’t make the peanut addition a permanent feature, but it’s really wonderful when you’re looking for a tasty change.

I’m actually not 100% sure where the basic recipe came from originally. It’s written on an ingredient-stained, crumpled scrap of paper that has been sitting in my mum’s recipe folder for as long as I can remember…so credit goes to her on this one!

TRIPLE CHOC-CHIP & PEANUT COOKIES

150g unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

A pinch of cinnamon

1 egg

1 3/4 cups plain flour, sifted

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped

1 – 3 tablespoons milk (optional)

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (325 Fahrenheit or Gas Mark 3) and line 3 baking trays with greaseproof baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar for 2 – 3 minutes until light and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and the egg and beat well. Sprinkle in a pinch of cinnamon and mix to combine.

Add the plain flour and mix gently until just combined. Pour chocolate chips and peanuts over the dough and fold through.

If your dough is too thick add some milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough becomes soft and slightly sticky. Spoon heaped tablespoons of mixture onto the baking trays, pressing each cookie down lightly with your fingertips to flatten.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes if you like soft-centred cookies, or bake for 10 – 13 minutes if you like your cookies to have more of a crunch. Cookies should be lightly browned when cooked.

Leave to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.

Enjoy!