Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Gooey Brownies

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Chocolate brownies

There is nothing better than tucking into a really rich, chocolately, gooey brownie and they are so easy to make, so I thought I would satisfy my chocolate urge and make a batch. I tend to follow Rachel Allen’s recipe in her book Rachel’s Favourite Food but sometimes play around with the recipe. I like to put nuts into my brownies as I think they really compliment the chocolate flavour, especially hazelnuts, and help to keep them moist but I’m never sure about putting nuts into them when they are for other people as not everybody likes them (in this instance they should be taken out and shot for the weird anti-nut people they are…. just kidding, don’t write in!)

This time I just went for rich dark chocolate swirled with white chocolate and very nice they were too. 

Makes about 14 large brownies

180g butter

150g good quality dark chocolate

100g good quality white chocolate

3 eggs

175g golden caster sugar

75g dark muscovado sugar

110g plain flour

tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade and line a swiss roll tin (9 x 13 inch) with greaseproof paper. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a bowl over some barely simmering water being careful not to overheat the chocolate. In another bowl melt the white chocolate then set it aside. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together in a bowl until light and doubled in volume. Once melted, let the chocolate cool for a minute or two and then stir into the eggs and sugar mixture. Sift the flour and fold into the mixture then tip into the prepared tin, spreading it out to the sides. Take the white chocolate and drizzle spoonfuls over the top of the mixture and then take a skewer and swirl the white chocolate a little to make a nice pattern. Cook the brownies for about 15 to 20 minutes. They will still seem very soft and undercooked when they come out, the mixture will not spring back when you touch, it isn’t like a sponge. Everyones oven is different and it may be a bit of trial and error to begin with but that is no hardship as they will still be good to eat. Cut while still warm and take out of the tin when cool. Enjoy


Chocolate flop to chocolate heaven

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Chocolate fondant

Having seen a lot of failed attempts at Chocolate fondant puddings on Celebrity Masterchef this week, I thought I would like to give one a try. I have had shop bought ones before and relished their divine rich taste. To me they are the ultimate of decadent puddings, and the worst things for you always taste the best.

The recipe I followed from the BBC Food page seemed simple enough but I fell at the final hurdle of timings and ended up with a runny, albeit delcious, mess served with orange and vanilla ice cream. I remained undeterred, though, had another go the following night and left them in for a few minutes longer, which was much more successful but still not quite done enough. They still tasted absolutely divine, but I will keep trying until I get the perfect consistency. It’s a hard job, but somebody’s gotta do it!

Chocolate flop

Ooh what a nice pear!!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Jamie Oliver Pavlova

I was watching Jamie Oliver a couple of weeks ago and spotted this tray baked meringue. Incidentally I’ve just had a look at his new website and it’s worth a look. I always save egg whites when I’m only using the yolks and freeze them so I can whip up meringue really quickly and with a meringue not having many ingredients, it was ideal to make while we were on holiday in self catering accommodation last week. I love chocolate and hazelnuts so anything with those in is winner in my book.

Serves 6 to 8


4 large free-range egg whites

200g unrefined golden caster sugar

a pinch of sea salt

100g hazelnuts, skins removed

2 x 400g halved pears, in syrup

2 pieces stem ginger, thinly sliced

200g dark chocolate

400ml whipping cream (he suggests double but I just can’t bring myself to do it)

50g icing sugar, sifted

1 vanilla pod, halved and seeded

zest of an orange

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade and line a large baking tray with grease proof paper. Put the egg whites into a very clean bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks (this is when it forms a peak but it flops over at the end, the eggs whites will not whip up properly if there is any grease or yolk in them). Keep the mixer on and gradually add the sugar and the salt. Whisk the eggs on full power until they are soft, silky and smooth. Heap the meringue onto the baking tray and spread out into a rectangular shape with the back of the spoon making sure you don’t spread it out too thin. Bake in the oven for about an hour until crisp and slightly golden. Whilst the meringue is cooking, place the hazelnuts on another baking tray and put in the bottom of the oven to cook with the meringue until golden brown (this should take the same amount of time as the meringue but keep an eye on them). Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool

To make the topping softly whip the cream and add the icing sugar and vanilla seeds  (you get these by slicing the vanilla pod down the centre and scraping out the seeds with a sharp knife). Drain the pears and reserve the syrup from one of the tins. Add this to a saucepan with the ginger and warm gently. Take off the heat. Chop the chocolate and add to the pan stirring to combine.  I didn’t have any ginger but instead added a little pear brandy. Heap the whipped cream on to the meringue, tear the pear halves into chunks and place on top, scatter the roughly chopped hazelnuts, drizzle the chocolate and zest the orange over the top to finish. Perfect to revive you after a long walk along the beach on a very windy day.

Woolacombe beach

Banana cake and lycra-clad sportsmen

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Banana and chocolate bread

This weekend we went to see a track cycling event at the Manchester Velodrome. I’m not generally a big fan of cycling but when given the opportunity of seeing large numbers of finely tuned, musclebound men in close fitting sportswear, I thought to myself there are worse ways to spend a Saturday night. It doesn’t tend to matter whether you are into sports or not as live sporting events are always quite exciting. This was no exception and what better way to keep up your energy up while watching hugely fit athletes pounding round and round a track than Banana and chocolate loaf.

This was another recipe out of my new book and it went down a treat, possibly making a record and only lasting about three hours between four hungry people.


  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g caster sugar
  •  4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g good quality dark or milk chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Beat together all the ingredients apart from the flour and baking powder. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and combine gently with a cutting and folding motion, making sure not to overmix. Pour the batter into a greased loaf tin (about 19 cm x 11cm) and bake for an hour and fifteen minutes, or until a skewer comes out of the center of the bread cleanly. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. This doesn’t hang around so hide it away if you want some for yourself.

Revolution 19 at Manchester Velodrome