Spiced choco chip muffin

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and  tuesday

Spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

This muffin recipe puts a twist on the regular choco chip muffin by adding spices. I used a spice I found in the Sunday Riverside market in Cardiff. It’s called Victorian cake spice. I’m not really sure what’s in it – if you know, feel free to enlighten us! But it smells of Christmas, of cinnamon and nutmeg!

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

Victorian cake spice © dan and tueday

I’ve made this a few times now – to share at work, to give us a present for Kielo, and, now, for our friends Helen and Phil.

You need:

  • 100 g softened unsalted butter
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200 g dark chocolate chips

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

dark chocolate chips © dan and tuesday

Tools

  • 12-cup muffin tray, lined with muffin cases
  • mixing bowls
  • handheld mixer
  • pre-heated oven at 190˚C

What to do:

  1. Mix butter and sugars in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Beat in eggs.
  3. Add milk and cream and mix until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  4. In another bowl, sift flour, spice, bicarbonate of soda, and cocoa powder.
  5. Mix the wet and dry mixture very well. I just use a spoon at this stage and not the handmixer.

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

    making muffins © dan and tuesday

  6. Add the chocolate chips. Mix well, agin with a spoon.
  7. Spoon mixture on the muffin cases.
  8. Bake for about 28 – 30 mins then take out from the oven and let it  cool in the tray for about 10 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool properly.
spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

spiced choco chip muffin © dan and tuesday

Maybe this is more of a Christmas muffin… but so far no one has objected to a little taste of Christmas in the summer.

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Dark chocolate biscotti

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

Nespresso cappuccino with dark chocolate biscotti © dan&tuesday

I have been wanting to do some baking but in the summer, I don’t really crave a lot of heavy cake-based kind of desserts. Eating fresh fruits beats any kind of fancy dessert in the summer. My favourite summer dessert is probably Eton Mess.

Still, I fancy getting the oven working to make me something lovely that does not need to be eaten in a couple of days. This biscotti should last a week if you store it well.

I have adapted this from the Hamlyn Cookery Book which is a fantastic book for beginning cooks (like myself).

You will need:

  • 150 g of dark chocolate, chopped (I only have chocolate chips in my cupboard so I used those)
  • 25 g of unsalted butter (Also run out so I used a slightly salted one)
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 50 g light muscovado sugar (Didn’t have any so I used light brown caster sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g almond nuts, chopped or sliced (original recipe called for pecan nuts)
  • icing sugar, for dusting

Tools

  • baking sheet, greased or lined with baking paper
  • Pre-heated oven at 190˚C
  • mixing bowls

What to do

  1. Melt 200g of the chopped dark chocolate with the butter.

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

    melting chocolate © dan&tuesday

  2. Sift self-raising flour to a mixing bowl and then add eggs, sugar, nuts, vanilla extract, and the melted chocolate and butter mixture.

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

    mix everything © dan & tuesday

  3. Add the rest of the chopped chocolate until you have a dough.

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

    make it into a dough © dan & tuesday

  4. Dust the work surface with flour, transfer the dough, and cut it in half.
  5. Form two logs of about 10 inches long (really depends on how big the baking sheet is!), flatten to about 2 cm thick (a little less than an inch). Transfer to the baking tray and then bake for 18-20 mins.

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

    cut into two logs © dan & tuesday

  6. Remove from the oven and then reduce the heat of the oven to 160˚C.
  7. Leave the biscotti to cool for 20 mins before cutting it with a bread knife (serrated) into 2 cm thick slices. In my first try, it keeps crumbling so I lost a few biscotti 😦 So I started cutting them a bit thicker.

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

    Leave to cool © dan & tuesday

  8. Place the cut biscotti back into the baking tray with a little space in between them and then cook for another 15 mins.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and then dust with icing sugar.

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

    Dust with icing powder © dan & tuesday

  10. Best served with coffee.

PS. I still love my Nespresso machine. It’s one of the best things I bought for our kitchen.

PPS. I am really liking the new flickr look, I find that inserting images is easier and does not involve going back and forth pages for me.

PPPS. I re-discovered smitten kitchen and Deb shares a chocolate hazelnut biscotti which I’ll try next time.

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies © dan&tuesday

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

So far I’ve done 3 recipes from the hummingbird bakery cookbook. The Pecan pie, that was first, and then this wonderful peanut butter cookies, second. The third one was the lemon loaf but that will be another post.

If, like me, you enjoy a super chunky peanut butter and dark chocolate, then this is a little piece of heaven on earth! It was even more delish after a day or two as the cookies become a bit chewy.

You need:

  • 225g unsalted butter at room temp
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240g chunky peanut butter
  • 340g plain flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75g chopped dark chocolate
Cookie dough © dan & tuesday

Cookie dough © dan & tuesday

Tools:

  • baking trays x 4 lined with greaseproof paper
  • freestanding or handheld mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • rubber spatula
  • Pre-heated oven at 170˚C

What to do:

  1. Dan tries to help © dan & tuesday

    Dan tries to help © dan & tuesday

    Use the mixer to cream butter, caster sugar and light brown sugar until it’s light and fluffy.

  2. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure that the ingredients are mixed well by scraping the side of the bowl using the rubber spatula.
  3. In low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  4. Add the flour, bicarbonate soda, and salt. Mix until you have a smooth dough. Then add the dark chocolate and mix well. Taking a break from writing his awesome blog, Dan wants to help!
  5. Put about 6 cookie dough on each baking tray. Space them apart as they will spread when they are baking.
  6. Bake until the cookies are golden brown which is about 10 mins.
  7. Cool the cookies onto a cooling wire rack.
Cooling the peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

Cooling the peanut butter cookies © dan & tuesday

Pecan pie

I met Monette when we were in first grade (age 7) in school. Then we became neighbours in 1985. She recently moved to London to study and work, and after 8 months, she found her way on a megabus to visit me in Cardiff. Yay!

So, a special treat was in store for this wonderful visit. Drinks on Friday night with friends from work, Saturday brunch on my balcony and home-made dinner, and Sunday kedgeree brunch (from previous post) and trip to the beach.

I wanted to try a new dessert from one of the cookbooks I got for my birthday– I got 2 cookbooks from Dan and 2 from my brother and his wife. More on the other cookbooks in the next posts. For this pecan pie, I used a recipe from the hummingbird bakery cookbook.

It was a decision between pecan or key lime pie. Pecan won.

basic pie dough on tuesys hand © dan and tuesy

basic pie dough on tuesy's hand © dan and tuesy

You need:

  • Basic pie crust dough – the recipe I used will be for another post, here are some recipes
  • 100g chopped pecan nuts, leave some whole ones to put on top
  • 3 eggs
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250ml golden syrup – if you can find dark corn syrup, use that instead
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Tools

  • 23-cm pie dish
  • rolling pin
  • preheated oven at 170˚C

What to do:

  1. Dust a clean work surface in your kitchen with flour. Roll out the dough using the rolling pin. Line the pie dish with the dough and then trim the edges.
  2. In a large saucepan, put the sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to boil on medium heat then remove from the heat. Allow it to cool a little but don’t let it cool down completely or it will be very thick!
  3. In a bowl, whisk eggs until they are mixed. Pour the warm syrup into the eggs and stir quickly.
  4. Add butter and vanilla extract to the mixture until the butter has melted and evenly distributed.
  5. Put the chopped pecan nuts into the crust then pour the mixture on top of it. Put the remaining pecan nuts on top of the mixture, close to the edge.
  6. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until it is a caramel colour.
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream!

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Cappuccino cheesecake

cappuccino cheesecake © tuesday

cappuccino cheesecake © tuesday

With my oven’s thermostat fixed,  I’m so excited to try a new dessert. Something I haven’t done before. My first stop is the Divine: Heavenly Chocolate recipes book. It has wonderful recipes with beautiful images. This is the second recipe I’ve used from the book. The first one was the rich, dark chocolate cup cake.

The cheesecake turned out really well. It has a perfect texture and the coffee taste really works well with its creaminess.

Oh, I should remind you that this is best prepared the day before. Now how to make this gorgeous dessert…

You need:

biscuits © tuesy

biscuits © tuesday

For the base of the cheesecake

  • 1 bar of dark chocolate or Divine coffee chocolate (100g)
  • 50 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 200g Hob Nobs or digestive biscuits

crushing biscuits © tuesday

crushing biscuits © tuesday

For the cheesecake

  • 500g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
  • 125g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 1tbsp of hot water
  • 1 tbsp Kahlua (optional)
  • 2 large free range eggs

Dusting: cocoa powder

Tools:

  • 23cm spring based cake tin, greased, put on a baking tray
  • Oven pre-heat at 160˚C

What to do:

  1. melting chocolate © tuesday

    melting chocolate © tuesday

    Break the chocolate into small pieces, put in a heat-proof bowl with the diced unsalted butter. Melt together. If you have not done this before, you can read here.

  2. Crush the biscuits. I put them in a ziplock bag and then used a rolling pin.
  3. Once the chocolate with butter is melted, remove from heat and then add the crushed biscuit. Mix very well then tip the mixture into the cake tin. Press the mixture into the base of of the tin and halfway up the side. Chill.
  4. cheesecake mixture © tuesday

    cheesecake mixture © tuesday

    For the cheesecake, put all the filling ingredients in a food processor and run it until the mixture is smooth. Pour the filling on top of the cheesecake base.

  5. Bake for about 40 minutes until it has set then turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake and let it cool in the oven.
  6. Cover and let it chill overnight.

    © tuesday

    © tuesday

  7. A good trick in removing the cheesecake from a spring-based tin is by putting it on top of a tinned beans (or tomatoes) and then unclip to let the sides drop.
  8. Dust the cappuccino cheesecake heavily with cocoa.
  9. This can be stored but must eat within 4 days.
removing cheesecake from cake tin © tuesday

removing cheesecake from cake tin © tuesday

The photos I took for this recipe are also part of my project in the Intro to Photography class I am currently taking. The homework is take images that shows depth of field. If you have some time, please please please visit my flickr site by clicking here.

If you want to see the cappuccino cheesecake collection, you can click here. Or to see in a jazzy slideshow, click here.

Thanks! xx

Dark chocolate mousse

This was our noche buena dessert which is quite rich but wonderful and smooth like ice-cream. No ‘finish product’  pictures…

© kloza

dark chocolate mousse mix © kloza

You need:

For the mousse

  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 300g dark chococolate, break into small pieces
  • 125 unsalted butter
  • 500ml double cream or any whipping cream
  • cocoa powder (optional)

For the Baileys cream to go on top of the mousse – OPTIONAL

  • 200g mascaporne cheese
  • 75ml Baileys cream (I ran out of Baileys so I used Welsh cream)
  • 30g caster sugar

Tools

  • electric (hand) mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • heatproof bowl
  • serving bowls or ramekins

What to do:

  1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl using a hand mixer, gradually adding sugar. Whisk until lighty and airy. This takes from about 8 to 10 mins.

    beating the eggs © kloza

    beating the eggs © kloza

  2. Melt the dark chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl and put it over a pan of steaming (not boiling) hot water. If you haven’t done this before, I wrote a bit about doing this when I made this rich dark chocolate cupcake. Btw, use a wooden spoon!

    melting chocolate © kloza

    melting chocolate © kloza

  3. Add the chocolate mix to the egg mix (not the other way around!) gradually while running the mixer on medium speed. Whisk until it firms up a bit- the “loose ribbob stage” which means when the whisk is lifted, the mix is creating clear lines in the surface before it disappears
  4. Semi-whip the double cream then gently fold into the chocolate mixture.

    dark chocolate mousse mix © kloza

    dark chocolate mousse mix © kloza

  5. The original recipe suggests serving into bowls but when I do this next time, I will serve them on ramekins instead. It means more to go around!
  6. Chill for at least an hour before serving.
  7. Serve with the Baileys cream on top (recipe below) or with fruit or on its own.

OPTIONAL Baileys cream – can be made in advanced or just before serving

  1. Whisk the mascaporne cheese, Baileys cream and sugar. Stop whisking when it reach a soft peak consistency.
  2. Put a dollop on top of the mousse and dust with cocoa powder.

I found this recipe from The Guardian magazine.

View photos here.

Rich dark chocolate cup cake

This recipe is from my favourite dessert cookbook called Divine and it uses a lot of the Divine chocolates which some of you might know is a fairly traded chocolate.

In doing this recipe, I was trying out 3 things:

  1. my fan-assisted oven – I think the thermostat is not working properly and it emits too much heat. The first batch turned ok, a bit over-cooked around the edges but nice and soft inside. The second batch was quite burnt on the outside.
  2. cake & biscuit set – a gift from Tonet and Dino
  3. magimix 3200 compact food processor – I was deciding between a kitchenaid stand mixer or this food processor and decided to get the food processor this time and then think about getting the stand mixer another time. I want to learn how to make fabulous cakes and I read that a stand mixer is really good for making cake. For this recipe, I used the food processor to mix the cake and, you know, it’s not bad!

Now on to the recipe!

Melt 2 x 100g bars of Divine dark chocolate by breaking it relatively equal pieces. Put in a heatproof bowl and set it over steaming water (not boiling!). Be careful not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool.

Put 200g of very soft unsalted butter and 200g caster sugar in a bowl of your food processor or stand mixer if you have one – lucky you! Mix until light and creamy.

You will need 4 large free range eggs (at room temperature is best). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg.

Stir in the 100ml sour cream on low speed then mix the 200g self-raising flour. Lastly, mix the melted chocolate gently until it’s all mixed up well and the mixture is smooth and looks really yummy!

Now you can make them into cup cakes by spooning them in muffin cases or you can make it into a chocolate loaf using a loaf tin (greased and base-lined).

Cook at 180˚C (or much less if you have fan-assisted oven) for 20-25 mins or until firm.

Optional topping or “icing“: melt 1 x 100g bar of Divine dark chocolate and when it’s all melted stir in the 1 tbsp golden syrup and 25g unsalted butter.

Did you like it Dan? 🙂
It was delicious. And much tastier for having been so beautifully photographed…