Monday, 19 November 2012

Craving Chocolate

I had really big chocolate craving on the weekend and was inspired by my favourite blog, Posie Gets Cozy by Alicia Paulson, to try out this recipe for chocolate brownies. They were everything I wanted - easy to make, quick to cook and deliciously chocolatey.

This is my version of the recipe - I do own a set of 'cups' for measuring American style but I've converted some of the other ingredients into metric for those who, like me, find it easier to follow.
120g butter
100g dark chocolate broken into small pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs straight from the fridge
1/2 cup flour
few drops vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 170C (Gas 3, 325F). Grease and line an 8" square cake tin with parchment and set aside. Melt the butter gently in a saucepan and when hot remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir once and leave 'til the chocolate has melted. This doesn't take long and you can prepare the cake tin while you're waiting if you like. Stir the chocolate and butter mix until smooth and then beat in the sugar and salt (I tipped the chocolate into a bowl before doing this but you can use the saucepan if it's big enough). Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla if using and then add the flour. Mix until the flour is thoroughly incorporated. Tip the mix into the tray and bake for 30 minutes. I found the timings to be perfect and a skewer put into the middle came out clean. Leave the tin to cool on a wire rack and then remove from the tin. Dust with icing sugar and cut into 16 small squares.

These were sooo scrummy - particularly the corners with that lovely combination of chewy gooey centre and slightly crisp edges. I'm afraid they didn't stick around long...
I'm thinking that next time I'll add some toasted hazelnuts for nutty chocolate heaven!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Baby it's cold outside

It may be cold outside but on the weekend we had a go at making ice cream for the first time. We've always been fans of Margaritas so this recipe for Margarita ice cream  (from Nigella Express) sounded right up our alley. It was as simple as pie to make and positively scrumptious to eat!

Margarita Ice Cream
125ml lime juice
2 tablespoons Tequila
3 tablespoons Cointreau or Triple sec
150g icing sugar or powdered sugar
500ml double cream
Pour the lime juice, Tequila and Cointreau (or triple sec) into a bowl and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Add the double cream and softly whip until it is thick and smooth but not stiff. Spoon this into an air tight container and freeze overnight. There no need to churn it and it won't freeze too hard.
We found it was delicious served in Margarita glasses with salted rims (run a lime around the top of the glass to moisten and then dip in coarse sea salt) and a smattering of grated lime zest on top. Wow. Who cares if it's cold outside when you can put the heating up high and eat this.