Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brownies

Regular readers will know how much I love a good brownie and that this recipe has become my go to recipe for brownies. It's become so popular that friends always ask me for the recipe and I've yet to find a better chocolate brownie - if you know of one please let me know!

I love to play about with this recipe to try out different flavour combinations and with raspberries in season (finally!) I decided to try and create a Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brownie. I looked at other cream cheese brownie recipes to figure out how to make the cream cheese layer work and even though I winged it to an extent it was a success - woop!


As always, it's simple, easy and quick. In the time it takes for the butter and chocolate to melt I can sort the other aspects of the mixture then quickly bung it all in the oven. 

Often I meet people who are scared of baking or am amazed that I can bake with a small baby but it's all about finding the right recipe. Start with the basics and you will surprise yourself - often it's even easier than it looks! These brownies are so simple and if you feel daunted by the cream cheese layer just leave it out and bake for 10 minutes less.

Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brownies
250g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
200g unsalted butter
250g soft dark brown sugar
3 eggs
50g plain flour
Punnet of raspberries
250g marscapone
80g caster sugar
1 egg yolk

  • Preheat the oven to 170C (fan)
  • Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water
  • Whisk the sugar and eggs until doubled in volume
  • Fold in the melted chocolate and butter mix
  • Fold in the flour
  • Pour the mix into the tin
  • Push a handful of raspberries into the mixture
  • Whisk the cream cheese, sugar and egg together
  • Pour over the brownie mix
  • Tumble in the remaining raspberries
  • Place in the over for 45 minutes until the cream cheese topping has a slight wobble and it golden round the edges
Enjoy!





Monday, 27 June 2016

Chocolate Pavlova


I fully intended to publish this Chocolate Pavlova recipe last Friday but with the results of the EU Referendum I just didn't feel like it was the time or the place to think about blogging while we were all trying to get our heads round the result. 

I'm still shocked that "Leave" won (even by such a small margin) and I genuinely fear for our future and what it means for us all. How will it affect Ireland both North and South and could it see the break-up of the whole of the UK? I just dread to think....

For now I am focusing on the happy things - Mr T, our wee Ethan and of course baking!

A few weeks back some of our friends were hosting a BBQ and as usual I volunteered to bring a pud. I wanted something summery, quick and easy and even though I had made my Summer Pavlova recently I still wanted to make something different. I got thinking about making a chocolate dessert which eventually led me to the idea of a Chocolate Pavlova. Nigella has a great recipe for a chocolate meringue and I opted to make a chocolate ganache instead of using cream and once again decorated it with an abundance of berries.

The Pavlova was a great hit with everyone, I just need an excuse to make it again!


Chocolate Pavlova
6 egg whites
300g caster sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder sieved
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
50g dark chocolate finely chopped

To Decorate
300ml double cream
200g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
A variety of berries
  • Preheat the oven to 160C (fan)
  • Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and draw a circle on it approximately 23cm in diameter or the size of your serving plate
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff and cloud-like
  • Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time which should result in a glossy meringue
  • Whisk in the cocoa and vinegar
  • Fold in the chocolate gently until well combined
  • Dollop the meringue on the baking parchment using the circle you previously drew as a guide
  • Place in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 140C (fan)
  • Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until firm to the touch 
  • Leave the meringue to cool in the oven which will give you that gorgeous marshmallowy filling
  • Melt the chocolate and cream together in a pan over a low heat
  • Mix until well combined and smooth and glossy
  • Place in the fridge to cool and firm up. You want it to be firm enough to spread without sliding off the meringue
  • Once the meringue is cool dollop on the chocolate ganache and scatter over the fruit
Enjoy!



Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Summer Pavlova



Do you remember that brief spell of sunshine that we had a few weeks ago? What happened to it? It’s been grim ever since and I’m starting to wonder will summer ever arrive.

In the hope and anticipation that posting some summer recipes with you this week will encourage the sun to shine I’ve two delicious pavlova recipes to share with you all.


I absolutely adore pavlova and every time I make it I think I must make it again as it’s so quick and easy but then I never do (I seriously need to rectify this!). It’s the sort of bake that I can whip up during Ethan’s nap time which appear to be getting shorter and shorter. I’m lucky if he naps for more than 30mins at a time during the day so any baking I do has to be in the oven within 30mins or less.

So…. Pavlova! The one recipe I can rely on for a beautifully crisp meringue and a soft and chewy centre is by good old reliable Mary Berry. This recipe comes from her Baking Bible which I find myself turning to more and more when I’m in the mood to bake but don’t want anything overly complicated.

I decided to bake this when I caught up with the NCT girls thinking the sun would shine but I must have jinxed us as the rain poured all day! At least it gave us the taste of summer even if it was miserable outside.

I also decorated it with an abundance of fruit so at least it counted as one of our five a day haha. Honestly, at the moment I need to glue my mouth shut when it comes to food but a pavlova is healthier than a chocolate cake… yes??



Summer Pavlova
4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp white wine vinegar

To decorate
300ml double cream
Selection of berries
Handful of white chocolate chips
  • Preheat the oven to 140C (fan)
  • Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and draw a circle on it approximately 23cm in diameter or the size of your serving plate
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff and cloud-like
  • Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time which should result in a glossy meringue
  • Mix the cornflour with the vinegar and whisk into the meringue
  • Dollop the meringue on the baking parchment using the circle you previously drew as a guide
  • Place in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 130C (fan)
  • Bake for 1 hour until firm to the touch and a pale beige in colour
  • Leave the meringue to cool in the oven which will give you that gorgeous marshmallowy filling
  • Once cool whisk the cream until thick
  • Spread the cream over the meringue
  • Scatter over the berries and chocolate chips

Enjoy!