Sunday, 30 June 2013

Peanut Butter Slutty Brownies


I first heard about slutty brownies through a friend who was raving about them being the best brownie in the world. Of course I googled them and found out how to make them from this great blog from The Londoner - http://www.thelondoner.me/2011/06/slutty-brownies.html.

Slutty brownies get their name because they are so easy to make and oh so naughty. Made up of a layer of cookie, a layer of Oreo cookies and a layer of brownie, it doesn't get much more indulgent than this!



Generally they are made with cookie and brownie mix but I much prefer to make it all from scratch. I adapted one of my favourite cookie recipes which I got from Jo Wheatley's book A Passion for Baking and I took a Brownie recipe from here and adapted it slightly.

Start off making the cookie batter

You'll need:
100g margarine
100g peanut butter (I use crunchy but you could use smooth)
60g demerera sugar
60g caster sugar
1 egg
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
60g dark or milk chocolate, roughly chopped

Grease a square cake pan. My pan is approx 8x9 inches and was perfect size.

Beat the margarine, peanut butter and both sugars together until flight and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and mix until combined and the dough comes together. Add the chocolate last.

Pop the cookie batter in the cake pan and bake for approx 20 minutes in an oven at 180ºC, 160ºC fan oven, Gas Mark 4. You want the cookie batter to be baked, even though it's going to go back into the oven it won't be overcooked and will stay gooey.




While the cookie is baking the oven you can start on the brownie mix.

You will need:
55g margarine
140g plain chocolate
3 eggs
225g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
40g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g cocoa powder
55g creme fraiche
200g peanut m&ms (frozen)

First, melt the margarine and chocolate over a bain-marie. In a seperate bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Stir in the melted chocolate and whisk. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add the creme fraiche and one third of the m&ms.

Once the cookie is ready, remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 170ºC, 150ºC fan oven, Gas mark 3. Now lay the oreo cookies on top of the cookie before adding the brownie mix.








Sprinkle another third of the m&ms on the top before putting in the oven.


After 30 minutes in the oven, remove the brownie and sprinkle the final third of m&ms on top and put back in the oven.



Leave in the oven for another 20-25 minutes.



Leave to cool thoroughly on a wire rack before removing from the pan and cutting into squares.



This makes 12 generously sized brownies. I like them enough just on their own but you may want to eat them warm with ice cream mmmm.






Sunday, 9 June 2013

A boozy bake for Father's Day - Guinness Cake with Baileys Icing



We've never really celebrated Father's Day in my house. Not because we're mean but because my dad's never really wanted to.

However one day when I have kids of my own we'll celebrate Father's Day and I can't think of a better gift than a home baked cake.

Guinness cake is probably my favourite cake in the world and because of the booze it always appeals to the men in my life. I think it's the perfect bake for Father's Day.

This isn't your standard sponge cake, the mix is very wet but don't worry it will bake all the way through eventually. It also doesn't rise much and stays quite flat so don't worry if it's already almost filling the tin before you bake it. I use an 9 inch springform tin which is the perfect size.

Here's the recipe which I've taken from Nigella.com and slightly adapted.

Ingredients
250ml Guinness
250g margarine
75g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
150ml sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
275g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method
1. Grease and line an 8 inch round cake tin.
2. Melt the margarine (I prefer to do this in the microwave but you can also melt in a saucepan or in a bain-marie).
3. Mix the Guinness with the melted margarine.
4. Whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar.
5. In a seperate bowl beat the eggs, sour cream and vanilla together and then add to the Guinness mixture.
6. Pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for approx 45 minutes - NB I find that generally cooking time varies from oven to oven so just keep an eye on it and test it is cooked all the way through by inserting a cocktail stick into the centre. If it comes out clean the cake is ready to come out of the oven.
7. Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack.

This cake doesn't really need icing as it's so moist but if like me you think a cake seems naked without a bit of icing I recommend this recipe for Baileys icing.



Ingredients
225g cream cheese
125ml Baileys
300g icing sugar

Method
Whisk the cream cheese, sieve in the icing sugar and mix well until combined. Whisk in the Baileys. If the mixture is too runny you can add more icing sugar.

Smother over the cake and enjoy.



You can also make this cake in two smaller tin (8 inches),
sandwiching them together with the cream cheese icing