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Archive for the ‘Traybakes’ Category

Ooh, now this is a lovely recipe. Does anyone remember the sticky Jamaica ginger cake from McVities? Is it still available?  Remember the top of the gingerbread loaf, so sticky and delicious? Perhaps my childhood nostaglia is taking over, and McVities’ offering isn’t so great, but in my mind it’s like a holy grail of gingerbread, and so difficult to replicate. Sometimes homemade gingerbread can be a bit dry and disappointing, and not very ginger-y at all. In this recipe, the Guinness really accentuates the ginger flavour and, along with the sour cream, makes the most moist crumb. The top is sticky, as gingerbread should be, and the flavours and stickiness only improve the next day. Be sure to use the freshest ground ginger you have, not the remains of some sad old jar only brought out from the back of the cupboard for Christmas baking. Lidl (and perhaps Aldi?) both sell ground ginger, so a great fresh flavour won’t break the bank. If you don’t have any ground cloves, you can grind some yourself using a pestle and mortar.

Recipe taken from Nigella’s most recent book, Kitchen. I love this book.

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The Baked Brownie

Phew! Where has the time gone? I honestly can’t believe that it’s almost April. It’s really great to see the hours of daylight (and, this week, sunlight) increasing and the mornings becoming brighter. It’s so much easier to feel enthusiastic about the cycle to college when it’s not against a practically-gale-force wind!

I’ve posted about brownies before. That recipe was for brownies that are fudgy and moist, and perhaps more ‘kid-friendly’ than the dark and densely chocolatey product of this recipe. The home of these brownies is the Baked coffee shop in Brooklyn, NY, a place I have unfortunately not yet visited, and, let me tell you, they are very good. The coffee brings out the dark depths of flavour in the chocolate and, just to see what would happen, I used chili cocoa powder instead of regular. Turns out I should have used more as the chili-ness was very subtle and in the background. I’ll ramp it up next time. The original recipe given below will fill a 9×13 inch baking tray or dish. I wasn’t sure that my waistline could handle that much brownie, so I halved the quantities and used an 8x8inch tin. I left the amount of coffee untouched as I don’t have any instant espresso (and I was damned if I was going to brew up a pot at 10pm) so I used regular, freeze-dried, instant, and I rounded up the halved egg quantity to 3. If you don’t have any unsalted butter, I think salted would work fine, just leave out the 1 tsp salt. When you read through the directions, the method can seem like a bit of hassle, but really, it’s all quite quick.

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I’ve never made blondies before. To be honest, I’d never really thought much about them.

Aren’t brownies better, anyway?

Turns out that brownies are great and all, but blondies are just a whole different animal. Imagine, if you will, a big, thick, chewy cookie. There’s never enough of the chewy part before you get to the thinner, crispier edges.  Enter: blondies. 🙂

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It has taken me a while to get around to this, but at the beginning of December I took part in my first Irish Foodies Cookalong! The cookalongs take place on the first Friday of every month, and the theme for December is Christmas!

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Another weekend almost gone…it feels like we’re on a landslide towards Christmas. I think all my crazy hours in college trying to push through my thesis are making the weeks just blur into each other. It feels like just yesterday all the undergrads came back on campus and started clogging up the coffee queues, and now the end-of-semester exams are just a few weeks away! Eeep! Boy am I glad that I don’t have any written exams anymore! That thought make me almost content in my thesis-writing! 😀

I made these bars earlier this week. I felt in the mood for something ‘fruity’, and remembered that bag of frozen raspberries that I have been ignoring for too long now. The recipe is from ‘Baked: New Frontiers in Baking’, a book which was also being ignored for too long! These bars, though referred to as breakfasty, are really suitable as a little snack any time of the day. Not too sugary, so the raspberry and lemon combo shine through and give a bit of a tang.

In other news, I reaquainted myself with the gym this morning. I felt creaky!

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Simple, store-cupboard ingredients. A cinch to make. It’s a light, sweet chocolate cake that’s moist and sticky. Made with cocoa, and not dark chocolate so the result is quite sweet. Not so sweet that we could stop at one piece, mind, but it doesn’t have the dark, deep chocolatey taste of a brownie. I made half the recommended quantity of icing – I used a smaller tin and thus had a smaller surface area to ice and, anyway, I don’t like a thick layer of icing. I used the full amount of pecans though 🙂

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Blueberry Traybake

I have a bad baking relationship with blueberries. No matter how delicately I coat them in flour, or how gentle I am while folding them into the mixture, they are on a high-speed one-way trip to the bottom of the tin. They still taste good though, and I suppose that’s what matters!

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