Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate chip cookies

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Sorry for the long delay in posting – life has been busy in a wonderful way. I’ve spent time in Cambridge with friends, and been unexpectedly offered a wonderful and exciting job as a research assistant for the next year! Now I get to stop looking at NHS jobs every 10 minutes before leaping into a panicked flurry of typing in case I miss a position that can be up for as little as 5 minutes. I get to stop worrying about what I’m going to do for new work experience this year. I get to stop living in the glum irony that trying to become a clinical psychologist is basically terrible for your mental well-being. Life is excellent. And now I get to thank my employers and work experience organisers through a medium which I find far less socially awkward than my usual rambling “thanks, really, thanks, no seriously, thanks” etc etc. Baking! Tonight I am baking for a large number of ladies in a child psychology department, so clearly chocolate chip cookies are the answer. I used this recipe. It’s good. Life is good. Good things are good.

packedcookies

Ingredients:
200g brown sugar
100g caster sugar
170g butter, room temperatures
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
200g dark chocolate chips

Makes 36 small cookies, or 18 big cookies
Calories: 120 when making 36; 240 when making 18
Takes 15 minutes to make, 10 minutes to bake

Preheat the oven to 190C/fan170C. Cream the butter with the two sugars. Stir in the eggs and vanilla, then add the flour, salt and baking powder. When everything is evenly combined, stir in the chocolate chips.

Put a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Put balls of cookie dough on the paper 8cm apart, 1 tbsp in size for small cookies, 3 tbsp for large cookies. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they’re golden brown and starting to crisp around the edges. Leave to cool four a couple of minutes before transferring them to cooling racks.

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Yoghurt brownies

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You know when you buy something and can’t remember what you intended to do with it? Normally this is fine. Vegetables just go into whatever I was planning to make next. The rest goes into either the freezer or pantry until I actually need it. Or else I just eat it. But the thing with Greek yoghurt is that I love how it tastes when something has been done to it, but I don’t like it quite enough to eat an entire pot. So… brownies! What I really like about these brownies isn’t just the taste – it’s how easy they are to deal with after baking. They’re rich and chocolately, not too sweet, gooey like all brownies should be, but the yoghurt makes them lighter and somehow holds them together better. You don’t need to leave them to set. You don’t need to be careful taking them out of the pan. Just take them out of the oven, slice, and eat. Beautiful.

yogbrownieslice

Ingredients:
150g dark chocolate (I used 70% Lindt)
150g butter
80g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
160g golden granulated sugar
200g Greek yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Makes 12 brownies
Calories: 290
Takes 20 minutes to make, 20 minutes to bake

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C. Put the dark chocolate and butter in a bowl, and put the bowl on top of a small saucepan filled with about an inch of water over a medium heat. Melt them, stirring occasionally, and then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Stage two: Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl, and then mix in the sugar and vanilla extract. Pour in the chocolate-butter mixture and stir until everything is combined, then add the yoghurt, and finally stir in the eggs. You’ll now have a thick, glossy batter.

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Stage three: Dollop the batter into a 20x20cm baking tin, and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You can tell a brownie is done by gently shaking the tin, and if the brownie doesn’t wobble, it’s done.

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Chocolate twists

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Apparently I don’t put enough chocolate in this bog. Fine. I’ll keep it simple. The chocolate twists in Costa have always looked beautiful and totally replicable at home, and guess what? They are!

chocpuffs

Ingredients:
350g puff pastry
100g dark chocolate
1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp butter

Makes 6 twists
Calories: 340
Takes 25 minutes to make

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 200C/fan180C. I used Gordon Ramsay’s recipe to make 350g of puff pastry. Roll it out into a rectangle such that the pastry is the thickness of a pound coin and measures 20cm by 30cm. Then, with the long side of the rectangle facing you, slice it from top to bottom into 6 even strips (each 20cm long).

Stage two: Chop up the dark chocolate. Gently press the chocolate chunks along the centre of each pastry strip.

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Stage three: Pinch the sides of each strip together to seal in the chocolate. Then, gently twist each strip into a spiral and lay it on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect, when they’re in the oven they’re going to split open a bit and some chocolate will seep out. There is nothing you can do about this, and they actually look better that way. Embrace the imperfection in oozing chocolate form. Finally, melt a tablespoon of butter, and then brush it over the top of each roll.

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Stage four: Bake for 10-12 minutes until they go golden on top. Sprinkle icing sugar over them. Enjoy while hot!

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Melty chocolate pudding

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Chocolate pudding is important, and it has to be done right. It has to be seriously chocolatey and gooey, and preferably not too sweet so you don’t think that it will give you a heart attack. Given my love for chocolate pudding, and my belief that a Joy the Baker can do no culinary wrong, this post was only a matter of time. These puddings are in Joy’s cookbook as the single lady chocolate cake, which is ironic because I also had to make one for my husband. Anyway, they’re delicious. They’re cakey on the outside and full of oozy chocolate. They’re basically a grown-up version of my student chocolate quick-fix. FYI, if you don’t have access to fresh ingredients or an oven, my student recipe is: put 2 tbsp plain flour, 2 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tbsp water in a mug, mix well, and microwave for 30-40 seconds. Joy’s pudding is definitely tastier, although my student recipe is 6 times faster!

Ingredients:
75g dark chocolate
40g butter
30g granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp plain flour
a pinch of salt

Serves 2 (easily halved or multiplied)
Calories: 400
Takes 20 minutes

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 190C, put a baking tray in the oven, and butter 2 ramekins. Put the chocolate and butter in a bowl on top of a pan a quarter filled with boiling water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Stir until the chocolate and butter have melted, and then remove from the heat.

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Stage two: Whisk in the sugar, then the eggs, and then the salt and flour until you have a smooth mixture. Pour into the ramekins, and put them in the oven on the baking tray.

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Stage three: Bake for 7-10 minutes until they’re as cooked as you would like them. I prefer mine less cooked, so I ate it straight out of the ramekin as I assumed it would collapse if I tried to take it out. I love the way it cracks open to let you peek at the inside! However, if you’re feeling fancy or prefer your cake actually baked, carefully turn the ramekin onto a plate. Enjoy!

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Double chocolate cookies

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Cooking and baking are totally different skills. I find it really difficult to stick to recipes when I’m cooking, always wanting to add things or change the methods, and I don’t care. As long as you keep tasting as you go it almost doesn’t matter what you do because you can usually save it. Baking I find trickier because all you’ve got is the batter plus extras, and while I love batter you still can’t count on it giving you the end result you want. If you’re adding fruit, is it going to dissolve into a mush in the oven? (And if it does, is there any way of renaming whatever comes out that will make it sound deliberate?) Did I add too much butter? What is another egg really going to do? Which brings me to these cookies, which are the first non-recipe-using baked goods that I am sharing on this blog, and I know it’s wrong to brag but I think they’re great! Crunchy outside, chewy inside, very chocolatey (despite humble cocoa powder beginnings), sweet but not too sweet, with great big chunks of white chocolate with every bite. Yum.

bwcookies

Ingredients:
125g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder (I use Green & Black’s, which is wonderful)
100g caster sugar
50g dark brown sugar
150g butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
80g white chocolate, roughly chopped, or chocolate chips

Makes about 20 medium-sized cookies
Calories: 120
Takes 5-10 minutes to put together, 12-14 minutes to bake

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 190C/fan170C.

Stage two: Cream the butter with the sugars, then add the egg and vanilla extract. Next, add the cocoa powder and beat until the mixture is evenly a dark brown. Mix in the self-raising flour until you can’t see any white bits, and finally add the white chocolate. You will now have a firm batter. As usual, I rejected spooning out the mixture in favour of getting my hands stuck in it. Anyway, put the cookies on a baking tray in balls about a heaped tablespoon in size.

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Stage three: Bake for 12-14 minutes. They won’t immediately feel firm to the touch when you take them out of the oven, but if you leave them on the baking tray 5 minutes before sliding them off to cool then they’ll set. I love the contrasting colours of the dark cookie and white chocolate when you bite in.

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White chocolate cranberry oat cookies

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White chocolate cranberry oat cookies is a mouthful to say, and also to eat. I used smitten kitchen’s recipe as a base, but then changed a few things up and switched from cups to grams. I love putting oats in cookies because it makes me feel healthy when eating cookies. These oats were intended for porridge, which means these cookies are basically porridge, right? I love how chewy these cookies are, and you can really taste the brown sugar. Which I also love. I’m happy. The boiler has been replaced and now I have cookies.

coolingcookies

Ingredients:
120g butter at room temperature
1 medium egg
150g dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
110g plain flour
150g porridge oats
40g dried cranberries
40g white chocolate, chopped

Makes about 15 cookies
Calories: 190
Takes about 20 minutes to make, 10-15 minutes to bake

Stage one: Preheat the oven to 170C. Then beat the butter, egg and sugar until smooth. Now add the baking powder, cinnamon and flour until just mixed. I did this with an electric mixer.

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Stage two: Time to leave the electric mixer, because the rest of the ingredients are going to make the mixture very thick. Also, I like to get my hands stuck in it. Maybe you could do it with a spoon if you really wanted to, but the cookies are too thick to dollop so you’ll probably get your hands messy anyway. Anyway, now add in the oats and mix until evenly distributed. Finally, mix in the cranberries and chocolate.

Stage three: Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. Roughly ball the cookies in the palm of your hand and put on baking trays in whatever size you prefer. Mine were the size of about 2 walnuts. I’m sure there’s a better way to describe the size, but all I have in my head is walnuts. Pop in the oven and bake until golden around the edges. This will take 10-15 minutes, depending on how big the cookies are and how crispy you want them. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes before putting on cooling racks.

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Raspberry brownies

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Raspberry brownies are one of your five a day. Yes, you’ll need to eat 8 of them, but that’s not necessarily a problem. The base of these brownies is from BBC good food, which is by far the best brownie recipe I have ever tasted. My rule for whether a brownie is good is whether it tastes more chocolatey than chocolate. I need it to smack me in the mouth with chocolate. This brownie does. It is chewy and gooey and not too sweet. It is good to take to picnics and things that are summery and wonderful.

tupperware

Ingredients:
185g unsalted butter
185g dark chocolate
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
50g white chocolate
3 medium/large eggs
200g caster sugar
75g dark brown sugar
150g raspberries

Serves: 16
Calories: 280
Time taken: 1 hour to make, 1 hour to cool

Stage one: Roughly chop up the butter and break up the dark chocolate into chunks, then put them in a glass bowl. Quarter fill a small saucepan with boiling water, then put the glass bowl on top so that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the boiling water. Heat gently until the butter and chocolate have melted. Carefully remove them from the heat and set aside to cool.

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Stage two: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C. Prep a 20×20 baking pan. I have a wonderful silicon pan that I prep by taking out of the cupboard and putting on the counter, which suits me very well. Sift the flour and the cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside. Roughly chop the white chocolate into whatever size chunks you like best. If you want to use chocolate chips then that’s good too. I prefer to make my own chocolate chunks because I get more control over what kind of chocolate is going in, and how big the chunks are. Also the chocolatey crumbs make me happy.

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Stage three: Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and doubled in size. Then, using a wooden spoon, very gently mix the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mix until mottled. You don’t need to overdo it, because when you add the dry mix it will all come together.

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Stage four: Mix in the dry mixture until you can’t see any flour left. Then add the white chocolate and half of the raspberries and give a quick stir. Pour/scoop it into your brownie pan, then pop the remaining raspberries on top.

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Stage five: Pop in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. This time can vary, especially since my oven is really really keen so it may well take longer in less hyper ovens. You can tell when the brownie is done by gently shaking it from side to side. If the brownie wobbles (a little wobble is OK, an earthquake is less OK) then bake 5 minutes more. If you prefer a firmer brownie then bake for longer. Wait 15 mins before even trying to take the brownies out of the pan to avoid a gooey mess everywhere, then put on the cooling rack. The cooling stage is actually what makes all the difference in this brownie. I prefer raw cake mix to most cakes so I assumed that this rule did not apply to me, but no, the brownie is a million times better an hour after coming out of the oven. Trust me.

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