Archive for the Dessert Category

Crostata di marmellata: Daring Bakers’ Life of Pie

Posted 27 June 2013 by
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Crostata di marmellata — that’s Italian jam tart to you and me. This was a Daring Bakers challenge, and one of four pie options to choose from. The other pies looked amazing , and I was seriously tempted to bake some of those too, but with only so many people around to help eat them, I stuck to just this one.

Strawberry jam crostata

I haven’t baked with sweet enriched pastry before, and it turned out to be quite a challenge, particularly on a warm day. As a result, I was a little disappointed with the apparance of the finished tart, but it was really tasty, and that’s the main thing.

Crostata di marmellata

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Nutella Swirl Brownies

Posted 27 May 2013 by
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I made these nutella swirl brownies to take to the end-of-year “party” to celebrate completing a course I’m doing. (When I say “party” — of course I mean a portfolio discussion helped along by Pringles, brownies and orange Matchmakers). The brownies were a hit, especially with my tutor, and were hopefully enough of a bribe to ensure that I pass.

Nutella swirled brownie batter

That day was a bit of a rush, so I needed something quick and easy, brownies being the obvious choice that sprung to mind. Nutella* seems such a natural addition to brownies, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it before. Oh but wait, I have… This time, I wasn’t going for a nutty brownie, I just wanted the nutella to add an extra bit of yumminess, which it did. These are seriously good.

Nutella swirl brownies

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The Baked Brownie

Posted 18 April 2013 by
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This recipe for chocolate brownies comes from the Baked: New Frontiers in Baking recipe book by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. The Baked brownies are somewhat of an Internet Sensation and they are… well they’re pretty amazing. They’re chocolatey, rich, dark and fudgy. Not for the cake-y brownie enthusiast, and not for people who don’t like their chocolate really dark. Possibly not ideal for kids, although I witnessed one big brownie being happily devoured by a 5 year old. Oprah is a big fan, apparently, and who can blame her? I would definitely use this as a “go to” brownie recipe, depending on who I was making them for.

A chocolate brownie on a plate

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Jamie Oliver’s Chocolate Yule Log

Posted 22 December 2012 by
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This seasonal recipe for chocolate and chestnut yule log is from Jamie Oliver. A chocolate yule log is really an essential for me at Christmas. Having tried recipes from Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith, I thought I’d give Jamie’s a go this year.

An iced chocolate yule og on a plate

I like chocolate logs because of their chocolate-y goodness, but also because they evoke the ancient European yule tradition of bringing a log into the house in the depths of winter. That’s bound to make you feel all warm and cosy at this time of year.

Making your own yule log from scratch means making a swiss roll, which can be a bit scary if you haven’t attempted this before. Never fear though, it’s actually very easy.

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Squidgy Chocolate Log (Delia)

Posted 4 December 2012 by
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Christmas just ain’t Christmas without a chocolate yule log. Two years ago, I made Nigella Lawson’s Bûche de Noël. That was a huge success, absolutely delicious, but last year I decided to try a different one and made a squidgy chocolate log with this recipe from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. Again, this recipe is flourless, giving a light sponge.

Chocolate yule log on a plate

Now, you may notice that Delia’s version is not smothered with lashings of chocolate ganache or buttercream, but the cream and chocolate mousse filling means that this log is still extremely indulgent, and well worth a try.

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Pecan Pie

Posted 22 November 2012 by
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I thought I’d make some pecan pie as a nod to American Thanksgiving, which is today. I used this recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. I love pecan pie, the nuts go so well with the toffee-like syrup. Corn syrup is not very easy to get hold of in the UK, although you can get it online. If you can’t get any, you can substitute golden syrup, or a combination of golden syrup and black treacle.

Pecan pie

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Maple Mousse in Nutmeg Tuile Cups (Daring Bakers)

Posted 28 April 2011 by
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The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

The suggestion for the edible container for the mousse was bacon. Now, I love bacon. And, I do appreciate some sweet/salty combos, eg. sweet & sour Chinese, chocolate peanut butter cups etc. but for me, bacon dessert is taking things a bit too far. I was thinking of making something white chocolate-y for the edible cup, but I thought that would be too sweet with all the maple syrup, so I decided to make a nutmeg tuile cup.

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Nigella’s Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake

Posted 17 April 2011 by
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Fancy a chocolate cake without flour? Whether you’re looking for a gluten-free cake, or just something a bit lighter than normal chocolate cake, this is definitely worth a try. The recipe is Nigella Lawson’s flourless chocolate and lime cake. You could use orange instead of lime, or omit the fruit altogether if you want a pure chocolate flavour. To make it flourless, the recipe uses ground almonds instead of flour.

A slice of Nigella's flourless chocolate lime cake with a fork

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Panna Cotta and Florentines (Daring Bakers)

Posted 27 February 2011 by
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It’s time for February’s Daring Bakers challenge. Unfortunately real life got in the way a little this month, and I will need to do this one again to get the full range of photos!

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

Florentine with chocolate drizzled on

I’m not too keen on Florentines usually, but luckily this recipe was a little different.

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Joconde Imprime Entremet (Daring Bakers)

Posted 27 January 2011 by
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A little while ago, I joined the Daring Bakers, and January marked my first Daring Bakers challenge. It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever made.

Completed joconde imprime cake with brown and white sponge, topped with Chantilly cream

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

If you’ve never heard of some of the words in the paragraph above, you’re not alone. When I first read the instructions for this challenge I was intimidated to say the least. The biscuit joconde imprime is a fancy French sponge made from two separate parts that  make a design that’s visible on the outside of the finished cake. the sponge, which forms only the outer layer of the cake, is filled with the ”entremet”. If this doesn’t make much sense, hopefully the pictures will enlighten! The challenge provided a recipe for the joconde imprime, but we had to make the entremet up ourselves. I decided on a chocolate hazelnut brownie base, with chocolate nutella cream, topped with chai tea flavoured Chantilly cream. I had no idea if this would work, but it did!

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