I have to say, when it comes to baking sweet treats and I know I need to impress, I will always go for my brownies because I know they are fantastic. They are light. They are gooey. They are full of flavour. And they are always a crowd pleaser.
With so much chocolate in the house after Easter, I have reached that stage when I am past snacking and moving towards hulk-raging every time I see a chocolate egg. I just want it out of the house! Either that or I will eat all of it. So, when I reach this stage, I pull out the old brownie recipe and make some delicious treats. Now, you don’t have to use your Easter chocolate to make these brownies, but I opted to simply so I don’t eat all.of.the.chocolate. It’s a nice way to share it around and I like to think it makes the brownies a little more guilt free (even though they really shouldn’t be with everything else that is in them!) Not that you should feel guilty eating anything – by the way – it’s just the way I like to the Easter eat-a-thon I always find myself on.
- 185g butter
- 250g – 300g chocolate (based on how chocolately you want them)
- 85g self raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 100g white chocolate
- 4 eggs
- 275g sugar
- Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Keep on a low heat so not to burn the chocolate. When everything has melted, leave on the side to cool.
- Heat the oven to 160C/GM4 with a tray in the middle.
- Tip the flour and the cocoa powder in a bowl. Separate the egg yolks from the whites by placing the yolks with the flour and the whites in a separate bowl.
- Add the sugar to the whites and whisk together until the mixture is pale and doubled in size. Fold in the chocolate concoction so not to knock the air out. Then fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and yolks until all combined.
- Transfer the mixture into a baking tray which you have lined with baking paper.
- Put your white chocolate into a sandwich bag and smash with a rolling pin until it is in little shards. Then, sprinkle the chocolate on top of mixture and bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool and then serve.
And there you have it! A really simple recipe to make some really delicious brownies. Make sure you give this recipe a go and let me know how you get on.
Round two of the pumpkin recipes and this one I have to say is my favourite.
I am a keen baker. To be honest, I’m a little too obsessed with it. It has become my unhealthy coping mechanism and, if I’m stressed, the house is normally littered in little bakes that I have made to try to chase the stress away. So, when faced with a mountain of pumpkin and not an awful lot of inspiration for what to do with it, I turned to the internet to find the perfect little recipe. Like with the soup (which you can read here if you’d like), there were many lovely recipes out there and various variations to choose from so I’ve taken little nuggets from each to create my own.
Can I just say how surprised I was with these? The soup didn’t feel like it could really go wrong – I mean, it is just veg – but the cupcakes felt like I was daring chaos to come and ruin everything, like I was shoving two fingers up at baking gods and saying ‘give it your best shot’. Well, either the baking gods weren’t paying attention or they were mature enough to rise above my insults because the bakes were delicious. They are the perfect blend of Halloween and winter, and the smell from the delicious spices filled the room the room for ages afterwards – so much so that we just had to start watching christmas specials! Now, I’m not saying that you will all get tinselitous if you bake these cupcakes but that I think they are very close to being my new winter season treats because they seem to su up everything I love about these colder months. So, please, give this recipe a go and let me know what you think!
- 280g self-raising flour.
- 100g cocoa powder.
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice.
- 110g butter.
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 180ml milk.
- 250g pumpkin, cooked and pureed (though, to be honest, I just mashed it).
- Icing to decorate.
- Preheat an oven to 190C/ Gas 5. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin cases. Sift together the flour, spices, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until you get a light, fluffy mixture. Gradually add the egg and flour mixture. Stir in milk and pumpkin after your last egg has been added and then stir until smooth(ish).
- Pour mixture into cases and cook for around 25 minutes. Then allow to cool before decorating (if you want to).
- Enjoy with a nice hot chocolate and a lovely seasonal film.
And there you have it! They are really that simple. I am honestly so proud of these little bakes and cannot recommend them enough.
Until next time,
I love autumn. I love the weather. I love the colours. I love the festivities. And I love the pumpkins. However, I really dislike the mess that accompanies anything to do with pumpkins – it gets everywhere! – and it always seems like such a shame to waste so much veg simply for decoration. So this year, I thought I would try and minimize some of the waste and have a go at making something. Now, I’ve never really been one for pumpkins in the past, but I think that was a result of some quickly cobbled recipe and it never really tasted that nice.
This year, I’ve prepared myself a little more. I’ve picked two recipes to give a go and I thought I would let you know my experience for each so that you can always give it a go if you want to.
The first recipe I tried was Pumpkin soup. As the weather gets colder and wetter and windier, there is honestly nothing better than a nice bowl of soup. I also think there’s not a lot that can go wrong with soup – well, so far that’s what I’ve found anyway!
I found a few recipes online for a range of various variations of the same dish, but decided to give it a little tweak to make it my own. I’ve given it the inventive name of ‘St-oup’ because the final product was halfway between a soup and a stew. I think if I had liquidized it more it would have been more soup like but, regardless, it was lovely.
The finished product was absolutely lovely and full of scrummy flavours – which is good because it made bloody millions! So here you go. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
- Leftover Pumpkin – around 1 pumpkin worth.
- 2 carrots.
- 2 parsnips.
- 2000ml crème fraiche.
- 3-4 rashers of bacon.
- 1 garlic clove.
- 1 tsp Mixed herbs.
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper.
- 1 stp cumin.
What to do:
- Place pumpkin in a saucepan and boil for around 5-10 minutes. Then, take off heat and mash until you have a mixture which is somewhat smooth and somewhat lumpy but lovely and orange.
- While the pumpkin is cooking, chop the carrots and the parsnips into chunks and put on to cook in boiling water. Once cooked, add to the pumpkin and mashed.
- Cut the onions and bacon into small chunk and fry in a small saucepan with the crushed garlic clove until browned. Then, add to the veggy mush.
- Return the saucepan with the veggy-bacony goodness to the heat and stir in the crème fraiche until smooth and lovely. Then add the herbs and spices – tasting as you doo.
- Turn off the heat and serve in bowls with some tasty crusty bread.
And it is really that simple. I am freezing my leftovers so that I can enjoy later in the season so if you are overwhelmed by the amounts you can always follow suit.
I hope you’re having a lovely holiday season.
Until next time,