Friday Food: No Bake TimTam Slice

SliceI bought the Better Homes and Gardens June 2016 magazine purely for the almost free doughnut tin- it was an extra 50 cents added onto the price of the magazine. I do have one somewhere,  but it was for smaller doughnuts. There is an extra doughnut recipe book, and I plan to make some of the special Doggie Treat doughnuts for The Labradors.  I have stopped buying magazines as I can access them all on my Ipad through the Zinio For Libraries App. They are always there to download and best of all: free! I take screenshots of the recipes I like.

This is all by means of a segue to Friday Food: Choc-espresso Martini slice. Arnott's have brought out more weird and wonderfully flavoured TimTams, and when I say flavoured, I do mean flavoured: there is no actual peanut butter in the Peanut Butter TimTams, no actual banana in the Choc-Banana, no Espresso Martinis in the Espresso Martini Biscuits either. There is some coffee powder and coffee bean, that's something at least.

Timtam weird flavours

You could use any flavour TimTam, or I think any biscuit of the same ilk. Maybe Mint Slice would be good?? There are 9 biscuits in a packet, so the recipe uses 18 in all- 330g. There is no baking, a little heating of chocolate and waiting about while the slice chills in the fridge. It is very easy, and apart from TimTams, the ingredients are basic pantry items. I can't taste it, but what could go wrong with TimTams and even more chocolate???

NB Rather sensibly, an Australian tablespoon is 20ml, or 4 teaspoons

 

No Bake TimTam Slice      makes 24 pieces

  • 2 packets of Espresso Martini TimTams or 330g of a substitute
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbspn (40ml) milk
  • 2 tbspn (40ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 tspn cocoa powder
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted. I used 150g.

 

Grease and then line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper.

Crumb the biscuits

Using a food processor, pulse the biscuits until they are fine crumbs.

Add butter, refrigerate

Pour into a bowl, add the melted butter and mix thoroughly until all the crumbs are buttery. Press into the tin evenly. I put a piece of baking paper on top and then smooth with a small plastic container. Refrigerate for an hour, or pop in the freezer for half an hour!!

Make the filling

Meanwhile make the filling. Put the sifted icing sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the milk and oil and sift in the cocoa. Mix well so no streaks of white remain.

  Spread the filling               

Take the chilled base out of the fridge and spoon the filling over it. The recipe says to: Spread paste evenly over cooled base using your hands. Well, I found that a spoon dipped in a cup of boiling water did the job quite well thank you BH&G. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes.

Melt chocolate

Melt the chocolate in any way you like, I usually microwave mine in 30 second bursts and stir well in between. I always like the chocolate to be not quite melted and the stirring makes it smooth. It only took 1 minute. I used 150g of dark chocolate as that was what was in the bag, and I do think that is was easier to spread the greater amount over the chilled base: it cools the chocolate as you work.

Top with chocolate

Pour the chocolate over the filling and smooth, or make lines. I like lines. Refrigerate again for an hour and then cut into 24 pieces, they say long thin pieces, using a hot sharp knife. As you can see, straight from the fridge the chocolate shattered no matter how hot or sharp my knife was. It might be worth adding a little oil, coconut oil or copha to the chocolate to stop this happening.

Cracked slice

It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.

Timtam slice


Friday Food: Sausage and Apple Traybake

S&a bakeIt was a lucky moment last week when I thought to organise an extra Friday Food, because I have been extra poorly this week, and had to go to the doctor and have antibiotics. I thought I felt a little better today, but then this afternoon I had a bit of a relapse. Gilly is with me, and Hedy is somewhere else wreaking havoc, but there is a recipe, so all's well that ends well!!

This Sausage and Apple Traybake recipe is from the May Taste magazine is a complete meal, and it is very Autumnal. It is also a very user friendly recipe with just one pan for browning and one tray for the oven. It can be frozen and then finished off at a later date in the oven as well.

I used the little pork chipolata sausages from Coles. They are delicious and have very little fat, so they don't spit at you from the pan. I bought the sourdough at my knitting friend's new shop in town: how cool is that??! I was able to buy fennel at the supermarket too, and apple cider at the bottle shop next door. My how times have changed. I especially like the way the crispy sage leaves and sourdough bread worked so well with the pork sausages and the apple. It is a perfect combination of ingredients. I do think it makes very decent serves: I made half the recipe but that still meant 8 little sausages per person. I think if you were serving four people, it would even out nicely and there might be leftovers too.

NB  An Australian tablespoon is, sensibly, 20ml.

 

Sausage and Apple Traybake          Serves 4 generously

  • 20ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1kg good quality pork sausages
  • 1 large leek, pale and white parts thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 1 1/2 tbspn plain flour
  • 330ml bottle of apple cider, or unsweetened apple juice
  • 125ml chicken stock
  • 300g small sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 red apples, sliced thinly crosswise into discs
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 100g sourdough bread, coarsely torn

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C/160*C fan-forced.

Tiny sausages

Heat half the oil in a heavy based fry pan on a medium-high heat. Cook the sausages, in batches, for about 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Place into a large baking dish or tray.

Vegetables

Reduce the heat to medium and add the rest of the oil and then the sliced leek and fennel. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes and then add to the baking tray with the sausages.

Saucy sauce

Melt 20g of the batter in the same pan and when it is foaming, add the plain flour and cook, stirring well, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and slowly add the combined cider and stock. Add a slosh at a time, then whisk or stir vigorously and thoroughly until it is all combined. Repeat until all the liquid has been incorporated and then return to the heat and bring to the boil. I make a lot of roux type sauces and so I always chance my hand and add the liquid straight over the heat: I like to cook dangerously!!

Oven ready

Strew the apple slices and the sweet potato wedges over the baking tray and then pour over the sauce. I did this the other way around. It still worked perfectly well.

Cover with foil

Cover the tray with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the wedges are tender.  Just before you remove the tray from the oven, melt the remaining butter in the pan over a medium heat and fry the sage leaves for a minute until they are crisp. Remove them to drain on paper towel or I used a clean kitchen cloth. Add the sourdough bread and cook, stirring, for a minute and add to the sage leaves.

Sage and sourdough

Now, remove the tray from the over, scatter over the torn sourdough bread and pop back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so, until it is crunchy and golden. Sprinkle over the sage leaves and it is ready to serve.

The bake

The traybake can be frozen after the first 30 minutes of baking in the oven.  Up to a month later, when you are ready to dine, heat the oven to 180*C/160*C fan-forced, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then add the torn sourdough and bake for 15 minutes more and then add the sage.

S and a traybake


Friday Food: Caramel Choc ANZAC Slice

ANZAC sliceThis month's Better Homes & Gardens magazine has what they call an "Aussie" slice on the cover. It's your basic chocolate caramel slice, but with an ANZAC biscuit style base. It is very easy to make, and keeps for a week in an airtight container. I am not really a big fan of fiddling about with the classic ANZAC biscuit, but an ANZAC inspired slice seems perfectly fine!!! I have baked the two classic types of ANZAC biscuits before: I am in the With Coconut camp.

 I often double the caramel layer, but I made it exactly to the recipe, though to be true to my recipe disobedience, I threw a few odds and ends of chocolate into the melting pot so it is probably a thicker layer. I am definitely not in favour of drizzling caramel and chocolate topping over the slice when it is served. All I can think of is icky fingers clouding my enjoyment : if I could eat the slice. Actually, if I left off the chocolate, oh or used white chocolate, I could eat that.

BH&G slice

The ingredients are pretty standard for an Australian kitchen, and desiccated coconut could be used in place of the shredded, which I bought especially. It looks as if there are so many steps to this recipe, but it's actually not that bad, so don't be daunted!! I think the most difficult thing is waiting for the slice to set for six hours, or overnight. I cheated and put it in the freezer so I could cut a piece to photograph.

 

Caramel Choc ANZAC Slice     makes 24 pieces

For the base

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 75g butter, cubed
  • 1 tbspn (20ml) golden syrup
  • 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbspn (20ml) boiling water

For the caramel filling

  • 50g butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup golden syrup
  • 395g can of sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate topping

  • 200g chocolate melt buttons, melted

 

Grease and line with baking paper the base and sides of a 20 x 30 cm tin. Preheat the oven to 160*C.

Dry ingredients

To make the base, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar and coconut in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly so there are no lumps or clumps. Make a well in the centre.

Melting for the base

Put the butter and golden syrup into a small saucepan over a low heat and stir until it is melted. Bring to the simmer. While you are waiting, put the bicarb soda in a small container and boil the kettle. When the butter and golden syrup is simmering, remove it from the heat.

Adding the bicarb

Combine the bicarb soda and boiling water and pour it in. It will foam up. It shouldn't foam too high. I stirred it a little to make sure it was well mixed.

Add wet to dry

Pour this into the well of the dry ingredients and stir until it is a damp and crumbly mixture. Tip into the lined tin and then press down firmly and evenly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20 minutes, it should be light golden. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. It will be going back in the oven anon.

Bake the base

Use this 5 minutes to make the caramel layer. Put the butter and golden syrup back into the same saucepan, and over a high heat, stir until the butter is melted. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute.

Caramel melting

Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the condensed milk. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring vigorously, and it should still be simmering. The caramel will darken and thicken. Make sure to stir with a pattern that covers as much of the base of the saucepan as you can, so the caramel doesn't have the opportunity to stick.

Caramel condensed milk

Spread the caramel over the base and put it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes. The recipe says 10, I felt mine needed 15. Now the oven can be turned off, and set the slice aside to cool for 30 minutes, or until the surface of the caramel is hardened and not sticky to the touch.

Caramel layer baked

Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Mine needed 2 minutes in all, and I always take it out just before it is fully melted and stir until it is smooth.

Chocolate melted

Pour the chocolate over the caramel and then tilt the pan to cover the caramel completely.

Add the chocolate topping

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Cut into pieces, a hot sharp knife is handy, and keep and left overs (Ha!!) in an airtight container, in the fridge if it is warm where you live.

Anzac choc caramel slice


Friday Food: Upright Pasta Pie

Rigatoni pasta pieI am not exactly sure of the correct name, but I have seen these pasta pies everywhere in Internet Cooking-land. I guess it is a kind of lasagne or pastisto, but with little columns of pasta to fill, rather than sheets of pasta to layer.

There were so many recipes I was overwhelmed so I just kind of made it up as I went along. I expect everyone has their go-to pasta sauce, and that's the one I used. I make my bolognaise sauce with garlic, onion and a little chilli. Of course it can be with, or without, meat.

You need a pasta sauce of some kind, made with about 500g of mince and passata or tomato pasta sauce, some large rigatoni pasta, various cheeses and some eggs. It is a bit of a novelty and looks rather spiffing when you serve it up.

I admit, there is some patience involved, when you stand every piece of pasta upright in the springform tin, but it is worth the effort. The pasta is boiled until it is 2 or 3 minutes away from being ready,  so it is easy to handle and stand up straight. You don't want it wobbly!! Instead of piping or pushing the filling into the pasta, I found if I spread it on top and then tapped the tin on the bench, the filling sank into the pasta. It was easy to see the individual pasta tubes that needed more sauce and I just spooned some on top, and tapped the springform tin on the bench again, until all of the sauce was used up.

It tastes good piping hot, warm, or cold. It reheats well in the microwave and wraps up well to transport. All you need is a simple salad and some crusty bread and you have a great lunch. Or, if you are me, you have it squooshed on toast for breakfast!!

 

Pasta Pie     serves 4-8

  • one quantity of pasta sauce, using 500g mince and 500-750 passata
  • 500g rigatoni pasta mine was about 4cm long and 1 cm in diameter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

 

Heat the oven to 180*c and line a springform tin with baking paper on the base and sides. I greased it a little to help the paper stick. I also turn the base upside down. It is a little trickier to close the tin around the base, but it gives a level surface instead of one with a lip.

You need this to start

Mix the ricotta cheese with the eggs. I found I needed 2 1/2 eggs, but the mixture needs to be soft enough to fill the pasta.

Ricotta and eggs

Boil the pasta for 2-3 minutes less than the time recommended and drain well. In a large bowl, mix the pasta and the grated Parmesan cheese. Then starting at the outside, stand each piece of pasta upright in ever decreasing concentric circles. The Parmesan cheese helps the pasta stick together. Spread the ricotta mixture over the pasta and then tap the tin, and continue to do this until all the ricotta mixture is used up.

Upright pasta and ricotta

Then do the same with the pasta sauce, and then top the pasta pie with the grated cheddar cheese.

Pasta sauce and cheese

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pie is hot all the way through and the cheese on top is golden and melted.

And it is done

Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then remove the springform sides,

The pasta pie
and cut wedges and serve.

Slice of pasta pie


Friday Food: Choc-centre Cupcakes

Choc centre cupcakeFriday Food on Sunday again. A puppy is a big responsibility and as well as a huge distraction, and Hedy makes Gilly and me tired: so much playing to be done! 

This week I baked Choc-centre Cupcakes from the April Taste magazine. On the whole, these were very easy as you put all of the cupcake ingredients into the food processor for 30 seconds and the batter is done. The recipe says to cut a cone from the cupcake after it is baked and then put the Lindor chocolate ball in, and cover with the trimmed cake cone. I was disappointed with the quality of the Salted Caramel Lindor balls. They came straight home from the supermarket in less than ten minutes, but they seem to have been affected by the heat at some time prior to that. They were not soft and runny inside and the chocolate casing was discoloured and wrinkled from the foil wrapper. There were 13 in the box so I cut one open to check. I decided to put the chocolate balls in before the cupcakes baked and I was very happy with the result.

Lindor

The frosting took forever to beat with the mix-master. More than 15 minutes and I used light, rather then dark, brown sugar. I still don't think it looks as pale as the photo in the magazine. I decided not to frost all the cupcakes, because with a little judicious microwaving (10-20 seconds) I think MrsDrWho can recreate the "just baked" oozing chocolate centre at any time.

I will make these again, with maybe a Raffaello, a Ferrero Rocher, or even a mini Cadbury Creme Egg, inside. They're very versatile and easy, but look marvellous.

 

Choc-centre Cupcakes        makes 12

  • 120g almond meal
  • 75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
  • 50g (1/2 cup) cocoa - I used Dutch processed
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 140g (1/2 cup) Nutella
  • 80g butter, melted
  • 2 tspn vanillla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) maple, or golden, syrup
  • 12 Lindor Salted Caramel Balls
  • 50g dark chocolate, melted, for drizzling over frosting

For the Frosting

  • 125g (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 155g (3/4 cup) dark brown sugar, I used light brown

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced, and line a muffin tray with paper cases.

Blending

Combine the almond meal, flour, cocoa, baking powder, Nutella, butter, vanilla, eggs, buttermilk and maple/golden syrup in the food processor. Blend for 10-15 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then blend for a further 10-15 seconds.

I put two tablespoons of the mixture, that's 2 x 20ml spoons, into the cupcake paper and then pressed in the Lindor ball. I had enough batter left for another teaspoonful to go on top. If I had been more careful, I could have avoided the holes in the top by covering the Lindor balls evenly.

Fill and bake

Bake for 20 minutes and these were right on the mark. I turned my tray at 10 minutes, and they were perfectly baked in the time allowed. I was too impatient, but they should be completely cooled in the pan.

Frosting

Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the butter and brown sugar for at least 10-15 minutes. It will eventually go paler and creamy.

I spread the frosting on with a knife and drizzled over some of the melted dark chocolate, but I think these would be best served warm, so the centre is runny, and maybe with a dollop of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Happy Easter!!

Choc centre cupcakes


Friday Food: Easter Egg Biscuits

An easter egg biscuitI was browsing The Pinterest, as I am wont to do, and I saw these cute and clever biscuits. The recipe was in German, and the Google Translate was not terribly helpful, so I went with what I thought would work. After baking these, I think they would be better covered in some white fondant or plain glace icing for easy transport, but they work really well with sifted icing sugar if they are staying home to be eaten.

I used my Kiss Biscuit recipe and added the zest of a lemon, or it could be an orange, whilst creaming the butter and sugar. Any plain sweet biscuit dough should work. Though I only baked a few biscuits, using maths, I think the Kiss Biscuit dough could make up to 40 paired Easter Egg Biscuits. I filled these with bought lemon curd: we have a new puppy, I can't do puppies and curd. I think other fillings could be marmalade or apricot jam, even a light caramel. I have included a clicky link to my lemon curd recipe in the ingredients below. If you don't have a new puppy, it is a good one to try.

I had a nice new Easter Egg biscuit cutter but I didn't have a small circle cutter. I used the lid from my Lemon Barley cordial bottle. I cut the circles from the biscuits after they had been in the fridge chilling. I found it easier to keep the circles very circular with the chilled dough.

The biscuits keep for at least a week, unfilled, in an airtight container in a cupboard. Filled, they last a day or two, depending on how squooshy you like them.

 

Easter Egg Biscuits   makes up to 40 paired biscuits

 

Make the biscuit dough following the recipe, but add the lemon zest at the creaming stage.

Zesty dough

After chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes, cut off about 1/4 of the dough, knead briefly, and form into a disc. Roll out evenly to a 3mm thickness and cut out the Easter Egg shapes. Place carefully on a tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes. This helps the biscuits hold their shape when they bake.

Refrigerate and bake

Preheat the oven to 180*C when the biscuits go in to the fridge to chill. Cut out the holes and then bake for 12 minutes, turning the trays half way through. Do not nurse The Puppy and ignore the timer, my biscuits are a little too cooked for my liking, but sifted icing sugar covers a multitude of sins. Place on a rack and cool completely.

Curd and sift

Match up the biscuits, a base with a holey biscuit. Spread the base (the intact biscuit) with lemon curd. Sift icing sugar over the holey biscuits and then gently join to two together.

Happy Easter Biscuits!!!

Easter egg biscuits


Friday Food: Mini Choc Bunny Tarts

One Easter Bunny tartHere we are again with Friday Food on Sunday. It was hot today, but we have adjusted a little to The Puppy, and so Friday Food could be undertaken. I was inspired by what I like to call The Sacrificial Bunny Tartlets in this month's Coles Magazine, but things needed to be beaten and baked and crushed, and so I took the idea and made it simpler. I made ganache in the microwave that took just a minute. I made little cups out of Chocolate Ripple biscuits that were softened briefly in the microwave too. Then I filled the cups, unwrapped the Bunnies and Bob's your uncle. I made dark chocolate ganache, but milk and white would be great too, in fact I will definitely make all three for Easter gifts. I am also toying with the idea of using Butternut Snap biscuits, caramel and a thin topping of ganache and then a Bunny. If your Easter is in the Northern Hemisphere, baking the Coles tarts would be great.

Choc tarts with malteaster bunny

I bought Mini MaltEaster Bunnies, there were 16 in a pack and this recipe would easily make 16 little tarts, but I made 12 because that's how many holes the tray has. I am not quite sure what the tray is called, my mum always made Rock cakes in one like this. I searched and it appears the Rest of the World calls it a Mince Pie Tray: there you go. The Mini Bunnies look as if they are having fun at the pool, while the large ones look, well, sacrificial.

 

Mini Choc Bunny Tarts        makes about 16

  • 200g good dark chocolate: or milk or white
  • 1/3 cup (85ml) cream
  • 65g butter
  • 16 Chocolate Ripple Biscuits
  • 16 Mini MaltEaster Bunnies

 

Ganache

Make the ganache by first putting the chocolate, cream and butter into a microwave proof dish. The heat for 30 seconds and stir. Heat for another 30 seconds and stir till smooth. Of course if you have an all-powerful microwave, maybe 15 second bursts. Once the ganache is smooth and shiny set it aside too cool. I didn't put it in the fridge as I read it loses its shine.

Biscuits

Place two Choc Ripple biscuits on a plate, or some baking paper, in the microwave and heat for between 10 and 20 seconds. There are enough in the packet to conduct and experiment. Three at a time was too many, and two for 20 seconds on High worked perfectly for me. If you don't have a microwave, you can heat and soften them in the oven: bake for 2-3 minutes at 180*C.

Soften

The tray is non-stick, and as soon as the biscuit is heated slightly it should be softer in the centre. Place it on top of one of the curved cup holes, and press down with something hemispherical. I used my 20ml metal tablespoon measure, but a soup spoon or an ice-cream scoop would work just as well. The biscuit will quickly cool and hold the curved cup shape.

Make biscuit cups

When the ganache has cooled slightly, fill each cup almost to the brim. These biscuit cups held about 3 teaspoons of the ganache.

Fill biscuit cups

Apply the bunnies as desired.

Apply the bunnies

And the Mini Choc Bunny Tarts are complete.

Bunnies applied

The evening is cooler and so I think I will put these in the cupboard overnight. In warmer climes they probably need to be refrigerated and they won't keep for more than two days. The biscuits will go soggy, and no Bunny wants a soggy bottom.

Easter bunny mini tarts


Friday Food: Bunny Cottontails

A bunny cottontailAs I have been Poorly this week, here is a quick and easy Easter treat from the Coles magazine, March 2016. I made these in 10 minutes and then waited 20 minutes for them to set in the fridge. Done and coconut dusted. Basically, some marshmallows, coated in white chocolate and rolled in desiccated coconut. Sadly, my camera flash wouldn't co-operate so please excuse the worse than usual photos.

Most packets of marshmallows have both pink and white now, so to make just the white Bunny Cottontails, there will be pink marshmallows left over. I coloured the white chocolate and coconut with a little red food colouring and made good use of the pink marshmallows.

Using only the white marshmallows, I estimate this makes up to 50 bunny cottontails: so hop to it!!!

 

Bunny Cottontails    makes up to 50

  • 500g marshmallows, using only the white ones
  • 200g of white chocolate melts
  • 80g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
  • a little food colouring if you want to use the pink marshmallows

 

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir, frequently, and it should take about 5 minutes.

Marshmallows and chocolate

While the chocolate is melting, sort out the marshmallows and put them on a lined baking tray. Put the coconut into a bowl.

Dip

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, use a fork to dip the marshmallows, one by one, into the chocolate. Tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove excess chocolate and then gently roll the choc coated marshmallow in coconut and place carefully on the lined tray.

Coconut and cool

Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes and they are ready to go!!! Here is a pink Bunny Cottontail cut in half.

Inside and out

And here's a whole lot of Bunny Cottontails. I expect they need to be kept in the fridge until they are ready to be eaten.

Bunny cottontails

 


Friday Food: Nutella Fudge Brownies

Nutella fudge brownie sliceCo-incidentally, when I was looking for something chocolate and easy to make for Sewing supper, I came upon a recipe on the blog where I found the Vanilla Cupcakes last week. They turned out so very well, I decided to make some Nutella Fudge Brownies.

I always say the same thing about successful recipes, and nothing is different today: this recipe is easy and full of deliciousness. I love that the brownie is melt and mix, that it bakes in 20 minutes and that the fudge is just melted together and then smoothed on top. After a little while in the fridge it is ready. You can add a chocolate topping, but of late I have eschewed Copha and so I used a mix of butter and cream. My chocolate topping was not nice and shiny, but it was Copha-less and tasted fine. I didn't taste it, I used my Sewing friends as testers. Again.

The recipe has not-Australian tablespoons, so I have done some fuzzy conversions. I don't think an extra teaspoon of cocoa matters that much. Maybe it does?? I used Dutch processed cocoa and my brownie worked well regardless. I bought a new square 20cm/8" cake tin, with straighter sides and I am very pleased with my straighter sided brownie. MrsDrWho cut small squares and that is probably all you need as the fudge brownie is quite rich.

NB 1 tbspn + 20ml in Australia, or 4 tspn

 

Nutella Fudge Brownies   makes 16-25 pieces

  • 185g (3/4 cup) butter, melted
  • 220g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • 45g (4 1/2 tbspn) cocoa
  • 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • 1/4 tspn salt

 

Nutella Fudge

  • 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 tbspn butter
  • 1 1/2 cups choc chips (I used dark choc chips)
  • 1 cup Nutella (or substitute whatever brand you like)

Optional Chocolate Topping

  • 180g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tspn Copha

 

Preheat the oven to 175*C and grease and line a 20cm square tin. I made sure the baking paper came up high on each side as there would be a fudge layer on top of the brownie.

Mellting

Mix the melted butter, sugar and vanilla extra together and then whisk in the eggs.

Cocoa and flour

Sift over the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt and fold together well.

And... bake and cool

Spoon into the tin and smooth the top.  Mine was not very thick, so I tried to make sure it was very evenly spread. Bake for 18-20 minutes, This brownie only took 18 minutes and a toothpick in the centre came out clean. Set aside to cool slightly.

The fudge

While the brownie is cooling, it is time to make the fudge. I followed the recipe, and put a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of just simmering water, making sure the water wasn't touching the bowl. I think I could have just as easily used a microwave on short bursts on medium. Pour the condensed milk into the bowl and add the Nutella, choc chips and butter. Stir till all the chocolate is melted and the fudge is shiny and smooth.

Fudge and brownie and fridge

Pour the fudge over the cooled brownie. I was extra careful as I didn't want to tear the top of the brownie. Smooth it over and then refrigerate until it is completely cold. I think it took 3-4 hours, but I can't remember very well.

Chocolate topping

You can serve the fudge as it is, cut into squares.  But you may wish to add a chocolate topping, so put the chocolate and Copha ( I used 2 tspn butter and a slosh of cream instead)  into a bowl and melt gently in the microwave for 30 second bursts on a medium power. Stir till smooth. Spread over the brownie and fudge base and refrigerate until cool and firm.

You can see the chocolate topping is not shiny, but it still tasted nice and chocolaty. I think this would need to be kept in the fridge in an airtight container and would last for about a week.

Nutella brownie fudge


Friday Food: Belgian Brownie Cakelets

CakeletI found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I think through The Bloglovin'. Anyway, I wanted a simple rich chocolate something for dessert at MrsDrWho's house. I take something for dessert every week, of course I can't have chocolate, but I never eat dessert except on Christmas Day and other Special Occasions: maybe my birthday??? I couldn't believe how easy these were and how magically they came out of the muffin tin. I did grease the tin well, and I baked one extra cakelet in a paper case just to see what would happen. I prefer them paper case-less.

The recipe make 13, and I used my 1/4 cup ice-cream scoop to fill the muffin tin. The cakelets puff up so nicely in the oven, but fall as they cool - not in a bad way - and the fall makes a nice little hollow for some cream. There is hardly any flour at all, so it's basically chocolate, butter, sugar and eggs. Since the recipe is in grams and has 4 eggs, it is easy to halve, or even quarter, in a cake emergency like the vanilla cupcake one I had yesterday!!! The cakelet batter needs to sit for 30 minutes to thicken, so time for a cup of tea and a quick tidy up before they bake.

MrsDrWho and her mum thought the Belgian Brownie Cakelets were lush and rich, but not too rich for an everyday treat.

 

Belgian Brownie Cakelets     makes 12   (or 13)

  • 200g dark 70% chocolate
  • 200g butter, cubed
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 20g flour

 

Melt the chocolate and butter. I choose the microwave and 30 second bursts on Medium. The other method I sometimes use is a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Either way, it is best to remove the chocolate from the heat before it is properly melted, and then to stir to finish the process. The butter and chocolate will be silky smooth.

Melting

Stir in the sugar and salt, and then whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Eggs and sugar

Finally, sift in the flour and stir till combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit on the bench for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken slightly.

Flour and rest

After about 20 minutes of 'resting', preheat the oven to 165*C. The muffin tin I used is non-stick,  but I greased it thoroughly with some soft butter on a piece of baking paper. I tried to catch every spot. The recipe says to fill each cup half way, but the tins in America must be a different size as one 1/4 cup scoop filled mine almost 3/4 full.  They did overflow slightly when they baked, so maybe next time I will fill the cups only halfway and make 18 cakelets instead.

Grease and fill

Regardless, bake the brownie cakelets for 25-30 minutes. Test with a skewer at the 25 minute mark : it should come out clean, with no runny batter clinging to it. Cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes and then ease out and cool on a rack. My Belgian brownie cakelets came out quite easily, though the place where they overflowed did stick a tiny bit. They do puff up in the oven and then the centres fall as they cool.

Bake and cool

Serve the brownie cakelets hot, warm or cool. Keep them in an airtight container. They will be at their best for a few days, but I think they could be frozen and then gently thawed or reheated. I served these as they are, but for the picture I added a dollop of cream and a little dusting of cocoa. They would be exceptionally nice with some fresh berries too.

Brownie cakelet