Triple-choc chilli Brownies

10 minutes, even a football player can bake this. Thank you BBC. The chilli touch is mine, just because I’m attending a party at an indian friend’s house. They constantly laugh at my disgracefully low resistance to spicy food. I want to blend in…

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Triple-Choc Chilli Brownies

  • 275 g plain 50 % chocolate
  • 275 g butter
  • 100 g dark 70 % chocolate, in large chunks
  • 100 g white chilli chocolate, in large chunks
  • 175 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 325 g sugar

Preheat the oven to 150 °C fan and line a 30 x 20 cm tin.

Melt the plain 50 % chocolate and butter over simmering water. Stir in the sugar and then add the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the sifted and premixed flour, baking flour and chilli powder. Finally fold in the chopped chocolates.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is firm but the inside soft. Allow to cool in the tin.

 

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate to peanut butter is a match made in heaven. Like goat cheese to tomato marmalade, whipped cream to strawberries or a social life-less postdoc to a tyrannical PI. For these last ones, there goes a working weekend cheer-up recipe.

P1120499Chocolate peanut butter cookies

For 25 big or 50 small cookies (depending on how busy your lab is on the weekends).

  • 225 g butter
  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240 smooth peanut butter
  • 340 g self-raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp NaCl
  • 150 g milk chocolate
  • 150 g white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170 °C fan.

Cream butter and sugars together, then add the eggs one at a time, the vanilla and the peanut butter, beating to mix. Finally add the flour and salt.

Distribute the cookie dough in baking trays and bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.

Melt the milk chocolate and drizzle over the cold cookies, still placed on the wire rack (remember to put a piece of baking paper under them to catch the chocolate spillover). You can do this by placing the melted chocolate in a plastic bag and cutting out a little hole in one corner. Let the chocolate solidify and then melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the cookies in a perpendicular motion.

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White Chocolate Lindt Truffle Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate is God’s apology for broccoli. – Richard Paul Evans

What about white chocolate then? Cauliflower?

Lindt Truffle stuffed White Chocolate Cupcake

White Chocolate Lindt Truffle Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

For 12 of them you will need…

For the cake

  • 270 g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 180 g milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 room temperature egg whites
  • 80 g butter
  • 140 g caster sugar
  • 100 g sour cream
  • 12 Lindor White Chocolate Truffles

Preheat oven to 160 °C and place 12 paper liners in a cupcake tin.

Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl.

Combine the milk and vanilla.

Beat the egg whites at high speed in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In a different bowl beat butter and granulated sugar  until fluffy, then beat in sour cream until smooth. On medium speed, add flour mixture alternating with milk mixture (three additions each), mixing until smooth. Whisk in one third of the egg whites and then fold in the remaining two thirds.

Divide batter evenly among liners and bake 17-20 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Remove the tin from oven and, with a pair of scissors, immediately cut a 1 cm deep “x” into the top of each cupcake. Push one truffle into each cupcake. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them cool (the truffles will melt :)).

 

For the frosting and decoration

  • 85 g of chopped white chocolate
  • 110 g softened cream cheese
  • 30 g butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170 g powder sugar
  • White chocolate curls

Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly. Combine melted chocolate, cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat on medium speed until well blended. Slowly add powdered sugar; beat well. Frost the cupcakes and decorate with a few chocolate shavings. You can make them with a bar of chocolate and a vegetable peeler!

White Chocolate Cupcake

White Chocolate Cupcakes

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Nutella-filled white chocolate sponge, topped with whipped cream and cream cheese based light and fluffy frosting with little Nutella swirls… These are amazing, and the frosting is the best thing you will ever eat.

The ultimate solution to a tough bench day!

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

For 12 of them you will need…

For the cake

  • 225 g butter
  • 225 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 100 g white chocolate, melted
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 1 jar of Nutella

First preheat the oven to 160 °C fan and line a 12-hole cupcake tin. 

For the white chocolate sponge, cream together butter, sugar, eggs and milk, then pour in the melted white chocolate and mix. Finally, blend in the flour until just combined.

Fill the cupcakes to around 1/3 with cake mix, then add a teaspoon of Nutella (or a bit more, ok…) and finally cover with more cake mix until the liners are almost full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

For the nutella-swirled, whipped cream and cream cheese frosting

  • 200 g whipping cream
  • 110 g cream cheese
  • 60 g powder sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Nutella
  • Kinder Bueno bars, broken into quarters

Whip the cream with a mixer until it forms stiff peaks. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese to soften it, before blending in the sugar, salt and vanilla until fully combined and creamy. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, then beat with the mixer until it’s fully combined and fluffy. For the nutella marble effect, drop a few teaspoons of Nutella into the mix and run a knife through it several times. Fill a piping bag with the frosting, chill the bag for 15 minutes to firm it up, and then pipe on the cupcakes with a closed star tip.

Store the frosted cupcakes in the fridge and decorate them with a Kinder Bueno piece just before serving!

Kinder Bueno Cupcakes

Kinder Bueno Cupcake

Giant Cookie

Opening the cookie jar can sometimes become a mental remorse battlefield. Because you know you should eat just one, but that lid is as treacherous as the one covering Pandora’s box…

Well, not to worry, I just came up with the perfect solution!

Giant Cookie

White Chocolate Chip Giant Cookie

  • 200 g flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp NaCl
  • 115 g butter
  • 80 g brown sugar
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 130 g chopped white chocolate (or white chocolate chips)
  • A bunch of smarties

Grease and line an 21 cm cake tin and preheat the oven at 130 °C fan.

Cream the softened butter by beating it with a fork (no need for electric mixer here!) and then cream in both sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla and, when well mixed, add the precombined flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until blended and finally fold in the chocolate.

Place the batter in the cake tin and press it down into a large circle around 1 inch smaller than the tin. Arrange some smarties by lightly pressing them down and bake for 35 minutes.

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