Hazelnut & Chocolate Biscotti

My second GBBO recipe challenge was the beautifully scrumptious Italian Biscotti! This was surprisingly easy to make and is so yummy with a tea or coffee whilst snuggled on the sofa. I went for a hazelnut and chocolate flavoured recipe but for my next batch I think I’m going to try a coffee and walnut flavour. I didn’t have any oranges so I didn’t add the orange zest but I made up for it with a little vanilla extract to add an extra oomph. My jazzy camera is still out of action I’m afraid, so the photos aren’t as good as I would have liked, but none the less here are my biscotti! Recipe is taken from BBC Good Food.

Enjoy! xx

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • zest 1 orange
  • 25g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 25g chocolate chips

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl, then add the orange zest, hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Fold into the egg mix to make a soft dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a 25cm sausage shape with lightly floured hands, then transfer to baking sheet. Flatten to a 3cm thickness, then bake for 30 mins until lightly browned on top.
  2. Remove and slide onto a chopping board, then reduce the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Cut the log into 1cm thick slices and return to the baking sheet, cut-sides up. Bake for 10-15 mins until crisp, then cool on a wire rack. Will keep in a tin for 3 weeks.

Madeira Cake

My latest challenge in improving my cookery skills and potentially making myself ‘GBBO ready’ is to bake one or more of the GBBO challenges each week in the time constraints set for the contestants. So I decided to make a Madeira cake from the first episode of the new series.

 

I’ve been away on holiday for the last two weeks so I’ve had to buy a new tin and cook away from my home kitchen (without my jazzy camera – hence the slightly dodgy photos!) making baking slightly more tricky – but none the less I’ve given it a go! I made a chocolate and orange flavoured cake with an orange flavoured icing sugar on top. It tasted lovely although there wasn’t the infamous ‘madeira cake crack’ on top – I think this is because I baked the cake in a larger square tin rather than the traditional loaf tin. But this is what this challenge is all about – learning from baking mishaps! I hope you enjoy 🙂 x

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • A few drops of vanilla extract
  • 100g chocolate chips
  • Icing sugar to decorate

Method:

  1. Whisk the butter and sugar together until creamy and light
  2. Ad the eggs one by one
  3. Add the zest and chocolate
  4. Add the flour and almonds
  5. Bake in a lined and greased tin at 170C for 55 minutes
  6. Enjoy with a cup of tea! 🙂

Chocolate Orange Cookies

My latest bake is a recipe from Janes Patisserie – another fellow food blogger. When I saw her post of these cookies, I knew that I HAD to make them and as soon as possible. They were super easy to make and taste just like the giant cookies you would buy in a shop. I ran out of chocolate orange segments so with my final few cookies I used some left over Thorntons truffles on top and they were so yummy too.

This blog post is dedicated to my dear friend Sarah as it’s her birthday today and her comment when I posted a picture of these cookies online totally made me chuckle – “Oh my actual days….you’ve just revolutionized EVERYTHING I EVER KNEW!…” Happy birthday lovely! 🙂

Makes 12-14

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar (I used dark brown as its all I had!)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Zest of 1/2 a medium orange (I left this out as I hadn’t got any oranges – but they still tasted lovely)
  • x2 175g Terry’s Chocolate Orange (350g in total)

I took 12 segments to decorate the tops of the cookies and whizzed up the rest of the chocolate orange in a food processor along with some milk chocolate – use to your discretion – as much or as little as you’d like 🙂

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment
  2. Mix together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I used an electric hand whisk as it makes thing easier.
  3. Mix in the vanilla essence and the beaten egg
  4. Mix in the cocoa powder, flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt until a thick cookie paste is formed
  5. Whizz the chocolate pieces in a mixer or chop them up and add to the mixture with the orange zest and mix together
  6. Spoon the mixture onto the trays – making sure there is enough room for them to grow in the oven. I did 6 per tray as advised by Jane – about a tablespoon of mixture per cookie
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then take them out of the oven, add a segment of chocolate on top and put back in the oven for 1-2 minutes
  8. Once baked remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. I ate one when they were still warm and the chocolate went everywhere but it was totally worth it!

A big thank you to Jane for the recipe! These are gorgeous cookies – chocolate over load indeed 🙂 x

Cupcakes!

 

 

So last week Tim brought home the biggest cup cake holder you’ve ever seen. I was told that I could hold on to it provided I filled it with cupcakes to take back to his office. Good deal I think, I like to cook and I get to keep the giant cupcake box! So I did three types of cake: Lemon, chocolate and cherry topped lemon cake.

The basic recipe for the cake is:

  • 115g self raising flour
  • 115g marg
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

The great thing about this recipe is you literally chuck all the ingredients into a bowl at once and blitz with an electric whisk until smooth then pop in the cases and in a 190C oven for 15 minutes.

For the lemon cupcakes I added a tablespoon or two of lemon marmalade which made the cake so moist and zingy. I then decorated them with yellow butter cream and iced flower and hundreds and thousands. The chocolate ones got a sprinkle of mini smarties and the cherry cakes got a dollop of white icing and one solitary cherry – simplicity at it’s best.