Chocolate HobNobs

Chocolate HobNobsMy favourite biscuit EVER has got to be the Chocolate HobNob. Oaty biscuits are always so satisfyingly crumbly & crunchy, but with chocolate on the top? Hell yes, I’m ON IT!

This incredibly quick & easy recipe will have you joining the HobNobs addiction club in no time. Here is what you will need to make approx 16 sensationally chunky, chocolate dipped, gloriously golden, oaty pieces of heaven.

  • 125g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 125g Self Raising Flour
  • 125g Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 125g Porridge Oats
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 100g Milk Chocolate, cut into chunks (Optional)
  • 150g Milk Chocolate, for dipping

In a small saucepan over a low-medium heat, melt together the butter and golden syrup.

Set to one side to cool.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, oats, salt & bicarb.

Chocolate HobNobsAfter cutting the chocolate into chunks – add to the bowl and mix. (You can leave these out if you want to.)

Chocolate HobNobsPour in the cooled butter and mix until everything is evenly distributed and it all comes together.

Chocolate HobNobsDivide the mixture into 16 equal pieces and roll into balls.

Chocolate HobNobsFlatten slightly and place as many as will fit onto a large baking sheet. Allow room in-between for spreading.

I lined mine with a silicone baking mat. In all honesty, it doesn’t really need lining – I tend to just do it out of habit.

Chocolate HobNobsBake in the centre of the preheated oven for approx 16mins until golden.

Turn the tray around half way if your oven doesn’t bake evenly.

Chocolate HobNobsAllow to sit on the tray for a couple of minutes to harden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the process for the remaining biscuits.

When the biscuits are all baked and cool, (which won’t take long) melt the 150g of milk chocolate in either the microwave or in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.

The next part is up to you. Some would ‘paint’ the chocolate onto the top of each biscuit, I prefer to just dunk half straight into the chocolate and put onto a wire rack over newspaper to set.

Chocolate HobNobs

Chocolate HobNobsTo keep these little beauties nice and crunchy, store in a metal tin lined with baking paper. Preferably at room temperature but if it’s too warm, in the fridge will work just as well.

And there you have it! Told you they were quick & easy to make. Addicted yet??

Hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason

 

 

 

 

Doughnuts!

DoughnutsI remember an episode of The Great British Bake off where the contestants had to make doughnuts for the technical challenge. The one thing that stuck in my mind was Paul Hollywood saying, “The main thing I’m looking for is a white ring around the middle. It’s the sign of a good doughnut.”

I was aiming for that elusive white ring… and guess what? I got my white ring!! Actually incredibly proud of myself if I’m totally honest :) They turned out far better than I’d hoped and they’re not really that difficult to make. Win! Oh and they’re greatly superior to any that you can buy in the shops. Trust me. You should totally give these a go.

So without further ado, here is what you will need to make 12 large doughnuts.

(Recipe adapted from James Morton’s Brilliant Bread -which if you don’t own, why not?! It’s fabulous – go get it.)

  • 500g Strong White Flour
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 7g Fast Action Yeast
  • 10g Salt
  • 50g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 275g Full Fat Milk, Room Temp *
  • 2 Large Eggs, Room Temp *
  • Oil For Frying

Topping Options

  • Caster Sugar

Or for an Iced Glaze:

  • 250g Icing Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3-4 tbsp Cold Water

Essential Equipment

  • Dough Scraper
  • Thermometer

* TIP If you don’t have the time to wait for the milk & eggs to come to room temperature, crack the eggs and put them in a small saucepan along with the milk. Heat very gently over a low heat (stirring constantly) until they reach room temperature.

In a large bowl, briefly rub together the flour, caster sugar, yeast & salt. (Put the yeast & salt on opposite sides of the bowl.)

Using the tips of your fingers & thumbs – rub in the butter until you get a breadcrumb like consistency.

DoughnutsMake a well in the centre and add the milk & eggs. Mix with a fork (or your hands) until there is no more flour visible and everything has been incorporated. Yes, this is a very wet dough.

DoughnutsCover with cling film & leave to rest for 30 minutes. It should look a little more plump than before.

DoughnutsTip out onto a work surface & knead (with the help of a dough scraper) for about 10-20 minutes. It depends on your technique as to how long it will actually take but you’re aiming for a soft dough that will pass the windowpane test. I know it’s wet and it seems like it will never improve but it will, trust me. Do your best to not add any extra flour if you can help it.

When it’s ready, place the dough back into the bowl and allow to prove for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Until about doubled in size.)

Doughnuts

DoughnutsWhen it has reached this size, you could put it in the fridge overnight. This could be convenient for you (as it was for me) and also helps to develop a better flavour. The longer the prove – the better the flavour. (If refrigerating, allow to sit at room temperature for a while before using as the cold will slow down the next process.)

Or you could just go ahead and use it straight away.

Prepare 1 or 2 large baking trays by covering in cling film & greasing with oil.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ‘sausage’. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions & shape into balls. (James Morton’s book Brilliant Bread has an excellent guide to shaping breads.)

DoughnutsThen poke a hole in the middle of each one and stretch out by rotating your hands. (A bit like if you were starting the Saturday Night Fever dance.)

Place them onto the prepared baking sheets, cover with a slightly damp tea towel and allow to prove for another hour.

DoughnutsMeanwhile, get your oil ready.

If you have a deep fat fryer – great. If not, it doesn’t matter. I used a large, heavy based saucepan and it worked just as well.

Heat the oil to 170°C. Once it has reached this temperature, turn the heat down to stop it from climbing any further. Then regularly check with a thermometer to ensure the temperature is holding steady. (If using a deep fat fryer, it should hold the temperature for you without having to change any settings or check with a thermometer.)

DoughnutsYour doughnuts are ready to be fried when you can poke it lightly and the dough springs back all the way.

DoughnutsFry each doughnut for approx 2 minutes on each side. Then, using a slotted spoon, to transfer to a plate covered in kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil.

Doughnuts

Doughnuts

DoughnutsAt this point you can do either one of the following options:

Place some caster sugar into a bowl and roll each doughnut in it.

OR

To make the glaze, place all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth and a little runny. Then submerge the top half of each doughnut into the glaze and place on a cooling rack set over newspaper. (To catch any drips.)

For both options – allow to cool before eating.

Doughnuts

And that’s it! You have your very own home made doughnuts…

DoughnutsI know I’ve said it before but they’re honestly SOOOO much better than the ones you can buy. They’re so light & fluffy on the inside and beautifully golden and inviting on the outside. One of the best home made breads you can attempt in my opinion!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post my lovelies – until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream CakeThis weekend I hosted a dinner party for close friends and I needed a really simple, make ahead pudding to take the stress out of it all. Then I came across this…

Hand on heart, It’s the most incredibly easy, quick and down right dirty & delicious showstopping dessert I have ever made in my entire life! It’s sheer amazingness literally needs no further introduction. So here is what you will need to make 1 x 20cm cake. (Serves 8-12 depending on how greedy!)

(Recipe adapted from Nigella Express)

The Cake

  • 1.5 litres Good Quality Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 2 x Cadbury’s Crunchie Bars
  • 100g Honey Roast Peanuts
  • 150g Chocolate Hobnob Biscuits
  • 200g Milk Chocolate Chips

Butterscotch Sauce

  • 45g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar
  • 150g Golden Syrup
  • 30g Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 125ml Double Cream
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Rich Chocolate Sauce

  • 75g Dark Chocolate
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 1 tsp Instant Coffee, dissolved in 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp Golden Syrup

To make the cake, take the ice cream out the freezer and allow it to soften at room temperature. (Takes about 10-15 minutes on a warm day.) Then line a 20cm spring form baking tin with cling film.

Ice Cream CakeTip the softened ice cream into a large bowl and mix until smooth.

Ice Cream CakeStill in the wrappers – bash the Crunchie bars to break them up.

Roughly chop the peanuts.

In a bag – bash the Hobnob biscuits using a rolling pin.

Reserve 50g of Hobnob biscuits & 50g of chocolate chips. Then tip all the remaining ingredients into the ice cream.

Ice Cream CakeGive it a good mix to ensure even distribution.

Ice Cream CakePour this into the prepared tin, cover with cling film then pop into the freezer to set. (I made mine the day before the dinner party to 1. make sure it would set and 2. decrease stress on the day.)

Ice Cream CakeButterscotch Sauce

To make the butterscotch sauce, tip the sugars, golden syrup, butter & salt into a large saucepan.

Ice Cream Cake Butterscotch SauceOver a relatively high heat, melt the ingredients and boil for 5 minutes.

Ice Cream Cake Butterscotch Sauce

Ice Cream Cake Butterscotch SauceWhen the 5 minutes are up, turn off the heat the stir in the double cream and vanilla extract.

Ice Cream Cake Butterscotch SaucePour into a jug and allow to go cold before using. (Or it will be far too runny.)

Rich Chocolate Sauce

Break up the chocolate & put it in a saucepan along with all the other ingredients.

Ice Cream Cake Rich Chocolate SauceOver a gentle heat, melt the ingredients together stirring constantly so it doesn’t catch on the bottom.

It will look very ‘dotty’ at first but have patience, it will come together.

Ice Cream Cake Rich Chocolate SauceOnce everything has melted together, take the pan off the heat, give it a good stir – then pour into a jug and allow to cool before using.

Back to the cake.

When you are ready to serve, take the cake out the freezer and remove from the tin. Carefully peel away the cling film and set on a cake stand.

Allow to sit out for 5-10 minutes until soft enough to slice.

Serve wedges smothered in lashings of butterscotch & chocolate sauce.

Ice Cream CakeCome on, is that not one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen? I mean, I think it should be considered as the 8th wonder of the world! Hang on, lets get a closer look…

Ice Cream CakeIf you’re not salivating over that – you need to see a doctor. There’s something seriously wrong with you!

It’s definitely safe to say this was a huge hit with my guests. I nearly didn’t have to wash the desserts plates they were that clean! And the butterscotch sauce was my absolute favourite. It was so good, I actually drank some. Yeah – I said that out loud. I drank some. There’s gotta be some perks to having a food blog though right?! Hehehe.

And on that shameful confession, I bit you farewell until next week lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason

 

 

 

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff Crepes!

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff CrepesSo Summer has finally arrived, and about time too! Wimbledon starts on Monday here in the UK. And you know what that means… strawberries. Lots and lots of strawberries!

I only recently discovered that I like them actually. As you will know from My Food Story, I was an incredibly picky eater as a child. And despite how much more I eat now,  there’s still a part of me that’s like that. I know, it’s a travesty right? Still! I’m aiming to right my wrongs and in doing so, provide you lovely lot with this unbelievably epic recipe!

Here is what you will need to make approx 7-8 (22cm) crepes. Easily halved or doubled.

(2x of these are plenty for one person)

For the Crepes

  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 180ml Semi Skimmed Milk
  • 120ml Water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • Unsalted Butter, for Frying

For the Fillings*

  • Nutella
  • Biscoff Spread
  • Fresh Strawberries

* Quantities are entirely down to your individual tastes

Equipment

  • Food Processor (not essential)
  • 23cm Heavy Non Stick Frying Pan (approx)

First up, we need to make the crepe batter. Add all the ingredients to a food processor (minus the fillings obviously) and ‘pulse’ until everything is blended and is the consistency of single cream. If you don’t have a processor – just add everything into a large bowl and whisk vigorously until the same result is achieved.

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff Crepes

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff Crepes

Pour the batter into a tub/jug, cover with a lid/cling film and place in the fridge for a minimum of 30-40mins. If you are having them for breakfast, you can make this the night before and chill overnight.

Once your batter is chilled, lets get the fillings ready.

Hull and slice your strawberries. (Watch This Video on how to hull a strawberry if you’re unsure.)

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff CrepesIn small saucepans, gently warm as much Nutella and/or Biscoff Spread as you like just to loosen it. To warn – Biscoff gets very runny, very quickly so will only need a few seconds over heat. Nutella will take a little longer as it’s thicker.

Onto the crepes.

Get your pan nice and hot. (Not so hot that it burns the butter but hot enough that the batter starts bubbling ever so slightly when you pour it in.) Add a small knob of butter and allow to melt. Then swill it around to cover the whole pan.

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff CrepesPour in roughly 100ml of batter. (I used a measuring cup which helps keep them about the same thickness every time.)

Immediately swirl the mixture around the pan to even it out. This needs to be done very quickly or you will end up with thin & thick bits. (Just like I did – the trials and tribulations of photographing food that cooks fast!)

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff CrepesAllow to cook for a few minutes. If you’re pan is hot enough, it will start to bubble when it is ready to be flipped. But just keep an eye on it by lifting up an edge to check if it’s golden brown.

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff CrepesDon’t be tempted to keep moving it about either – that’s how they tear.

Once it’s ready, carefully flip the crepe and cook the other side for a minute or two until equally golden brown in colour.

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff CrepesSlide the crepe out the pan and onto a chopping board or mat.

Some people like to make and eat crepes as they go along. Me? I like to make all the crepes, put them on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. But it’s entirely up to you.

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff Crepes Now for the good bit! Smear half the crepe with warmed Nutella or Biscoff.

Strawberry, Nutella Biscoff CrepesTop a quarter of the Nutella/Biscoff half with sliced strawberries.

Strawberry, Nutella Biscoff CrepesFold the top half of the crepe over the filling.

Strawberry, Nutella Biscoff CrepesThen fold the right over the left to make a ‘quarter’.

Strawberry, Nutella Biscoff CrepesStack as many as you can handle on a plate and drizzle with more Nutella or Biscoff.

Strawberry, Nutella Biscoff Crepes

Strawberry, Nutella & Biscoff CrepesSee – I told you it was an unbelievably epic recipe! I can’t express how difficult it was to refrain from eating this straight away. But I resisted just so I could take photos for you lovely lot to feast your eyes on! Yes, I really love you all that much! (I also love exclamation marks – but generally that’s just because I get so excited by food like this!)

Well I hope you all enjoyed this weeks post – I know I did *licks lips & rubs belly*

Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

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In other news, fancy bagging yourself £100 worth of  Waitrose Vouchers? Click the image above for details. This is my entry – why don’t you give it a go?!

Chocolate Mousse Brownies

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesOk ok I know! So I’ve gone a little brownie mad. I’m sorry, I promise I’ll make something new for you next week. But let’s be truthful, can you honestly give me one good reason why I shouldn’t  take it one step further? I mean, look at that picture… don’t you just want to bury your face in all it’s gorgeously gooey chocolate glory??

Of course you do!

I won’t keep you waiting any longer, here is what you will need to make your dreams come true. (Or just 16 delicious pieces… whatever.)

For the Brownie

  • 200g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 250g Dark Chocolate (good quality)
  • 100g Milk Chocolate (good quality)
  • 3 Eggs, Room Temp
  • 250g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 50g Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour *

For the Mousse

  • 1 tsp Gelatin Powder
  • 120g Dark Chocolate
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 1 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar

To Finish

  • 50g White Chocolate for Drizzling, Optional

Essential Equipment

  • 20cm/8″ Square Baking Tin
  • Electric Stand Mixer or Electric Hand Whisk

* If you don’t require a gluten free recipe, regular self raising flour will work just fine.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C.

Firstly, grease and line the base and two sides of the baking tin. (The baking paper will act as handles to lift out the brownie once cooked & cooled. Using a loose bottomed tin like I did would also help.)

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieIn a glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, break in the dark & milk chocolate and add the butter. Gently melt, stirring occasionally. Then remove from the heat, stir until smooth & shiny and allow to cool whilst we move onto the eggs.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieEither in an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment or using a large glass bowl & an electric hand whisk, crack in all 3 eggs and whisk for at least 3-4 minutes on a high setting. They should end up pale in colour and very light.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieAdd in the muscovado sugar & vanilla extract and whisk again until evenly blended but still fairly light in texture.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieIn thirds, pour the chocolate into the egg mixture and gently fold in using a spatula.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieOnce all the chocolate is incorporated, sift in the flour and fold in just until you can’t see anymore flour.

Ultimate Chocolate BrowniePour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for approx 30-35 minutes. There should still be a little movement in the centre.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieTransfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Don’t rush this, it has to be virtually cold before you can put the mousse on otherwise it will just melt and get very messy.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieOnce cooled, using the back of a metal spoon, press the brownie edges down into the sides of the tin and flatten any cracks throughout the centre. You don’t want any gaps for the mousse to fall in. (At the same time, don’t press so hard that you squash the brownie.)

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesNow, let’s crack on with the mousse.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1-2 tsp of cold water and set to one side to soften.

Finely chop the chocolate and place into a glass bowl.

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesIn a small saucepan, heat 100ml of the double cream gently over a low heat. Once steaming hot (but not boiling) pour over the chocolate and leave for 1-2 minutes to melt.

Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and shiny then add in the softened gelatin and stir until dissolved.

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesUsing an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a large glass bowl with an electric hand whisk, whisk the remaining 200ml of double cream until soft peaks form. (Be careful not to over whisk here, keep an eye on it.)

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesAdd half of the cream into the chocolate and gently fold in using a spatula, until the mixture is all the same colour.

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesRepeat the same process with the remaining cream until you get a thick but loose mousse.

(That totally reminded me of this hilarious advert!)

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesQuickly pour the mousse over the cold brownie and smooth with the spatula or the back of a spoon.

Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to set for a minimum of 2 hours. (Better overnight if you have the time.)

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesOnce the mousse has set, cut into 16 pieces. If you are as picky as me, wipe the knife inbetween each cut to keep those beautiful clean edges. Otherwise, just go for it!

Then if you fancy it, either in the microwave or a glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the white chocolate. Pour it into a piping bag, snip the end and drizzle over each brownie. It should set fairly quickly if the brownie has not long come out the fridge.

Chocolate Mousse BrowniesIn my opinion, the brownies are a much better texture when at room temperature. I allowed mine to sit on the side for an hour or so before serving and they were absolutely divine!

Ok, so they’re a labour of love, but let me assure you, these babies are TOTALLY worth it! The brownie is rich & gooey and the mousse is lovely & light… mouth wateringly good!

In other news, fancy getting your mitts on this amazing prize??

Stellar Bakers Dozen Competition

That’s right, you could win this unbelievable prize worth over £260! I’ve teamed up with Stellar to offer one of you lovely lot, 13 pieces of heavy quality, non stick Stellar tins, trays & roasters. Click HERE for details on how to enter.

And on that note, I hope you enjoyed the post! Until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

Ultimate Chocolate BrowniesAs most of you know, I have been on a quest to find the ultimate chocolate brownie recipe. (Thanks to The Ginger Bakers and their unbelievably incredible gluten free brownie for inspiring me!)

Over the last month or two I have literally made enough brownies to feed a small army. I know what you’re thinking, I’m sick of them now right? NEVER! I am happy in the knowledge that I am the proud owner of the greatest brownie recipe in the whole freakin’ universe. Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but seriously. These are amazing and you have to try them! Oh, and by the way… did I mention they’re gluten free??

Just because I’m a caring sharing sort of person, I’m going to share my recipe with you lovely lot. So here is what you will need to make 16 pieces of chocolate heaven.

  • 200g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 250g Dark Chocolate (good quality)
  • 100g Milk Chocolate (good quality)
  • 3 Eggs, Room Temp
  • 250g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 50g Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour *

Essential Equipment

  • 20cm/8″ Square Baking Tin
  • Electric Stand Mixer or Electric Hand Whisk

* If you don’t require a gluten free recipe, regular self raising flour will work just fine.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C.

Firstly, grease and line the base and two sides of the baking tin. (The baking paper will act as handles to lift out the brownie once cooked & cooled. Using a loose bottomed tin like I did would also help.)

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieIn a glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, break in the dark & milk chocolate and add the butter. Gently melt, stirring occasionally. Then remove from the heat, stir until smooth & shiny and allow to cool whilst we move onto the eggs.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieEither in an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment or using a large glass bowl & an electric hand whisk, crack in all 3 eggs and whisk for at least 3-4 minutes on a high setting. They should end up pale in colour and very light.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieAdd in the muscovado sugar & vanilla extract and whisk again until evenly blended but still fairly light in texture.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieIn thirds, pour the chocolate into the egg mixture and gently fold in using a spatula.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieOnce all the chocolate is incorporated, sift in the flour and fold in just until you can’t see anymore flour.

Ultimate Chocolate BrowniePour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for approx 30-35 minutes. There should still be a little movement in the centre.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieTransfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Don’t worry, any cracking will mostly sink in once cooled.)

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieDon’t attempt to remove from the tin and cut until it’s completely cooled. Trust me, it needs to be cool or it will just get incredibly messy! I assure you it’s worth the wait.

Ultimate Chocolate BrownieSo once they’re completely cooled, remove them from the tin, peel off the baking paper & cut into 16 devilishly indulgent slices of heaven!

And there you have it. The worlds most incredible brownies. The taste is just so remarkably divine and chocolatey and that texture… oh my word, just so soft & gooey and not at all like those horrifically disappointing things you get in the supermarkets. There’s no dry, cakey brownies in this kitchen! Only exquisitely rich and indulgent ones :)

You could even turn them into beautifully unique gifts by simply piping on a little swirl of chocolate buttercream frosting and topping with a sugar decoration of your choosing…

Ultimate Chocolate Brownie PresentThey look so cute in a presentation box! A great gift idea for friends and family.

Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Present

Stellar James Martin Bakers DozenIn other news, the baking tin featured in this post is part of a fantastic new range from Stellar. They have once again teamed up with the lovely James Martin to create The Bakers Dozen. A combination of quality cookware incorporating 13 of the most used trays, tins & roasters in the kitchen.

I have always loved Stellar cookware. My kitchen cupboards are filled with their incredible tools, tins & pans. What’s not to like? The quality is absolutely outstanding. All items are of a beautiful, heavy quality and non stick. And when I say non stick – I MEAN non stick. Nothing sticks to these bad boys! Not only does this make cooking so much easier, it also makes quick work of the washing up! And I for one, am definitely happy about that.

The loose bottomed square tin I used for these brownies was no exception. The heavy quality tin made for a superbly even bake and despite the fact that the brownie batter was quite thin, not one drop of it leaked through the bottom. Naturally, washing it was incredibly easy and it all just wiped straight off. Even the usually hard to remove, cooked on stuff – came clean off with little to no effort at all. And the best bit? All Stellar cookware comes with a lifetime guarantee. Yep, lifetime.

And because Stellar are so ace, I’m cooking up a fabulous competition with them for you lovely lot. Coming soon so keep your eyes peeled!

And on that note, I hope you all enjoyed the post and I will catch you all next week.

Much love

Miss KitchenMason

 

 

 

 

Butterscotch Tart

Butterscotch TartWhen most people think of school dinners, they think of all that horrifically congealed, stodgy cack they were served as a child. Me? I only think of one thing… butterscotch tart. I absolutely adored this pudding when I was in school. Before I left, I  even went as far as to ask a dinner lady for the recipe! It was on this scrappy little bit of paper that got mislaid over the years. I honestly thought it was lost forever & that I would never again taste the amazingness that is butterscotch tart…

Until one day, I was being nosy at my parents house (as you do) and to my surprise, found the scrappy bit of paper with the recipe on it! It was a little on the vague side but nothing I couldn’t work out if I put my mind to it. And believe me, I was very determined.

So without further ado, here is what you will need to make a 20cm/8″ tart.

For the Pastry

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 125g Unsalted Butter, Cold/Cubed
  • Good pinch of Salt
  • 2 Eggs, Beaten
  • Cold Water

For the Filling

  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 175g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 175g Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Butterscotch Essence/Flavouring
  • 110ml Semi Skimmed Milk

Essential Equipment

  • 20cm/8″ Loose Bottomed Tart Tin

To make the pastry, put the flour, cubed butter & salt into a food processor & blitz briefly until it resembles fine crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor, put the ingredients into a large bowl and rub between fingers & thumbs until the same result is achieved.)

Butterscotch Tart

Butterscotch TartThen add one of the beaten eggs and a little cold water. Blitz again briefly until it just starts to come together to form a dough. (Or mix together with your hands.) Add a little more cold water if you need to but don’t make it too wet.

Butterscotch TartTip the dough out and gently/briefly knead together into a ball. Place into some clingfilm, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Butterscotch TartPreheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C.

Once the dough is chilled, place between two pieces of clingfilm and roll out a circle to a thickness of about 2-3mm.

Butterscotch TartPeel off one layer of clingfilm then carefully (cling film side up) lift and drape over the loose bottomed tart tin. Press the pastry down firmly into the base & sides. Try not to trap any air underneath.

Butterscotch TartFold the sides down over the edge of the tin and press to “cut off” the excess pastry.

Butterscotch TartRemove the cling film & excess pastry then pierce all over with a fork.

Butterscotch TartLoosely cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes. This should stop the butter from melting too quickly and, therefore, the sides from shrinking too much.

Scrunch up a large sheet of baking paper (NOT greaseproof paper as that will stick) and place into the tart case. Fill with baking beans or rice and bake in the preheated oven for 15mins.

Remove from the oven, take out the beans & baking paper. Brush the pastry all over with the 2nd beaten egg and pop back into the oven for a further 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before adding the filling.

Butterscotch TartTo make the filling, in a very large saucepan – melt the butter and the sugar together over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Butterscotch TartAdd in the flour and cook, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon, for 2-3 minutes. You just need to ‘cook out’ the flour so it doesn’t taste chalky.

Butterscotch TartIf the mixture starts to split & butter leaks out, don’t panic – all is not lost!

Tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add in the salt, vanilla, butterscotch & milk. Beat until smooth and thick. To start with, it will feel like it just won’t come together, but keep going, it will.

If you’re mixture split & you’re having a hard time bringing it together, pop it all into a food processor and blitz on high until smooth and thick. It will be fine I promise.

Butterscotch TartWhen the pastry case is completely cooled, pour the filling in and allow to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to an hour. It should be able to just hold it’s shape when cut.

Butterscotch TartIf memory serves me correctly, the traditional (and my personal favourite) way is to slice & serve with warm custard. Although, custard is definitely something I do NOT remember being nice in school! Steer clear of those horrible powders & premade versions though. Go on, do this tart proud and make some from scratch. There’s nothing better than home made vanilla custard!

With my first bite into this tart, it took me straight back to my school days. I would get so excited when this was on the menu that I would just skip dinner and have two desserts instead! That beautiful, soft & gooey butterscotch filling on a gorgeously golden pastry crust. Just, yes. A thousand times yes!

I hope you enjoyed my nostalgic post this week my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter Brownies

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter BrowniesWhen I visited the Cake & Bake Show in April, I came across the greatest brownie I have ever eaten in my life. It was hand made by the wonderful guys over at Ginger Bakers in Kendal. The most surprising thing? They were gluten free! And yet still vastly superior to any glutenous brownie I’ve eaten. Ever since this life changing moment, I have been on the hunt for a recipe that is equal to it’s food-gasmic sorcery.

There are literally hundreds of brownie recipes out there so I knew my quest was going to be a long & treacherous one. The delightful side effect of this quest? All the amazing new brownies I’m going to try along the way! And I must say, this one is definitely up there on the foodgasm chart.

Here is what you will need to make 16 of these sensational chocolate & peanut butter brownies.

  • 310g Icing Sugar, Sifted
  • 200g Ground Almonds
  • 80g Cocoa Powder, Sifted
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Coffee Granules, Dissolved in 1 tbsp Cold Water
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Topping

  • 100g Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 35g Milk Chocolate Chips

Essential Equipment

  • 20 x 20cm/8″ x 8″ Square Cake Tin

First thing to note, do NOT be put off by the almonds and coffee. Even I’m not a massive fan, but you will taste neither in the finished product I promise. The almonds are effectively a substitute for flour and the coffee is only there to make the chocolate taste more chocolatey.

Right! Lets crack on.

Lightly grease and line the base & 2 sides of  the square baking tin & preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 170°C.

In a very large bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, ground almonds, cocoa powder & salt until everything is evenly mixed.

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter BrowniesMake a well in the centre then add the coffee, egg whites & vanilla extract. Using a spatula, mix it all together until you have a thick and dark batter.

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter BrowniesPour it into the prepared tin and level out with the back of a metal spoon.

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter BrowniesBeat the peanut butter until smooth & loose then dot blobs all over the top of the brownie batter.

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter Brownies-4Take a cocktail stick or a sharp knife and run it through the batter, swirling the peanut butter around. Lastly, top with a scattering of the milk chocolate chips.

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter BrowniesBake in the preheated oven for 30-35 mins until an inserted skewer comes out almost clean.

Allow to sit in the tin for a few minutes then remove & place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter BrowniesOnce cooled, slice into 16 equal pieces, marvel at the beauty before you, then precede to gobble without coming up for air.

Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter BrowniesI’m really struggling to find the words to describe how good these are. I mean, the texture is just SO soft & fudgy and oh my life are they chocolatey! Magnificently rich & decadent and… hang on, sorry, you’ll have to bear with me while I drag myself out a puddle of my own drool.

Ok, so they’re good. And you’re gonna make them. Meanwhile, I’m not satisfied that these top the Ginger Bakers gluten free brownies, despite how amazing they are. So my quest continues!

I hope you enjoyed the post my lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Heavenly Desserts

Heavenly DessertsA couple of days ago the Mr told me he was taking me out for an ‘unbelievably amazing dessert’ and the location was a surprise. Naturally I was both hungry &  intrigued. But he knows me so well that there was literally no doubt in my mind it would be incredible… and it TOTALLY was!

It’s a place in Derby (England) called Heavenly Desserts. A restaurant that only sells desserts. I know, it’s like they peered into my soul and invented what I’d always dreamed about! All the amazing dessert ideas you could possibly think of are on their menu. Including waffles, crepes, brownies & cookies. All topped with unbelievably indulgent ingredients like melted Belgian chocolate, chocolate chips, fresh fruit, whipped cream… the hardest part of the whole experience is choosing what you want. Unfortunately ‘Everything’ is not an option plus I don’t have a bottomless stomach. (Much to my dismay!)

I later discovered there are actually three branches, Derby (Westfield), Leicester & Birmingham. If you happen to be near one I implore you to pop in and give it a go!

Anyway, after MUCH deliberation, I started my heavenly desserts journey by sampling a Belgium White Chocolate Shot.

Heavenly DessertsIt is literally a shot glass of melted white Belgian chocolate with a strawberry to dip in it. I was in heaven. Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with white chocolate. This was like food porn to me!

Then we moved on to our ‘main course’. This was the Mr’s choice…

Heavenly Desserts

Heavenly DessertsI know, it looks incredible doesn’t it?! A giant golden waffle topped with a rich Nutella chocolate sauce, chopped hazelnuts, Ferrero Rocher, whipped cream & Nutella ice cream. It’s actually mind blowing how good this was!

But my choice was just as indulgent…

Heavenly Desserts

Heavenly DessertsI started salivating just looking at the pictures again haha! A giant golden waffle topped with rich, melted white Belgian chocolate, sliced fresh strawberries, whipped cream and madagascan vanilla ice cream.

Lets be honest… this was inevitable:

Heavenly DessertsThis is definitely a place I will be visiting again. Apparently they also do a take out service. It’s almost too good to be true! Well, almost. The fact that I felt SO full & gained like 3lb in one day made it very real but it was totally worth it!

An easy 9 out of 10!

I hope you enjoyed the post lovelies, until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

Cookie Dough Fudge & Judge Giveaway!

Cookie Dough FudgeThe lovely John Whaite has only gone and published another book! John Whaite Bakes At Home. And I must say, it’s absolutely beautiful from start to finish. After pawing over the pages for the first time, I saw this little beauty and knew it was the first recipe I was going to make from this delightfully charming book.

Cookie… dough… fudge. Oh yes, you heard me. All in one amazing piece. Sounds epic right? Well it bloomin’ well is!

Here is what you will need to make about 25 drool inducing pieces.

For The Cookie Dough

  • 75g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 40g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 40g Light Muscovado Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Golden Syrup
  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 75g Dark Chocolate Chips *

For The Fudge

  • 150ml Whole Milk
  • 150ml Double Cream
  • 250g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 100g Light Brown Soft Sugar
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, cubed
  • Pinch Salt

Equipment

  • 20cm/8″ Square Cake Tin (or silicone)
  • Sugar Thermometer

*Don’t be tempted (as I almost was) to switch out the dark chocolate chips to milk chocolate. The fudge is already so sweet that you actually need the bitterness of the dark chocolate to cut through it. It just works, trust me.

Grease & line your cake tin with baking paper if using a metal tin.

To make the cookie dough, put the butter & sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk) and beat until light & fluffy.

Cookie Dough FudgeAdd in the vanilla and golden syrup then mix well. Sift in the flour, add the dark chocolate chips and mix until a firm dough forms.

Cookie Dough FudgeRoughly divide the dough into 25 portions and roll into little balls. Place on a baking tray and pop into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Cookie Dough FudgeMeanwhile, let’s crack on with the fudge.

Put all the ingredients (except for the salt) into a large, heavy based saucepan.

Cookie Dough FudgeOk, it doesn’t look pretty now, but just you wait!

Place over a medium heat and stir occasionally until everything has dissolved. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble until it reaches 118°C on a thermometer. (About 15-20 mins or so.)

For details on how you could win your very own Judge 3 in 1 digital scale & thermometer (plus other goodies!) see the end of this post.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Cookie Dough FudgeWhen it has reached temperature, remove from the heat and stir in the salt.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Cookie Dough FudgeAllow to cool for a minute or two then give it a stir and pour into the prepared tin/silicone mould. Spread out evenly using the back of a spoon.

Cookie Dough FudgeThen take the cookie dough balls out the freezer and evenly dot them into the fudge.

Cookie Dough FudgeLeave to set at room temperature. (To be sure, leave for a couple of hours or better yet, overnight.)

John advises not to put this in the fridge as it will sweat and generally not end up being very nice.

Once the fudge has set, slice into 25 pieces and store in a metal tin lined with baking paper.

 

Cookie Dough FudgeI mean, isn’t that a thing of beauty? Definitely something you will want to share with friends, family & co-workers. Take it from me, you ain’t eating all this yourself! You’d probably land yourself in some sort of sugar induced food coma!

But seriously, the surrounding fudge is so beautifully soft & sweet, then you bite into the cookie dough and those dark chocolate chips… just little bites of pure, indulgent, heaven!

If you are going to treat yourself to a new cook book in the near future, I would put John Whaite Bakes At Home at the top of your list. It’s filled to the brim with his delightfully creative & alluring sweet and savoury bakes. And not to mention his writing style which is exquisitely charming. If I dare say it, it’s even better than his first book!

Judge Competition April 2014

Previously in the post I mentioned this fabulous Judge 3 in 1 digital scale & thermometer. As you can see, it’s an extremely useful & versatile gadget to have in the kitchen! It was particularly handy when making this fudge, as you can actually set an alarm to go off when it reaches your desired temperature, how awesome is that?! So even if you are distracted by a million and one other things, your fudge or even your Sunday roast won’t be ruined thanks to this fab piece of kitchen tech.

Courtesy of the lovely folks over at Judge, one of you lucky lot will win a fantastic 3 in 1 digital scale & thermometer along with a complete range of the new, eco friendly BioChef utensils, a non-slip oven mitt & a non-slip pot holder.

All you have to do to enter is one of the following two options.

1. Like the KitchenMason Facebook Page & share the photo pinned to the top of the timeline

2. Follow @KitchenMason & @JudgeCookware on Twitter and retweet the competition tweet on KitchenMason’s Twitter feed.

And it’s as simple as that!

Competition is open to UK residents only and closes on Saturday 17th May at 2pm.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook & Twitter shortly after.

Well I hope you enjoyed the post this week my lovelies, until next time – good luck!

Miss KitchenMason