Showing posts with label biscuit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biscuit. Show all posts

22 May 2012

Very very chocolately cookies from Cox Cookies & Cake

Over the last few years as my baking habit has grown, so it seems has my collection of cook books, most of which I have very gratefully recieved as gifts. I love looking through them for inspiration & to drool over the pictures, but if I think about it, it's not that often I actually choose a new recipe from a book & try it out. I have my staple recipes that I pretty much know off by heart, then the rest is a series of experiments, some more successful than others!

So I've decided to branch out, broaden my repertoire & try out at least one new recipe from each of my books. The first is from Cox Cookies & Cake, a collaboration beween baker Eric Lanlard & the designer Patrick Cox.  The book is a technicolour spectacular divided into themed chapters, my particular favourite is the Styling Cupcakes section.  Although where one is meant to find a beach bum mould & skin-coloured edible paste I have no idea, (Cheeky Cupcakes on page 100 if you get a chance to look at the book!)

Easing myself gently into this somewhat eccentric cook book, I decided to make double chocolate & marshmallow cookies, the Man Cakes (page 108) will have to wait for another day.


They really should be called Choc as much choc as you can into a cookie cookie.  They have melted chocolate, cocoa powder & chocolate chips in them, topped off with a good drizzle of melted marshmallow.  The texture was quite cakey rather than crunchy cookie, but oh my god they tasted good!  Next on the hit list for this book is the Orange Marmalade Cupcakes, it's worth a look if you want some more unusual ideas & if anyone knows where I can find a torso mould let me know :-)  Till next time, Rebecca x 


22 April 2011

Biscuits not bullets...testing out a cookie gun!

I hope you're all enjoying the Easter break & the sun is shining for you as much as it is here in the Royal Borough? This week I'm testing out another of the kitchen gadgets I received at Christmas & this time it's a cookie press. Looking at it, you'd think you should grout your bathroom with it, but I have to say after a bit of trial & error it was actually quite nifty. It's made by Kuhn Rikon & comes with 16 interchangeable discs that produce a range of shapes from stars & flowers, to Christmas trees & something vaguely resembling a pumpkin! I made the same cookie dough I used a few weeks back for my Cookie Stamp, then you roll it into a sausage, load it into the gun & get trigger happy!

I decided I'd make a batch to give as gifts this Easter rather than eggs, so I chose the most spring like shapes (sorry the bat & dinosaur will have to wait for another day!)



These are 'abstract' according to the booklet, squiggles to me!



Stars that could be flowers...



more flowers....


& even more flowers!



Hearts

What I discovered was that there was a bit of a knack to shooting cookies, some shapes required a quicker trigger speed than others, (I do realise how ridiculous this sounds!) The other thing that was a bit of a revelation for me was using a non-stick baking liner. It was recommended in the instructions to help the cookies stick & they were right! I tried shooting them onto greaseproof paper & straight onto the baking sheet, but no joy. I bought mine from Lakeland for £5 & I think it'll be a fiver well spent.

I ended up with 80 odd cookies from one batch! As they were for Easter I packed them into these really cute bunny bags also from Lakeland. Beats an over packaged, over priced choccie egg any day I think!



Next week I'll share with you what happened when I went to my first ever Blogger event organised by the lovely people at Total Greek Yogurt, so prepare yourselves for lots of yogurt related recipes in weeks to come! Have a lovely weekend with you & yours, Rebecca x

23 December 2010

Week 49 - Christmas Cookies

Hello! How are we all this week, survived the big freeze? I know a few weeks ago I said the snow in the Shire was a bit pathetic, well it certainly made up for it this week & it tipped it down on Saturday! It all made for a very pretty looking Windsor, but now it's all just turned into a yucky, mucky mess & I'm hoping it'll all melt away soon. I don't know about you, but I've also had to have an emergency re-think on the present front too as some things are stuck in the post! Thankfully I've finished work for the year, so it's into town for me today for some last minute shopping.

As well as the recipe this week I've also decorated my family Christmas cake, click here if you want to have a look at the finished article, must admit I'm quite chuffed with it. There's also a suggestion as to what to do with the marzipan you generally always get left with!

So this weeks recipe is a really simple sugar cookie, they make lovely tree decorations & I have heard a rumour that they are in fact a favourite of Santa Claus!

125g butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
225g plain flour
Few drops of vanilla essence
100g icing sugar mixed with water to a thick paste
Edible decorations (optional)


1. Cream the butter & sugar together until light & fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk & vanilla, then finally stir in the flour & combine until you get a firm dough. My kitchen is quite cold & I have granite surfaces, so I found kneading it a little to warm it up helped it along, it was quite crumbly otherwise.

2. Roll out the dough to around 5mm thick, then cut out into whatever shapes you like. I made stars, then used a skewer to poke a hole for the ribbon in the top. Bake in the oven on a baking sheet lined with paper at 180c/GM4 for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they turn from light golden (what you want) to burnt (not what you want!) very quickly!

3. Leave to cool thoroughly, then attach a ribbon or string through the hole & decorate at will! I used the silver balls & sugar snowmen I had left over from last weeks Gingerbread House.

So that's all from me for this week, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. Thanks for all your support & comments on my marathon blogging baking challenge, it's very much appreciated. I'll see you again next week as we head closer towards the Rebecca Bakes Cakes finale, only 3 weeks to go!

Happy Christmas!

Rebecca x

14 December 2010

Week 48 - Gingerbread House

Hello my festive friends! Please be nice to me this week, I've come down with a horrible cold & am rapidly losing my voice. I currently sound like Mariella Frostrup, which to be honest would be quite nice if it didn't hurt so much. Sadly it also means most of my tastebuds have gone on strike so I'm not really enjoying my food at the minute which is torture! There's only 10 days to go until Christmas, so I'm hoping for a speedy recovery, Christmas in our house is all about the eating & drinking, it's not going to be much fun if I can't taste it :-(

This week I've finally got round to doing something I've planned for about the last 3 Christmases, I've made a gingerbread house! I'm not sure why I've had this desire, maybe it was being read Hansel & Gretel as a child!? Maybe it's because I used to love building Lego houses & the thought of an edible one was just too tempting? The gingerbread itself is really easy to make, you just need a bit of time & patience to construct & decorate it. It's quite therapeutic really, although I think I probably ended up eating more sweeties than ended up on the house! I used mini marshmallows to create the snow, milky way stars for the roof & a mixture of jelly tots, smarties & tooty frooties for the rest of the decoration. I also had some really cute little sugar snowmen & white sugar sprinkles that looked like ice. You can use whatever you want really, let your imagination run wild! I've also included a house template below, I just cut mine out of baking paper.

100g butter
100g demerara sugar
200g golden syrup
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
500g plain flour
200g icing sugar
Assorted sweets to decorate
Cake board

1. Put the sugar & syrup into a pan & bring it up to boiling point over a gentle heat. Add the bicarb & give it a good stir, it will turn cloudy & froth up a bit so make sure you have room in the pan!

2. Chop the butter into small chunks & put into a large mixing bowl. Add the syrup mixture to the butter & stir until the butter is melted. Beat in the egg, then mix in the flour a little at a time until you end up with quite a stiff dough.

3. Dust a work surface with flour, then roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. Cut out 2 of each of the template shapes & place them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven at 170c/GM3 for 10-15 minutes. I baked mine in 3 batches, leaving them to cool completely on the paper

4. Now comes the tricky bit! Firstly trim the sides of each panel, this makes it fit together a little easier. Next mix the icing sugar with a little water until you have a stiff paste. Take one of the side panels, spread a thin layer of icing on the bottom & stick it to the cake board. Repeat with all the sections using the icing as cement, putting the roof on last. You might need to hold this in place for a couple of minutes to leave it to set. Then go wild with the decorating! Leave to set in a cool place.

I love my gingerbread house, although I don't think I could ever bring myself to destroy it! So with that in mind I have wrapped it up & donated it to our annual Christmas charity raffle at work. Hopefully it will go to a good home & it will be happily broken up & devoured, herein fulfilling it's Christmas Gingerbread destiny! Have a good week, see you next time, Rebecca x







10 November 2010

Week 43 - Viennese Biscuits

Afternoon folks, I've had a day off today so I'm feeling all relaxed & am writing this with a cup of tea & one of this weeks biccies! Can you believe that I'm in to the final 10 weeks of my blogging challenge. It's gone so fast, but I'm wondering what to do with all the recipes I've tried over the year? A book maybe? :-) For now I have to concentrate on the final 9 recipes, if anyone has any suggestions please let me know...

This week I had some good news, the blog has been nominated in the Dorset Cereals Little Blog Awards! It's a monthly award & voting takes place throughout November. So if you like my blog & enjoy reading then please vote & spread the word. You could also be in with a chance of winning a delicious Dorset Cereals goodie bag too! Click here to vote or follow the link on the right, thank you x

I thought we'd go all continental like this week with a Viennese Biscuit, they were meant to be Viennese Fingers but it didn't quite go to plan! These were really easy to make, they're pretty much a very short shortbread & this recipe came from my vintage Be-Ro book. Once you've made the mixture, you are meant to put it into a piping bag with a rosette nozzle & pipe 6cm strips of mixture onto a baking tray. Well I have a piping gun & could not for the life of me squeeze anything out of it as the mixture was so stiff, so I popped it in the microwave for 10 seconds! That seemed to do the trick, but rather than keep their traditional spiky shape, as soon as I put them in the oven they flopped into a splat!

150g butter
50g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
Few drops vanilla essence
100g plain chocolate

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, make sure it's really well beaten & soft.

2. Stir in the flour & vanilla. Scoop it into a piping bag or gun & pipe 6cm strips onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven at 160c/GM3 for 15 minutes until just golden.

3. Leave to cool & crisp up, then melt the chocolate & dip one end of each biscuit.

So they may not have the shape of the shop bought ones, but they are delicious none the less. Let me know if or how you managed to get yours to keep their shape! Have a good week, don't forget to vote, Rebecca x

6 July 2010

Week 25 - Malteser Cookies

Hey hey, I'm back from my weekend camping feeling very chilled & ready to bake some more! We had fab weather in the New Forest & amazingly the campsite sold bags of ice, so panic over, there was no problem keeping the Rose chilled. We did go horse riding & yes I did announce to the rather confused group, 'I'm on a horse!' It seems getting off a horse is harder than getting on though & I performed the most ungraceful dismount, catching my back leg on the saddle & pretty much coming off head first. It's ok, I don't think anyone noticed! I also didn't realise there were wild ponies in the forest? It's a bit odd how they just roam around the place, one came right up to us & practically sat on our picnic blanket, we did offer him a beer but he wasn't that interested & wandered off again. I did enjoy camping & had a lovely time, but I admit I was happy to be back in my bed!

So next week marks a milestone for the blog, I hit the half way point in the baking challenge. It's been a lot of fun baking & writing each week, as well of course being able to share the fruits of my labour. I've had such lovely support & encouragement from everyone, I wanted to do something to say thank you. So this Friday I'm hosting the first ever Rebecca Bakes Cakes tea party! I have a special 1/2 birthday cake planned, as well as lots of other sweet treats & probably not an insignificant quantity of Pimms. If you're in the area let me know, pop in & say hi! Full report next week...

So on to this weeks recipe & it's something I've created for a competition that's running on mydish.co.uk The challenge is to create a recipe using Maltesers. Now putting them in cookies may not seem like the most creative use of Maltesers, but I've never come across it before & to be honest it was a bit of a gamble as I didn't know how they'd hold up in the oven? Simple, but effective I think!

55g butter
120g soft brown sugar
1 egg
Few drops of vanilla essence
140g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
135g Maltesers (bashed up a bit!)

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg & vanilla essence

2. Stir in the flour & bicarb, then finally the Maltesers. Spoon dollops of the mixture onto a baking tray, leaving space for them to spread, I got 12 cookies from a batch. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack

I'm quite chuffed with the outcome, the Maltesers go even crunchier in the oven, so you get a delicious cookie with little bites of malty loveliness! I think to make them even better, next time I'd also add a handful of mini marshmallows. The competition closes at the end of the month so we'll have to wait & see how my cookies compare?

Ooo...before I forget, does anyone know where I can find Marshmallow Fluff in London? I'm desperate to try Whoopie Pies, but this is a vital ingredient I'm missing. Well time to say goodbye for another week, take care, Rebecca x

11 May 2010

Week 17 - Gingerbread Walkers

Hello cake mates! It's finally here, it's Moonwalk week! I'm so excited, I've finished training, my bra is definitely decorated in the 'Showtime' theme & I just want to get on & do it now! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me so far, not just with sponsorship, but with encouragement & footcare advice. Thanks also to Mum, Michael & Gemma who have given up a nights sleep to come & volunteer at the event, they'll be on one of the water stations & seeing them on route will definitely spur me on! This weeks recipe has been created as a last minute fundraising effort, on Tuesday I held a cookie sale at work & raised a fantastic £56. Thanks to everyone who bought one!

So my boss has now headed off on maternity leave & last week I mentioned I'd made an alternative cake for her. Well here it is, a nappy cake! I never knew such a thing even existed until I googled baby showers, but I've since found out they were featured in Sex & the City! It was a lot of fun to make, the gifts you can't see that were attached to the back included a rather large bar of chocolate, pro plus & ear plugs! It was quite an eye opener, who would have thought you could find a video tutorial on youtube on how to make a nappy cake. (And people think I have too much time on my hands!) Anyway, it went down a storm, so much so I think it's being kept as a decoration in baby's room.

Right, back to my little gingerbread walking buddies. I love gingerbread but don't make it that often, I'm a bit lazy when it comes to rolling & cutting out dough! It's easy to make the dough, it just needs a bit of muscle when you have to combine the flour. Make sure you keep an eye on them in the oven as they can turn from golden to burnt very quickly!

100g butter
100g demerara sugar
200g golden syrup
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
500g plain flour

1. Put the sugar & syrup into a pan & bring it up to boiling point over a gentle heat. Add the bicarb & give it a good stir, it will turn cloudy & froth up a bit so make sure you have room in the pan!

2. Chop the butter into small chunks & put into a large mixing bowl. Add the syrup mixture to the butter & stir until the butter is melted. Beat in the egg, then mix in the flour a little at a time until you end up with quite a stiff dough.

3. Dust a work surface with flour, then roll out the dough to about 2mm thick & cut out whatever shapes you like! I roll it out a little at a time as it makes it easier to handle. Pop them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper leaving a little space in between as they will expand.

4. Bake in the oven at 170c/GM3 for 10-15 minutes. I baked mine in batches, using a fresh bit of baking paper each time. That way it's easier to leave them to cool before decorating. I used a tube of writing icing to decorate mine. But in the past I've also used jelly tots & smarties, attaching them with a little bit of icing.

I never quite know how to eat a gingerbread man, legs first? I feel a bit bad biting his arms off! Never mind, they taste so good I quickly get over it! So that's me done for another week, wish me luck for Saturday, there's still time to sponsor me, just click here. Thanks again to everyone for their support & also for the messages letting me know you're still reading. I had a horrible feeling last week I was talking to myself, lovely to know I'm not! Take care, Rebecca x

5 May 2010

Week 16 - Millionaire's Shortbread

Hello, hope you all enjoyed the long weekend? I managed to time it perfectly & take advantage of the 5 hours of sunshine we did actually get! I completed my final long training walk on Saturday, 18 miles in 4.5 hours. So that's it, training done, I'm ready for the Moonwalk & I can't wait for the 15th May. I'm just hoping my feet heal in time, I'm still having problems with blisters & there doesn't seem to be enough compeed plasters in the world to help. I've even taken to padding around the office barefoot to avoid shoes making them worse! If anyone has any tried & tested methods to fix blisters, please please let me know, I've only got 10 days to go.

This weeks recipe is a request & one of my favourite sweet treats. I used to buy it ready made from the supermarket & always thought it would be really difficult to make at home? I came across this recipe in the Christmas edition of Olive magazine & thought I'd have a go! It's easier than you might think, it just takes a little time as you have to allow for cooling in between layers. That said, the result is amazing & I'll never go back to the shop bought stuff! Piccie will follow, my chocolate topping hadn't quite set yet!

Shortbread
50g caster sugar
150g butter
200g flour

Caramel

225g caster sugar
142ml double cream
25g butter

Topping
200g dark chocolate
40g butter
60g white chocolate

1. Blitz together the flour, sugar & butter in a food processor until you get a soft dough. Line a tin approx 20cm square with baking paper, leaving an overhang to make it easy to lift out of the tin. Tip the dough into the tin & firmly press down so it's evenly spread. Chill for 10 minutes, then bake in the oven at 160c/GM4 for 35 minutes until golden brown. Leave it to cool completely in the tin

2. To make the caramel, place all the ingredients into a pan & over a gentle heat bring it up to the boil until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer rapidly for about 30 minutes, it's tricky to know when it's ready, but I'm told you should drop a blob of caramel into a glass of water, if it stays together, it's done!

3. Once the base is cool, pour the caramel over the top & leave it to cool completely. Melt the dark chocolate & butter together, then pour over the caramel. Leave to set, then melt the white chocolate & drizzle over the top. Once it's all set, you can use the paper to lift it out of the tin & cut it into chunks

There's something really satisfying about making Millionaire's Shortbread, maybe because of the time that goes into it! The request came from my boss, who is leaving us (temporarily) to have a baby. So, I hope you enjoy it Kerry & that baby makes a safe arrival in the not too distant future! I have also made an alternative cake to mark the occasion, but as that's a surprise for Friday, I'll tell you about that next week. Right cake done, it's on to bra decorating for the Moonwalk...it's a very creative week! Enjoy, Rebecca

p.s. I'm not really sure if anyone is still reading this? If you are, make yourself known please :-)

28 April 2010

Week 15 - Espresso Biscotti

Phew! Well I made it back from holiday, but I have to be honest I wasn't sure we would! We were pretty much the last flight to leave the country the day the volcano started to erupt, so we were lucky to get away in the first place. We had a lovely week in the Egyptian sun & then a bonus 4 days waiting for a flight home. Thankfully we didn't have to move hotels & we got upgraded to all inclusive, so it wasn't all that bad being stranded! But it's back to reality with a bump & straight back into work. It's also only just over 2 weeks away from my Moonwalk Marathon, yikes! The good news is the sun & sea has really helped to heal my feet, which were starting to wear themselves out, so I'm raring to go again & there's a daunting 20 miles planned for this weekend! Thank you to everyone for their support so far, there's still time to sponsor me if you would like to help Walk the Walk & the fantastic support they give to breast cancer charities all over the country.

You can find my sponsorship page at www.walkthewalkfundraising.org/rebecca_hodgson_mw

So, on to this weeks recipe & I thought I'd try creating a recipe using another of my fav Green & Blacks choccie bars. I've used the Espresso dark chocolate to create a delicious crunchy biscotti. The first time I made biscotti I was surprised at how easy it was, it's just a bit fiddly as you have to cook it twice. Apparently biscotti actually means twice baked in Italian? (Need an Italian to confirm that for me!) There are lots of different flavours you could try, almonds, dried fruit, chocolate whatever you like really. I think Espresso is a great variation & perfect with a cup of coffee!

250g plain flour
200g caster sugar
100g bar Green & Blacks Espresso chocolate chopped into small chunks
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
Few drops almond essence

1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & chocolate chunks

2. Beat the eggs with the vanilla essence, then add a little at a time to the dry ingredients & mix until it's all combined into quite a stiff dough. If it's proving tricky you can always add a tiny dash of milk to help it along

3. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface & roll it into a sausage shape. I ended up making 2 sausages as it made it a bit easier to handle! Place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment & bake in the oven at GM3/150c for 30 mins

4. Take them out the oven & leave to rest for 5 minutes. Then using a sharp knife slice the sausages on the diagonal, to make biscotti about 2cm thick. Place them back on the tray & pop into the oven for another 15 minutes. They'll still feel a little soft when you take them out the oven, but will crisp up when cool

So there you have it, delicious biscotti! I like to dunk mine in my coffee, Douwe Egberts coffee of course!! Enjoy, next weeks recipe is a request & it's going to be a goodie, see you then! Rebecca

21 April 2010

Week 14 - Moscow Mule Cheesecake

Hola baking buds! As you read this I am on holiday, hopefully soaking up the sun & sipping a Margarita by the pool. So in the words of Blue Peter, here's one I prepared earlier! Sorry it's a bit short, but between packing & painting my toenails, I just about squeezed in enough time to write this up. Normal service will be resumed next week!

This is the final creation in the series of cocktail inspired recipes & I have to say it is far more successful than the last one! The combination of ginger & lime is delicious, enjoy...

200g ginger nut biscuits
50g butter
1tbsp golden syrup
250g marscapone
200g cream cheese
2 limes

1. Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs, ginger nuts are tough cookies, so it's best to do this in a food processor. Melt the butter, stir in the golden syrup, then add the crushed biccies. Tip the mixture into a loose bottom tin & press down well using the back of a spoon, pop it into the fridge while you prepare the topping.

2. Mix together the marscapone & cream cheese, then add the juice & zest of the limes. Smooth this mixture over the biscuit base & stick it back in the fridge for a couple of hours to set. I like to add a couple of ribbons of lime zest to the top as decoration. To do this, only zest 1 1/2 of the limes & use a veggie peeler to peel ribbons off the remaining half.

This makes a great dinner party desert, really fresh & light, & something you can just magic out of the fridge at the end of the meal! Right better get back to the packing, I think I have a few too many shoes....we are only going for a week. See you next week, Rebecca

7 April 2010

Week 12 - Fruity Flapjacks

Happy Wednesday! Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend? So, Mr Brown has finally called the general election for 6th May. If anyone comes canvasing at my door, I think I'll ask them if they'll propose a new bill to make every Monday a Bank Holiday, I could get used to a 4 day week! Only thing is it means this week has gone way too quickly & I had a bit of a panic last night picking this weeks recipe. I thought you might like to know that last weeks Easter Nests were a big success at the cake sale, they helped raise over £1500. The money is being donated to our local Alzheimer's Society, so well done to all involved!

This weeks recipe is an antidote to all the chocolate we've had over the last few weeks & as they are stuffed with good stuff like oats & honey, I can kid myself that they are vaguely healthy! My Mum will probably kill me for saying this, but they are really good for breakfast with a lovely latte, especially if you have to eat on the run. I've chosen to use raisins & dried cranberries as that's what I had in the cupboard, but you could use 100g of any type of dried fruit.

100g butter
40g honey
50g caster sugar
50g raisins
50g dried cranberries
200g oats

1. Melt the butter in a large bowl, then add the honey. You'll have to give it a brisk stir to get it to combine, then add the sugar & stir again

2. Add the dried fruit, stir, then finally add the oats & stir again. It's not very technical this recipe just lots of stirring!

3. Line a baking dish approx 15cm x 15cm with baking paper (this makes it easier to lift out & cut into squares), tip in the oaty mixture & press down firmly using the back of a spoon

4. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for around 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown. Leave to cool in the dish for 10 minutes, then cut into squares. Leave to cool completely before lifting out of the dish & removing the paper.

I love these flapjacks, they're deliciously gooey on the inside with a crunchy outside, yum! So next week we hit a milestone in the history of Rebecca Bakes Cakes, we'll be 13 weeks into the challenge, that's a quarter done already. How time flies when you're having fun! Hopefully it'll also be a celebration cake as I'm hoping my friends bubba will have joined the world by then, he/she is already fashionably late! Till then , Rebecca

7 March 2010

Week 8 - Chocolate Ginger Cookies

I'm feeling a little delicate this week, so be nice cake mates. Training was completed as planned, but with hindsight, going out dancing in 4 inch heels the same day as completing a mammoth 11 mile walk was probably not my best decision ever! Now I have been known to abandon my shoes when out dancing, but on Saturday, for the first time ever, I was asked by security to put my shoes back on. Apparently dancing barefoot poses a health & safety risk! I would argue that me, slightly squiffy, dancing on 4 inch heels presents more of a risk than barefoot, but who am I to argue with a security professional? Needless to say my legs are a bit sore, although some treatment from my fab physio, Zdena on Monday means I should get out training again tomorrow. As my Mum would say, those mile won't walk themselves!

So, this weeks recipe is definitely one for chocolate lovers, sorry I realise this really isn't helping those of you who have given it up for Lent! I love Green & Blacks chocolate, so I've decided to create a series of recipes using some of their fab choccie bars. The first one uses the Dark Chocolate with Ginger, which is probably my favourite of the lot. The result is a really intense chocolate cookie that's lovely & chewy in the middle, perfect with a big mug of coffee!

100g butter
140g light brown sugar
1 egg
140g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
100g bar Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate with Ginger

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg until you get a smooth mixture

2. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb & ginger, then give it a good mix until it is all combined. You'll end up with quite a thick cookie dough

3. Next roughly chop the chocolate so you have small chunks, stir these in the the dough until they are fairly evenly spread

4. Spoon small dollops of the dough onto a baking sheet, they will spread, so give them some room, I got around 20 cookies out of my batch. Bake them in the oven at 180c/GM5 for around 10 minutes until they have lightly risen & the tops just start to crack

5. Leave to rest for a few minutes once out of the oven, then transfer to a wire rack. They might seem a little soft still, but will firm up once completely cooled

I think the next G&B recipe will use my second favourite bar, Milk Chocolate with Butterscotch. After that I'm just not sure, there's too many to choose from! If anyone has any requests, let me know. Next week, get your leg warmers & double denim at the ready, we're going back to the 80's with retro party cakes. Have a good week cookie monsters! Rebecca

2 March 2010

Week 7 - Banoffie Pie

Hello baking buddies! So we're 7 weeks in now & it's been a lot of fun so far, there's only one drawback, my weekly calorie intake has gone up as a result of all this baking! So I thought I'd tell you about the other challenge I've taken on for 2010 which hopefully should balance out all the cake I'm consuming. On 15th May 2010 I will be taking part in my first Playtex Moonwalk for the Walk the Walk organisation, supporting breast cancer charities & organisations all over the country. We set off from Hyde Park at midnight on Saturday & will walk through the night covering 26.2 miles...yikes! Training is well underway, the only bit I'm not sure about is the tradition that you walk the event in a decorated bra!


Lots of cake + walking marathon in bra = 1 bodycon, slightly nervous Rebecca!

If you would like to you can sponsor me at
Your support will be most appreciated x


So, back to the cake & when I chose this weeks recipe I was oblivious to the fact that this week is actually British Pie Week http://www.britishpieweek.co.uk/ The debate is if it actually counts as a pie seeing as there's no pastry involved, but it's a pie by name, so I think it counts! This is the first time I've ever made a Banoffie Pie & I must admit my previous encounters were with frozen versions that looked a bit too perfect. My pie is gloriously haphazard & as we say up north, a bit of a mullock, (for my Southern friends, that means it looks a mess!) But I think that's how it should be, the rich caramel oozes over the biscuit base, the squidgy nanas sink into the caramel & the whole thing is topped off with swirls & swirls of whipped cream, (sorry have been watching Nigella re-runs!)


200g digestive biscuits
50g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 can Carnation Caramel (you can find it with evaporated & condensed milk in the supermarket)
3 ripe bananas
300ml double cream
Cocoa powder to finish

1. Crush the digestive biscuits, either pop them in a bag & bash them with a wooden spoon, or blitz them in the food processor. Melt together the butter & golden syrup, then stir in biscuit crumbs. Press the mixture into a lose bottom tin & chill in the fridge for around 20 minutes.

2. Once chilled, spread the caramel all over the biscuit base. Next, slice the bananas & arrange them to cover over the caramel.

3. Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks. I used a piping bag & nozzle to add swirly cream to the top, but you could just as easily spread it with a spatula or knife. Finally add a dusting of cocoa powder to finish.

This is so simple to make but delicious to eat. It's best if you keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve as it is very gooey. Hope you like it! It's back on with the trainers for me, I've got 20 miles to cover this week! Enjoy, Rebecca

3 February 2010

Week 3 - Lavender Shortbread

This week I have to thank Vicki for her suggestion of what to do with the lavender sugar, make shortbread! It was a bit of an experiment, I really wasn't sure how much to use or how pungent it would be once cooked. When I first put them in the oven & the dough warmed up a bit, the lavender smelt so strong I thought they might end up tasting like a bar of soap! I must admit I was pleasantly surprised, the taste is quite subtle, almost like rosemary? I substituted the quantity of normal sugar for lavender sugar, but then paniced it would be too much & added some extra plain sugar! I don't think it needed it & it probably made my biscuits a bit too crunchy.

175g plain flour
50g lavender sugar
100g butter cut into rough chunks
Dash of milk
Caster sugar to sprinkle

1. Sift the flour & stir in the sugar. Work in the butter using your fingertips until it starts to bind together to a dough. I'd normally just blitz it in my food processor, but it would destroy all the lavender flowers. If it's difficult to get it to bind, add a little dash of milk to help it along.

2. Once it's all combined, knead it until you have a smooth dough. Roll it into a sauage shape, wrap it in foil or cling film & put it in the fridge for 30minutes to chill.

3. It's up to you if you want to roll it out & use a cookie cutter. I'm a bit lazy & just slice the sausage shaped dough into 5mm thick discs.

4. Place the biccies on a greased baking tray & sprinkle a little caster sugar over the top. Bake in the oven at 170c/GM3 for around 10 minutes until the edges are just golden.

So...it was an interesting variation, but honestly I think I'll stick to plain shortbread...what to do with the rest of the lavender sugar though!?

3 down, 49 to go! See you next week, Rebecca

27 January 2010

Week 2 - Rocky Road

Hello cake lovers! I must admit when I set myself this baking challenge last week, it was a bit of a spur of the moment thing. So it was really great to hear that some of you have tried last weeks recipe! So as long as you keep reading & baking, I'll keep going!

This weeks recipe is my take on an old American classic, Rocky Road. In my British version, I use what I consider to be the ultimate British biscuit, the HOB NOB! The oats give it a really great texture, I also like to add dried cranberries as the sharpness cuts through the sweet chocolate.

300g chocolate (milk, plain or a mixture of both)
150g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
200g Hob Nobs
50g dried cranberries
40g mini marshmallows

1. Melt the chocolate, butter & syrup together in a bowl & mix well
2. Put the biscuits into a food bag & give them a bash with a wooden spoon. You want chunks, not crumbs, so don't take your stress out too much on the poor Hob Nobs!
3. Add the biscuit pieces, cranberries & marshmallows to the melted ingredients & mix well
4. Line a container approx 20cm x 20cm with baking paper. Pour the mixture into the container & smooth it out so it's evenly spread
5. Put the container into the fridge & leave for at least 3 hours. This is the hard part, waiting for it to set!
6. Use the baking paper to lift out the set mixture. With a sharp knife, cut it into squares, fingers, triangles, whatever shape takes your fancy....delicious.


Now, can anyone help me? Just before Christmas I bought a jar of lavender sugar from Waitrose, it looks & smells fantastic, but I haven't got the first idea what to do with it. Any suggestions gratefully received!

Hope you all have a good week, happy baking! Rebecca

Showing posts with label biscuit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biscuit. Show all posts

22 May 2012

Very very chocolately cookies from Cox Cookies & Cake

Over the last few years as my baking habit has grown, so it seems has my collection of cook books, most of which I have very gratefully recieved as gifts. I love looking through them for inspiration & to drool over the pictures, but if I think about it, it's not that often I actually choose a new recipe from a book & try it out. I have my staple recipes that I pretty much know off by heart, then the rest is a series of experiments, some more successful than others!

So I've decided to branch out, broaden my repertoire & try out at least one new recipe from each of my books. The first is from Cox Cookies & Cake, a collaboration beween baker Eric Lanlard & the designer Patrick Cox.  The book is a technicolour spectacular divided into themed chapters, my particular favourite is the Styling Cupcakes section.  Although where one is meant to find a beach bum mould & skin-coloured edible paste I have no idea, (Cheeky Cupcakes on page 100 if you get a chance to look at the book!)

Easing myself gently into this somewhat eccentric cook book, I decided to make double chocolate & marshmallow cookies, the Man Cakes (page 108) will have to wait for another day.


They really should be called Choc as much choc as you can into a cookie cookie.  They have melted chocolate, cocoa powder & chocolate chips in them, topped off with a good drizzle of melted marshmallow.  The texture was quite cakey rather than crunchy cookie, but oh my god they tasted good!  Next on the hit list for this book is the Orange Marmalade Cupcakes, it's worth a look if you want some more unusual ideas & if anyone knows where I can find a torso mould let me know :-)  Till next time, Rebecca x 


22 April 2011

Biscuits not bullets...testing out a cookie gun!

I hope you're all enjoying the Easter break & the sun is shining for you as much as it is here in the Royal Borough? This week I'm testing out another of the kitchen gadgets I received at Christmas & this time it's a cookie press. Looking at it, you'd think you should grout your bathroom with it, but I have to say after a bit of trial & error it was actually quite nifty. It's made by Kuhn Rikon & comes with 16 interchangeable discs that produce a range of shapes from stars & flowers, to Christmas trees & something vaguely resembling a pumpkin! I made the same cookie dough I used a few weeks back for my Cookie Stamp, then you roll it into a sausage, load it into the gun & get trigger happy!

I decided I'd make a batch to give as gifts this Easter rather than eggs, so I chose the most spring like shapes (sorry the bat & dinosaur will have to wait for another day!)



These are 'abstract' according to the booklet, squiggles to me!



Stars that could be flowers...



more flowers....


& even more flowers!



Hearts

What I discovered was that there was a bit of a knack to shooting cookies, some shapes required a quicker trigger speed than others, (I do realise how ridiculous this sounds!) The other thing that was a bit of a revelation for me was using a non-stick baking liner. It was recommended in the instructions to help the cookies stick & they were right! I tried shooting them onto greaseproof paper & straight onto the baking sheet, but no joy. I bought mine from Lakeland for £5 & I think it'll be a fiver well spent.

I ended up with 80 odd cookies from one batch! As they were for Easter I packed them into these really cute bunny bags also from Lakeland. Beats an over packaged, over priced choccie egg any day I think!



Next week I'll share with you what happened when I went to my first ever Blogger event organised by the lovely people at Total Greek Yogurt, so prepare yourselves for lots of yogurt related recipes in weeks to come! Have a lovely weekend with you & yours, Rebecca x

23 December 2010

Week 49 - Christmas Cookies

Hello! How are we all this week, survived the big freeze? I know a few weeks ago I said the snow in the Shire was a bit pathetic, well it certainly made up for it this week & it tipped it down on Saturday! It all made for a very pretty looking Windsor, but now it's all just turned into a yucky, mucky mess & I'm hoping it'll all melt away soon. I don't know about you, but I've also had to have an emergency re-think on the present front too as some things are stuck in the post! Thankfully I've finished work for the year, so it's into town for me today for some last minute shopping.

As well as the recipe this week I've also decorated my family Christmas cake, click here if you want to have a look at the finished article, must admit I'm quite chuffed with it. There's also a suggestion as to what to do with the marzipan you generally always get left with!

So this weeks recipe is a really simple sugar cookie, they make lovely tree decorations & I have heard a rumour that they are in fact a favourite of Santa Claus!

125g butter
150g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
225g plain flour
Few drops of vanilla essence
100g icing sugar mixed with water to a thick paste
Edible decorations (optional)


1. Cream the butter & sugar together until light & fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk & vanilla, then finally stir in the flour & combine until you get a firm dough. My kitchen is quite cold & I have granite surfaces, so I found kneading it a little to warm it up helped it along, it was quite crumbly otherwise.

2. Roll out the dough to around 5mm thick, then cut out into whatever shapes you like. I made stars, then used a skewer to poke a hole for the ribbon in the top. Bake in the oven on a baking sheet lined with paper at 180c/GM4 for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they turn from light golden (what you want) to burnt (not what you want!) very quickly!

3. Leave to cool thoroughly, then attach a ribbon or string through the hole & decorate at will! I used the silver balls & sugar snowmen I had left over from last weeks Gingerbread House.

So that's all from me for this week, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. Thanks for all your support & comments on my marathon blogging baking challenge, it's very much appreciated. I'll see you again next week as we head closer towards the Rebecca Bakes Cakes finale, only 3 weeks to go!

Happy Christmas!

Rebecca x

14 December 2010

Week 48 - Gingerbread House

Hello my festive friends! Please be nice to me this week, I've come down with a horrible cold & am rapidly losing my voice. I currently sound like Mariella Frostrup, which to be honest would be quite nice if it didn't hurt so much. Sadly it also means most of my tastebuds have gone on strike so I'm not really enjoying my food at the minute which is torture! There's only 10 days to go until Christmas, so I'm hoping for a speedy recovery, Christmas in our house is all about the eating & drinking, it's not going to be much fun if I can't taste it :-(

This week I've finally got round to doing something I've planned for about the last 3 Christmases, I've made a gingerbread house! I'm not sure why I've had this desire, maybe it was being read Hansel & Gretel as a child!? Maybe it's because I used to love building Lego houses & the thought of an edible one was just too tempting? The gingerbread itself is really easy to make, you just need a bit of time & patience to construct & decorate it. It's quite therapeutic really, although I think I probably ended up eating more sweeties than ended up on the house! I used mini marshmallows to create the snow, milky way stars for the roof & a mixture of jelly tots, smarties & tooty frooties for the rest of the decoration. I also had some really cute little sugar snowmen & white sugar sprinkles that looked like ice. You can use whatever you want really, let your imagination run wild! I've also included a house template below, I just cut mine out of baking paper.

100g butter
100g demerara sugar
200g golden syrup
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
500g plain flour
200g icing sugar
Assorted sweets to decorate
Cake board

1. Put the sugar & syrup into a pan & bring it up to boiling point over a gentle heat. Add the bicarb & give it a good stir, it will turn cloudy & froth up a bit so make sure you have room in the pan!

2. Chop the butter into small chunks & put into a large mixing bowl. Add the syrup mixture to the butter & stir until the butter is melted. Beat in the egg, then mix in the flour a little at a time until you end up with quite a stiff dough.

3. Dust a work surface with flour, then roll out the dough to about 5mm thick. Cut out 2 of each of the template shapes & place them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven at 170c/GM3 for 10-15 minutes. I baked mine in 3 batches, leaving them to cool completely on the paper

4. Now comes the tricky bit! Firstly trim the sides of each panel, this makes it fit together a little easier. Next mix the icing sugar with a little water until you have a stiff paste. Take one of the side panels, spread a thin layer of icing on the bottom & stick it to the cake board. Repeat with all the sections using the icing as cement, putting the roof on last. You might need to hold this in place for a couple of minutes to leave it to set. Then go wild with the decorating! Leave to set in a cool place.

I love my gingerbread house, although I don't think I could ever bring myself to destroy it! So with that in mind I have wrapped it up & donated it to our annual Christmas charity raffle at work. Hopefully it will go to a good home & it will be happily broken up & devoured, herein fulfilling it's Christmas Gingerbread destiny! Have a good week, see you next time, Rebecca x







10 November 2010

Week 43 - Viennese Biscuits

Afternoon folks, I've had a day off today so I'm feeling all relaxed & am writing this with a cup of tea & one of this weeks biccies! Can you believe that I'm in to the final 10 weeks of my blogging challenge. It's gone so fast, but I'm wondering what to do with all the recipes I've tried over the year? A book maybe? :-) For now I have to concentrate on the final 9 recipes, if anyone has any suggestions please let me know...

This week I had some good news, the blog has been nominated in the Dorset Cereals Little Blog Awards! It's a monthly award & voting takes place throughout November. So if you like my blog & enjoy reading then please vote & spread the word. You could also be in with a chance of winning a delicious Dorset Cereals goodie bag too! Click here to vote or follow the link on the right, thank you x

I thought we'd go all continental like this week with a Viennese Biscuit, they were meant to be Viennese Fingers but it didn't quite go to plan! These were really easy to make, they're pretty much a very short shortbread & this recipe came from my vintage Be-Ro book. Once you've made the mixture, you are meant to put it into a piping bag with a rosette nozzle & pipe 6cm strips of mixture onto a baking tray. Well I have a piping gun & could not for the life of me squeeze anything out of it as the mixture was so stiff, so I popped it in the microwave for 10 seconds! That seemed to do the trick, but rather than keep their traditional spiky shape, as soon as I put them in the oven they flopped into a splat!

150g butter
50g caster sugar
150g self raising flour
Few drops vanilla essence
100g plain chocolate

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, make sure it's really well beaten & soft.

2. Stir in the flour & vanilla. Scoop it into a piping bag or gun & pipe 6cm strips onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake in the oven at 160c/GM3 for 15 minutes until just golden.

3. Leave to cool & crisp up, then melt the chocolate & dip one end of each biscuit.

So they may not have the shape of the shop bought ones, but they are delicious none the less. Let me know if or how you managed to get yours to keep their shape! Have a good week, don't forget to vote, Rebecca x

6 July 2010

Week 25 - Malteser Cookies

Hey hey, I'm back from my weekend camping feeling very chilled & ready to bake some more! We had fab weather in the New Forest & amazingly the campsite sold bags of ice, so panic over, there was no problem keeping the Rose chilled. We did go horse riding & yes I did announce to the rather confused group, 'I'm on a horse!' It seems getting off a horse is harder than getting on though & I performed the most ungraceful dismount, catching my back leg on the saddle & pretty much coming off head first. It's ok, I don't think anyone noticed! I also didn't realise there were wild ponies in the forest? It's a bit odd how they just roam around the place, one came right up to us & practically sat on our picnic blanket, we did offer him a beer but he wasn't that interested & wandered off again. I did enjoy camping & had a lovely time, but I admit I was happy to be back in my bed!

So next week marks a milestone for the blog, I hit the half way point in the baking challenge. It's been a lot of fun baking & writing each week, as well of course being able to share the fruits of my labour. I've had such lovely support & encouragement from everyone, I wanted to do something to say thank you. So this Friday I'm hosting the first ever Rebecca Bakes Cakes tea party! I have a special 1/2 birthday cake planned, as well as lots of other sweet treats & probably not an insignificant quantity of Pimms. If you're in the area let me know, pop in & say hi! Full report next week...

So on to this weeks recipe & it's something I've created for a competition that's running on mydish.co.uk The challenge is to create a recipe using Maltesers. Now putting them in cookies may not seem like the most creative use of Maltesers, but I've never come across it before & to be honest it was a bit of a gamble as I didn't know how they'd hold up in the oven? Simple, but effective I think!

55g butter
120g soft brown sugar
1 egg
Few drops of vanilla essence
140g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
135g Maltesers (bashed up a bit!)

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg & vanilla essence

2. Stir in the flour & bicarb, then finally the Maltesers. Spoon dollops of the mixture onto a baking tray, leaving space for them to spread, I got 12 cookies from a batch. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack

I'm quite chuffed with the outcome, the Maltesers go even crunchier in the oven, so you get a delicious cookie with little bites of malty loveliness! I think to make them even better, next time I'd also add a handful of mini marshmallows. The competition closes at the end of the month so we'll have to wait & see how my cookies compare?

Ooo...before I forget, does anyone know where I can find Marshmallow Fluff in London? I'm desperate to try Whoopie Pies, but this is a vital ingredient I'm missing. Well time to say goodbye for another week, take care, Rebecca x

11 May 2010

Week 17 - Gingerbread Walkers

Hello cake mates! It's finally here, it's Moonwalk week! I'm so excited, I've finished training, my bra is definitely decorated in the 'Showtime' theme & I just want to get on & do it now! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me so far, not just with sponsorship, but with encouragement & footcare advice. Thanks also to Mum, Michael & Gemma who have given up a nights sleep to come & volunteer at the event, they'll be on one of the water stations & seeing them on route will definitely spur me on! This weeks recipe has been created as a last minute fundraising effort, on Tuesday I held a cookie sale at work & raised a fantastic £56. Thanks to everyone who bought one!

So my boss has now headed off on maternity leave & last week I mentioned I'd made an alternative cake for her. Well here it is, a nappy cake! I never knew such a thing even existed until I googled baby showers, but I've since found out they were featured in Sex & the City! It was a lot of fun to make, the gifts you can't see that were attached to the back included a rather large bar of chocolate, pro plus & ear plugs! It was quite an eye opener, who would have thought you could find a video tutorial on youtube on how to make a nappy cake. (And people think I have too much time on my hands!) Anyway, it went down a storm, so much so I think it's being kept as a decoration in baby's room.

Right, back to my little gingerbread walking buddies. I love gingerbread but don't make it that often, I'm a bit lazy when it comes to rolling & cutting out dough! It's easy to make the dough, it just needs a bit of muscle when you have to combine the flour. Make sure you keep an eye on them in the oven as they can turn from golden to burnt very quickly!

100g butter
100g demerara sugar
200g golden syrup
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
500g plain flour

1. Put the sugar & syrup into a pan & bring it up to boiling point over a gentle heat. Add the bicarb & give it a good stir, it will turn cloudy & froth up a bit so make sure you have room in the pan!

2. Chop the butter into small chunks & put into a large mixing bowl. Add the syrup mixture to the butter & stir until the butter is melted. Beat in the egg, then mix in the flour a little at a time until you end up with quite a stiff dough.

3. Dust a work surface with flour, then roll out the dough to about 2mm thick & cut out whatever shapes you like! I roll it out a little at a time as it makes it easier to handle. Pop them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper leaving a little space in between as they will expand.

4. Bake in the oven at 170c/GM3 for 10-15 minutes. I baked mine in batches, using a fresh bit of baking paper each time. That way it's easier to leave them to cool before decorating. I used a tube of writing icing to decorate mine. But in the past I've also used jelly tots & smarties, attaching them with a little bit of icing.

I never quite know how to eat a gingerbread man, legs first? I feel a bit bad biting his arms off! Never mind, they taste so good I quickly get over it! So that's me done for another week, wish me luck for Saturday, there's still time to sponsor me, just click here. Thanks again to everyone for their support & also for the messages letting me know you're still reading. I had a horrible feeling last week I was talking to myself, lovely to know I'm not! Take care, Rebecca x

5 May 2010

Week 16 - Millionaire's Shortbread

Hello, hope you all enjoyed the long weekend? I managed to time it perfectly & take advantage of the 5 hours of sunshine we did actually get! I completed my final long training walk on Saturday, 18 miles in 4.5 hours. So that's it, training done, I'm ready for the Moonwalk & I can't wait for the 15th May. I'm just hoping my feet heal in time, I'm still having problems with blisters & there doesn't seem to be enough compeed plasters in the world to help. I've even taken to padding around the office barefoot to avoid shoes making them worse! If anyone has any tried & tested methods to fix blisters, please please let me know, I've only got 10 days to go.

This weeks recipe is a request & one of my favourite sweet treats. I used to buy it ready made from the supermarket & always thought it would be really difficult to make at home? I came across this recipe in the Christmas edition of Olive magazine & thought I'd have a go! It's easier than you might think, it just takes a little time as you have to allow for cooling in between layers. That said, the result is amazing & I'll never go back to the shop bought stuff! Piccie will follow, my chocolate topping hadn't quite set yet!

Shortbread
50g caster sugar
150g butter
200g flour

Caramel

225g caster sugar
142ml double cream
25g butter

Topping
200g dark chocolate
40g butter
60g white chocolate

1. Blitz together the flour, sugar & butter in a food processor until you get a soft dough. Line a tin approx 20cm square with baking paper, leaving an overhang to make it easy to lift out of the tin. Tip the dough into the tin & firmly press down so it's evenly spread. Chill for 10 minutes, then bake in the oven at 160c/GM4 for 35 minutes until golden brown. Leave it to cool completely in the tin

2. To make the caramel, place all the ingredients into a pan & over a gentle heat bring it up to the boil until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer rapidly for about 30 minutes, it's tricky to know when it's ready, but I'm told you should drop a blob of caramel into a glass of water, if it stays together, it's done!

3. Once the base is cool, pour the caramel over the top & leave it to cool completely. Melt the dark chocolate & butter together, then pour over the caramel. Leave to set, then melt the white chocolate & drizzle over the top. Once it's all set, you can use the paper to lift it out of the tin & cut it into chunks

There's something really satisfying about making Millionaire's Shortbread, maybe because of the time that goes into it! The request came from my boss, who is leaving us (temporarily) to have a baby. So, I hope you enjoy it Kerry & that baby makes a safe arrival in the not too distant future! I have also made an alternative cake to mark the occasion, but as that's a surprise for Friday, I'll tell you about that next week. Right cake done, it's on to bra decorating for the Moonwalk...it's a very creative week! Enjoy, Rebecca

p.s. I'm not really sure if anyone is still reading this? If you are, make yourself known please :-)

28 April 2010

Week 15 - Espresso Biscotti

Phew! Well I made it back from holiday, but I have to be honest I wasn't sure we would! We were pretty much the last flight to leave the country the day the volcano started to erupt, so we were lucky to get away in the first place. We had a lovely week in the Egyptian sun & then a bonus 4 days waiting for a flight home. Thankfully we didn't have to move hotels & we got upgraded to all inclusive, so it wasn't all that bad being stranded! But it's back to reality with a bump & straight back into work. It's also only just over 2 weeks away from my Moonwalk Marathon, yikes! The good news is the sun & sea has really helped to heal my feet, which were starting to wear themselves out, so I'm raring to go again & there's a daunting 20 miles planned for this weekend! Thank you to everyone for their support so far, there's still time to sponsor me if you would like to help Walk the Walk & the fantastic support they give to breast cancer charities all over the country.

You can find my sponsorship page at www.walkthewalkfundraising.org/rebecca_hodgson_mw

So, on to this weeks recipe & I thought I'd try creating a recipe using another of my fav Green & Blacks choccie bars. I've used the Espresso dark chocolate to create a delicious crunchy biscotti. The first time I made biscotti I was surprised at how easy it was, it's just a bit fiddly as you have to cook it twice. Apparently biscotti actually means twice baked in Italian? (Need an Italian to confirm that for me!) There are lots of different flavours you could try, almonds, dried fruit, chocolate whatever you like really. I think Espresso is a great variation & perfect with a cup of coffee!

250g plain flour
200g caster sugar
100g bar Green & Blacks Espresso chocolate chopped into small chunks
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
Few drops almond essence

1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & chocolate chunks

2. Beat the eggs with the vanilla essence, then add a little at a time to the dry ingredients & mix until it's all combined into quite a stiff dough. If it's proving tricky you can always add a tiny dash of milk to help it along

3. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface & roll it into a sausage shape. I ended up making 2 sausages as it made it a bit easier to handle! Place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment & bake in the oven at GM3/150c for 30 mins

4. Take them out the oven & leave to rest for 5 minutes. Then using a sharp knife slice the sausages on the diagonal, to make biscotti about 2cm thick. Place them back on the tray & pop into the oven for another 15 minutes. They'll still feel a little soft when you take them out the oven, but will crisp up when cool

So there you have it, delicious biscotti! I like to dunk mine in my coffee, Douwe Egberts coffee of course!! Enjoy, next weeks recipe is a request & it's going to be a goodie, see you then! Rebecca

21 April 2010

Week 14 - Moscow Mule Cheesecake

Hola baking buds! As you read this I am on holiday, hopefully soaking up the sun & sipping a Margarita by the pool. So in the words of Blue Peter, here's one I prepared earlier! Sorry it's a bit short, but between packing & painting my toenails, I just about squeezed in enough time to write this up. Normal service will be resumed next week!

This is the final creation in the series of cocktail inspired recipes & I have to say it is far more successful than the last one! The combination of ginger & lime is delicious, enjoy...

200g ginger nut biscuits
50g butter
1tbsp golden syrup
250g marscapone
200g cream cheese
2 limes

1. Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs, ginger nuts are tough cookies, so it's best to do this in a food processor. Melt the butter, stir in the golden syrup, then add the crushed biccies. Tip the mixture into a loose bottom tin & press down well using the back of a spoon, pop it into the fridge while you prepare the topping.

2. Mix together the marscapone & cream cheese, then add the juice & zest of the limes. Smooth this mixture over the biscuit base & stick it back in the fridge for a couple of hours to set. I like to add a couple of ribbons of lime zest to the top as decoration. To do this, only zest 1 1/2 of the limes & use a veggie peeler to peel ribbons off the remaining half.

This makes a great dinner party desert, really fresh & light, & something you can just magic out of the fridge at the end of the meal! Right better get back to the packing, I think I have a few too many shoes....we are only going for a week. See you next week, Rebecca

7 April 2010

Week 12 - Fruity Flapjacks

Happy Wednesday! Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend? So, Mr Brown has finally called the general election for 6th May. If anyone comes canvasing at my door, I think I'll ask them if they'll propose a new bill to make every Monday a Bank Holiday, I could get used to a 4 day week! Only thing is it means this week has gone way too quickly & I had a bit of a panic last night picking this weeks recipe. I thought you might like to know that last weeks Easter Nests were a big success at the cake sale, they helped raise over £1500. The money is being donated to our local Alzheimer's Society, so well done to all involved!

This weeks recipe is an antidote to all the chocolate we've had over the last few weeks & as they are stuffed with good stuff like oats & honey, I can kid myself that they are vaguely healthy! My Mum will probably kill me for saying this, but they are really good for breakfast with a lovely latte, especially if you have to eat on the run. I've chosen to use raisins & dried cranberries as that's what I had in the cupboard, but you could use 100g of any type of dried fruit.

100g butter
40g honey
50g caster sugar
50g raisins
50g dried cranberries
200g oats

1. Melt the butter in a large bowl, then add the honey. You'll have to give it a brisk stir to get it to combine, then add the sugar & stir again

2. Add the dried fruit, stir, then finally add the oats & stir again. It's not very technical this recipe just lots of stirring!

3. Line a baking dish approx 15cm x 15cm with baking paper (this makes it easier to lift out & cut into squares), tip in the oaty mixture & press down firmly using the back of a spoon

4. Bake in the oven at 180c/GM5 for around 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown. Leave to cool in the dish for 10 minutes, then cut into squares. Leave to cool completely before lifting out of the dish & removing the paper.

I love these flapjacks, they're deliciously gooey on the inside with a crunchy outside, yum! So next week we hit a milestone in the history of Rebecca Bakes Cakes, we'll be 13 weeks into the challenge, that's a quarter done already. How time flies when you're having fun! Hopefully it'll also be a celebration cake as I'm hoping my friends bubba will have joined the world by then, he/she is already fashionably late! Till then , Rebecca

7 March 2010

Week 8 - Chocolate Ginger Cookies

I'm feeling a little delicate this week, so be nice cake mates. Training was completed as planned, but with hindsight, going out dancing in 4 inch heels the same day as completing a mammoth 11 mile walk was probably not my best decision ever! Now I have been known to abandon my shoes when out dancing, but on Saturday, for the first time ever, I was asked by security to put my shoes back on. Apparently dancing barefoot poses a health & safety risk! I would argue that me, slightly squiffy, dancing on 4 inch heels presents more of a risk than barefoot, but who am I to argue with a security professional? Needless to say my legs are a bit sore, although some treatment from my fab physio, Zdena on Monday means I should get out training again tomorrow. As my Mum would say, those mile won't walk themselves!

So, this weeks recipe is definitely one for chocolate lovers, sorry I realise this really isn't helping those of you who have given it up for Lent! I love Green & Blacks chocolate, so I've decided to create a series of recipes using some of their fab choccie bars. The first one uses the Dark Chocolate with Ginger, which is probably my favourite of the lot. The result is a really intense chocolate cookie that's lovely & chewy in the middle, perfect with a big mug of coffee!

100g butter
140g light brown sugar
1 egg
140g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
100g bar Green & Blacks Dark Chocolate with Ginger

1. Cream together the butter & sugar, then beat in the egg until you get a smooth mixture

2. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb & ginger, then give it a good mix until it is all combined. You'll end up with quite a thick cookie dough

3. Next roughly chop the chocolate so you have small chunks, stir these in the the dough until they are fairly evenly spread

4. Spoon small dollops of the dough onto a baking sheet, they will spread, so give them some room, I got around 20 cookies out of my batch. Bake them in the oven at 180c/GM5 for around 10 minutes until they have lightly risen & the tops just start to crack

5. Leave to rest for a few minutes once out of the oven, then transfer to a wire rack. They might seem a little soft still, but will firm up once completely cooled

I think the next G&B recipe will use my second favourite bar, Milk Chocolate with Butterscotch. After that I'm just not sure, there's too many to choose from! If anyone has any requests, let me know. Next week, get your leg warmers & double denim at the ready, we're going back to the 80's with retro party cakes. Have a good week cookie monsters! Rebecca

2 March 2010

Week 7 - Banoffie Pie

Hello baking buddies! So we're 7 weeks in now & it's been a lot of fun so far, there's only one drawback, my weekly calorie intake has gone up as a result of all this baking! So I thought I'd tell you about the other challenge I've taken on for 2010 which hopefully should balance out all the cake I'm consuming. On 15th May 2010 I will be taking part in my first Playtex Moonwalk for the Walk the Walk organisation, supporting breast cancer charities & organisations all over the country. We set off from Hyde Park at midnight on Saturday & will walk through the night covering 26.2 miles...yikes! Training is well underway, the only bit I'm not sure about is the tradition that you walk the event in a decorated bra!


Lots of cake + walking marathon in bra = 1 bodycon, slightly nervous Rebecca!

If you would like to you can sponsor me at
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So, back to the cake & when I chose this weeks recipe I was oblivious to the fact that this week is actually British Pie Week http://www.britishpieweek.co.uk/ The debate is if it actually counts as a pie seeing as there's no pastry involved, but it's a pie by name, so I think it counts! This is the first time I've ever made a Banoffie Pie & I must admit my previous encounters were with frozen versions that looked a bit too perfect. My pie is gloriously haphazard & as we say up north, a bit of a mullock, (for my Southern friends, that means it looks a mess!) But I think that's how it should be, the rich caramel oozes over the biscuit base, the squidgy nanas sink into the caramel & the whole thing is topped off with swirls & swirls of whipped cream, (sorry have been watching Nigella re-runs!)


200g digestive biscuits
50g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 can Carnation Caramel (you can find it with evaporated & condensed milk in the supermarket)
3 ripe bananas
300ml double cream
Cocoa powder to finish

1. Crush the digestive biscuits, either pop them in a bag & bash them with a wooden spoon, or blitz them in the food processor. Melt together the butter & golden syrup, then stir in biscuit crumbs. Press the mixture into a lose bottom tin & chill in the fridge for around 20 minutes.

2. Once chilled, spread the caramel all over the biscuit base. Next, slice the bananas & arrange them to cover over the caramel.

3. Whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks. I used a piping bag & nozzle to add swirly cream to the top, but you could just as easily spread it with a spatula or knife. Finally add a dusting of cocoa powder to finish.

This is so simple to make but delicious to eat. It's best if you keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve as it is very gooey. Hope you like it! It's back on with the trainers for me, I've got 20 miles to cover this week! Enjoy, Rebecca

3 February 2010

Week 3 - Lavender Shortbread

This week I have to thank Vicki for her suggestion of what to do with the lavender sugar, make shortbread! It was a bit of an experiment, I really wasn't sure how much to use or how pungent it would be once cooked. When I first put them in the oven & the dough warmed up a bit, the lavender smelt so strong I thought they might end up tasting like a bar of soap! I must admit I was pleasantly surprised, the taste is quite subtle, almost like rosemary? I substituted the quantity of normal sugar for lavender sugar, but then paniced it would be too much & added some extra plain sugar! I don't think it needed it & it probably made my biscuits a bit too crunchy.

175g plain flour
50g lavender sugar
100g butter cut into rough chunks
Dash of milk
Caster sugar to sprinkle

1. Sift the flour & stir in the sugar. Work in the butter using your fingertips until it starts to bind together to a dough. I'd normally just blitz it in my food processor, but it would destroy all the lavender flowers. If it's difficult to get it to bind, add a little dash of milk to help it along.

2. Once it's all combined, knead it until you have a smooth dough. Roll it into a sauage shape, wrap it in foil or cling film & put it in the fridge for 30minutes to chill.

3. It's up to you if you want to roll it out & use a cookie cutter. I'm a bit lazy & just slice the sausage shaped dough into 5mm thick discs.

4. Place the biccies on a greased baking tray & sprinkle a little caster sugar over the top. Bake in the oven at 170c/GM3 for around 10 minutes until the edges are just golden.

So...it was an interesting variation, but honestly I think I'll stick to plain shortbread...what to do with the rest of the lavender sugar though!?

3 down, 49 to go! See you next week, Rebecca

27 January 2010

Week 2 - Rocky Road

Hello cake lovers! I must admit when I set myself this baking challenge last week, it was a bit of a spur of the moment thing. So it was really great to hear that some of you have tried last weeks recipe! So as long as you keep reading & baking, I'll keep going!

This weeks recipe is my take on an old American classic, Rocky Road. In my British version, I use what I consider to be the ultimate British biscuit, the HOB NOB! The oats give it a really great texture, I also like to add dried cranberries as the sharpness cuts through the sweet chocolate.

300g chocolate (milk, plain or a mixture of both)
150g butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
200g Hob Nobs
50g dried cranberries
40g mini marshmallows

1. Melt the chocolate, butter & syrup together in a bowl & mix well
2. Put the biscuits into a food bag & give them a bash with a wooden spoon. You want chunks, not crumbs, so don't take your stress out too much on the poor Hob Nobs!
3. Add the biscuit pieces, cranberries & marshmallows to the melted ingredients & mix well
4. Line a container approx 20cm x 20cm with baking paper. Pour the mixture into the container & smooth it out so it's evenly spread
5. Put the container into the fridge & leave for at least 3 hours. This is the hard part, waiting for it to set!
6. Use the baking paper to lift out the set mixture. With a sharp knife, cut it into squares, fingers, triangles, whatever shape takes your fancy....delicious.


Now, can anyone help me? Just before Christmas I bought a jar of lavender sugar from Waitrose, it looks & smells fantastic, but I haven't got the first idea what to do with it. Any suggestions gratefully received!

Hope you all have a good week, happy baking! Rebecca