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Tag Archives: dark chocolate

Berry and Custard Chocolate Brownies

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This is a great recipe for chocolate brownies with a couple of twists. It’s based on Jamie Oliver’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Brownies from his lovely book of delights Comfort Food.

I loved the idea of this recipe with its peanut butter custard, but sadly had to forgo the peanut butter as the group I was baking for had some problems with nuts. I made the custard with just vanilla. It was fine – the custard gives a velvety smoothness to the brownies. The “jelly” in Jamie’s recipe is raspberry jam. This part of the recipe I did adhere to, but added fresh strawberries instead of raspberries.

The resulting brownie is very chocolatey, with its rough chunks of dark chocolate, soft with the custard and sweet and sharp with the berry tang. Recommended!

Ingredients

Custard
250ml semi-skimmed milk
1 vanilla pod
2 large free-range egg yolks
50g golden caster sugar (or raw sugar)
1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
20g unsalted butter (at room temperature)

Brownie mixture
230g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g dark chocolate + 50g extra for chocolate chunks in the brownie
230g golden caster sugar (or raw sugar)
4 large free-range eggs
150g plain flour
2 tbls raspberry jam
75g fresh berries (I used strawberries)

Method

To make the custard, put the milk into a pan, halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, then add both pod and seeds to the pan and lightly simmer on the hob, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a bowl, use a balloon whisk to combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and soft butter. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk into the bowl, until combined. Return the custard mixture to the pan, place over a low heat and stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened. Leave the custard to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. For the brownies, grease and line a deep baking tray (20cm x 30cm). Melt the butter in a non-stick pan on a very low heat, then snap up and add the chocolate. Stir regularly with a spatula until melted and combined, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Leave to cool slightly, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until silky. Sift in the flour and mix well.

Pour the chocolatey brownie mix into the prepared tray, then swirl through the chilled custard (discarding the vanilla pod). Roughly mix in the additional chocolate chunks. Erratically distribute little spoonfuls of jam over the surface, then poke in the fresh berries (any fresh seasonal berries that correspond with the jam you’re using). Bake for around 25 minutes, or until cooked on the outside but still a bit gooey in the middle. Leave to cool before cutting into portions.

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Jamie Oliver’s Cherry Cheesecake Semifreddo

 

 

 

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I found this recipe just before Christmas and it seemed the perfect solution to finding a new yummy dessert for Christmas lunch. I already had a sensational Christmas pudding – more of that in another post – and I was looking for something cold and sweet and a bit different.

Jamie has combined three great ideas – cherries because they’re seasonal for us in Australia, cheesecake which is always a winner and semifreddo for all us ice cream lovers!

It’s an easy recipe but you need to be prepared for a quite a few steps. It took me an hour or so on Christmas Eve, then freezing time overnight. It was ready to go for lunch on Christmas Day. I made these changes to the original recipe:

  • I used frozen pitted cherries rather than fresh (simply to save time pitting the fresh cherries)
  • I used ginger nut biscuits for the biscuit crunch component instead of digestive biscuits. This really worked as the biscuit crunch had a great festive ginger flavour!

Ingredients

150g digestive biscuits (I used ginger nuts)
75g unsalted butter
250g fresh cherries (I used frozen pitted cherries)
250g golden caster sugar
1 lemon
4 large free-range eggs
250ml double cream
250g cream cheese
50g dark chocolate
A large handful of cherries or mixed fresh berries

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until fine. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat and stir in the blitzed biscuits and a good pinch of sea salt.
Empty the mixture into a small baking dish (roughly 15 x 20 cm), pat down and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden and firm. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, halve and de-stone the cherries and place in a small pan with 200g of the caster sugar. (Or use frozen cherries). Finely grate in the lemon zest and squeeze in the juice of half and place over a medium-low heat.
Gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until softened and syrupy. Leave to cool completely, then blitz two-thirds of the mixture into a purée in a blender.
When you are ready to assemble the semifreddo, separate the eggs into two large mixing bowls and pour the double cream into a third bowl. Whisk the cream to soft peaks and beat in the cream cheese.
Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining caster sugar until creamy and pale and doubled in volume.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of sea salt until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the whites into the yolks, using a large metal spoon to keep the mixture as light as possible.
Beat a large spoonful of the egg mixture into the cream cheese mixture to loosen it, then carefully fold through the remaining.
Marble in half the puréed cherries and crumble in most of the biscuit mixture in large and small pieces, then fold through most of the whole cooked cherries. Spoon the semifreddo into a 1.5 litre ceramic bowl, then crumble over the remaining biscuit and ripple through most of the remaining purée. Put the dish into the freezer for at least 6 hours.
When you are ready to serve, dip the bowl 2/3 of the way into a large bowl or pan of just-boiled water, being careful not to submerge completely. Hold until you start to see the semifreddo loosen from the sides of the bowl. Place an upside down cake stand or plate on top of the bowl, and quickly turn over, holding one hand on the bowl and one hand on the cake stand.
The semifreddo should come out in a beautiful dome. Serve garnished with the remaining puree, cooked cherries, shavings of dark chocolate and a handful of fresh cherries or mixed berries.

 

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Chocolate and Raspberry Shortcake Slice

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I am continuing with my slice/traybake experiments. I am intrigued with their nomenclature. Slice in Australia, traybake in the UK, and my fellow blogger Revolutionary Pie
tells me they are bars in the US. Here is her blog:

http://revolutionarypie.com/

Gaining inspiration from my Berry Jam Shortcake Traybake, I had to whip up a batch of slices for a lunch so my shortcake recipe became chocolate by adding cocoa and dark chocolate pieces to the pastry and I sandwiched the shortcake with raspberries and sugar before baking.

The raspberries made the slice a bit gooey, so next time I would bake a little longer perhaps to firm up the slice.

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Ingredients

125 g unsalted butter

125 g castor sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

175 plain flour

50 g ground almonds

1/4 cup dutch cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

40g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

2 tbsp demerara sugar

Milk, to brush the pastry

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line a medium sized square cake tin.

For the shortcake, beat the butter and castor sugar until thick and creamy. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, almond meal, cocoa and baking powder, then stir until combined. Mix in the chopped dark chocolate. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to just bring the mixture together. Divide the pastry in half, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each pastry portion into a square about the size of the tin, then press one square into the tin. Scatter the frozen raspberries over the pastry, making sure to leave a border around the edge. Scatter 1 tablespoon of the demerara sugar over the raspberries.

Top with the remaining pastry square and press the edges together to seal. Brush with milk and sprinkle with the remaining demerara sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes or until until the top looks firm (cover loosely with foil if browning too quickly). Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before carefully removing from the tin and cutting into slices.

Picture below is a plate of the chocolate shortcake with the berry jam shortcake traybake:IMG_2547

https://thequirkandthecool.com/2014/06/01/berry-jam-shortcake-traybake/

Chocolate Chunk and Macadamia Cookies

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This recipe is based on a recent recipe from Taste Magazine. I make a lot of chocolate cookies, and this recipe appeals as the chocolate takes the forms of chunks not chips. The use of self raising flour makes fatter cookies too!

Ingredients

 

125 gms softened butter

100 gms caster sugar

55 gms brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

225 gms self raising flour

100 gms dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

100 gms macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

2 tbls milk

 

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, 140 degrees C fan-forced.  Line 2 baking trays with non-stick paper.

Beat softened butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until pale and creamy.

Beat in egg.

Stir in the flour, dark chocolate, macadamia nuts and milk until combined.

Roll the mixture into large walnut sized balls and place on the lined trays about 8 cms apart. Press down slightly.

Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden and cooked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container – in the fridge if you want to keep the cookies crisp.

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Jamie Oliver Christmas Pudding Bombe

Christmas Pudding Bombe

Christmas Pudding Bombe
This is Jamie Oliver’s recipe. My version included half rum and raisin ice-cream with vanilla ice-cream. In retrospect the rum and raisin ice-cream was too sweet, all vanilla would work better.

Ingredients
• 1 litre good-quality vanilla ice cream
• 1 kg panettone
• 125 ml vin santo
• 3 heaped tablespoons raspberry jam
• 25 g shelled pistachios
• 75 g tinned sour cherries, drained
• 40 g glacé clementines (or other glacé fruit), thinly sliced
• 2 clementines, 1 peeled and sliced into rounds
• 200 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), bashed up

Method
Get your ice cream out of the freezer so it can soften a little while you get things ready. Line a 2 litre pudding bowl with 3 layers of cling film. Use a serrated knife to slice four 2cm thick rounds off of your panettone then cut them in half. You’ll have some panettone left over, so keep this for another time. Arrange six of the slices in a single layer around the bowl and push them down if they overlap. Drizzle some Vin Santo around the sponge so it soaks in, then use the back of a spoon to smear the jam over the sponge. 

Add 1 tub of ice cream to the bowl and use the spoon to spread it around in a thick layer. Sprinkle in the pistachios, cherries and glacé fruit then layer the clementine slices on top. Add the other tub of ice cream. Spread it out, working quickly so the ice cream doesn’t completely melt. Put the rest of the panettone slices on top of the ice cream, drizzle over some more Vin Santo then cover the bowl tightly with cling film. Press a plate down on top to press everything down, then freeze overnight, or longer. 

When you’re ready to serve it, put the bashed-up chocolate in a bowl and get that over a pan of simmering water on a really low heat. Leave the chocolate to melt while you unwrap your amazing winter bombe and carefully turn it onto a beautiful serving dish. Add a few gratings of clementine zest to the chocolate and when it’s nicely melted, pour it over the top so it oozes down the sides and looks delicious.

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