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Tag Archives: traybake

White Chocolate and Cranberry Blondies Revisited

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This is what I was cooking this time 3 years ago, in May 2013. It’s an ultra rich blondie inspired by a Gordon Ramsay recipe. I thought it worth revisiting – it’s easy to make, really fudgy, and the cranberries give a nice, slightly tart note to offset the caramel sweetness.

Ingredients

1 cup dried cranberries
2  x 100g white chocolate bars
225g plain flour
226g butter
1 pinch of salt
300g sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 free-range eggs

Method

Line a 23cm x 23cm tin with baking paper.

Melt butter, add sugar to mixing bowl. Add salt to sugar.
Add melted butter to sugar and whisk well. Add vanilla and eggs, whisk well.
Add baking powder and bi-carbonate of soda, mix well.
Whisk in half the flour. Once incorporated (no lumps), add the rest of the flour and mix well until there are no lumps.
Add the dried cranberries, changing from a whisk to a spoon.
Slice the bars of white chocolate into  thick matchsticks and mix in gently, trying not to break up the chocolate.
Spoon into baking tin (previously lined with baking paper (butter or non stick spray the tin to hold paper in place).
Spread mixture into the tin, using a spatula to make sure the mixture is even.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 35 -40 minutes.
Leave to cool, then remove from tin.
Cut into squares. Blondies will keep for a week and also freeze well.

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Peanut Butter Blondies

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This recipe is James Morton’s from a Rachel Allen recipe. James uses dark chocolate rather than white, as he thinks it a better flavour  with the peanut butter. I agree, as I discovered, when making Rachel’s original recipe – see my post Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies.  I decided to use a mixture of dark and milk chocolate buttons.

Jame calls his recipe brownies, but I’m going with Rachel and calling mine blondies.  They are after all, pale, as they contain no cocoa or melted chocolate.

Oh, and although I LOVE the peanut butter in the recipe, I added macadamias to the mixture not peanuts!!!

For James’ brownies, see his beautiful book How Baking Works and What to do if it Doesn’t:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Baking-Works-what-doesnt/dp/009195990X/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1D45NCBQD1RHZVHP2PCA

So here is my tweak on James’ and Rachel’s original recipes.

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Ingredients
100g softened unsalted butter
150g crunchy peanut butter
150g caster sugar
1 free range egg beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
100g self-raising flour
50g salted macadamias or peanuts  – or any nut really. I think the salt adds a great “salty “!! flavour
100g dark and/or milk chocolate buttons

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/150 degrees C fan-forced/Gas Mark 3.  Place a square of baking paper into a 20cm (8 inch) square tin.
In a food processor or a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter and sugar together until paste-like. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. James says not to worry about too much beating so long as the ingredients are combined.
Add the flour, nuts and chocolate, stirring gently to combine. Dollop the mixture into the  cake tin and spread out to the edges (the mixture will be quite stiff and hard to spread).
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

 

 

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Blondies

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Peanut butter is the next best thing to salted caramel in a traybake or blondies. And mix that with white chocolate and you have a delicious combination!

My mission is now to combine peanut butter, caramel and chocolate – white or milk – in a traybake.

I  found this recipe on Rachel Allen’s television show Rachel Allen Bake!: http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/tv/rachel-allen-bake/

Ingredients

125g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

100g  butter, softened

50g crunchy peanut butter

175g  soft light brown sugar

1 free range egg, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

75g white chocolate, chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.  Grease a square or rectangular tin and line the base with baking paper.

In an electric mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together until very soft. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour and baking powder and mix to form a dough. Carefully stir in the chopped chocolate.

Place the dough in the prepared tin, smoothing the top, and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes or until golden brown and almost firm in the centre. Be careful not to overbake – the centre should be not quite cooked.

Allow to cool in the tin, before removing and cutting into squares.IMG_3744

 

Salted Caramel Meringue Cake Slice

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I have incorporated my love of salted caramel with my new invention “the cake slice”, which I accidentally hit upon when making a slice recently. A cake slice, in my definition, is a traybake or slice in which the base is “cakey” and the topping quite soft and maybe a little bit gooey!

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This Salted Caramel Meringue Cake Slice was inspired by a recipe of my grandmother, “German Biscuit” previously written about in this blog: https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/06/27/german-biscuits/

That recipe combines a rich shortbread base with an apricot jam and meringue topping – I substituted the jam for a salted caramel filling in my version, plus I tweaked some of the measurements.

Ingredients

Shortbread and Meringue

2 tbls butter
1/2 cup sugar + 1/3 cup for meringue
2 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
Enough self raising flour to make a stiff dough (or plain flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder)

Salted Caramel Filling

I used some Dulce de Leche in a jar – enough to cover the shortbread. I added a tablespoon of butter and also of demerara sugar and blitzed in the food processor to combine to loosen the caramel. I think that the additions may not have been needed as the mixture was a little runny. Add sea salt to taste for the “salted” effect.

Method

Cream butter and sugar in a food  processor. Add beaten egg yolks and a little water. Mix in sifted flour. Roll out to about 1/2 cm thickness and place in a baking tin lined with baking paper and greased. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 160 degrees C  or until biscuit is cooked and golden.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Spread the biscuit with the salted caramel to cover.

Beat egg whites until stiff, then add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating mixture until of meringue consistency.

Spoon the meringue over the caramel, creating rough peaks. Bake in a slow oven (130 degrees C) to dry the meringue for about 15 minutes. The meringue should feel firm but spongy.

Remove from oven and when cool, cut into “cakey” slices.

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Berry Jam Shortcake Traybake

IMG_2306Traybakes or slices are my current baking obsession. Portable, easy to whip up, and always popular, they suit my life at the moment where I need to create something sweet on a regular basis for the hungry hordes or just to keep this quirky writer sane!

So I have adapted my shortcake recipe as a traybake. I left out the whole fruit and just used jam. I cooked for a fraction longer to ensure the bake was firm when sliced. And of course I substituted a square tin instead of a tart mold.

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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 tsp baking powder

4 tbls good whole strawberry conserve

2 tbls good raspberry jam

Milk, to brush the pastry

1 tbsp demerara sugar

2 tbsp flaked almonds

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 and baking powder, then stir until combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to just bring the mixture together. Divide the dough in half, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a square about the size of the tin, then press one square into the tin. Spoon the strawberry conserve over the dough, then the raspberry jam, leaving a small border around the edge.

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

Bake for 30 minutes or until until golden (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. IMG_2286

 

Berry, Apple, Golden Syrup and Oat Flapjacks

IMG_2186I found a recipe for flapjacks while surfing the internet for “tray bakes”. As a food etymologist I was intrigued by the name, not overly used in Australia. We tend to talk more of “slices”.

The following recipe is very loosely based on one of my finds, Blackberry and apple oaty flapjacks: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/511747/blackberry-and-apple-oaty-flapjacks.

My traybake turned out more of a tart as it was quite soft. I think the apple makes it soft, so you could try less apple to firm it up or cook it for longer.

My next incarnation of the flapjack will be apple-free and I’ll make the berries into jam before cooking. Watch this space!

Ingredients

1 large or 2 small apples, peeled and chopped

200g  rolled  oats

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs store bought caramel

200g fresh or frozen mixed berries

2 tbs golden syrup

Crumble topping:

60g rolled oats

1 tbs butter cut into small pieces

1 tbs golden syrup

Handful of flaked almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a medium sized baking tin. I used a flan mold for something different.

Place the chopped apple in a saucepan with enough water to cover.  Put on the lid and cook until soft.  Drain the water and puree or mash the apple.

Mix the oats and the cinnamon in a large bowl, add the apple and caramel and combine well.

Spread the oat mixture Into the base of the tin or flan and spread out into an even layer.

Scatter the mixed berries on top of the oat mixture, having cut in half any larger berries such as strawberries.  Drizzle the golden syrup over the berries.

To make the crumble topping, combine oats, butter and extra golden syrup.

Spoon the crumble mixture over the berries, lastly scattering the flaked almonds.

Press down slightly to stick the layers together. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the flapjack is golden brown and the berry juices are bubbling.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before cutting into pieces.

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