Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Delicious Magazine Black and White Brownies

Delicious Magazine has done it again - you simply have to try this fabulous Black and White Brownie recipe!   It looks a little complicated, but basically you make the dark brownie part first, reserving a bit of each of the main ingredients to make a pale creamy cheesecake part which you swirl in later.   This recipe was given its primary airing on a weekend abroad, so the brownies spent time travelling, first in a car, then on a coach.  They arrived in great condition, and were scoffed without hesitation!    The only thing to beware of is that the instruction not to cut until the brownie is totally cool is a good one - I tried a sneaky piece while it was still warm, and it didn't like being cut (which serves me right for being greedy....).  The brownies will never get marks for beauty, but they taste wonderful.  In the picture below, I had some white choc chips, which I scattered into the white mixture to add a little extra chocolate rush.

Black and White Brownies 

Black and White Brownies

8oz/250g butter, with extra for greasing
7oz/200g dark chocolate
2oz/50g white chocolate
13oz/375g golden caster sugar
5 eggs
2oz/50g plain flour, plus 1 tbsp
Pinch of salt
3oz/85g cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
7oz/200g tub cream cheese

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.   Line an 8 x 12” tray with baking parchment.    Chop 6oz/150g of the dark chocolate finely, then roughly chop the remaining dark chocolate and the white chocolate.   Cut up 5oz/150g of the dark chocolate and melt it in the microwave.  Set aside to cool a little.  Roughly chop the remaining dark chocolate (2oz/50g) and the white chocolate.

Put the butter and 12oz/350g of the sugar in a bowl, and beat until light and fluffy. Add 4 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, then sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and a good pinch of salt. Lastly, stir in the melted chocolate and the chopped chocolate chunks.  Tip the mixture into the tray and smooth the surface.

Now tip the cream cheese into a bowl and beat with a spatula to soften it.  Add the remaining egg, flour and sugar, and mix until just combined.  Spoon blobs of the cream cheese mixture onto the brownie, then use the end of a flat bladed knife to swirl the mixtures together to give it a marbled effect.   Bake for 30 mins until just set – it should still have a little wobble when it comes out of the oven, and a knife or skewer stuck into the middle should come out with sticky crumbs.   Cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares to serve.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Hot Lemon Soufflé Custard

For my 200th blog post, I thought I'd share one of my all-time favourite puddings.  It's no coincidence that it is a lemon pudding, but this time it is a fabulously hot, spongy pudding with a delicious secret lemony custardy layer at the bottom.  Amazing on a cold winter's day, this pudding is not only fabulous, but very easy to make.  It disappears with surprising speed too!  In my last book, I cooked one with orange and rhubarb, but the original lemon version is still my family's most requested pudding.  Those who watch GBBO will know it as a "self saucing pudding" which elevates it to another plane entirely!

Hot Lemon Soufflé Custard

Hot Lemon Soufflé Custard

1oz/25g softened butter
8oz/225g caster sugar
grated rind and juice of 2 ½ lemons (3 if they are small)
4 eggs, separated
2oz/50g flour (or a blend)
16 floz/475ml milk

Boil a kettle of water, butter a 2.5 pint/1.4 litre ovenproof dish and preheat the oven to 200 deg C.    Put the butter, sugar, lemon rind and juice, egg yolks and flour into a food processor and blend thoroughly.  Add the milk slowly through the funnel.  

Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff (but not dry and powdery) and fold into the mixture (I usually do it the other way round as it is difficult to fold into a processor bowl!).   When it is reasonably well mixed, ie, not too many egg white islands, pour into the greased dish. 

Stand the dish in a large oven tin and pour the boiling water around it.    Cook for about 35 minutes until it is risen and browned (and the top is set and spongy to the touch).  If it is browning too quickly, put a piece of foil over the top.    Serve hot with cream (for the ultimate in decadence!). 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Deconstructed Plum Crumble with Rum and Raisin Ice Cream

This is a sneak preview of one of the recipes in my next book:  "Kate's Puddings - Second Helpings" which is due out later this month - something you've all been waiting for!  It is packed with lots more delicious puddings, plus new ones that haven't been on the blog at all (and won't be).   A donation is made to two charities from every book sold.

If, like me, you watch food programmes, you will know the latest trends, one of which is “deconstruction”, where the elements of the dish are served separately.    You will be bang on trend with this deconstructed crumble!  It turns a family pudding into a more exciting-looking creation, and the the top, cooked separately, has a great crunch– I hate claggy crumble.   The melting ice cream in the picture is one of my (many) favourites, Rum and Raisin, made using golden raisins.   This works with gluten-free flour.

Plum Crumble with Rum and Raisin Ice Cream
 Deconstructed Plum Crumble

1lb/450g plums or other fruit that will keep its shape
Sugar to taste – about 4oz/110g or so

6oz/150g plain flour (or a flour blend)
3oz/85g Demerara sugar 
3oz/85g butter (or spread)

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C, mix together the crumble ingredients as though making pastry, and spread over a large, greased, baking tray.  Cook until they are just browning – about 10 minutes or less, depending on your oven.  Remove and leave to cool.   Store in an air-tight tin.

Put the sugar and ½ pint water into a pan and bring to the boil, then lower the heat.  Stone and halve the plums, simmer in the  syrup until they are soft and release their delicious juice. 

Unite the plum and the crumble on a plate, not forgetting the delicious ice cream!

Rum and Raisin Ice Cream

2 egg yolks
3oz/80g caster sugar
15floz/400ml mixed double cream and milk  
2oz raisins soaked in
2tbsp rum

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.  In a non-stick pan, heat the cream and milk, stirring, to blood heat.  Pour it into the egg yolk mix and stir well, before pouring it back into the pan (off the heat, but using the residual warmth) and stirring well.  When it is smooth, leave it to cool/chill.  Soak the raisins in the rum (20 secs in the microwave encourages the raisins to take up the liquid) then cool.  Pour the juice and ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until it is thick, adding the raisins just before the end.