Sunday, 16 January 2011

Choc Fudge Chip Cookies

The London weather has been so grey this weekend so I made these soft chewy and cosy cookies -  perfect with a cup of tea to keep me going while I pack for our belated honeymoon. As I was taking this photo I realised that my favourite Penguin mug is from the 'Travel and Adventure' book category - v appropriate!

Something I like about this recipe is that there's no need to chill the dough so you can just mix the ingredients and bake straight away. Also, I only make a small batch of 6 (since I'll be wearing a bikini soon!) and froze the rest of the mixture in 3 batches to cheer up the next grey weekend that comes along.

INGREDIENTS
225g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
350g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
100g dark chocolate chunks
100g fudge chunks 

METHOD
1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (I used a hand held whisk)
2. Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla
3. Add the flour, salt and bicarb and mix until you have a soft dough
4. Stir in the chocolate and fudge
5. Bake about a dessert spoon size blob per cookie at 170C for 10mins. I spread 6 out on one baking tray (they need lots of room to spread)
6. Let the cookies cool for a while on their tray before transferring to a wire rack as they'll still be a bit soft when they come out of the oven

Makes 24

Adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Skinny Blonde Courgette Cupcakes

This is definitely a January cupcake. Just right for when a full on chocolate cupcake would feel too indulgent but there's no way you can get through the month without cake. There's also something satisfyingly minimal about a vanilla flavour cake after a cinnamon, clove and ginger filled December. The base is made using courgette instead of butter which give it quite a light American-pancakey texture. Some of the good intentions are dashed with the butter cream icing though - the diet can start in February...

INGREDIENTS:
2 large eggs
160g caster sugar
300g courgette (peeled and finely grated)
180g white rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the butter cream icing:
100g unsalted butter
200g icing sugar
2 tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD
1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl using an electric mixer until the mixture falls in ribbons (this took me about 5 mins)
2. Mix in the courgette
3. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and salt
4. Whisk in the vanilla until everything is well combined
5. Ladle into a paper lined muffin tray - they don't rise a lot so you only need to leave 1/2cm or so at the tops of the cases
6. Bake at 180C for 20mins, cool and ice (wizz all of the icing ingredients together for 5mins using an electric whisk to get maximum volume and a lighter icing).

Makes 12

Adapted from Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache - I love this book for the food styling and photography even if I haven't tried so many of the recipes.

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