German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

I have never heard of German sandwich cake before and I feel like I have been missing out! I love coconut, pecans and, most of al chocolate, so how I have missed this one I am not sure. I intend to make up for lost time though by attempting these heavenly looking sandwich cookie versions of the traditional cake…

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
60g cocoa powder
330g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp salt
225g unsalted butter
400g demerara sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
180ml milk

For the filling:
Two tins sweetened condensed milk
225g unsweetened shredded coconut
200g finely chopped toasted pecans

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a second large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture, stirring to combine. Add the milk, scraping the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the second half of the flour mixture, again scraping the bowl.
  5. Working in batches, drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each for spreading. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. For the filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk and the coconut. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to pull away from the pan and will hold a line when you drag your spoon through it, 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  7. Place the pecans in a shallow bowl or pie pan. Spread a spoonful of the coconut mixture onto the flat side of one cooled cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side down, to form a sandwich. Roll the edges of the sandwich cookie in the chopped pecans.
  8. Store in an airtight container between sheets of waxed paper.

Thanks so much to Tulsa World for opening my eyes to this delicious treat!

Advertisements

Paint Your Own Cookies

I just had to share this fab idea for cookies – with the school holidays fast approaching, what a fun way to spend an afternoon with the kids. Plus at the end of it everyone gets cookies!

What you will need:
Cookie dough (home made or shop-bought)
Egg yolks
Food colouring – colours of your choice!
Sugar sprinkles (optional)
Cookie cutters
Small paint brushes

  1. Begin by preparing the paints. In a small bowl (one for each colour), place one egg yolk and a few drops of food colouring of choice. Mix well. Repeat for each colour. Set aside.
  2. Make dough, roll out cookies and cut. Now paint. Be sure to use a separate brush for each colour or you may end up with a lot of brown cookies 🙂
  3. When finished painting all of your cookies, bake according to recipe directions.

And voilà – it really is that simple!

Thanks to BND.com for the great idea!

Best Christmas Cupcake Toppings

So, you have decided on the flavour of your cupcakes, got a tried and tested recipe sorted and they are baked, smell delicious and they are ready to eat… But how to ice them? In preparation for the school Christmas fayre next week, where parents will be competing to see who can do the best cakes, I have been looking for some of the most simple yet most effective Xmas toppings… Feast your eyes on this lot!

 

Check out this guy – just 2 marshmallows with a minstrel on top, but kids will love this!

 

 

Really Gorgeous and decadent looking Xmas trees, from the Martha Stewart collection – lots of frosting, but what an effect!

 

 

The popular green Xmas trees from a previous blog – so simple, yet crazily effective.

 

 

Reindeer cookie and pretzel cupcakes – super simple yet the pretzels are a genius addition, I love the mix of salty and sweet, but if it is not your thing, remove before eating!

 

 

Or stars always make a great topping, these are so cute.

 

 

Happy Baking!

 

 

 

Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

Now I am the first to admit I am not the biggest fan of Christmas pudding the traditional way. After a huge dinner the last thing I want is a heavy pud. Also by that time of the day, the thought of anything brandy soaked on top of the bucks fizz and wine that has been consumed throughout the day fills me with dread… So these are a perfect alternative. And they have chocolate in! Thanks again to the Good Food Channel. 🙂

Ingredients:
50g dark chocolate , in chunks
140g butter , plus extra for greasing
100ml soured cream
3 eggs , lightly beaten
140g self-raising flour
140g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
85g dried sour cherries , plus a few extra to decorate

For Decoration:
250g icing sugar , sifted
1 tsp custard powder, sifted
12 small bay leaves

  1. Heat oven to 170oC/gas mark 5. Butter a non-stick 12-hole muffin tin, and stick two criss-crossing strips of baking parchment in each hole.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat. Cool a little, then stir in the soured cream and eggs.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, almonds, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl. Pour in the chocolate and stir until smooth, then stir in the cherries. Spoon into the muffin holes so they are 3⁄4 full.
  4. Bake for 20 mins. Cool in the tins. Can now be frozen in plastic bags for 3 months.
  5. To decorate: Mix the icing sugar and custard powder with 2 tbsp water to make a thick icing. Remove the muffins from the tins and cool on a rack. Cut off any rounded tops, stand upside-down on the rack, then spoon icing over. Leave to set, then top with bay leaves and cherries.

Chocolate Beer Cake

This is one of my favourite Delia recipes and is my boyfriends choice every birthday – “but dont you want to try something new?” I ask every year. And I always get the same reply – “why would I want anything else when this cake includes my two favourite things – Beer & Chocolate??”…

So I should share it, the way to a man’s heart is truly through his stomach… Enjoy!

Ingredients:
50g cocoa powder
200ml stout
110g very soft butter
275g dark soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
175g plain flour
Πteaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:
110g icing sugar, sifted
50g very soft butter
2 tablespoons stout
110g dark chocolate (50-55% cocoa solids)
25g walnut pieces, finely chopped

To decorate:
8 walnut halves
cocoa powder, for dusting

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180°C.
  2. Grease 2 x 8-inch (20cm) sponge tins, 4cm deep. Line the bases with lightly greased baking parchment.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar, beating together thoroughly for 3 – 4 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  6. Weigh the cocoa and put it in a separate bowl, gradually stirring the stout into it. Now carefully and lightly fold into the egg mixture small quantities of the sifted flour alternately with the cocoa-stout liquid.
  7. When fully incorporated, divide the cake mixture equally between the two tins and level out.
  8. Bake the sponges in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes. The cakes should be flat on top and feel springy and will have shrunk slightly from the side of the tin. Leave them to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool further, carefully stripping off the base papers.
  9. To make the icing: beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the stout, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in after each addition.
  10. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, when it’s melted, remove the bowl from the water, and carefully fold the chocolate into the icing mixture.
  11. To make the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter together until blended, then gradually add the stout, making sure it is thoroughly mixed in after each addition. Now melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, when it’s melted, remove the bowl from the water, and carefully fold the chocolate into the icing mixture.
  12. Now remove a third of the icing to a separate bowl and stir in the chopped walnuts. After all the icing has cooled to a spreadable consistency, sandwich the cake with the walnut icing. Then spread the remaining two-thirds of the icing on top of the cake, using a palette knife. Next, dust the walnut halves with cocoa powder and arrange on top of the cake.

Seriously, although the picture looks good, it can in no way describe how yummy this cake is!

2 Minute Chocolate Salted Caramel Mug Cake

So I know what I am making for my lunch – check out my favourite of a heap of incredibly simple yet frankly obscene in their deliciousness recipes from the fab Babble Blog, Family Kitchen.

Makes 1 mug cake

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons plain flour
4 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg – beaten
3 tablespoons skimmed milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 salted caramels

  1. Into a small bowl add: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt, egg, milk, and vegetable oil. Mix to combine.
  2. Pour mixture into a regular sized coffee mug. Drop caramels into centre of mixture one at a time.
  3. Microwave on high for one minute and 30 seconds. If needed, microwave on high for up to an additional 30 seconds.

Seriously – a blog worth checking out, my only problem is knowing which one to go for next… 🙂

Chocolate Cranberry Puds

All I can say is wow – these look so amazing and are definitely going to be one of my Christmas day desserts…

For this recipes you will also require 2 x 8-hole Tefal silicone half sphere cake moulds.

Ingredients:
100g plain chocolate, broken up, plus extra, melted, to serve
100g softened butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
200g soft amaretti morbidi (soft almond macaroons available from Waitrose and Italian delis), crumbled
100g chopped hazelnuts
Icing sugar, cranberries and angelica to decorate the individual bombes

For the filling:
90g fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
90g fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp Cointreau
190g mascarpone
100ml double cream
Zest and juice of 1 small orange
1 tbsp icing sugar
Heaped tsp powdered gelatine

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Stir in the macaroons and chopped hazelnuts. Chill for 5 minutes. Press the mixture into the half sphere moulds to make even shells, especially around the top. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up and set.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the thawed berries, caster sugar and Cointreau in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the cranberries have softened. Cool slightly, then whizz in a food processor until puréed. Cool.
  3. Put the mascarpone in a bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually mix in the cream, then stir in the orange zest and sugar. Heat the juice in a small pan, then whisk in the gelatine until melted. Cool slightly, then stir half into the fruit purée and half into the mascarpone. Divide the mascarpone mixture among the holes of the chocolate-coated mould so that each one is three-quarters full, then finish each one with a thin layer of fruit purée. Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Turn out each mould and gently press 2 halves together to make a sphere and sit each on a small plate in a puddle of melted chocolate. Chill for 15 minutes to fix in place. Dust with icing sugar, and decorate with cranberries and angelica to serve.

Thanks to Channel 4 for the amazing recipe 🙂