Archive for the ‘summer picnic’ Category

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Chocolate brownies & white chocolate blondies

September 5, 2007
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Chocolate brownies and white chocolate blondies

This mountain of chocolate brownies and white chocolate blondies (brownies made with white chocolate) is one of a trio of the best desserts I have made so far. They were as crunchy, chewy, sweet and chocolatey as they could be and they went down very well indeed.  

I have already posted my healthy chocolate brownies recipe, but this is the full fat, full sugar version, which my eating companions insist I post, so here it is:

Recipe for chocolate brownies
1 pack of dark chocolate drops
50g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
110g butter
2 eggs
50g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g brown sugar
25g demerera sugar
¼ tsp salt

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large glass bowl over a pan of hot water (a bain marie). Make sure the bottom of the bowl stays out of the water, so the chocolate doesn’t burn. Stir it together until it is all blended, then simply add all the other ingredients and stir again until completely mixed. Finally, add the chocolate drops, give a quick stir and then transfer to a square silicon tin and cook at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

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To make white chocolate blondies, just replace the 50g of dark chocolate and packet of chocolate drops with white chocolate.

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When it’s cooked it will be springy to the touch, but remember that the skewer test does not apply here, as you want the end result to be sticky and moist, not clean and dry like a cake. They will be crispy on top and gooey inside. Let the brownies cool a bit in the tin, then cut into pieces – as small or big as you like.

There are so many varieties of chocolate brownie recipe around that much as I love this recipe, I have decided to try some of the others I have come across. Keep an eye on my new ‘chocolate brownies’ category for my latest brownie experiment.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Courgette & Ginger Muffins

August 18, 2007

These weird-sounding cakes give you the feeling you are eating something pretty healthy whilst still tasting lovely. My initial reason for making them was thatI had too many courgettes, thanks to a bumper Abel & Cole delivery. And again, the organic grocers have come up trumps with a really original recipe, which I have adapted here, to include more protein and slow-burning carbohydrates. Courgette is not an obvious cake ingredient, but it adds a really light taste, lots of moisture and a soft little crunch.

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Recipe for Courgette and Ginger Muffins
50g wholemeal plain flour
150g ground almonds
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 medium courgettes, grated
120ml vegetable oil
240ml honey
2 eggs, beaten
ginger syrup
zest of one orange
100g stem ginger
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp linseeds

Icing
200g cream cheese
3 tbsp unsalted butter
50g icing sugar

In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, ground almonds, fresh ginger, cinnamon, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. In larger bowl, combine the vegetable oil, honey, eggs and ginger syrup and stir thoroughly until combined, then add the courgettes and mix well. In a third, smaller bowl mix the orange zest, chopped stem ginger and all the seeds until everything is equally distributed. Then add this lot to the courgette mixture, and finally add the flour mixture. Stir carefully until all properly combined, and transfer straight to your cooking tins. These quantities make a fair amount of mixture, and it’s up to you what kind of tins you use. I use a combination of large and small muffin tins, and a flat tray-bake style tin as well.

Cook in the oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes, until golden and a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool for a while before removing them from the tins to a cooling rack.

Whilst the muffins are cooking, make the icing. Mix all the ingredients together, using an electric whisk, until the mixture is pale and fluffy, then cool in the fridge until needed. Smooth the icing generously over the muffins and chill in the fridge. They are lovely and moist, so will not dry out in the fridge. They also freeze really well.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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Potato Salad

August 14, 2007

Another from the family recipe book, this potato salad is so simple. Everyone has their own version of this summer dish, and I have found this one, which has a taste that evokes memories of childhood, to be the best combination.

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Recipe for Potato Salad
8 medium potatoes, skin on
2 eggs
6 spring onions
4 tbsp mayonnaise

Scrub the potatoes, but don’t peel them. Chop them into inch-sized chunks, and boil them for 10-15 minutes until they are soft, then drain them in a colander. Meanwhile, boil the eggs too, for 7 minutes, so the yolks are a bit soft. When you have removed them from the boiling water, put them straight into a bowl of cold water. This will cool them down and also stop the yolks getting that grey tint. While the eggs and potatoes are cooling, mix the mayonnaise with the chopped spring onions and any seasoning in a big bowl. Peel the eggs, rinsing them under the tap to make sure all the shell is gone, then chop them as finely as you can (an egg slicer is best – chop them both ways to get thin strips). Then add them to the mayonnaise and mix well. Finally, add the potatoes, which should still be warm, and serve.

© Katheryn Rice 2007

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