Tag Archives: Flour

Deliciously Decadant Dulche de Leche Brownies

I love brownies. I imagine that pretty much everyone loves brownies. But here’s the question: how to make them better? What’s the ultimate brownie?

I was rummaging through my cupboards the other day when I found a jar of Dulche de Leche. This traditional Argentinian caramel is, in my humble opinion, one of the most delicious things in the entire world! (and it’s low fat too. Yes, seriously).

You can make it yourself by gently boiling a tin of condensed milk, but I must confess I tend to buy it as I never get quite as amazing results.

Mmm, just look at that. Doesn’t it look fabulous?

So, I thought; why not combine dense, squidgy chocolate brownies with a swirl of delicious Dulche de Leche? Surely one of the best, most indulgent puddings ever!

The brownie recipe is adapted from a book called ‘The Sweet Life in Paris’ – well worth a read! I have jigged around the quantites, and added ground almonds to make it a little denser and moister.

What you’ll need:

100 grams plain flour

40 grams ground almonds

120g butter, at room temperature, plus a little extra for greasing the tin

175 dark chocolate, finely chopped (use a brand with a high cocoa content of at least 70% – Green & Blacks is good and reliable)

25g cocoa powder

3 large eggs

200 grams soft light brown sugar

1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract

Roughly 250ml Dulche de Leche (this is variable, use a little more or a little less depending on your preference, but don’t go overboard or your brownies won’t set!) I like Casa Argentina Dulche de Leche, available from Waitrose – it comes in a 450g glass jar and it’s the smoothest I’ve found.

Equipment:

An 8-inch (20cm) square cake tin

A length of tin foil

A hand or balloon whisk

A wooden spoon or spatula

A saucepan

A wire cooling rack

A spoon and knife

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

Grease your cake tin lightly with butter, and line with the tin foil, like so:

You might need to use two pieces of foil and overlap them.

Grease the tin again, over the foil.

Using tin foil gives the outer edge of the brownie a good, chewy outer edge and stops it from falling apart when you try to cut it – important in this case because this is a very squidgy brownie!

Step Two:

Melt the butter on a low heat in a saucepan, until is it beginning to froth gently.

Now add the chopped chocolate – stir it continuously until the chocolate has fully melted and the mixture is smooth.

Now, take the pan off the heat, and whisk in the cocoa powder.

Step Three:

Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition. Your mixture might go a little lumpy at this point; if it does, don’t worry! It’s just the eggs reacting to the slightly warm mixture. It’s not a problem.


Now, fold in the sugar, then the flour, and finally your vanilla extract.

This will give you a beautifully rich, dense and extremely thick mixture!

Step Four:

Now for the fun bit!

Assemble your greased and lined cake tin, your brownie mixture and the Dulche de Leche.

Spoon half of your brownie mixture into the cake tin, levelling it gently with a spoon.

Make sure it gets into all the corners! Don’t worry; again, it will look a bit lumpy.

Now, using a spoon, drop just under half of the Dulche de Leche on top of the brownie mixture, in even blobs. Swirl a knife through the mixture carefully.

Next, spoon over the rest of your brownie mixture on top. Level the top as best you can, then drop the rest of your Dulche de Leche into the centre of your mixture.

Using a knife, very gently swirl it out until you have a pretty swirled pattern!

Step Four:

Pop the tray in the oven. After half an hour, take the tray out. If the centre feels just lightly firm, they are done! If the centre is not firm, pop back in the oven for up to an extra ten minutes.

Once your brownies are done, take them out of the oven and leave the tray to rest for five minutes.

Then, take your wire cooling rack and gently lay it on top of the brownie tray. In one quick motion, turn it over so that the tray is upside-down on top of the cooling rack. Carefully lift the tin off the top of the brownies – the foil should still be on top of the mixture.

Wait for another five minutes, then gently peel the foil off the brownies – be patient, if you do it too early you’ll lose chunks of brownie when peeling it off!

Now, slide onto a chopping board, cut into squares and enjoy! These are great on their own, cold or fresh out of the oven, or warmed through with a dollop of cream.

These brownies will keep quite happily in the fridge or an airtight container for up to three days.

Note: I am really sorry but I don’t have a picture of the finished article; Alex and his brother arrived home and thought it would be fun to start pulling my hair and taking pictures of me with ‘stretch face’ and so I sort of forgot to take the last batch of photo’s.


However, I promise you, these are utterly delicious, and well worth a bake.

See you tomorrow!

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under Ideas, Recipes

Foolproof Basic Cupcake and Mini Cupcake Recipe!

I am going to be trying out lots of different cupcake ideas over the next couple of weeks – especially with Halloween and Christmas coming up! – so I thought it might be a good idea to give you a basic cupcake recipe.

This is my favourite!

I much prefer the taste of good-quality butter in cakes, but using Stork or something similar produces an undeniably light texture. To get the best of both worlds, I have replaced a spoonful of the flour with a spoonful of cornflour.

This makes the sponge wonderfully light and keeps that yummy buttery taste.

These quantities will yield approximately 12-14 standard sized cupcakes, and about 30 mini cupcakes.

What you’ll need:

150g softened butter

150g caster sugar

140g self-raising flour

1 tablespoon cornflour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

2 teaspoons good-quality Vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

Equipment:

Standard or mini-sized cupcake cases

A standard cupcake tin or mini muffin tray

A large mixing bowl

A wooden spoon

An electric whisk, bowl whisk or handheld whisk

 

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius if you are making standard sized cupcakes, or 160 degrees Celsius if you are making mini cupcakes.

Line your cupcake tray with your paper cases.

Step Two:

Put all of the ingredients together in the mixing bowl.

Make sure that you hold the sieve up high when sifting in the flour, try to get lots of lovely air in!

Step Three:

Stir your ingredients together with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Now, using your electric or handheld whisk, give the mixture a very good whisk for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. The colour will turn lovely and pale – this is perfect!

Step Four:

Divide the mixture among your paper cases. Fill each case roughly 2/3rds of the way full.

Pop into your preheated oven.

If you are making standard cupcakes, bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.

If you are making mini cupcakes (as I am in the pictures) bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 18 minutes (I know this sounds exact but honestly it’s the perfect timing!)

Your cupcakes are done when they are nicely risen, and the surface feels just firm to the touch.

Do not be tempted to leave them in for an extra couple of minutes; if they brown, they will be dry.

Step Five:

Place on a wire rack to cool, and repeat until you have used all of your mixture.

 

Once you have baked all of your cupcakes and they are fully cooled, you can decorate them however you like!

(I’ll pop on a recipe for frosting tomorrow; it’s twenty past midnight and I am tired of baking and wish to sleep. Well…perhaps just a little bite first!)

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

8 Comments

Filed under Advice, Recipes

Recipe: How To Make Basic, Foolproof Chewy Cookie Dough!

I love cookies.

“But, sweetie!” I hear you cry, “that’s blasphemy! You are English! Surely you must mean biscuits?”

No, I do not mean biscuits!  I mean thick, soft, ridiculously chewy American-style cookies.

This is my favourite, tried and tested cookie dough.

It makes gorgeously soft, thick, chewy cookies – yummy!  It can be customised however you like, by adding chocolate chunks, peanut butter, marshmallows – anything at all.

Tomorrow I’ll show you how to make gorgeous strawberry-covered cookies using this recipe!

What you’ll need:

200 grams of caster sugar

80 grams of soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg, and 1 egg yolk

250 grams of plain flour, sifted

80 grams of ground almonds

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of baking powder

A pinch of salt

 

Equipment:

A greased, lined baking tray

Two mixing bowls

A wooden spoon

 

Step One:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Melt your butter in a pan or in the microwave. When it is fully melted, pour it into a mixing bowl and add your caster and brown sugar. Keep beating until it forms a smooth thick caramel!

Step Two:

Beat in the vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk until the mixture is smoothly combined.

Step Two:

In another bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and salt.

Give them a good mix together until they are also thoroughly combined.

Step Three:

A little at a time, beat the combined dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mix,  until it is all thoroughly mixed together and has formed a thick, stiff mixture.

Then chill the dough in the fridge for half an hour. Have a glass of wine (or cup of tea, if it is not yet six o’clock).

Step Four:

Take out of the fridge. Your dough will now be really thick and stiff – if you stick a spoon in the top, it ought to stay upright on its own.

You are now ready to shape your cookies! Using your hands, scoop some dough out of the bowl and roll it into a ball in your hands.

Place it on the baking tray, and repeat with the rest, making sure to leave a good gap between each ball of dough.

Remember – the bigger your lump of dough, the bigger and chewier the cookie!

Step Five:

Now, put them in the oven.

For large cookies that are very squidgy, leave them in for about 10 minutes – for a crunchier cookie, leave them in for 15. Take them out of the oven, and leave them on the surface to cool for a few minutes. Then carefully lift them with a cake slice and place them on a wire rack to cool fully.

NOTE: when you take your cookies out of the oven, they will seem much too squidgy. However, resist the temptation to put them in for longer; I promise, they harden up a lot when they cool.

Now, eat and enjoy!

See you tomorrow.

Love,

Jessy xxx

Do you have any questions you’d like answered? Ever wondered how to make a bed properly, how to cook easy bread from scratch, how to make the perfect cake, how to get tough stains out easily and quickly? My friends, I am rubbish at many things but due to a strange addiction to Mrs Beeton in my early teens and a very accomplished group of friends and family, I have access to a fairly sizeable amount of domestic knowledge. Test me – send me your domestic conundrums and we will see what we can do!

7 Comments

Filed under Advice, Ideas, Recipes