Rocky Road (aka Fridge Cake)

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Some friends have been wanting me to make Fridge Cake, or Rocky Road for sometime. So when I made this no bake treat, I had no idea that I would be giving you a little history lesson too. Interested to know where the name Rocky Road came from, ( I assume it came from the uneven finish and medley of different ingredients), I looked it up. [Read more…]

Marbled Brownie

marbledbrownie-1I think you will like these Marbled Brownies.

They are  intense dark chocolate brownies swirled with crème de cassis, soaked berries and a creamy soft cheese topping. I baked them a couple of weeks back when I hosted a charity coffee morning, a ‘Great Pink Bake Off’ for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It was a very popular bake and many of my friends requested the recipe, so here it is.

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I have adapted it from an excellent article in The Guardian, ’10 Best Chocolate Recipes’. I have adapted mine by increasing the chocolate intensity, reducing the sugar slightly, substituting the raspberries for various dark berries and currants that I have in my freezer. Those of you who have followed the blog know I have a freezer full of gorgeous summer berries, the fruits of our numerous pick your own labours this summer. I have soaked these blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries in crème de cassis but this is purely optional. I have used salted butter as I love the ‘salty/sweet’ taste with the dark chocolate. I have also changed the quantities of goat’s and cream cheese. I find there is nothing more irritating than buying an ‘out of the ordinary’ ingredient – for example, the goat’s cheese here and having to buy two packs, knowing you will only use one and a half of the quantity. I have played around with these quantities to make this bake more practical and economic, at the same time as making it still taste delicious.

marb-2These brownies are very easy to make and there is little room for error. They are deliciously ‘fudgy’, which goes wonderfully with the tartness of the berries and the creaminess of the soft cheese topping.

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These Brownies go a long way too – you will get 24, good portions from this bake. Perfect with morning coffee, afternoon tea, or served with a spoonful of cream for a lovely dessert. Just as well really…

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Marbled Brownie

Approximately 24 portions

Ingredients

  • 180g mixed berries & currants - blackberries, blueberries and blackcurrants
  • 2 tbsp. of crème de cassis (optional)
  • 300g dark, good quality chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 175g salted butter
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 375g unrefined golden caster sugar, or caster sugar, plus 40g for the topping
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste
  • 5 eggs (4 eggs for the Brownie, plus 1 for the topping)
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 150g soft goat's cheese
  • 150g full fat cream cheese

Instructions

  1. Rinse the berries and currants and pat dry. Place in a bowl, add the crème de cassis, if using, mix and set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Prepare a 20cm x 30cm baking tray by greasing and lining with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, or Gas Mark 4.
  3. In a large saucepan, over a low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Once melted set aside to cool before adding the milk. Whisk. Add 375g of sugar and the vanilla paste and combine. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in approximately half of the berries and currants, along with the juices. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin and distribute evenly.
  4. In the bowl of a freestanding mixer, or with a hand held electric whisk, beat together the goat's cheese, cream cheese, the remaining egg and 40g of sugar. Once light and fluffy, fold in the remaining fruit.
  5. With a large spoon, drop portions of the goat's cheese mixture onto the brownie mixture. Swirl the mixture with a knife, ensuring that you get a good 'swirl' but without over mixing.
  6. Bake the brownie for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit in the tray for 10 minutes before removing from the tray and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Once cool, cut into portions and serve. Store in an airtight container.
http://thecontentedbaker.com/marbled-brownie/

Source: Adapted from Faith Durand’s recipe as seen in The Guardian’s ’10 Best Chocolate Recipes’

 

Blackberry and Apple Flapjacks

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These fruity flapjacks are homework ‘fuel’ for the whole family.

We are now in our second full week back at school and the carefree summer holidays are a bit of  a distant memory. After school, homework is order of the day – spellings, maths, reading, times tables with two weary children, plus a keen two year old eager to join the fray. It is not just the children that need a pick-me-up snack…I need it!

These chewy, fruit flapjacks hit the spot. (Indeed, even my husband has commented that I need to stop making these – I have made three batches – as they taste too good).

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To be honest, I have never been a huge flapjack fan. They can so easily be dry, too hard, too greasy or just too sickly sweet. I think these have the potential to convert any flapjack cynic.

Yes, slightly more labour intensive as the fresh fruit is layered between two layers of flapjack, they are still quick and easy to make. So what makes these special? They are light, chewy, a little moist as a result of the fresh fruit content yet have a ‘crunch’ thanks to the addition of rice and buckwheat porridge flakes, in addition to the regular oats. I have used unrefined brown sugar and either, agave or golden syrup. Use whichever you have in the cupboard. I have also added a little salt to give that lovely salty/sweet aftertaste.

blackappleflapjack-1-2Not only do these taste good, but I think they look pretty. A great way to use the end of season blackberries and of course, all those apples that are abundant at the moment.

Enjoy!

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Blackberry and Apple Flapjacks

Approximately 16 slices

Ingredients

  • 150g blackberries, rinsed
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 175g Demerara sugar
  • 275g porridge oats
  • 100g buckwheat and rice porridge (you can use rice flakes, buckwheat flakes, or a combination)
  • 1/2 teaspoon course sea salt, ground
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 150ml agave syrup or golden syrup
  • 100g Bramley apple, peeled and grated (approximately half a large apple)

Instructions

  1. Place the blackberries and caster sugar in a small saucepan and put over a gentle heat. Allow the berries to soften slightly and a syrup to form. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C, or Gas Mark 3. Prepare a 20cm square tin by lining with baking parchment.
  3. Put the butter, Demerara sugar, oats, porridge flakes, salt, water and syrup of your choice into a large heavy based saucepan and heat gently. Allow the butter to melt and the sugar to dissolve and mix thoroughly until well combined. Remove from the heat.
  4. Spoon just over half of the mixture into the prepared tin. Spread evenly with the back of a spoon, or fork, and push the mixture into the edges and corners, ensuring the mixture is level throughout the tin. With a slotted spoon, place the blackberries onto the mixture and distribute throughout. Grate the apple directly over the blackberries. Add the remaining flapjack mixture and distribute evenly, again pushing the mixture into the tin with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the top of the flapjack is a rich, golden colour. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Remove from the tin and with a sharp knife, cut into portions.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
http://thecontentedbaker.com/blackberry-and-apple-flapjacks/

Source: The Contented Baker