Summer Berry Crepe Cake

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For a woman who is constantly making pancakes of sorts – thin, Scotch, puffy, buttermilk, Dutch – it would seem surprising that I have never made a Crepe Cake.

Until now.

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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’

 

Lemon, Poppy Seed and Blackcurrant Ripple Ice Cream

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As we are coming to the end of August, the evenings are drawing in and the shadows are a little longer in the morning, can I still get away with an ice cream ‘post’?

Why not? The children are still on their ‘summer holidays’, the forecast for the next week is warm and sunny and the Bank Holiday weekend is approaching. Yes, it is still ice-cream-eating weather!

So my inspiration for this ice cream came purely by chance when I stumbled on a fabulous article in The Guardian, ‘The 10 Best Iced Recipes’. Originally a semifreddo dessert, I have adapted the main constituents of the recipe – the lemon, poppy seeds and blackcurrants – to a soft rippled ice cream. A soft scoop ice cream, in a waffle cone, being the iced dessert of choice in our house.

All the ingredients for this recipe are easy to come by. Admittedly, the blackcurrants are seasonal but they are still bountiful in the supermarkets and the ‘Pick Your Own’ farms. The blackcurrant ripple compliments the sweet, lemon ice cream beautifully. For my ripple I have just squashed the currants during the heating proctess. If you prefer a smoother ripple, you can always puree the ripple in the blender and put it though a sieve, whilst still warm.

This ice cream is very easy to make yet has a sophisticated taste and texure. It would be great addition if you are entertaining this weekend. The taste is just sublime.

Lemon, Poppy Seed and Blackcurrant Ripple Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 150g fresh blackcurrants
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 397g tin of sweetened condensed milk
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 300ml double cream

Instructions

  1. To prepare the blackcurrant ripple, rinse the blackcurrants and place in a saucepan with the sugar and the lemon juice. Over a medium heat, allow the sugar to dissolve. Allow to simmer and stir occasionally. The fruit should be softened, a little squashed and the juices becoming a little syrupy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. For the ice cream, in the bowl of a freestanding mixer, place the condensed milk, the whole milk, the juice of the lemons and the lemon zest and combine with the mixer. Then add the poppy seeds and combine further.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk, ideally with an electric whisk, the whipping and double cream together until very light and fluffy and peaks form. Gently fold the creams into the lemon condensed milk mixture, ensuring that the mixtures are well combined.
  4. Pour the ice cream batter into a large plastic container, seal with a lid and place in the freezer.
  5. Remove from the freezer after about 1.5 hours. With an electric whisk, mix the ice cream mixture again until light and creamy. Next add the blackcurrant ripple. Divide the blackcurrant mixture into say, 6 spoonful's and space equally on the ice cream. With a fork, ripple the blackcurrant mixture through the cream ensuring that it covers most of the container but avoid too much mixing so as to achieve thick ripples.
  6. Re-seal the plastic lid on the container and return to the freezer for approximately 6-8 hours, or overnight.
  7. Before serving, allow the ice cream to ripen in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes so that it is the correct softness for serving.
http://thecontentedbaker.com/lemon-poppy-seed-and-blackcurrant-ripple-ice-cream/

Source: Inspired by and slightly adapted from ‘The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook’ (Yeo Valley) by Sarah Mayor, as seen in The Guardian’s ‘The 10 Best Iced Recipes’