My Current Favourite Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are few things as satisfiying as homemade cookies- particularly the good ones: Saucer sized, thick and chewy and crammed with as many chocolate chips as possible. And over the years I have tried a ton of different cookie recipes- and for a basic chocolate chip cookie, these are my current favourite! They have a delightful craggy appearance and are delicious either fresh from the oven, or a few days later and retain their texture and chew even after a few days- if they last that long.

This recipe was originally from America’s Test Kitchen – to be precise “The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook (15th Anniversary Addition)” an excellent (gigantic) cookbook- even if my version is now several years out of date! However I have made a couple of changes, and give the weights in grams rather than the original cups and ounces.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 18 Cookies)

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 170g Butter, Melted and Cooled
  • 200g Light Brown Sugar
  • 100g Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Coffee Extract (Optional but super good- if you don’t have it replace with more Vanilla)
  • 250g Chocolate Chips (I use a mix of white, dark and milk chunks)

To begin with preheat your oven to 170 C (I have a fan oven and therefore dropped it to 160 C) and line two large baking trays with baking paper.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Using a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugars at a medium speed until smooth. Add the whole egg, egg yolk and the extracts and mix until fully combined, scraping down the bowl and beater as necessary. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Finally stir in the chocolate chips (I usually do this by hand.)

At this point I chill the dough for around an hour, although if you are in a rush you can skip this step. I find it helps the cookies to keep their shape in the oven, and not spread too thin so recommend when you have the time!

Divide the dough into 18 pieces and roll them into balls. One at a time, pull the dough balls in half, and stick the two smooth sides together- so that the 2 ripped uneven sides form the top of the cookie- be careful not to smooth out that fantastic craggy surface (You can see why you want it in the picture below!)

Place the cookies on the prepared trays, ensuring to space them around 2 ½ inches apart. Bake the cookies until they are a light golden brown, and the edges are starting to harden- whilst still retaining that soft, puffy texture. This will take between 15-18 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking trays (if you can’t resist them, feel free to pinch one once they are firm enough to move!).

Finally enjoy!

 

White Chocolate and Raspberry Bundt Cake

It’s my partner’s birthday this week, and I was looking for a good cake to make him. A couple of factors made me decide on this one- number one that I wanted to make a Bundt, as I had only used my Bundt tin once- making it a pretty expensive purchase that I hadn’t yet justified! Number two that British Raspberries were half price in my local supermarket, and I wanted a cake that would take advantage of that- Particularly after we scanned too many, and ended up with five punnets of raspberries!

I would personally usually choose a cake that contained chocolate, caramel, peanut butter or coffee- or some amazing combination of them all, but the BF isn’t as keen. He’ll happily eat them when I make them- who would refuse homemade cake – but I wanted to make something more to his taste for his Birthday!  As he was a fan of the last white chocolate and raspberry cake I made, I figured something similar would be good- but I wanted something a bit more special…

I spent quite a while looking for a base recipe to use for the Bundt cake- I had a bit of a struggle, as I could only find American recipes using cups (which really isn’t my favourite method of measuring, although I’ll cope for an otherwise good recipe) and using cake mix as the base (as I already have a cupboard overflowing with baking ingredients, I couldn’t justify this.)

Eventually I stumbled upon a recipe from hugoandelsa.com which had what I was looking for- a simple recipe with lots of raspberries (almost 2 punnets!), creme fraiche to keep it moist (although I used sour cream as I’m more familiar with baking with it) and ground almonds- which I am always a fan of in baking.

It worked perfectly for what I wanted, and I had a great stress free baking experience- and a happy family who got to devour delicious cake.

To finish it off, and really gild the lily I added a lightly whipped white chocolate ganache and freeze dried raspberries, resulting in what, to me, is a super pretty cake.

See the recipe below if you fancy giving it a go!

 White Chocolate and Raspberry Bundt Cake

For the Cake:

  • 225g softened butter
  • 200g caster sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 240g sour cream
  • 85 g white chocolate chips
  • 250g raspberries

For the optional (but highly recommended) Ganache/Decoration:

  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
  • 125ml double cream
  • freeze dried raspberries, to sprinkle over the top (optional but oh so pretty!)

To begin with preheat your oven to 180 C – (I have a fan oven, and therefore dropped it to 170 C) and grease/flour a 9 cup bundt tin well, You really don’t want it to stick!  (I have the Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Tin and love the way it looks).

Using a stand mixer, cream together butter (I’d recommend cutting it into smaller pieces to make it quicker), vanilla and sugar on a high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Whilst it is mixing (unless you are using a hand mixer and therefore more involved!) sift your dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for now!

Add the eggs one at a time to the butter / sugar mixture, beating for 20 seconds after each egg to ensure they combine.

Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the sour cream – I add the dry ingredients and then mix slightly by hand to ensure flour doesn’t fly everywhere – and then mix on high for 20 seconds, ensuring to scrape down the sides and bottom to make sure that the batter is thoroughly mixed.

Finally fold in the white chocolate chips and raspberries by hand- trying to make sure to not overly squash the raspberries!

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top and then bake for 55 – 65 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the centre (Mine took 55 mins).

Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

If you don’t want to frost the cake, you are done! Yay – Enjoy!

However if you would like to decorate the cake, proceed with the below white chocolate ganache, it’s super simple, and super tasty.

In a bowl set above lightly simmering water, combine your white chocolate and 50ml of the double cream. Stir, until the chocolate has melted into the cream and you have a smooth and glossy ganache. Leave the ganache to cool to room temperature, and then add the rest (75ml) of cream. Put in the fridge to chill until cold.

Once cold, I lightly whipped my ganache by hand, to give it a stiffer texture- like very lightly whipped cream (just about able to hold its shape when dropped off a spoon). This was to allow it to be piped on the cake without it all running off. Once whipped, put the ganache in a piping bag and cut off the tip of the bag to allow you to pipe a thick line.

The cake should be completely cool before beginning decorating. To pipe the cake, I simply followed the lines of the Bundt cake, and then used a palette knife to neatly spread the ganache.

To finish off the cake, I sprinkled freeze dried raspberries over the ganache- which I picked up randomly when I visited Copenhagen, and have been looking for a good place to use!

Then put the cake in the fridge until ready to serve- I personally best like cake and frosting cold from the fridge.

Finally enjoy!

 

 

Baileys Tiramisu

Tiramisu

I love tiramisu and will often choose it when it is on a dessert menu, luckily it is also simple to make at home.

This recipe is from the book Nigella Express- one of my favourite cookbooks I remember being given as a teenager (thanks Mum!)

I made this recipe for the first time when I was about to head off to University for my second year!

The original recipe serves up to 12, however as the boyfriend and I have our own place I didn’t feel that we needed that much temptation!

Therefore I decided to roughly half the recipe (except for a couple of areas where strictly halving it would be difficult.) If you would like the original full size recipe check out Nigella’s therefore, as doubling this would not get the exact original quantities. Luckily for us halving the recipe worked very well- my boyfriend actually prefers the smaller version over the larger version that I make for larger groups (Although I can’t quite pinpoint the difference!).

It makes about four portions, which usually means that we have dessert two nights in a row- so it definitely lasts a couple of days in the fridge, although after that I don’t know.

What I like about making the half size version is that is makes it a cheaper dessert, as buying the 250ml of baileys and 500g mascarpone for the original version makes it rather pricey- half the amount means half the price!

Tiramisu 3

Ingredients

175ml cooled espresso coffee- made with about 5 teaspoons instant espresso powder

125ml Baileys

1x 200g Packet Sponge finger biscuits (I usually buy an extra packet just to make sure I have enough, any leftover biscuits can be saved for another recipe or just eaten!)

1 egg

38g Caster Sugar (I used infused vanilla caster because that is what I had)

250g Mascarpone (usually one tub)

Cocoa Powder for dusting the top.

You also need a rectangular or square glass container to make the tiramisu in, I usually use a Pyrex dish with a capacity of about 1.5l.

To begin with mix around 87 ml of the Baileys with the coffee in a shallow container, I used a loaf tin last time because that was what I had available and it worked exceptionally well!

Then dip the biscuits into this mixture and let them soak on both sides until damp (don’t let them become soggy or you will run out of liquid later!) You want them firm enough to not break when removed from the liquid. Use them to line the bottom of the Pyrex.

Separate the egg into two bowls. Whisk the yolk and the sugar together until thick and paler yellow. Then fold in the remaining 38ml of Baileys, and the mascarpone to make a thick smooth mixture. The mascarpone may leave little lumps in the mixture, but these can be squished and mixed in until it is beautifully smooth.

Whisk the egg white until it is thick and frothy, with no clear liquid white at the bottom of the bowl, I used a glass bowl so that I could lift it and check underneath that it was all properly whisked. As it is such a small amount of egg white this can be done by hand rather than using an electric whisk.

Gently fold the egg white into the mascarpone mixture then spread half of this mixture on top of the biscuits.

Repeat the soaking process with the sponge fingers and make another layer. Then top with the remainder of the mascarpone mixture.

Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight. Sieve cocoa powder over the top of the tiramisu before serving.

I recommend serving it with a spatula of some sort- I use a plastic or silicone one, cut it then lever it out and you can get nice neat looking slices.

Tiramisu2

Finally, enjoy!