Earl grey and lavender scones

Spring has sprung at last! Flowers, blossom, sunshine and a glint of hope. I made these for afternoon tea in the garden and they were stunning. A subtle hint of earl grey and delicate lavender make these scones delicious and … Continue reading

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Cake

Is there anything in the name of this post that doesn’t appeal? For me no. Every word… peanut, butter, chocolate, fudge, cake… What more could you want in life? For those of you who have been crazy enough to give up chocolate for lent, then make this as soon as easter hits! This would be the ultimate chocolate indulgence to end your idiotic deprivation of the stuff of life.

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Before I continue, I also want to apologise most profusely for not having blogged in so long. Life has been craazy (or cray cray as some annoying people say): piano exam, homework, drama play. Oh the stresses of school! Anyhoo, don’t want to drag on with my boring life story; so on with the baking.

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This cake was something I came up with whilst trudging home in the (constant) rain from a miserable day at school. All I wanted to do was bake a good old chocolate cake – then inspiration struck! What if I could get peanut butter in there; kind of like a snickers? That was the spark that ignited this cake (ok sorry now this just sounds like a masterpiece, even though it’s just a chocolate cake). With that, I was off and omigoodness – this cake is just heaven. My mum and I couldn’t stop eating it; I can’t believe our family isn’t obese with all the cake we eat!

So please, make this cake. Melt down easter eggs, do whatever it takes. End of lent, easter, special occasion, or just feeling greedy. Make it!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Cake
You need:
SPONGE (2x 8″ cake tins)
225g/8oz butter
225g/8oz soft light brown sugar
4 eggs
200g/7oz self raising flour
30g/1oz cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g/3oz chocolate chips (whatever sort takes your fancy)

ICING
50g/2oz butter
2 tbsp water
50g/2oz soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp crunchy or smooth peanut butter
6-8oz icing sugar
100g milk chocolate
100ml double cream

1) Start off with making the sponge; first preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Chuck in all the rest of the ingredients and mix into a smooth mixture.

2) Spoon equal amounts into two eight inch cake tins and bake for 35 minutes. Leave until cool then turn out of the tins.

3) For the peanut butter fudge icing, melt the butter, water, cocoa powder and light brown sugar in a pan until it starts to boil. Whip off the heat and mix thoroughly with the icing sugar and peanut butter until you have a thick consistency (it should still drop off the spoon). Spread on one of the cakes and sandwich with the other cake.

4) To top the cake, heat the double cream until scalding (but not boiling) in a pan. Take off the heat and chuck in the chocolate. Wait 5 minutes then stir all together and pour on top of the cake. If you like, sprinkle with more chocolate or toasted peanuts.

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I really hope you enjoy this cake. If you like peanut butter, then have a look at my chocolate peanut butter truffles too! Would love some comments. Happy easter baking, and if you have given up chocolate for lent then relish the thought of biting into this chocolate marvel.

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is dedicated to 10B.

I adore these cookies; they are chewy, soft and fudgy. I can confirm that they are good because my class of 28 greedy teenage girls devoured them all! I think the secret is to have quite big chunks of chocolate, and not to overbake them. This recipe is adapted from Lorraine Pascale’s cookie recipe.

On these cold, last days of winter, as spring creeps over the bare trees and damp pavements, I find nothing more comforting or theraputic than a good spot of baking (especially if chocolate’s involved). These are much more subtly chocolatey than some of my other posts recently. Kids and adults alike will love these (eat them warm – they’re amazing). Sorry that I have no photos, but you’ll have to trust me on this one!

Lorraine suggests to use some strong white bread flour as well as plain flour, which I think worked well, but if you have none, don’t panic! Just use all plain flour instead. Whatever happens, you will have a cookie that just melt in your mouth… Also I like to add macadamia nuts to give it a bit of crunch.

White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 12 cookies
You need:
125g/4.5oz butter
17g/6oz soft light brown sugar
1 egg
150g/5oz plain flour
50g/2oz strong white bread flour (if you have none, then do 200g plain four)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
175g/6oz white chocolate, chopped into rough chunks

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Line two large trays with baking paper.

2) In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and then stir in the flours until you have a smooth, slightly sticky mixture.

3) Fold in all the white chocolate and then roll up your sleeves. Divide the dough into 12 roughly equal balls and place 6 on each baking sheet. Flatten the balls to about 1-1.5cm thick pancakes and make sure they are spread out, as they grow when baked.

4) Bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven (they will still be soft to touch). Remove from the oven, and after 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Share these around or eat warm by yourself… crumble on top of ice cream. I am feeling so hungry now, I may have to bake some more to eat.

Lavender Shortbread Thins

Finally the sun is shining in rainy England! This has put me in such a springy, joyful mood, that this recipe is lovely and floral. Although it is not lavender season (I usually make these biscuits with dried homegrown lavender … Continue reading

Valentine’s Rose and Raspberry Ripple Cake

I realise that I am slightly late, but if you have forgotten or haven’t had time to make your valentine something yet, a homemade cake could be romantic? Ok, so maybe not as much as a red rose or something, … Continue reading

Fudgy Brownies with a salted caramel drizzle

When you look outside on a sunday morning, and fairy-sized flakes of silvery snow fall like tears on the icy pavement, you really need some chocolate to cheer you up. This is especially relevant if you have seen Les Miserables … Continue reading