I never usually line my brownie pans. Usually I am making them in a rush or I've run out or I just can't be bothered... However, I have been inspired by the Great British Bake Off contestants who every week meticulously line their pans and tins with astounding accuracy. I aspire to this level of dedication!
I use a slightly smaller tin than the brownie recipe states. This is because I like my brownies to be slightly deeper. I haven't (yet) invested in a brownie pan which has a slide out base so usually I have to massacre the first piece to get the brownies out. For this experiment I decided to go for one strip of baking paper across the widest length of the tin. This seemed like the most efficient option!
I only ever use the Hummingbird Bakery traditional brownie recipe. I use it as a base then add additional ingredients to the mix. Variations I like include substituting half the dark chocolate for milk, adding nuts and fruits or flavourings such as golden syrup or orange . For these brownies I used half milk chocolate and some homemade butterscotch to give a rich, creamy flavour.
The brownies need to be just cooked so the middle is solid but chewy. You want a crunchy top with a few cracks but don't overcook or you'll have overcooked edges and none of that lovely gooey brownie middle. The lined tray made it ridiculously easy to remove the brownie slab from the tin in one piece. I feel rather stupid not to have been doing it all along. Brownies freeze excellently so you can batch bake and wrap tightly in cling film then foil to keep them fresh.
Buns in the garden
The dreadful weather has made me think back to summer and share this picture of Eloise enjoying brioche buns in the garden!
Today had a very important appointment. During the kids afternoon nap my bestie Laura and I had a conference call whilst watching the last episode of Revenge, season 2. For those of you who have never heard of Revenge don't worry, this blog post is not about the show, which is completely unrealistic but amazing, it is about my snack.
Eloise was asleep. I had about 3 minutes before I had to call Laura. The kettle was boiling. Question: What could i make to snack on whilst enjoying 45 minutes of indulgent TV... Answer: A digestive biscuit, squirted with ice cold reduced fat squirty cream and topped with raspberries. Honestly, it was amazing. I ate two. Sometimes you don't need to bake!
I write this post with mixed feelings. On one hand raspberry and white chocolate is one of my favourite flavour combos, rivalling the great chocolate orange. On the other, these cakes are a little flat. Literally.
Whenever I add fresh fruit to my cakes they taste amazing but the rise is a little disappointing. I think the fruit unstabalises the mixture and I get a flat or slightly sunken top. These cakes are a classic example. I added some raspberries and white chocolate chunks to disguise the flat tops and they were a big hit at our mum's coffee morning last Friday. I don't think anyone cared about the rise as they tasted so good, but it still niggles at me.
Looking online an extra egg in the mix may help stabilise the raspberries in the cake. I guess I should make another batch, purely for research purposes of course...
A word from Annabel: “Teething is a difficult and painful process for most babies and, from my experience, can leave both baby and mum exhausted. It is important for parents to make teething as easy and painless as possible by helping them through the teething developmental phase. Sore gums and flushed cheeks are the primary symptoms of teething, and babies will often chew on anything they can get their hands on to relieve the discomfort, which is why I have created a delicious Nelsons Baby Teething Biscotti.”
Pre-heat the oven to 160C Fan / 180 C
Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg, flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix until you have a dough. Knead on a floured work surface. Divide into two pieces and roll out to 2 x 18 x 4 cm long. Place on a baking sheet lined with non stick paper. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice each sausage into 2 cm thick slices. Place on a baking tray and put back into the oven for 20 minutes turning over half way through the cooking time.
How good do they look! I'll be making some despite our teething troubles being over for now. I work for Nelsons and they make the most amazing Teetha teething granules and Teetha teething gel which are a must for the little ones for the soothing and calming relief of the symptoms of teething. They can be used from 3 months so great for early teethers (i was lucky as Eloise didn't start until about 6 months) but remember to read the label and consult your doctor is you are worried about your babies symptoms, esspecially if they have a fever. You can buy them for around £5.00 from pharmacies and supermarkets. Find out more at www.teetha.co.uk
Watch this space for summery recipe from Annabel next week: Raspberry yogurt lollies!
Posh tea and hot chocolate
Today I spent the afternoon at The London Bridge hotel setting up for a journalist event. We took the journalists up the wonderful new Shard building (73 floors up above the London skyline) then back to the hotel for cocktails and canapes.
Now, whilst this was quite exciting we all got very distracted by the wonderful tea and hot chocolate served in the bar! The tea was a beautiful little tipi of fresh tea leaves which brewed a delicious cuppa. The delicate little tent had a little leaf handle to dunk your tea and looked so cute in the cup.
The little bag came with a ceramic rest to perfectly place your tea bag between cups. It was so pretty and fun it took tea to a whole new level.
Just when we thought it couldn't get any better the hot chocolate came out - a mug of hot, frothy milk with a cube of rich milk chocolate on a stick on the side for you to melt and swirl in. This wasn't breaktime, this was theatre (or maybe playtime). All we needed now was some cake...
Mum. Wife. Artist. Baker.