Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Muffins of Wonder

IMG_1289If you share my PB appreciation even slightly, you should already be planning to make these bad boys! My sister tweeted me the link from http://www.howsweeteats.com (a phenomenal American baking blogger who is both ingenious and hilarious in equal parts) earlier this week for two reasons:

1) a key ingredient is PB and we share a genetically determined love of all PB baked treats, and

2) it used wholemeal flour.

This made it impossible for me not to try! I’m always looking for ways to incorporate less refined/wholefood ingredients into recipes without scrimping on the taste. This recipe is just the ticket for anyone who, like me, has a bag of unused wholemeal flour sitting in their cupboard biding its time. (My last endeavour into baking cakes with wholemeal flour didn’t exactly have people racing back for seconds….)

The recipe has its measurements in cups, so I’ll do the hard work for you and give you approximate equivalent measures!

If you don’t have a set of measuring cups at home handy, this can be a great investment especially when trawling through American baking blogs for inspiration! (Otherwise, here’s a great link should you need to work out conversions: http://cafefernando.com/conversion-tables/)

This recipe should produce between 12 and 15 deliciously dense, PB and chocolatey muffins to share!

Ingredients:

  • 300g (2 cups) wholemeal plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 120g (1/2 cup) plain Greek yoghurt
  • 70g (1/3 cup) loosely packed brown sugar
  • 115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 115g (1/2 cup) peanut butter, melted and cooled
  • 165g (2/3 cup) milk
  • 150g chocolate chips

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place muffin liners in a tin and set aside. Over a low heat, in separate pans melt the butter and peanut butter slowly and set aside to cool.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, powder and salt.

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3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, yoghurt and sugar until smooth. Add in the melted and cooled butter and peanut butter slowly, whisking constantly until creamy.

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4. Once combined well, whisk in milk. Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips, mixing until just combined with a large spoon. Do not overmix!

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5. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin liners to at least 3/4 of the way full.

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6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, just until the tops are set and slightly golden. Remove and let cool, then serve!

IMG_1283IMG_12867. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar to complete the beauty!

Brown Bread Ice Cream – Who’d Have Thought It Would Taste So Good?

Following a recent spell of snow-induced, non-stop viewing of The Food Network (which coincided with a substantial loss of brain cells…), a discussion around making Ice Cream came up. The topic of Brown Bread Ice Cream ensued – I had never even heard of this as an Ice Cream flavour before let alone tried it, but a speedy Google later and I was presented with website after website of recipes for it!

Rach’s recent endeavour into Ice Cream making, added to my curiosity, was enough inspiration for me to do a bit more research and have a go at making it myself!

IMG_1258There are lots of different recipes available for Brown Bread Ice Cream, but the method seems pretty unanimous, albeit with some variation of ingredients. Some recipes suggest the use of half a tablespoon of alcohol (rum or whiskey) to be mixed with the egg yolks before folding into the egg whites, but as I’m not really a hardened drinker, neither of these were available to me so I went without. Similarly, some recipes also suggest the use of soft dark brown sugar, but I only had soft light brown sugar (and it still tastes glorious!) The caramelised breadcrumbs give it an almost nutty flavour. It really is delicious! This recipe uses uncooked eggs so it isn’t advisable for pregnant women to enjoy (apologies to my big sister for this!)

The following recipe makes enough to fill a 1L freezable tub.

Ingredients:

  • 85g brown breadcrumbs (approximately 2 slices of medium sliced bread)
  • 85g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 300ml double cream
  • 85g sifted icing sugar

Method:

1. Use a food processor to blitz the bread into fine breadcrumbs. Mix these with the brown sugar and pour onto a lined baking tray. Pop this under a moderate grill for 8 – 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it and stir frequently. You want the breadcrumbs and sugar to caramelise, not burn. Leave to cool and then fork through to break it up.

IMG_12242. Whisk the egg whites until just becoming stiff. Then fold in the yolks carefully.

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3. Whisk the cream and icing sugar together in another bowl until the consistency of a thin custard.

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4. Then fold this into your egg mixture along with the breadcrumbs.

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5. Pour the combined mixture into a shallow freezer container and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. I found a recycled Ice Cream container (1L) worked perfectly!

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6. Lastly, enjoy! 🙂

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Glacé de 3 ingrédients!

This scrumptious ice cream is so simple (only 3 ingredients!) and yet is always a winner. I have to give all credit for this recipe to Mrs Williamson, the lovely mummy of my good friend Sarah who I met at Vet School. The Williamson family own a dairy farm in Cumbria and this ice cream is just one of the many gorgeous homemade dishes I have experienced in their home.

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Ingredients:

  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 395ml tin of condensed milk
  • 4 x 40g bars of Crunchie (or Dime or any other chocolate you fancy chopping up and trying!)

Method:

1. Pour the double cream into a dish and whisk until it is about to turn into thick whipped cream.

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2. Pour in the tin of condensed milk and gently whisk to combine.

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3. Chop your favorite chocolate bar (Crunchie is advised as the best) and then mix to combine.

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4. Place in a freezable container and freeze overnight!

I have made this ice cream today to serve with a dessert that I am making on Friday so……. watch this space!

The Master Baker (Snow Edition) January 2013

Happy Monday morning baking friends! 🙂

It has been a very snowy weekend here in the south of the UK and after a well planned (but somewhat snow-sabotaged) surprise visit from Rachel I’m sharing our most recent baking-inspired creation…

Meet The Master Baker (Snow Edition)

Master Baker

This is the outcome of a full afternoon’s work with a little help from friends! Maybe we can develop this into a feature of chef-shaped creations? Get thinking!

Looking forward to sharing some new kitchen based/edible creations very soon.

Stay safe in the snow!

Easy Peasy Chocolate Torte

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Ingredients:

  • 300ml  dark rum
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 400g/14oz chocolate sponge/muffins
  • 375g/13oz dark chocolate
  • 200g/8oz sweetened chestnut purée
  • 560ml/20½fl oz double cream
  • 2 packets of white chocolate buttons
  • Berries of your choice

Method:

  1. Place the rum and caster sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then cook until the sugar is melted. Stir well and allow the rum syrup to cool.                         1.
  2. Line a 25cm/10in round tart case, with greaseproof paper-it is important to cover the sides and the base.  IMG_9454
  3. Take a 2.5cm/1in thick slice of the chocolate cake (made or bought; I actually find that pre-made chocolate muffins work well as they are moist and make a better base). Process into crumbs, place it into the bottom of the tin, and press the crumbs so that they are firm, level and covering the base of the tin. Pour the rum syrup over the compressed crumbs and allow the syrup to soak in.                                           IMG_9455IMG_9460IMG_9463
  4. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of water and then leave to cool for a few minutes. Add the sweetened chestnut purée and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour the cream a little at a time into the chestnut and chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.                                            IMG_9464
  6. Pour the chocolate and cream mixture over the soaked base and smooth over. Transfer to the fridge to chill for at least two hours, preferably overnight.                                                        IMG_9465
  7. To serve, remove the torte from the tin (I used springform tins to make this a lot easier – peel the greaseproof paper off carefully, as the mousse of the torte may stick to it if you peel it too quickly).IMG_9466
  8. Decorate with chopped white chocolate buttons and serve with a side of fresh berries (as always, chocolate is well complemented by strawberries).IMG_9467 IMG_9468 IMG_9469IMG_9472