Sunday, January 26

Practically Camping in the Kitchen...

I got my bake on this week again and made some naughty (but very yummy) treats for my family and my friends. I'm going to run through the recipes for these delicious goodies so you can try them for yourself!
Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
The Chocolate-Peanut Butter combination is definitely one of my favourites and these buttery brownies did not disappoint!
(Makes 15)
1 box of Betty Crocker brownie mix
40ml vegetable oil
75ml water
1 egg
5 packets of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (So 15 cups in total)

Preheat the oven to 160
Mix together the brownie mix, oil, water and eggs in a bowl
Pour mixture into a foil-covered 10"x7" (or similar) rectangle baking tin and spread out evenly
Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven and place the peanut butter cups face down on top of the brownie mix.
Put the tray back in the oven to bake for another 3-5 minutes then remove and spread the chocolate from the cups out on the brownie - the peanut butter filling will only have softened, not melted so you will only be able to spread the chocolate.
Leave to cool completely before removing from the tray and slicing into 15 even pieces.
No-bake Oreo Bites
These sweet bites would be great for a party and they are unbelievably easy to throw together!
(Makes 15)
1 1/2 packs of Oreos
140g marshmallows
2 tablespoons butter

Crumble oreos in blender and leave to one side
Put marshmallows and butter in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about a minute and a half until melted
Stir in crumbled Oreos and spread into a greased tin. (You will need to work fast as the mix will start to stiffen really quickly)
Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes then slice into squares
'Jaffa Cake' Slices
These were a fave with my Mom- apparently they taste even better than store bought Jaffa Cakes!
(Makes 12)
250g butter/soft spread
250g flour
250g sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk
4 large eggs (or 5 medium eggs)
Orange curd
75g dark chocolate
75g milk chocolate

Preheat oven to 170
Blend butter and flour with fingers until combined then mix in sugar
Add eggs one at a time and then the milk and stir until mixture is the right consistency
Pour mixture into a rectangle baking tray (mine was 10" x 7") lined with grease-proof paper and bake for about 24 minutes or until cake springs back when touched
Leave for a few minutes before removing from tray and place cake  on a cooling rack to cool completely
Once cooled, spread the top of the sponge with a layer of orange curd (about 5mm thick) and set aside to chill
Melt chocolate (either in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of boiling water) and leave until cool to the touch. The cooler the chocolate is, the easier it will be to work with
Spread the chocolate on top of the orange curd layer to cover the top of the cake
Let the chocolate set a little (but not completely) before slicing the edges off then cutting the remaining cake into 12 equal slices
Wrap each slice tightly with a piece of cling film and place in the fridge for 10 minutes or so
Take out of the fridge and store with cling film on in a cool place until ready to serve
Banoffee Cupcakes
Who doesn't love a Banoffee pie? These cupcakes take inspiration from the classic dessert: Moist banana sponge, a gooey toffee filling and a fluffy whipped cream frosting!
(Makes 15)
For the cake:                                 For the toffee filling:                           
192g flour                                    100g butter                                        
85g butter                                    70g soft dark brown sugar                  
3/4 teaspoon baking soda               30g muscavado sugar                        
125g sugar                                   A tin of sweetened condensed milk      
178ml buttermilk                           For the frosting:
1 teaspoon vanilla essence              192ml double cream
2 medium eggs                             113g cream cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice                50g white sugar
3 bananas                                     1 teasoon vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180
Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside
Mash bananas in a separate bowl and and mix in the lemon juice. Leave this to the side as well.
In a third bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add eggs one at a time
Mix the vanilla essence in with your buttermilk.
Add a third of your flour mix to the butter and sugar and mix before adding half of the buttermilk. Continue alternately adding the flour mix and buttermilk to the mixture (ending with the former)
Gently fold in the mashed bananas until combined
Spoon into cupcake cases and bake for 22 minutes or until the cakes spring back when touched
When done, leave on a cooling rack to cool completely
To make the toffee filling: Place the butter and sugar in a pan and, stirring continuously, melt over a low heat until the sugar completely dissolved.
Still stirring all the time, pour in the condensed milk and bring to the boil, letting the sauce bubble for a minute or so
Remove from the hob and set aside in a cool area for about half an hour
While the toffee is cooling, core your cupcakes (you can do this with a knife but I got a fancy cupcake plunger for Christmas) and keep the removed inside, trimming a little off
After the toffee is cool to the touch and quite thick, spoon some into the inside of each cupcake and place the cored cake in- like a lid.
Spread a thin layer of the toffee on top of the cake to create a smooth layer
For the frosting: Beat together the cream cheese and the sugar until light and fluffy
Mix in the vanilla essence then gradually add the cream, beating util the frosting forms stiff peaks (This is the frosting I made for my Hot Chocolate cupcakes in December and it was so good I had to make it again!)
Spoon frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes. I piped lots of little 'rosettes' (is that the word?) onto each cake to give a banoffee pie look.
I decorated the cupcakes with a sprinkle of crumbled digestive biscuit and a caramelised banana chip but you could top it with whatever you like: grated chocolate, toffee pieces, a drizzle of caramel...

So that was what I did this week. It is a dangerous business knowing me and being 'force-fed' all these creations....

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