Thursday, 10 September 2015

3 Ingredient Nutella Stuffed Cookies

With only three ingredients, a chewy texture and an oozing centre, you can't can't more Nutella flavour without eating it neat straight from the jar.
3 Ingredient Nutella Stuffed Cookies - chewy, soft baked cookies with an oozing Nutella core
I have been thinking about Nutella an awful lot just lately. It's hardly surprising when I managed to collect over 2.5kg of the stuff. You see, I buy it when I see it on offer but then leave it in my cupboards because I cannot have an open jar in the house without eating it with a spoon. So the unopened jars build up and then I am forced to do something with it. Nutella was in fact the inspiration for this cottage cake, an ingenious addition to this bundt cake and part of the topping for these churro cupcakes.
3 Ingredient Nutella Stuffed Cookies - chewy, soft baked cookies with an oozing Nutella core
Another thing I've been trying to do is to revisit some of my earliest posts. I'm no blogging expert but I can recogise that my early posts are shockingly bad. Yet they contain some wonderful recipes. Last year I managed to make this apple traybake again (shameless autumnbaking plug) and more recently I posted about my favourite peanut butter brownies, wild blackberry jam and strawberry and vanilla jam with much prettier pictures. As a food blogger I rarely get to make the same recipe twice because despite intentions, another recipe idea pops up in the way so it has been really nice to make these treats again. Next on my radar were these cookies.
3 Ingredient Nutella Stuffed Cookies - chewy, soft baked cookies with an oozing Nutella core
Can you believe it only takes three ingredients to make super Nutella cookies? That's even better than 4 ingredient almond butter cookies. The Nutella takes the place of the fat and sugar typically found in biscuit and cookie recipes, as well as the flavourings so all you need to add is an add and some flour. The outcome is a soft baked chewy cookie with slightly crisp edges and such a heavy Nutella flavour you could only improve on by eating it out of the jar with a spoon. You will want to sink your teeth into cookie after cookie, breaking through the just crisp outer shell, right into the pure molten Nutella core. Very chocolately, very flavourful and literally packed with Nutella.
3 Ingredient Nutella Stuffed Cookies - chewy, soft baked cookies with an oozing Nutella core
These might involve a little more work than the biscuit and cookie recipes I normally post but they are still easy. They wouldn't feature at all if they weren't worth it. Make them small so you can go back for seconds/thirds/fourths or make them as big a your hand. And maybe go back for seconds/thrids/fourths anyway. I won't judge.


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3 Ingredient Nutella Stuffed Cookies
With only three ingredients, a chewy texture and an oozing centre, you can't can't more Nutella flavour without eating it neat straight from the jar.
Ingredients
  • Approx 400g Nutella
  • 1 large egg
  • 150g plain flour
Instructions
1. An hour or so before you want to bake place small teaspoonfuls of Nutella on some baking parchment and chill in the fridge - this makes it easier to stuff the cookies later on.2. When you are ready to bake, set the oven to 180 C/160 C fan and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.3. Mix the egg into 280g of Nutella then sift in the flour and stir to combine. Divide the dough into balls - I made 18 cookies but the size is up to you.4. Split each ball in 2 and flatten. Peel off a portion of the chilled Nutella and place on one disc then place to other disc over the top. Press a fork around the edges to crimp and seal. Place on the baking sheet.5. Once the baking sheet is full, bake int he preheated oven for 10-15 mins depending on the size of the cookies and how soft/crisp you like them. Allow to cool on the tray for a few mins then remove to a wire rack. Repeat with the remainging cookie dough.

I'm sending these off to CookBlogShare this week hosted by Kirsty at Hijacked by Twins.


Monday, 7 September 2015

Homemade Balsamic Tomato Ketchup

Rich and wonderfully flavoursome, this homemade tomato ketchup is made from a bumper harvest of homegrown tomatoes - it deserves to accompany everything!
Homemade Balsamic Tomato Ketchup - low sugar so you can put it on everything without the guilt!
I don't think I have ever told you just how much I love tomato sauce. I've hinted at it here and here and listed it as one of my addictions here but still, that doesn't quite cover it. I'd call it a guilty pleasure but I'm ot in the least bit guilty at how often I eat it. I once joked to my friends that as long as the new place we were going to for a meal had tomato sauce I'd be fine. When we got there that evening, one of them immediately threw a sachet down the table to me. I was happy for the rest of the evening.
Homemade Balsamic Tomato Ketchup - low sugar so you can put it on everything without the guilt!
I was adding so much of it to most of my meals that even I realised I was havig to buy a new bottle far too regularly. It is well know that these shelf stable condiments are full of sugar and salt - you only have to read the nutritional information for proof. But hey, this homemade tomato sauce only has one tablespoon of brown sugar and one tablespoon of treacle in the entire batch so I can eat more right?
Homemade Balsamic Tomato Ketchup - low sugar so you can put it on everything without the guilt!
It was only natural that at some point I would make my own version of something I adore. I didnt get around to it last summer when Mum's greenhouse because a tomato plant jungle but after another bumper crop this year I decided it was time to give it a go. By combining bits of different recipes I came up with this one which has all of my favourite components. A full bodied tomato flavour, a rich savoury tang from the balsamic vinegar and only a minimum amount of sugar to give a touch of sweetness. This doesn't even take into account the aromatic blend of spices, the vibrant colour or the perfect texture. This is good for you tomato ketchup.
Homemade Balsamic Tomato Ketchup - low sugar so you can put it on everything without the guilt!
Put it on your sandwiches (bacon!!!!), dip chips in it, stir it into stews or have a dollop on the side of a cottage pie and you will be hard pushed not to go back for more. I'm planning to make some onion rings soon. Baked though so it can be a virtuous pleasure instead of a guilty one. Seems fair - more scope for more ketchup that way.


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Homemade Balsamic Tomato Ketchup
Rich and wonderfully flavoursome, this homemade tomato ketchup is made from a bumper harvest of homegrown tomatoes - it deserves to accompany everything!
Ingredients
  • 1kg tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 120 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard or 0.5 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp treacle or molasses
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp garlic puree
Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan - you can soften the onions in a little oil first for extra flavour if you prefer. 2. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 30 mins, stirring from time to time. Blend until smooth - a stick blender is easiest.3. If the sauce is the desired consistency pour into sterilised bottles or jars straight away. If it is still too thin, continue to simmer until the desired thickness is reached - remember it will thicken on standing.4. Allow the bottles or jars to cool then store in the fridge or another cool place. Enjoy as often as possible.

I'm sending this ketchup off to Credit Crunch Munch hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours who shares with Camilla at Fab Food 4 All because when you are wondering what to do with a large harvest of tomatoes, or find yourself with a bargain bag of them, this is the perfect recipe. Also to No Waste Food Challenge for the same reason. This month Claire from Foodie Quine is hosting on behalf of Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Apple Cider Pecan Cake

A truly rustic, homely cake made with windfall apples, sweet homemade cider, crunchy pecans and juicy raisins. A giant slice is just what you need with a cup of tea.
Apple Cider Pecan Cake - a perfectly spiced way to show off autumn or fall produce
I nearly posted another recipe today but decided I couldn't leave it a week without giving you a cake recipe. Cake is what I'm all about after all. (And chemistry, but that's my day job.) This is a really delicious example too and shows you a really good way of highlighting lots of autumn flavours. I know we are only just into September but let's face it, summer in the UK flashed by in a blink this year. There is also the issue of the large carrier bag full of apples that my dad brought home one day that need to be used up. And I mean so full the handles snapped. 
Apple Cider Pecan Cake - a perfectly spiced way to show off autumn or fall produce
Needless to say I've been thinking of this traybake a lot. If I could get my mum to eat chilli I'd be making a huge batch of this apple pie chilli too. Mum got stuck into makin apple things first though with a couple of crumbles and the most gorgeous apple and cardamom cake with mascarpone cream filling. I was dying to take pictures but it was cut too quickly for me to have chance. 
Apple Cider Pecan Cake - a perfectly spiced way to show off autumn or fall produce
When I knew my turn was coming up I browsed through my Pinterest boards and eventually settled on this cake originally by Simon Rimmer. I used the apples my dad got from his clients garden and the cider he made from our own harvest a couple of years ago and it was such a pleasure. The cake is moist and full of different textures. The soft crumb surrounds the juicy shreds of apple, the pleasantly crunchy pecans and the juicy squidgy raisins. The cider gives a wonderful background flavour while the fresh apples and the mixture of spices makes the whole cake taste of autumn while not being too sweet. 
Apple Cider Pecan Cake - a perfectly spiced way to show off autumn or fall produce
No icing is needed for such a cake - it would only mask what is within. The only accompaniment needed to a giant slab is a steaming hot cup of tea. There are still plenty of apples left so I might make another batch of these no added sugar extra fruity muffins if I want to feel healthy or these bonfire toffee apple muffins if I don't. I might even persuade my mum to let me have some freezer space for lots of apple sauce so I can bake this loaf cake on repeat. Tell me, do you have a favourite apple recipe?


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Apple Cider Pecan Cake
A truly rustic, homely cake made with windfall apples, sweet homemade cider, crunchy pecans and juicy raisins. A giant slice is just what you need with a cup of tea.
Ingredients
  • Approx 330 ml cider
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.25 tsp nutmeg
  • 200g raisins or sultanas
  • 100g pecans, roughly chopped
Instructions
1. Pour the cider into a saucepan and bring to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer and reduced to approximately 100 ml. Pour into a bowl with the melted butter to cool slightly.2. Once the cider and butter are just warm set the oven to 180 C/160 C and grease/line a 8" diameter, loose bottomed cake tin.3. Mix the eggs and sugar into the apples followed by the melted butter and cider. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of sida and spices then stir in. Finally stir in the raisins or sultanas and pecans.4. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level the top then create a slight dip in the centre with a spoon - this helps the cake to rise evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. 5. Leave the cake to cool on a wire rack for at least 15 mins then carefully turn out of the tin and cool completely. Dust with a little sugar if you wish.

I'm sending this recipe off to CookBlogShare, this week hosted by Kirsty from Highjacked by Twins. Also to Credit Crunch Munch, hosted by Helen from Fuss Free Flavours who co-hosts with Camilla at Fab Food 4 All. And I couldn't forget Cake Club, this month hosted by Sarah at Taming Twins on behalf of Kerry at Kerry Cooks.


Monday, 31 August 2015

Dark Chocolate Nutella Truffles - How to Rescue Seized Chocolate

Sweet Nutella meets dark chocolate in these grown up truffles perfect to give away as a present or to keep to treat yourself.
Dark Chocolate Nutella Truffles - and how to rescue seized chocolate
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, a brilliant idea goes badly wrong. You might feel so disheartened, only to have the feeling compounded when you have to throw the results in the bin. You know there is no hope of rescue, especially with seized chocolate. It's good for almost nothing. This is what almost happened to these truffles.
Dark Chocolate Nutella Truffles - and how to rescue seized chocolate
I wasn't even intending to make truffles. The mixture was in fact en route to go on the top of these cupcakes as a ganache but then fate, and the microwave, intervened. I was melting the chocolate with some Nutella and evaporated milk in the microwave on medium power when I took the bowl out to give the mixture a stir and the whole thing had turned into an uncooperative mass. I was devastated. Seized chocolate is a pretty rookie mistake. I had used the same technique successfully many times before so I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong. I turned around to head to the bin whn in a last ditch attempt I diverted myself to the Nutella jar and risked adding another scoop. 
Dark Chocolate Nutella Truffles - and how to rescue seized chocolate
It was a miracle. By slowly stirring in that extra helping of Nutella I managed to coax the seized chocolate mixture into something which was just easy enough to manipulate. But what to make with rescued seized chocolate? Truffle of course! By a stroke of luck and a touch of genius these truffle turned out to be a wonder of luxury. Sweet, nectarous Nutella melds with the cocoa punch of the dark chocolate and the richness of the evaporated milk. A dusting of cocoa and icing sugar provides a bittersweet finish. Each one is a little bite of pleasure.
Dark Chocolate Nutella Truffles - and how to rescue seized chocolate
After eating one three of the truffles I knew I had to use them up quickly. Baking them into the centre of cupcakes seemed like a brilliant idea but then I went one better and wrapped them up for my dark chocolate loving friend for her birthday. I received a text the day after her birthday saying she had tried them both from the fridge and softened slightly at room temperature and loved them both. So there you go. It isn't just me.


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Dark Chocolate Nutella Truffles
Sweet Nutella meets dark chocolate in these grown up truffles perfect to give away as a present or to keep to treat yourself.
Ingredients
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp scoop Nutella
  • Icing sugar and cocoa powder (optional)
Instructions
1. Place the chocolate, Nutella and evaporated milk in a suitable bowl and heat in the microwave on medium power. Stir the mixture every 15 seconds or so.2. Once the mixture is fully melted and combined, set aside to cool to room temperature and then place in the fridge.3. Once the mixture has set, remove from the fridge and roll into balls as big as you want your truffles. Roll in the cocoa powder and icing sugar to finish if you wish.

I'm sending these truffles off to Elizabeth for the No Waste Food Challenge - hopefully more people will be inspired to save their seized chocolate mixtures. 

Friday, 28 August 2015

50 Top UK Food Bloggers - Something for the Weekend

After a tutorial on how to make brown butter for last weeks Something for the Weekend I'm back with an infographic this time around. I confess that I'm showing off just a little bit because... I got placed at number 16!!! It's lovely to know that my little blog has been noticed by someone - and now I'm off to explore the others on the list that I don't recogise!
Top 50 Food Blogs In UK
Credit