Sophie, who runs stationery business Junk & Glitter, previously wrote award-winning blog The Cake Hunter, which was born out of a love for butter and sugar, and still blogs sporadically here at The Dinner Bell.

All posts by Sophie // The Cake Hunter

Tahini caramel millionaire shortbread

Now, I should probably tell you abit more about these sweet sweet tahini flavoured babies. Last week Lindt sent me over some of their dark chocolate bars. In it was their new flavour dark chocolate with roasted sesame which was so good. It got me thinking and I thought why not mix tahini in with caramel? Why not make the best flavour millionaire shortbread ever? Read More

Caramelised white chocolate and pecan cookies

Sometimes I just absolutely have to bake cookies. There’s no negotiation. Luckily 9 times out of 10 I have all the ingredients in ready to whip of a bowl of dough. After reading Michelle’s post last week about slice and bake chocolate chip cookies I had to give them a go. So Friday afternoon Matilda and I played in the kitchen and made cookies. I didn’t freeze them but just left them in the fridge overnight. The recipe is from Tara O’Brady at Seven Spoon’s book and is my new favourite cookie recipe. So so easy and tastes amazing.

It’s been a while since I revisited caramelised white chocolate and I forgot that it’s actually a doddle to make. I had a couple of bars of Lindt white chocolate lying around from Christmas – how these didn’t get eaten I don’t know, White chocolate is like crack to me. I heated my oven to the lowest heat – 130 C/266 F – and spread chopped white chocolate over a clean oven tray. At ten minute intervals I stirred the chocolate around the tray with a spatula until it was smooth and golden. I transferred the melted chocolate to a small tray and let it re-set in the fridge before I chopped it into caramelised white chocolate chips. Just try not to eat them all before they go into the dough. It’s basically a homemade Caramac bar.

I had Matilda’s wonderful assistance the second time as well and whilst I was taking the photos she brazenly walked up and helped herself to a cookie. I said if she was going to pinch the cookies she could at least be cute and hold a plate of them as well >.<

These cookies are crisp and buttery on the edges and soft in the middle. The caramelised white chocolate works perfectly with the pecans and a hint of sea salt on top balances everything out. Just as in Michelle’s post you can of course freeze the dough in balls if you only want a few at a time. If you want to make a full batch then leave them in the fridge overnight. Letting the dough rest is like magic and the difference between baking straight away and waiting overnight is very noticeable. They are definitely worth the wait.

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Kitchen sink raspberry jam blondies

This is my favourite kind of baking. Throw everything in baking. This tray of blondies seriously disappeared in less than 24 hours. I didn’t even have a full tray to photograph because it was too dark when it came out of the oven and there was no way we weren’t going to eat them until the next morning. Sorry, I have no self control when it comes to eating cake.

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Sweet potato cake with maple cream cheese frosting

This cake is perfect for autumn. It’s just slightly adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe for carrot cake and you probably wouldn’t know it was sweet potato if I didn’t tell you but it’s the maple frosting that makes it. I had a glut of sweet potatoes lying around and I figured there was no reason why I couldn’t use them in the same way as carrots. This frosting is much sweeter than your basic cream cheese frosting so you don’t need a big slice when it comes to eating, but who am I to tell you how to eat your cake?!

It is crumbly without being dry and has the right balance of sweet and spice. As with all cakes, I recommend a strong coffee. Read More

Chocolate, tahini and coconut granola

It’s all we want in life really: breakfast that’s pretty good for you and gives you chocolate milk in return. I think the idea with granola is that you are supposed to sprinkle a little bit on your yoghurt and fruit but I am partial to a huge bowl of it with enough milk to wet the granola but not swimming in milk. I have milk issues, in that, the very idea of drinking a glass of milk makes me heave. Unless it’s chocolate milk, then I’m fine.

I really love the tahini in this. The finished granola doesn’t taste of tahini but it just brings out the flavour of the other ingredients really well without being overpowering. It goes so perfectly with the cocoa and coconut.

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Super gooey espresso cheesecake brownies

I think there are two categories of brownie, dessert and snack. Dessert brownies are messy and probably need to be eaten with ice cream and a spoon. Snack brownies are the ones you can wrap in foil and sneak into your handbag for emergency brownie situations – these situations arise almost daily for me. I place myself more on the dessert end of the spectrum, I find a dry, cakey brownie just about the most disappointing thing that could happen to me in a world of baked goods. Read More

Rhubarb and rose tea cakes

The problem with these tea cakes is that it’s really easy to keep eating them. There’s no muffin case getting in your way and all these pretty little tea cakes are just lying around whispering ‘ooh [insert name here] why don’t you put the kettle on and eat us all?!’.

What? You mean your cakes don’t talk to you?

I jest of course but cake definitely finds a way to call to me in some way. I know how to be stronger and resist. If I make sure I get more sleep and eat well in the day then I can turn cake down but if I’m tired and hormonal then it’s every cake for himself.

These are the perfect no frills tea cakes. Whipping up the egg whites separately means the batter is much lighter. Rose and rhubarb is a wonderful flavour combination and one of my favourites. Read More

Brown Butter, Chocolate and Hazelnut Muffins

Today I’m beyond excited to have a post from Sophie, who was one of the very first people to welcome me to this food blogging community, as well as being a great inspiration and fellow pumpkin lover. Take it away!

Brown Butter, Chocolate and Hazelnut Muffins {Guest Post from The Cake Hunter} | The Littlest Bakehouse

I’d had this recipe lying around for some time and I knew it would be perfect for anyone baking in limited space.

I love a method born out of sheer laziness. Don’t get me wrong, not all shortcuts in baking are good…it is usually better to sift your flour and ingredients do really need to be at room temperature for a good cake but the method that requires very minimal equipment is a method I can get on board with. I don’t like to make work for myself unless absolutely necessary. This includes washing up, now that we don’t have the luxury of hiding plates in a dishwasher, their constant presence in the sink serves as a reminder that they always need doing! Therefore, if I can get some baking done and only have to wash a spoon, fork, bowl and little saucepan at the end of it then I’m pretty happy.

This method is from the great Dan Lepard and I stumbled across it when hunting for inspiration for making muffins with crème fraiche – I had a tub in the fridge that absolutely needed using for baking, because putting it in regular food just wouldn’t be as much fun. Eating these muffins tastes almost like Nutella deconstructed. If Nutella contained a little bit of banana. It’s the perfect elevenses muffin – chocolate at breakfast still doesn’t feel right but at 11am it becomes much more acceptable. I love the addition of hazelnuts, I feel like it would be too dry a muffin if it were all flour so the ground nuts add a better texture. Plus, brown butter and ground hazelnuts should definitely be best friends.

Brown Butter, Chocolate and Hazelnut Muffins {Guest Post from The Cake Hunter} | The Littlest Bakehouse

Adapted from Dan Lepard/The Guardian

Makes 12

Ingredients

1 medium banana, peeled and sliced
175g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
75g creme fraiche
75g butter, melted
100g ground hazelnuts
200g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate, broken into chunks

Method

1) Heat the oven to 170C/350F and line a muffin tray with cases.
2) Start by browning the butter. Melt the butter on a medium heat, keep it over the heat and stir regularly until the butter starts to turn a golden brown colour and produces an amazing nutty smell. When foam appears on the top, remove from the heat and stir until the foam dies down. Set aside.
3) Put the banana and sugar in a bowl and use the fork to mash them both together until smooth.
4) Add the eggs, whisk in with the fork then mix in the creme fraiche and brown butter.
5) Tip in the ground nuts, flour and baking powder and stir well, making sure all the dry ingredients are mixed in. Add the chocolate and mix until evenly distributed.
6) Spoon into the cases – about 3/4 full – and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
7) Let cool in the muffin tray for 10 minutes before removing from the tray and placing on a wire rack.