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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Recipes revisited: two ways with dulce de leche

Recipes revisited: two ways with dulce de leche

It’s been a little while since I was last here: toward the end of last year I launched NorEats, a directory of the best independent food and drink in Norwich, and so have been busy eating and writing about all the region has to offer. Truly, a hard task.

I’ve not been resting on my laurels, though, having been told in no uncertain terms that I had to bring a birthday cake to my friends’ celebrations. Cue the troublesome jar of dulce de leche.

A jar of dulce de leche in the cupboard that you need to get rid of is a good problem to have, even if the necessity is there because you can’t help dipping a spoon into it with alarming frequency. So instead of going directly jar to mouth, I’ve taken it on a slight detour via two tweaked recipes: one for white chocolate & salted caramel cake and one for After Eight chocolate mint cake. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

After Eight chocolate mint cake

After Eight chocolate mint cake // The Dinner BellWhat this blog is, really, is a series of love letters about the people in my life, and sometimes to vegetables. There’s even one love poem, about speculoos. It’s never truer than with cakes, and a round cake on here is almost always a food-based emotional outpouring, because I’ll only make a big, proper dessert, big enough that it could almost be a weapon, for someone I really care about*.

This one was for the work wife.

It’s weird, the intensity of the relationships you form at work, with people you see more than your housemates and family. The ones that are right there when things go wrong, and bring snacks to remedy it, and the ones that make you cry with hysterical laughter. Continue reading

Honey & dark chocolate macaroons

There are very few things about modern cookery that actually make me sad. For my dad, the great tragedy is chilli being added to everything – chilli ketchup, chilli chocolate…other things. Some might be disappointed by the rise of burgers, or perhaps by how their native or favourite cuisine has been bastardised as its slipped into the mainstream, like Mexican food expert Diane Kennedy is.

I’m just sad that if you google macaroon, you get pages and pages of macarons, with not a shred of coconut in sight. Instead of golden, moist treats, it’s all smooth domed meringue, glued together with ganache or curd. The humble coconut macaroon has been usurped by the finicky French macaron. Continue reading