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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Flourless caramelised white chocolate and mini egg cake

My contribution to Easter: taking a recipe that really really doesn’t need to be any sweeter, and adding Mini Eggs to it. It sounds gross, but most of what baking is is layering sweet things on top of each other. You’re supposed to introduce a savoury element, reduce the sugar where appropriate, balance the flavours (salt, acid etc.) in your baking to make sure the end product isn’t cloyingly sweet. Instead, I thought about the flourless dark chocolate cake and I wondered whether it would work with white chocolate and Mini Eggs. The result has the texture of a blondie, just a little bit gooier because of the lack of flour. You still get a crackly top – I always feel disappointed when I see a brownie/blondie without one so this was definitely a win-win situation.

The cake would have been too sweet if I didn’t caramelise the chocolate for an hour and a half, even if sticking your head in a hot oven every ten minutes to stir chocolate feels a bit OTT – caramelising the chocolate is necessary, especially if you’re going to add crushed up bits of chocolate that contain an indecent amount of palm oil and E numbers. If you can’t be bothered to caramelise the white chocolate and can’t justify buying a 2.5kg bag of it (smaller quantities yet to be seen), you could fold through crushed raspberries. Or save yourself the hassle, use dark chocolate, leave out the Mini Eggs and serve with a dollop with crème fraiche – it doesn’t get much more sophisticated than a flourless chocolate cake, and it would make the ultimate dinner party dessert.  Continue reading