Chocolate chip shortbread...

chocolate chip shortbread shortbread-overhead-centre

studded with melty dark chocolate chips...

Chocolate chip shortbread is the greatest biscuit; buttery, crunchy and melt-in-the-mouth.  They keep well, are simple as anything to make, and you can add any flavours you prefer.

This particular version has chocolate chips added to it, little nuggets of melt chocolate contrast so well with the crunch of the dough...but if that's not your thing, consider adding citrus zest, currants, or if you are planning to give these as Christmas gifts, cranberries make a great addition.

Not surprisingly, there are several theories about the quaint name, petticoat shortbread.  Some scholars feel it relates to the ruffles of the petticoats worn at the court of Mary Queen of Scots; others tell us the name is the English version of 'petites gatelles', which means little cakes.  Either way, they're very moreish, and can go from the pantry to the biscuit tin in less than an hour - brilliant!

shortbread-overhead-on-white-plate-2

Chocolate chip petticoat tail shortbread...
 
Recipe Type: Baking
Author: Kitchen Diva
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12 pieces
Light, buttery, melt-in the-mouth and only five ingredients...
Ingredients
  • 100g unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
  • 55g caster sugar (either raw or white)
  • 125g organic plain flour
  • 20g rice flour (or fine semolina if you prefer)
  • 55g chocolate chips (or currants, or cranberries if you prefer)
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 150c and grease a 20cm fluted tart tin with melted butter.
  2. [b]Magimix CE method:[/b]
  3. Cream butter and sugar in CE bowl using pastry programme, speed 12 for 1 minute, scraping down the bowl if necessary.
  4. Add flour, rice flour, salt and chocolate chips and re-run pastry programme for a further 30 seconds - don't overwork!
  5. [b]Traditional method:[/b]
  6. Cream butter and sugar using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer or the metal beaters of a hand-held mixer.
  7. Add flour, rice flour, salt and chocolate chips and beat until the mixture comes together. Don't overwork!
  8. [b]Both methods:[/b]
  9. Press the dough firmly into the greased tin, making sure to push into all the curves. Prick all over with a fork.
  10. Bake for 30-40 minutes until pale golden.
  11. As you remove the shortbread from the oven, sprinkle lightly with caster sugar to add crunch.
  12. Very carefully mark out the size biscuits you prefer, using a sharp knife and cutting through to the base.
  13. Allow to cool completely in the tin, then carefully remove and store in an airtight container.
 

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If this recipe has pressed your shortbread button, you might also consider my other favourite recipe, with either lemon curd or chocolate ganache...you'll find that recipe in this post...http://www.potagerandpantry.com/best-ever-shortbread/

Bon appetit!

 

chocolate fudge cake...your new best friend

Processed with Snapseed. Everyone needs a chocolate fudge cake recipe in their repertoire, an old friend that won't ever let you down.

This is the first recipe that I tried in my bright red shiny new Magimix Cook Expert, it's an old favourite that I've used for years.  It began as a recipe from one of my all-time heroes, Mary Berry, and has seen me through many a birthday and celebration.  Sometimes it's just as the Queen herself decreed, sometimes I've tripled the recipe and made precipitously tall structures, with buttercream and ganache as cement; other times it's become cupcakes and butterfly cakes.

As my need to cut dairy has taken centre stage, I've amended it to accommodate raw cacao and coconut oil, and like the best of friends, there's never been a grumble or a hiccup...she's just reliable, steadfast, predictable and best of all, delicious.  She'll be there to help you celebrate, and if the world isn't going your way, there's no better comfort than chocolate...

Although the Magimix is similar to other pieces of equipment I've owned and used, it is still a case of new tricks for old girls, and I don't believe in setting myself up to fail...so it was a no-brainer that this would be the first cake - I hope it becomes one of your go-to favourites too...

Best ever chocolate fudge cake
Recipe Type: [url href="http://www.potagerandpantry.com/category/chocolatecreations/" target="_blank"]Chocolate Creations[/url]
Author: [url href="http://www.potagerandpantry.com/about-kitchen-diva-melanie-hall/" target="_blank"]Kitchen Diva[/url]
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Dark and deliciously fudgy, this cake is perfect for any occasion, or no reason at all!
Ingredients
  • [b]FOR THE CAKE[/b]
  • 50g raw cacao powder - sifted (or good quality cocoa if you prefer)
  • 6 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 50ml almond milk (or cows milk if you prefer)
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g softened coconut oil (or unsalted butter if you prefer)
  • 275g rapadura sugar (or soft dark brown sugar if you prefer)[br]
  • [b]FOR THE GANACHE[/b]
  • [i]Regular Ingredients[/i]
  • 200g plain dark chocolate (at least 55% cacao)
  • 200g cream
  • [i]Alternative Ingredients[/i]
  • 200g dark chocolate (raw if you're so inclined)
  • 200ml coconut cream (the thick one, not coconut milk)
Instructions
For the cake
  1. Set your oven to 180c, or 160c fan forced. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottom with baking paper. The tins don't have to be springform for this recipe, but if you have them by all means use them.
  2. Measure the 6 tablespoons of boiling water onto the sifted cacao (cocoa) powder and whisk them together until they form a smooth paste.
  3. Transfer this mixture to the bowl of the Magimix Cook Expert and then add all the other ingredients.
  4. Select the Bake - Pastry/Cake function and press Auto. I like to stop after about one minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl and then resume by pressing Auto again until the programme finishes. You should have a smooth, thick, shiny batter.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two baking tins, levelling the top with a spatula if necessary.
  6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 25 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when pressed gently, and the mixture is just beginning to pull away from the sides of the tin.[br]
For the Ganache
  1. Chop your chosen chocolate finely using the small bowl of the processor if necessary (the finer the chocolate the more quickly it will melt).
  2. Place the chocolate into the large bowl along with either the coconut milk or the cream and run the Expert programme for 4 minutes on speed 3 @ 60 degrees.
  3. Remove the ganache from the bowl and allow to cool - it will thicken as it does so.[br]If you want to speed the cooling process up, put the bowl in the freezer, but remember to stir it every few minutes and don't forget it, otherwise you'll be waiting for it to soften again!
  4. One the cakes have cooled completely, spread a layer of ganache on top of one cake and place the other on top...at this stage you can add fruit, or salted caramel, or cream, or a combination!
  5. Ice the top of the second cake with the remaining ganache and decorate if you wish.[br]Keep in a cool place until ready to serve.
Notes
If possible, don't put the cake in the refrigerator as the ganache will lose it's shine. If you have any cake left over, it will keep for several days in an airtight container in a cool place.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Brownie Biscuits...

Choc Biscuits As with many things in the annals of food history, and history in general, the origins of the brownie are somewhat obscured.  Certainly this much loved cross between a biscuit and a cake originated in the US; one of the most common attributions is to a chef at a hotel in Chicago who was asked to create an easy-to-eat desert for ladies attending the 1893 World Fair…another version tells us that a chef omitted the baking powder from a chocolate cake recipe...

Whatever the origins, there is no doubt that this delicious concoction of chocolate, butter and eggs has gone on the take its place in the Baking Hall of Fame, altered and amended in a hundred different ways over the last hundred years.  Some add nuts; walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts - still others add dried fruit from cranberries to goji berries and apricots, some employ white chocolate in place of dark…and so it goes on.

And then we come to today's version - this historic treat is slimmed down to incorporate all things we love - the chewy fudgy chocolatey texture that is more a cake than a biscuit, contrasted with the crisp snap of flaked almonds and the sweet/salt winning combination of chocolate and vanilla-infused salt (more about this intriguing ingredient in a forthcoming post).

This recipe comes from my latest cookbook crush - Sweet Tooth by Lily Vanilli (aka Lily Jones) an amazingly talented artisan baker from London - her work is fresh and visually beautiful; she takes classic procedures and techniques and brings her own quirky creative edge to baking.

 

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