Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Bourbon Biscuits

28 Jul

Wowwy, what a month.

I haven’t written properly in quite a while, and though I’ve wanted to, I a) haven’t had the time to experiment in my kitchen and b) haven’t had the chance to write. So that’s that really. Boo.

But I am back. And today I have a recipe for you. Bourbon Biscuits.

Bourbons

Bourbons ready to munch!

I must say that bourbons happen to be my very favouritist biscuit. I have this nostalgia about them, but I can’t quite remember my 1st memory of them. We never had biscuits in the house when I was a kid, so I expect my love of these yummy things comes from visiting my grandparent in Lincolnshire in my early years. My grandmother (my dad’s mother) always has a biscuit or two in the house. They also always bought those mini breakfast cereals especially for when my sisters and I visited. But that’s beside the point.

Everyone has a certain way that they have to eat their biscuits. It’s habit right?

Some drunk in tea (the boy), others demolish theirs in 3 bites. Sometimes people even sandwich their digestive together with chocolate spread (OMG I am liking this idea). But I, along with a few select others, nibble. Okay, I know this only applies to the bourbon/custard cream/Oreo lovers out there, but wait. It’s not just any kinda nibble, it’s a whole different story.

Bourbons and Milk

I have to remove the top layer of biscuit first, to expose the chocolaty buttercream inside. I usually do this in a few small bites, chomp, chomp, chomp. Then I lick the buttercream and finish the rest of the biscuit, chomp, chomp. A little gross, so I am not allowed to eat bourbons if others are around (my own rule). It’s probably sounding like I have a weird bourbon fetish by now, no?

Anyways, I would love it if you would comment on what you’re favourite biscuit is, and how you like to eat it. I love a little discussion, especially one about food!

Chocolate Bourbon Biscuits

Makes aprox 18 biscuits

Biscuits

115g plain flour

30g icing sugar

25g cocoa powder

100g butter, cut into cubed

Filling

30g butter, room temperature

100g icing sugar

25g cocoa powder

Start by sifting the flour, icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Then add the cut up butter and mix together with your hands. Go on, get right in there, until it has some structure and forms a ball.

Place in cling-film or sandwich bag and put it in the fridge for 30 minuets.

While your dough is chilling you can make the buttercream filling.

Cream the soft butter in a bowl until smooth, add the icing sugar a tablespoonful at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Set you’re oven at 160c/140c fan.

Once you’re bourbon dough is chilled, remove from fridge and knead on a floured counter until you are able to shape it. I rolled mine out into a sausage, then patted down the sides until I had a long rectangle shape, the classic bourbon. But you can shape yours however you like.

Then using a sharp knife, I sliced pieces off the dough, around half a centimeter in thickness. Place the uncooked biscuits on a baking tray lined with baking paper and chill again for 10 minuets.

Put these babies in the oven for 8 minuets. Cool on a rack, then when cooled, spread some buttercream on one side of a biscuit, and sandwich the other half on top.

Viola! Chocolate Bourbon Biscuits. So quick it’s easier than popping down the supermarket (unless you’re about to pop down anyways to pick up the ingredients) but the hell with it. You won’t find any nasties in them, just pure, homemade loveliness! Enjoy!

Oh, and don’t forget to tell me you’re fave biscuit!

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Mini Scone Muffins (Scoffins) Recipe.

5 Jun

 

I have a manic week ahead. Lots of baking for a summer fair on saturday, a 90th birthday cake and oh my, so much to sort out.

I bought myself some new equipment last week, exciting stuff, well to me. When it all arrived I¬† felt some slight suspense. I tend to buy online and then forget what I’ve bought. Imagine the scene. I was sat in the middle of my living room tearing open packaging at an unbelievable rate of knots. I ended up with a pile of brown paper and bubble wrap around me, and a heap of (presents) baking pans, baking sheets, mixing bowls etc in the middle of the room with me. I was like an over excited kid at Christmas.

I instantly wanted to use my new mini muffin pans. ‘What to bake’ I thought. Hmmm. This thought stayed with me for a little while. We were having a BBQ that night for our good friend who was back from Holland. I was thinking it would be great to bake something traditional. Something I rarely ever do. Scones…

I’m sorry, you’re going to cringe right now.

I HATE SCONES.

There, I said it, I got it off my chest. I know, I am English, I should love them. But I can’t stand them. You can’t eat them without feeling you swallowed a crummy brick. They just sit there in you’re stomach. So rich that you can’t eat nowt more. You see, I am all for eating, but I like the kind of food you can eat, and still have room for more later on.

So I reinvented that baby. The whole reason for me baking was to test out my new tins. So I had to make some sort of muffin. How about mini muffins. Mini Scone Muffins?

The amazing flavour of a scone, but in a light and airy muffin.

Uh, hello, AMAZING.

We ate them last night. My better half loved them. I honestly have no idea how I landed myself with such a supportive human being. He believes in me 100% and for that, well, I have no words.

Anyways, enough mushy stuff. I thought he was the one that named these little delights during our drunken BBQ. But apparently it was actually our good friend, you know, the one who is back from Holland for the weekend. It was quite a boozy evening. And my memory is poky at the best of times…

Him-“You know, you should call them Scoffins”

Me-“Genius”

So there we go. Here I have a recipe for you:

 

 

Mini Scone Muffins (Scoffins).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heat you’re oven to around 200c

225g self raising flour

50g wholemeal flour

pinch of salt

55g butter, cut into small cubes

100ml milk

100g castor sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

5 handfuls of currents

1 egg, beaten.

Okay. Start by mixing the flours and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and work together until well incorporated and flaky.

Add the sugar, milk and vanilla , and mix until you have a loose dough, almost like cake mixture. At this point add the currents. But by any means, don’t just restrict yourself to currents, go wild. Add chocolate chips, orange zest or sour cherries? The possibilities are endless.

Fill a greased muffin pan with your Scoffin mixture. I filled mine right to the brim so that I would get that classic ‘muffin top’ look to them, this worked perfectly. Then I brushed a little of the beaten egg on top, and popped them in the oven for around 10-12 minuets, or golden brown.

Remove from tin and enjoy warm with clotted cream, jam and a pot of tea.

Say “Cheese”.

8 May

What is the secret of the perfect cheese cake?

Pretty Tray

Is it a fluffy filling or densely creamy? Plain and simple or full of fruit?

These are the questions I asked myself and The Boy yesterday.

Yes I do kind of value his opinion, but don’t tell him that or he’ll think he’s always right…

We came to the conclusion that we both preferred a non-baked cheese cake as it is the most refreshing and probably the most calorific.

A thick crumb base is always good. It’s always frustrating when you order a cheesecake and there isn’t enough base!

Because I really want an excuse to photograph my new cake stand/tray, I want it to be a simple looking cake. So instead of just vanilla, and because I am sure summer is poking around out there somewhere, I decide it must have some citrus notes, as this cuts through the creamy-ness of the filling perfectly. Organic lemons are lovely. I say organic because I find they have more flavour and for some reason have less pips…So I am decided. Simple Lemon Cheesecake….

“Chocolate” he says while whizzing round the supermarket. “Cheesecake must have chocolate in it”….*Cue a slightly horrified & confused face from me*.

Now don’t get me wrong, in most cases he would be on the money, but I wanted a beautifully crisp looking cake, and I was not envisaging me getting into a chocolatey mess (which happens with me and chocolate).

We settle for a chocolate chip base instead.

See, I can compromise ūüėČ

So here it is.

Simple Lemon Cheesecake (with a chocolate chip base)

Ingredients:

Base

275g biscuits (any flavour you like, but I used chocolate-chip)

125g butter, melted

1 tbsn honey

pinch of salt

Filling

600g cream cheese

150g icing sugar

2 organic lemons, peel and juice.

285ml double cream

First of all you need to grease and line a 8 to 10 inch springform tin. Set aside.

Base

1. You need to smash those biscuits up, I know, this could be a difficult moment for some of you, but I promise, it’s worth it.

Using a food processor, pop the biscuits in and whizz up until you have what resembles fine bread crumbs.

If you do not have a food processor (like me), a sandwich bag and bashing implement will do.

I used a knife sharpener…Stick them in and smash away.

2. Melt honey and butter together in a small pan on a medium heat.

3. Put biscuits in a mixing bowl and add butter/honey mix and salt. Mix.

4. Once all the crumbs are covered, press the crumbs into the base and sides of your tin. Making sure you compact the mixture as much as possible.

Place in fridge for 1 hour to set.


Filling

1. In a spotless mixing bowl whip the cream cheese to a smooth consistency.

2. Add half the sugar and stir in. Grate the lemon peel in the bowl and add the juice of 2 lemons, little at a time. Add the remaining sugar and mix in.

3. Add all the cream to the mixture and beat with an electric mixer for 5 minuets.

4. Once you have a stiff mixture, spoon it into you’re biscuit base and smooth out. Place in fridge overnight to set.

5. Remove from fridge 5 minuets before serving.

So when is the next bank holiday?

3 May

It's a Tea Pop

What. A. Week. Few.

A very busy week it has been here at The Lilac Bakery. Baking a lot of goodies for the lovely Boscombe Tea Party. As you can see, I couldn’t resist making a batch of Tea Pops, I thought they were rather appropriately themed. Don’t you?

We also made cupcakes of all description as well as french macarons.

I do just want to say a big thank you to Lizi and Rich, who organized the event. They were fantastic and the day was just divine. And to everyone I got to chat with, and eat cake with and generally meet and say ‘Hi’, you are all fab, and I wouldn’t have been able to have such a great day without you. Thanks.

Cupcakes

If I am totally 100% honest I did almost have a little melt down on Saturday. I blame it on chocolate modeling paste. If anyone has a UK version that doesn’t require corn syrup please contact me….Please!

I was baking a birthday cake for a friend, and my plan was to cover it in chocolate roses, but the modeling paste wouldn’t form, it just kept falling apart, which drove me crazy because it didn’t happen last time. So in the end the cake was layered in chocolate ganache and sprinkles which was rather fun.

Also I might have some exciting news in the next few days, so keep you’re ears peeled…

So until next time my hunky little cake munchers!xx

Happy Easter.

24 Apr

Easter Cupcpakes


I hope all have a lovely easter sunday, full of chocolate and laughter!
Aimee x

Cherry Brandy Ganache Macarons.

23 Apr

The last few days have been manic. So much so, I haven’t even really had a chance to enjoy the beautiful, yet unusual april weather and sunshine.

Having a bit of a house re-jig moving the living room around to make room for the shinny new tv, in turn I now have space for a little table, so for the 1st time I get to sit here looking out my patio doors, rather then slumped on the sofa, laptop in hand (or on lap…) it’s the simple things, but they make all the difference for some reason.

Also getting ready for guests tomorrow as it’s Easter. I’ve never been that traditional about anything really, so there will be a mix of friends and family at mine tomorrow, I invisage enjoying the sunlight, kids searching for Easter eggs, BBQ and nibbles, and lastly but not least, cakes. And this is also why I am extra super busy, I’ve been baking.

I tell you, my kitchen, it is rather tiny, and the sun shreams through the window in the afternoon, and while that is lovely (I am not complaining sunsine), when I have my oven on the whole kitchen is around 10c hotter then the outside temperature. I came to cream my butter today to find all that remained was a sorry looking pool of buttery liquid. Hmm…

Anyways, onwards and upwards, the recipes today.

Cherry brandy Macarons with chocolate ganache.

150g Ground Almonds

150g Icing Sugar

2 Egg Whites, fresh.


2 Egg Whites, aged (left at room temperature for 24-48 hours).

150g Caster Sugar

37g Water

Food Colouring

Method

Sift the almonds and icing sugar togther in a bowl. Add the fresh egg white and mix to a paste. Set aside.

Put water and caster sugar in a sauce pan and heat to 118c, swirling the pan once and a while as to not burn the sugar.¬† You can add a few drops of liquid colour to the sugar syrup if you like, or if you have powdered colouring, even better, as the colour is more intense and you won’t be adding any extra moisture.

When the syrup reaches 115c start whipping the egg whites. At 118c pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the whites, keep whipping for 3-5 mins until your have a glossy but firm meringue.

Add a 3rd of the meringue to the almond paste and mix in, knocking a little air out. Fold in remaining meringue until the mixture is thick and glossy, and flows slowly, almost oozing. This should take no more then 20-30 folds as the batter will get too runny otherwise.

Fill you’re icing bag 2 3rds full and twist top the secure. I just use disposable bags as they are convenient. Snip the end of the bag, not to big, I don’t have a picture of this, but I will rememeber next time. Pipe out little circles onto baking parchment, about 1″ round.

Give them a few wraps on the counter, then leave them to dry for 15-30 mins to form thin skins. They should not stick to your finger when lightly touched.

Pop them in the oven at around 150c and bake for around 15mins, but the oven temperature and times will all depend on you’re oven, so experiment with that.

Hi there!

Once cooled, sandwich together with cherry ganache, cream, jams, buttercream or fresh fruit.

Mmm Macaron with Chocolate Ganache

Refridgerate for 24 hours, trust me when I say this is most immportant. Take them out 30mins before eating.

24 hours in the frigde, no air pockets!

Chocolate Ganache

112g Dark Chocolate

180ml of whipping cream or similar.

25g of soft butter.

Break up the chocolate and place in a bowl.

In a pan heat the cream, just under boiling. Pour over the chocolate and mix until all the chocolate has melted. Add the butter and any flavouring and mix. Refrigerate for 20mins then pipe into macaron shells.

Flavours

1tbls of cherry brandy.

Some grated lime or lemon.

Strawberries and Cream

Alternately fill macarons with fresh cream and strawberries for a light summery treat. Yum!

I hope you enjoy making them!