I’m feeling somewhat delicate today because Ricky and I had our engagement party last night. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate with us, and the team at the Square Pig in Holborn for all their help 🙂
I took the day off work and spent most of it baking, which was such a luxury. Here are the results (including some rogue invading muffins from my friend Aurora). Apologies for the crappy photos – I left it a bit late to take the pics, and the lighting wasn’t great. And I’m rubbish at photography.
To start with, I made a batch of brownies based on the Katharine Hepburn brownies from Dorrie Greenspan’s book (it’s down to about £20 on Amazon at the moment and worth every penny).
Here’s the recipe as I make it – I bought US measuring cups just to make this recipe, and I assure you that it was 100% worth it. I’ve done rough UK conversions for those who think baking by cup measures is witchcraft, but it’s a bizarre mix of metric and imperial – sorry.
OMG the most amazing brownies in the world
- Put the oven on – about 170C should do. Get an 8inx8in tin and grease and line with baking paper – I use a re-usable baking liner.
- Melt 4oz butter gently in a saucepan, stir in 1/2 cup (about 50g) of cocoa powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons of espresso coffee powder. Leave it to cool down a bit (about 5 mins) until it’s only just warm (or you’ll scramble the eggs in the next step) – use this time to chop up a 100g bar of dark chocolate into chocolate-chip-sized bits. I use either Lindt or Green & Black’s 70% cocoa stuff – yummy!
- Stir in 2 eggs, one at a time. It goes a bit lumpy but don’t panic. Then stir in 1 cup (200g) of caster sugar, and 1/4 cup (40g) of plain flour. Then stir in the chopped chocolate.
- Scrape it into the tin, bung it in the oven for about 25 mins. The top should have a papery crust, but don’t over-cook or they won’t be squidgy. Leave to cool in the tin (you can bung it in the fridge for a bit if pressed for time), then cut into 16 or 25 bits and scoff the lot.
I also made some red velvet cupcakes from Cookie Girl Xanthe Milton’s book Eat Me – I haven’t posted the recipe here because I didn’t adapt it at all. You’ll have to buy the book to get it!
I didn’t actually get to taste one but apparently they were delicious. I had to have two goes at making the cream cheese frosting though – when the recipe says to “mix cream cheese and butter at room temperature”, it means room temperature, not “get it out of the fridge a few minutes before and hope for the best”. Trust me on this one.
And as a final shot I made some crystallised ginger cookies, which were awesome. I adapted the recipe from the chocolate chip cookies in Dorrie Greenspan’s book. It’s another cup recipe, but I weighed stuff as I went along, and also changed the ratio of brown to caster sugar. Only in imperial measurements this time!
Crystallised ginger cookies
- Get the oven on – about 180C. Grease some baking trays, or use baking liners.
- Cream together 8oz butter with 5 1/2 oz light brown sugar and 3 1/2 oz caster sugar. This takes a while – give it at least 3-5 mins. Or just bung it in your lovely Kenwood Chef and wander off for a bit.
- Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time.
- Mix together 10 oz flour, 2 tsp ground ginger (maybe a bit more even…), a couple of pinches of ground cloves, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir this to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
- Stir in about 6oz of crystallised ginger, chopped into small pieces – I used a whole 200g jar that I got in Waitrose (ooooh posh!) minus a few bits that I ate along the way… Chopping up the ginger was a royal pain in the arse as it’s so sticky.
- Dollop heaped teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets, spaced out well, and bake for about 10 mins until starting to brown at the edges. I got about 8 cookies on each sheet, as they spread as they bake. Leave to cool for a minute or so on the tray, then pop them on a wire rack to cool. I got about 32 cookies out of this recipe, which was a lot. You could probably halve it.