Friday, 30 November 2012

Converse Cake

It's Friday!!! The last few days I've been doing a first aid course and I'm finishing up today with an exam....but not even this has dampened my Friday spirits. I got a little Christmas shopping done yesterday evening, packed for a four day trip west and managed to put together this 'Last Minute' request for a Converse Cake. Fairly productive evening really. 

First and foremost many older kids and teenagers don't really like eating cake, so as an alternative to sponge or chocolate cake, I made this cake out of gooey marshmallow and white chocolate krispie squares. When making an odd shaped cake like this shoe, rice krispie squares are really pliable and easy to mould so can make your life a whole lot easier....and of course their delicious!



White Chocolate and Marshmallow Krispie Squares

Ingredients
200g Marshmallows (large)
150g White Chocolate
80g Butter
3 tbsp Golden Syrup
500g Rice Krispies
Food Colouring (optional)

Method
1. In a large pot, over a medium heat, melt the butter, white chocolate and marshmallows, 
   stirring continuously to prevent the mixture burning.
2. Once semi-melted, add the golden syrup. Continue to stir until everything is melted and pale 
    pink in colour. At this point remove from the heat and stir in food colouring if desired.
3. Stir in the Rice Krispies and continue to mix until all of the cereal is well coated.



Decoration
- I used Tesco roll out fondant icing and Americolor gel food colourings to achieve the pink and 
  grey colouring.
- I moulded the general shape of the boot from the Rice Krispies and went from there.
- For the 'Converse' written detail, I used food colouring with a little clear alchohol and a very 
  fine brush.



E-D's Notes
- Food colouring can be a nice touch when making cakes. For example is making a blue cake, 
  having blue krispies inside.
- Ensure that you stir vigorously the entire time that the mixture is melting as it burns quite  
  easily.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Lemon Sugar Cookie Heaven

It's Thursday morning, which can only mean one thing.....only one more sleep 'til Friday! I am looking forward to Saturday so I can finally embrace the Christmas feeling, as I'm very against festive frolics in November. Last night I had a burst of energy  and flash of guilt when I saw the cookie cutters I had bought from Decobake a couple of weeks ago which I had yet to use. I fled to the kitchen to get going on some pretty sugar cookies with a lemon twist. I couldn't decide which cutters to go with first so ended up doing a random mix of pretty dresses, colourful cakes and beautiful dogs.















Lemon Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
Cookies                                                                          
200g butter at room temperature                                
280g sugar                                                                   
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon                                        
1 egg                                                                              
400g plain flour
a pinch of salt

Method:
For the Cookies
Put the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a free-standing electric mixer and cream until light and fluffy (You can also use a handheld whisk). 
Add the egg and mix well and lemon juice, scraping the sides of the bowl intermittently to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated well.
Add the flour and salt, mixing well. The dough should look light, feel soft and be easy to handle.
Dust a clean surface with flour and roll out the dough using a rolling pin. Cut out the shapes of your choice (on this occassion; dogs, dresses and cakes!) . Place the cookies on a well greased or lined baking tray (you will need at least two large trays) and bake for 10 minutes at 170C.  
The cookies should be very light golden on the outer edges and paler in the centre.  Once cooked remove the cookies from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  
                  

For the Royal Icing
Beat the egg white and lemon juice together in a free standing mixer. Gradually add the icing sugar and continue to whisk until the icing forms stiff peaks. (Word to the wise, making royal icing can be hard in your machinery so take it easy!). Separate mixture out and add desired colours. Of course you can also buy royal icing mix in a bag in the supermarket which does the exact same thing. In this instance carefully follow the instructions on the back of the pack, to ensure you achieve the right consistency


The Assembly
After my splurge on Cookie Cutters in Decobake a couple of weeks ago, I though it was about time to put them to good use. I've made a some pretty dresses, some cakes and some dogs, each decorated in the appropriate colours. You will need the following tools to get going:
- cocktail sticks
- a piping bag (with a small and medium sized nozzle)
- Food colourings ( I used Americolor gels)- fondant icing for decoration
- royal icing (colours of your choice).



E-D's Notes
- This recipe will yield approximately 20 cookies or more (depending on whether you like 
  picking cookie dough!).
- I made these yesterday evening, and just to note, they are very time consuming so may be a 

  venture better done at the weekend when you have ample time.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Awesome Apple Crumble

I don't know how I have gotten to this point in my blog, nor this stage in my life without making a traditional Irish Apple Crumble. This was my first time making an apple crumble because for many years I really didn't like apples, and because I didn't eat them needless to say there was no motivation to make a desserts that contained them. I'm a selfish dessert makers like that, I only want to make things that I can enjoy eating. I was pleasantly surprised as to how simple this crumble was to put together. I made a pie or tart base, which I then filled with the apples and then topped with the crumble. I have made crumbles in the past, such as my simple Raspberry Crumble which I did not make a base for. The apple, married with my all time favourite spice Cinnamon, was incredibly flavoursome and went down a treat with my nearest and dearest. Served with whipped cream of course. On this occasion I made two crumbles, one which I topped with pastry strips, the other with ice sugar and a star motif. 


Awesome Apple Crumble

Makes 2 Crumbles

Ingredients
For the pastry
225g Plain Flour 
125g Butter (chilled)
150ml Cold Water
2 tsps of cinnamon 

For the filling
380g Apples (your preferred variety) (peeled, cored and sliced) 
120g brown sugar
2 tsps of cinnamon

For the Crumble
300g plain flour
175g brown sugar
200g butter

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Sieve the flour into a bowl. Next grate or finely slice the butter into the
    flour, cinnamon and mix using your fingertips.
2. Using a knife, add the water to the mixture, stir and bring together the ingredients 
    together until a soft dough is formed.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead gently. Then place in the fridge to chill for 
    15 minutes.
4. Remove the dough from fridge and roll out on a floured surface. Place pastry in prepared 
    greased tins or oven proof pie plate and trim the edges uses a sharp knife. Then fill the 
    pastry case with the chopped apple and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
5. For the crumble place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the mixture 
    resembles very fine breadcrumbs. Then pack over the apple and pastry base. You can use 
    any pastry cut offs to decorate your crumble (as pictured).
6. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.



E-D's Notes
- I like the apple pieces in my crumble to be cut small, however this is just personal preference.
- When working with pastry the trick is to work quickly and to keep everything cool. Handle the 
  pastry as little as possible. 
- If you do decided to top your crumble with some strips of pastry, make sure to brush them 
  with milk before placing in the oven to get a nice shine.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cheesy Potato Bake

Last night after a very chilly Monday, I was in need for some 'good mood food' and something that would heat me up whilst making me smile at the same time. One of my favourite potato dishes is creamy Dauphinoise Potatoes, but I make them quite regularly so was look for an alternative. Given that it was Monday and I badly need to go food shopping, ingredients were sparse. That said I still managed to come up with this cheesy creation which was packed full of flavour and really hit the spot.


Cheesy Potato Bake

Ingredients
4 medium sized potatoes (peeled)
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
40g butter
2 teaspoons of thyme
50ml milk
90g of grated cheddar
2 tablespoons of cream (optional)
Salt & Ground Black Pepper

Method
1. Slice potatoes  thinly and layer carefully in a shallow 22cm dish or tin (or similar size).
2. In a saucepan, fry off the butter, garlic, onion and thyme. Then pour over the layered potatoes.
3. Drizzle the cream and milk over the potatoes and season well with salt and pepper.
4. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 200C. At the point remove from the grated cheese over 
    the top of the bake. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until cheese is well melted 
    and potatoes are cooked through.



E-D's Notes
- I say the cream is 'optional' as I just happened to have some in the fridge last night that I was 
  trying to use up. If you don't have cream, don't worry just use milk instead.
- I don't say this enough on 'E-D Does It' but seasoning food well with salt and pepper is the key 
  to enhancing flavour and  turning out really tasty food. I seasoned one layer of potatoes first, 
  and then the second. I avoid Low Salt because I don't feel it provides the same flavour, and to  
  compensate you end up having to use huge amounts (which defeats the purpose!).

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Chocolate Lovers Flourless Cake

Yesterday evening I was delighted to be invited for a family dinner in my cousins house. Her husband is a massive chocolate lover and so I needed to come up with a dessert suitable for the occasion. I absolutely love chocolate desserts, and chocolate tends to be what I opt for when eating out. That said when I hear 'chocolate cake' I'm never too excited as it makes me think of a boring chocolate sponge. So yesterday afternoon I was doing lots of research and reading around a cake that would be really chocolatey and dense and serve 6 people. Whilst flicking through my 'Leon- Baking & Puddings' cookbook, I stumbled on the solution; a flourless chocolate cake! This cake is so wonderfully moist and chocolatey and very rich, it's heaven for chocolate lovers. With only four ingredients putting this cake together is very straight forward. The last few crumbs were fought over at the table, so I must have done something right. Also because there is no flour, ideal for any coeliac guests you may be having for dinner.



Chocolate Lovers Flourless Cake

Serves 6

Ingredients
200g good quality dark chocolate (70% or more)
200g butter 
4 large eggs (separated)
220g demerara sugar

Method
1. Preheat the oven the 180C and line and grease a 23cm round tin or equivalent.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of boiling water.
3. Meanwhile, separate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff and peaky, 
    then set aside. 
4. In a separate bowl, whisk half the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and thick.
5. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk 
    mixture.
6. Finally add the remaining sugar to the stiffened egg whites and mix well. Fold the egg whites 
    into the chocolate mixture and mix gently. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake 
    for 40 minutes.



E-D's Notes
As it happened I had some delicious white chocolate cream left over from my White Chocolate Cream Sandwiches. This creamy sauce was the perfect accompaniment for this indulgent chocolate cake. The mixture of flavours of white and dark chocolate was incredible. Have a look here for the recipe.
Also just to note that this cake is meant to have a 'collapsed' look, remember there is not flour, so don't panic if it looks a little deflated. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

White Chocolate Cream Sandwiches

Last night in preparation for my favourite day of the week, I sat procrastinating for far too long, thinking about what delicious treat to make to celebrate Friday! I was having 'foodie block' mostly because I was exhausted from presenting a full days training at work and because I knew I had cream in the fridge that needed to be used. I flicked through this book and that for inspiration, until I finally had a creative light-bulb moment! These white chocolate cream sandwiches worked out exceptionally well given that I was kind of 'winging' it and using my own measurements. The biscuits are made with a combination of cornflour and icing sugar, meaning they have a soft melt in your mouth quality without being soggy....ingenious! The filling is really light and fluffy, not too dense. All together they make up a delightfully delectable fluffy biscuit sandwich. Creating a new successful recipe is such a great start to the weekend, Happy Friday all!

White Chocolate Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients
For the biscuits
200g butter
190g icing sugar
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
140g corn flour
2 tablespoons of cream

For the filling
115g butter
115g white chocolate
120ml cream
170g icing sugar

Method
For the Biscuits
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and set aside.
2. For the biscuits, mix all of the dry ingredients together in a free standing mixer (or use a 
    handheld mixer) and add the butter. Mix until well combined and resembles breadcrumbs. 
    Then add in the cream which should bring the mixture together to a dough. 
3. Place large teaspoons sized balls on your baking tray as shown (approx. 20 balls). Then 
    place in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes, do not overcook.
4. Once cooked, remove the biscuits from oven and leave to cool on the trays.

For the filling
1. Place the white chocolate in a metal bowl, set over a pan of boiling water and melt. Once 
    melted set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, mix the butter and icing sugar together in a mixer until light and fluffy. Then, 
    gradually add the cream. Once cooled, incorporate the white chocolate into the mixture too.
3. Beat for 3 minutes on a medium speed.

Assembly
- Using a spatula, carefully spread the desired amount of icing on the flat edge of each biscuit 
  and sandwich them together. 
- These biscuits are best eaten on the day but will keep for up to 2 days if kept in an airtight 
  container in the fridge.

E-D's Notes
- If your not a big fan of cream or don't like the sound of the filling, these biscuits are actually 
  delicious all on their own.
- Store the cream filled sandwiches in the fridge and take out an hour before serving if you don't 
  like them too cold.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Honey & Yoghurt Breakfast Muffins

These muffins really are the perfect breakfast if you are on the go or in a rush. They are really tasty, and because they contain wholemeal flour definitely leave you feeling full until lunch time. The flavours of the honey and natural yoghurt work together really well, and aren't too sweet. I sometimes like to top these with a little lemon drizzle or drops of honey. The great thing about these muffins is that they freeze well and keep very well in a tin for up to 3 days. 


Honey & Yoghurt Breakfast Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients
55g butter
5 tbsp clear honey
200ml natural yoghurt
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg
Zest of 1 lemon
60ml lemon juice
100g plain flour
175g wholemeal flour
1½ tsps bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 190C and line 2 cupcake tins with cases (12 muffins in total).
2. In a pan, over a gentle heat, melt the honey, butter and brown sugar. When well combined, 
    remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. In a bowl mix together the egg, yoghurt, lemon zest and juice. Then fold in the remaining dry 
    ingredients and place in the pre-prepared trays.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. The tops should spring back when touched. After 
    five minutes, turn the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 



E-D's Notes
To make a really simple lemon drizzle, place 2 tablespoons of icing sugar into a bowl. Then slowly add some lemon juice until you reach a 'drizzle' like consistency. Add as little or as much as you wish to the crisp tops of the muffins. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Chicken in White Wine Cream Sauce

After a cinema date and jaunt to a tasty Italian on Monday night with my friend, I realised how simple but tasty Italian food is. I remember as a teenager my Mom used to make something along the lines of this creamy chicken dish and how much I adored it. Yesterday evening when I arrived home from work I was absolutely exhausted but also struck down with an overwhelming hunger. I had been dreaming of a creamy delicious dinner all day in work (after the visual feast of what others were eating at tables around me, in the restaurant the night before). I promptly snapped out of my day dream and jotted down a few core ingredients to pick up on the way home from work, in order to make my dream a reality. And voilĂ ! a little wine, a few fresh herbs and some nice Irish chicken breasts, delicious! Even better, I made enough of this delectable dinner to bring to work for lunch today. My Wednesday is already off to a good start.

Chicken in White Wine Cream Sauce 
served with Tagliatelle

Serves 4

Ingredients
4 Chicken Breasts
2 Rashers (Bacon Slices)
1 Onion
6 Cloves of Garlic
100ml cream
125ml white wine
Olive Oil
Sprig of rosemary
12 nests of tagliatelle
6 fresh mushrooms (sliced)
Parmesan (optional)
Parsley (optional)

Method
1. Fry of the bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Heat a little olive oil in the pan, then add the chicken and brown for 2-3 minutes. 
3. Next add in the onion, garlic, mushrooms and rosemary and sautee. Ensuring to season 
    well with salt and pepper. 
4. Return the crisp bacon to the mixture. Turn the heat down and add the wine and cream. Allow 
    to simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile heat a pan of boiling water. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or until al-
    dente to taste.
6. Strain the pasta, and plate up. Then spoon the chicken and white wine sauce over the bed of 
    tagliatelle. Garnish with bacon pieces, parsley and parmesan.
E-D's Notes
I am a huge red wine fan, but rarely drink white wine, so I am usually quite reluctant to include it in recipes as I don't like to waste it. That said recently I have started freezing any left over wine, either in an ice cube tray or freezer bag. This means that I don't waste any left over wine, and also means I have white wine at the ready in small amounts for when I need it for cooking.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Coloured Sugars

Coloured sugars are unbelievably easy to make and are fantastic for decorating cupcakes and desserts. Of course you can buy coloured sugars, but jazzing up your own white sugar means you can choose exactly the colour you want, make as much as you need and shake a jar like crazy! 


Coloured sugars keep really well in tightened jars, and also brighten up your kitchen if left out on display. Full credit to Lilly Higgins for this idea in her book 'Make-Bake-Love'. I collect similar sized jars and unusual jars to keep my coloured sugars in. You can wrap up your coloured sugars and give them to your food loving friends for Christmas! 






Method
To make the coloured sugars I added 1 drop of Americolor food colouring to a half jar of sugar. I shook the jar vigorously (with the lid on!) until the colour began to disperse (about 2 minutes).
Then introduce the remaining sugar and shake until the jar is filled.

I picked these Americolor sets up on ebay.ie. They are great value when bought online and are excellent food colourings (particularly when being used for fondant or sugarpaste). There is a link below for the seller I used on ebay. The colours arrived promptly and were boxed and sealed.

E-D's Link's
Americolor Seller on Ebay

E-D's Notes
Be sure to check out my guest blogger post on the brilliant cheapeats.ie. A review of my favourite Dublin Restaurants!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Cinnamon Buns

It's Monday morning, so if like me your struggling to be in any way enthusiastic, here's something to get you through the day. This is a recipe that has been on a 'must do' list since I started E-D Does It. As you may know I absolutely love cinnamon and these buns are the ultimate cinnamon treat. A delicious sticky, cinnamon mass, they are perfect with morning coffee or for the 3 O'Clock slump. They look impressive, and believe me they don't disappoint in the taste department either. To my surprise  making these buns is quite straightforward, I really don't know why I didn't make these sooner.

Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients
275g warm water
5g active dried yeast
5 tbsp sugar
600g strong white flour
1/2 tsp salt
175g warm milk
75g butter
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp apricot jam (mixed with 2tbsp water)

For the Filling
125g butter
250g dark brown sugar
4 tbsp of ground cinnamon



Method
1. Mix the water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, remaining sugar, salt and 2 tsp cinnamon. 
3. Next add in the butter and mix well. Then mix in the milk, and yeast mix, and bring the mixture 
    together until it forms a sticky dough. 
4. Turn the dough out onto a well floured board and knead for 4-5 minutes until elastic and 
    smooth in appearance. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
5. Roll the dough out on a smoothed surface in a rectangular shape (60 x 40cm). 
6. Smear the butter all over the rolled out dough, followed by the sugar and 4tbsp of cinnamon 
    (as pictured). Then roll the dough inwards from the top down, and seal the final edge with
     water.
7. Cut the roll into 4cm lengths and place on a greased baking tray. Place in a warm area and 
    allow to leave to rise for approximately 30 minutes. Then place in the oven at 180C for 20 
    minutes. 
8. Remove from the oven and brush with the apricot jam mix to glaze. Serve warm. 




E-D's Notes
- This recipe might seem a bit tricky, but once you have all your ingredients out and ready to go 
   it's actually very straight forward. I know people can often see 'yeast' and think, ugh not worth 
   the effort, but really there is nothing to it, just mix it up and your ready to go.
-  Don't worry if your buns don't look much different after the 30 minutes in your hotpress or 
   warm area. The change may be so slight you didn't notice, so just carry.
- These buns are best served warm but can be wrapped up and kept for up to two days.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Soap & Glory Goodness

I absolutely love Soap and Glory products. I particularly love the packaging and think they brighten up any bathroom. Available in Boots and Harvey Nichols & Sephora, Soap & Glory boast a wide range of cleansing and moisturising bodycare products which are relatively inexpensive. In tonight's post I am sharing with you a few of the products from the soap and glory range which I have tried and tested.


The Breakfast Scrub 
This exfoliator smells divine and is great for leaving you with a squeaky clean feel after showering. The ingredients include oats, shea butter, sugar, banana  almond and honey oil. There is so much in the Breakfast Scrub, being honest it sounds delicious more than anything.Would definitely recommend this product for those of you trying to remove fake tan or maybe just for a general skin exfoliation routine. 
Scrub Your Nose In It 
This 'multitasking' scrub and mask is a must have for those of you who are susceptible to blackheads or have large pores prone to clogging. This scrub doubles as a face scrub and face mask, depending how much you use and how long you leave it on for. This scrub boasts an intense minty scent which you can actively feel working on your skin and leaves you with a tingling feeling. The little particles in the scrub make it easy to gently exfoliate your problem areas and remove dirt, dead skin and oil. All in all I am very happy with this product. 

Flake Away 
Flake away is an alternative exfoliator similar to The Breakfast Scrub but maybe not quite as effective. There is a little difference in the price too. That said this product smells great and I absolutely love the packaging and taglines. The ingredients include shea butter, sweet almond oil, peach seed powder, sea salt and sugar 






The Righteous Butter
The product is the ultimate moisturiser. 'The Righteous Butter' body butter has earnt pride of place in my bathroom and is a part of my showertime ritual at this stage. Like all the other Soap & Glory products, it smells delicious and the moisturiser really works leaving skin feeling super soft and smooth. This butter soaks into the skin really well and doesn't leave you with a greasy or oily feeling. Big thumbs up for the Righteous Butter and definitely my favourite Soap & Glory product!




Hand Food 


This product is a must in my handbag. It smells great and really works leaving my hands feeling soft and moisturised  Use sparingly as it can leave your hands feeling a little greasy. All in all a great hand moisturiser with a great scent. 



Girligo  
I have to admit I don't really get this product. I bought it on a whim to try it out to see what it actually did. It is branded as a 'scented moisturising mist' but I found the scent didn't last too long and in terms of moisturising, in comparison to 'The Righteous Butter' it doesn't make the cut as far as I'm concerned. This isn't a product I'd be rushing out to buy again.

                                       
E-D's Links
Check out the Soap & Glory websites to find your local stockists & pricing as well as other products in the range.
Soap & Glory US
Soap & Glory UK

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Carrot & Cinnamon Mini Muffins

Another milestone today for 'E-D Does It' today, as I am celebrating my 100th post! Hard to believe it, has gone by so quickly! I have had a lot of very sweet treats around the house this week,so last night decided to make something a little savoury, with a hint of sweet though I'll admit. Molly was very impressed with these last night when I produced one for his evening cup of tea. I can never have carrot cake when I'm out, as it is always riddled with walnuts and I'm allergic. So as they say 'ignorance is bliss', I hadn't realised what I've been missing out on! These mini muffins are similar to carrot cake but smaller in size. Smaller in size but still sensational in taster! Perfect with a cup of tea or as a lunch box filler.


Carrot & Cinnamon Mini Muffins

Makes 10-12

Ingredients
175g butter
90g soft dark brown sugar
1 egg
180g grated carrot
140g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon



Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a muffin or cupcake tin.
2. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl or free-standing mixer and cream together. 
3. Next add in the egg and beat well. Then stir in the grated carrot.
4. Finally fold in the flour, cinnamon and and bicarbonate of soda.
5. Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes or until the tops spring back when 
    touched. Allow the muffins to cool a little in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

E-D's Notes
- IKEA is a great spot for picking up really 
  good quality bake wear at very reasonable  
  prices. I used this fantastic muffin tray from 
  IKEA for these mini muffins. They are a 
  taller shape than your average muffin tray 
  and are narrower. Have a look at the link 
  below.
- If you want to dress these muffins up a little, 
  you can add a layer of cream cheese 
  frosting to the tops of these mini muffins. 
  You will find the recipe in my Red Velvet Cupcake post.


E-D's Links
Muffin Tin (IKEA)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Minty Chocolate Biscuit Bars

This evening I have more or less been banished from the living room as Molly is hard core studying and I'm not allowed disturb him. I really need to do a shop and get some supplies for my baking cupboard, so this evening I had to get inventive in order to put together this 'Minty Masterpiece' given that I didn't actually have the two bars of milk chocolate in the cupboard that I thought I did. There I was half way through the process of these bars when I realised that in fact I didn't even have the core ingredient in the house! Never fear, I got creative and instead of putting the specified chocolate on top of the minty layer, I decided to replace it with a chocolate fudge frosting. And low and behold....an accidental yet delicious epiphany was born! I love when light bulb moments stem from potential disasters! So here you have it, a delicious Minty Chocolate Biscuits Bars.....enjoy!


Minty Chocolate Biscuit Bars

Ingredients

For the chocolate frosting:
175g brown sugar
40g cocoa
55g butter
120ml milk
3 tablespoons of golden syrup
Dash of salt
3 drops of Vanilla essence
225g incing sugar

For the biscuit:
220g butter
110g caster sugar
230g flour

For the minty layer:
175g icing sugar
5 tbsp warm water
1/4 tsp peppermint extract (don't play around with thism it's VERY strong)
Green food colouring


Method

For the biscuit base
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 10 x 8 inch tin/dish (or similar size). 
2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat it. Then stir in the flour until the mixture comes 
    together (you may need to add a splash of milk if the consistency is very dry).
3. Knead the mixture and then press it into the tray, prick it all over with a fork and place in 
    the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch. Allow to cool in dish 
    completely.

For the minty layer
1. Place the icing sugar in the bowl along wit the peppermint extract and green food 
   colouring. Add the water a little at a time until you reach a syrup like consistency.
2. Place on top of cooled biscuit base, spreading the icing out to all the edges.
3. Place in the fridge until set.

For the chocolate frosting
1. Place the brown sugar, cocoa, golden syrup, vanilla essence, butter and milk in a 
    saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Boil for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat and then remove from heat and leave aside to 
    cool slightly (until lukewarm). 
3. Using a handheld mixer, add the chocolate mixture to the icing sugar and beat until the 
    consistency is suitable for layering over your biscuit and mint base.
4. Pour onto set base and spread to all of the edges. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
5. Once completely set, cut into small slices and serve.

E-D's Notes
- When it comes to these rich bars, a little certainly goes a long way. I like to cut them up into 
  bite size pieces.
- Ensure you allow the biscuit base to cool completely before adding the minty layer, and  
  likewise with the chocolate layer. If you don't the icing will be absorbed into the cake and not 
  create the clean, distinctive lines which may these treats look so lovely.
- If you would prefer a chocolate top instead of the chocolate frosting, simply melt 180g of 
  chocolate (the chocolate of your choice) in a heat proof bowl over a pan of hot water. 
  Then add the melted chocolate to the biscuit base and allow to set.