Triple chocolate and coconut cookies

Triple chocolate and coconut cookiesI had a real craving for chocolate last weekend, but I didn’t want to expend too much effort on baking something wonderful, so I trawled through my saved recipes on Pinterest before I found a simple-looking recipe for double chocolate and coconut cookies that I immediately revised so they would become triple chocolate and coconut cookies (and why not?!).

Triple chocolate and coconut cookies
This is a great little recipe if, like me, you’re one of the few people you know who would *never* leave the Bounty chocolates in a box of Celebrations to the end (I tend to save that fate for the Milky Ways). I guess these are technically quadruple chocolate cookies, because there’s milk, white and dark chocolate AND cocoa, but ‘triple’ rolls off the tongue a bit more easily.

I followed the original recipe fairly closely, but have listed my own take below if you want to go as chocolaty as possible. You could always focus on one of the types of chocolate if you like, but having all three in there does make the cookies a bit more decadent!

Triple chocolate and coconut cookies
Triple chocolate and coconut cookies recipe

Makes 26 cookies

  • 75g butter, softened
  • 160g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 150g chocolate, roughly chopped (I used 50g each of dark, white and milk, but use any combination you like)
  • 50g dessicated coconut

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas 4/180C. Line 1 or 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat again.
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, then fold through gently until combined.
  5. Stir in the milk, followed by the chocolate and coconut. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Transfer spoonfuls of the mixture to the baking tray(s), spacing them well apart as they’ll spread in the oven.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of your spoonfuls (mine were somewhere between teaspoon and tablespoon size, and were baked in 15 minutes).
  8. Cool on the tray for a few minutes before carefully transferring the cookies to a cooling rack (they’ll still be soft, but will harden as they become completely cool).
Advertisements

Chocolate tiramisu cake

Chocolate tiramisu cakeMy fiancé finally returned from more than 2 months away at work last weekend, so I decided to make a celebration cake to, er, celebrate. And what could be more celebratory than a massive pile of chocolate sponge, mascarpone, double cream and sugar, AKA chocolate tiramisu cake?!

I found this recipe on the Delicious magazine website, and followed it to the letter as much as I could. It was slightly faffy, but not as much as you might expect for what is essentially a four-layer gateau – bake two chocolate almond sponges, make an espresso and amaretto syrup, whip up a load of dairy products into icing and squish the whole lot together. That’s it!

Chocolate tiramisu cake
I cannot stress just how decadent the icing is. It called for 500g of mascarpone (!), 225ml of double cream, amaretto and icing sugar – and that’s in addition to the butter and buttermilk that went into the sponge! Basically, if you’re allergic to ANYTHING or would like to avoid diabetes/a heart attack, this cake isn’t for you.

Chocolate tiramisu cake
But my, is it delicious! The syrup is perhaps the star here – it soaks into every layer of the cake and adds a nice contrast to the super-rich icing. You really can’t eat much more than a thin sliver of this cake at a time, but that means you savour the flavours all the more.

Chocolate tiramisu cake
If you know someone who’s a fan of tiramisu, you really can’t go wrong with this cake as a wonderful surprise!

Jamaican ginger cake

Jamaican ginger cake
Like many people, I have fond childhood memories of my mum bringing home a certain brand’s Jamaican ginger cake from the shop as a treat, before we all demolished it rather quickly over a nice cup of tea. I’ve made a few ginger cakes before that recall the unique flavours and/or texture of Jamaican ginger cake, but I thought it was about time that I actually attempted to bake the real thing!

I used a recipe from my Delia’s Cakes book for this – it’s also available online on her website. I stuck to it faithfully, except for substituting dark brown sugar for dark muscovado – I don’t think it made that much of a difference, really.

Jamaican ginger cake
The only other thing I mistakenly did is use a too-large loaf tin. I’m so used to baking with metric measures that I mistook Delia’s instruction to use a 2lb tin for an instruction to use a 2kg tin! As it’s the only loaf tin I own, I pressed ahead and just removed the cake from the oven a little early to prevent over-baking.

The method for making the cake itself is really straightforward. I was most excited by the array of spices that go into the cake – not just ginger, but also cinnamon and nutmeg. Not to mention the inclusion of both golden syrup and black treacle. Oof!

Jamaican ginger cake
The resulting bake really was just like the Jamaican ginger cake from my childhood – but nicer! I seem to remember the shop-bought version as being quite soft in texture with a large crumb, while Delia’s take makes for a more close-textured cake that’s still incredibly moist. The top of the cake is still nicely sticky, as it should be!

Sweet potato, red lentil and spinach curry

Sweet potato, red lentil and spinach curryHappy new year! It’s been a while since my last post, which isn’t just because I spent the Christmas break sitting around playing video games and stuffing my face with mince pies (I totally did, though). I haven’t really baked anything new in a while, so I thought I’d make my first post of 2016 all about this delicious and super healthy sweet potato, red lentil and spinach curry I made tonight – perfect for those well-intentioned new year’s resolutions.

This is another variation on my staple curry recipe, with some small tweaks to tip the spicing towards a heady note. I made a similar curry for my other half a while ago, and he was obsessed with the clove flavour coming through from the garam masala (which I make myself). My current garam masala blend isn’t quite so clove-y, so I’ve added some ground cloves to this recipe, along with extra ground cumin.

Sweet potato, red lentil and spinach curry
The great thing about this recipe is how flexible it is – you can swap out the sweet potato and/or carrot for butternut squash or standard potatoes (top tip: red potatoes work best in curries, as they seem to soak up the flavours better than the white variety), leave out the spinach if you don’t have any to hand, throw in some split yellow lentils or even chickpeas instead of the red lentils… Just adapt it to whatever you have in the kitchen!

Did I mention that this curry is super healthy? Yes? Well, I’ll say it again – this is so good for you. I’m pretty sure you get your five a day with this recipe, and the vegetables are packed with all sorts of lovely vitamins. If you stick to my measures, the curry itself clocks in at around 400 calories, with yogurt and whatever carbs you fancy (chapatis or naan are ideal, but rice works fine as well) adding a bit extra on top. I had a mini naan from Tesco with mine (I couldn’t quite face making chapatis after my first day back at work!), which only added 127 calories to the total.

Do give this a go if you want something comforting during the winter months, but without the fat. I promise that it’ll cheer you up! In the meantime, I’ll think about something interesting to bake for the next post… all suggestions are welcome!

Sweet potato, red lentil and spinach curry
Sweet potato, red lentil and spinach curry recipe

Serves 2, easily doubled

Approx. 400 calories per serving, not including rice/bread

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 0.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 0.5 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 small white or red onion, chopped
  • 1 thin green chilli, finely chopped
  • a 1-inch cube of ginger, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
  • 0.25 tsp red chilli powder
  • 0.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 80g red lentils
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered, or 1-2 larger tomatoes, chopped
  • 160g frozen spinach (or approx. 100g of fresh spinach)
  • 0.5 tsp ground cloves (or 4-5 whole cloves)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • yogurt and rice/chapattis/naan, to serve

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. If using whole cloves, add those too.
  2. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the chopped onion and fry gently for a couple of minutes, being careful to not let the seeds burn.
  3. Add the green chilli, ginger, garlic, red chilli powder and turmeric and cook – still very gently – for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  4. Stir in the sweet potatoes, carrot, red lentils and tomatoes.
  5. Pour in enough hot water to just about cover the contents of the pan and bring to the boil, before putting a lid on the pan and simmering on a low heat for 20 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan, and top up with water if required (but try not to, as the spinach will release water anyway).
  6. Add the spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Take the pan off the hob and stir in the ground cloves, ground cumin, garam masala and coriander. Season with salt to taste.
  8. Remove the whole cloves if you used them (but don’t worry if you can’t find them – just warn any guests!). Serve with a dollop of yogurt and naan, chapattis or rice as desired.