No, I didn’t go on the baking bender to end all benders in one night. I made these three recipes – frosted walnut layer cake, peanut butter cookies and Oreo brownies – over the course of the last few weeks, but haven’t had a lot of time to blog about them what with planning a wedding, organising my hen do, training for a 10K and, of course, just normal everyday life!
I thought it would help to blog about all three recipes at the same time, rather than labouring over three separate posts. And, hey, you get to drool over even more baked goods than usual!
Mary Berry’s frosted layer cake
I made this cake (pictured above) for my fiancé, who has been begging me to bake it ever since it turned up in a technical challenge on last year’s Great British Bake Off. It was fairly challenging, so I can only imagine how difficult it is without a full recipe to follow!
This is basically three layers of walnut sponge sandwiched with a big pile of buttercream and smothered with an even bigger pile of icing. There’s so much sugar in this recipe – be warned if your teeth tingle at the merest hint of sweetness!
The icing was quite tricky, and didn’t seem to completely set (I can’t remember from the show whether it’s supposed to, though), but I was pleased with my caramelised walnuts. I think my favourite bit of the cake was the buttercream, to be honest!
You can find the recipe on BBC Food here.
Peanut butter cookies
I made these when I found myself without any baked goods in the house, which really isn’t a great situation to be in. The recipe is from Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet. I followed it to the letter, using spelt flour rather than the other option of wholemeal, but added a chopped up Twirl (milk chocolate fingers for the international readers out there!) at the last minute, just for the hell of it.
The cookies were gorgeously peanutty, but also ridiculously sweet! I don’t know if that’s down to the brand of peanut butter I used (think it was the ultra cheap stuff from Asda), the addition of the chocolate, or because Dan really does call for too much sugar, but just be warned! I’d tone it down next time by reducing the overall amount of sugar from 325g to about 200g.
The texture was rather interesting – they weren’t soft like a traditional cookie, but had more of a biscuit-like crunch, and also had distinct layers, which I assume is down to the bicarb. You can find the recipe on the Guardian website here.
The recipe is just my usual brownie recipe, with a packet of roughly chopped Oreos thrown in:
Makes 16 brownies
- 320g dark chocolate
- 250g unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 125g dark brown sugar
- 125g caster sugar
- 85g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 154g packet of Oreos, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/160C/140C fan. Grease and line a 20cm square tin.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a pan or in a bowl set above a pan of simmering water. Set aside and leave to cool slightly.
- Whisk the eggs until pale then add the sugars and whisk again thoroughly.
- Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir the Oreos in to coat.
- Add the flour and Oreo mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Pour the mix into the tin and bake for about 1 hour, checking the brownies after 40 mins in case your oven is better than mine!
- Once the brownies look set on top, remove them from the oven and leave them in the tin to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing them up.