Cooking With Charl

Amateur home cook, with a love for baking and all things garlic :)

Chocolate chip cookies

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These chocolate chip cookies are really quick to make and are packed full of chocolate! They also double up as a great DIY cookie mix gift, by layering up the ingredients inside a lock tight jar tying with ribbon and placing the method on a tag. Fantastic as a last minute gift or to bake when friends come over, they don’t stick around for long!!!

Ingredients

115g butter
115g light brown sugar
1 egg
100g porridge oats
1 tbsp milk
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
170g plain chocolate
170g milk chocolate

Method

– Preheat oven to 180c/ gm 4, line and grease 2 baking sheets

– Mix softened butter and sugar together until well combined and paler in colour.

– Add the egg, mix well and add the oats and milk.

– When mixed together add the flour and baking powder and mix until all the ingredients come together.

– Place chocolate into a bag and smash with a rolling pin until broken into pieces. I like to leave it fairly chunky.

– Stir in the chocolate and place tablespoon size dollops of the mixture onto baking sheets. Wet hands and gently press the down slightly.

– Bake in the oven for around 15-20 mins depending on how dark you want them. They will still be quite soft when cooked and will harden when cooled.

– Leave to cool for at least 5 mins as the melted chocolate will be molten!

This is the gift I made my friend with the addition of cocoa powder 🙂

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Happy baking 🙂

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S’mores Brownies (chocolate marshmallow)

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This recipe is not one for the faint hearted! Very calorific but very worth it! 🙂 it’s based on the American pop tart variety s’mores. Which is filled with melted chocolate and marshmallow. Enough said.
All it took was a mention of brownies from my friend and that was it, these s’mores brownies were born! They have a buttery biscuit base with gooey chocolate brownie with chocolate chunks and almond pieces topped with toasted marshmallow 🙂 enjoy 🙂

Ingredients

Biscuit Base

160g digestive biscuits
30g melted butter
2 tbsp caster sugar

Brownie

150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
130g milk chocolate
280g unsalted butter
3 eggs
280g caster sugar
125g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
85g milk chocolate (broken into pieces)
85g white chocolate (broken into pieces)
50g dark chocolate (broken into pieces)
50g almonds (broken into pieces)
Almonds optional and other nuts can be used.

Toasted marshmallow top

100g white marshmallows

Method

Line a 23cm square baking tin and grease well. Preheat oven to 180c/gm4.

Smash the biscuits until they resemble breadcrumbs, this can be done in a food processor but a great job for kids or friends that linger in the kitchen!

Combine the melted butter, sugar and biscuits in a bowl until well combined.

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Place the biscuit mix into the baking tin and press down with a spatula, trying to make sure it’s even in the tin.

Bake in the oven for 20 mins until golden brown.

While the base is cooking, melt the dark and milk chocolate together with the butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl! Then leave to cool slightly.

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(I had to improvise with a pirex baking dish as I didn’t have a glass bowl!)

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and frothy and add the cooled melted chocolate and gently mix together

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Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and gently combine. When mixed add the broken mixed chocolate and almonds.

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Pour the brownie mixture ontop of the cooled biscuit base, I decorated with white chocolate buttons but its not really needed as the marshmallow will cover the brownie.

Bake in the oven for 40-50 mins depending on how gooey you like your brownies!

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Yoshi’s back in the kitchen with Kay unfortunately this is most definitely not doggy friendly!!!

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When baked cover the top of the brownie with marshmallows and place under a medium low grill to melt and toast slightly, this does not take long so keep an eye on it!

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This can be very difficult to cut so as tempting as it is leave to cool completely and gently cut with a serrated knife.

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Although very sickly these are absolute heaven! Even better if slightly warmed in the microwave! But make sure you cut them small as you can always go back for more!

Happy baking 🙂

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Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling (a mary berry adaptation)

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I absolutley love carrot cake, but its something i rarely bake myself as i can never get my cream cheese frosting just right, but i came across these little lovelys in the new good food magazine. originally from a feature on Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief by Mary Berry.

Now im not one to ever tamper with any of Marys recipes but i struggled with the ingredient ‘shredded bran cereal’ that she uses, as this could be a number of things, and we are not ceareal eaters in the house, and i wanted to make these quickly so i subsituted for porridge oats which i love in muffins anyway, so really this was nothing more than an experiment, which thankfully worked in my favor 🙂

Ingredients

(makes 12)

For the filling

  • 150g cream cheese
  • grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

For the muffins,

  • 50g porridge oats
  • 225ml milk
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 150g grated carrot
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 200g self raising flour (if using plain flour add 2 tsps baking powder, 3 in total)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 220c/gm7, place 12 muffin cases in muffin tins and set aside.
  • Place porridge oats in a bowl, cover with the milk and add the zest of half an orange, leave to sit for 5 mins.
  • In a large bowl add the light brown sugar, carrots and the porridge mixture and give it a good mix.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into the bowl but DO NOT MIX.
  • Break the eggs into a measuring jug with the oil and mix together until the eggs are properly broken up. Add this to the large mixing bowl and combine everything together.
  • Mix together the cream cheese, caster sugar and 1/2 orange zest in a small bowl and set aside.
  • With a tablespoon place a dollop of the batter in each muffin case, making sure to cover the bottom of the case, then add a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling in the centre of each muffin.
  • Use the rest of the batter to spoon over the filling making sure all cakes are evenly filled.
  • Bake in the over for 15-20 mins until the cakes spring back when touched and are golden brown in colour.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack and eat within 1 day.

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I was quite impressed with my experiment and I think the porridge gives the cakes a nice texture 🙂 and after having friends over there are only 2 left!

If you want the original recipe you can find it through the Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief’s website.

Happy baking 🙂

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Gingerbread

This is my ‘better late than never’ gingerbread recipe. It featured in my christmas post, which shows the shortbread and gingerbread star cookies I gave as gifts for Christmas. Although gingerbread is traditionally a christmas thing, it’s good all year round, and ginger is fantastic for settling a funny tummy!

You will need

350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g butter
175g light soft brown sugar
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup

Method

  • Place flour, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon into a food processor, add the butter and mix until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.
  • If you don’t have a food processor rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Mix the egg and golden syrup together and add to the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Mix either by hand or in a processor until the mixture clumps together into a ball.
  • Knead the mixture to bring it all together and form a ball, refrigerate for around 20 mins.
  • Roll out the dough and cut whatever shapes you like! I like to make small stars as they are good as gifts and great for the biscuit tin!
  • Traditionally, people like to cut men out of the dough, which is great for children to decorate!
  • Preheat the oven to 180c/gm 4 and grease baking trays, greaseproof paper always works best 🙂
  • Place cut out shapes on the baking trays and place in the fridge for 30 mins (this helps maintain the shape when cooking).
  • Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins for stars and 12-15 for gingerbread men.
  • When baked, the cookies should be slightly darker in colour and may still be a little soft but will harden when cooling.
  • When cooled decorate however you wish 🙂

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I hope this recipe inspires you to make gingerbread whatever time if year!

Happy baking 🙂

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Cupcakes (basic recipe)

This recipe is especially for my friend Ali , she likes to bake but always cheats with cake mixes! (Much to my disgust! Lol) I’ve told her how easy it is to make cupcakes from scratch and thought I’d post it on here for others to have a look 🙂

This recipe can easily be doubled or used as a basic Victoria sponge recipe if divided between 2 shallow cake tins.

You will need

(Makes 6 large cupcakes)

110g self raising flour ( for plain flour add 2 tsp baking powder)
100g unsalted softened butter
100g caster sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
1egg
2tbsp milk

Method

There are so many techniques that people use for sponge, I find the all in one method works well for a basic sponge. I have included 2 techniques in this recipe 🙂

The ‘all in one’ method

  • Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until well combined

The creaming method

  • Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until light and creamy.
  • Gradually mix in the egg and vanilla.
  • Fold in the flour (and baking powder if using plain flour) a little at a time.
  • When mixture seems to appear stiff add the milk and then continue to add the flour.

BAKE

Separate into 6 muffin cases and bake in a preheated oven at 180c gm4 for 15-20 mins until cakes spring back when touched.

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BASIC BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

150g butter
300g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp milk

Whisk all ingredients together until light and fluffy, start slowly making sure icing sugar doesn’t fly everywhere.

Using a star shaped nozzle, fill a piping bag with the buttercream frosting and pipe swirls on top on cooled cupcakes starting from the outside working into the middle.

VARIATIONS

I will be doing separate posts for other cupcakes as I tend to bake a few different types, these are just 2 of my favourite recipes that I bake. You can get many different decorations now from the supermarket such as stars, silver balls, glitter etc which make a simple cake look special! Fantastic given as a gift 🙂

Vanilla chocolate marble cupcakes (picture)

  • Make cupcake batter as normal, when well combined split the mixture into two equal portions and mix 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder into one half.
  • One teaspoon at a time, fill the cupcake cases with alternate chocolate and vanilla batter until 3/4 full.
  • Take a teaspoon handle and gently swirl the 2 mixtures together in the cases, careful not to over mix.
  • Bake as normal 180c gm 4 for 15-20 mins
  • For the chocolate frosting I just add a teaspoon of cocoa powder into the basic buttercream frosting.

Sticky jam cupcakes

  • Make basic cupcake batter.
  • Put 2 teaspoons of batter in each cupcake case and make a small dip in the middle.
  • Place a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each cupcake and then continue to fill with remaining batter.
  • Bake as normal 180c gm4 for 15-20 mins, when cool decorate with buttercream frosting
  • As I say this is my fool proof cupcake recipe that I always fall back on, and once you’ve mastered this you can become quite inventive with flavours and frostings.

Happy baking 🙂

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