Sunday, 27 April 2014

Smarties Cookies

My last two posts have been "egg white only", so I thought I should even the odds a bit and post a "yolk only" recipe. To be honest, I actually made these cookies on the same day as the Creme Egg mousse, so as not to waste the yolk! These cookies are soft, sweet and chewy - which provides a nice contract to the crunchy shells of the smarties. Needless to say, they are SUPER tasty.

The cookie recipe is based loosely on this one here. (I used it to figure out quantities of butter and sugar). I was still in birthday mode when I made these, hence the sprinkles. But let's be honest, who doesn't love sprinkles?

75g margarine
125g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
1 tub smarties
15g chocolate chips
Sprinkles (if desired)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes
Makes 12 cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 and line a baking sheet with grease proof paper.
  2. Beat the margarine and sugar together until creamy, then add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and best until fluffy.
  3. Add the flour, smarties and chocolate chips (and sprinkles!!) to the bowl, and mix together until a soft dough forms.
  4. Roll the dough into 12 balls (around 30g each) and place these onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure to leave plenty of space between the cookies, as they will spread!
  5. Bake the cookies for 18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven but leave to cool on the baking tray for another 5 minutes - the cookies will firm up as they cool. Once firm enough to move, transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Taste one, just to make sure they are OK. Then taste another, just in case that first one was a fluke. ;-)

Happy Thoughts

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Creme Egg Mousse

Happy Easter!!

So, last Sunday I was at the garage with my other half, when I spotted a pack of 6 Creme Eggs on offer for £1.50. When I picked them up, Ali gave me a look which said "seriously, a week before Easter and you're buying MORE chocolate?", so I explained, "I want to make something Eastery for my blog." And we left it at that.

Later that same day, I was browsing some recipe books looking for something for dessert, when I came across a recipe for Mars Bar Mousse in Good Food's 101 Tempting Desserts. That gave me an idea - what if I made Creme Egg mousse, instead!? So, I did, and they turned out pretty tasty. The end result is a light, fluffy mousse, sitting on top of a layer of chocolate sauce. And guess what? IT ACTUALLY TASTES OF CREME EGG!

You can thank me later.

2 Creme Eggs
30ml milk
1tbsp cocoa powder
1tsp cornflour
1 egg white
Chocolate stars, to decorate

Prep time: 15 mins
Set time: at least 2 hours
Serves: 2

  1. Okay, so you start with the tricky part. Chop your creme eggs into smallish chunks, without losing too much creme. Pop this in a small saucepan with the milk and cocoa powder.
  2. Put the pan on a low heat and stir continuously with a whisk until the chocolate has melted. Add the cornflour and continue to whisk for a further 3 minutes. You want the mixture to get hot so that it thickens, but you don't want to let it boil or you may spoil the chocolate. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
  3. Put your egg white into a glass bowl, and rest this over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, being very careful not to get any water into the bowl. Once the egg whites have reached stiff peaks remove from the bain marie.
  4. Carefully fold the chocolate sauce into the egg whites, until fully combined. Pour this into two serving dishes, and pop in the fridge for at least two hours to set.
  5. Get a spoon, tuck in, and enjoy the chocolate overload. After all, it is Easter!

Happy Thoughts

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Birthday Bars

You know, I never understood the tradition of taking sweet treats into school or work on your birthday. I know it's the done thing, but why? Surely people should be bringing you cake on your birthday, rather than the other way around!?

Anyway, today is my birthday, so I decided to conform and bake something to take into work. However, my plan for the evening is to go to a restaurant with a bunch of my friends and have pudding. Not dinner, just pudding. I'm hoping we can just order a couple of everything, and a bunch of spoons, and then when it all arrives we just tuck in. That's the plan.

When it came to making something to take into work, I thought I should try and make something light and easy going, bearing in mind my plans for the evening. The result of that thinking was a tasty little tray bake, packed full of smarties, chocolate chips and sprinkles, topped with a light meringue frosting and more sprinkles (it is my birthday, after all...)

75g margarine
75g low-fat Greek style yogurt (I used Alpro Soy Yogurt)
50g caster sugar
6 tbsp granulated sweetener
20ml milk
1 medium egg
2 tsps vanilla extract
150g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
38g (1 tube) smarties
10g polka dot sprinkles
30g chocolate chips

For the frosting:
1 egg white
50g caster sugar
3tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
splash of pink food colouring
30g icing sugar
More sprinkles

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Serves: 15

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 and line a square baking pan with greaseproof paper
  2. Add the margarine, yogurt, sugar, sweetener, egg, milk and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Tip the flour, baking powder, smarties, sprinkles and chocolate chips on top of the cake mixture, and fold in until combined. (Adding the "extras" with the flour like this gives them a nice coating of flour which helps to stop them from sinking to the bottom... :-) )
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  5. Move on to the frosting. Whisk the egg white to stiff peaks and put to one side. Pop the sugar and water into a heavy based pan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has melted, then bring the syrup to the boil for a minute or so - be careful not to let this turn to caramel, though! Remove the syrup from the heat, and, whilst whisking, pour it into the egg whites. Once your sugar syrup is well incorporated, add the vanilla extract, food colouring and icing sugar to the mixture and continue to whisk until these have dissolved and you are left with a fluffy, glossy frosting.
  6. Spread the frosting over the tray-bake and top with the remaining sprinkles. Cut into 15 slices, and serve.

Happy Thoughts