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S’more cupcakes

Since we first visited America three years ago my friend and I have been slightly obsessed with s’mores??- in particular the cupcake variety! So what is a smore???It is a campfire treat that consists of roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwhiched between two pieces of a graham cracker (kind of like a digestive biscuit.)

So with my friend coming over for afternoon tea at my place to celebrate her birthday, I decided to FINALLY make these cupcakes.

That said, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. There is no such thing as a lactose free digestive biscuit. My original plan had been to put a full cookie at the base of my cupcake, but this wasn’t going to happen! Instead I grabbed some chocolate chip cookies and decided to blend them and sprinkle them in the batter.?? The issue? The crunch didn’t quite come through. You could taste that there was something different in that section, but not the cookie.

Second issue? I wanted a bit of extra marshmallow hit so I pushed marshmallow into the batter. When it cooked though they melted! So while the marshmallow flavour was present in the cupcake… it was more as a sticky, slightly sweeter chocolate cupcake.

But despite things not working out as I had hoped, these were pretty damn awesome! Almost nothing is better than a marshmallow frosting, and these were rich, sticky, sweet and chocolatey. I wont admit to how many of these I ate… but I will say that it was disgraceful!

S’mores are something that I genuinly wish we had here when I was a kid – if you thought roasting a marshmallow around the campfire was fun – add in melty chocolate and cookie to that! yummmmm!

PS – if you want to look weird – take a cupcake outside and photograph it.

Chocolate cupcakes

??2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 ?? tbsp cocoa powder
?? tsp baking power
?? tsp salt
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
?? cup plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
?? cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cookies (I used chocolate chip), blended
Marshmallows??????

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 170C. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan; stir frequently until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan; let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined.?? Stir in the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix.

Place a tablespoon of mixture in the bottom of each of the prepared muffin tins. Cover with a sprinkling of cookie crumbs. Cover with mixture, until about three-fourths full. Place a marshmallow on top of the mixture, and push into the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, 22-24 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for about 5minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.

Marshmallow frosting??

2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp water
1 tbsp light corn syrup
?? tsp cream of tartar
Pinch salt
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla extract??

In a large, clean, heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar, water, corn syrup, tartar and salt. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the mixture until it is very warm and soft peaks form. Reduce the mixer to low and add in the marshmallows and vanilla. Continue beating until the marshmallows melt and the frosting is completely smooth.??

Sprinkle with crumbled cookies on top.

Pizza scrolls

I wanted a simple and quick dish to serve for afternoon tea and my mind instantly went to “pizza scrolls!” I knew everyone would love them, and I even contemplated buying puff pastry to whip them up in a matter of minutes. But I am glad I didn’t because having made the pastry for it, it was nice and thick, filling and much more of a pizza dough consistency.

I made two kinds, a ham and cheese version and a mushroom and feta. I am really into mushrooms at the moment… the boy HATES them but the night before I made these, we had homemade pizza for dinner and I made myself a mushroom, garlic and basil pizza that was DELICIOUS. The craving continued onto my mushroom version of the scrolls and I also snuck some into our pasta this week (Shh… don’t tell the boy!)

It is really good sometimes to get back to basics. My brain is constantly occupied with thoughts of “what can I attempt next?” but I know it can’t be all crazy concoctions… sometimes simple is best. The people around you will appreciate anything you make for them because you made it yourself!

Pizza Scrolls??

Ingredients

  • 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 90g butter, cut into cubes
  • 160ml (2/3 cup) milk
  • Plain flour, to dust
  • 60g (1/4 cup) pizza sauce
  • 80g (1 cup) coarsely grated cheddar
  • 150g sliced leg ham, coarsely chopped
  • Extra milk, to brush
??Method
  1. Preheat oven to 210??C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the milk. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until evenly incorporated and the mixture begins to hold together.
  2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into a 30 x 40cm rectangle.
  3. Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Sprinkle with the cheddar and??ham. (Or whatever concoction you have decided to use!) Starting from a long side, roll up firmly to form a log. Brush the edge with a little extra milk and press down firmly to seal the log. Cut crossways into 12 equal portions, about 3cm thick. Place scrolls on the prepared tray. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. (Mine took maybe 15 minutes?)??Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Chicken Ceasar Sandwiches

I have been craving vegetables lately. This makes the boy sad… his idea of vegetables is salad and with this extremely cold Winter we are currently experiencing, well, salad is the last thing on my mind. Instead, it has been roast vegetable risotto, roast vegetable pasta, roast vegetable… well, you get the idea.

The boy’s favourite thing in the world is ceasar salad, in particular, a roast chicken one. In the Summer months we would probably eat it about 3 times a month, THAT is how much he loves it! So when I saw Chicken Ceasar Sandwiches on Annie’s Eats blog I almost slapped myself in the head – DUH that is the perfect Sunday laid back dinner.

I didn’t quite make mine the same as Annie… for one, I couldn’t be bothered making my own ceasar dressing, and I just bought a roast chook because that was simpler… but it was a delicious meal! Also, surprisingly filling! I barely got through my roll. Will definately be adding this to the list to make again.

Chicken Caesar Club Sandwiches
From Annies Eats

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts (whole or boneless, skinless)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1-1?? tsp. anchovy paste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1?? tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
?? cup mayonnaise
1 long loaf ciabatta bread, or 4 ciabatta sandwich rolls
Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried (or baby spinach or arugula)
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Sliced bacon, cooked until partly crisp

Directions:??
Preheat the oven to 350?? F. ??Lightly rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. ??Roast for 30-40 minutes, until cooked through. ??Let rest 10 minutes, then slice thickly. ??Set aside.

To make the Caesar dressing, combine the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor. ??Pulse until finely minced, scraping down the sides as needed. ??Add the anchovy paste, mustard, lemon juice and mayonnaise. ??Process until smooth and well blended. ??Adjust seasonings to taste if necessary. ??Refrigerate the dressing if not using right away.

Slice the bread in half horizontally. ?? Toast if desired. ??Spread both cut sides of the bread lightly with the Caesar dressing. ??Layer the bottom half of the bread with the romaine leaves, then top with shaved Parmesan, cooked bacon slices, and sliced chicken. ??Top with additional romaine if desired. ??Place the top half of the bread on top, enclosing the sandwich fillings. ??If using a loaf of ciabatta, slice the assembled sandwich into individual servings. ??Serve immediately.

The Sugar Junkies guide to chocolate cravings ??? allergy style

It has been a year since I was first diagnosed with a cows milk allergy. At first I was relieved – finally I had a reason why I always felt sick, why my stomach was so bloated, why I was in so much pain. Then the panic set in. My allergy was the highest level it could be, so even the slightest bit of dairy from now on was going to hurt.

It took from September right up until the new year for the dairy to work its way out of my system, but there was a time in those first few weeks of the new year (when quite frankly I was ready to give up and go back to eating what I felt like – stomach pain be damned!) that the pain suddenly stopped. That I felt healthy again and I stopped looking like a pregnant lady.

The hardest part for me has been finding a good solution for my sweet tooth. As the name suggests, I love my sugar. In particular, I love my chocolate. It is the thing I run to after a bad day and the one thing I crave.

So here is my guide to surviving chocolate cravings: allergy style.

Freedom Foods Chocolate Blitz Cookies:

These are like biting into really dry, icky cookies. They don’t have much flavour – good or bad, but the texture is really off. And for all its claims of being dairy free – it has a disclaimer that says that while THEY don’t put dairy into it, they do buy their dairy free chocolate from a source that may have contamination issues. Dairy free fail.

On the whole I would rate most of Freedom Foods products quite bad. Just because I can’t eat dairy, doesn’t mean I don’t like flavour.

Sweet William Dairy Free Chocolate:

This is quite a good chocolate alternative – it has the creaminess of real chocolate and the taste is spot on. It is surprisingly not my number one chocolate alternative but it is available at the supermarket, and the easiest option to find. I find though it doesn’t work as well in cooking as other brands.

LEDA Nutrition Choc Chip Cookies:

These are pretty much free of all allergens and you know what? They taste like a REAL cookie. They are crunchy, chocolatey and the only difference between that and the packets of cookies available in the biscuit aisle is that these have a little bit of coconut in them.

LEDA Nutrition Choculence:

I call these my fake tim tams. I am extremely mad at my local Woolworths because we are coming up to two weeks now with no fake tim tams in sight, and well that doesn’t make for a happy Sugar Junkie! Now, nothing compares to a real Tim Tam, but this is kind of like eating the Homebrand version. Chocolate wise it hits the spot, but I doubt you could do a Tim Tam Slam with these. They also have a mint slice version which is very nice.

Kinnerton luxury dark chocolate:

I rate this as my top choice for allergy free chocolates. This tastes like regular dark chocolate, although perhaps a touch harder when you bite into it. It cooks fantastically well. It is very rich and nobody can tell that it is not real chocolate.

AktaVite:

Now, those who grew up Milo drinkers may hate the suggestion of AktaVite, but my Dad was big on this alternative and now I always make sure to have a can of this in our pantry as it is a great chocolate craving breaker. Also, I found the switch over to soy milk quite difficult (I used to love my milk!) and so having this to flavour the soy milk helped me get used to it. Milo is definitely not dairy free but NesQuik is, although they sometimes have warnings on their labels about cross contamination with milk.

My biggest advice for chocolate loving allergy sufferers is to avoid the healthchocolate options that nutritionists give you. They are powdery, gross and not at all a real substitute for chocolate. It tastes nothing like the real thing and there is no convincing yourself otherwise.

If anyone has any other chocolate suggestions for me, I would love to hear them!

Do you like pina coladas?

What about getting caught in the rain? OK enough of that… I have had the song in my head all weekend!

The boy very kindly volunteered us to host Father’s Day afternoon tea for his family and so I had been wracking my brain trying to think of an appropriate dessert given that they aren’t huge on sweets. Thankfully, just as the stress began to set in (Friday afternoon, when I should have been working!) inspiration hit me! Pina colada cupcakes! My father in law was obsessed with these when we were in Fiji and so I knew that at least he would like them!

I scoured the internet for an appropriate recipe and there are so many out there! Most seemed to do theirs with a coconut cake and pineapple frosting, which I thought was a tad strange given that is the opposite of the layering of the actual cocktail but I went with it. I found a wonderful recipe on The Desserts for Breakfast blog and promptly set about making them.

The coconut cake part was excellent – I was slightly worried as they were cooking… the inside stayed so moist it was hard to determine when they were done. But that moist coconut flavour definately packed a punch when you ate it!

The pineapple icing I wasn’t as in love with. It didn’t have the flavour I was really after. That said – I had to use canned pineapple because me and fresh pineapple are not friends. Last time I attempted to cut a pineapple, well, I ended up cutting myself. Perhaps that is why instead of a really pineappley flavour, I got a very mild one. I even pretty much doubled the quantity of pineapple puree to no avail!

That said, they were very yummy and not a heavy cupcake at all. I don’t know if I would make these again, I much prefer chocolate based cupcakes over fruit ones, but they were certainly appreciated by the family!

Coconut cupcakes
From Desserts for Breakfast
makes about 36 cupcakes (I halved this and only got 12 cupcakes)

180 grams egg whites (~6 eggs)
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
1 1/2 tspn coconut extract
400 grams flour
2 Tbspn baking powder (if making a cake instead of cupcakes, decrease this amount to 5 tspn)
1 tspn salt
2 sticks butter, at room temperature (1 cup)
375 grams sugar
1 cup coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (175C)
2. In a bowl, whisk together egg whites.  Add 1/3 cup coconut milk, vanilla extract, and coconut extract.  Whisk to combine.  Set aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
4. Place butter in a mixer bowl.  Beat on low for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
5. Gradually add sugar to the butter and beat for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
6. Add 1 cup coconut milk to the butter and sugar mixture.  Beat until combined.
7. In three parts, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the batter.  Beat thoroughly between each addition.
8. Spoon or pipe batter into cupcake molds, filling the molds about halfway.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.  (For mini-cupcakes, bake 15 minutes.)
10. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.

Fresh pineapple puree

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 medium-large pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar and water without stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
2. Add the pineapple to the boiling sugar water and return to a complete rolling boil, without stirring.
3. Remove from heat and cover the pot with a lid.  Let cool overnight.
4. Once cooled, drain the liquid from the pineapple.  Save the syrup for other uses.
5. Put the pineapple in a food processor and process until completely pureed with no chunks.  You will need 1/2 cup of this pineapple puree for the buttercream.  Save the rest for eating on its own or other uses.

Pineapple Italian Meringue Buttercream

11 oz. sugar (310g)
5 oz. water (140g)
150 grams egg whites
65 grams sugar
1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, at room temperature (2 cups)
1/2 cup fresh pineapple puree
2 Tbspn rum or tequila, optional
shredded coconut, optional
sprinkles, optional

1. Combine water and 11 oz. sugar in a small pot over medium-high heat.  Without stirring, bring to a boil and let cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F.
2. Meanwhile, place the egg whites in a mixer bowl. With the whisk attachment, begin whisking the egg whites when the syrup cooking on the stove reaches 220 degrees F.  Start whisking on low until the whites begin to foam, then increase speed to high and gradually add the remainder of the sugar.  Whip until soft peaks.
3. Once the syrup has reached 240 degrees F (soft ball stage) and the whites have been whipped to soft peaks, gradually pour the syrup in a small stream into the egg whites, whisking on medium high continuously.  Be careful not to allow the sugar syrup to fall on the beaters.
4. Continue whisking until the bowl of the mixer is at body temperature and not warm anymore.
5. Slowly begin to add the butter, about a half tablespoon at a time.
6. Once all of the butter is incorporated, continue whisking while adding the pineapple puree and alcohol, if using. If the mixture looks curdled, keep whisking until consistency is restored.
7. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes when complete, top with shredded coconut and sprinkles, if desired.

Lemon Coconut Cake

I have to talk about this cake for a minute. I made it for the home wedding for Bens sister and it was a huge hit. The recipe has had to be sent out to people who liked it that much. Sadly, I did not get an inside picture as it was cut up and distributed before I could, but I was so impressed with how it turned out! It looked like a proper cake – the layers were even, the icing held up really well and the lemon curd in the middle.

I will post the original recipe and then note my variations.

Lemon coconut cake 

Ingredients (serves 10)

  • 250g butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons lemon rind
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon butter (I made lemon curd instead)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
    Fluffy frosting (I made coconut swiss meringue buttercream instead.)
  • 2 eggwhites
  • 1 cup caster sugar

 Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 22cm (base) round cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper.  
  2. Place butter, lemon rind, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy.  
  3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add half the flour. Stir to combine. Add half the milk. Stir to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.  
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  
  5. Make Fluffy frosting: Place eggwhites, sugar and 2 tablespoons cold water in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture for 8 to 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove bowl from heat. Beat for 5 minutes or until cool.  (I made swiss meringue buttercream flavoured with coconut essence. It holds up a lot better. Try this recipe.)
  6. Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half crossways. Place base on a plate. Spread lemon butter (or lemon curd) over base. Spread 1 cup frosting over lemon layer (I omitted this). Sprinkle with 1/2 cup coconut. Sandwich together with cake top. Spread remaining frosting over top and side of cake. Sprinkle 1/4 cup coconut over top of cake. Press remaining coconut into side of cake. Serve.

jam donut cupcakes

The kitchenaid and I have been busy. Last weekend we baked 2 batches of cupcakes and a cake for Ben’s sisters “home” wedding. Amongst the many cupcakes were these jam donut cupcakes, made for the groom who loves donut cake from donut king. He loved them – although he said he would have preferred the fake jam in them!

The recipe only makes 6, and I have made them before and ONLY gotten 6, but for some reason when I tripled the recipe I ended up with 24 cupcakes. That was OK with me – more testing!

Jam Donut Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar, plus 1/2 cup extra to coat
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 175ml buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp good-quality strawberry jam
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

 Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 6-hole muffin pan.
  2. Sift the flour into a medium bowl, then add a pinch of salt and the caster sugar. In a jug, combine the vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Add to the dry mixture and stir to only just combine. Place a spoonful of the mixture in each muffin hole and make an indent in the centre. Fill each indent with a generous 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry jam. Cover the jam with the remaining muffin mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter. Combine the extra sugar and the cinnamon in a large bowl. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, brush each muffin with the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Serve while still a little warm.

Review: Just Yummy

Since I was diagnosed with my cows milk allergy, I will admit it has been a bit of a struggle to eat out or to find products that replace ones I used to eat. (A bring a plate morning tea is my worst nightmare!)

My Naturopath actually gave me the card for Just Yummy way back when I was first diagnosed, given that they are not too far away from me and I had always intended to go… but, well, life happens. So this past weekend we stopped past and I ordered a sausage roll, a chicken and vegetable pie, a choc chip cookie and a brownie. I was like a kid in a candy store, knowing I can eat ANYTHING I want from their shelves.

They specialise in baking goods for people with allergies and I must say, the variety they offer is quite wide. They also offer a cake baking service which would be good for parents who dont know much about allergies for birthday parties.

But… upon tasting the goods, well… I was pretty dissapointed.

I will start with my sausage roll and pie. When I ordered them, the lady warned me to make sure to defrost them in the microwave first, because the more frozen they are when they go into the oven, the harder the pastry would become. So, I did just that. Then I put them in the oven for a short period of time… and well… the pastry was rock hard. I couldnt even get my fork through the sausage roll pastry! The filling was nice though.

The chicken pie filling was really tasty, but again, the pastry was hard and it was like eating cardboard, the parts I did eat. For the most part I just ate the filling and left the pastry for the bin.

I had such high hopes for the brownie. I love a baked treat, and I thought to myself, if this is any good then that bakery has got a regular Saturday visitor on their hands! But… well, unfortunately it was not meant to be. The chocolate flavour just wasnt there and the cocoa they used gave a real powdery texture to the brownie. It was also quite rich, so it took me 3 different tries to get through it.

That leaves us with the cookie. The first bite of this cookie made me feel like I would break my teeth! It was rock hard. Which wouldnt be that hard to tell, given all the cracks in the photo. Truth be told, I do like my cookies on the chewy side rather than crunchy, but still! Ow!

The cookie was in desperate need of vanilla, and a touch more sugar to give it a good flavour. This was just not up to scratch… I ended up eating around the cookie part and going for the chocolate bits.

All up, I am quite dissapointed. I had visions of filling my freezer with yummy pies and treats that I can eat for lunch without having to go to the effort of making it all myself, but I am just not willing to sacrifice on taste. It is a real shame as so many people out there do suffer from allergies, and the further away from the city you live, the harder it can be to find tasty food.

Unfortunately, I won’t be back.

Just Yummy
SHOP 13 MEADOWGATE DRIVE, CHIRNSIDE PARK VIC 3116

Another year older…

I have recently celebrated my birthday and tipped the scales from mid-20’s to my late 20’s. The older I am getting, the more pressure I feel to be more “grown up”. Somehow, despite owning a house, having a career and not getting rediculously drunk every weekend, I still don’t quite feel as if I have reached the stage of grown up. Maybe it is due to the fact that I squeel everytime I see a cupcake?

This has been an interesting birthday. I have been surrounded by a lot of love and well wishes and spoilt by some WONDERFUL presents.

Why yes, those are Babushka measuring cup dolls.

Oh… and I got this:

Sorry for the bad photo…. I will get around to doing a proper photoshoot later.

And that caused me to make these:

That is super strawberry cupcakes, with proper buttercream! It is amazing the difference a proper mixer makes… every single time I had attempted to make buttercream in the past, I couldnt get it to work because my hand mixer didnt have enough power. But this, well you just set it all going and 10 minutes later, the most delicious, creamy, smooth icing ever. No more icing sugar for me!

So… while I have had a great birthday it was also a bit of a devestating weekend. The boys mother has stage 2 breast cancer and begins her treatment this week. Naturally, the entire family is upset, scared, and wondering what will happen. But they have caught it early, and the survival rates are so high these days that I am sure it will all be OK.

Cold night cure: Brownie pudding

It has been so cold lately. And one thing I am not the hugest fan of is cold! Anything below 27 degrees and I will usually be found with a jacket on and telling you it is chilly!

But a good chocolate pudding always makes the cold nights just a touch warmer! Ever since I discovered how easy it is to make a self saucing chocolate pudding last year, well, let’s just say that my waist line has not been happy with me. And given my dairy allergy, the fact that it only uses cocoa makes it even better!

Recently though, I saw a new kind of pudding over at the blog, Annie’s Eats. Brownie Pudding. I HAD to give it a go. And my sister’s recent birthday gave me the perfect excuse to try it out. My gosh… it was the perfect mixture of gooey, chewy and so so chocolatey! Of course, I didn’t want to serve up a dud of a recipe for my sister, so I had to make extra and “try it out” the night before.

Sorry about my dodgy photos – I guess I must have been so excited to eat this that I didn’t realise they were so blurry!

Brownie Pudding

via Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish (1 cup of butter – or nutellex in my case!)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa powder
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (I used vanilla bean paste)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. (170C)  Lightly butter a 2-quart (2 litre) oval baking dish.  Melt the 2 sticks of butter and set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until thick and light yellow in color.  Meanwhile, combine the flour and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and whisk together until blended.

When the eggs and sugar are finished mixing, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixing bowl.  Add the flour-cocoa powder mixture to the bowl as well.  Mix on low speed just until combined.  With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the melted butter and mix again just until combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Place the baking dish in a larger baking pan.  Add very hot tap water to the outer baking pan to create a water bath, coming halfway up the side of the baking dish.  Bake for 60 minutes.  The center will appear very under-baked, that is the way the dessert should be.  Allow to cool slightly before serving with ice cream.

Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten