Tag: white chocolate

White Chocolate, Raspberry & Macadamia Nut Blondies

White Chocolate, Raspberry & Macadamia Nut Blondies

white chocolate raspberry and macadamia nut blondies

I made these blondies one Sunday a while back and took them into work on the Monday, where they went down an absolute treat. They’re the perfect combination of nutty, fruity and chewy and go excellently with a morning coffee. White chocolate, raspberry and macadamia nut blondies – they are what it says on the tin! But lets go into the detail.

White chocolate and raspberry as everyone knows is a match made in heaven. But to keep the blondies from going cakey with the moisture of fresh raspberries I used the freeze-dried version instead. They give such an intense flavour and mean you can store the blondies much longer…though they may not last that long! The sweet white chocolate drizzle cuts through the tartness so well too, and makes them incredibly moreish.

white chocolate raspberry and macadamia nut blondieswhite chocolate raspberry and macadamia nut blondies

The actual blondies taste so buttery and chewy, like a slightly lighter cousin of the fudgy brownie we all know and love. I use a combination of light brown sugar and regular caster which adds a really lovely caramelly flavour. The macadamia nuts add a slight crunch giving a really interesting texture from the soft blondie base and creamy white chocolate chunks.

I’m all about the convenience baking when it comes to treats like these and these blondies can be whipped up so quickly! They only need 25 minutes in the oven till they’re nicely golden too. As ever though, the hardest part is waiting for them to cool before you can tuck in!

white chocolate raspberry and macadamia nut blondieswhite chocolate raspberry and macadamia nut blondies

I’m a big blondie fan and these are definitely one of my favourite flavour combinations I’ve ever tried. The recipe makes 16 small squares, or 8 large pieces if you’re feeling gluttonous! Though if raspberry & macadamia nuts aren’t your thing, try my white chocolate and pistachio blondies here instead!

Now its getting a bit colder and the darker nights are drawing in, these kinds of treats are perfect with your afternoon hot drink. Your choice whether its a tea, coffee or hot toddy…I won’t tell!

White Chocolate, Raspberry & Macadamia Nut Blondies

Yield: 16 small squares

White Chocolate, Raspberry & Macadamia Nut Blondies

Ingredients

    Blondies
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/8tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 75g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 135g white chocolate chunks
  • 65g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 of 7g freeze dried raspberries pack
    Topping
  • 60g white chocolate
  • 20g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 of 7g freeze dried raspberries pack

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 175C and line a 8x8in baking tin with baking paper on all sides.
  • In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt together, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar and caster sugar. Once combined, add the egg and vanilla extract whisking vigorously. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, being careful not to overmix. Then fold in the chocolate chunks, macadamia nuts and 3/4 of the freeze dried raspberries. The batter will be thick.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. Allow the blondies to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.
  • For the topping, melt the white chocolate over a bain-marie or in the microwave stirring at 30second intervals. Drizzle over the cooled blondies and scatter the remaining macadamia nuts and freeze dried raspberries over the chocolate.
  • Once the chocolate has set, cut into squares and serve.
  • Notes

    Will last for up to one week in an airtight container.

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2017/09/10/white-chocolate-raspberry-macadamia-nut-blondies/

    Christmas Pudding Cookies

    Christmas Pudding Cookies

    christmas pudding cookieschristmas pudding cookies

    I’ve been feeling christmassy since the leaves started falling, but now its less than a month till the big day I think I can get away with vocalising my excitement. Christmas pudding isn’t a favourite dessert for me, but it’s a such a festive tradition that these christmas pudding cookies are the perfect alternative. All of the cute and none of the heavy fruit!

    Christmas for me is all about making and baking presents. I’ve always got some jam on the go, fudge to make and gingerbread to wrap up. The festive season is such a great reason to spend time with family and friends and show my love for them. For me, that’s usually through baked goods. There’s something about receiving something handmade that is so much more special.

    These christmas pudding cookies could totally be used as gifts as they last so well. You can also make the cookie dough up to three days before baking, giving you precious time for festivities! The cookies are really thick and chewy, quite American in style I’d say, which is my favourite kind.

    christmas pudding cookieschristmas pudding cookies

    I used dark chocolate in the dough to balance out the sweet white chocolate decoration. It works really well, which means you get to eat at least two at once without feeling too bad! Always a win in my eyes. The dough is so easy to make, just one bowl, although be careful not to eat it all before baking – its easy done believe me!

    Obviously to make these cookies into christmas pudding cookies, they need the cute decoration. For this, I really simply just melted some white chocolate and piped it on. I made sure to leave the melted chocolate to cool for at least 10 minutes so its easier to pipe, then piped the outline first before filling in. I used the end of a cake tester to make sure the shapes were completely filled, though you could use a cocktail stick instead.

    If you’re going to splurge on one thing for this bake, make it the white chocolate. Cheap white chocolate can taste very synthetic and as its the main decoration I think it deserves to be the star. I used Green & Blacks cooking chocolate which has flecks of vanilla seeds throughout making it all the more luxurious. The little holly and berry decorations were from Waitrose, though I’m sure you could find them in most supermarkets. I think they look so cute. It’s funny how quickly they can go from just plain old cookies, to cute festive christmas puddings!

    Let me know if you bake up a batch as presents, or just for yourself!

    Christmas Pudding Cookies

    Yield: 16 cookies

    Christmas Pudding Cookies

    Ingredients

    • 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 100g light brown soft sugar
    • 1 large egg, room temperature
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 125g plain flour
    • 53g cocoa powder
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 1/8tsp salt
    • 2tbsp milk
    • 200g dark chocolate chips
    • 150g white chocolate, for decoration
    • holly and berry decorations

    Instructions

  • In a large bowl beat the butter for a minute until it's smooth and creamy. Then add both the sugars and using a hand-held mixer, mix on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat on a high speed until thoroughly combined.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Then on a low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick at this point. Switch to a high speed, and add in the milk and dark chocolate chips. The cookie dough will be very sticky and look hard to handle at this point, so it must be chilled before using.
  • Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours, and up to three days. I chilled mine overnight.
  • Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and leave to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, or 30 minutes if you chilled for longer than 3 hours. Preheat oven to 175C and line two large baking trays with baking paper. Scoop and roll balls of cookie dough and place onto the baking trays, I allowed for about 2tbsp of dough per cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. They will feel very soft when you remove them from the oven, so leave to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes. Then place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • For the decoration, melt the white chocolate over a bain marie being careful not to burn the chocolate. Leave to cool for at least 10-15 minutes, then place into a piping bag. Snip off the end, to make a very small hole and pipe the outline of the christmas pudding decoration to make a dam. Then fill the outlines with the remaining chocolate, using a toothpick to smooth out and push the chocolate into the edges. Add the holly and berry decorations and leave to set at room temperature.
  • Notes

    Cookies can be kept for up to one week, sealed at room temperature.

    Cookie recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/11/27/christmas-pudding-cookies/

    White Chocolate and Pistachio Blondies

    White Chocolate and Pistachio Blondies

    white chocolate and pistachio blondieswhite chocolate and pistachio blondies

    I’m a huge brownie fan, my absolute favourite being the Fudgepacker from Konditor & Cook – its incredible!! But sometimes a Blondie, just hits the spot. I feel like a Blondie lends itself to a whole world of different flavours, and these white chocolate and pistachio blondies are my new favourite.

    white chocolate and pistachio blondies

    I LOVE pistachios. If there’s pistachio ice cream on offer, I’m sold. And if you ever go to Borough Market in London Bridge you HAVE to go to the Comptoir Gourmand stall and try their pistachio financier. Its an absolute delight, and the bright green pistachios give it such a brilliant colour.

    I knew I wanted to include pistachio in the blondies and white chocolate seemed like the perfect companion. I’ve packed alottttt of pistachios in these, but the chocolate chips and drizzle give just the right amount of sweetness to cut through.

    I like my brownies on the chewy fudgy side rather than cakey, and these are the chewiest I’ve ever made I’m sure! I think the insane amount of pistachios I packed in helped! Do you like the middle more than the edges?? I’m usually a middle kinda girl, but on these I loved the chewy edges. One thing I do need to work on though is getting the whole pan level, for some reason my blondies always rise way bigger at the edges. Anyone else have this problem??

    white chocolate and pistachio blondies

    So are you a brownie or blondie fan? I think after this you might be a blondie convert! Or at least a white chocolate and pistachio blondies convert 😉

    White Chocolate and Pistachio Blondies

    Yield: 16 Large Blondies, or 24 Medium Blondies

    White Chocolate and Pistachio Blondies

    Ingredients

    • 250g plain flour
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/2tsp salt
    • 150g unsalted butter, melted
    • 150g light muscovado sugar
    • 150g light brown sugar
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 270g white chocolate chips, plus 50g for the drizzle
    • 130g pistachios, plus 15g more for decoration

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 175C and line the bottom and sides of a 9x9in baking tin with baking paper leaving an overhang on all sides.
  • In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt together then set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, brown sugars and caster sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, whisking until fully combined. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. The batter will be pretty thick, but don't overmix. Chop the pistachios lightly, so they aren't all whole. Then fold in most of the chocolate chips and pistachios into the mixture, leaving just 1 tablespoon of each behind.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin, then sprinkle with the reserved chocolate chips and pistachios. Bake for 35 minutes or until light golden brown on top, covering with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent the pistachios on top from burning. Allow the blondies to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.
  • Melt the 50g white chocolate over a bain-marie, and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, chop the 15g pistachios into a fine crumb and sprinkle over the completely cooled blondies. Then pour the white chocolate into a piping bag, and with the tip cut off drizzle over the blondies. Finally, slice into rectangles.
  • http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/09/11/white-chocolate-and-pistachio-blondies/

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    buttercream flower

    I have a confession.

    I am obsessed with watching Instagram videos of cakes. Specifically cakes being lavishly smothered in buttercream, covered in intricately piped buttercream flowers or ganache dripped round the edges. Its taking over my life.

    Craig is so sick of watching them over my shoulder, but its my absolute guilty pleasure! Its super satisfying and so therapeutic.

    So when it came to making my sisters birthday cake, Instagram was my first source for inspiration. Buttercream flower wreath cakes are all over Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube…you name it! So I thought I’d give it a try. I actually practised the roses on some cupcakes a few weeks back (blog post to come!) and let me tell you it is notttt as easy as people make it look! But practise makes perfect and all that!

    buttercream flower

    I used swiss meringue buttercream for the flowers, the light texture is perfect for this kind of piping. Although in the August weather you do need to work quickly so it doesn’t get too warm, it makes it impossible to pipe the delicate petals then!

    I made about 25 buttercream flowers in total, though I only used 19 in the end. I made roses, ranunculus, chrysanthemums, blossoms and topped them all off with leaves! The leaves were piped direct onto the cake though – thats the fun final touch!

    To make the flowers you absolutely need a flower nail. They’re usually included in most piping sets, so you might already have one! If not, you can buy them easily on Amazon. You also need to cut a load of squares out of baking paper, I promise its not as labour intensive as it sounds. Once you have both those things and an array of piping tips you’re all set up!

    buttercream flower

    I watched a lot of YouTube videos by Cake Style for amazing tutorials on loads of different buttercream flower types. Once you have the plain roses down you can make quite a few pretty variations, but its the chrysanthemums I struggled with. The tutorials make them look so easy but its definitely not my strong suit, which is annoying because they can look so pretty!

    I was pretty pleased with the flowers I created in the end though, and its definitely evoked a passion in me to create more flowery creations! Piping tips wise theres a few you need to have in your repertoire, but if you’re going to get any the Wilton 104 is the one to get. The 104 is what I used to create all the roses, ranunculus and blossoms. You’ll need Wilton tip 81 for the chrysanthemum’s and for the leaves Wilton tip 70.

    Honestly though, I was sooo pleased with how it turned out! You know how usually you have the idea for a cake, and then when you come to make it its nothing like the vision? This actually was my vision!! I made it the day before I presented it to my sister though and I had nightmares all night of ridiculous things happening to it. Like the candles causing the whole cake to go up in flames – could that even happen!?

    buttercream flower

    I think i’ve waffled on long enough about the flowers now, you probably want to hear about the actual cake!? It was a white chocolate sponge, with the nicest crumb texture! The recipe I was adapting called for cake flour, which isn’t something I’ve seen in the UK. After a bit of googling it turns out that you can substitute cake flour by the following: for every one cup of plain flour, take two tbsp’s out and replace it with two tbsp’s of corn flour. Cake flour has a lower protein content than regular plain flour, which gives cakes a softer, lighter texture whilst still retaining structure. I think i’m converted.

    For the buttercream I decided to pair a classic flavour combination with the sponge; raspberry! I also figured a raspberry swiss meringue buttercream would keep the cake light and not cloying. Especially with all those buttercream flowers on top! Also, if I’m honest the smooth and silky buttercream is just a million times easier to spread on a layer cake.

    I followed my swiss meringue buttercream recipe as normal, and then for the last step added fresh raspberry puree that I’d strained. This gives a really fresh flavour, and means the buttercream is food colouring free! I also added freeze-dried raspberries in the layers for an extra raspberry kick – well I say that, thats what I intended to do! But I forgot to do it on the first layer – doh! – so lets all just pretend I did it on both!

    buttercream flower

    Two final notes!

    The raspberry SMB recipe errs on the side of caution so you’ll definitely have some left – I had a full tupperware box! But you can pop it in the freezer for up to 6 months – hooray! Just make sure its defrosted and back to room temp before using it.

    And finally, I decided to live my Instagram dream and film the assembling of the cake. So if you want to see it all come together, watch below! (Apologies in advance for the slight out of focus :(!)

    Buttercream Flower Wreath Layer Cake

    1 three-tier 8" cake

    Ingredients

      Sponge
    • 172g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 300g caster sugar
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 2tsp vanilla extract
    • 345g cake flour (or if you can't find that; 345g plain flour, minus 6tbsp plain flour, plus 6tbsp corn flour)
    • 1tbsp & 1tsp baking powder
    • 3/4tsp salt
    • 300ml milk
    • 6oz white chocolate
      Swiss Meringue Buttercream (for flowers)
    • 120ml large egg whites
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 340g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
      Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
    • 240 egg whites
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 675g unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 345g frozen raspberries, defrosted
    • 1tsp caster sugar (or more to taste)
    • 1/2tsp lemon juice
    • 6g freeze-dried raspberries (one tube from the supermarket)

    Instructions

    For the Cake:
  • Firstly preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4/180C and grease and line three 8" baking tins.
  • Using a bain-marie, melt the white chocolate over a low heat and then set aside to cool.
  • Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside. Then, place the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on a high speed until creamy and light in colour. Add the sugar and continue to mix until fluffy.
  • On a medium speed add the egg yolks, vanilla and melted white chocolate. Then with the mixer on low, alternate adding in the dry ingredients and milk in three batches, ending and starting with the dry ingredients.
  • Mix until just combined, then pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden.
  • Leave to cool a little in the tins, and then put them on a cooling rack to completely cool.
  • For the Buttercream Flowers:
  • Whisk together the sugar and egg whites in heat-safe bowl until combined. Then using a bain-marie, heat the mixture, stirring occasionally until it reaches 155-160F on a candy thermometer. The mixture will be very hot and the sugar will have dissolved.
  • Once the mixture has reached the right temperature, take the bowl off the heat and using an electric mixer whisk the mixture on high speed for about 10 minutes until you reach medium-stiff peaks and the mixture has returned to room temperature.
  • With the mixer on low, add in the butter a tablespoon at a time ensuring each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. The butter must be at room temperature for it to be properly incorporated.
  • Once the butter has been mixed in, add the vanilla extract and mix again for a few minutes until the buttercream is silky smooth and light.
  • Separate the buttercream into different bowls, mix in required food colouring and place into piping bags, making sure to set aside the leaf green buttercream to use later.
  • Then using a flower nail and piping tips create an array of flowers, on squares of baking paper. Place the squares onto baking trays and place in the freezer while you make the rest.
  • For the Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • Follow the swiss meringue buttercream recipe for the flowers, up to and including adding the butter in. Strain the raspberries through a sieve into a bowl, so you are left with the puree without the seeds.Mix in the sugar and lemon juice, and then pour the mixture into the buttercream.
  • Mix this on low at first, and then gradually increase the speed. It may take a few minutes for the puree to combine with the buttercream, so keep mixing until its fully combined.
  • For Assembly;
  • Place one sponge onto the cake board and spread with a layer of raspberry buttercream and half of the freeze-dried raspberries. Then repeat with the second sponge layer. Then place the final sponge layer on top.
  • Crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of the raspberry buttercream and then place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
  • Then cover the cake with a thick layer of raspberry buttercream and using a bench scraper, scrape off the excess to leave a smooth exterior.
  • Place some of the raspberry buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a ring on top of the cake for the flowers to sit on. This gives the flowers some height, rather than all lying flat on top of the cake.
  • Remove the buttercream flowers from the freezer, and peeling off the baking paper squares arrange them on the cake.
  • Finally, pipe leaves wherever needed on the cake for the finishing touch.
  • Notes

    Excess frosting can be frozen for up to 6 months, and then defrosted fully before use.

    White chocolate sponge adapted from The Cake Blog

    Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe adapted from Layered by Tessa Huff

    http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/08/21/buttercream-flower-wreath-layer-cake/