Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Rum&Raisin Chocolate Cookies...You Are My Sin

If there's one flavour combination that always gets me jumping up and down whilst clapping my hands, it's the good old Rum and Raisin.
I like the chewy sweetness followed by the alcoholic kick, and when you fold this into chocolate cookie dough, well, there are no words....
Except of course there are....

Words like...
Bittersweet beauties that melt and crumble, to be devoured with haste whilst you moan and mumble.

These cookies are not for the faint of heart. They contain no flour so the cocoa powder and rum become very intense. If you love the darkest of dark chocolate you'll love these just fine. The raisins do sweeten them up nicely though, so if you're more of a milk chocolate kinda gal, don't be too afraid to come join us on the dark side. 

They are simply wonderful all by themselves, and I was tempted to leave them naked....that was until I made a batch of caramel....and I thought, I wonder?
So I did end up drizzling the rest of my batch with vanilla caramel, but only a little...

The taste was unbelievable, if you like sweet liquors then you'll be on board faster than you can say RUM CARAMEL.
If you like the more bittersweet chocolate side of life then maybe keep them as they are.

So here you are, fresh from the oven...gooey and oh so tempting...ENJOY!

My Only Sin, Rum & Raisin Chocolate Cookies


Makes about 10 cookies

2 oz Coconut oil
1 oz Caster sugar
1 oz Dark brown sugar
1/2 Banana
A good splash of vanilla extract
Handful of raisins
3 oz Cocoa powder
1 tsp Ground ginger
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Good pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp Espresso powder
1 Shot of dark rum - make it a double if you're feeling lucky!

These are so simple to make....

Begin by mixing the sugar with the coconut oil, then add the banana and use a fork to mash it up and mix it in well.

Add the vanilla and raisins and give it a good stir. You could probably add chocolate chips at this stage too, although that would take these cookies into PLANET CHOCOLATE territory.

Sift in the cocoa powder, salt, ginger, espresso powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Mix it thoroughly to combine all the fry ingredients into the wet.

Now just grab a little of the dough - it will be quite sticky - and roll it into a ball and then flatten it in your palms.

Pop them on a greased baking tray and bake at 180 C for about 10-12 minutes - if you take them out at 10 minutes they'll be more gooey and soft, but I left mine in for that extra few minutes to firm them up a bit.

And there you go! I made a very small batch of caramel to drizzle over mine, because T has a very sweet tooth...
I used...

4 fl oz Coconut milk
1 oz Sugar
Pinch of salt

Just simply warm the milk through, add the sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved and then simmer until the syrup has reduced down and is thick. Then stir in the salt and leave to cool slightly before pouring over the cookies.

Hope you love them as much as I do! 

Happy baking! x

Friday, 4 April 2014

Blueberry Creme You Saucy Little Thing You!

A little while ago I gave you lovely lot a recipe for Lemon Creme and I loved how it turned out, so thought why not make a blueberry version? Because blueberries completely rock my world through the summer months. They're sweet and juicy and best of all they make everything purple! 

The other reason for me making this marvelous little pot of sauce, is that I needed a creme to sandwich together two chocolate  cookies.... but more on that later! 
This blueberry creme is just as easy to make as the lemon version, I've tried it with both frozen and fresh blueberries, and the only difference I found was the colour. The fresh ones came out a darker purple, pictured above. The frozen berries came out slightly lighter, although a few raspberries may have sneaked into the pan too, so they may have something to do with the more pink colour.

This blueberry creme can be used for pretty much anything you damn fancy. 

Blueberry Jam for scones and toast

Blueberry Sauce for porridge and pancakes

Blueberry Creme for pastry tarts and sandwich cookies

Need I go on...?

So here ya go folks....

Blueberry Creme


4 fl oz Coconut milk
2 fl oz Water
2 oz Agave syrup/sugar
1 oz Blueberries
2 tbsp Arrowroot powder
Splash of lemon juice
4 tbsp Coconut oil

All you need to do is...

Stir the coconut milk, water and arrowroot powder together over a low heat until it's all dissolved and combined.
Add the sugar and blueberries and stir until the sugar has dissolved and the blueberries are starting to break apart.
Now simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes to allow it to thicken.
Remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before using a hand blender to blend it until it's smooth and not stringy.
Once blended, return to a low heat and add the coconut oil, stirring until it's melted into the blueberry mixture.
Now use a whisk to beat it until it's smooth and glossy.

Simple ay?

Transfer it to a jar and let it sit in the fridge to set slightly. The creme won't go completely solid, but it will thicken and become less liquid.
This just makes it easier to spread onto cookies and tarts, if you would prefer a more liquid syrup, simply leave out the coconut oil.

So, if you can restrain from eating the whole lot with a spoon whilst you're stood in the kitchen and think nobody's watching, then you can use this recipe for the Chocolate&Blueberry Cookies recipe I'm going to share with soonly!
They really are divine...

Enjoy the blueberry-ness of it all and happy baking! x

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Espresso Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart

The name does not give this tart justice.
In my head I call it The Come Hither Tart, because it calls to you. As soon as you eat one piece you immediately want another and another until the entire tart is gone...and then you just know you'll bake another before the weeks end.

This tart is made for lusting after and to be devoured with greed and gluttony.

I don't bake a lot of chocolate tarts, mainly because I CAN NOT stop eating until it has all gone. 
T and I ate one piece respectfully, after dinner sat at the table...then we had another whilst laying on the sofa, cleaning the chocolate from the plates with our fingers...every time one of us walked past the tart we'd slice a but more off, not even bothering with plates now, just eating it from our hands...and then it ended in us gorging on the last few mouthfuls, the chocolate smeared over our faces and the caramel sticking in my hair....we were a mess.
A delicious mess.  

So here's the recipe for the tart of your dreams...

Espresso Chocolate & Salted Caramel Tart


This recipe makes enough for one 7" tin and four 3.5" tins - simply halve the recipe to make just one tart


10 oz Almonds - Toasted and then ground
3 oz Hazelnuts - Toasted and then ground
2 tbsp Coconut oil
Large pinch of salt
2 tbsp Agave syrup
A good splash of lemon juice
1/2 tsp Ground cardamon 


1 Can of coconut milk 
3 oz Brown sugar/agave syrup
Good pinch of salt


1 Can of coconut milk
3 tbsp Agave syrup
2-3 tsp Arrowroot powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract
Shot of espresso
200g Dark chocolate
Pinch of salt

Begin by getting your caramel started...

Pour the can of coconut milk into your favourite milk pan, add the sugar and warm gently until the sugar ha dissolved.
Then turn up the heat so that it's simmering and let it simmer away for around 40 minutes - 1 hour, until it reduces and becomes very thick. The time will vary depending on what brand of coconut milk you buy and how high you have your heat. I try to keep my heat low so that I don't have to keep stirring it and I have my hands free to prepare the rest of the tart.

Now you can lay almonds and hazelnuts onto a baking tray and toast them for 3-5 minutes, until the almonds are golden inside and the hazelnut skins have cracked.
Grind them up so they look like breadcrumbs - but be careful not to over blend because then they'll start sticking together!

Save a handful of hazelnuts to scatter on top of the tart later.

Mix the ground nuts with the salt and cardamon.
Then add the oil, syrup and lemon juice and give it a good mix.
It should start to clump together to form a dough - you may need to add 2-3 tbsp of cold water to help it come together.

Press the crust mixture into your tin and chill it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Then bake it in the oven at 180c until it begins to brown - about 15-20 minutes.

Remember to keep an eye on your caramel! Give it a stir every now and then to check the thickness, once it's thickened up but your still able to pour it, remove it from the heat, stir in the salt and leave it to cool down. 

Whilst your crust is in the oven, get making the chocolate filling! - Once your crust is baked, leave it in the tin but place it on a wire rack to cool.

Pour the can of coconut milk into your pan, add the syrup and arrowroot powder and heat gently until the powder and sugar has dissolved and thickened slightly.
Now bring it to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.


Break up the chocolate into small chunks and get your espresso shot ready.

Now, remove the coconut milk mixture from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until it has all melted and combined into a wonderful chocolate-y ganache.
Now add the espresso, vanilla and salt and use a whisk to beat it until it's smooth and glossy.

Place the ganache and crust in the fridge for a few minutes, just to cool off. - If you're not in a rush to gobble everything then you can leave it by a window with a cool breeze instead.

Now the fun part!

To assemble...

Spread the caramel in a thick layer over the crust - don't be shy with it!

Pour the ganache over the caramel and scatter some hazelnuts over the top.
Pop it in the fridge for a few hours to set and firm up.

And there you have it! Eat it with additional caramel sauce drizzled over it for extra naughtiness, or coconut whipped cream, or even chocolate sauce for the pure chocoholics out there!

I dare you to make it last 2 days....

Happy baking! x