Thursday, 2 December 2021

GERMAN STYLE LEBKUCHEN (GINGERBREAD) WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE GLACE


I am desperately trying to keep the pre-Christmas excitement and spirit alive, despite a little voice in the back of my head constantly telling me that it could be another Christmas ruined by Covid, and one way to do so is of course some good old festive baking to banish the negativity away and fill ones house with the most wonderful smell! 

Making these little lebkuchen (a sort of German spiced gingerbread cakes), coated in white chocolate, proved an excellent evening activity, super easy and quick to make, and the end result tasted not only like a little bit of my German childhood but quite literally like Christmas in a pleasing little cake! Perfect to as gift but also perfect to consume in big quantities yourself because hey we've all earned early Christmas treats this year!

INGREDIENTS

For the Lebkuchen

  • 200g runny honey
  • 85g butter
  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g round almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice 
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ unwaxed orange, finely grated zest and juiced
  • pinch salt
For the chocolate glaze

200g white chocolate, roughly chopped

METHOD
  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Heat the honey and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat until melted. 
  • Tip into a large mixing bowl and put in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the honey-butter mixture from the fridge and sieve in the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. (The mixture will be sticky.) 
  • Return to the fridge for about 1 hour, or until completely cold. 
  • With damp hands, break off pieces of the dough and roll into balls slightly smaller than a golf ball. Transfer to the baking trays and flatten down slightly, leaving enough space between each lebkuchen to spread during cooking. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the lebkuchen has risen and are firm to the touch. 
  • Set aside to cool slightly on the baking trays, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the chocolate glaze, melt half the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a simmering saucepan of water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. 
  • When the chocolate has almost melted, take the pan off the heat and add the remaining chocolate. 
  • Stir until all the chocolate has melted. 
  • Dip one side of the lebkuchen into the chocolate and return to the wire rack, chocolate side up, to set.
  • Leave to set to completely and enjoy!

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

THE MOST AMAZING APPLE, BRIE & ONION TART WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE


There are a lot of things to be worried about at the moment and questions on everyone's mind to which non of us really have the answers to. 

How bad is this new mutant strain? Will Christmas be cancelled AGAIN? Will Covid ever go away? I especially hate uncertainty and not being able to make plans so in order to cling on to my sanity somehow and not think too much or too negatively how the next few weeks could pan out I reverted to what I love doing the most: COOKING! Which is why last Friday I got making on this incredible tart!

Indeed this apple, brie and onion tart is allll kinds of amazing- sweet and savoury, packed with flavour, beautiful to look at and best of all a joy to make! It's proper cold weather comfort food and will hopefully offer you, as it did for me, a little moment of foodie happiness, a brief escape from the weird times we are living in at the moment.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sheet ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large onions , halved and sliced
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • small bunch of thyme , leaves picked, plus a few sprigs to serve
  • 1 red eating apple
  • 100g cranberry sauce 
  • 175g brie 

METHOD
  • Heat oven to 180C.
  • Unroll the pastry sheet onto a large baking tray (leave it on the paper from the pack). If the edges are not straight, trim them with a sharp knife. 
  • Score a border, about 1cm in from the edge. 
  • Score a criss-cross pattern over the central piece of pastry (this will prevent it from rising too much) and around the border, if you like. 
  • Bake for 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan. 
  • Add the onions and cook for 10-15 mins until softened and starting to caramelise. Stir in the vinegar, bubble for 1 min more, then add the Dijon mustard and thyme, season well and set aside. 
  • Slice the apple thinly.The pastry should be puffed and starting to colour. 
  • Push down the centre, then spread over the onions. 
  • Add blobs of cranberry sauce, then top with the apple slices and brie, overlapping them to cover the tart. Add a few more thyme sprigs, drizzle with a little oil, then put back in the oven for a further 25 mins until the cheese is bubbling and the apple slices are soft. 
  • Serve warm or cold.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

INDIAN INSPIRED SPICY BUTTER SALMON


I am not usually a massive fan of Indian food (I blame a particularly bad case of food poisoning a few years ago for this aversion) but this fragrant butter salmon is alllll kids of amazing, especially the wonderful spice marinade in which the salmon gets pan fried in! Perfect for the sort of evening when you want comfort food but want to stay on the healthy side!

Serves 2 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Skinless Salmon Fillets
  • 4 Garlic Clove 
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Ginger 
  • 3 tsp Garam Masala 
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin 
  • 1 tsp Ground Turmeric 
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil 
  • 3 tbsp Butter 
  • 1 Yellow Onion 
  • 400 g Diced Tomatoes 
  • 1 Tin Coconut Milk 

TO SERVE
  • Rice 
  • Handful Fresh Coriander 
  • Naan Bread 
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

METHOD
  • Peel and finely dice ginger, onions, and garlic cloves. 
  • Rinse salmon in cold water and pat dry. 
  • Wash the coriander, shake dry and chop.
  • In a bowl, toss together half of the crushed garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon ginger, 2 teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon turmeric, salt and pepper. 
  • Add salmon fillets in a bowl and gently drizzle over olive oil and coat the salmon well with spice mixture. Let sit 5-10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cook the rice in a saucepan with salted water according to package instructions.
  • To the larger skillet, add chopped onion and cook 5 minutes, until softened. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons butter, remaining crushed garlic cloves and ginger, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon turmeric. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Cook until very fragrant, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the diced tomatoes and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low. 
  • Add coconut milk. 
  • Stir to combine, bring the sauce to a simmer, cook 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • While the sauce is cooking prepare the salmon, heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. 
  • Add the salmon and cook on both sides until JUST cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Serve the salmon and sauce over bowls of rice with hot naan and garnish with more coriander and sprinkle over pomegranate seeds.

Thursday, 18 November 2021

PASTA ALLA NORMA OTTOLENGHI STYLE


My gosh! It has very much been a hectic couple of weeks that felt like Pre-covid times in terms of work, social engagements and life admin so sadly my cooking and restaurant reviewing had to be put a little on the back burner. I did however make the most AMAZING pasta alla norma, that iconic Italian pasta dish which makes elevates the humble aubergine to the star of the show, which I simple HAD to share with you in the meantime! It's the sort of dinner that is fun and easy to make but tastes like a million dollars and hey we can all do with that!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Aubergines
  • 120ml Olive Oil
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 mild dried chillies
  • 2 x 400g tins of Plum Tomatoes
  • 5 large Oregano Sprigs
  • 1 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 500g Spaghetti
  • 45g ricotta salata (a saltier, more grumbly version of ricotta which is SO good - I found it at foodie haven Eataly)
  • 20g Basil Leaves, torn
  • Salt & Black Pepper

METHOD
  • Preheat the oven to 220c.
  • Using a peeler and working from top to bottom of each aubergine, shave off long alternating strips of peel so that they look striped, like zebras. 
  • Cut widthways into 1cm thick slices and place in a bowl with 75ml of oil, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of paper. 
  • Mix well, then spread out on two large baking paper-lined trays. 
  • Roast for 30-35 minutes, until dark golden-brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan or pot and place on a medium high heat. 
  • Add the garlic and chillies and fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown (but not burnt!). 
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, oregano, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grind of pepper. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
  • Remove the oregano sprigs and stir in the aubergine. 
  • Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and once al dente, drain and retain some cooking water.
  • Add the spaghetti to the sauce and mix well, adding two thirds of the pecorino and basil, add a few tablespoons of the cooking water if the sauce has become too thick.
  • Divide between two bowls, then top with the remaining pecorino and basil.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

SACHER TORTE TRAY BAKE





Another week, another mate's birthday! And this time I rustled up a real cake classic, the super rich, super chocolatey, super indulgent Sacher torte! Well not quite, I am a decent baker but I am no future 'Great British Bake Off' contestant so I made a slightly simplified, yet no less tasty tray bake version! 

You still get the light, chocolatey sponge (thanks to a soft meringue mixed through the dough), a layer of apricot jam and of course the glossy dark chocolate ganache topping but there is zero hassle of cutting a cake in half or tempering the chocolate, in face I had this done and dusted, ready to surprise my friend with in a couple of hours on a Thursday evening. 

Even better the end result was super tasty, even for me who usually really doesn't love chocolate based sponges!

A tray that is sophisticated and will impress a crowd, no one needs to know it is super easy and quick to make ;)

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g semi dark chocolate (I went for 54% cocoa)
  • 6 eggs separated
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (300 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 14 tablespoons (200 g) butter room temperature
  • 2 ¾ cups (300 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk room temperature
  • About 1 generous cup (300 g) apricot jam (ideally seedless)
CHOCOLATE GANACHE
  • 14 tablespoons (7 ounces or 200 g) butter cubed
  • 300g semi dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons oil

METHOD
  • Preheat oven to 170°C. 
  • Grease 40x32 cm baking tray with butter.
  • For the cake: beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside. 
  • In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs yolks, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until fluffy. 
  • Alternately add melted chocolate, milk and the flour mixture and beat on low speed to combine. 
  • Fold in one-third of the beaten egg whites, then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
  • Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes. 
  • Test for doneness with a wooden toothpick. 
  • Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  • For the ganache: melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler or in one-minute intervals in the microwave. Stir until completely smooth. 
  • Stir in oil. 
  • Chill ganache until slightly thickened.
  • Gently heat the jam to thin it. 
  • Spread jam over cooled cake. 
  • Spread chocolate ganache over the jam and allow it to set before cutting cake.
  •  Stored at room temperature, cake bars will stay fresh for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

SONS + DAUGHTERS ICONIC EGG SALAD & TRUFFLE CRISPS SANDWICH



There are certain culinary firsts you will never forget and my first Sons + Daughters sandwich was one such occasion. 

Why? Because it was quite possible the best sandwich I ever had in my life. I mean to start with it's no ordinary sandwich, I tell you that. It's Unami central, flavour explosion upon flavour explosion, a perfect marriage of textures and so much more - miso and mirin mayo mixed with the most orange yolked and fresh of Clarence court eggs, cooked to waxy perfection, topped with crunchy truffle crisps, all sandwiched between the softest and most generously crusted slices of fresh white bread. 

It's a sandwich so, so good that I can't even do it justice in words which is why ever so often I had such a strong craving for it that I walked all the way to King's Cross, more precise Coal Drop yards where Sons + Daughters is located, from my house to get my hands on one.

Luck would have it however that in the midst of the deepest, darkest lockdown times last year the lovely peeps from Sons + Daughters actually shared the recipe for this genius sandwich and I tell you what it tasted just as bloody amazing!!! 

Even better, you can actually rustle the whole thing up in less than 20 minutes and I honestly had to stop myself from making a second, it was that good.

One note: invest in good ingredients, they truly elevate this sandwich to the next level. Get the Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs (yes they cost a little more but BOY can you taste and see the difference), make sure you seek out Torres truffle crisps (Waitrose and other supermarkets may offer their take on truffle crisps these days but NOTHING beats Torres, trust me) and get yourself a fresh loaf of bread that you can slice indulgently thick.

It's a sandwich that will make any day 1000% better and you better make it asap at home if you can't make it down to Sons + Daughters because you won't forget your first bite, the hype is real for a reason here and thank god for us easy to re-create at home.

Makes 1 INCREDIBLE sandwich

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 medium Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs (available at Waitrose)
  • Two slices of white bloomer bread, each around half an inch thick.
  • 10g salad cress
  • 25g truffle crisps (ideally Torres)

FOR THE MISO MAYO
  • 35g mayonnaise
  • 8g white miso paste
  • 8ml mirin

METHOD
  • Firstly, make the mayo. 
  • Simply mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
  • Next, boil the eggs for 6 minutes and leave at room temperature until cool. 
  • Peel and chop them, but not too fine – you want a bit of texture.
  • Keep back around two tablespoons of the miso mayo, and gently fold the rest through the eggs.
  • Spread the reserved miso mayo on each slice of bloomer.
  • Spoon the miso mayo and egg mixture over one of the slices, and top with the cress. 
  • Add a thick layer of truffle crisps, then top with the remaining slice of bloomer and give it a squash.
  • ENJOY!

Thursday, 4 November 2021

BISTROT WALLUC





There are many things I HATE about autumn and winter: the darkness, the cold, snow (just doesn't work in London when you need to get places) to name a few BUT I do love that those are the seasons for cosy dining and hearty dishes and what is more cosy, hearty and indulgent to brighten up a gloomy day than a cheese fondue!!!

Even better when it is served in the quirkiest and most wonderfully weird of places and Bistro Walluc was JUST that.

From the outside this place really looks rather unassuming, bang in the middle of Shoreditch on Redchurch street, with no real signage and a big old, heavily graffitied shutter down whenever they are closed. 

Indeed, I had worked on the same street as Bistrot Walluc for 3 years back in my PR agency days and the shutters then seemed to be more down than up which meant I really never knew what hidden gem I was missing out on!

With a real craving for a cheese fondue one weekend (I blame the sudden onset of winter) I went on a google search for London's best offerings and suddenly stumbled across Bistrot Walluc

The fondue looked more than enticing and, even better, it also happened to be a 2 minute walk from the cinema for which my dear friend Arian and I had tickets for to see the newest Wes Anderson film.

And what wonderful place to spend a cold Saturday evening Bistrot Walluc turned out to be! It's not slick or hip but who needs that when you have a lovely couple running the place, literally a 2 man show, who almost make you feel like they have invited you into their home.

The bistro itself feels like a treasure trove - velvet arm chairs, candles aplenty and every corner and surface filled with trinkets, antiques and instruments. The minute you step through their doors you are a world away from the hustle and bustle of East London, jazz gently playing in the background while you get to sit back, marvel at your surroundings and of course dig into the fondue!

Yes, we need to talk about the fondue and food of course! As an independent little spot, Bistrot Walluc requires a £10 deposit per person and only takes reservations via WhatsApp, which I found refreshingly personal and really I don't mind putting some money down beforehand if it helps them run their business.

There is basically only one menu at £25 per person which is tailored to either veggies or meat eaters. Veggies start the dinner with a cheese plate while carnivores get a big selection of charcuterie while the main event of course consists of a cheese fondue, served with white crusty bread and boiled potatoes.

We got a gorgeous and generous cheese plate each to start with, featuring an amazing selection of burrata, mozzarella and all sorts of other great cheeses which got us off to a great start for a very cheesy eve (excuse the pun!).

The fondue was a winner too - cheesy, a bit boozy, gooey and was gobbled up by us in no time and we washed the whole meal down with a great white wine, all the while being looked after wonderfully by the couple!

We left very happy, very full and very pleased to have discovered this hidden gem in London. It's the sort of place you don't want to tell too many people about so that it remains your secret but this winter make a trip to Bistrot Walluc because one seldom finds such a charming and genuinely welcoming place to eat at that also happens to makes a damn fine Fondue.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

WHITE CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN BLONDIES WITH PECANS



Not to be a Debbie downer but I have never been a big fan of halloween (I love dressing up, just not in the "over-the-top-face-paint-scary" sort of way) BUT I AM a massive fan of pumpkin season and could not resist the idea of adding pumpkin puree, plenty of warming spices like nutmeg, all spice and cinnamon as well chopped up pecans to a standard white chocolate blondie and WOW it worked an absolute treat! 

Somehow the earthy yet subtely sweet notes from the pumpkin puree (which I bought ready made at Wholefoods but which you can also easily make from scratch) marry incredibly well with the roughly chopped white chocolate chips and create a fudgy, moist blondie texture, finished off perfectly with the occasional crunch from a pecan chunk.

If you could package autumn into one perfect sweet slice it would be these blondies and I cannot recommend them enough to both make and eat on a cosy November eve!

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg large
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
15 oz. pumpkin puree (or one tin of pumpkin puree)
2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans coarsely chopped

METHOD
  • Preheat your oven to180 degrees Celsius
  • Line and grease a large baking tray with parchment paper, letting the paper overhang the sides.
  • Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all spice, ground cloves and salt.
  • Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugars on medium speed for one minute.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and beat until incorporated.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix well until combined.
  • Gently fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Remove bars from pan and cut into squares.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

AVE MARIO - PUTTING THE FUN BACK INTO EATING OUT





I have been an avid fan of the rapidly expanding Big Mamma restaurant empire ever since a dinner at one of their first restaurants in Paris many moons ago.

At that time Pink Mamma was the most hyped and talked about restaurant in town -  a feast for the eyes and a tasty dream on the plate, a flagship restaurant by two young restauranteurs who sought to bring a real sense of dolce vita and dining out FUN to stressed city dwellers and heck they hit a nerve!

Indeed, now the Big Mamma Group operates 13 restaurants across three countries and five cities, though this has thankfully not resulted in a "chain" feel to any of their operations. Yes, you can tell you are in a Big Mamma establishment - kitsch tableware, neon lights, walls lined with colourful glass bottles, yet each has a unique touch to them, a so concisely executed interior concept that result in almost every inch of the restaurants being "instagrammable" without ever trying too hard.

There are inevitably some downsides to this success. It is almost impossible to secure a table at their restaurants, regardless of location, unless you book a month in advance, and I have had a few meals more recently at their first two London restaurants, Gloria and Circolo Populare, were food was slightly disappointing (compared to the stellar meals I've had there when they first opened). Service as also sometimes felt a little overwhelmed, perhaps by the sheer volume of costumers, and not quite able to transport me to 70s Capri as much as in their first restaurants.

BUT I am always here to give a second chance, especially when Big Mamma had provided me with so many memorable dining experiences in the past, and quite honestly I was DYING to check out their newest London outpost, Ave Mario, the second I saw a few sneak peaks  of the Art Deco, more is more, neon lights, kitsch religious interiors and menu that screamed "extravagant Italian".

Of course, it wasn't quite as easy as walking in for a dinner on a random Friday night (in fact my friend Renee and  I attempted this not long after Ave Mario had first opened their doors and got quite bluntly told that there was no chance in hell we'd get a walk in table), but as a seasoned Londoner I know one has to plan strategically to get a table reservation and in the case of Ave Mario I quickly gathered that they release reservation at 12pm each day for exactly one month ahead. 

I set myself an alarm and calendar reminder and indeed managed to succesfully snag a dinner reservation to treat my dear friend Henry for his birthday, exactly one month ahead of our dinner, a little inconvenience and planning ahead that were however a thousand percent worth it for the unforgettable dinner we got to have! Know the tricks and you will get a table, just not last minute.

Anyways let's get to what is most important: how the hell was Ave Mario then? To make it short: it had all the magic (and then some) of my first dinner at Pink Mamma. Interiors are stunning -shiny, retro, exciting, sexy. Service was impeccable. Attentive without being annoying, friendly without being obnoxious and always there when we needed a top up or had a question about the menu. 

You don't even have to wait for a bill (a process of flagging down a waiter at the end of the meal I always find particularly tedious), you scan a QR code and settle your final bill online, no paper wasted and extremely pleasing to the millennial in me.

The food again was stunning. It's all about sharing plates here - the pizzas for example not as big as at the other "Mammas" but perfect as a shared starter. We had a wonderful version, the Saint Polpo, the most light and chewy dough topped with yellow datterini tomato sauce, mozzarella fior di latte, potato cream, octopus, Taggiasche olives, lemon, parsley.

Another winner were the Mac n truffle crochetta, Truffled maccheroni and cheese, deep fried for extra indulgence and formed into balls, a real must try for any truffle lovers. 

For mains we shared some outstanding pasta dishes which came in generous servings. The absolute star of the show was no doubt their incredible 'TAGLIARINI AL LIMONE E GRANCHIO', fresh tagliarini pasta with fresh local hand- picked crab and lemony butter sauce, which was a top 5 in my life sort of pasta dish (and that is saying a lot considering how many bowls I have devoured in my nearly 30 years) while our 'Funghi town' plate of Small ravioli parcels filled with ricotta and portobello mushrooms, light gorgonzola sauce and sauteed girolles was also pretty damn amazing.

A dessert of 'GIANT STRACCIATELLA GELATO' was a real spectacle to finish with, not only as all staff broke into an Italian happy birthday verse (again another sign of the attention to detail here, the birthday note on my booking more often than not would have been completely forgotten about, especially on a busy Friday service) but also because of the huge ice cream cake which appeared in front of us, marbled through and through with crunchy stracciatella chocolate. Carved out of this monstrosity we received a big slice of ice cream goodness which was then drizzled with the most luxuriously thick caramel sauce. I mean talk about making dinner interactive and fun! And the bloody thing also tasted great, no style over substance here though both come in large measures regardless.

What can I say, Ave Mario was a 10/10 for me, the sort of restaurant we all desperately need post lockdown, fun yet culinarily sophisticated and worth the 1 month wait for a table. Trust me on this one!

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

RED VELVET & WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNK BROWNIES


I always like to bring a baked kind of present along when it comes to a good pal's birthday and knowing that my friend Henry was hosting a birthday / housewarming party and was a big fan of all things red velvet cake meant I simple HAD to make these red velvet brownies with white choc chunks! 

A super easy bake that won't take hours or leave you with a total kitchen mess and an impressive homemade, edible gift to bring a long for your nearest and dearest!

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk* discard the egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 200g roughly chopped white chocolate, I like proper choc chunk (reserving 50g to melt as topping)
METHOD
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and position the oven rack in the middle of your oven.
  • Line an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) metal baking pan with parchment paper, or line with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
  • Add the butter to a large bowl and microwave for 45-second intervals until melted. 
  • Whisk in the sugar and cocoa powder. 
  • Whisk vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  • Whisk in the egg, extra egg yolk, vanilla extract and red food coloring.
  • Carefully fold in the flour and salt using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Whisk in the vinegar. 
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 28-32 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few damp crumbs. 
  • Cool the brownies in the pan for at least 4 hours, or until completely cooled before slicing. 
  • For the topping melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave in short intervals (making sure not to burn it).
  • Once fully melted carefully drizzle over the brownies and allow time to set.
  • To slice, lift the bars out of the pan using the overhang of the parchment paper/aluminum foil. 
  • Then cut with a sharp knife of a cutting board AND ENJOY!