Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Week 43: Nutella and Peanut Butter Brownies

The Recipe
225g melted butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa
a dash of salt
½ tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 175C.

Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl. Add baking powder and salt.

Melt the butter and stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Whisk into the flour/cocoa mixture until fully combined.

Add Nutella and peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 20 second intervals until it reaches a runny consistency (took about 1-2 minutes for me) and stir it into the mixture.

Pour into a greased 24x34cm ovenproof dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until a pin comes out clean. Let the brownies cool completely and sift icing sugar on top before cutting.

The Verdict
REALLY good! They didn't taste as much of peanut butter as I had expected, but they were rich and creamy and mushy-mushy. Super easy to make and VERY good. YUM!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Week 41: Raspberry Cheesecake

The Recipe
220g digestive crackers
200g butter

400g cream cheese
200g sour cream 38%
100g sugar

250g raspberries
Juice from ½ a lime or lemon

½l whipping cream, whipped

Melt butter. Crush crackers. Mix and press firmly into the bottom of (GREASED!!!) spring form pan. Bake 15-20 minutes at 200C.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth.

If using frozen raspberries, boil them briefly (1 min) and set aside to cool. Crush raspberries and mix with lime juice until even paste. Add to cream cheese mixture and fold in whipped cream. Spread over cooled digestive cracker crust and freeze for several hours or until firm.

The Verdict
NB: the measurements given above result in waaaaay too much "filling". I couldn't use all of it or my spring form would overflow. If I were to try it again, I think I'd double the measurements for the crust and cut down on the whipping cream to perhaps just 2.5dl. That would have the added benefit of giving the cheesecake a more cheesy taste. As it was, it tasted more like raspberry cream than raspberry cheesecake. I liked it, it just wasn't the result I was going for.

It was really easy to make though, so it's definitely got that going for it :)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Week 40: Oatmeal Cookies with white Chocolate and Raspberries

The Recipe
(Makes ~50 cookies, depending on size)
150g butter
165g brown sugar
3dl white sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
2 eggs
6.5dl oatmeal
3 dl flour
A pinch of salt
1tsp baking powder
~200g white chocolate, chopped (optional)
2tbsp freeze-dried raspberries (optional)

Melt the butter in a pot and pour it into a bowl together with brown and white sugar and vanilla. Mix thoroughly (use a spoon rather than an electric whisk - you won't be able to use it for long anyway).
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thorough after each. Add oatmeal. Add baking powder and salt and mix in the flour a little at a time.
Add chocolate and raspberries.

Form into "marbles" of about 1.5-2 teaspoons each and put them on a baking sheet with a few cm between each - they'll spread! Bake them at 180C for 8-10 minutes.

Let them cool a bit on the baking sheet (they're VERY fragile right out of the oven) and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

The Verdict
My sister made this for the last readathon and they were AWESOME! Came close to rivaling my love for M&M cookies. So of course I had to try to make them myself. They were really easy to make (although I didn't chop the chocolate finely enough - lesson learned for next time) and taste amazing! The freeze dried raspberries add a tartness that work really well together with the sweetness of the chocolate. And if you want a "healthier" version, you can replace the filling with something else or just leave it out altogether! They taste great even as-is.

Definitely a new staple in my repertoire.

Week 39: Chicken Parm-Stuffed Bell Peppers

The Recipe
(Serves 4)
450g chicken, diced
1 tsp each of salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder
2 eggs, beaten
Flour and breadcrumbs
4 bell peppers, halved lengthwise.
Mariana sauce
parmesan cheese
~150g fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet to cook the chicken on (you can reuse the baking sheet for the bell peppers afterwards.

In a bowl combine salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder. Add chicken and toss until evenly coated.

Prepare three plates - one with flour, one with eggs and one with breadcrumbs. Coat the chicken in first flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs. Transfer to wire rack and bake for 25 minutes.

Arrange the bell peppers on the baking sheet. Add a spoonful of mariana sauce and some parmesan cheese to each, and divide the chicken evenly between the bell peppers. Top off with another spoonful of mariana sauce, more parmesan cheese and the mozzarella slices. Bake for another 25 minutes.
Serve with rice.

The Verdict
I added a teaspoon of thyme as well, and it ended up being too much. Don't know if it was the oregano, the thyme or the mix of the two, but I think next time I'll leave the thyme out.

I didn't add enough mariana sauce to each bell pepper, so some bites were a bit too dry. Next time I should use the entire jar - as it was, I had about 1dl left over.

Otherwise I liked it though. But it's a lot of work for something that didn't wow me, so while it tasted good, I'm not sure there'll actually be a next time.