Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

Last weekend, Mr Man and I picked our own strawberries!

Berry picking is something I fondly remember doing as a kid. My family used to go every summer, and we would spend hours picking fruit at the farms before going home with very full bellies and kilos of beautiful raspberries and blueberries.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

We would eat the berries fresh for days, ripple them through vanilla ice cream and bake them into lovely desserts.

I hadn’t been for years, and wanted to take Mr Man on a bit of a berry-picking adventure.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

The farm we chose had an abundance of strawberries for picking, and we set to work. It was a lot of fun hunting for the beautifully ruby-red, ripe berries among all the bushes, and there’s just something about the flavour of strawberries that is just so much richer and juicier when they’re eaten freshly picked, still warm from being in the sun.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

In celebration of my beautiful berry haul, I wanted to make a recipe for you that celebrated fresh strawberries, and strawberry shortcakes kept coming to mind.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

The idea of making a leavened “shortcake” dough didn’t really appeal though – I wanted my shortcake to be short, crumbly and crispy, with the creamy chantilly and fresh bursts of berry as a contrast. So I used some leftover sweet shortcrust dough I had in the freezer (from when I made this tart!) to put this dessert together.

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

There’s no strict recipe to my strawberry shortcakes! You could make a half batch of the dough I usedMy basic sweet pastry would also work well for the biscuits. But feel free to just use some leftover shortcrust you happen to have in the freezer. And there are so many ways you could arrange the strawberries to make these pretty, so just have fun! X

Strawberry Shortcakes | Butter Baking

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES
 
Ingredients
  • A half quantity of sweet short pastry (see links below)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp icing (confectioner's) sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 1 punnet of strawberries, washed and hulled
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a large tray with baking paper.
  2. To make the "shortcakes", roll out the shortcrust to about 4mm thick, and use a round cutter (whatever size you like!) to cut out circles from the pastry.
  3. Place these on the prepared baking tray, and prick each a few times with a fork. Refrigerate the tray for 10 minutes.
  4. Bake the shortcrust circles for 8 - 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  5. To make the chantilly cream, whip the cream, icing sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod until stiff.
  6. Pipe (or spread) the cream over the biscuits.
  7. Cut the strawberries in half or into slices, and arrange as desired over the cream.
  8. Have fun playing around! It makes around 8 - 12 strawberry shortcakes, depending on how you arrange your biscuits.
  9. Happy baking!

I loved this shortcrust recipe, but this sweet tart dough would also work well.

 

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

I’m sharing a super delicious brownie recipe with you today!

Mr Man and I couldn’t get enough of these over the weekend and I doubt you’ll be able to, either.

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

These are some of the thickest, fudgy-est, densest (in a gooood way), chewiest brownies I have ever had.

And they have fat swirls of gooey, sticky, soft dulce de leche caramel all through them! Seriously, these have everything I could ever ask for in an amazing brownie.

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

I baked these for Mr Man for Valentine’s day. As I’ve mentioned before, he loves anything that’s “chocolatey and fudgy with a biscuit-y crunch”.

Well, he also loves everything caramel, and when I was trying to think of something new to bake him that combines chocolate and caramel (I’ve baked this, this and oh my gosh these in the past), the dulce de leche brownie recipe from David Lebovitz’s book came to mind.

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

I’m really enjoying baking from his book. I find that David Lebovitz‘s recipes are consistently successful and delicious, and these brownies did not disappoint!

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

They’re particularly good cold from the fridge. And even better chopped up into little cubes and served over ice cream… Oh my. X

Dulce de Leche Brownies | Butter Baking

DULCE DE LECHE BROWNIES
 
Ingredients
  • 120g unsalted butter (8 tbsp)
  • 170g dark chocolate, finely chopped (6 oz)
  • 30g dutch process cocoa (1/4 cup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 220g sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 150g plain flour (1 cup)
  • 250ml dulce de leche (1 cup)
  • 6 - 8 digestive biscuits, shortbread cookies or graham crackers
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
  2. Grease and line an 8 inch square pan with baking paper.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium pot.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until it's melted and combined. Whisk in the cocoa.
  5. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla and flour until the batter is smooth.
  6. Roughly crush half the cookies and spread them evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  7. Scrape half the batter over the cookies and spread out evenly.
  8. Drop half the dulce de leche in teaspoon dollops over the brownie and sprinkle over the remaining crushed cookies.
  9. Spread the remaining brownie batter evenly over the top, then drop teaspoonfuls of the rest of the dulce de leche over the brownie.
  10. Using a knife, swirl the dulce de leche, ever so slightly, into the brownie.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes, until the centre is slightly firm (the original recipe says 45 minutes baking time, but mine was ready very early so see how you go in your oven).
  12. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Makes 9 brownies.
  13. Happy baking!
  14. NOTE: I used canned dulce de leche, use what you can find.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris.

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

I think I jinxed myself last week.

I was talking about how I haven’t been sick forever, for years actually, and how strange that was.

Then when Mr Man and I went away to the beach for a night over the weekend, I woke up – you guessed it – SICK.

And it has really taken it all out of me. I don’t think I ever remember being this sick, or the last time I took a sick day from work.

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

I actually don’t know what to do with myself. I have strict orders from loved ones to keep my behind firmly planted on the couch (I’m not very good at relaxing, you see).

I have been constantly drinking tea, slurping chicken soup and Vietnamese pho, reading books, and catching myself up on all the misery that is daytime TV. All while it’s super warm and sunny outside. Somehow being sick is much more suitable to winter weather!

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

Anyway, I’ve been locked in the house and haven’t been able to do anything. Quite literally. It took all the energy I had for me to just wash my hair. So I haven’t even been able to bake! And the whole time I’ve been sick, I’ve been wishing and hoping that I still had some of this clafoutis leftover! Because how good is warm custard baked over fresh fruit?! So good!

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

I’ve been reading (well, now that I’m sick with nothing else to do, I’ve finished reading) David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris. The book is funny, insightful (particularly for anyone planning a trip to Paris!) and filled with recipes at the end of every chapter.

The recipes seem lovely and I’ve got quite a number bookmarked for me “to bake” across the book and this was numero uno on the list!

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

I’ve made clafoutis for you before in the form of a tart, but I have to say this version is better. With the addition of butter in the recipe, it’s a little richer, and the lack of a pastry shell makes the whole thing a lot quicker and easier to put together.

Fruit goes in a baking dish, the batter gets whisked together and poured over the top, and then the whole thing gets baked. It was a quick dessert that I whipped up on Friday, but the leftovers could also serve as a lovely breakfast, straight from the fridge. X

Plum and Blackberry Clafoutis | Butter Baking

P.S. The photos of the scooped serve of clafoutis shows it as being a bit sloppy. In reality it sets firm as it cools a little, and can be sliced and served neatly, like this tart. However I made it last minute and was chasing the light for these photos, so apologies.

PLUM AND BLACKBERRY CLAFOUTIS
 
Ingredients
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted (2 oz), plus more for greasing
  • 450g ripe plums, halved and pitted (1 pound)
  • 125g punnet blackberries (1 cup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 70g plain flour, sifted (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 100g caster (superfine) sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 330ml milk (1⅓ cups)
  • 30g caster (superfine) sugar (2 tbsp), for sprinkling
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and use the extra butter to grease a 2 litre (2 quart) shallow baking dish.
  2. Arrange the plums, cut-side up, over the base of the dish, and scatter the berries on top.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs well. Whisk in the flour, butter and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Then whisk in 100g sugar, and finally the milk.
  5. Pour the clafoutis mixture over the fruit in the baking dish and place on a flat baking tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Carefully pull the rack out from the oven halfway, then sprinkle the extra 30g sugar evenly over the top of the clafoutis. Carefully push the rack back in, then bake for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying. Serves 8.
  8. Happy baking!

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life In Paris.

Healthy Apricot and Coconut Balls

Apricot and Coconut Balls | Butter Baking

There’s this stuff at the supermarkets here called Apricot Delight.

It’s like these little squares of apricot and coconut, well, delight. They’re coated in coconut and I secretly really like them.

Apricot and Coconut Balls | Butter Baking

Secretly because they’re processed, full of sugar and are not good for me at all. But there’s just something about them that seems perfect for a snack.

Apricot and Coconut Balls | Butter Baking

So when I saw a recipe for them recently (and then read the ingredients list, which had only three things on it!) I made them as soon as I could.

They’re really easy to make. All you do is process everything together and just roll the mixture into balls, coat it in coconut and you’re done!

Apricot and Coconut Balls | Butter Baking

They make me feel much better about snacking than the store-bought version does, and they’re much better for me too.

Apricot and Coconut Balls | Butter Baking

I’ve been sharing lots of super easy, three-ingredient recipes lately. It hasn’t been on purpose! I’ve just been a little time poor and they’ve been kind of perfect. But I’ll make you something that’s actually baked soon, I promise!

Apricot and Coconut Balls | Butter Baking

In the meantime, enjoy these little snacks! X

P.S. They’re also gluten free, no-bake, sugar free, and all-round awesome.

Apricot and Coconut Balls | Butter Baking

APRICOT AND COCONUT BALLS
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups dried apricot
  • 1½ cups shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp honey
Method
  1. Process together the apricots, ½ cup coconut and honey.
  2. Using wet hands, roll teaspoons of mixture into balls and coat in coconut.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set,
  4. Makes 24 small balls.
  5. Happy baking!

Recipe adapted for a magazine I’ve forgotten the name of. If anyone knows the source please let me know!

Mango Cheesecake Tart

Mango Cheesecake Tart | Butter Baking

Cheesecake is a lovely, simple dessert that I’ve really gotten into lately.

I particularly love this version! I’ve been making it for ages, and don’t know why I haven’t posted it for you sooner.

Mango Cheesecake Tart | Butter Baking

This isn’t a fridge-set cheesecake, that requires time and gelatin for it to hold.

And it isn’t a baked cheesecake that needs to cool in the oven for hours so it doesn’t crack.

Mango Cheesecake Tart | Butter Baking

No, this is a whip-and-you’re-done kind of cheesecake, that is creamy, smooth, and nicely tangy in contrast to the fresh fruit that goes so well piled on top.

Mango Cheesecake Tart | Butter Baking

It’s so easy to make! You beat cream, you whip cream cheese and sugar, you fold the two together and that’s your cheesecake filling, done.

Mango Cheesecake Tart | Butter Baking

It’s so great piled into a pre-baked tart shell, like I have done here. But in the past I’ve made this cheesecake filling, put it straight into a bowl, topped it with berries, crumbled up some shortbread and served the whole thing as a deconstructed cheesecake.

Mango Cheesecake Tart | Butter Baking

It’s SO easy. And such an adaptable recipe! You’re going to love it.

P.S. Try it with raspberries piled on top! Or poached rhubarb in winter. X

Mango Cheesecake Tart | Butter Baking

MANGO CHEESECAKE TART
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY:
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g caster (superfine) sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • FOR THE TART FILLING:
  • 250g packet cream cheese
  • 70g icing (powdered) sugar
  • 300ml double cream
  • 3 mangoes
Method
  1. To make the tart pastry, cream the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until well combined.
  2. Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Turn the mixer onto a low speed and mix in the flour until just combined.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a flat disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate until completely chilled, about an hour.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge about ten minutes before you're ready to roll it out.
  6. Grease a 9 inch tart shell with spray oil and lightly flour your bench.
  7. Roll out the tart pastry until it is ⅛ inch thick, and a little bigger than your tart pan.
  8. Lift the pastry off the bench and place it into the tart tin. Press it into the base and up the side, then trim off the excess around the edges.
  9. Place the tart in the fridge to allow the pastry to chill for half an hour, then preheat the oven to 170 C (340 F).
  10. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork, then bake, uncovered, for 20 - 30 minutes, until lightly golden. Set aside to cool and then remove from the tin.
  11. To make the cheesecake filling, using an electric mixer, beat the cream to soft peaks. Set aside and beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  12. Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly into the baked tart shell
  13. Peel the skin off the mangoes and slice them into ½cm slices. Arrange the mango over the cheesecake in a rose pattern, starting on the outside and working your way in.
  14. Keep refrigerated. Serves 10.
  15. Happy baking!

Pastry recipe adapted from Tartine.
Cheesecake filling adapted from the Pastry Affair.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

Week after week after week of me baking and blogging and baking and blogging, I always ask Mr Man: “Is there anything you feel like?”, “What should I bake?”, or “Any blog ideas?”.

His answer is always the same.

“I want something chocolatey. With a biscuit-y crunch”, he says.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

So I set out to make Mr Man something chocolatey with a biscuit-y crunch.

And what could possibly be more chocolatey and biscuit-y and crunchy than chocolate biscuit cake?

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

I think its origins are English, and traditionally this “cake” is made with a simple ganache and digestive biscuits.

I changed it a little bit, replacing the cream in the recipe with Nutella, and making this a rich, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, chocolate hazelnut biscuit cake. Some chopped roasted hazelnuts scattered over the top and we’re done.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

This “cake” isn’t really a cake, because it has just four (yes, FOUR!!!) ingredients and its steps involve all of melting, mixing and refrigerating ! For real.

Like last week’s recipe, this is really super easy and instantly satisfying. I love it, and wish I still had some in the fridge.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

But beware! This is addictive! If you’re anything like me, you’re going to have a delicious slice of this, then walk past and slice off just one more fat little piece, then sneak into the fridge later for another cheeky chunk…

You get the picture. Enjoy! X

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BISCUIT CAKE
 
Ingredients
  • 200g milk chocolate, chopped (7 oz, 1 cup)
  • 1 cup Nutella (280g, 10 oz)
  • ½ - 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 packet digestive biscuit or graham crackers, roughly crushed (300g)
  • 60g hazelnuts, roasted and chopped (2 oz)
Method
  1. Grease and line a small loaf pan with baking paper.
  2. Place the chocolate and Nutella in a medium heatproof bowl.
  3. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and Nutella are melted and combined.
  4. Take the bowl off the heat and mix in the salt and biscuits.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly. Top with hazelnuts.
  6. Refrigerate for half an hour, or until set.
  7. Allow to soften for 5 minutes at room temperature before slicing. Serves 10.
  8. Happy baking!

Recipe adapted from these Nutella Ganache Truffles, ganache recipe via Amy Atlas.

%d bloggers like this: