Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Layer Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

It has been absolute madness over in my world for the last couple of weeks.

What with losing half the photos from my blog and spending hours slowly inserting them back into their posts, I’ve also been sick. Like have no voice, have to write things down in order to communicate kind of sick.

On top of all that, I’m also frantically trying to get everything ready for a trip to Europe I’m going on in three days. Yes, THREE days.

And I haven’t even started packing yet. That in itself, is giving me anxiety (because I am the most crazy organised person only ever and have a list for everything. Everything.).

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

I’m working right up until the day we fly out, regardless of the fact that I’m sick, because I’m going away for over three weeks and heck, my pastry section at work needs to be fully prepped. Like, they hired a walk-in-freezer for me to fill before I go kind of prepped.

I’m not even joking. Can you feel the madness yet?

Thank God I’m going on a holiday.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

I will attempt to update le blog while I’m away, but definitely get following on Instagram for photos of the beautiful places we visit and all the delicious food we’ll be eating (I already have a list for that! Yeah!).

If anyone has any must-dos and must-eats for London, Amsterdam, Vienna or Prague please do let me know! I would love some insider tips.

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

In the meantime, I’m sharing a recipe for my version of a traditional Polish cake! It’s traditionally called miodowiec, and my aunt makes this for me when I go to Poland because she knows it’s my absolute favourite. This particular version was one I made for Mr Man’s birthday recently.

If you follow this blog, you’ll be well aware that he loves anything “chocolatey with a biscuity crunch”. And this is exactly that, a refrigerator cake made with layers of handmade biscuits and chocolate hazelnut buttercream, that all gets topped off with a chocolate hazelnut ganache. X

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscuit Cake | Butter Baking

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT BISCUIT LAYER CAKE
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE BISCUITS:
  • 500g plain flour
  • 70g margerine
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch salt
  • FOR THE NUTELLA BUTTERCREAM:
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 litre milk (4 cups)
  • 6 tbsp semolina
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 280g Nutella (1 cup)
  • FOR THE GANACHE:
  • 60g Nutella
  • 60g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 60g cream
  • ½ cup chopped, roasted skinless hazelnuts
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line as many round trays as you have with baking paper (you’ll need 8 in total but can always rotate them).
  2. To make the biscuit dough, knead all the ingredients together by hand, in a food processor or in an electric mixer.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. On a floured surface, roll out each ball of dough into a very thin round, until it is the size of a dinner plate. Place a dinner plate upside down on top of the rolled out dough and trim around it to remove the excess.
  4. Place the rolled rounds of dough onto the baking trays and bake for 7 – 8 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Boil the milk, semolina, sugar, vanilla and salt together until thick.
  6. Place in a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until cool.
  7. Beat the butter using an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add the Nutella and beat until incorporated. Add the semolina a couple of tablespoons at a time, until it is all combined.
  8. To assemble the cake, place a biscuit round on a serving plate. Top with about a third of a cup of semolina buttercream and spread it evenly around using an offset spatula. Top with another biscuit, and repeat the process until all the biscuits have been used. Spread the remaining buttercream over the top and sides of the cake to seal it. Refrigerate the cake to allow the buttercream to set.
  9. To make the ganache, combine the Nutella, cream and chocolate in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring with a rubber spatula until everything is melted and smooth.
  10. Pour the ganache over the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides, and sprinkle with the hazelnuts.
  11. Keep refrigerated. Best served the next day. Serves 10.

Adapted from this post.

Apple and Berry Galette

Apple and Berry Galette | Butter Baking

Hey all!

I need to get a little blog business out of the way! I’ll be quick I promise, I know that business is boring and we don’t want to waste time talking about that when we could be talking about pie now do we?!

But unfortunately I’ve been having a few issues with the photos on the older posts of the blog. A few years ago, I transitioned from a wordpress.com blog to the self-hosted Butter Baking you see here today.

Then recently, I decided good old wordpress.com was no longer required, and I deleted it.

Apple and Berry Galette | Butter Baking

And hey ho, who would’ve known that some of my photos hadn’t moved over properly, were still linked to the wordpress.com, and along the way, got deleted along with the old blog. Whoops!

So I am now slowly, post-by-post, going through 100 – 150 old posts and adding in the photos again! While I’m at it, I’m also converting all the old plain recipe formats into Easy Recipe boxes so you can easily print.

I’m so sorry if the lack of photos has inconvenienced you at all! Please bear with me while I get this all sorted :-)

Apple and Berry Galette | Butter Baking

Now onto pie!

This baby was my ode to my mama on Mother’s Day. She loves apple pie, and I’ve baked her everything from fine apple tart to apple turnovers to traditional apple pie in the past.

I wanted all the flavours of apple pie here, with the classic sweet shortcrust and cinnamon apples, but I wanted to make something a little fresher and prettier. This was the result!

It’s basically an open, fanned apple pie with berries thrown in. Delish! And my mum loved it so much that she ate almost the whole thing herself in one afternoon. X

Apple and Berry Galette | Butter Baking

APPLE AND BERRY GALETTE
 
Ingredients
  • 1 quantity of sweet pie dough (link below recipe)
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½ tsp dutch cinnamon
  • ½ cup frozen berries of choice
  • 1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½ tsp cornstarch
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling
Method
  1. Make your pie dough (link below recipe) and chill in the fridge.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and core your apples and cut them into quarters. Cut each quarter into four again, and place in a medium saucepan with 2 tbsp of sugar, the cinnamon and a tablespoon of water.
  3. Cook over a medium heat, covered but stirring occasionally, for 8 - 10 minutes, until softened slightly.
  4. Remove the apples from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
  5. When the apples are cool, preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a large tray with baking paper.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry until it is 3 - 4mm (1/8 inch) thick circle. Place the round of pastry on the prepared tray.
  7. Fan the apple wedges in a circle over the pastry, leaving a 1½ inch border around the edge bare.
  8. Mix together the frozen berries, tablespoon of sugar and cornstarch and scatter them over the apples.
  9. Fold in the edges of the pastry to cover the outside edge of the apples.
  10. Chill the galette in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  11. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  12. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
  13. Serves 8.
  14. Happy baking!

For the sweet pie dough recipe, click here!

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies | Butter Baking

For the last few weeks I’ve been busy testing recipes in order to develop the perfect chocolate chip cookies.

Perfect is a huge word when it comes to cookies, because everyone looks for something different in their ultimate choc chip treat. But I wanted to create my own recipe, one that took everything I loved in a cookie, smashed it all together and made the most amazing chocolate chip cookie I had ever tasted.

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies | Butter Baking

I wanted to make a cookie that’s super chewy, thick, soft inside and just crispy around the very edges. I wanted my cookie to have depth of flavour and to stay flavourful and chewy for a few days after baking.

And after a couple of trials, I gotta say, I nailed it.

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies | Butter Baking

My perfect chocolate chip cookies start with brown butter. So there’s no waiting for your butter to soften before making your dough or anything like that. Nuh-uh. Straight into a pot the butter goes, so it can get nutty and fragrant and delicious.

They also have lots of brown sugar, which give them good spread, caramel flavour and that chew that I love, but there’s still enough white sugar (and a little cornstarch too!) in there to make sure they are still thick and bitey.

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies | Butter Baking

I love adding some ground up coffee to my cookie dough too. It doesn’t make the dough or the cookies taste like coffee at all, but it just adds to the deep, rich caramel undertone that’s so damn good in a chocolate cookie. The brown butter, vanilla extract and high ratio of brown sugar help with that too. Then resting the dough in the fridge before baking makes the cookie’s flavour even better.

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies | Butter Baking

So there we have it, my hunt for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe is over! And I hope you love my ultimate, thick, chewy, chocolate chip cookies as much as I do. X

My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies | Butter Baking

MY PERFECT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
 
Ingredients
  • 220g unsalted butter (1 cup)
  • 250g brown sugar (1 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 110g caster (superfine) sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules, finely ground
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 315g plain flour (2¼ cups)
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 300g chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips (1½ cups)
Method
  1. First, brown the butter. Put the butter in a small saucepan over a high heat. Cook until the butter melts, bubbles up, then begins to turn golden brown at the bottom of the pot. Remove from the heat.
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the browned butter, both sugars, vanilla, coffee and sea salt until combined.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.
  4. Add the flour, cornstarch and baking soda and beat on a low speed until just incorporated.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop to drop balls of dough on a lined baking tray, cover this with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  7. The next day, preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) or 160 C (320 F) for a fan oven and divide the cookies between a few lined baking trays. Optionally, sprinkle each cookie with a little sea salt.
  8. Bake for 9 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on trays.
  9. Makes 22 cookies.
  10. Happy baking!

Recipe by Natasha of Butter Baking.

Flourless Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Flourless Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies | Butter Baking

Hello! I have a cookie recipe to share with you today, and boy oh boy am I excited about this one!

Flourless Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies | Butter Baking

It’s great because it bakes up a decadent, chewy, almost brownie-like chocolate cookie, with crackly top, a fudgy centre and lots of melty chocolate chips throughout it.

Flourless Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies | Butter Baking

But it’s also awesome because it takes all of two minutes to make the dough. Not kidding.

Put your dry ingredients into a bowl, throw in the wet ones, mix the whole thing together and voilà, you have cookie dough. Tablespoons of dough go into the oven and your cookies are done. It’s that easy.

Flourless Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies | Butter Baking

And! There’s more! These cookies have no flour!! Or butter! (!!!!) They’re pretty much just icing sugar, cocoa, eggs and chocolate chips. So they’re dairy free. And if you buy maize cornstarch, they’re gluten free too. Win, win, win, win.

Hope you love these! X

Flourless Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies | Butter Baking

FLOURLESS DOUBLE CHOCOLATE FUDGE COOKIES
 
Ingredients
  • 375g icing (powdered) sugar, sifted (13 oz)
  • 100g cocoa powder, sifted (3½ oz)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (plus extra, for sprinkling)
  • 2 large eggs, whisked lightly
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g dark chocolate chips ( 6 oz)
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line three trays with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar, cocoa, cornflour and salt.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to combine (it will come together).
  4. Stir through the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop tablespoons of dough onto the prepared trays and sprinkle each cookie lightly with sea salt.
  6. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until puffed and cracked.
  7. Makes 16 cookies.
  8. Happy baking!

Adapted from Good Housekeeping magazine UK.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies | Butter Baking

One of the joys of having a pastry chef or keen home-baker in your life is that every occasion seems to get baked for.

Chocolate ice cream for Easter, passionfruit tart for a birthday, dulce de leche brownies for Valentine’s Day, peppermint chocolate truffles for Christmas and cookies to say thank you.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies | Butter Baking

One of the downsides of being a pastry chef is that no one bakes for you ever. Except your Mum that is, and only because she baked for you all your life anyway.

But everyone else claims to be terrified that their baked goods won’t be up to scratch, that you’ll judge them, that you won’t like them, etcetera, etcetera.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies | Butter Baking

But sweets are much more fun to eat when someone else has done all the hard work and made them for you!

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies | Butter Baking

True to form, it was Mr Man’s birthday last week and I baked for him.

Along with making him a cake so he could blow out candles and all the usual jazz, I combined his favourite dessert elements to create these brownies.

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies | Butter Baking

They have a salty-sweet pretzel base, then there’s a layer of my favourite ever brownie, and that’s topped with a thick and chewy salted caramel.

They’re rich and decadent, and definitely for sugar and chocolate lovers. You’ll only need a small square to get your sugar hit, and they’re best served accompanied with a tall glass of milk or a coffee. X

Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies | Butter Baking

SALTED CARAMEL PRETZEL BROWNIES
 
Ingredients
  • FOR THE PRETZEL BASE:
  • 1½ cups crumbled pretzels
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted (2 oz)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • FOR THE BROWNIE:
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (170g, 6 oz)
  • 455g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (1 pound)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed (395g, 14 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp plain flour (130g, 4.5 oz)
  • FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL:
  • 125g water (1/2 cup)
  • 330g caster (superfine) sugar (1½ cups)
  • 90g unsalted butter, cubed (3 oz)
  • 180g cream (3/4 cup)
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling
Method
  1. To make the pretzel crust, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and grease and line the base and sides of a 9 x 13 inch tin with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the pretzels, melted butter, brown sugar and maple syrup until the sugar breaks down and everything is combined.
  3. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared pan, spreading into a very thin and even layer. Bake for 6 - 8 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.
  4. To make the brownie, reduce the oven temperature to 180 C (350 F).
  5. Put the butter it in a heatproof bowl together with the chocolate. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate are melted, smooth and combined. Set aside.
  6. Using a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs, sugar salt and vanilla on a high speed until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage – when it is thick, pale, and falls from the whisk in a ribbon that folds onto itself.
  7. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until incorporated. Gently fold in the flour, until just combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  9. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, until the top is lightly cracked and soft to the touch. Set aside to cool.
  10. To make the caramel, place the sugar and water in a large saucepan and place over a high heat. Cook until the mixture has reached 175 C (350 F) on a candy thermometer, or until it is a dark amber colour.
  11. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the butter and cream over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined.
  12. When the caramel has reached the desired temperature, remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream mixture.
  13. Return to the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly.
  14. Pour the caramel over the brownie and spread out to make an even layer.
  15. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours, until set, then sprinkle with sea salt.
  16. Keep refrigerated, but allow to soften a little at room temperature before serving. Makes 24 brownies.
  17. Happy baking!

Pretzel layer adapted from this recipe.
Brownie recipe adapted from Tartine via this recipe.
Salted caramel recipe adapted from Donna Hay.

Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate Ice Cream | Butter Baking

I can still remember how amazed I was when I made vanilla ice cream, from scratch, at home, for the very first time.

Sure, I had made it at culinary school before, and I’d eaten “home made” versions of ice cream, but this was just another level of awesomeness. I actually had an “oh my god I just made ice cream and it tastes real!” moment.

Chocolate Ice Cream | Butter Baking

It was rich and creamy, smooth and luscious, flecked with vanilla beans and really tasted like delicious custard. 

And as soon as I made it and it was all eaten and licked from the bowl, the response was, “Well, now you have to make chocolate ice cream”.

Chocolate Ice Cream | Butter Baking

So here I am. Making chocolate ice cream.

And it’s just like the vanilla episode all over again, right down to the “oh my god I just make chocolate ice cream and it tastes real and I’ll never eat anything out of a tub ever again” moment.

Chocolate Ice Cream | Butter Baking

Because this is what chocolate ice cream should taste like. It should be rich, thick and creamy. It should have a deep, dark chocolate flavour and taste like an amazing chocolate custard that got all frozen.

You have to try it! At least once. X

Chocolate Ice Cream | Butter Baking

CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
 
Ingredients
  • 500ml cream (2 cups)
  • 3 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 140g good quality dark chocolate (5 oz)
  • 250ml milk (1 cup)
  • 165g caster (superfine) sugar (3/4 cup)
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Method
  1. In a medium saucepan, warm 250ml (1 cup) of the cream with the cocoa while whisking. Bring it to the boil and continue to whisk for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
  2. Stir in the chocolate until melted and combined, then stir in the remaining 250ml (1 cup) cream.
  3. Pour the mixture into a large heatproof bowl and set a strainer over the bowl.
  4. Whisk together the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and salt until it's just under the boil. Pour the milk mixture into the egg yolks in a slow and steady stream while constantly whisking.
  6. Return the anglaise back to the pot and place over a low heat. Cook, stirring with a rubber spatula constantly, until the mixture reaches 76 C (170 F).
  7. Pour the custard mixture through the strainer into the chocolate mixture. Whisk to combine, then cover with cling film, placing it directly on the surface of the ice cream.
  8. Refrigerate overnight to chill, or for at least 8 hours.
  9. Churn according to your machine's instructions, then transfer to a container and freeze.
  10. Makes 1 litre (1 quart).
  11. Happy baking!

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.

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