Thursday, 2 June 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rock Cakes

Peanut butter is like marmite in my world, you love it or you hate it. Hubby would sit and eat a whole jar, whereas it makes me retch and gives me a mildly itchy tongue. Which made it the perfect ingredient when I felt like baking but didn’t want to be tempted by the results!

I was actually trying to make cookies, but they didn’t melt correctly in the oven, I think more butter was called for. The recipe below has upped the quantities of butter to make more cookie like rock cakes, as these were an odd cookie-rock cake-brownie combo that wasn’t quite hard enough to be a rock cake, flat enough to be a cookie, or damp enough to be a brownie. Recipe is adapted from an American one, so very easy to measure if you have a set of cups.


1¼ cups plain flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup peanut butter
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup peanuts
Coarse salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 180ͦC. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
Beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and peanuts.
Drop by two heaping tablespoonfuls of dough, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.

Sprinkle a small pinch of coarse salt on top of each cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the outside of the cookies are set but the middles are still a little soft. Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Store in an airtight container.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Back with a bang! Proscuitto wrapped chicken, leek and mushroom terrine.

It's been a very long time since my last post, but I've been missing it so I'm back! I've been really pushing myself in the kitchen recently, and I'd like to share some of the results. I'm trying to eat more healthily at the moment, and cut back on the carbs. So the blog will no longer be just about baking, but cooking generally too. I've been taking a lot of salads to work as the weather pretends summer is here, but there is only so much plain chicken and ham a girl can look at before I run screaming for the biscuit barrel! So I decided to try to liven it up a bit, and the result was this:

I have to say it's one of the nicest lunches I've ever taken! It feels quite indulgent without being carby or high in fat.


2 leeks , sliced
125g mixed wild mushrooms, or I used shiitake, sliced
A garlic clove
few thyme sprigs
2 gelatine leaves
150ml strong chicken stock
10 slices proscuitto
600g cooked skinless chicken meat

  • Cook the leeks over a very low heat in a little oil for 15 mins until soft, then set aside to cool. 
  • Fry the mushrooms with the garlic and thyme in a little oil and a generous knob of butter (the vitamins in mushrooms are fat soluble, meaning the best way to release them is to cook in butter otherwise you're only getting a fraction of the goodness) until soft, then set aside to cool. 
  • Soak the gelatine in cold water, then heat the stock. 
  • Remove the stock from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then dissolve the gelatine in the stock, season, then set aside.
  • Line a terrine dish or loaf tin with cling flim. Line with slices of prosciutto so that they overlap to cover the base and sides, and overhang the edges.
  • Arrange a layer of chicken so that everything is even then pour over stock.
  • Scatter over the mushrooms, then add some more stock
  • Add more chicken followed by the layer of leeks, the pour over more stock
  • Add the rest of the chicken and press down firmly. 
  • Pour over the rest of the stock and tap the tin to work it into any gaps
    Fold the prosciutto over to encase the terrine. Fold the cling film over and press down gently. Weigh down with a few tins.
  • Chill overnight. Remove the terrine from the tin and peel off the cling film. Slice and serve.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, so simple to make yet absolutely delicious.