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The Bronut

18 Nov

 

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In one of my recent visits to Tamper (best coffee shop in Sheffield by miles), I tried the… bronut! What is a bronut? A marriage between brioche bread and donuts! It tasted OK. I’m not a big fan of either so I’m probably not the best person to judge. It’s fun to see new pastry creations in a place like Sheffield though!

 

Easy Brownies with Cadbury Fingers!

17 Oct
brownies

cadbury finger brownies

I usually buy good quality dark chocolate to make brownies. This time, however, I decided to try cocoa powder! I was pleasantly surprised. The brownies were very flavoursome with a pleasant texture – crispy on top, fudgy on the inside.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cups of cocoa (I used Bournville. If you use unsweetened, you might need more sugar)
  • 12 Cadbury fingers  (cut in small pieces) – I used the Fabulous ones that have milk and white chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g slightly salted butter
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Instructions

br4Preheat your oven to 160 degrees. Melt the butter, sugar and cocoa powder – you do this in the microwave or by placing a pyrex bowl over a saucepan of hot water.  Stir until the butter has melted. Let it cool for a few minutes.  Beat in the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time until the mixture is smooth.
 Add the flour and beat until the texture of the mixture is smooth and slightly glossy. Add the cadbury fingers and mix. Pour into a tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool and slice the brownies into small squares or triangles.

Edible mouse

1 Feb

IMG_4135This used to be my favourite chocolate cake when I was a kid. I always buy one (or two) when I visit my parents in Greece. Not only it’s cute but it’s delicious! Can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not a chocoholic though!

Even its ears and tail are edible and made of… chocolate!

Loukoumades (Greek Doughnuts)

18 Jan

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Loukoumades is a classic greek dessert. Even though their name might sound weird, they’re nothing but fried dough balls in honey syrup spiced with cinnamon. You may have already noticed that honey and cinnamon are the main ingredients in many greek desserts!

If you want to try loukoumades, here’s a simple recipe by Maria Benardis:

 

Cheesecake Brownies

24 Dec

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I love cheesecake and brownies. What can go wrong if you combine them? Nothing – as long as you are willing to share them with others and resist from eating them all by yourself!

The original recipe was with unsweetened chocolate. I didn’t have any and decided to try it with Bournville instead. Since it is sweet, I left out the sugar. I was not sure at first, but they turned out great! There is 1/3 cup sugar in the cheesecake layer and sugar in the chocolate bar after all!

Ingredients

Brownie Layer

1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, cut into pieces
150 grams Bournville chocolate bar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 free range eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Cream Cheese Layer

227 grams full fat cream cheese, at room temperature (I used Philadelphia)
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 free range egg

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a baking pan with aluminium foil or a parching paper. Melt the butter and chocolate and whisk in vanilla extract (and the sugar, if you are using any). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Stir in the flour and stir until the batter is smooth and glossy. This will take about one minute – good exercise! Spread the brownie batter evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan.

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Then it is time to prepare the cheesecake layer! In a medium bowl process the cream cheese just until smooth – you can do it using a food processor, a hand mixer, or your hands. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and beat until creamy and smooth. Be careful not to over process it! It should not be runny! Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brownie layer.

 

Bake in the preheated oven until the brownies are set and the cream cheese is just beginning to brown. This should take about 30 minutes depending on your oven. A good way to test whether the brownies are ready is by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out only with a few moist crumbs, the brownies are ready.

Remove the cheesecake brownies from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The cut the brownies to squares and store in the refrigerator. Each brownie has about 200 calories.

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Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Cookies)

22 Dec

Melomakarona are probably my favourite Christmas desserts. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to find them anywhere outside Greece.

I thought that making them would be very difficult and I’d never tried to even look at a recipe before. This year, however, I decided to give it a go after watching a youtube “how to” video by accident. The recipe didn’t seem as complex as I expected.

A great thing about those cookies is the fact that they’re made using olive oil instead of butter. Also, they don’t have eggs.   You should only use GOOD quality olive oil though.

Ingredients

for the cookies:

2 cups olive oil
1 1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups of flour
1/4 tbs cinnamon
1/4 tbs nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
peel one clementine

for syrup:

1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup of walnuts (for sprinkling)

Instructions

MelomakaronaMix the orange juice and the olive oil in a big bowl. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and the clementine peel and mix well. It’s probably best if you use your hands to do this. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda. Slowly incorporate the flour until the mixture forms a dough that is not too loose but not quite firm either. Use a handful of dough to make each cookie, forming into a log shape. Place the cookies on a cooking sheet and flatten them by pressing them with a fork.  Bake them for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly browned. Don’t worry if they don’t look as dark as in the photos! They will darken when you submerge them in syrup.

Wait until the cookies are cool. Then prepare the syrup by combining the honey, sugar, water and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat and simmer over the lowest heat possible during dipping. Put in cookies in the syrup and allow the cookies to absorb syrup on both sides. Hold them down for 30 seconds and then place on a large serving plate and sprinkle them with finely chopped walnuts.

Do not refrigerate the melomakarona. Cover them well with plastic wrap or store in air tight containers. Enjoy!

Cake ‘R’ Us

22 Dec
tea & cake

tea & cake

Cake ‘R’ Us is an Asian coffee shop and bakery in Sheffield. They currently have 2 shops. I’ve only visited the one in Division Street. It’s one of my favourite places! It has great herbal teas and really nice cakes. They are much lighter than the ones you find in western bakeries and really cheap. We’re talking about less than £2 for a piece of cake, which is tasty and fresh! Teas are great too. They’re served in a pot which makes about 4 cups!!! The one I usually order costs only £1.50. A bargain! Also, they have a quiet room downstairs with free wifi. Not a bad place to write an essay or a new blog post.

They offer lots of savoury and sweet Asian products – most of them freshly baked. Some of them are a bit too exotic for me, but trying new things is always nice.

If you ever visit Sheffield and you’re looking for a place for tea and cake, give Cake ‘R’ Us a go! They stay open until 21:00 every day, even on Sundays. Here’s their website.

I should give credit to the Courgette Co-op for discovering this place while she was in Sheffield!

Here are some pics from my last visit:

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oreo cake

jasmine tea! Look at the jasmine buds!

jasmine tea! Look at the jasmine buds!