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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.
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Gnocchi with courgette and gorgonzola

14 Oct

Gnocchi with courgettes and gorgonzola

Ingredients

For the gnocchi (from La Cucina Italiana):

  • 2½ pounds baking potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons Grana Padano, grated

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin  olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 courgettes, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 9 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper

 

Instructions

I used this recipe to make the gnocchi. Make the gnocchi according to instructions.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the gnocchi.  This will take about 3 minutes – they’re ready once they float to the top.

In a large pot, warm the olive oil and add the shallots, and the courgettes. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the Gorgonzola to the pan and once it’s melted add the cooked gnocchi. Let the ingredients combine for 1-2 minutes and then serve. Enjoy!

 

Pasta with courgettes and carrots in creamy sauce

8 Oct

5

I came up with this recipe trying to decide what to do with some courgettes that I bought on impulse when ordering groceries from Waitrose. I’d never cooked anything with courgettes before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The outcome exceeded my expectations, so I’m sharing the recipe with you.

 

1Ingredients

300g pasta (any kind of pasta will do. I used wholewheat penne)

3 medium sized courgettes – thinly sliced

3 carrots

a small onion

25g of butter

150ml dry white wine

60g of single cream (can be replaced with milk for a lighter sauce)

50g parmesan

50g cheddar or edam

2

Instructions

Cut the vegetables in thin slices. Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain.

Preheat the over at 195-200 degrees.

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and courgettes.  Add the wine and lower the heat. Occasionally stir. Cook for about 30 minutes. Cooking time depends on how thin the slices are.

Add the cream (or milk) and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes.Return the pasta to the pan and heat throgh. Let the mix combine for a few minutes and then move to oven dish. Sprinkle with the cheese and put the dish in the over. Leave it for 10-15 minutes until the cheese on top is brown. Enjoy!

Halloumi, Baby Spinach Pita Wrap

21 Jan

 

halloumi pita

Not sure if this qualifies as a “recipe”. It’s really easy and very tasty. All you need is some greek style pita bread, some halloumi cheese, fresh baby spinach and vegetable oil for frying. I prefer olive oil but avoid if you find it too strong.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the halloumi slices over a medium heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden and slightly soft inside. Warm up the pita bread. You can do it in the oven or over medium heat in a frying pan.

Add the sliced halloumi and some spinach leaves in the pita bread, wrap, and enjoy!

Loukoumades (Greek Doughnuts)

18 Jan

2012-12-28 16.19.10

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!