Thursday, 18 October 2018

Brownies with Caramel Flavoured Biscuit 'Nibbles'

I admit it - I only bought McVitie's 'Caramel Flavoured' Digestive Nibbles to make this batch of brownies more interesting for my blog post. I was scanning the biscuit and confectionery shelves in the supermarket, thinking that adding Oreos or Maltesers was no longer original enough, when I noticed Nibbles - little chocolate covered balls of biscuit a little smaller than Maltesers. This Caramel flavoured version also had a layer of caramel cream between the biscuit and the chocolate coating.

After tasting a few (for quality control purposes only, of course!), I just added the rest of the pack of biscuit pieces (around 110g) to my favourite brownie recipe:

For a 20cm (8") square tin: Melt 140g of butter and 140g of dark chocolate together in a large bowl, over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool if necessary, so that you can add the eggs without cooking them. Add 300g light muscovado sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Next, add three eggs, one at a time, and beat in to give a smooth batter. Sift 160g plain flour and 3 tablespoons of cocoa into the bowl, and fold in, followed by the biscuit pieces. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking tin, level the surface, and bake at 180C for around 30 minutes. Cool in the tin, then cut into fingers or squares, whatever size you like.

What surprised, and pleased, me was that the two layers of coating around each little ball of biscuit kept their integrity during baking, so that you could both see and taste that the caramel flavour was part of the biscuit pieces, and not in the brownie mixture.  When I realised each 'Nibble' had the caramel flavour in a coating, I had expected it to melt away during baking, and just give a mild caramel flavour to the whole traybake.

I was also happy that the biscuits kept their crunch for the three days that the brownies lasted; I expect this was also down to the coatings not melting away, thus protecting the biscuit pieces from the moister cake surrounding them. The caramel flavour was quite mild, but noticeable, and when combined with the crunch of biscuit, certainly elevated this batch of brownies from basic to interesting.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Chocolate Spice Gingerbread

This is a really light gingerbread cake, flavoured with Green and Black's Maya Gold Chocolate, which contains spices, orange and vanilla. More spices and chopped prunes are added, along with more dark chocolate to increase the depth of the chocolate flavour.

Even though other spices are added, the unique taste of Maya Gold is still the predominant flavour. I have tried this recipe with orange zest and extra spice, instead of Maya Gold, and although it's still very good, it's not the same!

I made two of these delicious cakes, one to keep and one to donate to a Macmillan Coffee Morning event. Fortuitously the recipe used half a pack of prunes, half a bar of Maya Gold chocolate, and just a tad over half a pot of buttermilk (I just added a tablespoon of natural yogurt to the second cake to give the right volume) so it was good to make the second cake instead of having leftovers to worry about, particularly as Maya Gold chocolate isn't one of my favourite 'eating' chocolates.

Personally, I prefer a heavier, denser gingerbread (the sort which grows a sticky top over time), but as an amalgamation between gingerbread and chocolate cake, this particular recipe is hard to beat.