Episode 2: Brownies… Should we stop messing around with perfection?!

Salted caramel and hazelnut brownies

Recipes mentioned:

Cocoa brownies by Alice Medrich: https://food52.com/recipes/21007-alice-medrich-s-best-cocoa-brownies

Salted caramel brownies by Jane Hornby: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/salted-caramel-brownies

Wholemeal rye brownies by Edd Kimber: https://www.theboywhobakes.co.uk/recipes/2019/3/14/best-ever-rye-chocolate-brownies

Rye and walnut brownies by Claire Ptak: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017852-violet-bakery-rye-brownies

Claire Burnet’s perfect brownies: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3yn2PTXYk5Td4ZGmHqBRP2d/chocolate-brownies

Edd Kimber’s turtle brownies (pecan and caramel): https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/jun/27/edd-kimber-recipes-for-one-tin-desserts-and-cakes

Two-ingredient Nutella brownies by Nigella Lawson: https://i.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/75863776/recipe-nigella-lawsons-nutella-brownies

Chocolate olive oil cake by Nigella Lawson (dairy free): https://www.nigella.com/recipes/chocolate-olive-oil-cake

Vegan brownies on The Sweetest Menu: https://www.sweetestmenu.com/vegan-brownies/

Rukmini Iyer’s Salted Peanut Brownies aren’t available online. Buy her books if you can because they are amazing! This recipe is from The Quick Roasting Tin.

Dark Chocolate, Rye and Walnut Brownies (adapted from Edd Kimber)

Pre-roast 100g walnut halves in a low oven for 10-15 minutes until toasty. Melt 300g dark chocolate and 250g salted butter gently together, stirring intermittently. When completely liquid, set aside to cool. Preheat your oven to 180C/ 160 fan/ gas 4/ 350F.

Whisk 4 UK large (US extra large/240g) room temperature eggs with 150g caster sugar and 150g light brown sugar to ribbon consistency. Weigh 175g wholemeal rye flour separately and fork through to ensure there are no lumps.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture with a spatula. Fold the flour into this. (Optional: stir in a shot of strong coffee, around 25ml.) Pour into a lightly greased, lined 20cm x 30cm / 9×12 in pan/ dish.

Bake for c. 25-30 minutes. The centre should still be wobbly but it should be set around the sides.

Salted Caramel and Hazelnut Brownies (adapted from Jane Hornby)

Pre-roast (if necessary) 200g hazelnuts. If they have skins, remove these as best you can by rubbing the cooled hazelnuts in a clean tea towel. Chop the hazelnuts or leave whole – up to you!

Melt 300g dark chocolate and 250g unsalted butter together gently, stirring intermittently, until completely liquid. Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 180C/ 160 fan/ gas 4/ 350F. Lightly grease and line a 20 x 30cm / 9x12in dish.

Whisk 4 UK large (240g) room temperature eggs with 200g caster sugar. In a smaller bowl, measure 100g plain flour and fork through to ensure there aren’t any lumps.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and fold until combined. Fold in the flour. Stir in a shot of strong coffee (25ml). (You could mix 1 tsp espresso powder with 2tsp water, if you don’t generally make strong coffee!)

Spread just under half the brownie mixture into the pan. Mix a 397g tin of dulche de leche (I used Nestle Carnation Caramel) with 1 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (e.g. Maldon). Spread this over the brownie layer. Scatter the hazelnuts over this. Then dollop and spread over the remaining brownie mixture.

Bake for around 35 minutes, until still wobbly in the middle but set around the edges.

Episode 1: Three, two, one, shortbread!

In this episode, Kate is talking about all things shortbread: where it comes from, the basic technique involved in making it at home and the myriad options when it comes to flavour.

A lot of these recipes were found via the wonderful baking podcast Preheated, which ended recently. Thank you to Andrea and Stefin for bringing so much joy into my life, despite never having met you.

Recipes mentioned:

Nigella Lawson’s Parmesan Shortbread: https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/parmesan_shortbreads_86971/amp

Diane Henry’s Cheddar and Hazelnut Shortbread: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/cheddar-hazelnut-shortbread

Ruby Tandoh’s Tahini and Lemon Biscuits: https://www.nigella.com/recipes/guests/ruby-tandohs-tahini-lemon-biscuits

Just One Cookbook’s Black Sesame Cookies: https://www.justonecookbook.com/sesame-cookies/

Oleander + Palm’s London Fog Shortbread: http://oleanderandpalm.com/2012/08/london-fog-shortbread.html

Kate’s Suggested Recipes

Cocoa and Cardamom Shortbread

  1. Mix 260g plain flour, 1/2 tsp ground green cardamom and 40g good cocoa powder in a bowl.
  2. Add 200g cold cubed butter (salted by preference) to the bowl. Rub in using your fingertips, a food processor or a pastry blender.
  3. Stir in 100g sugar. Press into a lined ovenproof dish around 15cm x 10cm to achieve around 1cm thickness.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at gas 5 / 190C / 170 fan for around 15-20 minutes until it starts to change colour slightly.
  5. Run a knife through the shortbread fresh out of the oven to make squares and leave to cool in the tin until barely warm, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

London Fog Shortbread (adapted from Oleander + Palm)

  1. Prepare 2 tablespoons/ 12g of earl grey tea leaves to create a fine consistency, perhaps using a pestle and mortar and picking out any “twiggy” bits, if necessary.
  2. Mix this with 300g plain/ all purpose flour.
  3. Add 200g cold cubed butter (salted by preference) to the bowl. Rub in. Stir in 85g icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste or extract. (You may need to sieve the sugar to avoid lumps.)
  4. Press into a lined ovenproof dish to achieve a 1cm thickness. Bake at gas 5/ 190C / 170 fan for 15-20 minutes until starting to turn golden. Score with a knife as soon as it is out of the oven to make squares. Leave in the dish to cool until barely warm, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.