The only choc chip cookie recipe you’ll ever need!
Do you ever have one of those days when only a choc chip cookie will do? I love them but Beau simply adores them. Whenever I’m baking that’s what she wants – Freezer cookies. So, when I went to make her a quick batch I discovered that I actually didn’t have all the ingredients I needed so in true EmmaMT style I just made up teh recipe as I went along and used similar alternatives. What I discovered was a batch of the most moreish, soft, gooey chocolateyness I have ever tasted. I had to hide them just so I wouldn’t eat them all before I had shot them. In fact I am alone in my house right now as I type this and I know that there are still five more calling me from downstairs
“Emma! Come and eat us. We’re all soft and warm and bursting with waaaayyyy too much chocolate to resist us!”
But resist them I must. I promised Tim that I wouldn’t eat them all and that there would be some when the girls get home too! Pfew! My waistline thanks him for that!
Alternatives that work
The thing about these cookies that took me by surprise it how good they taste when made with margarine instead of butter. I knew that the brown and granulated sugar would work instead of soft brown sugar but I expected them to be a bit soggy not perfectly gooey. They were just right. Another benefit is that you can use margarine straight from the fridge as it’s soft to begin with. I used Flora’s Buttery as I have a post I’m writing for them in April and had it in the fridge already. It’s goooood!
The trick to getting the perfect soft cookie
… is to not over bake them. This is something that has taken me years to perfect. They only need 9-10 minutes in the oven. The edges will start to turn golden brown but not brown-brown- if you know what I mean? They’ll be light and puffy and they’ll look under baked. They’re not. Just take them out of the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack and leave them for 20 minutes before removing them. I know, I know. Warm cookies from the oven are too good to resist so just do your best! As they cool they wrinkle and look like the ones above. Chocolate heaven.
Even after nearly forty minutes the chocolate was still all warm and melted. See? It’s hard to resist! Hence there are now only five left from the batch – which makes 18. (just so you know I’m not completely greedy I did bake these yesterday. I haven’t eaten them all by myself in one go!
I hope these become a staple in your recipe repertoire as they have mine! Let me know how you get on and if you manage to resist/share them.
Chocolate Torte Madeira Sprinkle Birthday Cake
Where do you get your cake inspiration from? I follow quite a lot of blogs but I only stay subscribed if they keep on delivering great inspiration month after month. If they don’t post for a few weeks I don’t really mind as when they do it’s always amazing new content and that’s how I feel about Sweetapolita. She has a very distinctive style and I always want to have a go at recreating her cakes. Her style was the inspiration for this cake.
BeauBeau is TWELVE!!!!
Where does the time go. I’ve been writing this blog for over four years and each year my daughter’s birthday cake posts seem to come round quicker and quicker. For the first time in ages I actually can believe Beau is twelve. She is so much more happy and mature than she was last year. She’s settled into senior school really well and has a lovely group of new friends who we met for the first time on Sunday. One of them even offered to help carry over the drinks for all the gang while we were at bowling! I mean literally said “Would you like me to help you carry the drinks over“!!! How happy am I that Beau has found such polite and friendly group of girls to hang out with? VERY.
So, when it came to her birthday cake she asked for something simple, chocolatey and pretty. Gone are the days of sculpting cakes into fancy designs. In fact I can’t actually remember the last time I was asked to do that. I knew exactly which of Sweetapolita’s cake designs I was going to make. Lots of soft chocolate ganache buttercream and lots and lots of pretty sprinkles!
Now, I would say that this cake is quick and easy to make and I am sure it is, but not when you are desperate to finish season 4 of Prison Break on Netflix and can’t stop watching it and stay up till 3am to do so! Without Netflix it would have been sooo much quicker!
Chocolate Torte Madeira Cake
Happy Birthday Beau Beau Bob. We love you so much.
Emma (a.k.a. Mamma.xxx)
Chocolate Ganache Recipe
If you follow me on Instagram then you would have already seen this picture of the chocolate ganache I made for a birthday cake a few weeks ago. I totally love ganache. I mean what’s not to love – it’s chocolate and cream!
I thought I’d share my recipe with you as it’s really handy to have – especially at this time of year when you’re thinking about making chocolate truffles asChristmas gifts. Usually I use double cream but I had some dairy free soya cream alternative left over so I used that and it was absolutely delish. Soya milk and cream are so much more creamy tasting that regular ones. I think I’ll be using them every time in the future- what’s more it’s great to have a dairy free ganache in your repertoire- don’t you think?
Print off the Chocolate Ganache Recipe here
Chocolate Ganache Recipe
Ingredients (this recipe is enough to sandwich and cover an 8″ cake
• 200ml double cream
• 250g dark chocolate- broken into small pieces
To make the ganache
- Place the cream in a bain- marie over a low heat making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water below.
- Heat the cream till very hot but not boiling – it will burn very quickly and you don’t need it that hot.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and add the chocolate pieces.
- Stir until all the chocolate and cream is melted and combined.
- Set aside to cool then pipe or spread over your cake with a palette knife.
Tips with Ganache
- You can add half as much chocolate again to your mix (ie another 125g) to make your ganache a thicker consistency. Much more chocolate than that and it will be very firm and won’t be easy to spread on a cake.
- For a dairy free ganache use dark chocolate (Bourneville is buttermilk free – most others aren’t) and a soya dairy free cream. Even if it is single cream the ganache will still taste fab – just add a few more squares of chocolate to thicken it up.
- Milk and white chocolate both work well with this recipe too.
- This recipe is great for making truffles. Simply add a tablespoon of flavour – alcohol always works well, once the cream and chocolate are combined. Set aside to cool then roll into balls. Cover in cocoa powder, icing sugar or anything your heart desire.
How to make a quick Ice cream splat cake
It’s that time of year again. That time when your daughter who has a summer holiday birthday get’s three birthday celebrations and three cakes! One on the actual day, one with family and one with her friends! I’m shattered just thinking about it now! This has to be the last year we do it like this!
This year I decided to keep it simple whilst trying out a new recipe for the friends party. I’ve heard genoise cake mentioned loads on The Great British Bake off (along with creme pat!) and thought this was the perfect opportunity to see what all the fuss was about.
Oh my goodness!
This has to be the lightest, fluffiest, most delicious cake I have ever made. It does take a bit of faffing – what with the heating up of the eggs and all that whisking but it is WELL worth the effort. The cake is so soft it literally crumbles in your hand when you pick it up so be warned – handle with care!
I teamed it with a chocolate ganache buttercream which I made with soya cream leftover from the family party. I have to say that soya cream is doubly creamy! Give it a go. You won’t regret it.
The ice cream splat
Decorating this cake literally took 10 minutes and if I made this kind of design again I would probably make a Madeira cake so I could cover the whole cake with sugar paste and make the dribbling ice cream a bit prettier from sugarpaste too. This cake would never have taken the weight of a sugar paste coating. It would have gone completely splat – more than the ice cream did!
The kids literally went “Wow’ when they saw it and that’s what it’s all about for me. The smiles on their faces – especially Darcey’s who helped me at each step of the way – mini photographer/baker/blogger in the making that one.
Print this recipe
Chocolate Genoise cake
- 60g butter
- 8 medium eggs
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 140g Plain Flour
- 60g cocoa powder
Chocolate ganache buttercream
- (this quantity is enough to fill and cover the cake in ganache)
- 150g unsalted butter- at room temperature
- 150g icing sugar
- 50g cream (double or single depending on how thick you want it)
- 50-100g dark chocolate- broken into small pieces
To bake the cake
- Grease and line four 8” cake tins with silicon paper (I use sunflower oil to grease my tins as the edges of the cake stay soft and less crumbly). Preheat your oven to 170ºC (Fan oven150ºC)
- Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and combine completely. Set yo one side.
- Place the butter in a saucepan and heat until it has melted. Keep stirring it until it becomes a deep brown colour. This adds to the flavour of the butter. Set aside to cool.
- Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the egg and sugar. Whisk by hand until the mix warms up. You don’t want to cook the mixture – just warm it.
- Remove the bowl from the heat. You now need to whisk the egg and sugar mixture till it doubles or triples in size. By warming the eggs you are encouraging the air in them to expand. This will take around five minutes so it’s a good idea to use a stand mixer and let it do it’s stuff.
- Once it doesn’t look like it can expand anymore drizzle the melted butter into the bowl while the whisk is still going.
- Sieve the flour and cocoa onto the mixture – don’t be tempted to just tip all the dry ingredients in over the egg mix as it will be heavy and will burst all the air bubbles you’ve just created. Without the air bubbles the cake will be heavy. The air bubbles in the egg are the cake’s raising agent. Slowly and carefully fold the flour and cocoa powder into the mix till just combined. It’s important not to over mix.
- Spoon the cake mix evenly into the cake tins and smooth with the back of a spoon. I made one cake tin a smaller amount than the others as it was going to be made into a giant cake pop.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sides come away from the tin. The cake will instantly bounce back when pressed lightly in the centre with a finger.
- This cake is very delicate so leave it to cool completely in the tin before turning out.
To make the chocolate ganache buttercream
- Place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy.
- Place the cream in a saucepan and heat until just starting to bubble then remove from the heat.
- Immediately place the chocolate pieces into the cream and stir until completely melted. Set aside to cool.
- Once the chocolate has cooled add it to the buttercream and whisk.
- Try not to eat it on a spoon from the bowl!
How to make the Ice cream cake
- Layer up three layers of cake with chocolate ganache.
- Take the small layer of cake and crumble it into a bowl . Add a small dollop of ganache and mix it up until it forms a ball. Roll it up in your hands and pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden.
- Make up some royal icing in your choice of colour and put it in a piping bag. Use a little royal icing to position the cake pop on the top centralarea of the cake.
- Pipe the icing over the top of the cake pop and let it dribble down over the cake.
5. Don’t go too mad as the icing will keep dripping once you stop. I let it just reach the sides of the cake.
6. Place a trimmed wooden skewer into the cake pop at an angle. Push it in far enough that the ice cream cone will sit at an angle and won’t slip down.
7. Place the cone over the stick and press into the cake pop. Leave to set.
Happy 9th Birthday Darcey Doodles. We love you so
Evie and Lois’ Go Ape birthday cake
Have you ever had an idea in your head for a birthday cake and then it all went horribly wrong? Well that’s kind of what happened with this cake.
The Go Ape Birthday cake.
I’ve made cakes for Evie and Lois before. They’re at school with Darcey and Evie is the reason I have such a keen interest in gluten free baking. I wanted her to have a cake that was every bit as delish as any gluten filled one. As the girls were having a shared Go Ape birthday I wanted their cake to be fitting for a load of kids swinging from ropes in trees.
Beau came up with the original design. I was trying to work out how to have monkeys, trees and models of the girls as well as the cakes needing to be completely separate when she said “Just make two cakes and two trees” and there the idea was born.
Originally, I wanted to make ball like trees and bushes and have Evie hanging down from a branch on her cake and Lois doing a zip wire from a tree on hers. I dilly dallied as to how to actually do this. I made the trees first and left them to dry then a few days later I made the models of the girls. Then delivery day came.
Delivery day was a busy one. Not only did I need to finish the cake but it was also the girls school summer fayre – which I was helping at, and my brother who lives in Oz was coming home for a holiday that night with his wife and three daughters and I was going to help pick them up from the airport. This is where my regrets of not following my normal cake rule of ‘don’t go to bed till the cake is completely finished even if that means staying up till 2am to do so’ kicked in.
I went to the school fayre and headed home with two hours left to assemble the girls in the trees and put the trees in the cake- then I could do the writing just before dropping the cake off on the way to the airport. As I walked through the front door my dad phoned. “Their plane is getting in early. We’re leaving in half an hour!” OMG! I just lost 90 minutes! And that’s when Lois legs fell off and Evie’s hands weren’t staying in the right position! Panic. Well nearly. I had to change tact. I decided to remake the models and have them literally in the trees – pulling a few ball leaves off the bigger trees to fit them in. I tried to position the arms so they looked really chilled out.
I delivered the cake just in time and then headed straight to the airport where I met my niece for the first time and got to hug my brother and his family for the first time in three years. With the cake delivered without anything else falling off I’d say it ended up a successful day after all!
5 lessons learnt making this Go Ape Birthday cake
- ALWAYS finish the cake the night before delivery even if that means staying up till stupid O’clock! Always!!!
- Make models a week before delivery date so they have plenty of time to dry and legs don’t fall off. When will I learn this lesson????
- You can be a bit brave with design. I loved the ball leaves and bold topiary style tree. They look really cartoony.
- Gluten free chocolate cake made with almonds is amazing and doesn’t have that grainy texture most GF cakes have.
- Planes will always land early when you’re not expecting it!
Cherry Brownies recipe
Right now, as I write this blog post it’s Christmas in my crazy media world. Anything and everything that’s to do with Christmas is being emailed my way. Baubles, gift guide ideas and of course things to make your Christmas dinner with. But when it comes to roasting trays turkey is furthest from my mind. For me it’s all about the brownie.
Roasting trays are perfect for brownies so when I caught sight of the hard anodised range from Stellar I knew I had to ‘have a play’. I requested the 32x22cm shallow roasting tray but there’s a whole range available including deep roasters, loose bottom tins, round cake tins, cupcake tins, loaf tins- you name it, it’s on the list.
What I like about this range is that they have a really great thermal conductivity for even heat distribution. This means that whether you have cookies on the tray in the front or back of the oven they’ll all come out the same- perfectly browned and even. I have another tray like this (who shall remain nameless but let’s just say it was really expensive!) and it warps every time it goes under the grill or when the oven gets too hot. This range is designed not to do this and so far – under my rigorous testing, it’s come out on top- and perfectly flat every time.
I make brownies in shallow roasters as they’re a stronger, more suitable tray than regular baking sheets. Apart from the fact that they usually come in a good brownie size, they’re thick and strong and give an nice even- gooey bake. These are also really non stick which is always a good thing!
Cherry Brownies recipe
- 275g (1 cup of chips) dark chocolate
- 280g unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
- pinch of salt ( I use sea salt)
- 450g (2 cups) caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 170g (1 cup) plain flour
- 2-300g cherries -fresh (2 cups) is best but glacé (1 cup) works well too
- Line a 22x33cm (8 x 12″) roasting tray with silicon paper. I’ve been using the foil lined paper as it stays in place and makes delivering the brownies so much easier. Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC)
- Melt the chocolate over a bain marie then set aside to cool a little.
- If using fresh cherries remove the stones and cut into halves or quarters. Glacé cherries can be cut in half.
- In a separate bowl mix the sugar and butter then add the eggs slowly. Add the vanilla extract.
- Sieve the flour over the mixture and stir in until completely incorporated. Pour the melted chocolate over and combine with the salt.
- Add the cherries to the cake mix and stir till completely covered. Pour the mix into the roasting tray and smooth into the corners with a table spoon.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top looks like it’s about to crack. Brownies taste best when they are soft so be careful not to over bake them. If in doubt- take them out. A knife will come out almost completely clean, you want a bit of moisture/ cake mix on the end when they are done.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
- To cut- dip a sharp knife into hot water then wipe with a piece of kitchen paper then clean after each slice. The knife will become very caked in chocolate as these are super moist brownies
Top tips with these cherry brownies
- You can make these dairy free by choosing a Dairy free chocolate (Bournville was the only one I could find locally) and using a dairy free spread. I did substitute the butter weight for sunflower oil in one of my tests and they tasted great but we really a touch too gloopy and only lasted a day. The day after baking the edges were really hard so you’d need to eat them on the day of baking- which let’s face it isn’t normally a problem!
- Fresh cherries taste WAAAYYYY better than glacé ones. I de-stonned mine then dried them with some kitchen paper before dusting them all over with flour to stop them sinking to the bottom. You can also add more ( I had 300g in mine).
- If using glace cherries opt for Morello glacé cherries. They were divine and I did have to keep noshing on them to do a taste test!
- The key is to not over bake brownies. The top should look almost like a sheet of sugar paper when they’re done. They will continue to bake once you take them out of the oven so err on the side of caution and if they look nearly done take them out.
- You can leave out the salt but I was once told by the lovely Bex Smith that salt and chocolate are opposite combinations (like sugar and lemons) and brownies without salt just don’t taste right anymore!enjoy!
Disclaimer: The 33 x 22cm Hard Anodised roasting tray in this post was sent to me by Stellar . (Thanks you guys – it give the perfect bake) All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.