Chocolate Chip Cookies with Fudge

























This is my favourite cookie recipe and I use it again and again, adapting it as I go. It makes a lovely crisp cookie, that is chewy in the middle. You may want to half this recipe, but I like to make lots to share around. In fact, last time I made these I doubled the recipe.





















Chocolate Chip Cookies with Fudge

2 ½ cups plain flour
¾ cups cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup demerara sugar
1 cup/2 sticks/225g butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
100g caramel fudge chunks (if you have trouble
finding these, try Asda)
50g white chocolate chunks
50g milk chocolate chips


Heat the oven to 375f / 190c / gas mark 5.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbs in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

In large bowl beat the sugar and butter until light and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and beat well. Next add the flour mixture, a bit at a time and mix until you have a velvety dough. (I love this dough, it feels so lovely).

Pour in the fudge chunks and chocolate chips and mix in. Chill the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

Roll the dough into balls (roughly the size of a golf ball) and squash slightly onto a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper. I only bake 6 at a time, leaving a bit of space between the cookies. they do spread, but it depends on the size of your baking tray.

Bake for 7-8 minutes for a chewy cookie. They should start to crack when they are ready.

Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes 24 cookies



















Don't you just love Cooper's little Steiff bear? I love him, although I do feel a bit mean when I pack him away in his little suitcase. It just seems wrong somehow.

I cannot mention Cooper without including a gratuitous photo of my little cutie. You will have to bear with me (excuse the pun) through my baby love phase.
37

Roast Onion & Lemon Thyme Soup



























I didn't originally intend to use lemon thyme in this dish, but you know how it is when you give your husband a shopping list and he gets to the shop, isn't sure and thinks getting something is better than coming home with nothing. Well, it was fine actually as I decided to go ahead and use the fresh lemon thyme. It turned out very well and the soup got the thumbs up from my parents who really enjoyed it.


Roast Onion & Lemon Thyme Soup

3 tbsp olive oil
6 white onions, peeled and quartered
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic (don't bother to peel these)
6 sprigs of lemon thyme
2 tsp dried thyme
2 pints vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
cream and fresh chives for garnish (optional)


Toss the onion quarters, garlic cloves, fresh and dried thyme in the olive oil and roast in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes until starting to brown. A high heat is best for this.

Remove the garlic cloves and squeeze the roasted garlic out of their coats and into the pan, then remove the sprigs of thyme. Pour the onions and garlic into a blender with a little hot stock and whizz until completely smooth. Pour into a pan with the rest of the stock and heat through.

Season the soup and serve with a splash of cream and a sprinkle of fresh chopped chives.

Serves 4

Easy peasy and so full of flavour.

15

Deep Chocolate Cheesecake

Deep Chocolate Cheesecake with an added layer of chocolate

























I saw this indulgent dessert over at Chocolate Log Blog (well a version of it) and suddenly had a craving for cheesecake. Choclette made a Chocolate & Lime Cheesecake Surprise. I may get my knuckles rapped for half inching the photo, but I'm sure Choclette won't mind. It just looks so good.



You may have guessed from looking at my photo that the surprise is the layer of chocolate above the biscuit base. Great idea don't you think? The other innovation in this cheesecake is the addition of yoghurt, not something you would usually see listed in the ingredients.

My brain started ticking over when I read yoghurt. I thought, hey wouldn't this cheesecake be great flavoured with toffee yoghurt?

I guess you are wondering why this is a chocolate cheesecake and not a toffee cheesecake?

Well, it didn't quite go as planned.

I did add the toffee yoghurt, but it just didn't give enough flavour. If I was going to make this again as a toffee cheesecake I would probably make some of the toffee sauce that I topped my Toffee Pecan Brownies with and swirl it through the cheesecake. I think that would be divine.

Unfortunately I didn't have the ingredients to hand and my brother-in-law was arriving any minute. So, thinking on my feet I dived into the cupboard for my trusty jar of Green & Black's Cocoa. Voila, deep chocolate cheesecake. Velvety smooth and wickedly naughty.

Deep Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

100g butter, melted
200g digestive biscuits
200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
75g Philadelphia or any soft cream cheese
20g granulated sugar
250ml double cream, whisked into soft peaks
250ml toffee flavoured yoghurt
¾ to 1 cup cocoa
chocolate flakes to decorate


Method
  1. Place the digestive biscuits into a large bowl and bash them with the end of a rolling pin until they are crumb like. Mix the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs until well combined.
  2. Pour the biscuit mixture into a round 20cm flan dish and mould it to fit the bottom and sides (as you would with pastry).
  3. Melt the pieces of dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate over the biscuit base and spread out as much as possible. Pop in the fridge to set.
  5. Mix the cream cheese with the sugar and then fold in the double cream and the yoghurt. Next add the cocoa a little at a time. Taste as you go until it is just right for you.
  6. Spoon the mixture onto the set chocolate layer and smooth out.
  7. Sprinkle with chocolate flakes or grated chocolate.

I'll be making this cheescake again as it was very easy to make and much enjoyed. However, we did find the chocolate layer hard to break through with a spoon, without crumbs flying everywhere. My suggestion would be to make chocolate ganache for the chocolate layer.

I do hope you try this cheesecake, it is so adaptable. Lime, lemon, orange, toffee, chocolate, the options are endless. You could make this cheesecake time and time again and never be bored.
29

In Print


IN PRINT - a selection


In my 'about me' page you'll find links to numerous websites I've been featured in. This page displays a selection of my interviews, recipes and recommendations in print.



Waitrose Magazine - April 2017






I write a monthly column for Vegan Life Magazine including a recipe. December 2015 to present.




Full page in Daily Record Saturday Magazine, 15 October 2016.




Recipe in At Home magazine November 2015




Named Best Food Blog by Vegetarian Living Magazine - February 2014



Mention in Vegetarian Living Magazine - June 2013



5 pages including recipe in The Ultimate 5:2 Diet Recipe Book by Kate Harrison - May 2013


Mention in Daily Mail - April 2013


Recipe featured in Kids Health and Wellbeing Magazine - November 2012



Mention in Woman Magazine - Diet Special on the 5:2 Diet - October 2012


Article in Vegetarian Living - October 2012


Article in Daily Record (Scottish Food Fortnight Supplement) - October 2012


Recipe featured in Take a Break magazine - April 2012



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