Brownies & Traybakes

Minstrel Brownies

Minstrel Brownies cut into 16 Squares

After Halloween I still had quite a lot of chocolates leftover and I also wanted to use up the rest of my liquid egg whites up and what better way to use them up by baking something yummy for one of the new editions to my bookshelf.
The recipe that I decided to go with this Brownie recipe which comes from Lorraine Pascale’s A Lighter Way To BakeBlooming Brownies.

100g Unsalted Butter
100g Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
75g Milk Chocolate, roughly chopped
3 Medium Eggs
2 Medium Egg Whites – I used Two Chicks Liquid Egg Whites
100g Soft Light Brown Sugar
3 tablespoon Wholemeal Flour – I used Allinson Wholemeal Plain Flour
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
50g Cocoa Powder
100g Minstrels, broken up – plus a few extra whole to add on top


1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 and line a 20cm (8 inch) square tin with baking parchment.

Tin lined ready for Minstrel Brownies
Lined 8 inch Square Tin
Ingredients for Minstrel Brownies
Ingredients for the Minstrel Brownies










2. In a small saucepan melt the butter over a low heat, remove the pan from the heat and then add the chocolate, setting aside so that the chocolate can melt.

Chocolate and Butter melting for Minstrels Brownies
Butter & Chocolate set aside to melt
Melted Chocolate and Butter for Minstrels Brownies
Butter and Chocolate melted










3. Meanwhile, put the eggs and egg whites into a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk them until they are pale and fluffy. Add the sugar in bit by bit, whisking after each addition until it is all combined and the mixture is really light and mousse-like.

Eggs and Egg Whites for Minstrel Brownies
Eggs and Egg Whites in a large bowl
Whisked Egg Whites for Minstrels Brownies
The Mousse like Eggs and Egg Whites after being whisked










4. Once the chocolate is melted, give it a little stir, then carefully pour it around the whisked-up eggs. This so that you don’t knock out any of the air.

5. Lightly scatter over the wholemeal flour and bicarbonate of soda, and then sift the cocoa powder on top. Gently fold everything together really well but being carefully not to knock out any of the air.

Tip from Lorraine – The melted chocolate has a habit of sinking to the bottom of the pan, so really get underneath the egg mixture to ensure everything is well combined.

6. Carefully pour the mixture into your lined tin from a very low height, this so you don’t knock any air out. Smooth the brownie mixture out evenly using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the broken up Minstrels on top of the brownie including a few extra whole ones.

Tip from Lorraine – There is no raising agent in this, so the only way it will puff up in the oven is down to the air that you have whisked into it. 

Mixture for Minstrels Brownies in the tin
Brownie mixture in prepared baking tin
Brownie Mixture with broken Minstrels sprinkled on top
Broken Minstrels sprinkled on top










7. Bake the brownies in the oven for 20-25 minutes until springy to the touch but crusty on top and until a skewer pierced into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin until cool enough to handle.

Minstrel Brownies just out of the oven

 Remove your brownie from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely, once cool cut into 16 even-sized squares to serve.

I really like the Galaxy Minstrels topping this brownie I might add a little more next time, I also think that Galaxy Counters or even Maltesers would work great too. I found these brownies really moist and delicious as well as the Minstrels I might try a variation of adding chopped chocolate into the actual mixture of the brownie, I mean if your going to have a chocolate Brownie don’t skimp on the chocolate.




Double Chocolate & Pistachio Cupcakes

Double Chocolate & Pistachio Cupcakes on wire rack

One of the websites that I like to go on often is BakingMad, they have so many recipes on there that I want to try out. I love using the Billington’s Sugars and Nielsen Massey Extracts.

These double chocolate and pistachio muffins from BakingMad are delicious, the flavour of the pistachios paired with the dark and white chocolate are a great combination, I even think swapping the white chocolate to milk chocolate would be great too.

I made these later one afternoon, last week. I decide to go a visit my mom at work so I put them in a case with the lid just balancing on as they were fresh out of the oven. So I drove to see my mom, so that she could try one, they were still warm by the time that I got there. I have to say they were so nice to eat slightly warm as some of the chocolate was gooey inside. So this recipe gets a thumbs up from me and my mom!

Recipe from BakingMad
Makes 6 Mini Loaves or 10 Muffins

100g Unsalted Butter
50ml Hot Water
100g Plain Chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into chunks
100g Unrefined Light Muscovado Sugar (I used Billington’s)
50ml Sour cream (I used 50ml Double Cream + 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice)
1 Large Egg
100g Self-Raising Flour
25g Cocoa Powder
75g White Chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
75g Pistachio Nuts, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, line a muffin tray with 10 paper cases.

2. Melt the butter with the 50ml of water in a medium saucepan until melted. Add in the dark chocolate and stir until melted. Cool for a minute or two then stir in the sugar, sour cream and egg.

3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder and whisk into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in most the chopped  white chocolate and pistachio nuts.

4. Divide the mixture between 6 mini loaf tins or 10 muffin moulds and sprinkle with the remaining pistachio nuts and white chocolate.

5. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until risen and just firm to the touch. Allow to cool.

Double Chocolate & Pistachio Cupcakes just out of the oven

So if you don’t fancy using pistachios then BakingMad have given a variation on there recipe.
“Omit the pistachio and chocolate chunks if you prefer a plainer cake, or add chopped peanuts or milk chocolate chunks” – Baking Mad

It doesn’t have to stop there though the options are endless just choose your favourite nuts whether its Brazil, Hazelnut or Almond etc, the same with the chocolate instead of the white chocolate add in dark or milk instead make them to suit your taste.


Molten Chocolate Puddings

Chocolate Puddings just out of the oven

So I was in need of a chocolate fix, hmm what to bake… I love melt in the middle chocolate puddings, I mean who doesn’t and I hadn’t had one for ages so I decide that I would do that for dessert tonight..

I thought that I would do another recipe from the Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake Book. The very last recipe in the book were the Hot Choc Pots… Time to make dessert!!

Makes 4
100g Dark Chocolate, broken up
100g Milk Chocolate, broken up
50g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
80g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Eggs, at room temperature
35g Plain Flour, sifted
1 tablespoon Icing Sugar, for sprinkling
12 Raspberries, 3 for each ramekin (This wasn’t in the book, so an optional extra if you choose)

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 and put and baking tray into the oven to heat. Cut out 4 discs of baking parchment (fold a piece of baking paper into four, draw around you ramekin then cut out) lightly grease with oil or butter and press each circle into the bottom of each ramekin.

Lined Ramekins

2. Put the dark and milk chocolate into a heatproof bowl and gently melt over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave. Then leave to cool.

3. Put the soft butter, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs into a mixing bowl, then sift in the flour and whisk using a hand held mixer on low to medium speed for a couple of minutes until you have a very smooth and thick mixture. Scrape the melted chocolate into the bowl and whisk on low speed for one minute until everything is combine and you can’t see any streaks.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins so that they are filled half way, dot in the raspberries (I only used 2 in each pudding as they were huge) and top with some more of the chocolate mixture so that each ramekin is evenly filled. Wearing oven gloves, set the ramekins on the hot baking tray in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.

Raspberries in the Chocolate Puddings
Chocolate Puddings

To test if they are done, take them out of the oven very carefully and set them on the side. Gently press the middle of one of the puds, if it feels just firm, then the centre will be gooey.

If you want a more spongey pudding without a gooey centre then bake for another 3 minutes or until the pudding feels firm when pressed.

I baked mine for a total of 14 minutes and I still had a very gooey centre.

5. With oven gloves on, carefully upturn a ramekin on each serving plate. Lift off the ramekin and peel off the paper discs, sprinkle with icing sugar, and a few extra raspberries on the side of the plate, then serve.

Upturn Ramekins on Plates
Upturned ready for serving
Serve with cream or ice cream whatever takes your fancy.

I don’t have a picture of them after getting them out of the ramekin as it was quite messy, they did not come out in one piece, I was a bit disappointed but it was just a spur of the moment thing at least it wasn’t for a special occasion.

Even though it didn’t come out as I had planned they were so delicious, the warm molten chocolate with the raspberries in the middle, even my dad love it he wanted more, so the three of us shared the four pudding.

I hope that you have better luck than me getting them out.
Hopefully when I make these again I can get them out in one piece (fingers crossed).

Brownies & Traybakes

Raspberry & Hazelnut Brownies

Raspberry and Hazelnut Brownies on plate


I have never made a brownie from scratch before, I have cheated by using a Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix but I have always wanted to perfect my own. Fudgy, Gooey chocolate heaven. As I love raspberries I wanted to incorporate them into the recipe, along with chopped hazelnuts for that bit of crunch. So all the things that I love in one bake!

Chocolate, Raspberries & Nuts

Makes: 16 Squares

IngredientsBaking ingredients for Brownie
200g Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa)
100g Unsalted Butter
200g Caster Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
60g Plain Flour
60g Cocoa Powder
50g Hazelnuts, chopped
100g White Chocolate, chopped or Chocolate Chips
150g Raspberries

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) Square cake tin with baking paper.

2. Break up the dark chocolate and put it into a heatproof bowl set over of a saucepan of hot, but NOT boiling water (make sure that the bottom of the  bowl does not touch the water). Leave the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally – then remove the bowl from the saucepan – I suggested using a tea towel due to the steam that comes from the saucepan once the bowl is lifted. Then set aside until needed.

Melted Dark Chocolate
Melted Dark Chocolate

3. In a bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – it should be very pale. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one is added.

4. Add the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate, then stir gently using a spatula.

Mixture together Brownie Ingredients
The melted chocolate being stirred into the mix

5. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl, add the chopped hazelnuts and white chocolate chips and fold in until the mixture is combined and everything is incorporated.

Mixing Hazelnuts into the Brownie Mixture
The flour, cocoa powder, hazelnuts and white chocolate chips, are all in ready for the big mix.


So while I was mixing the nuts and chocolate together… my spatula broke. The red silicone spatula part split as I was mixing everything in, it was lost in the chocolately heaven. So the handle, the silicone part and my hands were covered, what a mess! – So after scraping most of it back into the bowl… don’t want to waste any of the chocolate. I had a little taste… hmmm chocolate!’








6. Spoon halve the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly – I suggest using a knife to make sure you get it in the corners. Scatter the raspberries over the brownie mixture – I also added a few white chocolate chips.

Brownie Mixture with layer of Raspberries
Raspberries scattered on layer of brownie mixture
Raspberry and White Chocolate Layer
I added some extra white chocolate chips… the packet was looking at me










Then add the remaining mixture on top and spread evenly. As I used frozen raspberries I crumbled a couple on top to add a little colour with a few more white chocolate chips.

Brownie before going into the oven
Thought that a sprinkling of raspberry pieces and white chocolate chips would add a little colour.
Second layer of Brownie mixture
The rest of the brownie mixture added on top of the raspberries











7. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the brownie feels firm when pressed.

8. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin on a wire rack. When the brownie is cold remove from the tin and cut into 16 squares.

Baked Raspberry & Hazelnut Brownies
Brownie fresh out of the oven, cooling on a wire rack

Some of the things that I would like to change the next time that I make this brownie are the following;

  • I will be halving the amount of hazelnuts – so only adding 25g Hazelnuts
  • I will use fresh raspberries instead of frozen as I think that they will keep their firmness better when baked.
  • Instead of using white chocolate chips I would chop up a bar of white chocolate as I think it would be nice to have bigger pieces of the chocolate.
  • I also will be baking it for a little bit longer as I found the middle of the brownie to be too soft .

I am making these alterations just for my personal taste as that is how I would like it. You can make your own.

Cut up Raspberry & Hazelnut Brownies