S'mores Cookie Cake

Thursday, 28 November 2013

I made this S'mores Cookie Cake as part of my boyfriend's birthday surprise. I knew I wanted to make s'mores in some shape or form, and went from s'mores cookies to a s'mores cookie cake with inspiration from 'milk bubble tea'. To make this fluffy chocolate giant sandwich cookie keep reading...

You will need:
250g flour
200g dark brown soft sugar
100g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
170g unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
200g milk chocolate
As many chocolate chips as you like
Digestive biscuit crumbs
A tub of marshmallow fluff

Pre-heat the oven to 170C and grease or line a baking tin (I used a 24cm spring form cake tin). Mix together the butter, brown sugar and caster sugar beating in the vanilla extract and eggs. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and stir in the chocolate chips. Drop half the cookie dough in the tin and spread across the bottom (this bit may take a while).

Place the chocolate on top of this layer.

Sprinkle the digestive biscuit crumbs on top of this layer and then whip out your tub of marshmallow fluff (I bought mine from a random little shop but you can it from Asda).

Now for the tricky, time consuming part... Spreading the incredibly sticky marshmallow fluff on top of everything else you've just put in the tin. It doesn't have to be perfect and will look a mess when you eat it anyway (a yummy mess though).

If I'm honest, this was an experiment and I had no idea exactly how long it would take in the oven and how long it did take in the oven. I baked it for about 20 minutes and decided to bake it for longer as the bottom layer of cookie dough takes longer to cook. It tastes delicious when served warm with the melted chocolate oozing out.

A sickly sweet treat for those who have a sweet tooth!

Birthday Surprise

Monday, 25 November 2013

It was my boyfriend's birthday at the weekend and I wanted to surprise him with something lovely and creative. We usually go out for a nice dinner to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions, or maybe a night in a hotel or little trip somewhere. This year I decided to do something different and cook a yummy dinner at home. After changing my mind many times, I chose an American theme with three courses starting with BBQ chicken drumsticks. I can be ambitious when I have an idea in my head so it took me a while to find all the bits and bobs I wanted from shops like Butlers, Wilkinson and Lakeland.

A twist on traditional American hot dogs, frankfurters wrapped in puff pastry with curly fries.

A sickly sweet S'mores Cookie Cake for dessert (recipe to follow).

A warmed up slice of the S'mores Cookie Cake served with a small (it definitely needed to be small) Oreo milkshake served in a vintage milk bottle to finish.

There were no disasters and my boyfriend was happy!

Decadent Cheesecake Brownies

Monday, 18 November 2013

A warm brownie accompanied by ice cream is one of those desserts that you just can't resist when it's on the menu. That's why I decided to make some brownies to complete my mum's five course dinner for my grandparent's visit (posh piggies). After baking these Addictive Triple Chocolate Brownies, I was looking for a twist on the traditional brownie recipes and came across these delicious looking Cheesecake Brownies (I knew they could only taste delicious too). I couldn't wait to bake these decadent treats...

You will need:
For the brownie layers...
50g butter
200g chocolate chips or chopped plain chocolate
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
85g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the cheesecake layer...
225g cream cheese
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg
200g chocolate chips or chopped plain chocolate
Digestive crumbs to finish 

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and grease a 23cm square baking tin or dish (my dish wasn't square don't worry if yours isn't either). For the brownie layers, combine the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with water. Stir until just melted and carefully remove the bowl from the saucepan. Stir in the sugar and eggs, then sift the flour and baking powder together and stir into the chocolate mixture.

For the cheesecake layer, mix the cream cheese, sugar and egg together and stir in the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.

Pour half of the chocolate mixture into your tin or dish (this is harder than it sounds and an excuse to eat the mixture that can't be transferred) and then top with the cream cheese mixture. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture on top and swirl this layer with a knife.

Bake for 25-30 minutes adjusting the time depending on the size of your tin or dish. Towards the end, top with digestive crumbs and bake for a further few minutes.

These Decadent Cheesecake Brownies are best served warm but prepare for a struggle when removing them from your tin or dish. It's much easier to leave them to cool, cut and remove individual brownies and warm them up in the oven for a few minutes if you want them to look nice. You might not be able to wait though...

These brownies are definitely a treat to share and enjoy with friends or family whilst relaxing at the weekend.

Because we're always looking for ways to indulge...

Monty's Lounge

Sunday, 10 November 2013

A little while ago when visiting my boyfriend, we went for a wander around Bournemouth's home of all things retro, vintage and unique... Boscombe. We discovered a quirky little restaurant and lounge bar with a hint of vintage called Monty's Lounge, which I knew was my sort of my place! We decided we were going to come back and that's what we did this week, two and a half years together was definitely an excuse to eat out. It's cosy (with it's cute fairy lights) and chilled, and due to it's small size I would recommend booking a table beforehand.

I started with a jam jar cocktail (I just had to have one) and went for a 'Summer Breeze'. Despite it being autumn, I still loved this fruity and fizzy drink.

Tasty burgers served with homemade rustic chips are currently on the menu and they were oh so delicious. I can be a bit of a critic when it comes to meat, no dry boring meat for me please, but the beef was juicy and flavoursome.

I really wanted the chocolate mousse in a vintage teacup but when warm brownies were an option, I couldn't say no! I also sadly couldn't finish the last bit of my yummy brownie.

We went home with our tummies full, feeling happy.

Juice: Beat The Bloat

Monday, 4 November 2013

Yesterday my mum and I were feeling fit and healthy (until our usual piggy Sunday roast and dessert). After going to a weights class in the morning (yes on a Sunday morning) we decided to make a nutritional and energy boosting juice. My mum saw the perfect juice for cleansing your body in a Prima magazine using diuretic foods to reduce water retention and help de-bloat your tummy.

For one glass (and some leftover) you will need:
Two apples
Two carrots
A few sticks of celery
Some parsley
Any alternatives or extras you want to throw in such as tomato or cucumber

Shove it all into a juicer (ours looks pretty ancient) and be careful of your fingers. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the taste of this concoction, but strangely it tasted nice as the apples sweetened it. 

Drink up to feel refreshed!