Top Hats

Its stretching it a bit to call this a recipe. Chucking some marshmallows on top of melted chocolate, whacking a Smartie on top and calling it cordon beau cooking would be slightly taking the mick. But these Top Hats represent part of my childhood. A good part. A warm fuzzy part. And having come south of Hadrian’s Wall as an adult, I’ve come to realise that they haven’t featured in a fair amount of other folk’s childhoods. Which is such a shame.

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

I produced these for one of my lot’s parties (there haven’t been many parties, but there are lots of kids, so I’d struggle to pin down the exact moment). Chatting to the adults present, it emerged that only the Scots and the Northern Irish amongst us had come across Top Hats before. They’re clearly a Gaelic creation?

So it would only be fair to share the love with others. And as they are so simple, and yet so happiness-inducing, I feel it a duty to pop these on the blog.

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

On this occasion, I made them for a cake sale at school. Its Children In Need, the theme is spotty, and by jove, my Top Hats fit the brief perfectly (apart from the whole lack of cake bit, but meh). These are perfect for cake sales as they don’t take much effort to make, you can make hundreds pretty quickly if you need to, and they go down really well.


Ingredients

Makes approx. 23-24 Top Hats, depending on how many marshmallows in the packet

200g bar of milk chocolate
1 bag of marshmallows
1 tube of Smarties
mini cupcake cases

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

1. Spread out your cupcake cases on a tray.

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

2. Put the chocolate in a microwavable bowl, and melt (in 30 sec bursts, stirring after each burst).

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

3. Fill each case with a teaspoon of chocolate. Don’t overfill, a little goes a long way.

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

This will get a bit messy. But heh, we’re living on the edge. Leave enough chocolate in the bowl to dip your Smarties in.

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

4. Place a marshmallow on top of each case-full of chocolate. Now this is important: Place the marshmallows with the smaller end down. Thus the end result will look (something) like a top hat. Ah ha, it all makes sense now!

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

5. Dip a Smartie into the remaining chocolate, enough to coat the underside, then place on top of the marshmallow.

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

Et voila! Top Hats. If you can’t make these, there’s probably something wrong with you.

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

Try not to eat them all before giving them to the kids/cake sale. Or just eat them all. I’ve made extra so a few won’t be missed. There is just something about a marshmallow, sitting on a bed of chocolate, with a Smartie on top to add a bit of crunch, that really hits the spot.

Top Hats - The simplest of sweet treats to make, but they look super cute and go down brilliantly with kids and adults alike! | thehecticcook.com

Happy cooking putting together!

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Classic Chocolate Tiffin

Classic Chocolate Tiffin – Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey buttery chocolate mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous!

I love traybakes. Especially ones that require no baking. Simplicity. Always good. If I have to throw together a quick cake for something, I’ll usually make my Mars Bar Slice – in fact that’s exactly what I had to do for a Halloween party the other day when my Oreo Truffle Ghosts were looking a bit pathetic. But I chucked together some Mars Bar Slice as well, and dressed it up as a Mummy (of the Egyptian kind) to claim a Halloween theme.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

Tiffin is another super simple traybake that can be thrown together at the drop of a hat. If, like me, you have memories of tiffin from your childhood – biscuity, chocolatey, basically yummy – then hopefully this recipe will make you happy. It’s fairly classic tiffin. I have thrown some marshmallows in, which technically aren’t in the original, but seriously, who’s going to grumble at marshmallows?? However this is classic tiffin in that it doesn’t use melted chocolate like a fridge cake. The chocolate taste is purely from cocoa. So use decent cocoa.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

Ingredients

300g digestive biscuits
175g unsalted butter
50g sugar (caster or granulated)
100g (5tbsp) golden syrup
75g cocoa
75g sultanas
40g mini marshmallows
300g milk chocolate
100g white chocolate (optional, if that’s possible)

Note: I use supermarket chocolate for my tiffin as, despite being an ardent Cadbury’s fan, I feel it has too strong a taste to top this traybake. It detracts from the actual tiffin. Obviously this is down to personal taste, but thought I’d mention it 🙂

1. Start by preparing your tin. I used a 9×9″ tin which produced a nice thick tiffin (I’m not in to weedy thin tiffin). Double layer it with clingfilm. I do this for a bit of extra strength, and also because my clingfilm wasn’t quite wide enough, so I laid the first piece horizontal, then the 2nd piece vertical in order to cover the tin completely. This will make removing your tiffin later really easy.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

2. Next, place the digestives in a large bowl or plastic bag, and bash them into small pieces.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

I used the end of my rolling pin to bash them down, which works really well.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

I’m not a fan of large lumps of biscuit in my tiffin, so I crushed them pretty small, but this is totally up to you.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

3. Next, place the butter, sugar, syrup and cocoa in a small pan over a low heat.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

Let the mixture melt slowly, stirring often until everything is fully melted – the sugar will dissolve, just be patient.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

4. Add the chocolatey mixture to your bowl of crushed biscuit and stir really well until the biscuit is fully covered in mixture.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

5. Add the sultanas and marshmallows, and again stir really well.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

6. Pour this into your prepared tin and press down well. This will ensure it sticks together nicely. A metal spoon is best for this as the mixture won’t stick to it too much.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

Pop this in the fridge for at least an hour to come together.

7. Melt your milk chocolate and white chocolate (if using) either in the microwave – in 15-20 second bursts, stirring in between to avoid it burning – or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour the milk chocolate over the tiffin and spread evenly to the edges, covering every inch. Then drizzle the white chocolate on top.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

I then used a skewer to swirl the white chocolate into a pretty pattern. Because I was taking photos of my tiffin for the blog, I’ve gone all pretty with the white chocolate because it looks nice. You don’t have to do this, and your tiffin will be just as tasty with only a milk chocolate topping. It’s totally up to you.

8. Pop your tray back into the fridge until the chocolate has solidified – at least an hour. Remove from the fridge and, using the clingfilm, take the tiffin out of the tin. Remove the clingfilm and slice your tiffin into square.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

Obviously you can add whatever you like to your tiffin. If you don’t like marshmallows, don’t add them. Crush up some Maltesers and add them in. Chopped up Mars Bar, Smarties, whatever your favourite chocolate is, can all be added. Just don’t go too overboard or your tiffin won’t hold together.

Classic Chocolate Tiffin - Crushed biscuit, sultanas and marshmallows mixed with a gooey chocolatey syrup mixture, then smothered in milk and white chocolate. Absolutely gorgeous! | thehecticcook.com

This doesn’t have to be kept in the fridge once made. Indeed it actually tastes better at room temperature. Super simple and super tasty. Tiffin is a classic and rightly so.

Happy cooking!

Why not try one of these other traybakes? Flapjack, Nutella Magic Bars and Mint Chocolate Brownie Slice 🙂

Chewy Flapjacks - These are possibly the best flapjacks you will ever find. Chewy, buttery, syrupy, delicious! | thehecticcook.comNutella Magic Bars - A biscuit base topped with Nutella and chocolate morsels, encased in a gooey caramel, these Nutella Magic Bars are sublime! | thehecticcook.comChocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Rich chocolate brownie topped with a delicious mint layer, topped with more chocolate = heaven | thehecticcook.com

 

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies

These super chocolatey, fudgy brownies are filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. Super easy to make, they’ll become a baking favourite.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

I’m a bit confused. It doesn’t take much. Bear with me on this one. Can I call these ‘triple’ chocolate fudge brownies? It’s the brownie bit that’s confusing me.  These brownies contain 2 different types of chocolate chunks, plus the chocolate of the brownie. Hence why I’ve gone for the word ‘triple’. But is that latter chocolate already a given? Because brownie is already chocolate? Am I misleading people by calling these Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies? Should they just be ‘double’? Confusion reigns.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

No matter though, these are pretty god damn chocolatey brownies. It’s a really straight-forward recipe, no need even to melt chocolate. The chocolatey-ness of the brownie comes purely from the cocoa. So don’t skimp on the cocoa. Use good stuff. I do tend to use Cadbury Bournville Cocoa because I know it’s good, although I’ve just bought Asda’s own, so I’ll let you know how that pans out. But whatever you do, don’t use drinking chocolate or the like. This needs the chocolate hit you’ll only get from good quality cocoa.

Ingredients (makes 9 large squares)

350g (2 cups) sugar*
75g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, beaten
220g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g (1 cup) white chocolate, chopped into chunks
100g (1 cup) milk chocolate, chopped into chunks

Note:

* I tend to use mostly granulated sugar in my recipes now. I haven’t been able to find any difference compared to caster sugar here, and I recently discovered it’s a third of the price!

1. Preheat your oven to 170°C (fan) / 325°F. Line and grease an 8″ square baking tin, or a tin of similar volume (I tend to use greaseproof paper and groundnut oil, but vegetable oil or butter will do fine).

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

2. In a large mixing bowl stir together the sugar, cocoa, flour and baking powder.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

3. Add the eggs, melted butter and vanilla, and mix well until thoroughly combined.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

4. Add the chopped chocolate chunks and mix well.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

Note:

I actually ended up using this white chocolate with cookie in it:

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

This is purely because it’s what Asda substituted my bar of white chocolate for. I think I’d stick to straightforward white chocolate in the future though as the little bits of cookie, once baked, are rather hard (my poorly tooth will testify to that – probably the Universe’s punishment for sneaking brownie). You can obviously add any chocolate as your chocolate chunks, but the mix of white and milk, I think, is a winning combo as they offset the rich chocolatey-ness of the brownie perfectly.

5. Pour your brownie mix into the prepare tin and level.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

6. Bake in your preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes. Remove and leave to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

If when you go to cut your brownies up you find them a bit too gooey in the middle, just chuck them in the fridge and let them firm up. They’ll then be lovely and fudgy which is no bad thing in a brownie. Just store them in the fridge.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

How simple was that? And the result is a gorgeously fudgy and chocolatey brownie, filled with chunks of milk and white chocolate, with that lovely crisp top you expect of a good brownie.

Triple Chocolate Fudgy Brownies - Gorgeously fudgy squares of chocolate brownie filled with milk and white chocolate chunks. | thehecticcook.com

Happy cooking!

If you like a good traybake why not give my Mars Bar Slice or Chewy Flapjack a go? Both really simple but deliciously good!

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

Chewy Flapjacks - These are possibly the best flapjacks you will ever find. Chewy, buttery, syrupy, delicious! | thehecticcook.com

 

S’mores Dip

S’mores Dip – Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate; a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion.

I first discovered S’mores Dip on Pinterest. Then my friend Marisa made it at a barbecue last year. That was it. I was in love. What’s not to love? Digestives; good. Melted chocolate; good. Gooey marshmallow; good. And the clincher? It’s the most friggin simple dessert to make. Like, really simple. This isn’t a recipe. I won’t insult your intelligence. It’s just a ‘fling-it-together-and-watch-the-magic-happen’ type affair.

It’s so good I’ve made it twice in the past week. On this occasion it was at our friends barbecue (hence the pics – sorry guys!). I originally wanted normal sized marshmallows but the online shop gave me the mini ones. No biggy. It worked just the same. Quantities will really depend on the size of your dish. Mine are a guide, but to be fair, it doesn’t really matter. It’s going to be awesome regardless. Believe me.


Ingredients

about 300-400g milk chocolate
about 100g marshmallows
digestives

I told you exact quantities are not required.

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

  1. Break up the chocolate into the bottom of a microwavable dish. You need a decent layer. You want a good amount of chocolate with each scoop.

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

2. Pop this in the microwave and heat in 30 sec bursts, stirring in between – the stirring is important, I managed to burn some chocolate the first time I made it, duh.

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

3. Top with marshmallows. Again, don’t be stingy.

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

4. Pop this under a medium grill (not too hot, you want the marshmallows to have a chance to melt before they burn) and keep a close eye. I erred on the side of ‘very toasted’ in order to ensure the marshmallows had melted. The darker bits taste the best anyway (notice I’ve avoided using the word burnt, ahem).

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

5. Serve alongside broken up digestives and let everyone dig in.

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

You can make this in the oven – just break up the chocolate fairly small into an ovenproof dish, top with the marshmallows and shove in a medium hot oven (about 180°C) for about 10 minutes (but keep a close eye and remove before the marshmallow goes black!).

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

This is possibly one of the simplest desserts you can make, and its a proper crowd pleaser.

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

Perfect for the likes of a barbecue, where everyone can just dig-on-in. Even the kids. It might will get messy, but heh ho.

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

Even The Husband likes this gooey, ridiculously sweet, dessert. And he’s a fussy pants 😉

S'mores Dip - Crunchy biscuit dipped into gooey marshmallow covered melted chocolate, a really easy go-to dessert for any occasion | thehecticcook.com

Happy cooking!

Millionaire Cookie Cups

Millionaire Cookie Cups – Gorgeously moreish cookie cups filled with gooey caramel and topped with chocolate. Absolutely sublime!

I don’t know why I do this to myself. I convince myself that it’s “for the blog…”. But then I’m left eating 42 caramel filled cookie cups. A hardship, I know. The Husband and I are complete opposites when it comes to caramel. As much as he hates it, I adore it. And I mean, adore it. Anything with caramel in it attracts my attention. You could slap it over some fish and chips and I’d have a go. I basically made this recipe so I could lick out the pan afterwards. Seriously. I made 42 caramel filled cookie cups pretty much for me. There’s a problem there somewhere.

Millionaire Cookie Cups - cookie cups filled with gooey caramel and topped with chocolate! | thehecticcook.com

But these are so worth it. Even the day I managed to eat 5 (that’s over 1000 calories, I did the maths) can’t detract from the fact that these were worth it. Millionaires shortbread is my most favourite traybake. Ever. So to transfer the caramel and chocolate topping into a cookie cup, a wonderful bitesized morsel of deliciousness, seemed like the best idea ever. And it wasn’t far off. Next time I’ll just plan to get rid of them better so I’m not left eating all the cookie cups….

Millionaire Cookie Cups - cookie cups filled with gooey caramel and topped with chocolate! | thehecticcook.com

These are based on the same cookie base as my Nutella Cookie Cups. You can pretty much fill them with anything.

Ingredients

For the Cookie Cups:

220g unsalted butter, softened
200g granulated sugar
220g brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
380g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (fan)/350°F/Gas 4.

2. Cream the butter and both sugars together in a bowl. Beat this for a couple of minutes until the mixture lightens slightly.

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

3. Beat in the eggs, and then the vanilla until completely incorporated.

4. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix in thoroughly.

5. Take small spoonfuls of the mixture and roll it into balls before placing them into a mini muffin tray (this gets a bit messy).

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

I used both a silicone mini muffin tray, and a metal one. I’d strongly recommend using a silicone one. Despite buttering the metal tray thoroughly, the cookie cups didn’t exactly come out easily:

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

(*sob *sob – I still ate them the same though. No waste. Ever)

6. Pop the trays in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to brown. Take them out, leave them for a couple of minutes, then make the holes in the middle of each cookie using an appropriate device – I used the bottom of an ice-cream scoop as it was nicely rounded. Just find something slightly smaller than the cookies. Don’t use your fingers. They will burn. It will hurt.

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

Some of my cookies towards the centre of the trays were still very soft in the middle. Don’t worry, they’ll harden up as they cool.

Caramel & Topping

150g unsalted butter
150g brown sugar
1 tin of condensed milk (approx. 400g)
200g milk chocolate

Note:

I used soft dark brown sugar this time, because that’s what I had (call it bad-planning). This resulted in quite a dark caramel. If you’d prefer a lighter caramel use soft light brown sugar, same quantities.

1. Gently melt the butter and sugar in a pan over a low heat.

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

2. Once melted, add the condensed milk and bring gently to the boil (don’t rush this). Once it has come to the boil, let it continue to gently boil for around 5 minutes, until the caramel deepens in colour and looks thick and ‘caramelly’.

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

3. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool slightly for a few minutes.

4. Fill your cookie cups up to the tops with the caramel, being careful not to burn yourself (especially your tongue as you try to lick the spoon…or is that just me…?).

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

5. Melt the milk chocolate, either in the microwave (30 second bursts, stirring in between) or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

6. Top the cookie cups with the chocolate, and either leave to set, or refrigerate to harden.

Millionaire Cookie Cups | thehecticcook.com

7. Remove the cookie cups from the tray and serve.

Millionaire Cookie Cups - cookie cups filled with gooey caramel and topped with chocolate! | thehecticcook.com

Happy cooking!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:44]

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie – A gorgeously soft and chewy cookie filled with chocolate Mini Eggs, perfect served straight from the oven.

This is definitely the last of the Easter baking recipes, on my part certainly. I’d forgotten how friggin’ moreish Mini Eggs were until I bought, and fairly swiftly consumed, several packets. I had to ‘re-buy’ the Mini Eggs on a couple of separate occasions to ensure enough for this blog post. Those things are evil.

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie - A gorgeously soft and chewy cookie filled with chocolate Mini Eggs, perfect served straight from the oven | thehecticcook.com

I’d been eyeing up skillet cookies on Pinterest for some time now. Then whilst wandering round our local garden centre found a Hairy Bikers skillet half price. Fate was clearly at work. I figured I’d give them an Easter feel by replacing the chocolate chips with Mini Eggs. This was a good decision. For whatever reason, baking Mini Eggs into the cookie mixture is truly bloody tasty. Honestly. I would not lie about something so pivotal. Do not scrimp on the Mini Eggs either. That would be a crying shame. It also gave my kids great delight counting how many Mini Eggs they’d gotten in their portion.

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie - A gorgeously soft and chewy cookie filled with chocolate Mini Eggs, perfect served straight from the oven | thehecticcook.com

Don’t be put off if you don’t own a skillet. You can easily make this in any ovenproof frying pan, or even a cake pan (about 8″ will be perfect). Just grease them up and the end result should be same.

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie - A gorgeously soft and chewy cookie filled with chocolate Mini Eggs, perfect served straight from the oven | thehecticcook.com

I served this cookie as pudding. It comes out the oven still a bit gooey in the middle and gorgeously soft, so spoonfuls of cookie topped with ice-cream is a fairly mega dessert. If you have some left though (really?) just let it cool and you can cut it up and eat it like normal cookie.

Ingredients

120g unsalted butter, softened
100g granulated sugar
85g soft light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
180g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
180g chocolate mini eggs (2 small packets)

1. Preheat your oven to 160°C (fan) / 350°F / Gas 4.

2. Grease/butter your skillet well (or ovenproof frying pan/baking tin). I used groundnut oil.

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie | thehecticcook.com

3. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugars. I used my stand mixer, but a hand mixer would work too. Or elbow grease. It’ll obviously just take longer. Give the mixture a good beating until it is slightly paler in colour (a good few minutes).

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie | thehecticcook.com

4. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat again to fully combine.

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie | thehecticcook.com

5. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and stir in slowly. Then add the mini eggs. My stand mixer struggled a bit once I added the eggs, and it’s fairly industrial, so you may have to do this by hand. I wouldn’t recommend trying to stir in the eggs using a hand mixer. 

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie | thehecticcook.com

6. Flatten the mixture into your skillet/pan. It’s a pretty thick mixture so probably easier if you use your hands to spread it out. Try not to eat the cookie mixture (good luck ’cause it’s bloody moreish).

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie | thehecticcook.com

7. Pop this into your preheated oven for about 25 minutes until it has turned a lovely golden colour.

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie - A gorgeously soft and chewy cookie filled with chocolate Mini Eggs, perfect served straight from the oven | thehecticcook.com

8. Remove from the oven and let rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie - A gorgeously soft and chewy cookie filled with chocolate Mini Eggs, perfect served straight from the oven | thehecticcook.com

You can spoon onto individual plates and top with a scoop of ice-cream, or just add the ice-cream directly to the pan and (let everyone) dig in.

Chocolate Mini Egg Skillet Cookie - A gorgeously soft and chewy cookie filled with chocolate Mini Eggs, perfect served straight from the oven | thehecticcook.com

Happy cooking!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:43]

 

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownies – Fudgy, chocolatey brownie filled with mini chocolate eggs. A perfect Easter treat!

Easter is a fairly horrendous time of year for anyone trying to lose a few pounds. For a nation struggling with an obesity problem, I find it somewhat ironic that you can’t move for chocolate at this time of year. Every shop is laden. And not just the supermarkets. Clothes shops. Chemists. Even home improvement shops. The Malteaster Bunnies were throwing themselves into my basket in Homebase. Honestly. There’s no escape.

Facebook and Pinterest are awash with Easter treats you can make at home. I can’t log in to Facebook without seeing some ridiculously luscious looking baked creation, dripping in chocolate and Easter eggs. This is doing my battle with the bulge no good at all. So bollocks to it. If you can’t beat them, join them.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie - Gorgeously fudgy chocolate brownie filled with mini chocolate Easter eggs. | thehecticcook.com

This brownie is very rich and chocolatey. If you’re more a ‘lightweight’ brownie kind of person, these may not be for you. But they’re gooey. And fudgy. And very very chocolatey. So if that’s how you like your brownies, you should give these a whirl. And I’ve chucked some mini chocolate Easter eggs in to make them seasonal.

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
250g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
65g plain flour
65g cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
about 16 mini chocolate eggs

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) / 350°F / Gas 4.

2. Line and grease a 9″ square tin (or equivalent) – I used my silicon tin so I didn’t have to line it, just grease it (with groundnut oil, but butter is good too). By ‘line it’, just plonk a piece of greaseproof paper in the tray. Don’t bother cutting anything.

3. Melt the dark chocolate either in the microwave (in 30 second bursts, stirring in between) or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water (bain marie).

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

4. Beat the butter with the sugar until pale and creamy – I used my hand mixer for this.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

5. Crack in the eggs and beat again to combine.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

6. Gently fold into this the melted chocolate plus the vanilla extract.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

7. Fold in the flour, cocoa and baking powder.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

This is a really thick mixture. It isn’t a runny brownie mix at all. It’s also extremely chocolatey.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

8. Spoon half of the mixture into your prepared tin. I’ll not lie, this isn’t the easiest job. The mixture is very thick, and doesn’t really want to be spread out.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

9. Remove the foil from all of your mini eggs (sorry if this seems obvious, but just in case, you never know…) and arrange them over the brownie layer in the tin. I used 16 and arranged them fairly regularly. You can arrange them however you like. I used the mixed bags of Cadbury eggs, but use whatever you fancy.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

Then dot the remainder of the brownie mix over the mini eggs and smooth it out so the eggs are covered. It’ll look a bit bumpy, but that’s ok.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie | thehecticcook.com

10. Pop the brownie into your preheated oven for 30 minutes (no more, no less – there’s no checking for done-ness here, simply remove it after exactly 30 minutes). Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely, in the tin.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie - Gorgeously fudgy chocolate brownie filled with mini chocolate Easter eggs. | thehecticcook.com

Once it has cooled, pop it into the fridge for at least an hour – it needs this time in the fridge to bring it together so you can then cut it into squares.

11. Remove the brownie from the tin and cut into squares.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie - Gorgeously fudgy chocolate brownie filled with mini chocolate Easter eggs. | thehecticcook.com

I make these brownies for the Husband who has a real soft spot for them. I’ll then find brownie crumbs all over the house every time he’s been into the box. He’s hardly subtle.

You can use this brownie recipe and chuck anything in to it. The rest of the year I add 100g chopped milk chocolate, and 100g chopped white chocolate. I love it with huge chunks of chocolate throughout. I hope you like it too.

Fudgy Easter Egg Brownie - Gorgeously fudgy chocolate brownie filled with mini chocolate Easter eggs. | thehecticcook.com

Happy cooking!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:37]

Mars Bar Slice

Mars Bar slice – really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

The plague has come to the HC house. The plague I tell you. Well a crappy virus at least. My little germ factories (aka the children) brought it home originally. They all fell ill, one after the other, then both the Husband and I came down with it too. He’s been away with work though. I’m not sure what is worse. Being ill away from home, or being ill with 4 children to look after. I, at least had the cavalry (my mum) for a couple days which helped a lot. But all-in-all, it’s been a fairly miserable week for all of us.

So what could possibly make the week a little brighter? Well, lets start with this Mars Bar Slice. This is so friggin simple, but so ridiculously tasty. I can’t have this in the house as I tend to sneak a square every time I go into the kitchen (and I practically live in the kitchen). Aside: Does anyone else have to covertly eat sweet things, without their kids catching a whiff? – usually at the barest crinkle of a wrapper, or opening of a tupperware my 4 kids are on me like a pack of hyenas.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

This has become my favourite treat to take to parties and barbecues. I can throw it together in a morning, it’s so bloody simple, and yet folk seem to love it. It’s a crowd pleaser.

Before we start on the actual making of this slice, we need a serious chat about chocolate. Now I love most kinds of chocolate. I’m not really a chocolate snob. For baking I’ll use the supermarket own stuff because it is really tasty, cheap, and has no real distinctive flavour. As much as I love Cadbury, I find it’s unique flavour can be a bit overwhelming on certain cakes and traybakes. So more often than not, I would recommend using an unbranded milk chocolate. However. In this case I cannot over stress the need to use Galaxy chocolate to top this Mars Bar slice. Obviously both Mars Bar and Galaxy are the same brand, so using the same chocolate to add a thick chocolate coating to the top of the Mars Bar slice, properly takes them to the next level. It may sound insignificant. It is not. That is all.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

Ingredients

9 Mars Bars, cut into small slices
170g unsalted butter, cubed
1tbsp golden syrup
170g Rice Krispies
390g Galaxy chocolate

Note: I use 9 Mars Bars because you can buy a pack of 9. If it’s cheaper to buy two packs of 4, that will be fine. The amount of Mars Bars can be variable, just don’t vary too far from 9 as you want your Mars Bar slice nice and chewy. Also, I use the 390g bar of Galaxy, hence the random quantity.

1. Melt the Mars Bar slices with the butter in a large bowl in the microwave.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

I do this in 30 second blasts, stirring in between. The Mars Bar will remain a little lumpy due to the nougat, but as long as all the butter is melted, you’re done. Add the syrup and stir in.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

2. Add the Rice Krispies and mix well.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

Don’t do what I always do and forget that I need to use a bigger bowl.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

3. Once the mixture is mixed thoroughly (really mix it to ensure all the cereal is coated with chocolate), flatten the mixture into a lined tray. I use a 9″ square silicon tray, so I don’t have to line it. I find this is a good size for this amount of mixture.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

 

Refrigerate this for at least an hour to harden.

4. Break up the chocolate for the topping in a bowl, and melt it in the microwave (again, 30 second bursts).

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

 

Pour this over the tray of Mars Bar slice, sprinkle with some sprinkles to decorate if desired (who doesn’t need sprinkles in their life?), and pop back in the fridge to firm up – but not too long as it’s easier to slice if not rock solid.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

 

Slice and eat serve.

Mars Bar slice - really simple, incredibly tasty treat made from Mars Bars and rice cereal | thehecticcook.com

This tends to lose its ‘crunch’ the longer you keep it. So don’t keep it too long. Eat it. Eat it all.

Happy cooking!

 

Brownie In A Mug

A gorgeous, gooey, chocolatey brownie dessert, made in a mug, ready in under 5 minutes. Delicious!

So you’re either going to love me or hate me for this post. You’ll love me, because this is the simplest and quickest recipe possible for achieving the most gorgeous, fudgy, chocolatey, delicious dessert possible. Or you’ll hate me. Because this is the simplest and quickest recipe possible for achieving the most gorgeous, fudgy, chocolatey, delicious dessert possible. You get the picture?

I’ve made this twice in the past week. All for myself as well (don’t tell the Husband – well if he will go away with work and leave me with four small imps children). To be fair, the first time was experimental, to see if it would work. The second time was in order to take photographs for this blog post. See what I have to endure for this blog? Selfless to a fault.

I got this recipe from Pinterest, from Musings of a Gem, and pretty much followed the recipe as it is. The original recipe is in US cups though, so I’ve made the conversions to grams. So here it is. Possibly the best/worst discovery of my (waistline’s) life.

Ingredients

35g (1/4  cup) plain flour 
50g (1/4 cup packed) brown sugar 
15g (2 tbsp) cocoa
∼20g (2 tbsp) butter, melted (or mild vegetable oil)
2 tbsp milk
handful of chocolate chips

1. Mix the flour, sugar and cocoa together in your mug/bowl, ensuring there are no lumps left. I used a little individual bowl as it made life a bit easier, but this will work fine in a microwavable mug. The sugar I used was soft brown, but you could use light brown, muscovado etc. You could use white sugar, however brown sugar will give a richer taste. Lastly, do use proper cocoa. This will just not be the same with drinking chocolate.

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2. Next add the butter and milk. You can use oil if you’d prefer, but I figured butter would taste a bit better so used that. Give the mixture a good stir ensuring no lumps of dry mix are left. This will be fairly thick and gooey. Add to this your chocolate chips and mix in. I used white chocolate. You can use whatever you’d prefer. Or leave out if you’d rather. Or add nuts, fruit etc. Experiment and find out how you like it.

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3. Pop this in the microwave (no need to cover) and cook on full power for 30 second intervals. I found mine was cooked after 80 seconds (I realise that’s not a 30 second interval, but I judged it and got it out early). In case it helps, our microwave is 800W. You want it spongy on top, but still gooey. If you start to smell burnt chocolate, STOP COOKING.

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It’s not the prettiest picture in the world, but by golly, it was bloody amazing. I added a scoop of ice-cream – what goes on the side is important in my world.

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My first experience, I failed to finish. I managed fine the second time. It’s clearly about practise 😉

Happy cooking!

*NOTE*

Because I’m a Brit, all my measurements are metric, so I have to change some recipes from US cups. Up until now, I haven’t included the US measurements, however, I could if I thought it would be useful. I could also make conversions from metric to cups for the British recipes I make. If you’d like me to, please do get in touch and let me know 🙂

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice

Chocolate brownie and mint join forces to create this amazing traybake. A must for all chocolate mint fans.

I have a bit of sweet tooth. Ok so the Husband is currently guffawing into his tea. Fine, it’s maybe more than a bit. It’s maybe more like a whole mouthful of sweet teeth. I keep seeing all these tv programmes about how bad sugar is for you, and the celebrities giving it up left, right and centre. And I have tried. But I can’t. I just can’t.

I have a particular fondness for cake. So much so, that just over a year ago I started a cake club with a few of my friends. We started off trying new things, having a theme each month, and experimenting with what we made. That has since turned into just any excuse for us to get together of an evening once a month, without any screaming children, drink some wine, and eat cake. Needs must.

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So this was my last bake for Cake Club (it deserves the capitals). I’m an absolute sucker for chocolate mint. I’d happily chomp my way through a box of After Eights given half a chance – or if the guilt didn’t set in. So I’d seen these knocking about Pinterest for a while, and decided it was time to give them a go. I used my own recipe for the brownie, and made something up for the mint layer. Thankfully it worked, and the result was a pretty god damn good slice of deliciousness.

Ingredients
Brownie:

200g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
250g unsalted butter, softened
300g caster sugar
100g plain flour
50g cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

1. Line and grease a 9″ tin, or a similarly sized tin. You can see that by ‘line’, I was highly precise. I used some groundnut oil to grease, but you could use spray oil or melted butter.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.comChocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com2. Melt the dark chocolate, either in the microwave in 30 second bursts (stir well between each time, as chocolate burns pretty easily), or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water on the cooker. Set this aside to cool slightly.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

3. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. I used a hand mixer this time which takes a bit more mixing than my standing mixer, but this is what adds lightness to your mixture so you can’t really be half-arsed about it. Then beat in the 3 eggs and finally the vanilla.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

4. In a separate bowl sieve the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. It’s best to sieve these ingredients to avoid any lumps.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.comChocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com
5. Add the melted chocolate to the butter/sugar mixture and fold in. Try to be as gentle as possible to retain as much air in the mixture as possible.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com
 Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

6. Add the dry ingredients and again fold everything in together. This is quite a thick brownie mixture – often brownie mixes are fairly liquid.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

7. Fill your pre-lined tin with this mixture and smooth out as much as possible. It’s so thick this mixture, that it takes a bit of effort to get it into the corners, and evenly spread – the baking parchment moves about a lot and makes it quite fiddly, but the parchment is a godsend when you have to take the slice out of the tin.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

8. Bake this for 30 minutes at 160°C(fan)/300°F/Gas 2. Don’t worry about whether the centre is cooked or any such gubbins at this point. Just trust the process. Let the brownie cool completely on a wire rack (still in the tin), then put it in the fridge for at least an hour to fully cool. The trick with brownie is to cook it at a lowish heat until its not quite done, then cool it completely once out so that it retains that lovely gooey middle we all love, but you can slice it fairly easily.

Mint Layer:

100g unsalted butter, softened
400g icing sugar
3 tbsp milk
3 tsp peppermint extract
green colouring

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

9. Start to beat the butter and icing sugar (no need to sieve) together, then add the remaining ingredients and beat and beat and beat some more, until you have a lovely light fluffy minty green buttercream. This is where standing mixers come into their own – I had no idea buttercream could be so fluffy and gorgeous until I owned my mixer. However, if you don’t have one, at least use a hand mixer (beg, borrow or steal if necessary) and beat it until you’re thoroughly bored. Then beat it some more. I promise you, the more you beat it, the better it will be.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

10. Layer the mint buttercream onto the brownie (still in the tin) and spread it evenly to fully cover the bottom layer. Chuck this into the fridge for at least half an hour to let the buttercream harden.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

In case you were wondering, I used the above peppermint extract (mine is from Lakeland, but I think most supermarkets will have some) and green colouring (it’s a paste because that’s what I use for cake decoration, but you could use any green colouring you can get your hands on). If you’re like my lovely friend Sarah, who goes loopy at the merest hint of colouring, you can leave it out completely. It’ll still taste exactly the same, it just won’t have that amazing 70’s vibe about it.

Chocolate Top Coat:

200g milk chocolate
15g unsalted butter

11. Melt the chocolate together with the butter, again either in the microwave or in a bowl over simmering water. Pour this over the mint layer and spread to fully cover. I topped mine with some Aero mint balls for decoration.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

12. Leave the chocolate to cool and set at room temperature, then take the whole thing out of the tin (using the paper) and slice into whatever sized pieces you desire.

Chocolate Mint Brownie Slice - Chocolate brownie and mint come together in this decadent traybake, a must for all mint fans | thehecticcook.com

I found that the longer this was left, the mintier it seemed to get. Not that it lasted that long. With the three layers, its not the quickest of traybakes to make, but its one of those first bakes that I’ll most definitely be baking again. It is truly worth it.

Anyway, I promised myself some Ben’n’Jerry’s once I’d finished this blog. So I’ll be off….

Happy cooking!