Cacao Chia Pan Brownie

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (January 2019) and taken from ‘The Cacao Cookbook’.

Brownies are one of the easiest bakes – perfect for when you need a chocolaty treat.  You can also add chia seeds to the indulgent mix.

Cacao Chia Pan Brownie

Makes 16

Ingredients :
120g butter, plus extra for greasing
250g coconut sugar
80g cacao powder
45g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
40g chia seeds
1 tblsp dried rose petals, to serve (optional)
1 tblsp lime zest, to serve (optional)

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oC / 325oF / Gas mark 3 and line a 20cm square brownie tin with baking paper, or butter a non-stick pan (as pictured).

Step Two : Melt the butter in a saucepan until it darkens in colour and smells nutty. Mix together the sugar, cacao powder, flour and salt in a large bowl, then slowly pour in the melted butter, whisking to blend.

Step Three : Add the vanilla extract, then whisk in the eggs. Stir in the chia seeds until just combined, and then pour the mixture into the prepared tin or pan.

Step Four : Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached and cracks form across the top.

Step Five : Leave to cool before removing from the tin or pan, scattering over dried rose petals and lime zest, if using, and cutting into squares or slices.

Everything stops for tea – Turkish Delight Profiteroles

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (October 2016) and taken from Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison.

These profiteroles are drizzled in a sticky, rose syrup and garnished with vibrant pistachio nuts – all coated in a light dusting of icing sugar.  I like to include small pieces of real Turkish delight, too, for a contrasting texture, but the are not essential.  People often say that they aren’t sure about rose as a flavouring but, when I ask if they like Turkish delight (which is rose-flavoured), the answer is almost always yes.  It doesn’t have a soapy or overwhelming flavour; in fact, it is delicate and floral.

Use your own choux pastry recipe for these profiteroles and follow the recipe below for filling and decoration.

Turkish Delight profiterolesMakes about 30

Ingredients :
Choux pastry recipe

For the Filling :
200ml double cream
1 tsp rose water
2 tblsp icing sugar

For the Topping :
100g caster sugar
1 tsp rose water
75g pistachio nuts, chopped
Icing sugar and Turkish delight cubes, to serve (optional)

Step One : Preheat the oven as per your Choux pastry recipe.  Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment.

Step Two : Make the pastry and spoon the mixture into a large piping bag.  Snip off the tip and pipe about 30 small balls of the pastry on to the baking sheet, leaving space for them to spread out.  Bake as per your recipe until they are risen and a dark golden brown colour.  If they are too pale, they will become soft before they are filled with cream. Turn off the oven and leave the profiteroles inside to dry out and cool completely.

Step Three : To make the filling, whip the cream with the rose water and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks, then spoon into a piping bag.  Pierce the bottom of each cooled profiterole with a skewer, snip the tip of the piping bag and fill each profiterole with the rose cream.

Step Four : Make the rose syrup by putting the caster sugar and rose water into a saucepan with 75ml of water and heating it gently.  Stir until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil for around a minute so that the mixture thickens slightly.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Step Five : When you are ready to serve the profiteroles, pile them on to a large plate.  Pour the rose syrup on top, then sprinkle over the pistachios and Turkish delight cubes (if using).   Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Everything stops for tea – Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (October 2016) and taken from
Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison.

To make these cupcakes, use the reverse creaming method, during which the butter is rubbed in to the dry ingredients, followed by milk and eggs.  As well being simpler, this method produces a better-textured, more even sponge.

Lemon cheesecake cupcakesMakes : 12

For the Cupcakes :
175g plain flour
200g caster sugar
75g butter
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs, at room temperature
90ml whole milk at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

For the Filling :
12 tsp Lemon Curd

For the Icing :
100g full-fat cream cheese
350g icing sugar
150ml double cream

For the Topping :
50g digestive biscuits
1 tsp butter, melted

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC / 160oC fan / Gas Mark 4.  Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 cases.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, butter and baking powder using the paddle attachment.  Mix on a low speed, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs; or; use your fingers to rub the butter in to the flour and sugar.

Step Two : In a small jug, use a fork to blend together the eggs, milk and vanilla bean paste.  Add the lemon zest.  Add the mixture to the bowl, a little at a time, beating until it is all combined.  Keep beating until the mixture is uniform and smooth with no lumps.

Step Three : Divide the mixture evenly between the cases, filling each one no more than two-thirds of the way.  Bake in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the cakes are a pale golden brown.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove and leave to cool completely on a rack.

Step Four : To make the icing, put the cream cheese into a large bowl, and use an electric, hand-help whisk to beat it until smooth.  Add the icing sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until it is all incorporated. Mix in the double cream and whisk until the mixture thickens.  You can whisk it by hand but it will take a few more minutes to thicken.  It won’t hold it’s shape yet, so it is important to chill it in the fridge for at least an hour so that it firms up.  Put the biscuits for the topping in a sealable plastic bag, seal it and then, using a rolling pin, lightly bash the bag to crush the biscuits into small pieces.  Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted butter and stir until the mixture starts to clump together.

Step Five : To assemble, use a knife or special cupcake corer to make a circular incision in the centre of each cupcake.  Take out the middle and fill each cavity with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon curd.

Step Six : When the icing has set, put it into a disposable piping bag.  Cut the end of the bag, making a medium-sized, circular hole, then pipe a double ring around the edge of the lemon curd, and fill the gap with the remaining lemon curd.

Step Seven : Sprinkle the topping around the icing ring, avoiding the lemon curd centre.  These cupcakes can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.

Everything stops for tea – Blackberry and Honeycomb Ombre Cake

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (October 2016) and taken from Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison.  

Ombre cakes are so elegant, and much simpler than people think.  The buttercream gets its pinky hue from blackberry syrup, rather than food colouring, so you get their delicate flavour in each bite.  The honeycomb should be put on top just before serving.  

The recipe below just provides all the information you need for finishing the cake, you will need to make up two batches of your favourite chocolate cake and divide between three tins.

Blackberry and HoneycombServes : 10-12

For the cake :
Butter, for greasing
2 x your favourite Chocolate Cake recipe

For the Jam :
150g blackberries
100g caster sugar

For the Honeycomb :
100g caster sugar
4 tblsp golden syrup
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the Buttercream :
250g unsalted butter, softened
600g icing sugar
1 tsp milk

To decorate :
12 blackberries, plus mint leaves (optional)

Step One : Make two batches of your chocolate cake recipe and divide it between three 18cm tins.  Bake in the oven as per the recipe instructions until risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave them to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.

Step Two : To make the blackberry jam filling, put the blackberries, the sugar and 50ml of water into a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir the mixture often, gently crushing the blackberries so that they release their intense colour.  Drain the purple syrup through a sieve into a small heatproof jug, and reserve the pulp, or jam, to fill the cakes.

Step Three : To make the honeycomb, put the sugar and golden syrup into a medium saucepan.  Boil until it turns a dark golden colour, then remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. The mixture will froth up while it is extremely hot, so be careful.

Step Four : Pour the honeycomb on to a piece of baking parchment and leave to harden before breaking into shards.

Step Five : To make the buttercream icing, beat the butter and icing sugar together until smooth and light.  This will take around 10 minutes with an electric, hand-help whisk.  Put a third of the icing into a small bowl and add five teaspoons of the blackberry syrup.  Repeat with another third of the icing in a separate bowl, only using one teaspoon of syrup this time.  If the icing splits, add a few more tablespoons of icing sugar and it should come back together.  Add the milk to the remaining white icing to loosen it slightly.  You should now have three different shades of icing, all the same consistency.

Step Six : Take the cooled sponges and sandwich them together with a little of the white icing and the pulp left over from making the syrup.  Cover the top and sides of the top layer of the cake with the white icing, applying it thickly, as a lot will be scraped off later.

Step Seven : Cover the bottom third of the cake with a thick layer of the darkest icing, then fill in the gap between the two colours with the pale purple icing.  Use a large palette knife, set at a 40o angle to the cake, to scrape off the excess icing and create a smooth finish.  The colours should blend together slightly, creating the ombre effect.

Step Eight : Transfer the leftover icing into a piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle.  You can gently mix all the colours together to get a rippled effect.  Pipe a wiggly border around the top of the cake, then decorate with honeycomb, blackberries and a few mint leaves, if you like.

World’s Best Buckwheat Brownies

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (December 2016) and taken from “The Wholefood Pantry” by Amber Rose.

buckwheat brownies (2)Makes : 24

Ingredients :
190g unsalted butter (or ghee or coconut oil for a lactose-free version)
190g best-quality dark chocolate
3 large eggs
100g light honey
100g coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla powder
115g buckwheat flour
2 tblsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp salt

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas mark 4. Line a 20×20 cm baking tray with baking paper.

Step Two : Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium-low heat. Put the eggs in a bowl and beat with the honey, coconut sugar and vanilla powder.

buckwheat browniesStep Three : Sift the flour and arrowroot into a separate bowl and add the salt. When the chocolate mixture has melted, take it off the heat and let it cool a little, before beating in the egg mixture and finally the flour mix.

Step Four : Pour into the prepared baking tray, transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 18 minutes.  You want the top to be cooked and hard, but when pushed very gently you should feel the soft and squidgy interior.  They will cook a little more as they cool.

Chelsea Buns

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from “All You Knead is Bread” by Jane Mason.

Chelsea bunsMakes : 8-10 buns

Ingredients :
300g all-purpose white wheat flour
200ml water
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tblsp butter
1 tblsp sugar

Filling :
75g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants)
25g mixed peel
50g soft brown sugar
25g butter, melted and cooled
2 big tblsp honey, melted to glaze

You will need a deep baking pan, about 25 cm wide, well-greased.

Step One : Put all the ingredients into a big bowl and mix together. Tip out and knead well for 10 minutes. Pop the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rest for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. Meanwhile, mix the dried fruit, mixed peel and sugar together to make the filling, then set aside.

Step Two : Pull the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Roll into a rectangle about 30 x 23 cm. Brush the cooled, melted butter over it and scatter the fruit mixture evenly over the top.

Step Three : Roll up the rectangle, tugging it gently toward you at each roll to achieve a tight sausage. To make it easier to slice, cover it with clingfilm and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.

Step Four : Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the sausage into 8-10 slices if you like your buns thin, or 6 if you like them really fat. Place them into the prepared baking pan and cover with a lightly floured tea towel. Allow to rest for 1 hour until doubled in size.

Step Five : Preheat the oven to 180oC / Gas Mark 4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Brush with melted honey while they are still hot.

Stilton and Walnut Wholemeal Loaf

Recipe courtesy of Ocado Life Magazine and taken from 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood.

This recipe tastes delicious with cheese.

Stilton and Walnut Wholemeal loaf.jpgPrep time : 2 1/2 hours
Cook time : 30 mins

Ingredients :
100g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
400g wholemeal flour
10g salt
50g butter, softened
300ml water
100g Stilton cheese, crumbled
125g walnuts, chopped

Step One : Put the flours, salt, yeast and butter into a bowl. Add the water, a little at a time, and gradually incorporate all the flour from the sides of the bowl.

Step Two : Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable.  Put back in the bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Step Three : Line a baking tray.  Add the Stilton and walnuts to the dough and mix well together.  Divide the dough into three pieces and roll each one into a long sausage.  Plait the dough – place the three strips side by side and join them at the top, then bring the right strip over the middle strip, then the left strip over the middle strip, and continue until the plait is complete.  Put on the tray and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Step Four : Preheat the oven to 230oC / Gas 8.  Bake the loaf for 30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Orange and Almond Cake

A Gary Rhodes recipe

Makes : 3 x 2lb (900g) cakes

3 whole oranges
12oz (350g) ground almonds
12oz (350g) caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
9 eggs, size 3, beaten

The quantities here are quite large but using 3 oranges gives a stronger finished taste. If you cut the recipe down to a third, the flavour isn’t as good. This recipe also works well using 4 lemons instead of the oranges or a combination of lemon and limes. The cake freezes for up to a month.

Step One : Place the unpeeled oranges in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 1 hour, topping up with water when necessary. Remove oranges from the pan and allow any excess water to drain off.  Cut into quarters.  Remove all pips the puree the oranges, including the pith and the zest, in a food processor.  Leave to cool.

Step Two : Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4.  To make the sponge, mix together the ground almonds, caster sugar and baking powder.  Whisk the eggs until the mixture trails off the whisk in thick ribbons.  Fold in the almond and sugar mixture, then add the cooled orange puree.  Pour the mixture into 3 x 2lb (900g) loaf tins, filling them by about two-thirds.  Bake for 40-45 mins.

Step Three : The cakes are ready when they’re firm to the touch and if pierced with a knife, it comes out clean. Leave to cool before turning out of the tins. If the cakes sink in the centre once they have cooled, this will have no effect on the finished result – they are still delicious. They will keep for several days in an airtight tin.

White Chocolate & Strawberry Tiffin

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2018) and taken from Afternoon Tea at Bramble Cafe by Mat Follas the winner of MasterChef in 2009.

Delicious with coffee, these tiffins are fun to make with children. Be inventive with swirly toppings and fillings.


Makes 18

250g butter
120g caster sugar
6 tblsp golden syrup
200g milk chocolate
100g mixed dried fruit and nuts (such as almonds, sultanas and cherries)
100g fresh strawberries, chopped
450g digestive biscuits, crushed
450g white chocolate

You will need:
30 x 20cm non-stick brownie pan, lightly oiled and lined with baking parchment

Step One : Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan and warm on a low heat until melted, stirring to mix together.

Step Two : In a mixing bowl, grate 100g of the milk chocolate, then add the dried fruit and nuts, strawberries and crushed digestive biscuits. Pour in the melted butter, sugar and syrup mixture and fold together until thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the lined brownie pan. Smooth the tiffin base to make it level, then place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Step Three : Melt the white chocolate by breaking it up and heating three quarters of it in a microwave on high, using a microwaveable bowl. Use the microwave in 10-second bursts, stirring the chocolate in-between, until it is all melted. Now, add the remaining quarter and mix together to form a smooth, just-melted chocolate.

Step Four : Remove the tiffin base from the fridge and pour the white chocolate over the top. Tilt the pan until the topping covers the tiffin base and is smooth and even. Now, melt the remaining milk chocolate in the same way (melting three quarters of it, then adding the final quarter at the end).

Step Five : Pour the milk chocolate over the white chocolate in thin lines Use a toothpick to drag the milk chocolate over the surface to form a pattern. Return to the fridge for at least an hour, before removing and portioning with a hot knife.


Coconut Wow Cookies

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (April 2019) and taken from Recipes for Your Perfectly Imperfect Life by Kimberly Snyder.

Coconut oil increases metabolism and provides sustained energy. Here, flakes accentuate earthy coconuttiness.


Makes 16 cookies

2 cups Gluten-free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup almond milk
1 cup coconut flakes

Step One : Preheat the oven to 160oc / 325oF / Gas mark 3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Step Two : In a large bowl, whisk together the Gluten-Free flour mix, baking soda, guar gam, coconut sugar and sea salt. Make a well in the middle.

Step Three : In a separate bowl, combine the melted coconut oil, coconut nectar, vanilla extract and almond milk, and stir well. Pour the liquid into the well in the flour mixture. Stir in the coconut flakes.

Step Four : Shape about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a ball and place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently flatten it with the palm of your hand so it pushes outward into a flat cookie shape. Continue until all the dough is formed into cookies, being sure to space them out.

Step Five : Bake the cookies for 13-14 minutes, until they are golden brown. Transfer them from the baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.