Chocolate cake filled with brownies? Oh yes it is! (Oh no it’s not) plus the Werthers Christmas caramel shop

Apologies for the pun and for the lack of posts but this week, my Theatre society have been performing their Christmas pantomime (hence the pun). It was a fun but exhausting week and of course, it called for cake. Brooklyn Brownout cake to be specific. I read about this treat on so many people’s blogs that I had to give it a go; devil’s food cake layered with brownies and ganache – heaven! Sufficed to say, I was not disappointed and neither were my society. It was wonderfully moist and dense, just like a devil’s food cake should be and the ganache was smooth and silky. It was incredibly rich but truly delicious, whoever thought of layering cake with brownies was a genius, I really recommend you try this recipe here: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/04/sweet-melissa-brooklyn-brownout-cake-recipe.html

Sorry for the poor photo and messy plate but I finished this literally as I was walking out the door!

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Somehow I managed to have half an hour off this week to pop into town and what awaited me was something truly incredible… a Werthers caramel shop. A small wooden shop in the middle of the precinct adorned with Christmas decorations and offering thousands of Werthers in old fashioned sweet shop jars, pots and falling down brass chutes. I felt like a child on Christmas eve and couldn’t resist buying a Christmas tin filled with assorted pick ‘n’ mix Werthers.  It really inspired me to try a butterscotch recipe but I’m not sure what – anyone got any good recipes that they’d recommend I try?

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Tuesdays with Dorie – Gingerbread Baby Cakes

So even though I posted this morning about snow and advent calendars (and this post only just published for some reason), I haven’t felt very Christmassy at all today. Even watching a co-worker put up the Christmas tree didn’t put me in the festive spirit but baking these little cakes did! This is my first Tuesday with Dorie and I think it’s been highly successful! I chose to make muffin sized cakes because I didn’t have small cake pans and I also chose to omit the espresso powder and black pepper because I didn’t have any espresso powder and black pepper always makes me cough. I think the omission of these made the amount of molasses in the mixture too much for me so if I were to make them again, I’d put less molasses in and a little more of the ginger perhaps. I coupled mine with vanilla ice cream and it was a delicious combination… like an adult brownie and ice cream dessert. If you’d like to see how everyone else’s turned out then please visit the Tuesdays with Dorie blog and if you’d like to try the recipe yourself, either buy the book or have a look at this week’s host blog Karen’s Kitchen Stories; thanks to Karen for hosting!

Here’s a couple of photos just to tempt you as well:

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It’s snowing! (On WordPress at least…) and the Good Food Show!

I turned on my blog this morning to find small white circles falling down my screen and confusion ensued! What could they be? Is my computer going wrong? But no! The circles kept coming and I realised that they must be snow! This, combined with opening a chocolate advent calendar, clearly means it’s nearly Christmas! How exciting, I know!

On Saturday, I went to the winter BBC Good Food Show, which of course made me feel even more Christmassy! I’m a firm believer that the Good Food Show is always a brilliant day out; you get to meet some of your favourite chefs, sample products you wouldn’t normally know about and generally just have a good day entirely about food. However, it always astounds me that there is a severe lack of GOOD food to eat for your lunch. Sure, you could queue up for twenty minutes to buy a pork bap for double the price that you would at your local village fete but the alternatives are even worse. I thought I would be fairly safe going to the Good Food show stand but how wrong was I? I had a burnt rosti-topped fish pie that tasted of nothing but black pepper, which made me choke. I followed it with an apple flapjack crumble that mainly tasted of the whole cloves that I found scattered all over it. Sufficed to say, I was not happy and had to take the food back. Now, I know it’s not the Good Food show’s fault as they hired outside caterers but frankly, I wouldn’t hire the company again.

Anyway, that’s enough on the bad points because the good points far outweigh them! I got to see Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Shelina Permaloo and Jo Wheatley cooking. The highlight however was watching John Whaite, the winner of this year’s Great British Bake Off, demonstrate cooking his festive sticky toffee pudding. He was so natural, didn’t seem nervous and was just so lovely. If he doesn’t have his own television show within the next year, then TV producers are missing a trick! I’m really glad that I managed to speak to him but I’d have liked to have had a proper chat with him. He’s really inspired me further to apply for the Great British Bake Off this year…what do you guys think?

Anyway, I got a few treats to try at the Good Food show (all of the baking persuasion of course) and when I’ve sampled them all, I will be posting my verdict! If you haven’t been to the Good Food show yet, then you should definitely give it a go; it’s a great day out for all the family (and no I don’t work for them!)