World’s Best Brownies

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After eating MANY different types of brownies over my 21 years I can safely conclude that this brownie recipe is the best you can get.  These brownies have a soft and gooey centre with a crisp outer layer.  Perfect for a teatime treat!

Prep time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

50g dark chocolate
175g margarine
350g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or essence
3 eggs
125g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
50g cocoa

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4
  • Get a 22 x 30 x 2.5 cm (9 x 12 x 1 in) oblong tin and line with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.  Grease the paper with margarine using a paper towel.
  • Put the margarine into a pan and melt over a low heat.  Pour it into a mixing bowl, then add the sugar and vanilla.

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  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat in well
  • Sift the flour into the bowl and add the baking powder and the cocoa.  Stir everything together so that it is mixed well.
  • Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and use a sharp knife to cut into small shards.  Add them to the mixture and stir it well again.

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  • Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.

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  • Bake for 40 minutes
  • The brownies are ready when they have risen and a crust has formed on top.  They should still be soft in the middle.

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  • Leave the brownies in the tin for 5 minutes, then cut them into squares.  Leave them on a wire rack to cool.

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A Tequila and Lime Cheesecake. ‘A cocktail in a cake’.

‘A cocktail in a cake’.

Love Margaritas?  Give this tequila and lime cheesecake recipe a go.

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On a recent visit to the USA I became a huge fan of the Cheesecake Factory.  I thought I’d try my hand at cheesecake making to fill the cheesecake-shaped gap in my life, since the Cheesecake Factory, sadly, does not have a UK branch *sob sob*.

This recipe is one I concocted myself, after some experimenting.  It is quick and easy to make and features a blend of flavours ranging from lime, ginger, and a hint of tequila, that blend together like a perfect Margarita cocktail. Deeeeelish.

Overall time needed: 30 minutes (note: needs to set overnight)

Ingredients:

  • 7 digestive biscuits
  • 4 ginger biscuits
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • 397g can full-fat condensed milk
  • 175g full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • grated zest and juice of 4 limes
  • ½ lime, thinly sliced, to decorate

Method:

  • To make the biscuit base crush the digestive and ginger biscuits into tiny crumbs.  A good way of doing this is to place the biscuits in a sandwich bag and beat with a rolling pin. (Effective therapy for anyone with anger issues too!)

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  • Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat and add the crushed biscuits to the pan.  Stir until thoroughly mixed.

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  • Turn the biscuit mixture into a 20cm (8in) circular loose-bottomed baking tin and press firmly and evenly over the bottom of the tin using the back of a metal spoon. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge until set.

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  • Make the filling: place the double cream, condensed milk and cream cheese in a bowl with lime zests.  A tip for zesting the limes – use a cheese grater if you don’t have a zesting tool.  Mix thoroughly.

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  • Gradually mix in the lime juice and tequila and continue mixing until the mixture thickens.

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  • Pour the filling into the baking tin on top of the biscuit base and spread evenly using a spatula.
  • Cover with Clingfilm and chill overnight.  Then, your cheesecake will be ready to devour! Enjoy.

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Red Velvet Cookies

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If you love red velvet cake, you must try making these red velvet cookies!  The subtle hints of buttermilk and cocoa powder that give red velvet cakes their distinctive and delicious flavour apply to these cookies as well, resulting in a cookie that is not quite chocolate and not quite plain vanilla.

This recipe will make around 40 medium sized cookies.

Overall time needed: 30 mins.

Ingredients:

1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix (I would recommend Betty Crocker’s Red Velvet Cake Mix)
225g cream cheese
75g butter (room temperature)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g white chocolate chips

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees/Gas mark 4
  • Beat together the cream cheese and butter until well combined.  (Hint: I like to use an electric whisk for this – saves muscle power!)

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  • Beat in the egg and vanilla
  • Add the cake mix and beat until you are left with a smooth mixture

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  • Stir in the white chocolate chips (Best to use a spoon or spatula for this part)

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  • Prepare your baking tray by lining it with greaseproof paper.
  • Use a spoon to create balls of dough and place on the lined baking tray.  Pat down with the spoon to create a circular cookie shape.  You may want to drop a few more white chocolate chips on top of each cookie at this stage.

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  • Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the top is set but the centre is still gooey
  • Cool on a wire rack, then, the cookies are ready to eat!

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