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Bourbon biscuit layer cake

Bourbon’s are my favourite biscuit and after discovering just how marvelous they taste in cheesecake form (see recipe here) I decided to make my 27th Birthday a little easier to digest by baking myself a three tiered Bourbon biscuit dream cake.

The cake itself is super chocolatey whilst trying to still capture the slight malty taste that Bourbon biscuits have. For this, I called upon my trusted tub of Horlicks and included a tablespoon within the two chocolate cake layers and baked an entirely malt white sponge layer to sandwich in between (what’s a birthday without a little surprise hey). This was my first attempt at a drip cake – with success anyway – and to ensure a good drip, I added butter to my dark chocolate topping and used a piping bag around the edges to encourage the oozing edge before filling on top.

The malt chocolate buttercream will be enough for the filling, crumb coat, a second and final coat and the small piping for on top of your cake.

TIP: You can make the sponge layers the night before, just leave to cool completely before wrapping in cling film tightly and then placing in the fridge. This also makes it easier when it comes to leveling the cakes by cutting off any dome tops.

Ingredients (makes one three tiered cake at 23cm wide):

For the two chocolate sponge layers:

  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g Homepride self-raising flour
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 tbsp Horlicks powder (or another malt drink equivalent)
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp boiling water

For the malt sponge layer:

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g Homepride self-raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 tbsp Horlicks powder (or another malt drink equivalent)
  • 1/2 tsp good quality Vanilla extract

For the malt chocolate buttercream:

  • 675g icing sugar
  • 350g unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder (add more if you want a richer taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp Horlicks powder
  • 4 tbsp milk

For the chocolate drip and decoration:

  • 125g good quality dark chocolate (dark cooking chocolate is good too), chopped
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 3 Bourbons crushed
  • 5 Bourbons, 2 whole and the others broken into shard like pieces
  • Gold sprinkles

Method: 

  1. Start by cooking your chocolate sponge layers. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and line two 23cm wide round baking tins with baking paper. Beat your sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing as you go. Next fold the sifted flour and Horlicks powder into the batter and in a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and boiling water to make a paste. Add to your cake mix and give it a final stir with your spoon so you have a rich chocolate sponge mix
  2. Evenly distribute between the two tins and then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the sponge cakes spring back as you touch them. Leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack and removing the baking paper. Wash one of the tins ready for the malt layer
  3. As above, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then add the eggs one at a time, mixing as you go with the electric mixer. Add the sifted flour and malt powder and fold into the eggy batter with a wooden spoon. Add to the cake tin and level with the back of a metal spoon or a cranked pallet knife. Cook for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean and the sponge cakes spring back as you touch them. Leave to cool before turning out onto a cooling rack and removing the baking paper. If making ahead, wrap the cake layers tightly in cling film and place in the fridge overnight
  4. Once cooled or removed from the fridge, level your cakes with a cake cutter or serrated knife and begin to make the buttercream. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer before gradually adding the icing sugar, followed by the cocoa powder and malt powder. Once all combined, add the milk to loosen the icing a little and spread a tiny amount onto the cake board to secure your first sponge layer
  5. Next, place 4-6 tablespoons of icing within a separate bowl or piping bag (this is for the filling of the cake and you can either slather the icing onto each layer with a palette knife or by piping the buttercream over the surface of the cake in a spiral motion and then spreading for a neater, even cover)
  6. Your cake should now be assembled with a bottom layer of chocolate sponge, followed by the malt sponge layer and the final chocolate layer, beautifully filled with buttercream. Next, you just have to cover the cake with a crumb coat – this requires just a centimeter thickness of icing to cover any gaps in the layers. For this, use a third of the icing and slather it all over the cake, top and sides before smoothing over with a plastic/cake scraper or your pallet knife if you don’t have one. Have a separate bowl ready for scraping the the crumby buttercream on to
  7. Place in the fridge for around half an hour so the icing becomes solid and locks in all those pesky crumbs. Now for your final coat! Slather a thick layer of icing on the top then gently push it over the edges to cover the remainder of the cake, smoothing with your pallet knife.Remember to leave a little to decorate the finished cake with! I’ve found this way of icing a layer cake slightly easier but go with whatever works for you, I often change my technique with different cake. When completely covered with icing, cool for another 30 minutes before making your chocolate drizzle
  8. Simply melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over a low heat and leave to cool for ten minutes. Once cooler, spoon the chocolate sauce on top of your chilled cake, smoothing it over so you encourage some of the sauce to drip down the edges. Alternatively, you can use a piping bag to form the drippings yourself by holding the piping bag up to the edge of a cake and zig-zagging your way around the entire cake
  9. Once your cake is nicely drizzled, leave it for a little while to set slightly before piping some of your remaining buttercream into the center and sprinkling with the bourbon crumbs and shards. Serve within 3 hours of baking for best results and keep any remaining slices in an air-tight container for up to 3 days

Enjoy, I certainly did! 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and TwitterTwitter. Nic x

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Chocolate Orange Cookies

There hasn’t been a birthday, Christmas or Easter when I haven’t been without a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, they are my absolute favourite chocolate and I thank the gods when the supermarkets reduce them to a ยฃ1. 

Dangerously tasty, it’s not hard to imagine why they are favoured amongst us cake baking types (this includes Dads if you’ve seen my Dad’s Ultimate Chocolate Orange cake recipe) so after already proving its worth in cake form, I decided to use them in the next best thing…COOKIES.

These biscuits follow my fool proof cookie dough recipe which gives you beautifully soft and chewy cookies but with a crisp edge and heaps of chocolate chunks. The chocolate orange segment on top isn’t just for show, it’s an extra treat and is perfect when the cookies are still warm and it remains lovely and gooey! Safe to say I’ve now found my favourite guilty pleasure (second to Little Mix). 

Note: This will make quite a lot of cookie dough so the below amount is the amount of cookies you will get along with some leftover dough for a rainy day. If you use it all, this will easily make 20 medium sized cookies 

Recipe:

This uses my ultimate cookie dough recipe here and makes around 12-16 large cookies but with a small tweaks:

  • 40g cocoa powder 
  • Replace the milk chocolate with 150g chocolate orange chunks 
  • 16 additional chocolate orange segments (to place on top)

For any leftover cookie dough, just roll into a long sausage and wrap tightly in cling film. It will keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for around a month.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a free stand mixer or by hand (I have done both) beat the butter and both sugars together until smooth (like you would when you cream together for a cake). Then simply whisk together the egg and Vanilla in a cup and add to the sugar/butter mixture, stirring until combined
  2. Next add the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder and baking powder) and mix with your wooden spoon – the liquid mixture will become thicker and stiff and you start to form a dough 
  3. Take your chopped chocolate orange chunks and add these to the dough and mix with the spoon so they are equally dispersed into the dough. You can now roll out your cookie dough into a sausage shape and wrap tightly in cling film if you’re not using immediately. If baking straight away, roll a ball (slightly bigger than a golf ball) of dough in the palms of your hands and place on the tray – ensure each ball of dough is about 3cms apart
  4. Pop in the oven and put a timer on for 12 mins. At around 8 minutes, remove the cookies from the oven and place a segment of chocolate orange in the middle of each one. Place back in the oven and resume baking. When your timer has finished, the cookies will appear soft when you touch them but this is FINE, they will harden as they cool and you will be left with soft, gooey cookies which can be kept for up to 5 days

Enjoy! Nic x

Crazy for cookie dough? Check out some of my other biscuit recipes such as S’mores Cookies, Oreo stuffed Cookies or Cookie Cheesecake.

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The Ultimate French Toast

When I hear people say they’re “not break people” it’s game over for me. Breakfast is the reason I go to sleep each night and the reason I wake with a slight excitement. The person who first told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day was not wrong and who are we to go against such sound advice?

 

For me, pancakes will always be top choice – for reasons I feel I don’t need to explain. They take me to my happy place and the perfect medicine for someone with an extreme sweet tooth! Close behind however is the French toast, in all its cinnamony, eggy, grilled glory! Usually I love to top it with fresh fruit and some cream or natural yoghurt until I had some overripe bananas looking sad and sorry for themselves and the caramelised banana sensation was discovered! I have Fern Green to thank for her maple butter recipe, found in her book Breakfast. It’s a gorgeous book and just further proof that Breakfast is the best meal of the day. 


Ingredients (serves 2, just double for a larger party):

For the toast –

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 thick slices of white bread or Brioche loaf 
  • 60ml milk
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • knob of butter
  • 1/4tsp good quality Vanilla extract (optional)

For the maple butter –

  • 110g softened butter
  • 50ml Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

For the caramelised bananas-

  • 2 overripe bananas, peeled and sliced in half (horizontally)
  • 50g castersugar
  • 1/2 tsp good quality Vanilla extract
  • 1 and a 1/2 tbsp hot water
  • knob of butter

Method:

  1. Make the maple butter beforehand by mixing together the soft butter with the Maple Syrup and almond extract in a bowl. You can whizz with an electric whisk if you like. Once all the ingredients has come together, stick in the fridge and start making your French Toast mixture
  2. Whisk the eggs together with the milk into a large shallow bowl (basically big enough to fit a slice of bread into it) then add the cinnamon (and Vanilla if using) and whisk again. Place your first piece of bread into the bowl, leaving 2-3 mins on each side
  3. As your bread is soaking, you can begin to caramelise your bananas. Heat the sugar, vanilla extract and water in a pan over a medium heat until it begins to form a light caramel.Turn down the heat slightly and add the bananas, spooning the caramel over the top of the slices to coat them and then add the butter and leave on the pan for up to 3 minutes. It will bubble away and as long as you’re using a non stick pan, you can just let it do its thing 
  4. In a separate pan, add the butter and warm over a medium heat. Place your first piece of bread into the pan and cook on either side for up to 3 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Once both the pieces of bread are suitably toasted, place on a plate,  remove the maple butter from the fridge and add a generous teaspoon on top of each piece of toast. As it melts, pour your caramelised bananas on top and enjoy with a decent cuppa, it’ll be the best wake up call yet!

Enjoy, Nic x

Love breakfast? Try some of my other breakfast recipes here including Peanut Butter pancakes and Pumpkin Spice pancakes. 


 

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Biscoff Cheesecake pots

As someone rightly pointed out to me some time ago, Biscoff can and SHOULD be added to just about anything. The little caramel treats that made a complimentary tea or coffee that bit more special were often overlooked, until one fateful day when some godly humanbeing  decided to create the BISCOFF SPREAD. It is an absolute dream, totally up there with the people’s sweetheart, Nutella, and an essential in all food bloggers cupboards.


Whether its spooned into cake, buttercream or slathered on toast its a winner each time but its particularly served best in a cheesecake! These are easy to make and look like a real showstopper when served up a bit differently in these jam jars. See what ya think! 


Ingredients (makes one cheesecake, 23cm wide, serving  10-12 or serving 6within medium sized jam jars – as below): 

  • 150g Lotus Biscoff iscuits, crushed
  • 125g Digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 90g unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

  • 500g full fat cream cheese
  • 300ml double cream
  • 80g icing sugar, sifted
  • 225g Crunchy Biscoff Spread

Topping/decoration:

  • 1 x 397g Carnation Caramel
  • Biscoff Biscuits

Method: 

  1. If you’re using jam jars to serve, start by drizzling each jar with some caramel sauce and then place in the fridge to cool as you make your biscuit base. Take your finely crushed biscuits (Biscoff and Digestive) and mix with the melted butter until both begin to stick together. Pour into a loose bottomed 23cm wide tin or spoon into each chilled jam jar, spreading evenly along the bottom, flattening with the back of a metal spoon – you need a strong, smooth base when using a tin which will hold in place to support your cheesecake base
  2. Once you have your base with no cracks or holes, place in the fridge for up to an hour so it can ‘set’
  3. Once the base has set, whip the double cream (use a hand or electric whisk to do this, I prefer the latter because my hands are weak and ache when doing by hand plus it takes a lot longer) until it has thickened considerably and you have soft peaks. Set aside and in a separate bowl, add the cream cheese, Biscoff Spread and icing sugar together and whisk with an electric whisk for about 30 seconds (so all the ingredients has combined). It may be slightly runny but don’t worry, this will change when you add the whipped cream
  4. Add the whipped cream to your Biscoff cream cheese mixture and whisk briefly again until all has combined and you have a thick, creamy cheesecake filling
  5. Spread on top of the biscuit base(s), smoothing with a palette knife if possible and place back in the fridge to fully set overnight. This is ideal, if not possible then a minimum of 4-6 hours (we gobbled our I’m jar versions after 4 hours because we couldn’t wait)
  6. Once fully set, remove from the tin and decorate with more caramel and a Biscoff biscuit just before serving. The cheesecake(s) will keep for around 3 days after making

Enjoy! Nic x

Like this recipe? Why not check out my BourbonCookie Dough or Oreo Cheesecakes and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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Millionaire Oreo Pieย 

I bought a flan tin a couple of months ago with high hopes for all the concoctions I would rustle up in it. Sadly, it has gathered dust in the cupboard where things get lost until one Sunday when I found myself with severe hangover munchies resulting in two packs of Oreos and some salted caramel sauce. 


To distract myself from self pity and a tempting afternoon of watching Netflix on the sofa, I decided to give said Flan tin its ‘moment’ and bake something on my to do list. The need for making an Oreo based tart came from flicking through my Simple Nigella book a while back as well as my recent love for cheesecake – this dessert meets somewhere in the middle and it is glorious! 

The biscuit base is always a winner with my eager recipe testers and the pie filling is so creamy that the salted caramel sauce I was prepared to eat from the jar proved the perfect partner. My sisters, who are ten years younger than me, are the last people I would’ve expected to like this but they demolished a slice within seconds and loved the contrast between the sauce and chocolatey filling. I used the sauce in some brownies a few weeks before and tested out the recipe from Cupcake Jemma. It’s so easy that I will never look back. 


If you’re looking for a cheesecake alternative, this is definitely the dessert for you – it’s been requested so much since I first made it that I think it will be my new dinner party staple. 

Ingredients: 

For the Oreo crust

  • 260g of Oreo biscuits 
  • 90g unsalted butter (melted) 

For the chocolate filling

  • 200g dark chocolate  
  • 225ml double cream
  • 1-2 tbsp icing sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

For the salted caramel sauce

  • 245ml double/heavy cream with 1 tsp of good quality vanilla extract  
  • 220g caster sugar 
  • 6tbsp water  
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes 

Method: 

  1. If you haven’t already pre-made your caramel sauce, I would make this first. Place the water and the caster sugar into a non stick saucepan over a medium heat for around 6-8 minutes. DO NOT stir the water and sugar as it boils as this will make the sugar crystallise. Just let it do its thing for the above time and watch with an eagle eye 
  2. As you get closer to the 6th/8th minute, the water will begin to dissolve and the sugar will change colour meaning it is now caramelising (yay!). Once your sugar is a golden brown/amber (yep, like caramel) take it off be heat and gradually add the vanilla cream to the caramelised sugar, stirring continuously – take care, it will be HOT and violently bubble at first
  3. Once all the cream has been added, you should have a smooth, glossy golden brown sauce which you can now add the crushed sea salt flakes to. Give it one last stir and set aside in a bowl or sterilised glass jar 
  4. Whilst the caramel cools, make the Oreo biscuit base. Start by taking your Oreo crumbs (you can do this with a rolling pin, with the Oreos placed in an airtight food bag or a food processor) and placing in a bowl with the melted butter. Stir until all the crumbs are covered and the biscuits begin to stick together 
  5. Next, place the biscuit crumbs into a greased flan tin and start by pressing the crumbs up the side of the tin before spreading across the bottom (I found this the easiest way, starting at the sides, but whatever works for you) 
  6. Once the entire flan tin is covered, place in the fridge to set whilst you make the filling. To start the filling, melt both of the chocolates and set aside to cool slightly. Whip the cream with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Add in the icing sugar and vanilla extract and mix again for about 10 seconds 
  7. Finish by pouring the chocolate into the cream, stirring again until all is combined. Take the biscuit base out of the fridge and smother a layer of the salted caramel on top. Next add the chocolate cream filling on top, smoothing with a palette knife and placing back in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours (I usually leave mine overnight) 
  8. Once fully set, remove and dress for the occasion by adding Oreo crumbs,  whipped cream or drizzles of caramel 

Enjoy! Nic x 

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