Tahini Brownie

I’m not sure what it is, but it seems more and more of my internet friends are falling victims of strange and spectacular baking nightmares.

Things burn, don’t raise, turn out to be weird colours… and it’s happened so much in the past few weeks I’m starting to worry it’s not just a coincidence!

No way that’ll stop be from baking though – I absolutely need both the process and the resulting cake to face the very stressful period of change I’m currently into! – so I more than ever rely on tried-and-tested, fool- (and catastrophy-) proof recipe.

Tahini Brownie Recipe // Cake + Whisky

On top of that list comes brownies.

SO easy to make (no fuss whatsoever), SO delicious (moist and dense and chocolatey and everything a good brownie should be).

I’ve been using the base recipe for years (about 10 of them!) and it’s simply perfect.

And, as it turns out, even better with added tahini to create those dreamy squares of tahini brownie goodness!

Tahini Brownie Recipe // Cake + Whisky

Because it tastes best the day after it’s baked, this tahini brownie is the ultimate make-ahead treat…

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:57]

And, if you don’t look too closely, you might even say it’s a fantastic square meal!

Pin for later:

Tahini Brownie Recipe // Cake + Whisky

More foolproof cake recipes:

Banana bread (V, Vg & DF options)

Simple lemon cake (V)

Cranberry oatmeal cake (V)

The best carrot cake (V)

Tahini Brownie

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one way to make chocolate mousse.

No whipped cream, no butter, no nothing. Very fresh eggs and really good quality chocolate and that’s it.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Vegan, GF, dairy free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Vegan, GF, dairy free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Unless of course you’re making vegan chocolate mousse.

Which you really should because:

  1. It’s a fantastic way to use aquafaba (aka. the thick-ish, yellow-ish liquid your pour down the drain whenever you use canned chickpeas). Take that, food waste!
  2. It’s delicious. And no, it doesn’t taste like hummus.
  3. It’s so simple (only 3 ingredients!) yet as indulgent as the real deal!
  4. You won’t believe it works until you’ve tried it anyway, will you?

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Vegan, GF, dairy free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

But once you’ve seen the magic of turning bean brine into fluffy goodness and turned that into amazing vegan chocolate mousse, I can garantee you’ll wonder where such a genius concept had bean hidding!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Vegan, GF, dairy free) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:22]

More vegan pudding recipes

Sticky Toffee Porridge (Vegan, GF)

Pink Fruit Salad (Vegan, GF, paleo)

Strawberries & (Coconut) Cream (Vegan, GF, paleo)

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Classic chocolate mousse

When it comes to food, I don’t have many pet peeves.

Want to re-invent a classic by putting a massive twist on it? Go ahead (and let me know how it goes). Craving your favourite summer dish in the middle of winter? By all means, switch up ingredients to create some more seasonally version. Allergic to this or that ingredient? Trying to avoid gluten/dairy/fat? Your call.

Classic Chocolate Mousse recipe ● Cake + Whisky

But there is one thing I simply cannot allow and that is anyone trying to pass off any- and everything, and especially not cream-based recipes, as chocolate mousse.

Of course, there is a time and place for cream and chocolate to come out and play together. And that place would be in a ganache, or a crémeux, or a pot de crème even. Not in a mousse.

Classic Chocolate Mousse recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Because, and trust me I have eaten my way through many a so-called ‘mousse’ before I came to this conclusion, there is one way to make a proper, classic chocolate mousse. And that is with chocolate and eggs.

It’s better for you (less fat, more protein), it’s A LOT less fussy to make and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER.

Point, set, match and end of the debate.

 

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:10]

 

Classic chocolate mousse

S’mores Cheesecake Pots

Between hunting for a new flat, cleaning/clearing/decluttering our current one, making Valentine’s Day plans, prepping food for the week ahead and then some, last weekend was a busy one.

So much so that by the end of it, there wasn’t much energy left in me…

No-bake S'mores cheesecake pots recipe || Cake + WhiskyNo-bake S'mores cheesecake pots recipe || Cake + Whisky

Actually, just enough for me to whip up these babe’in S’mores cheesecake pots, light up some candles & collapse in front of my 120,000 re-watch of old Friends episodes.

No-bake S'mores cheesecake pots recipe || Cake + Whisky No-bake S'mores cheesecake pots recipe || Cake + Whisky

Trust me when I say they’re super easy/speedy to make and well worth the (limited) effort.

Intensely chocolate-y, a little bit sour and very, very indulgent, they’re any chocolate-holic (aka you and me both) dream come true.

No-bake S'mores cheesecake pots recipe || Cake + Whisky

So whether you want to treat your Valentine, Galentines or yourself this week, S’mores cheesecake pots is the way.

I bet they’ll all come back asking for s’more!

No-bake S'mores cheesecake pots recipe || Cake + Whisky
S’mores Cheesecake Pots

(serves 2-4, depending on how generous your portions are!)

Ingredients:
  • 140g cream cream cheese
  • 40g granulated sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 140g very cold double cream
  • 6 Biscoff speculoos biscuits
  • 8 big marshmallows (I used those INSANELY good salted caramel ones!)
Method:

1. In a big bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and the sugar until lump-less and well combined.

2. Melt your chocolate using the double-boiler method, then add it to the cream cheese mixture.

3. Whisk the cream to soft peaks, then fold it into the cream cheese mixture.

4. Share the mixture between 2-4 glasses and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

5. Just before serving, burn the surface of the marshmallows with a handheld kitchen blowtorch. Top each glass with pieces of biscuits and marshmallow and serve immediately.

 

S’mores Cheesecake Pots

Healthy Chocolate Orange

I have a -fully disclosed- love affair with citrus fruit. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, I love them all.

But my favourite, if I ever had to pick just one at gunpoint, would probably be blood oranges.

Healthy Chocolate Orange recipe (vegan, GF) | Cake + Whisky

I love how versatile they are (they work just as well in savoury dishes as they do in sweet ones and are wonderful both by themselves or paired with some more complex flavours). Plus they’re so pretty they make any plate look stunning.

The season for blood oranges is rather short though, so I make the most of them when they’re available. Which happens to be right about now.

Healthy Chocolate Orange recipe (vegan, GF) | Cake + Whisky

So when every food magazine is trying to push more Valentine-evocative strawberry/caramel/chocolate puds, I decided to use the season of love as another excuse to use blood oranges.

Inspired by Terry’s classic Chocolate Orange treat, this gorgeous blood orange salad is both healthy and sophisticated with a touch of nostalgia thrown in for good measure.

Healthy Chocolate Orange recipe (vegan, GF) | Cake + Whisky

It’s vegan and gluten-free (but you’d never guess it from tasting it!), and it’s much quicker and easier to make than it looks, so you don’t have to slave in the kitchen to impress your loved one. Basically the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert!

Healthy Chocolate Orange recipe (vegan, GF) | Cake + Whisky

Healthy chocolate orange (serves 2 – vegan, gluten free)
Ingredients:
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 50g good baking dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 tsp desiccated coconut
  • small sprinkle of sea salt flakes
Method:

(Steps 1, 2 & 3 can be made ahead of time, in which case you’ll want to keep the different elements in the fridge until serving time. Steps 4 & 5 however should be done right before serving)

1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Take off the heat, then stir in the coconut cream and sea salt flakes. Put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

2. Using a sharp knife (serated ones work best for this), cut away the peel and pith from the oranges, explosing the flesh. Slice the oranges as thin as you can, then arrange the slices onto two small plates.

3. Use a couple of hot teaspoons to form small quenelles of the chocolate truffle mixture.

4. Arrange the chocolate truffle quenelles on top of the orange slices.

5. In a dry pan, roast the desiccated coconut for a minute or so, until it turns slightly golden. Sprinkle on top of each plate and serve immediately.

Healthy Chocolate Orange

Spiced chocolate truffles

The plan for this year’s festive recipes was to give old favourites a fresh twist.

But despite having won bit battles on the brussel sprouts, snacking nuts and dessert fronts, there are still some classics I’m reluctant to let go off.

Spiced chocolate truffles | Cake + Whisky

Every year for as long as I can remember, my family’s Christmas feast has started with a plateful of oysters, continued with smoked salmon in one form or another, and finished with a cup of coffee and a couple of homemade chocolate truffles.

And if I’m not really big on the first one, the other two are absolute Christmas must-eat in my eyes.

Spiced chocolate truffles | Cake + Whisky

So this year, much like last year, I will be making a few versions of my failproof recipe besides the obligatory cocoa- and coconut-coated ones.

Spiced chocolate truffles | Cake + Whisky

Super easy to make, delicately spiced, and utterly irresistible, these cinnamon spiced chocolate truffles are sure to make an appearance!

What can I say, that’s just how I r-ho-ho-oll!

Spiced chocolate truffles | Cake + Whisky

Spiced chocolate truffles (makes about 25)

Ingredients:

  • 200g good quality baking chocolate (I usually go for Nestlé’s or Green & Black dark baking chocolate)
  • 100ml crème fraîche (about 3 big tbsp)
  • a little knob of butter (about 20g)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder (or any other powdered winter spice of your choice)

1. Chop the chocolate and tip into a large bowl. Place the bowl atop a pot of boiling water (double-boiler) and stir the chocolate until fully melted.

2. Take off the heat, then add in the butter, cream and half of the cinnamon. Mix well, then add the egg yolks and mix thoroughly.

3. Pour the chocolate batter into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 2h.

4. Mix together the cocoa powder and the remaining cinnamon powder. Shape the truffles using your hands or a spoon dipped in hot water, then roll each of them in the cocoa and cinnamon mix until evenly coated.

Store the chocolate truffles in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

What are your Christmas food essentials? Anything you simply can’t do without?

Spiced chocolate truffles

Christmas Dinner in an hour – Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

The countdown to Christmas has -almost- officially begun! Only 25 days to go!

Which means it’s about time to get organised so you don’t run around like a headless chicken trying to hit the stores in quest of the perfect present / the necessary bits to cook up a worthy feast, plus getting it all wrapped, cooked and appropriately festive a few hours before the whole family rings the door bell.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

I’ve been there and I wouldn’t even wish that on my worst enemy.

Luckily, this year, I’ve had a bit of help from the expert es Super-Duper-Organised-Christmas, Katherine Frelon, whose Hall of festive fame includes a detailed plan on how to cook Christmas dinner in an hour.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

And while I’m still working on the one-hour-feast, I’m already well under way when it comes to edible presents, thanks to a little push from Mrs. Frelon herself and the kind folks at the Borough Market who recently invited me over for a little preview of Katherine’s demo sessions.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

We drank mulled cider, nibbled on festive treats (read: all the dried/candied fruit that were really meant to go into making said treats) & got a headstart on making all sorts of edible treats to be enjoyed by your nearest and dearest.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

First things first: the secret to Katherine’s mulled cider.

Because you’re definitely going to need some hot, liquid form of encouragement to get through the mountains of organisation and prep any Christmas feast requires.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

The one and only secret is home-made ‘Christmas spiced fruit bombs’. Aka mixed fruit and spices, wrapped up in tea bags and infused into your choice of hot drink for an instant festive hit!

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Christmas spiced fruit bombs (makes 24):

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, thinly pared without pith
  • 1 orange, thinly pared without pith
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 10g cloves
  • 20g crystallised ginger, crushed
  • 1 nutmeg, smashed into pieces
  • 10 juniper berries, smashed with the back of a heavy knife
  • 80g dried blueberries
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • 80g dehydrated strawberry or raspberry flakes
  • 24 x 10cm squares of muslin
  • Undyed cotton string

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

1. Place the citrus peel on a lined baking sheet and leave in the oven set at 60C-80C until the peel has dehydrated, but not coloured, so at least 60 minutes or more depending on the moisture of the peel.  Alternatively leave the peel overnight in a warm airing cupboard or by the Aga if you have one.

2. When the peel is cool chop it into small pieces and add to a bowl with all the other ingredients. Stir to combine well.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

3. To make the bags place approximately ½tsp of the fruit spice in the centre of each piece of muslin, gather up the corners and then twist and tie up each bundle securely with string. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

4. To make a serving, place one bag in a mug and pour over boiling water (or use boiling apple juice / cranberry juice / red wine / cider…) and leave to steep for 5 mins, then remove the bag.

To make a big batch, place one bag of mulling spice in a heavy bottomed saucepan with 2l of your choice of liquid, place on the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Remove the bag and serve the cider in heatproof glasses or mugs.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Next up, an absolute festive must-have in the form of a gorgeous Crimson Christmas Chutney.

Sweet and sour, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful cheese plate. Presented in Kilner jars decorated with pretty ribbons and handmade labels, it also makes for a great gift.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Crimson Christmas chutney (makes 1.5kg)

Ingredients: 

  • 1.2kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 700g cranberries
  • 400g soft dates, stoned and chopped
  • 4 clementines, zest and juice
  • 500g soft brown sugar
  • 2tsp ginger, peeled and grated
  • 30ml ruby red port or cherry brandy
  • 3 cloves
  • 7cm piece cassia bark
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 10g flaked sea salt

1. Place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer for approximately 60 minutes, until all the ingredients are soft.

2. Bottle in sterilised jars, seal and ideally leave to mature for a few weeks.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Last but not least: CHOCOLATE! Because what’s even the point of Christmas if not as the number one excuse to have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, eh?

Katherine’s jewelled Borough bark is super simple treat to make and the ultimate oh-gosh-I-have-no-present-for-[add the name of any last minute guest here] present.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Just melt, stir and swirl to achieve a dramatic edible gift for friends and family. Plus you get to lick the spoons, so it’s definitely a winner!

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Jewelled Borough bark (makes approx. 600g)

Ingredients:

  • 250g good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 350g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g Turkish delight, chopped into small dice
  • 40g green unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

1. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. Remove from the heat and repeat the process with the dark chocolate.

 

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

2. Spread the dark chocolate onto a lined baking sheet to a thickness of 5mm.  Drop spoonfuls of white chocolate on top, and swirl the chocolates together with a skewer to make patterns.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

 

3. While the chocolate is still molten sprinkle over the pistachios and Turkish delight and lightly press into the chocolate so they set firm. Chill until set, approximately 60 minutes.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

You can also jazz up the bark with your favourite dried or candied fruits, nuts, coffee beans or even liquorice if you dare.  Or try some heat and spice with crystalised ginger, chilli flakes and crushed cardamom.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

To package as gifts break the bark into large pieces and wrap in parchment paper with a pretty ribbon, fill a glass jar or a clear bags, or place in a pretty box and wrap with tissue paper.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Want to get a piece of the – Christmas prep – action?

Katherine will be in residence in the Borough Market Demo Kitchen (in the glass market hall) throughout December showing the shortcuts to the most amazing Christmas meal without spending days in the kitchen.

Throughout her demo sessions, Katherine will be focusing on the following topics, so make sure you come down to the Borough Market for tones of festive tips, a little nibble (and maybe a headstart on the grocery shopping too, ’tis the best place for it after all!) on the following dates:

1st December – 12.30-2pm – Edible Gifts.
8th December – 12.30-2pm – It’s all in the planning.
15th December – 12.30-2pm – The final countdown: 60 minutes in the kitchen on Christmas Day.

*All Borough Market demo kitchen sessions are free for all to attend. I was invited by the Borough Market to attend a preview of Katherine’s demo sessions, but all pictures, words, opinions & love for that iconic foodie spot, its legendary traders & tendancies to compulsively eat any fruit/nut/candy I can get my hands on my own.

Christmas Dinner in an hour – Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market