Cappuccino Bars

An easy traybake to make for tea or a coffee morning.

Preheat oven 180C/gas4                  Grease and line a 24x33m tin

1 tbspn cocoa plus extra to dust over top
2 tbspn instant coffee granules
2 tbspn warm water

225g each of butter, soft brown sugar and sr flour
1 tspn baking powder
4 eggs
cinnamon for dusting top

Icing - 100g white chocolate broken in pieces, 50g butter, 3 tbspn milk, 175g icing sugar

Mix the cocoa and coffee with the water.
Put the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or mixer and blitz together. Add the coffee/cocoa and mix again.
Pour into the tin and bake for 30-35 mins. Cool in the tin.

For the icing - Melt the chocolate, butter and milk together over simmering water. Sieve the icing sugar and stir into the chocolate mix.

Spread the icing over the cake and dust the top with a little cocoa then cinnamon.

Cut the cake into bars and if you want, put the bars into paper cases. I just decided to do this as I seem to have a lot of paper cases lurking in the back of the cupboard! The bars have a good texture and aren't too sweet, contrasting well with the sweet white chocolate icing. A handy recipe for a traybake.


Chocolate Truffle Tart

I made this recently as my contribution to a 'get together' lunch. It used up a bar of chocolate I would probably have eaten! It's a recipe I've made many times and is adapted from an old American baking book I picked up on one of my visits. Have mentioned it on here before - 'Favorite Cakes and Tarts my Mom made'.

For the dough you need - 114g cold butter cut into pieces, 150g caster sugar, 1 large egg and 1 egg white, 300g plain flour, 40g cocoa and 1 tspn baking powder

For the filling - 250g dark chocolate, chopped [not more than 60%], 90g cubed butter, 2 large beaten eggs, 85ml double cream, 50g caster sugar and 1 tspn vanilla extract

Preheat oven 190C/Gas5                         20cm tart tin

Cream butter and sugar together till soft. Beat in the egg and egg white. Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder together then add to the mixture and fold in. Bring together into a disc, wrap in cling film and put in fridge for 30 mins. Roll out between 2 layers of parchment paper or clingfilm then line tart tin. Cover with parchment paper and baking beans and bake blind for 20 mins.

Melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat. Cool. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and pour into the tin. Bake for 20 mins till filling is set but still a bit wobbly in the middle.

The tart is quite rich, so you only need a small slice! The pastry is quite cakey, but is still a good contrast in texture to the soft filling. Nice served with vanilla ice cream.


Apple Galette de Rois

I love to make one of these traditional French galettes, but wanted to make it a bit different so added some apples.

You need: 2 packs of puff pastry, 3 eating apples, 200g crème fraîche, 200g ground almonds, 100g caster sugar + 40g, 3eggs and 1 egg yolk

Preheat oven 220C/gas7                 A baking tray

Cut the apples up into small cubes and put into a pan with the 40g of sugar. Caramelise for about 10 mins. Add 1 tbspn of the cream and mix together.
In a bowl mix together the rest of the cream and the 100g of sugar, the ground almonds and eggs. Put this in the fridge for 10 mins.
Roll out the pastry sheets. Cut out 2 large circles [I used a large dinner plate]. Put one of the circles on the baking tray and cover with the apples. If you have one, put a bean or little fêve in then spoon over the almond mixture. Cover with the second circle of pastry and pres the edges together.
Dilute the egg yolk with 1 tbspn water then brush over the pastry. Make a pattern on top using the sharp point of a knife.
Bake for 25 mins.

The addition of the apples gave another layer of flavour. I liked the pastry then the soft apple, the almondy frangipane and the final pastry layer. A good galette, but I think I prefer it made in the traditional way.

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