The best tray bake ever?

Yesterday I tasted something awesome.  I was at playgroup with my youngest, and one of the grandmas had decided to celebrate her last day there (she has been going for ten years) by bringing in cake.  She may have been celebrating but I was crying in the corner as I will miss her loads – Jean is one of my baking inspirations, plus she always has the best sprinkles.  She had brought in some adorable cupcakes and mini-cupcakes but I was drawn to the toffee chocolate covered cake bites.  I took one nibble and immediately rang my sister and told her if she was passing playgroup this morning it was worth popping in for a taste. Which she did.  We then pestered Jean for her recipe, and made her repeat it about 8 times til we had it committed to memory so here it is.

 

Jean’s toffee bars

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½ lb brown sugar (I used soft dark brown sugar)

½ lb butter

½ lb plain flour

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract (I used a tsp of vanilla bean paste)

 Chocolate for the top.

 

Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan oven)

 Cream the softened butter and sugar then stir in the egg yolk, flour and vanilla.

Press the mixture into a tin and bake for about thirty minutes.  Don’t be concerned if you peep through the oven door half way through and see pools of buttery oiliness on the surface of the bake – it’s all as it should be.

 When you take it out of the oven, whilst it is still hot, decorate the top with some chocolate buttons or any of your favourite tasting chocolate or candy melts. Jean had used some toffee flavoured discs from Renshaws so I got some of these (http://www.design-a-cake.co.uk/View/details.asp?pi=9626) from my favourite cake decorating shop.  I used half the bag.  My little helper than insisted we add some chocolate crispie sprinkles too – so we did.

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Let it cool before cutting into bite sized chunks or long fingers, or whatever takes your fancy.

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I think this would also make an absolutely gorgeous base for a cheesecake, or as a base for my friend Kathryn’s legendary baileys cake.  You can get her recipe at http://theyummycookeryclub.com/

 

I think this is one of the best tray bakes I’ve ever tasted – I actually prefer it to brownies and flapjack. What do you think?  What is your favourite tray bake?

Bakeylicious Creme Egg Brownies

I do love a good food craze and it would seem that the virtual world has gone Cadbury creme egg crazy of late, with pictures of creme egg cupcakes and brownies popping up all over my facebook, twitter and pinterest feeds.

So here I am, stuck in the house with two poorly boys who are LOVING their naps so what is a girl to do…

Firstly I thought I’d just research a few brownie recipes.  This has not done my slimming world journey any good.  There is nothing like looking at pages and pictures of mouthwatering brownie recipes to weaken an already wobbling dieting resolution.  It would seem that today I am going to ‘go flexible’ as they say in my Slimming World group*.

Secondly I thought I’d better just check what ingredients I had to hand.  I knew I had the vital stuff – I’d already picked up some chocolate and cocoa from BakeyA’s house, and the mini creme eggs had been burning a hole in my handbag since before the afore mentioned SW group yesterday.  I soon realized that I only had three eggs in the house and I knew I couldn’t use them all because it is the law in this house that poorly boys like eggy bread for tea.  It’s magic food that makes the world a better place.  So after a bit more research I found this recipe here.  http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com/2013/03/cadbury-creme-egg-brownies.html .  Which I adapted a bit, to make it even more chocolatey.  And here it is:

Bakeylicious Creme Egg Brownies.

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Ingredients

100g sugar

100g dark chocolate

113g unsalted butter

1 egg

120g plain flour

15g cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

12 mini Cadbury’s creme eggs

 

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C if a fan oven)

First I melted the chocolate.  I did this in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time to make sure it didn’t burn.  I put this to one side while I creamed the sugar and butter together. I used 50g light muscavado sugar and 50g of vanilla caster sugar because I love brown sugar A LOT but I only had 50g in the house.  I would have happily used 100g of a soft brown sugar if I had it.  I make my vanilla sugar by storing my vanilla pods in the packet of caster sugar.

When the mixture was all light and fluffy I mixed in the egg, then the melted chocolate.  I folded in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and spooned the mixture into a greased baking tin.  I used a silicone 6” square tin I had.  At this point I was a bit concerned that I was heading for something more cake-bar like than brownie but from the smell of the mixture I knew it was going to taste yummy so decided not to worry about it.

To finish off I placed the mini creme eggs into the mixture so they were sitting in a three by four grid.  I did think about making some more mixture to spoon over to completely cover the crème eggs but decided not to risk it as I didn’t know how long nap time would last.  I baked it for 30 minutes.  When it had cooled I cut it into 12 pieces.

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I ended up with a lovely chocolatey gooey brownie that was quite cakey on the top and sides but melty inside.  Some of the creme eggs separated and some leaked into the brownie mix but it all added to the yumminess.  Bakeylicious!

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What ingredient has got you reaching for the mixer this month?

 

*For those who are interested these little babies come in at 14 syns each.