White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies

I’m sorry I pretty much disappeared from here! I got back from my holiday to Florida the Sunday before last and life has been pretty hectic since as my boyfriend and I are currently looking at buying a flat. I did manage to squeeze in some baking last weekend but I just haven’t had a chance to write about it.

Florida was amazing! It was my first trip to America and I loved every minute of it, I can’t wait to go back. I think I must have put on about a stone as the food is amazing and the portion sizes are massive. I was having pancakes and chocolate peanut butter muffins for breakfast every day and would top that up with a further 6(!) (buy 3 get 3 free) to takeaway. Definitely appropriately named “mammoth” muffins that were the size of my hand and filled with gooey peanut butter…mmmm! They were amazing. I need to find a recipe to recreate them!

White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Cookies

Whilst we were away my boyfriend introduced me to white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies. Albeit only from Subway they were delicious nonetheless. They were the perfect cookies, soft and chewy, indulgent, deeply satisfying and extremely moreish! What more could you want!? As last weekend was Valentine’s day the theme for SBC was to bake something you love but I have been trying to be good since overindulging in Florida so instead I decided to bake something for the one I love and he chose these. I used a recipe I found in the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and just substituted pecans for macadamia nuts. The recipe is really simple and most of the ingredients I already had in my cupboard. They didn’t take very long to prepare nor did they create much washing up which is always a bonus and makes them taste just that extra bit more delicious!

Ingredients

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
200g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
100g white chocolate, chopped
100g macadamia nuts, chopped

Method

1. Using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use an electric handheld whisk) cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs one at a time and mix on a medium speed until combined. Scrape down the side sides of the bowl to incorporate any unmixed ingredients. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed and beat in the vanilla extract.

3. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix well until a smooth dough is formed. Stir in the chocolate and macadamia nuts until evenly incorporated.

4. Divide the dough in half and place each half onto a separate piece of cling film. Then shape each half into 2 equal rolls measuring 15-18cm in length and wrap the roll in the cling film. (My dough was quite sticky so this was pretty messy!) Place the rolls into the freezer to set for a couple of hours.

5. Once you’re ready to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas mark 3. Grease or line a couple of baking trays (you need about 4, I only have two so had to cook in 2 batches.)

6. Remove the cling film and slice the rolls into discs about 2-3cm thick. Place the discs onto the baking trays ensuring they are evenly spaced out to allow for spreading whilst baking.

7. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until quite flat and golden brown around the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and leave to cool slightly before transferring them onto wire wracks to cool completely. The cookies should be soft and chewy…and delicious! 🙂

Third Time Lucky!

Swiss Roll

The weekend I made my first bake for the Sunday Baking Club. When I found out that this week’s technical challenge was a Swiss roll I was so excited! I last made a Swiss roll 10 years ago, during a school cookery lesson, when I was 13. I seem to remember the lesson being pretty easy and getting a good outcome, so I thought to myself ‘what a nice easy challenge for my first week with the baking club and first blog post, how hard can it be?’, I couldn’t have been more wrong!

I did a Google search for a Mary Berry recipe hoping it would ensure a fail-safe bake and was pleasantly surprised to see how simple the recipe was, only requiring 4 ingredients and 10 minutes of baking time! I was feeling very confident at this point and already had images of my perfectly rolled, golden, spongy Swiss roll in my head. Ha!

I preheated the oven, prepared my tray and got baking. I started by beating together the eggs and sugar until they were combined, I did this for a couple of minutes, folded in the flour and then stuck it in the oven. 10 minutes later I had a flat, rubbery oblong that smelt distinctly of scrambled eggs! I was devastated, it was meant to be perfect and I could just imagine the disappointed looks from Mary and Paul (when I bake I genuinely believe I’m  a contestant on GBBO!) .  After a couple of hours of wallowing in self pity I did some research and discovered the eggs and sugar probably needed to be whisked for much longer so I decided to try again. The result…another flat rubbery failure! It turns out the flour I had been using had a best before date of Sept ’13!! I was relieved to find out it wasn’t my technique. Determined not to let the Swiss roll defeat me I ventured out into the rain and cold that evening to buy a fresh packet of self raising flour. It was worth it in the end as the final result was the golden, light sponge I had hoped for.

Here is the recipe I used, I actually ended up adjusting it slightly from the Mary Berry recipe I found online:

Ingredients

4 medium eggs at room temperature
125g caster sugar
125g self raising flour
1 tbsp warm water
Icing sugar to decorate
Plus a filling of your choice, I kept it simple with a classic jam filling this time.

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas mark 7. Grease a 13 x 9 inch Swiss roll tin and line with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together using an electric mixer until the mixture is thick, creamy, pale in colour and has tripled in size. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture leaves a trail on the surface for a couple of seconds. This should take about 10 minutes and should look something like this…

Swiss Roll

3. Sieve half the flour into the bowl and carefully fold into the mixture. Repeat this step using the rest of the flour. Then carefully fold in the tbsp of warm water, this helps the mixture to spread when poured into the tin.

4. Pour the mixture into the tin spreading evenly and bake in the oven for around 10 minutes, until it’s lightly browned and starting to come away from the edges of the tin.

5. Place some baking paper onto a work surface and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar, upend the sponge from the tin, place onto the paper and peel away the baking paper. Whilst the sponge is still warm, lightly score it at the end closest to you about 2cm away from the edge, cover the sponge with a tea towel or piece of greaseproof paper and starting at the scored end roll the sponge away from you. Leave the sponge to cool like this. (Rolling the sponge whilst it is still warm and before filling ensures it remembers the shape it is meant to be, covering it with a tea towel or greaseproof paper stops the sponge from sticking to itself).

6. Once the sponge has cooled gently unroll it, evenly spread your filling leaving a boarder of about 2cm (this is to ensure the filling doesn’t all squirt out when you roll it) and then re-roll.  Neaten each end of the roll by trimming off a thin slice and then place the cake on a serving plate and enjoy with a cup of tea! 🙂