CHRISTMAS GUEST POST – Andrew in the Kitchen

This is a guest post by Andrew from Andrew in the Kitchen.

If you couldn’t tell from my blog name, I’m Andrew and I blog lots of baking recipes and savoury meals over at https://andrewinthekitchen.wordpress.com/ as well as giving my opinion on foodie topics that get my goat! Lizi took part in my #fdbloggerfriends series and shared her Baked Apples with Candied Pecan Crumble recipe over on my blog. The post was overwhelmingly popular and was one of my most viewed posts in November! In return, I’m writing a guest post for Lizi’s blog!

I’m currently in my first year of doing a maths degree at the University of Nottingham and I have truly found that blogging is a fantastic way to escape from the never ending exercises and coursework we have to do (in fact I should probably be doing some right now!).

I have been blogging for around 3 years now and since then, blogging has thoroughly enriched my life. People always want to know why I started my blog and I always never know how to answer the question but the more I think about it, I came to realise that I want a career in food – not in the restaurant trade – but writing books, doing cooking demonstrations and teaching. My writing style is indicative of that; I always talk through the important stages of the recipe as well as discussing why I use a certain ingredient or where the idea of the recipe came from!

One of my favourite posts on my blog are my Dark Chocolate Teacakes with Marshmallow Meringue. They did these as the technical challenge in Series 3 of Bake Off and I’d always wanted to try making them myself. The problem was that I didn’t have any of the hemisphere moulds to make them with until I found them for £1 when I went to Hong Kong in the summer! When I got back, I had to make them straight away and despite the summer heat, I managed to make them, keeping the chocolate shells almost intact. I was surprised at how fun and simple they were to make because I didn’t worry too much about the tempering of the chocolate.

dark_choc_teacakes

Also inspired by Bake Off technical challenges, I chose to make my own twist on the savarin they made in Series 7. I had individual mini savarin moulds and made Salted Caramel White Chocolate and Lemon Savarins. The combination of white chocolate and lemon isn’t a classic but it’s one of my personal favourites and with the addition of salted caramel, these savarins are a real treat!!

caramel_white_choc_lemon_savarins

This year, I entered the UK Blog Awards 2017 and I’m hoping that I will get somewhere with it but for now, I’m blogging for the 12 Days of Christmas. For me, this will be a selection of 11 different recipes plus a special post about Secret Santa and at the time of writing, I’m already on Day 4 of 12! Lizi wanted me to share one of my Christmas recipes so I’m sharing the recipe for my Melted Snowman Chocolate Chip Cookies with you!

melted_snowman_cookies_2

This is my signature chocolate chip cookie recipe which hasn’t failed for me ever since I made this recipe. The addition of cornflour to the cookie mixture helps to keep them soft in the centre and the bicarbonate of soda spreads out the cookies so the edges can get crisp. You don’t even need a fancy mixer, the recipe is easy enough to make by hand.

melted_snowman_cookies

Ingredients

  • 115g margarine or butter
  • 180g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, sifted
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • White mini marshmallows

Method

  1. Cream together the margarine or butter with the granulated sugar with a rubber spatula, pressing the butter against the side of the bowl into the sugar and beating well. Once it has come together, beat in the large egg and vanilla extract.
  2. Add in the flour, cornflour and bicarbonate of soda all at once and fold together until it forms a soft, pliable but not sticky cookie dough. Fold through the chocolate chunks until they are evenly dispersed through the cookie dough. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill the dough for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line some baking trays with baking parchment.
  4. Take an ice cream scoop and fill it half full with cookie dough. Drop it into your hand and roll into a ball shape. Place them on the baking tray, leaving room for spreading; a standard square baking tray will hold 9; a rectangular one will only hold 6. Press 3 mini marshmallows into the top of the cookie dough.
  5. Bake the cookies for around 13 – 15 minutes until the cookies are brown around the edges and have spread out and the marshmallows are browned lightly. Place more marshmallows on top of the warm cookies and leave for 1 minute. Then push them down slightly to create the effect of a melted snowman. Don’t push too hard or you will push the warm unset cookie dough onto the paper and it could stick.
  6. Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for a further 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully, still on the parchment. Once they are completely cooled, lift them off the parchment and serving with a glass of cold milk or a cup of tea!

 

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