German chocolate cheesecake

German chocolate cheesecakeThere is this book I ordered on Amazon two months back. I sort of picked it on a whim. Quickly scanned the reviews and hit the ‘add to cart’ button. I was so delighted looking through this beautiful book for the first time when I got it in the mail. I’m talking about Tea with Bea. Now I know the title might sound a bit cheesy perhaps, but don’t judge a book by its cheesy title. The author of the book, Bea Vo (of Bea’s of Bloomsbury), not only writes the book in a way that it is easy to understand, but also gives specific background information about chemical processes (what not to do and why). As you can maybe tell, I am really excited about this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes/loves to bake! If only to look at the beautiful pictures of the cakes, cookies and… cheesecake.

I’ve made a fair amount of cheesecakes in my day (gosh, that makes me sound old- I’m 25; honest!). My favorite is still a New York style cheesecake topped with cherries. In my mind, I would never have imagined chocolate and cheesecake go well together. I thought the rich chocolately taste would clash with the slight tang of the cream cheese. But guess what? Good news. I was wrong! And this cheesecake is a must try, as it is so creamy and silky with just the right amount of sweetness. And if chocolate and cheesecake weren’t enough, this recipe includes toasted coconut, pecans, dulce de leche and drizzled melted chocolate.

German chocolate cheesecake

German chocolate cheesecake

Serves 10-12

600 gr/1 lb. 5 oz. HobNobs or graham crackers
75 – 100 gr/ 3/4 – 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
800 gr/1 lb. 12 oz. cream cheese
225 gr/1 cup plus 1 tablespoon caster/superfine sugar
2 eggs
50 gr/ 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornflour/cornstarch
250 ml/1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping
1 recipe of fudge icing (recipe follows)
100 gr/4 oz. storebought dulce de leche
5 tablespoons soft shredded coconut (Baker’s Angels Flake), lightly toasted
75 gr/2/3 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted and crushed
melted dark chocolate, for drizzling

For the Fudge icing
250 ml/1 cup whipping cream
65 gr/ 3 tablespoons golden syrup
350 gr/12 oz. high-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75 gr/5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled

25-cm/10 inch cake pan, greased and baselined with parchment paper

Preheat oven to 125 C (140 F); fan forced.
To make the crust, crush the cookies/biscuits until you get a fine crumb (a food processor with blade attachment is easiest). Add the melted butter. This will be variable depending on the type of biscuit and butter. Test it by grabbing a bit of the mixture and squeezing into your hand to make a ball, then releasing your hand. The mixture should hold its shape, but also fall apart when touched slightly. If it doesn’t hold it’s shape, add more butter other wise the biscuit will dissolve into the cheesecake and you’ll have no crust. If it holds its shape too well, add more biscuits/crackers to absorb the butter, otherwise the crust will be too hard. Press the mixture into the prepared cake pan and pat down until level.

Put the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and beat until well mixed and the sugar has dissolved. Sl
owly incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating until thoroughly combined before adding the next. Scrape the side of the bowl regularly to make sure everything is incorporated. Sift the cornflour/cornstarch into the mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the cream and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Pour the mixture into the cake pan over the crust and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until the middle is slightly jiggly and the top doesn’t look shiny or wet anymore. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight. Unmould the cheesecake by turning it upside down on a plate or board, then uprighting again. I always use two cutting boards, which works really well.

To make the fudge frosting; put the cream and golden syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the chocolate in a large bowl (preferably not plastic, but metal or glass). As soon as the cream and golden syrup reach a boil, immediately turn of the heat. Pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute. Using a small whisk, stir with very small motions in the middle of the bowl. This will take a while. The point here is to make an emulsion, by incorporating small amounts of cream to the chocolate. After 5 minutes start stirring in slightly wider motions. Continue stirring until the mixture is very thick and glossy and until fully combined. Add the vanilla extract and the butter and mix until well combined (don’t leave the small buttery bits; keep stirring until smooth again). Set aside to let the chocolate stiffen into a firm consistency. Do not refrigerate! It will turn very solid and will not be spreadable.

Spread a layer of fudge frosting over the cheesecake. Warm the dulce de leche slightly in the microwave for 20 seconds, and drizzle over the fudge icing in dollops. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and pecans and some melted chocolate all over.

Source: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea’s of Bloomsbury. Available at amazon.co.uk

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Apple and olive oil cake

Apple olive oil cake I don’t know about you guys, but I really enjoy watching Australia’s Masterchef. I think George, Gary and Matt do an excellent job at hosting the show. The British, American and the Dutch Masterchef have got nothing on the Australian version of the show. In my opinion, the Aussie’s can’t be beaten. They’ve got it down! There are several reasons for this success, but three which stand out to me. 1. Every contestant is treated with respect. Nobody has to suffer verbal abuse (which is the case for the American Masterchef. But hey, Gordon Ramsay is the host. Need I say more?). 2. The contestants treat each other with respect and are supportive of each other. In the American Masterchef they are so competitive. They will almost kill each other to win the contest. 3. They often have famous (guest) chefs on the show. I must give the British version credit for having Michel Roux Jr though. But…I WANT MORE!

Usually the contestants have to make a recipe created by the guest chef. As is the case for this recipe. This apple olive oil cake is a recipe from Maggie Beer, who has been on the show a couple of times. She’s a lovely chef and very down to earth, what is what most people seem to love about her. Her recipes are, what I think, Australian country cooking. But with somewhat more delicate flavors than seen in some American country dishes. She’s very much into organic produce and even has her own line of products that come from her own farm.

This recipe is some work, but it is worth it. The olive oil cake is moist as can be has a slight tang to it from the apple poaching liquid. The rosemary is a nice addition, because it gives this cake an extra dimension. I would, however, use slightly less rosemary next time. If you can’t get verjuice, I would substitute for a non-acidic apple juice. I used a regular apple juice which was a bit overpowering, I thought. So use either a mild apple juice or the fresh (cloudy) apple juice for best results.

Apple olive oil cake and sabayon

Olive oil, apple and rosemary cake with sabayon
Apple
Poached apples
4 pink large lady apples, peeled, cut into 8ths and core removed
300ml verjuice
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Olive oil cake
3 eggs, separated
125 gr caster sugar
75 gr plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
60ml reserved apple poaching liquid

Glaze

¼ cup caster sugar
Remaining reserved poaching liquid, (less 30ml for sabayon)

Sabayon
30ml apple poaching liquid
1 teaspoon caster sugar
2 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 175⁰C (fan forced). Grease and baking paper line the base of a 20cm spring form cake tin.

For poached apples, place apples, verjuice and rosemary in a large, deep frying pan. Cover and bring to the boil over a high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove apples from heat and strain, reserving the liquid. Return apples to frying pan and place over a high heat, add extra virgin olive oil and sautee until apples start to colour, remove from heat.
Arrange caramelised apple pieces in the base of prepared cake tin.

For olive oil cake, beat whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add half the sugar and beat until sugar has dissolved.

 In a separate bowl, beat yolks and remaining sugar until pale.

 Sift in flour and baking powder, pour in oil and 60ml reserved apple poaching liquid and mix to combine.
Gently fold in meringue, 1/3 at a time until combined. Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until pudding springs back to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes. Remove the spring form tin collar and flip / invert pudding on to a wire cooling rack.

For glaze, pour caster sugar and remaining reserved poaching liquid (but put aside 30mls for the sabayon) into a small saucepan. Place over a medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.

For sabayon, place all ingredients in a heat proof bowl and place over a shallow water bath. Whisk until pale, light and frothy. Do not allow the bowl to touch the water.
Control applied heat by removing bowl from the heat occasionally to cool mixture and to avoid over cooking the yolks. Whisk mixture continuously and return to heat to continue cooking as required. To check consistency, mixture should hold a trail of the number eight.
 When sabayon is a constancy of your liking (don’t let it get too thick) remove from the heat and whisk until cool. Pour into a serving jug.

To serve, cut into thick wedges and brush with verjuice glaze.

Source: Maggie Beer

Chocolate Caramel Tart

Chocolate caramelIt’s been so cold here these past two weeks. The kind of weather which makes you want to stay inside and eat comfort food. Unless…you can go ice skating! This is THE activity when the canals freeze up. I had a bit of ice fever this past weekend as well and went ice skating with my dad. The signs at the canal said ‘Dangerous’ and ‘Enter at own risk’, because the ice wasn’t thick enough in some places. Still, that didn’t stop us and the other 100 people or so from having some fun on the ice. The Dutch are well-known for lots of things, obedience isn’t one of them. A few laps around the shoveled natural ice rink and, as if that wasn’t daring enough, my dad suggested we’d skate to the windmill and the ‘koek and zopie’ stand (literally a cookie and drink stand). With no clear path because of the snow, we skated to the koek and zopie stand for some hot chocolate. Could it be more Dutch? Having a hot chocolate on ice skates with a windmill in the background. I think not! But, it is pretty awesome when you think about it.

Chocolate sugar

Anything that’s hot or has chocolate (preferably both, like hot chocolate) is a winner with these kind of temperatures. Then again, chocolate in my book is always a winner. Not to speak of chocolate and caramel. Mars bars are the first thing that come to mind. Sometimes I really crave them. The silky milk chocolate and the soft caramel are just such a delight. The recipe posted today kind of reminded me of it. Although, it’s definitely more decadent. The ganache is made of dark chocolate which creates a fuller flavour and the chocolate crust gives this extra texture.

Chocolate caramel

I’ve been wanting to make this recipe from Saveur for ages, but recipes with caramel tend to scare me. Not just the failing part and ending up with something black and solid in the pan. It’s the actual pain I’ve had from caramel recipes gone totally wrong. I once tried spun caramel as part of a decoration on a dessert. Don’t ask me how, but I managed to get three fingers burnt on each hand. Very very painful. So, whenever I see a caramel recipe, my sore blistery fingers are the first thing I think of (kind of Pavlov right?). This weekend, I practiced my caramel making skills once again and it went quite well (Extinction! I should have thought of that sooner being a psychologist and all).

Chocolate caramel tart 

So many people have commented that their caramel burnt way before they hit 340 F. With an accurate sugar thermometer you should really get to 340 F without having problems. If you’re not sure about the accuracy of your thermometer, make sure to watch the colour of the boiling sugar mixture. It can be difficult to see the actual colour, because of all the bubbling going on. I took a teaspoon of the mixture every so often and dropped it into a glass of cold water. You really want dark golden in this recipe, not yellow. The mixture will smell just a tad bit burnt. After reading all the comments about the caramel leaking out of the tart at room temperature, I decided to try reheat the caramel back to 250 F after adding the cream and butter. Even though the taste was great, the caramel was just a bit too hard (some bits more like toffee). So my advice would be to follow the recipe as is and just keep it refrigerated. Next time I make this, I will make the crust just a bit thinner and make a little less ganache for the topping. This will make the caramel stand out more, like it deserves.

For the crust

  • 1 1⁄2 cups flour
  • 1⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp. dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp confectioners sugar
  • 2 egg yolks, preferably at room temperature
  • 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the caramel

  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. crème fraîche

For the ganache

  • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz (113 gr) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Gray sea salt for garnish

1.  Make the crust: Heat oven to 350˚F (177˚C). Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is pale and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Transfer dough to a 9″ (23 cm) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and press dough evenly into bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

2. Make the caramel: In a 1-qt. saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tbsp. water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°F (171 °C). Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, cream, and crème fraîche (the mixture will bubble up) until smooth. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm, 4–5 hours.

3.  Make the ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour ganache evenly over tart and refrigerate until set, 4–5 hours. Sprinkle tart with sea salt, slice, and serve chilled.

Source: Saveur



Almond and Orange Cake

Almond & orange

Did you know the almond isn’t really your typical nut? Technically speaking, or so I’ve read, almonds are the seed of the fruit of the almond tree. Ever looked closely at the kernel of an apricot and thought: this looks like an almond? I have! That’s because almonds, apricots, peaches and cherries (who would’ve thought) are relatives. Guess who’s the family nut? Uncle almond! No seriously, almonds are amazing. Their oils and wonderful nuttiness add richness to so many dishes, be it sweet or savory                                                                         

Almond orange cake & orange slicesTeacup           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almonds match so well with many fruits. I always love them in crumble toppings on pies or cobblers. I always imagine almonds in desserts with cherries, blackberries, peaches, apples, pears, apricots and so on. Never would I have come up with almonds and oranges. Not that it doesn’t work, of course! And what better way to try this combination, than with a recipe by masterchef and pâtissier, Michel Roux Jr. Trust me, he knows what to do with almonds and oranges.

A slice of this almond and orange cake with a hot cup of tea is just what you need after a long day of work (Dessert before dinner? Yes, life is short) on a wintery cold day. Or enjoy on a terrace on a warm day in summer. Either way, the moist sweet zesty cake paired with the orange marmalade glaze and crunchy almond slivers will put a smile on your face after each bite.

Almond and orange cake

Orange & almond

If you don’t have a 20 cm/8 inch cake tin, you can also use a 23-24 cm/9 inch cake tin and reduce baking time to 30-35 minutes. This cake browns quickly, I’m guessing it might have something to do with the oils in the almonds. Although this did not affect flavor in a negative way, I would suggest you cover with aluminum foil (matte side up) near the end of the baking time.

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 50 gr (6 leveled tablespoons) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 225 gr  (1 cup or 8 oz) caster sugar
  • 250 gr (2.5 cups or 8.8 oz) ground almonds
  • 250 gr (1 ¼ stick or 9 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon grated zest of orange
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 orange)
  • 60 gr (2 oz) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon marmalade
  • Handful of sliced almonds, toasted

1. Butter a round cake tin, approximately 20cm/8 inch wide. Preheat the oven t0 180°C/355 °F.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar, and add the ground almonds. Whisk the butter with the orange zest until pale, then add the eggs one at a time. This mixture will come together slightly, but don’t expect a homogenous mixture. It will have little lumps of butter. Fold in the dry ingredients with a metal spoon. The batter will be thick. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cooked (see tips above).

3. While the cake is baking, make a syrup by boiling the orange juice with the brown sugar until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is moderately dark golden colour. Leave to cool. Once the cake is cooked, prick several times with a skewer to the base and pour on the cooled syrup. Leave the cake to cool completely before brushing on a little warmed marmalade. To toast the almond slivers, put them into a dry skillet on medium heat and stir every once and a while. Keep a close eye on them. The transition between golden brown and GOLDEN brown (burnt) is quite fast. You only want to crisp them and add a little colour.  After cooling a bit in on a plate, sprinkle them on the cake.

4. Michel Roux recommends serving this with orange segments marinated in a generous splash of whisky and a little demerara (raw cane) sugar. I think this would very good with some whiskey flavored whipped cream and some thinly sliced candied orange peel.

Source: Michel Roux Jr: A Life in the Kitchen by Michel Roux Jr.

Available from Amazon.com and Bol.com 

Best Blueberry Muffins

I have a confession to make. Weather like this (rain, wind, etc) sometimes really makes it hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. It’s something about the warmth of your bed and then the thought of getting cold when having to get up. Of course some breakfast foods make the process so much easier 🙂 Blueberry muffins are one of these foods. The smell that fills the house when they’re baking, is just wonderful. Who wouldn’t get out of bed for that, right? I like them best straight out of the oven with a bit of margarine spread in between. The bit of saltiness from the margarine blends beautifully with the sweetness of the blueberries and the crunchy lemon sugar topping. Paired with a hot cup of coffee or tea, they make for the perfect breakfast. This actually reminds me of a rhyme my grandmother taught me. It goes like this ‘Blueberry muffins (insert any food) are the finest of breakfasts, I think. And when I grow up and can have what I please, I think I shall always insist upon these.’  Isn’t it cute?

Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits, though they can be quite addictive when eating handfuls at a time. I remember when we (my sister, mom and I) lived in the States with my aunt and uncle (a long time ago…). My auntie used to get two pints of blueberries at the supermarket. They never lasted more than a day at our house. Usually eaten fresh,though they also went into blueberry pancakes or muffins on Saturday mornings.

This blueberry muffin recipe (named ‘Best Blueberry Muffins’ by Cook’s Illustrated) is something else. It not only includes blueberries in the batter, but also a blueberry compote (homemade) swirled in and a lemon sugar topping. It has a very fine and delicate crumb and moistness to it from the blueberries. Sticky blueberry compote oozing out of the muffin adds to the indulgence. The verb ‘to ooze’ never sounded so appealing, don’t you think?

The chefs at America’s Test Kitchen have created a little masterpiece. Because, in my opinion, this recipe really lives up to it’s name.

Best Blueberry Muffins

Subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients
Lemon sugar topping
1/3 cup sugar (2 1/3 oz)
1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest from one lemon
Muffins
2 cups of fresh blueberries (about 10 oz/283 gr)
1 1/8 cup of sugar (8 oz/226 gr) plus one teaspoon
2 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (12.5 oz/354 gr)
2 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of table salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (57 gr) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I used sunflower – 60 ml)
1 cup of buttermilk (250 ml)
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Instructions
1. FOR THE TOPPING: Stir together sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
2. FOR THE MUFFINS: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened. (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.)
4. Following photos below, use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should completely fill cups and mound slightly). Spoon teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter using figure-eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.
5. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.
Tip: If using frozen blueberries; allow to thaw completely. Cook 1 cup as directed in step 2. Rinse remaining cup berries under cold water and dry well. In step 3, toss dried berries in flour mixture before adding egg mixture. Proceed with recipe from step 4 as directed.

Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies

This is it. My very first recipe post! For my first post, I opted for a recipe which is far from complicated (‘sorry’, to everyone expecting a complicated recipe. Don’t worry- small steps). However, easy, as in simple processes, relatively small list of ingredienst, etc, doesn’t mean no chance of failing. In my years of baking mostly brownies and cakes, I’ve found cookies to be a little tricky sometimes. You have to take them out of the oven when they are still soft, because they harden as they cool. So, it can be quite difficult to get the texture right (crispy/crunchy vs soft/chewy).

Chocolate chip cookies & Milk

Now, I must say, this isn’t my to-go recipe. My favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies, so far, is the Cook’s Illustrated recipe. The big difference between other chocolate chip cookie recipes and the Cook’s Illustrated recipe, is the butter. In most recipes room temperature butter is mixed with sugar (usually a mix of brown and granulated sugar), but in the Cook’s Illustrated recipe butter is browned in a skillet. This gives the cookies a wonderful nutty aroma and really makes them taste extra special. You might be thinking by now; so why didn’t she make the Cooks Illustrated chocolate chip cookies? Good point 🙂 The fact is, I like trying new recipes. This is how I find my favorite to-go recipes. Plus, it’s exciting. You never know what you’re going to get. You might find textures or flavors you weren’t expecting at all. As for this recipe, they are nice and crisp on the edges yet soft and chewy in the centre. I will give the recipe credit for texture. A combination of textures in a cookie pleases everybody. Flavourwise though, they cannot beat Cook’s Illustrated (sorry, Martha). They were also quite flat, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I just prefer them to be a little thicker.

The original recipe says to bake the cookies 8-10 minutes, but I found the cookies to be still rather pale after 10 minutes. The first time I added two minutes of baking time, but this made them just a bit too golden brown. In the end, I think 11 minutes was ideal for me. It might depend on your oven, so it might be wise to play with it. If you can’t find chocolate chips, as I know they are not readily available in The Netherlands, substitute with 340 grams of good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocao) chopped into small pieces. American measuring cups can be purchased at Dille&Kamille or probably at Dok’s (Kitchen store in the The Hague). Measuring spoons are sold at Hema. Though, if you have a scale (I prefer digital), this is always more accurate. I will try to always include weights in the American recipes, for those of you who don’t have measuring cups and/or spoons.

Got Milk?

Soft and Chewy Chocolate chip cookies

Yields: about 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (281 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 gr) baking soda
  • 1 cup (227 gr) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup  (218 gr) packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 gr) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (340 gr) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/177 C degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8-10 minutes (11 minutes for my oven). Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Source: Martha Stewart

Hello world!

Well, this is my very first post on my blog. I’ve been wanting to start this foodblog for quite some time now. Finally, I’ve taken the big blogging dive! I hope you will enjoy reading this as much as I will writing it. Tomorrow I will post my very first recipe. I will also be working on my photography skills while blogging. I’ve purchased a food photography book, called ‘Plate to Pixel‘, from my favorite blogger Hélène Dujardin (Tartelette). I’m expecting some improvement in that area as I get more and more practice.