Chocolate cherry cookies

Hi there! It’s been a while, and I kept telling myself I’d get back to blogging tomorrow, in a day, a week, etc, but finally, I’m here writing the post. Hope you all had w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l holidays, full of surprises, lovely moments and delicious food. What is your favorite sweet treat during winter? Hot chocolate, spiced orange cake or just lots of chocolates? I’m still eating chocolates from the Christmas tree (yes, it’s still in our house, and probably will be here until the beginning of February).Chocolate Cherry cookies

I adore dark chocolate with cherry pieces in it, and I like cookies: good, buttery with those tiny little dots of pure vanilla in it. So, I combined my both desires and prepared these beautiful cookies. I’m thinking you will really love it. Even though, I prefer vanilla cookies over chocolate, but not this time. Better you cook and try, and you will never buy a cookie. Ok, maybe you will but nothing taste like homemade cookies, prepared with high-quality ingredients and the most important – your passion and love. Give these a try and you will be as happy with them as I was.ChocoCookies

Triple the quantity and take some to share with your friends or co-workers, or maybe even a neighbor.ChocoCherryCookies

Chocolate cherry cookies

What you’ll need
100g mild dark chocolate
50g dark chocolate with cherry pieces, or plain dark chocolate
180g plain flour
30g cocoa
1.5 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
120g butter, at room temperature
50g light brown sugar
50g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
100g dried cherries
100g chopped/slivered almonds
20-30g dark chocolate with cherry pieces, optional
How to make it
  1. Chop 150g chocolate or break into pieces, and put into heatproof bowl and microwave on low power or melt over a pan of simmering water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk butter with sugar for 5 minutes or until light. Whisk in vanilla extract and then eggs (one by one). Add the melted chocolate and stir well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the batter mixture and stir well. Stir in cherries, almonds and chopped chocolate (if using).
  5. Line the baking sheet with baking paper and scoop out equal portions in some distance apart. Make 14 equal balls, flatten them.
  6. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes.
Enjoy!
Chocolate cookies with cherries&almonds

 

Midweek Raspberry Dessert

I made this dessert less than for 15 minutes! Needless to say, it’s a perfect treat for busy days. Don’t know about you, but I need something sweet after the main course! 😀 I really miss pies or danishes, if I don’t eat them at least once a week. Exactly the same situation was yesterday – the pantry was full of my fav dark chocolate, but I wanted a pie or cake!
 I’m a huge fan of Jamie Oliver and even consider him as my virtual mentor! 🙂 Might you’ve seen food-videos with him and another young guy – Donal Skehan; they both provide inspirational ideas and recipes. I love raspberries! So, I chose this recipe, but adapted it, and made chocolate crust. And wow! Tartlets tasted soooo good! Reach chocolate crust along with tender berry filling gave the brilliant result! Yum!
 Choco-berry tart
Ingredients for two 11cm/4inch baking tins
85g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
30g fine sugar
60g butter, cold and cubed
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp ice cold water
120g raspberries
50-60g strawberries, cut
130-150ml creme fraiche
1 tsp icing sugar
Method

In a bowl or food processor combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder, sugar and butter until it forms a dough.
Press the dough with your fingertips into baking tins. Put in a fridge for 30 minutes.
Mix together berries, creme fraiche and icing sugar; then spread over the dough.
Bake in preheated 210C/410F oven for 15 minutes. Then lower the heat to 150C/300F and bake for 20 minutes more.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Cake with mascarpone cream

 I do like sponge cakes, they are easy, simple and scrumptious! 😀 This one is absolutely worth making, the base is flavoured with coffee and chocolate, which can be your favourite – dark, milk or cherry-flavoured, for en extra twist add vanilla. You can use only mascarpone for the cream, add cherries or some ganache into the filling. The possibilities are endless!
What can I say about the cake. A light, moist sponge bursting with juicy strawberries and a creamy filling – a perfect teatime treat! 😉
Choco_pie-2

Chocolate cake with mascarpone cream


 If you’re not coffee-lover just leave it out, and replace with water or juice. 
Ingredients for 20cm/8inch round cake pan
CAKE:
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated, at room temperature
100g white sugar (you can add 150-200g to suit your taste)
150g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp non-sweeten cacao
3 Tbsp dark chocolate, chopped finely-almost powdered
40ml/2 Tbsp coffee, brewed and chilled (or coffee/chocolate liquor/amaretto)
1 tsp vanilla extract, optionally
50ml olive or sunflower oil
30ml/ 1 1/2 Tbsp water, cold
1/2 tsp lemon juice
CREAM:
120g whipping cream
50g icing sugar
80g mascarpone
50g hazelnuts or/and almonds, chopped finely 
30-50g chocolate, strawberry-flavoured/dark or milk
100g strawberries, chopped, optionally 
GANACHE:
100g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
80-100ml cream, double or 20-30%
  1. Preheat oven to 355°F / 180°C. Butter cake pan, line it with baking paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients except for the sugar.
  3. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until the mixture is pale. Add oil, coffee, water and stir well. Set aside.
  4. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry.
  5. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt and lemon juice until soft peaks form.
  6. Slowly incorporate egg whites into batter until just combined.
  7. Pour into your greased dish and bake for 34-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Coll completely. Cut cake into two layers.
  8. To make the cream, whip the cream and icing sugar for 3-4 minutes or until foamy (Be careful! Don’t overbeat!). Add mascarpone, chocolate and nuts, and combine. Optionally, you can stir in some fresh berries.
  9. Spread the cream evenly over one cake layer, top with the second one.
  10. To make the chocolate ganache, bring cream to the boil in small saucepan. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until smooth.
  11. Spread the ganache over the cake, decorate with berries or chocolate.
  12. Refrigerate cake 3-4 hours or overnight before serving. 

Enjoy the cake! 🙂

Choco_pie-1

The little tiny Holiday cookies

Christmas and New Year are definitely my favourite holidays. Hustle and bustle time. Snowing outside, everybody is in rush, searching presents and gifts for the loved ones. Unfortunately in the UAE I can’t feel such wonderful emotions in full, but I can bring the festive mood and flavours to my home by baking some winter treats.

 These little cookies are so rich in chocolate, that could give little more warmth for the family tea-time. Adding some spices-cloves, cinnamon or cardamom and a small hazelnut or pistachio inside is also great! 😉

And if you pack them in a little Xmas box – it might be amazing gift for a friend.

I’m pretty sure that better to double the amount of the ingredients, so you don’t need to cook it twice! Cookies-2

Ingredients:

1 egg

50g/2 Tbsps sugar

60g dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)

100g/4-5 tbsp flour

1 Tbsp butter

Icing sugar – to cover the cookies

Method

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl under the simmering water, gently stir.

Whisk the egg and sugar together in another bowl until light and fluffy.

Carefully fold in the chocolate mixture, then add the flour and combine.

Scoop the cookie batter with a teaspoon, shape small balls and roll them in plate with icing sugar.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 9-10 minutes in a preheated oven 180C/360F.

Enjoy the holiday! 😀

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