Chocolate Orange Cornmeal Biscotti – Bake of the Week

chocolate orange cornmeal biscotti

I have recently fallen in love with homemade biscotti – Not quite as harsh on the teeth as shop bought and so much more versatile – So many flavours match perfectly with this type of dough. I like my chocolate orange to be properly tangy so use the zest of 2 oranges. The chocolate also has to be properly identifiable so I use Extra Dark chocolate but feel free to experiment with how you like it. I’ve had cornmeal in the cupboard for ages and decided to mix this in with the flour – As well as adding a lovely yellowy tinge, it makes the biscotti extra crumbly. I love using ingredients up in my kitchen, with successful results!

Chocolate Orange Cornmeal Biscotti

Serves 16
Prep time 1 hours, 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 2 hours
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Slightly softer than shop bought biscotti - you are in less danger of breaking your teeth! No less tasty though - Can be kept for up to a week in a biscuit tin

Ingredients

  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 115g Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Zest of Oranges
  • 125g Plain Flour
  • 170g Cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Grind of Salt
  • 100g Dark Chocolate (Cut into small (tiny) pieces)

Directions

Line a large baking tray with baking parchment
Using an electric mixer, whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined and light in colour
Add the eggs gradually whilst still mixing at a medium speed
Add the orange zest
In a bowl (or your weighing scales bowl if you are feeling lazy) stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt
Add to the sugar/egg combo a tablespoon at a time whilst mixing on a slow speed - Stop the mixer as soon as all the flour has been added.
Add the chocolate and stir through until spread evenly throughout the dough
Split the dough mixture into 2 halves and lightly shape into a long flat sausage, wrap in double cling film
Freeze for up to one hour - it will really stiffen up - Preheat the oven to 180C
You might need to flatten down the dough and spread out until both sections measure approx 20cm long and 4cm wide
Bake for 25 mins
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes
Using a saw knife, slice the biscotti into pieces (about 1-1.5cm thick) - The end pieces can be the parts that you nibble on
Place cut side down on the baking tray and bake for another 8 minutes
Turn over so the other cut side is on top and continue to bake for a further 7 minutes
Allow to cool on a wire rack - Perfect served dipped into a hot cup of coffee!

before cutting biscotti

Arranging the biscuits for their final bake …

how to make biscotti

I’m rather well known for my love of Creme Eggs so there was an obvious featured Bake of the Week for me this week – Baking Queen 74’s fantastic Creme Egg Chocolate Ganache Tart – I love that people are being so creative with their use of Creme Egg’s this year. I’ve yet to make some Spring 2015 Creme Eggs Easter figures yet so this Tart has inspired me to get on with them!

creme egg chocolate tart

bake of the week

1. Making a brilliant job of inserting shapes into French Sable Cookies this week is The Dream Baker – I will have a go at this very soon, I keep promising myself.

2. I’m a massive fan of anything tiny so completely adore these Red Velvet Crinkle Kisses from The Not So Creative Cook.

3. Nova from Cherished By Me tells us these Coconut Chocolate Bars are a cross between a Twix and a Bounty – I’m sold!

4. The lovely Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen has got the biggest, most exciting announcement ever on her blog this week – I’m not going to spoil it for you, pop over to her post to find out what it is!

5. Any mother would be delighted to be presented with such a beautiful Mothers Day Cake Bouquet – ET Speaks From Home

6. I’ve got to try these fabulous Marshmallow Cookies from The Not So Creative Cook – Just love the step by step instructions.

7. I just love the thought of the addition of lavender flowers in this Apple Shortcake with Honey & Cinnamon -This bake from Winnie’s Blog has got just about everything you could ever want!

8. There’s no stopping ET Speaks From Home this week – She’s even found time to make the cutest Mini Monsters!

9. Making a terrific job of her sugarcraft with this Baseball Cakelet is ET Speaks From Home

10. Getting arty with her White Chocolate & Vanilla Choux Buns is Eileen from ET Speaks From Home

11. Experimenting with Coconut Oil this week is Tales from the Kitchen Shed with her Chocolate Peanut Butter Biscuit Bars – Looks like the experiment worked :-)

12. Beautiful photography and an even more stunning Lime & Coconut Loaf cake is A Girl and Her Home

13. A perfect Honey & Date Syrup Swiss Roll from Winnie’s Blog – The Swiss Roll may just be the most versatile cake ever!

I have had the loveliest message today from one of our Bake of the Week contributors that they have nominated me for a Brilliant in Blogging award – What a lovely thing to do. I’m so chuffed. Details of the awards are here if you want to take part – Any nominations would be lovely but totally not expected. I was so pleased to be there at the awards last year and am even more pleased that someone has thought of me this year. Good luck to everyone!

Thank you as always to everyone who has taken part in Bake of the Week – I really appreciate it. I will continue to mention each entry and link back to you as long as possible – Takes forever but feel it is only right if you have taken the time to enter. Please also add the Bake of the Week badge to your post and if you have time, comment on a couple of other entries.

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credit crunch munch

This Is How We Roll Thursday

Joining in with A Simple Pantry for their Create & Share party I’m also joining in with this month’s CreditCrunchMunch because I’m finally using up that bag of cornmeal! Pop over to these lovely people to see who else is entering: Jo’s Kitchen, FabFoodForAll, Fuss Free Flavours and also Domesblissity Thriving on Thursdays

Sunshine Cookies – Bake of the Week

sunshine cookies

Its been a gorgeous day today – the sort of sunshine that makes everyone smile. You can’t help but comment in shops on how lovely the weather is – terribly British I know!

In honour of Spring doing its hardest to appear again, I’ve carried on with the Spring baking theme with my Sunshine Cookies. Soft, sweet cookies with a citrus zing. Totally addictive, one will never be enough.

Sunshine Cookies

Serves 25
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 27 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Casual Party
Soft citrus cookies with a sugary crispy shell

Ingredients

  • 100g Granulated Sugar
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Oranges (The Zest Of)
  • 1 Lemon (The Zest Of)
  • 120g Softened Butter
  • 220g Self Raising Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 6 tablespoons Icing Sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C and line 3 baking trays with baking parchment
Mix the sugar and the zest of the orange & lemon.
Using an electric mixer, whisk in the butter until fully combined and light and airy
Keep the mixer on a medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla whilst still mixing.
Reduce the speed to a low setting & add the flour a tablespoon at a time, until just added.
Turn off the mixer and fold through with a spatula until just combined
Put the icing sugar in a dessert bowl - Sift if contains any lumps
Using a dessert spoon, scoop up a spoons worth of dough (it is a sticky, loose dough) and drop into the icing sugar. Coat all over the dough and roughly mould into a ball shape.
Arrange no more than 12 dough balls on an oven tray and bake for 12 minutes until just turning golden
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack
They will have a lovely sugary shell and be light, fluffy and soft inside

sunshine orange lemon cookies

My featured Bake of the Week from last week’s entries are these delightful little Chocolate Bundtlettes – How cute? And topped with a strawberry is even cuter. Like me, Jhuls from The Not So creative Cook is a migraine sufferer and is contemplating the relationship between migraines and chocolate in her post. Doesn’t put either of us off eating it though!

chocolate bundtlettes

I also want to give a special mention to Baking Queen 74 for inspiring me to make these Brownies – They are just too tempting. I’ve ended up buying 3 lots of raspberries this week, just because of these pictures!

raspberry brownies

And onto the roundup:

bake of the week

1. Oh good gracious, how incredible does this Lemon & Coconut Pull Apart Bread look from the Domestic Gothess? Those spring colours and flavours!
2. Oatmeal Peanut Butter Scones – I’m imagining eating these on a hot sunny afternoon in the garden – Baking in PJs
3. Giraffes can Bake asks who could possibly not like Creme Brûlée? I’m afraid that’s me! Even I have admit that her Lime & Ginger Brûlées look wonderful though
4. Haman’s Ears or otherwise known as Baklawa Hamantachem from Winnie’s Blog – I love anything with nuts and cinnamon!
5. Tres Leches Cake is nowhere near as popular in the UK as it should be – This looks one of the best from Giraffes Can Bake
6. Reminiscent of visiting my Grandma’s: Raspberry Coconut Loaf from Baking in Pyjamas
7. Salted Honey Walnut Pie from Baking in Pyjamas – Such an unusual combination of flavours – I bet it tastes amazing
8. Uber pretty Triangular Shortbread from Winnie’s Blog. I can feel a Baked Shapes Roundup coming soon!
9. Always popular at this time of year but consistently go down super quick with the kids, Mini Egg Rice Krispie Treats from Baking in Pyjamas
10. Small but perfectly formed, Chorizo, Red Pepper & Cheddar Quiches from Jen’s Food

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11. Happy 1st Birthday to The Dream Baker who is celebrating the first whole year of her lovely blog this week with this Chiffon Chocolate Cake
12. Showing off her incredible baking talent with this Almond Vanilla Twisted Bread is the Domestic Gothess
13. This pretty Orange Raspberry Swirl Bundt has been torturing me all over the internet this week: the Gluten Free Alchemist
14. Perfect looking baked donuts from Edible Reflections – Amazing for a first time donut baker
15. Putting Buckwheat flour successfully to the test with her Chocolate Muffins is I’d Rather Bake Than
16. And finally the lovely Lancashire Food with her ever so pretty, Spring Lemon & Lime Drizzle Cake

Thanks as always to those people who entered – I have a lot of people saying that they want to enter but are not expert bakers – we love learning to bake around here! Get entering and join in our lovely, friendly baking community. Please add the badge or a link back to this post so people know you have taken part.

I’m still getting round to visiting everyone but there are lots of shares going on around the internet. Feel free to follow the Bake of the Week Pinterest board

Follow Casa Costello’s board Bake of the Week – Link Up your Baked Creations every week on Pinterest.

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Entering into The Baking Explorer & Cakeyboi’s Treat Petite linky – Their theme this month is MUM, so I tarted the cookies up with a pretty ribbon to make them ideal for a Mother’s Day gift.

Also sharing with Lavender & Lovage & The Hedgecombers whose Tea Time Treats theme is happily Biscuits & Cookies this month.

Tea Time Treats Linky

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Dulce De Leche Kisses – Bake of the Week

dulce de leche kisses

There are some things I make that surprise even me, how popular they are. These Dulce de Leche kisses never fail to disappear and I’m always surprised how quickly they do! I have a confession though, I used shop bought Dulce de Leche instead of making my own. I’ve had a huge tub that I bought in Costco before Christmas that I wanted to use up. Its definitely not as good as homemade but for a quick bake and when you are only using a small dollop, shop bought is just fine.

dulce de leche valentines heart

 

Dulce de Leche Kisses

Serves 30
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 52 minutes
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Occasion Birthday Party, Casual Party, Valentines day
Mouthful portions of crumbly coconut cake with delicious Dulce de Leche decoration

Ingredients

  • 75g Butter (Cold but chopped into small chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons Soft Cheese - Full Fat
  • 96g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 190g Plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 60g Dessicated Coconut
  • 3 tablespoons Dulce De Leche

Note

These can be frozen before the Dulce de Leche is added - allow to defrost at room temperature for 2 hours before adding the Dulce de Leche

Directions

Add the soft cheese and vanilla whilst still mixing on a medium setting. Add the egg yolk .
Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the flour and the baking powder until just combined.
Stop the mixer and fold in the coconut.
Bring the mixture together by hand into a dough and wrap in cling film - Freeze for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment
Roll the dough into small balls - about the size of a Ferrero Rocher
Make an indentation in the centre with something approx 1/2 cm wide - I used a plastic cake dowel and kept dipping into flour to stop it sticking to the dough. At a push - a little finger belonging to a 4 year old would do!
Bake for 12 minutes - You might want to move the tray around after 10 to ensure an even bake but these are so small that it is not necessary
Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 1-2 minutes then pipe the Dulce de Leche in - I use a disposable piping bag as it is fairly runny

blueberry blood orange cake

Well, we had the biggest week ever for Bake of the Week this week – I’m so grateful that you all join in and am loving finding so many new bloggers that bake.

My featured Bake of the week is a lovely creation from Hey Cakes! with her Blueberry & Blood Orange Cake – The decorating is so pretty and I love the thought of that flavour combination.

I’ve separated all the other bakes (all 24 of you lovely people!) in different categories – In honour of Saturday being the most romantic day of the year, we start with Romantic Bakes

romantic bakes

1. Its lovely to welcome Baking in Pyjamas to the Bake of the Week gang with her delightful Raspberry Chocolate Heart Cookies – I think even Dermot might find these romantic!
2. I love the simplicity of Baking Queen 74’s Raspberry Shortbread Hearts – I can imagine children up and down the land making these for their parents
3. How pretty is this Chocolate Cherry Cake from Winnie’s blog? – Beautiful as ever!
4. And even more beautiful (and rather ambitious!) is this White Chocolate Mud Cake again from Winnie’s Blog
5. Just WOW! to the idea of a box of chocolate made from cake – Jibber Jabber nails it! And so much for your ‘limited decorating skills’ – you are amazing!
6. There’s no more romantic day to get married on than Valentines and this wedding cake from Caroline Makes is just exquisite – Such delicate decorations.
7. Not strictly for just Valentine’s Day but these cute little hearts make Baking in Pyjamas’ Cherry Chocolate Coconut Slices romantic nonetheless

For the dough makers amongst us …

dough

8. Domestic Gothess combines timeless Chocolate & Cherries with her Challah complete with the most amazing six strand braid
9. I’m not a fan of olives but could be tempted by this Black Olive Focaccia from Baking in Pyjamas – I will be baking focaccia very soon too.
10. And Baking Queen 74 takes slow cookers to a new level again with her Spinach & Feta Focaccia

Sometimes you don’t want to share, you just want a portion all of your own …

individual bakes

11. You have GOT to read Baking Chocolatess’ post on her Brownie Marshmallow Cookies for the full glory of the marshmallow centre. Cor! – A big warm welcome to her too!
12. Happy New Chinese Year to Eileen and her family from ET Speaks From Home who is celebrating with her peanut cookies
13. Another new entrant and a big wave ‘hello’ to These Little Lights with her Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – I can imagine these disappearing quickly in this house too.
14. Super decorative cookies from Herbs, Spices & Tradition with her Eat Sum More Christmas Cookies made with her grandchildren
15. Using only 5 ingredients but turning out amazingly, Sea Salt & Pepper Caramels from Patisserie Makes Perfect
16. Perfectly uniform Vegan & Gluten Free Rhubarb & Custard Doughnuts from Allotment 2 Kitchen – Incredible for the first time making them.

bake of the week

17. A superb, rich & dark Chocolate, Peanut & Banana Loaf from Baking Chocolatess
18. Bringing back lovely memories of my Grandma who also used to bake a Coconut Raspberry Cake like this one from Julie’s Family Kitchen
19. Classic Tiramisu and a hello to Bakewell Junction – This looks rather light and delicious!
20. Bonjour to De Tout Coeur Limonsin with her rich, luscious Chocolate Fudge Brownies
21. Another newbie with her lemon white chocolate bars – I’m very tempted to have a go at these from Emotional Baker (Love that blog name!)
22. Super neat almond cake which is also Gluten and Diary Free from This is not my Home – Hello and Welcome!
23. A vegan carrot cake that looks full of goodness and taste from Free From Farmhouse – A lovely blog that I have only discovered this week.
24. And finishing with a flourish is Farmersgirl Kitchen with the sort of Tea Time Cake good bakers should always have in their larder ready (I haven’t :-()

Here is the badge for everyone to include in their post – a link to Bake of the Week is just fine if you’d rather not use the badge but please tell everyone about our gang!

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Its half term next week and its also the most manic of weeks in our house – Baby T is a big grown up 4 next Friday (on the same day that her Daddy turns 37!) Where have those 4 years gone?!? Remember this post? The linky will be extended for 2 weeks so feel free to enter up to 4 bakes each over the fortnight – I’m thinking I will be showcasing a special little girl’s birthday cake next time! I’m also off to Crystal Palace and back (twice) with Millie as she starts her England Talent training for 2015 next week – plus we are squeezing in a couple of days at Alton Towers … and a birthday party!. What are your plans for half term?

In other news, did you watch The Secret Life of 4 year olds last night? Hilarious – I will forever be calling people a ‘Green Toilet’ 😉

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