Autumnal Speculaas Brownies

I really love brownies. And I really love experimenting with brownies. You can do so much with them! For example, I made these lemon and ginger brownies last year and they were delicious. So a few weeks back, when I was feeling all autumnal and stuff and the idea for these brownies popped into my head I was excited immediately. And boy, was I right to be.

THEY ARE SO GOOD.

I’ve used speculaas in quite a few of my recipes on this blog already, and I always feel a bit conflicted, since it’s a typically Dutch biscuit and I’ve got no clue if you can get them elsewhere (except for Belgium or Germany). I really really love speculaas, though, so I’m going to put up this recipe anyway, and provide a few alternatives in the list of ingredients! For example, if you’re in the UK, you could try using Ginger Nuts instead – it would be slightly different, but really tasty still, I think.

As for the rest of the recipe; it’s just like all of my other brownie recipes – very simple, just throw in the extra ingredients along the way, and you’ve got yourself a delicious brownie with a little twist.

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Apple Crumble

Who doesn’t love a good crumble? Ages ago, I posted a recipe for a crumble with pear and berries, but today I’ve got a true classic for you all: an apple crumble! As with any apple dish, I also added a splash of almond liqueur because that’s just smart thinking.

I made this one last week for my birthday dinner with my family, and everyone loved it. The crumble was gone in its entirety before I knew it! I served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which made it even more delicious. It was the perfect dessert for a wonderful evening!

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Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’m not gonna lie – I’d completely forgotten about this recipe. I was planning on posting something different when I came across the pictures of these muffins, which had me all confused. The time stamp on them tells me I made these mid-August, but it took me a while before I remembered. Ah, well, we’re all getting a little older, I guess. After racking my brain for a little bit, and finding the piece of paper which I’d hurriedly written the ingredients on, I vaguely recall making these.

I mostly remember tasting them and going “yummmm”, though. These were really good! I love me some coconut, and it goes really well with the banana. And everything goes well with chocolate, so this couldn’t not be a success. All those great ingredients do make for a bit of a long name, though; it’s quite a mouthful. Have I made that pun before? I must have.

Shenanigans aside – these muffins are delicious, and done in a jiffy. Enjoy!

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Fresh Strawberry and Lime Tart

So, confession time: I made this tart over 3 months ago and am only getting around to posting it now. Oops. Luckily I was smart enough to write down the recipe! More or less… It was a bit fragmented, but between that and my memory, I think this recipe was saved.

I love strawberries and I love pastry cream – and so does my mother, so it was great to make this tart for her birthday. To give it that extra little kick of freshness, I added the zest of one lime to the dough of the pastry, which turned out lovely. If I could, I would add lime to just about anything. Perhaps I should start doing that.

Fifteen steps might seem like quite a lot, but this recipe is really not that difficult, as long as you have a bit of patience and enough time. The dough needs to rest for over an hour in total, but in the meantime you can do different things like making the pastry cream or cleaning up your work surface. I’d go for the first one, and avoid the second one as long as possible.

Anyway, enough babbling – onto the recipe!

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Quatre-quarts with Berries and a Lemon Drizzle

What do you do when you have an overload of berries that are threatening to go bad? Right, you bake! Or at least, that’s what I do. I bought blueberries on sale at the supermarket, but they were kind of mushy and disappointing, which made them perfect to put in a cake. Somehow, blueberries completely transform when they bake – both in taste and flavour. I also had a bowl full of fresh red currants from my parents’ garden, so I figured I’d throw some of those in, too.

At first, I didn’t really know what to bake – the first thing that came to mind were muffins, but that seemed kind of boring, since that’s pretty much always my go-to for when I have leftover fruit. Then I remembered this cake I baked years ago – a french cake called a quatre-quarts, only back then I used a whole lot of apples instead of berries. Turns out, a quatre-quarts is pretty much just a pound cake or a sponge. Who’d have thunk!

I also added a lemon drizzle to this cake, because lemon drizzles make everything better. It’s a fact. The cake turned out absolutely scrumptious – definitely a good one to have added to my repertoire! The fresh berries and lemon-y taste make it a perfect summer treat.

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Chocolate Brownie and Orange Tart (with hazelnuts)

Back in 2015 I baked an absolutely delicious chocolate brownie and raspberry tart for my birthday. It was a huge success, and not that difficult – despite it having quite a few steps. This tart right here is a variation on that one – I used orange instead of raspberry and added some more hazelnuts to the equation.

It looks a tiny bit less appealing than the raspberry one because the orange coulis almost looks a little green (it isn’t; that’s just the brownie shining through), but it tastes just as delicious – or perhaps even a little better! I adore the combination of orange and chocolate, and the hazelnuts lift it up even more. I roasted these in the oven for a few minutes – that makes them taste even yummier. If you’re not a fan of nuts, however, you can easily leave them out.

I’m still having some trouble getting back into blogging and reading, which bums me out a little. I’m going to keep trying, though! I really love this blog and this community, and I definitely want to keep it all going.

Also, an exciting life update: I found a job! At a book store! It’s only a part time gig as an on call employee person thingy (and not yet enough to live off of) but it’s perfect for me. I had my first couple of days last week and it’s even more fun than I imagined it would be. Perhaps I’ll do a life update post soon to tell you all a bit more about what’s been going on with me post university. But first, let’s get to the recipe!

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Blueberry and Mango Muffins

I haven’t really baked a lot lately, but the weekend before last I suddenly got the urge again. I didn’t feel like going to the supermarket, so I had to make do with what I had lying around. I’d completely forgotten about it, but I still had quite a lot of blueberries in my freezer, and also some frozen mango pieces from the last time I baked these mango blondies.

Muffins are kind of my go to baked goodies for when I want to whip up something delicious but easy, and that’s how this blueberry and mango muffin recipe was born. I also added a little ginger to the recipe for a bit of extra flavour – but it’s a very subtle bit of extra flavour, so if you really love ginger you could a little more. I wouldn’t add more than 2 teaspoons of ginger in total, though.

Anyway, these were a definite success! My boyfriend (who hasn’t yet gotten used to my baking skills – which is nice) was kind of blown away by them (always a nice reaction to get), and my mother came over especially the next day to also taste them – and loved them as well. Turns out, mango, blueberry and ginger is an excellent combination!

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Gingerbread Cookies

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I had a lovely day with my family, eating lots and lots of food – including these gingerbread cookies, which turned out to be a huge success. Definitely one to remember for next year!

I hadn’t expected to make quite as many cookies as I did – I’m pretty sure there were about 120 of them! Of course, they were quite small and not very thick, so that may have something to do with it. If I had actual gingerbread man cookie cutters there might not have been this many. Not that I’m complaining! They turned out to be delicious, and I had a lot of fun making them, especially once I got the hang of piping the icing.

This week is technically a week off, at least from my internship, but I’ll probably spend most of it working on my very last university project/assignment/thingy. January will be the last month of my internship and then I’m done with university… Out into the ‘real’ world I go – terrifying yet exciting! I do think I’ll have much more time to blog again, which is something I’m really looking forward to.

But first things first; let’s get to the recipe for these yummy cookies!

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Lemon and Ginger Chocolate Brownies

This weekend, I had one of those days where I was just completely exhausted and done with everything. I was wound up about a couple of different things, and as a result I kind of just broke down. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has days like that! In my experience, you just have to let it happen and try to be kind to yourself and do things that make you happy.

To me, that’s baking brownies.

I had the idea for these lemon and ginger brownies for a while now, ever since I first tasted what’s become a new favourite chocolate bar, which (unsurprisingly) featured … lemon and ginger. After tasting (and loving) that flavour combination I thought: “I’m sure that’d work amazing in a brownie.”

And I was right! These brownies may look like regular ol’ brownies (which are pretty freaking good as well), but they do indeed feature ground ginger and the zest of a lemon – it adds a great kick to an already delicious brownie!

Oh, and I’m feeling fine again, by the way. It must have been all that chocolate…

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Recipe: Rocky Horror Road

This week was Books Baking and Blogging’s third blogoversary! I didn’t pay any special attention to it on here on the day itself (the 28th) because even though I knew it was coming up, I still kind of forgot about it so I didn’t have anything planned. Plus, I didn’t have time to really come up with anything special anyway. However! I do want to thank you all so much for making this blogging thing so much fun! Three years is a long time and I’m really proud for sticking to something for this long (and still have fun with it!), but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without this fun community. So thanks, you guys!

Now, onto what you’re all here for! Last week, one of my friends hosted a film  night because he’d never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show (and neither had I, by the way – loved it). Of course, I decided to bake something – because I always do for those film nights. Or in general, really. I came up with the perfect treat for this particular occasion: Rocky Road!

It was extra perfect because it’s quick and easy – and I unfortunately haven’t had a lot of time to bake recently. This rocky road only required some melting action and a bit of chopping and stirring and then it was all up to the fridge to do its thing. And the result was absolutely delicious!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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