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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Decadent Three-Layer Brownies

These brownies are more commonly known as “slutty brownies” but I don’t like that name, so I went for “decadent three-layer brownies” instead. It’s still the same type of brownie, though: a layer of cookie dough covered by a layer of Oreos covered by a layer of brownie.

I know.

They’re as good as they sound. Interestingly, though, they taste far more delicious when they’re completely cooled down than when they’re still warm, which is counter-intuitive to me, but hey. You live, you learn.

Although there are quite a few steps, these brownies are definitely easy to make. I simply combined two of my other recipes and threw in some Oreos in between. They’re very dense and heavy, though, so I cut these into rather small pieces. But I’m not here to judge: you do you.

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Banana and Blueberry Baby Bundt Cakes

Ah, the alliteration in this title tickles my language-loving heart. And it wasn’t even on purpose! Except for the “baby”. The original plan was “mini bundt”.

Anyway.

I’ve had a very productive weekend! I’ve been saying for months now that I want to redo the blog’s entire recipe index: I wanted to divide the index into categories and have a picture for every recipe instead of just a list of titles. And I finally did that this weekend! I’m pretty proud of how it turned out, I must say, so I’d love for you to take a look. While I was at it I also completely redid my About Me page, because when I read back what I wrote in 2013 I might have cringed a little bit.

And then there was this bake! Those of you who follow me on Twitter might remember that I bought a couple of mini bundt cake tins on sale a while ago, and I decided to use them for the first time this weekend. For the flavours I used the fruits I had lying around, namely banana, blueberry and lime. The lime isn’t in the title of this post, but it was already getting quite long, so I decided to sacrifice it. It happens. Plus, the whole “B”thing. You guys get it.

I whipped up these mini bundt cakes in no time, and apart from being freaking adorable they’re also really tasty! The glaze adds some lovely colour as well as moisture (I might have overbaked these a little) and it’s just a perfect little snack to go with a cup of tea. If you want to bake more than 6 of these you can easily double the recipe, but I’m not sure if doubling will be enough for one large bundt cake. It might be! Let me know if you try that. In any case, I hope you enjoy these!

Also, apparently this is my 300th post on the blog! How cool is that?

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White Chocolate Blondies with Mango and Coconut

I spent the last couple of days at my aunt’s place for some sleepover fun. We’ve been doing this every so often since I was a child, and I’m so glad we’re still having these weekends now that I’m grown up (ha, “grown up”, that sounds weird). She’s one of my favourite people in the world and those weekends are always tons of fun. Most of the time we don’t even really do that much – we just walk through town, do some groceries, eat a lot of great food, watch a film or two and talk for hours.

This time, though, we both figured that it might be fun if we baked something together. So we started brainstorming, and I suggested we could bake blondies – white chocolate brownies. Then she said “I think mango would go really nice with that” and we also came up with the idea of adding some coconut, and voilà, a new recipe was born.

And let me tell you, these blondies turned out really good. They’re fluffy on the inside, with a subtle white chocolate and coconut taste and bursts of mango, and the crust is perfectly crisp as well. Funnily enough the taste of coconut only really comes through when the blondies have cooled down completely. Even then, though, it’s still quite subtle, so if you want more of a coconutty taste, I think adding 20 or 30 grams more dessicated coconut would do the trick.

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Dutch Cream Cheese Pie with Fresh Fruit (no bake!)

Summer has finally made its way to the Netherlands! This means lots of ice cream, sun screen and sitting outside with a book. It also means there’s no way I’m going to put my oven on and actually bake something – and yet I have a recipe for you today. It’s a no bake cream cheese pie!

This pie, usually referred to as MonChou pie, is a bit of a classic in the Netherlands. It is made with Bastogne cookies, which I don’t think you can find outside of the Netherlands and Belgium, but these can easily be replaced with some other type of cookie made with caramelised brown sugar – or any other type of cookie you think might go well with cream cheese and fresh fruit (so, like, pretty much every cookie).

The classic MonChou pie uses canned cherries to top the cream cheese, but I figured I’d kick it up a notch by using fresh fruit – it is summer after all! I mainly used strawberries and also added some blueberries and raspberries, but you can use anything you like. I also added some lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture to give it that slight hint of tanginess.

The cream cheese/whipped cream mixture that forms the main part of this pie stays pretty soft, even after cooling it for several hours, so it’ll be a bit difficult to transfer the pieces to plates. In other words: it looks good as long as you don’t move it too much. Tastes absolutely delicious, though, no matter what form it’s in!

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Chocolate Caramel Cake with Sea Salt

It was one of my friends’ birthday yesterday and, as I do with most birthday parties these days, I decided to bake something for him. When I asked him what kind of stuff he liked in baked goodies, he said “uhm, something with caramel?” And it went without saying that chocolate would be a hit as well.

Now, I’m not a huge caramel fan (although I’m starting to like it a bit more), so I’ve never baked with it, but this gave me an opportunity to try. However, I didn’t have a whole lot of time, so there was no room for mistakes – and watching a lot of Masterchef and Great British Bake Off has taught me that making caramel from scratch can easily go wrong.

In other words: I needed a short cut. And I found one! It’s a recipe from one of my favourite Dutch baking blogs – Laura’s Bakery (for all you Dutchies – go check it out, it’s cool!). All you need is some butter, dark sugar and condensed milk and you’re good to go. I explain in this recipe how you can make it, but I would definitely recommend checking out her recipe for step by step pictures, even if your Dutch is a bit rusty.

Anyway, this chocolate and caramel cake with sea salt was a big success (I even liked it!) and I’m pretty proud of how it turned out! I baked it in two 16 cm tins (so pretty small) but you can definetely use 18 cm tins as well – it’ll just come out a bit less high.

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