A few weeks ago I was invited to a friend’s house. It was already sweltering hot but the day before, as a result of my Facebook status at the time, and a special request for it, I baked some chocolate chip cookies. I never ever regret baking, especially for others and it’s only good manners to take something with you when someone welcomes you to their home. And you know the drill, for good friends I would do that and more. Another friend of ours made the most delicious rice salad I’ve ever had, with the freshest mozzarella and seafood. Bringing dessert was the least I could do.
So I made the cookies. By the end of the last batch I was a mess. Having every imaginable window open plus my BFF at the moment, a.k.a. the fan, on at maximum, wasn’t enough. Apart from that, the oven takes a long time to preheat and that doesn’t help my sanity at all. But the cookies tasted great…and we had ice cream with that. Do I need to say anything else?
That day I promised myself and everyone else who follows me and/or reads C&T that I wouldn’t touch the oven again until the arrival of the colder months. Well, I lied. Why? Because at the time I said that, it was a fact, something set in stone, but I think I must have missed baking so much that I completely turned my resolution upside down on its head. Did I learn my lesson by now? Nope. I had people round for tea a little while ago and I made not one, not two, but three cakes. Well, two cakes and a batch of brownies, which doesn’t make things any better! It’s only the start of July now, so I cannot imagine what will happen by the end of the year.
However, you might be please to know that on the same cookie-baking spree, I also made this recipe. I had not touched one of Nigella’s books for ages. This is a good thing actually. I still love Nigella, but I am trying newer things at the moment. I’m spreading my wings a little bit more. I found this really easy no-bake recipe in How To Be a Domestic Goddess. I tried it with the ingredients I had and it worked, although I would have liked to add a packet of crushed digestives or Marie biscuits to the base. I think the recipe would have worked better, but at the end it didn’t matter too much. The squares can be cut to any size but in this case I would dare to say the smaller, the better. Trust me on this one. These babies are very rich, but make lovely little treats.
For the bottom layer:
- 60g dark brown sugar
- 200g icing sugar
- 60g unsalted butter
- 200g crunchy peanut butter
For the top layer:
- 200g milk chocolate
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Grease a 23cm square cake tin and line it with parchment or baking paper. Make sure to overlap the sides of the tin. This will make it easier to unmould the square when it is set.
In a large mixing bowl mix all the base ingredients together. (I just use a wooden spoon for this, but you could use a mixer with a paddle attachment if you like. I just don’t bother as one bowl and spoon makes the cleaning up much easier!) Press the mixture onto the base of the lined cake tin and set aside.
For the topping all you need to do is to roughly chop the chocolate into chunks. Place it into a heat-proof bowl together with the butter, and melt it over simmering water. When the chocolate has completely melted, spread it evenly all over the base.
Put the tin in the fridge and leave it to set.
Slowly unmould the contents of the tin very very carefully (I mean very carefully!) and cut it into small squares.
(Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess, Chatto & Windus, 2003.)
This is what I was doing….
One year ago: Photo – Fresh Herbs
Two years ago: Smitten Kitchen Strawberry Fools
Three years ago: Burgers
Four years ago: Tea Time Cakes – Banana Nut Loaf