Salted Caramel & Double Chocolate Cookies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies // Amy Elizabeth

So… you want to win a bake off. I’ve been there, my friend. There is something about charity bake offs that brings out my competitive side, and my inner show off. However, in the past I have gotten a little too big for my boots; home-made pies and celebration cakes have been the order of the day. There are two problems with this approach; the first is that I am much less practiced at such bakes, and the second is that really… my colleagues just want to eat a whole load of chocolate. They don’t care about the flakiness of the pastry or the lack of a soggy bottom – unfortunately, I’m not baking for Mary and Paul. They’re just chasing the sugar high that comes with a good work bake off.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies // Amy Elizabeth

So this time round, I defied my ego and whipped up a batch of these cookies. They were demolished in about three minutes flat, with some people going back for seconds… and the votes don’t lie. These are a winner! I can’t take much credit for that; this recipe is from the incomparable Izy from Top with Cinnamon with almost no adaption. Just follow the instructions, and let victory reign down upon you… 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies
Yields 16
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Ingredients
  1. 110g butter
  2. 350g soft light brown sugar
  3. 55g cocoa powder
  4. 2 eggs
  5. ¼ tsp salt
  6. ¾ tsp baking powder
  7. 260g plain flour
  8. 100g milk chocolate chips
  9. 16 squares of Cadbury Caramel (or alternative caramel filled chocolate of your choice!)
  10. flaky sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare two baking sheets by lining with baking parchment.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, followed by the eggs.
  3. Sieve in the cocoa powder, salt and baking powder, and stir through. Do the same with the flour, stirring until everything is well combined. Finally, stir through the chocolate chips.
  4. Using a tablespoon or dessert spoon, place 16 heaps of dough spaced out on your baking trays. You may want to roll the dough slightly before placing on the tray to make them a little more even.
  5. Take a square of chocolate and press down into the top of each cookie so it's nice and snug. Using the remaining dough, make 16 disc shapes and use to cover the top of each square of chocolate, pressing down around the edges so the chocolate is fully sealed inside.
  6. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool slightly on the trays before using a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack.
Adapted from Top with Cinnamon
Adapted from Top with Cinnamon
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

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Vanilla Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce // Amy Elizabeth

I am having a love affair with rice pudding. I never thought I’d write those words; for some reason, I have long associated rice pudding with terrible school dinners, despite never having partaken in that particular childhood tradition myself. There’s just something in the British consciousness that is wary of rice pudding. Or maybe that’s just me? Either way, I was sceptical when Paul bought me home a tub of Naughty but Rice Salted Caramel Rice Pudding from the supermarket – he’d clocked the salted caramel part, which is usually a surefire way to my heart, but didn’t know of my aversion to all things rice-like. However, I was hooked after one bite and became determined to make my own version. 

Vanilla Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce // Amy Elizabeth

Deliciously creamy and comforting, with a swirl of that addictive salted caramel. It’s everything a good winter pudding should be. It’s incredibly calming to make, standing over the stove, stirring until the fragrant vanilla pudding has thickened and softened. The pan needs to be watched – you don’t want the milk to boil over. However, after reading Simply Nigella, I will never again apologise for asking you to spend a little time in the kitchen. The twenty minutes it takes to complete this recipe should be a joy rather than a chore. If you want to do so, you can make the salted caramel in advance and then reheat in a saucepan whilst you make the pudding, but both are simple to make so you can easily whip them up at the same time. Any leftover caramel sauce can be kept in the fridge to sneak spoonfuls of throughout the week. 

Vanilla Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce // Amy Elizabeth

Vanilla Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
Serves 4
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For the rice pudding
  1. 100g pudding rice (or arborio risotto rice, if you can't find pudding rice)
  2. 400ml whole milk
  3. 200ml double cream
  4. 2 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
For the salted caramel sauce
  1. 75g unsalted butter
  2. 50g soft brown sugar
  3. 50g caster sugar
  4. 50g golden syrup
  5. 125ml double cream
  6. pinch of flaky sea salt, to taste
For the pudding
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the rice has softened and the pudding has thickened. If the pudding thickens too quickly and rice remains uncooked, add a splash or two of milk at a time until you get the correct texture and consistency.
For the salted caramel sauce
  1. Meanwhile, place the butter, sugars and syrup into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Swirl occasionally to combine the ingredients, where necessary.
  2. Once the mixture has melted (about 3 minutes), add in the cream and a pinch of sea salt. Stir together and taste, adding more salt if needed. Cook for another minute.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour into a jug for serving.
To serve
  1. Divide the pudding between four bowls and serve with a generous swirl of salted caramel sauce. Keep the sauce on hand whilst eating for top ups!
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

 

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Caramel Apple Dutch Baby

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Is there anything more quintessentially autumnal than caramel apples? With Bonfire Night on the horizon, I felt that it was time to submit to my desire to eat all the caramel apple flavoured things, so I baked a caramel apple pie and rustled up this Dutch Baby for a Saturday morning breakfast. This is the best kind of breakfast – the kind that takes a little bit of preparation but not a lot of effort, and which really tastes best with ice cream. I aim for an 80/20 split of healthy/non-healthy food in my life, but when Caramel Apple Dutch Babies are involved, I’m willing to relax the rules a little (a lot). Cooking this up in the morning will make your kitchen smell delicious, and will tempt out any sleeping friends or relatives in the vicinity to join you at the breakfast table (or breakfast sofa, no judgement here). Serve with hot coffee, fresh juice and the aforementioned vanilla ice cream to get all those good autumn feelings. Then pull on your wellies and go and kick some crunchy leaves whilst you still can. Winter is coming, people. Make the most of autumn for now. 

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

Caramel Apple Dutch Baby
Serves 4
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For the Dutch Baby
  1. 50g unsalted butter
  2. 2 Granny Smith apples (although any apple will do, really), peeled & cut into slices
  3. 50g light brown sugar
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 160ml semi-skimmed milk
  6. 100g plain flour
  7. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
For the Caramel Sauce
  1. 125g caster sugar
  2. 2 tbsp. water
  3. 25g unsalted butter
  4. 75ml double cream
For the Dutch Baby
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet before adding the apples and sugar. Leave over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for around 5-7 minutes until the apple slices have softened and are fully coated.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and milk until combined, before adding the flour and cinnamon. If possible, use an electric mixer to whisk together - the more air you have in the batter, the better!
  4. Make sure the apples are in one layer (or thereabouts) on the bottom of the skillet and pour the batter on top. Quickly transfer to the oven.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes until your Dutch baby is all puffed up and golden brown! Serve immediately with caramel sauce.
For the Caramel Sauce
  1. Mix together the sugar and water in a saucepan. Place on a medium-high heat and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Turn up the heat and boil for 4-5 minutes until the mixture has turned a deep caramel colour. Do not stir!
  3. Remove from the heat and add the butter and cream. Stir together until smooth and leave to cool.
Notes
  1. If you don't have a non-stick skillet available, you can cook the apples in a frying pan and transfer to a pre-heated oven-proof dish before adding the batter.
Adapted from Food52
Adapted from Food52
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Caramel Apple Dutch Baby // Amy Elizabeth

 

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Chilli Caramel Popcorn

caramel chilli popcorn

A few weeks back my friend Gemma came to stay. We perused the shops in the Corn Exchange, cooed over a baby Labrador we saw and generally had a good old natter. I don’t get to see my friends from University very much, so when we get together, I like to do something a little bit special. Dinner and cocktails at Angelicas was the order of the day, so we put on our gladrags and headed into the skies of Leeds for a fancy night out.

Whilst the surroundings were Gossip Girl-esque, the cocktails divine and the service as pleasant as always, it was the starter which stood out in my mind as a true triumph. On a whim, we ordered a pot of chilli caramel popcorn to nibble whilst we decided on main courses, and it was a revelation in flavour. Salted caramel has long been the fashionable foodie choice, but this was on a whole other level. Combining the sweetness and the saltiness of your standard salted caramel offering with a kick of chilli – I’ve been dreaming about it ever since.

chilli caramel popcorn at angelicas So I set to and made my own version, scouring the Internet to check chilli levels before I embarked upon this experiment and turning to the ever-wonderful Joy the Baker and her new cookbook for a caramel popcorn recipe that I could adapt without disappointment. The result? Sickly sweet and perfectly crunchy popcorn with a kick that you don’t notice until a few seconds after you swallow. It was everything I dreamed of, and more. It was quickly gobbled up at Emma’s birthday party (mostly by me!) and so I deemed it a culinary success.

popcorn kernels 2

There’s a bit of time investment involved, but think nothing of it. Serve this up to your friends and they’ll be singing your praises for months and begging you to bring another tray around. Making the popcorn itself is surprisingly easy, and satisfying. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of that popping sound. The caramel sauce is a bit more involved but still something that beginner cooks could get their heads around with ease – just be careful of the melted sugar as it burns like hell if you get it on your skin.

For the popcorn, you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsps oil (I used vegetable but any low-flavoured oil will do)
  • 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels (you’ll be surprised how much this makes!)
  • Your biggest saucepan, just to be on the safe side
  • A sprinkling of salt

For the chilli caramel sauce you’ll need:

  • 400g brown sugar (I used demerara because I like the crunch that the granules give, but try golden caster if you’d prefer a smoother sauce)
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 1 big pinch of good quality salt
  • 1 tsp. bicarb of soda
  • 1/2 tbsp. cayenne chilli pepper

popcorn kernels

1. First things first, warm some oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Pour in your popcorn kernels and cover with a lid (leave it very slightly ajar). Turn the heat down a smidge and wait for it to pop!

2. Once all – or most – of your popcorn has popped, pour out into a big roasting tray and sprinkle over some salt. Pour slowly so you can avoid any unpopped kernels right at the bottom of the saucepan.

3. Pop the sugar, butter (cut into chunks), golden syrup and salt into a saucepan over a low-to-medium heat. As the sugar starts to melt and the mixture starts to come together, whisk to keep it smooth.

4. Once everything has melted and you have a nice smooth sauce, take off the heat and add the bicarb of soda and the cayenne chilli. Whisk until everything is combined.

caramel popcorn

5. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and gently stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce is evenly distributed and most of the kernels are covered.

6. Heat the oven to 90°C and pop the tray into the oven for 45 minutes. Take out every 15 minutes and give a quick toss/stir to make sure everything is cooked evenly.

7. Leave to cool for half an hour or so and then transfer into a big bowl, ready for munching! Be warned, it doesn’t keep well (it’ll go soft after a couple of hours) so eat quickly!

caramel chilli popcorn

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