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Brownie or Flapjack? It’s the best of both worlds!

A rich chocolate brownie, what’s not to love? But perhaps some days you may feel more inclined to feast on a flapjack. For those hmmm hah, kind of can’t decide days, how about indulging in both? Enter our “Frownie”, far more happy-making than the name implies.

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Here’s how…

Flapjack base

125g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
100g dessicated coconut
100g pecans chopped into small pieces

Brownie top

125g unsalted butter
200g good dark chocolate
125g caster sugar
125g dark soft brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour

• Preheat oven to 190⁰c (375⁰f).
• First, start on the nutty flapjack base – put the butter in a saucepan and melt over a low heat. Stir in the coconut, sugar and chopped pecans. Mix well so that everything is coated in butter and sugar. Spoon into the greased and parchment lined 13 x 9 baking tin.

• Now onto the brownies. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the heat and put aside to cool. Put both the sugars, eggs and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is light and doubled in size (about 5 mins if electric mixer, 10 if you’re using your own biceps!). If you’re unsure, drop some of the mix from the beater and the trail should remain on the top of the lovely moussey mix.
• Take the cooled chocolate and butter and mix into the eggy mousse. Fold the flour in gently, don’t overmix, it’s fine if it’s still a bit “grungey”.

• Pour the mixture into the prepared pan on top of the flapjack mix and place carefully in the oven for about 30-40 mins (depends on your oven so keep an eye out) until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

If you can resist a cheeky chomp into this delectable duo, then leave to cool and then cut into squares.

These can be small squares, I promise you that will be enough as these are super rich.

frownies in basket

Enjoy with a nice strong cappuccino, I find this the best way!

raspberry brownies

The BEST chocolate brownie recipe ever!

salted  caramel

Ok, I know that’s a bold statement to make. And I’m aware that everyone probably has their very own best brownie recipe hidden away in a bulging recipe folder but just try it and then see if you agree. It produces a rich, moist brownie that’s super adaptable. I tend to double the mixture then do two different varieties at the same time, double trouble but delightful to devour :-)

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g best dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar

Method

  1. Turn the oven on to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4 and whilst its heating up, line a 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Cut 185g unsalted butter into smallish cubes and tip into glass bowl along with  185g good dark chocolate broken into small pieces. Put the glass bowl over a small saucepan filled with hot water and leave it there till the chocolate and butter have melted. You may be tempted to dip your finger in but just give it a stir every now and again! When melted, put it to one side to cool.
  3. Whilst the chocolate is cooling, put the eggs and the caster sugar into an electric mixer and whisk for a good  5-8 minutes (unless you want a good bingo wing workout, then try doing it by hand,ouch!). You are looking for a pale, creamy mixture that has doubled in size. Try lifting out the beater and wiggling it from side to side, the mixture falling off should create a little trail across the top of the mix.
  4. Measure the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl.
  5. Pour the melted choc/butter mix gently into the eggy mixture and fold in gently with a wooden spoon, then fold in the flour and cocoa, gently does it, you don’t want to knock out all the air that you whisked in earlier.
  6. Now here, the kitchen cupboard is your oyster! I like to add broken up walnuts or pecans (or sometimes both), or you can grate orange into the mix and for extra decadence, break in pieces of chocolate orange, or how about sour cherries, or tart raspberries, or a creamy caramel, whatever takes your fancy.
  7. Pour into a greaseproof paper lined tray and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes (this really depends on your oven). Brownies are not very nice undercooked but that is definitely preferable to overcooked.  You are looking for a slight wobble in the middle and cracks across the surface.
  8. Take them out of the oven and try your hardest not to dig straight in. Rather, leave them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then on a wire rack, before cutting them into man-sized squares or petite ones, whichever you prefer.

If you can resist eating all of them in one sitting, they keep well as long as you store them in an airtight container, around two weeks or you can make in batches and store in the freezer.

Enjoy!

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New Theme!

Ok, they did say you didn’t have to write an actual post but…..

love my new theme!

and retrospectively finished day five task hurrah!

here’s a gratuitous pic of the cake I made my dear mum for mother’s day – her favourite, victoria sandwich with fresh cream and strawberries yum!

sponge cake

Life got in the way…

So, I started off strong and was feeling quite chuffed with myself but then lo and behold day 4 was with us and life got in the way.

It sounds like a feeble excuse (and I know in today’s busy, busy world that many of us are juggling lots of different balls) but I have literally been working and baking from sunrise to sunset and beyond.

This is my life. I was made redundant 5 years ago from my City PR job and as I had long grown dissatisfied and bored with the daily commute and daily grind, I thought “why not bake cakes?” They are pretty and taste good and lots of people like them. I can bake from home and what fun it will be thinking up flavours and names and styles.  And so Jen’s Cupcakery started.  I have built a good little business but I still need to work part-time so I work from 10am to 4pm five days a week and around this bake early and bake late into the night sometimes to complete orders. On top of this, I just received notice on my part-time job so have been desperately trying to find another job which will fit in with my baking life.

walton market cropped

Excuses, excuses? perhaps but good ones I think.

Now, I am going to go back and do all the Blogging 101 tasks I have missed….here goes.

Day 4 – Identify your audience – now, just who are you I wonder? fellow bakers, would-be bakers, small business owners perhaps? those who like photos of pretty cakes (my photography is getting better, promise!)   I need to choose one of these if I understand the assignment correctly so….. small business owners perhaps.  I would love to hear your stories of how you started, not just a baking business but any business, how you are finding it, challenges/successes etc etc.  As independent as I am, sometimes it would be nice to have a business partner to share the load.

Task two – include a new element. Well, how about this Pininterest board in which I have gathered just some of the few inspirational spaces and display ideas for my long dreamed about bakery/cafe… let’s see if it works…

Hello Neighbours! (sorry I can’t stay long)

Day 3 and I’m still here! (trust me, that’s quite something for me).

Who would have thunk it? Finding 5 new blogs to follow is taking me longer than writing the last two blog posts of my own.

Mind you, it’s a great distraction from the giant chocolate cupcake in the oven which seems to have developed craters and will, I fear, fall to pieces once I peel the silicon mould from it’s curves :-( Sometimes I hate baking giant cupcakes, in fact I think I wrote a post about it once. Be gone, giant cupcake, you’re a giant pain in my baking butt!

Anyway, here are my five new blogs to follow, I couldn’t work out how to add 5 new topics so not sure whether I have only completed half the assignment…eek! Or whether I should provide links so forgive me if this is really rather a shoddy attempt all in all.

Foodimentary – it’s elementary my dear Watson! It’s all about food.

Butter Baking – love the recipes and the images, so pretty.

Things we Make – “Much Ado about Muffins” post – need I say more?

The Little Library Cafe – such a ‘novel’ idea :-) tying in recipes to books, love it!

And last but not least…

The Daily Post – for wise words…

Back to the oven to peer glumly at the giant cupcake…. ta ra…

It’s all about the bake!

Well, day two of Blogging 101 and coincidentally (considering I was just thinking about this yesterday) is “Take control of your title and tagline”.

When I started the blog, I wanted to publicise my company hence ilovejenscupcakery (which on reflection is a little immodest and self gratifying whoops!) but then when you’re a small business you do all you can to get your name out there.

As the months have flown by, I’ve found myself looking at it and thinking “hey, not so creative, I can do better than that” and looking at the wise words of the WordPress team I realised I can at least add to it if not change it.  Hence “It’s all about the bake!” because, well it is.  I live, breathe and eat cakes (the latter not very often thankfully for my waistline which is adapting to middle aged spread very nicely thank you without the additional sugary treats).

If I’m not actually baking cakes for customers, I’m looking at cake books, thinking up cake flavours and styles, talking about cakes or my business or both to anyone who will listen (yes, I am that person yawn!), watching cake related programmes on TV and yes, even dreaming about cakes. Last night’s involved a film crew asking me to play the part of a Southern Belle whilst whipping up a batch of red velvet cupcakes (see what I mean?) The latter was easier I can tell you.

Would you believe when I started my cake company, the only cakes I had baked (apart from school domestic science class a million years ago) was a batch of test cupcakes which I took into the shop my sister managed to ask her for her opinion? A customer cake in, said “ooh look at those lovely cakes”, I gave her one to try, she loved it and wanted to place an order and Jen’s Cupcakery was borne.

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What happened next? you will have to wait till tomorrow (if it fits in with the task of the day!)

Till then (I’m off to bake) :-)

Who I am and why I’m here!

Hi, my name’s Jen and I’m the proud owner/sole baker of Jen’s Cupcakery, erstwhile novelist/poet, dog and book lover, devourer of thriller/detective novels (even though I’m squeamish and have to skip over any nasty descriptive parts), obsessive collector of pretty tins and boxes (I should never, never go into TK Maxx again)  and fan of everything Nordic Noir!  I live in the beautiful Surrey Hills, in the UK with my partner Richard in a house that needs lots of work and currently resembles a bakery (but without the beautiful range cooker and central island I crave!) and box/tin storeroom (refer to earlier point about tin/jar obsession).

me at Walton market

I decided to take advantage of Blogging 101 as I need a boost to get me blogging again.  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to or that I don’t like sharing my baking and caking with the blogging world, it’s just been down to not enough hours in the day! I currently work pretty much full-time and run my own cake business but I know I’m not the only one trying to squeeze every minute out of a 24 hour day so that’s no excuse. Hopefully getting involved with this great project, will give me the kick up the behind that I need!

dorking halls mix 2wedding rose cake sidespiderman cake

I started my blog primarily to advertise my business I suppose, but that soon changed to just wanting to connect with other like minded souls and to share my baking journey. I have always loved writing and the thought of people reading and following my posts was a blissful one.  Having read so many fantastic blogs over the years, I know that there’s a lot of competition out there, particularly in the baking/cooking fraternity so I need to gird my aproned loins and mix it up a bit, blogging style!

This time next year I would hope to have filled this blog every week with recipes, baking stories, how-to’s and stunning images and have a few hundred regular followers commenting on my posts. Oh, if I could also have my own cafe/bakery that would be the icing on the cake…sorry :-)

Till my next post… Cheers!