For WORLD BAKING DAY (Thursday 17th May), what could be better than an exclusive recipe reveal from an upcoming cookbook?! Behold! A sneak-peek at The Vintage Baker: More Than 50 Recipes from Butterscotch Pecan Curls to Sour Cream Jumbles by Jessie Sheehan (photographer: Alice Gao) – it’s on sale from the 5th of June and available to pre-order now.

This keepsake cookbook features fetching retro patterns and illustrations, luscious photography, an embossed foil cover, and—surprise! —a tiny, vintage-style, booklet inside. Blue-ribbon recipes inspired by baking pamphlets from the 1920s to the 1960s are rendered with irresistible charm for modern tastes in this sweet package. Here are more than 50 cookies, pies, cakes, bars, and more, plus informative headnotes detailing the origins of each recipe and how they were tweaked into deliciousness. For home bakers, collectors of vintage cookbooks or kitchenware—really, anyone who loves beautiful, quirky gifts—this is a gem.

The following recipe is extracted from The Vintage Baker by Jessie Sheehan (photography by Alice Gao) 

Screen Shot 2018-05-15 at 12.36.40

Chocolate-Marshmallow – Walnut Fudge with Sea Salt

Makes 36 squares

I rejiggered the recipe for Campfire Marshmallow Fudge from A Book of 150 Recipes ~ Prepared with Campfire . . . Marshmallows (1928), because I love the booklet almost as much as I love the combo of marshmallows and chocolate. To avoid using a fussy candy thermometer, I used sweetened condensed milk, which produces a fudge-like consistency in less time. Deeply toasted walnuts and a generous sprinkling of salt cut the sweetness of the marshies.

  • 16 oz [455 g] dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1¼ cups [300 ml] sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups [240 g] toasted walnuts (see note), coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups [150 g] mini marshmallows
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Grease an 8-by-8-by-2-in [20-by-20-by-5-cm] pan with nonstick cooking spray or softened butter. Line with parchment paper.

Put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the chocolate melts. Add the salt, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. The chocolate may seize up temporarily. Over medium to medium-high heat, continue stirring until the mixture is smooth. Once smooth, stir for about 1 minute more, and remove from the heat.

Add the walnuts and marshmallows and stir with a wooden spoon until they are fully incorporated (the marshmallows will not melt). Transfer the fudge to the prepared pan, drape with plastic wrap, and flatten with your hands. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and turbinado sugar.

Place in the refrigerator until hard, about 2 hours. Using a sharp paring knife, cut into 36 pieces and serve. Fudge will keep tightly wrapped on the counter for up to 1 week.


Toasting Nuts: Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350°F [180°C] oven. Toast for 10 to 20 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Stir the nuts with a wooden spoon every 5 minutes or so, to ensure they brown evenly. Watch carefully— nuts can burn very quickly.

Get your bake on and find out more about The Vintage Baker here!

Follow Jessie Sheehan on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and through her website.

Small Victories | Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake

Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake
© 2016 by Gentl + Hyers

Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake


This is Grace’s favourite cake and I bake it often for that reason. A mash-up of recipes inspired by my favourite food blogs, it’s incredibly easy to make and is decadent without being too heavy or too sweet. The frosting, a total small victory because of its simplicity and ingenuity, was inspired by a post that I bookmarked years ago from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen. To make it, you simply whisk together room temperature sour cream with melted chocolate and a little maple syrup. How smart is that? The cake itself, a riff on one from Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: A Love Story, is a classic “dump cake,” (the worst name ever, I know), which means you put everything in one bowl and stir it together. Small victory: No huge mess, no creaming butter and sugar, no fuss whatsoever. I use raspberry jam in between the layers, but you could swap it for any flavour jam you like (or make an extra batch of frosting and use that). A great sum of simple parts, this is my kind of baking. This cake is great right away after you assemble it, but is truly at its best served cold out of the refrigerator.


  • 1¼ cups [150 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup [200 g] sugar
  • ¾ cup [75 g] Dutch-processed cocoa powder (such as Guittard or Droste), sifted if lumpy
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 8 Tbsp [110 g] unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup [240 ml] strong black coffee, at room temperature
  • 1 cup [240 ml] buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • ¾ cup [130 g] semisweet chocolate chips or roughly chopped semisweet chocolate
  • ¾ cup [180 ml] sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ cup [160 g] raspberry jam (seeded or seedless, whatever your preference)
  • Raspberries for serving (optional)

To make the cake:

Preheat your oven to 350°F [180°C]. Use your hands to butter the bottom and sides of two 8-in [20-cm] cake pans, then line the bottom of each with a circle of parchment paper. For good measure, butter the parchment paper. Set the pans aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the melted butter, eggs, coffee, buttermilk, and vanilla and whisk until the batter is smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans (my friend Larry suggests using a cup measure to be accurate).

Bake until the cakes are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer the cakes, still in their pans, to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Once cool, use a dinner knife to loosen the edges of the cakes from the pans and invert them onto your work surface (you might need to give the pan a little whack). Peel off and discard the parchment.

To make the frosting:

Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Put the chocolate chips in a large stainless-steel or heatproof glass bowl and set it over the pot (the water should not touch the bowl—if it does, simply pour some out). Stir until the chocolate is melted. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave in 15-second increments, stirring between increments.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream and maple syrup. The frosting should be smooth and quite silky. Refrigerate the frosting until the cakes have cooled. It will thicken as it cools (a good thing).

Once the cakes are cool, put one on a serving platter upside-down so that the flat side is facing up. Spread the jam over the top. Put the second cake on top of the jam-slathered cake, again flat-side up—this way you get a nice flat top. (If the jam makes the layers slip and slide a bit, use a couple of skewers to hold the layers together while you frost the sides and then remove the skewers to frost the top). Using a small offset spatula or a dinner knife, spread the frosting all over the sides and top of the cake. There’s no need to be perfect with this; I like it kind of rustic looking. But if you’re more of a type-A person, go ahead and smooth the top and sides (and you could even stick strips of parchment paper under the bottom of the cake before frosting it to keep your serving platter clean). Whatever makes you happy.

Let the cake sit for about 1 hour before serving. There’s something about letting each element get to know the others that serves this cake very well. In fact, I prefer to make it the day before and refrigerate it overnight, and serve it cold. Either way, slice and serve with some fresh raspberries alongside if you’d like.

Note: If you only own a single cake pan, fear not! Simply pour the batter into the pan and bake it until a toothpick tests clean (it will take 10 to 15 minutes longer in the oven than the two separate layers). Once the cake cools completely, use a serrated knife to cut it into two layers. Voilà.



FOR CUPCAKES, distribute the cake batter in a standard 12-well muffin tin lined with paper liners and bake until firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Top with raspberry jam and/or the frosting.

FOR VANILLA CAKE, leave out the cocoa powder and coffee.

FOR THE QUICKEST VANILLA FROSTING, whip ½ cup [120 ml] heavy cream until stiff peaks form and fold in ½ cup [120 ml] room-temperature sour cream. Sweeten with powdered sugar and add a splash of vanilla extract.

Happy Wife, Happy Life Chocolate Cake recipe is taken from Julia Turshen’s new cookbook; Small Victories. Did you give this recipe a go? Snap a picture and share it with us @AbramsChronicle.

Small Victories by Julia Turshen

“I can’t wait to cook my way through this amazing new book, Ina Garten writes in the foreword to this cookbook of more than 400 recipes and variations from Julia Turshen,writer, go-to recipe developer, co-author for best-selling cookbooks such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, Mario Batali’s Spain…A Culinary Road Trip and Dana Cowin’sMastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen.

The process of truly great home cooking is demystified via more than a hundred lessons called out as “small victories” in the funny, encouraging headnotes; these are lessons learned by Julia through a lifetime of cooking thousands of meals. This beautifully curated, deeply personal collection of what Chef April Bloomfield calls “simple, achievable recipes” emphasises bold-flavoured, honest food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. More than 160 mouth-watering photographs from acclaimed photographers Gentl + Hyers provide beautiful instruction and inspiration, and a gingham spine elevates this entertaining and essential kitchen resource into a covetable gift for both beginners and accomplished home cooks.



Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home Cooking Triumphs by Julia Turshen, photographs by Gentl + Hyers, foreword by Ina Garten | Chronicle Books | Hardcover | £21.99 


Layered | Try your hand at baking something adventurous!

Dream BIG for your next baking adventure and try your hand at a multi-layered cake!
Layered Red Velvet Cake
© 2016 Tessa Huff

Red Velvet Cake

ALTHOUGH WIDELY CONSIDERED A SOUTHERN DESSERT, red velvet cake was actually first served at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. While many of the recipes today pair the cake with cream cheese frosting, red velvet cake was originally frosted with ermine or “heritage” icing. Made from cooked flour and boiled milk, this not-so-sweet icing is much softer and fluffier than cream cheese frosting. To be completely honest, it took me a long time to appreciate red velvet cake. Most versions I had tasted seemed to be just plain cake with a gallon of red food dye, smothered in sickeningly sweet cream cheese frosting. After countless requests for red velvet cake at my bakery, though, I finally gave in. If I could create a recipe that I personally enjoyed, then it could be an acceptable item on the menu. Finally, I developed this recipe about six years ago and have been making it ever since. It is supermoist, and the hint of cocoa gives this luscious, “velvety” cake a subtle chocolate flavor.

For the
Butter or nonstick cooking spray, for the pans
1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons (235 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (180 ml) grapeseed oil
1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons red gel food coloring
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

For the
1 cup (240 ml) milk
¼ cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks / 225 g)
unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the
1 (6- to 10-ounce / 170- to 280-g) block white chocolate

Make the
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 6-inch (15-cm) cake pans and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil and sugar on medium speed until combined. With the mixer on medium-low, gradually add the eggs one at a time, the vanilla, and the food coloring. Mix on medium until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
4. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer just as the last streaks of flour disappear and scrape down the bowl.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and vinegar. With the mixer on medium-low, add
the baking soda mixture. Mix for an additional 30 seconds to combine.
6. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.

Make the
7. In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk, flour, and salt to remove any lumps. While stirring with a wooden spoon, cook the flour mixture over medium heat until it is thick and pasty. Remove it from the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until it is cool.
8. After the flour mixture has chilled, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high for 2 to 4 minutes. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add the flour mixture and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Make the
9. Microwave the block of chocolate at medium power until it is ever so slightly softened. Try first heating it for 20 seconds, then in 5- to 10-second intervals until the desired softness is reached. Depending on the microwave, it should take a total of about 35 seconds. Test the softness by scraping a vegetable peeler against a smooth, long side of the chocolate block. If the chocolate curls without the curl shattering or breaking, it is warm enough. Do not overheat the chocolate, or it will not curl. Continue to make 1 to 2 cups (55 to 110 g) of chocolate curls with the peeler, letting them fall over a piece of parchment paper, reheating the block if necessary.

10. Once the cakes have completely cooled, halve them horizontally to create six even layers. Level the cakes and choose which layer will be at the bottom. Place it on a cake plate or serving dish. Spread on ⅓ cup (80 ml) of the frosting with an offset spatula. Top with another layer of cake and repeat. Finish the cake with the remaining frosting using a smooth or rustic finish (see page 31). Before the frosting sets, very carefully place on the white chocolate curls. Gently snuggle them into the fresh frosting if they do not stick on their own. Place the curls two-thirds of the way up the cake, as pictured, or create your own design.

baker’s notes

Hold the block of chocolate with a piece of parchment paper so that the heat from your hand does not transfer to the chocolate and melt it. Once a curl is created, you may quickly manipulate it to create your desired shape before it sets. Once set, try to avoid touching the curls as much as possible. You may use red liquid food coloring in the cake recipe instead of gel, if desired. The cake will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe from Layered: Baking, Building and Styling Spectacular Cakes by Tessa Huff. Out now from Abrams Books.


Not Your Average Pancake Day.

Do something different this Pancake Day, go bigger than lemon & sugar.

Try your hand at a Dutch Baby Pancake!

Hand Made Baking - Dutch Baby Pancake
Copyright © 2014 by Kamran Siddiqi



The very first time I heard about a Dutch baby pancake was on trash television. I’m not one to watch much television, but when I was a high school student, any excuse to procrasti­nate on studying was welcome. In the midst of the scripted hullaballoo on screen one evening, the characters enjoyed a Dutch baby pancake—a sweet, popover-like . . . well, pan­cake. It is simple and comes together quickly in a bowl (or in a blender, if you don’t mind noise in the morning). The batter isn’t sweet, so if you prefer a sweet pancake, add as much sugar as you’d like to the ingredients; I think 3 Tbsp should be sufficient to please any sweet tooth. It’s fantastic served as a normal pancake, with a dotting of butter and a thick lacing of amber maple syrup. Or try it with butter and jam, or eat it like a crêpe, with wedges of lemon and a dusting of confection­ers’ sugar.

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt

1/2 cup/120 ml milk, at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup/60 g all-purpose flour

Heaping 1 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Put a large cast-iron skillet in the oven.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt until they’re light in color. Whisk in the milk and vanilla. Vigorously whisk in the flour and sugar until all lumps are gone, about 20 seconds.

Carefully remove the cast-iron skillet from the oven. (Remember to put an oven mitt on before handling the hot pan—I’ve forgotten to do so, and it’s very painful!) Add the butter to the pan. Allow the butter to melt, and cajole it around and up the sides of the pan with a pastry brush (I prefer to use a heat-resistant silicone pastry brush to do this).

Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center is set and the edges are puffed and a lovely light golden brown.

Using a silicone spatula, remove the Dutch Baby from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack for 3 minutes. Immediately slice it up and dole it out.


For a quicker method, get out a blender to mix the batter; however, as I’ve mentioned in other recipes, I always find an excuse to avoid the clamor of powerful kitchen machinery early in the morning. If you do get lumps in your batter with the mixing method explained in this recipe, simply run everything through a sieve—lumps begone!

You don’t need a cast-iron skillet to make this recipe. You can simply use a 9-in/23-cm cake pan or a skillet with an ovenproof handle. If you’re using a cake pan, put it on a rimmed baking sheet to make transporting it in and out of the oven easy.

This recipe is from Hand Made Baking by Kamran Siddiqi.

Find him on Instagram Twitter!

Hand Made Baking


Copyright © 2014 by Kamran Siddiqi

Recipe for the Weekend | Santa Cake Pops

Cake Pops Santas

I saw the Coca-Cola advert today. That means Christmas has officially begun! Get into the festive spirit with these jolly santa cake-pops!

These jolly fellas bring good cheer and hearty ho-ho-hos.


48 uncoated cake balls (please see separate recipe)

3 deep, microwave-safe plastic bowls

64 oz (1.8 kg) white candy coating

2 to 3 oz (55 to 85 g) pink candy coating

1 to 2 oz (30 to 55 g) chocolate candy coating

48 lollipop sticks

Styrofoam block

16 oz (455 g) red candy coating


48 white Sixlets

48 pink confetti sprinkles

96 white candy-coated sunflower seeds

Sanding sugar

Black edible-ink pen

Peach edible-ink pen


1. Have the cake balls chilled and in the refrigerator.

2. In one of the microwave-safe bowls, melt together 48 oz (1.4 kg) of the white candy coating with the pink and chocolate candy coating, following the instructions on the package. Add more or less of each color to achieve a darker or lighter shade for Santa’s face. The coating should be about 3 in (7.5 cm) deep for easier dipping.

3. When you are ready to dip, remove a few cake balls at a time from the refrigerator, keeping the rest chilled.

4. One at a time, dip about 12 in (12 mm) of the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating and insert the dipped end straight into a cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through. Dip the cake pop into the melted coating. Gently lift the pop out of the coating and tap off any excess: Hold it over the bowl in your left hand, and tap your left wrist gently with your right hand. If you use the hand holding the cake pop to shake off excess coating, the force of the movement will be too strong and could cause the cake ball to loosen or fly off the lollipop stick. Tapping the wrist holding the cake pop absorbs some of the impact. The excess coating will fall off, but you will need to rotate the lollipop stick so the coating doesn’t build up on one side, making it too heavy on that side. If too much coating starts to build up at the base of the stick, simply use your finger to wipe it off, spinning the lollipop stick at the same time. This can happen if the coating is too thin or too hot. It’s not as hard as it sounds; it just takes a little practice. Stand the pop firmly in a hole in the Styrofoam block. Repeat with the remaining cake balls. Let dry.

5. Meanwhile, melt the red candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl. When dry, dip each pop in the red coating about one-third of the way up the sides, at a slight angle. Return to the Styrofoam block and let dry completely.

6. Melt the remaining white candy coating in another microwave-safe bowl. Using a toothpick, dot some of the melted white coating on one side of each cake pop in position for the ball of Santa’s hat, and attach a white Sixlet to each.

7. Using the toothpick, apply more white coating for each Santa’s beard. Place a pink confetti sprinkle for a mouth on each. Continue layering white coating on the pop for a nice full beard. Once it starts to set, it’s easy to continue adding layers. Let dry completely in the Styrofoam block.

8. Dot on more melted white coating above the confetti sprinkles and attach 2 white sunflower seeds to each in position for the mustache and let dry.

9. Apply more white coating at the base of the hat and sprinkle sanding sugar on top while the coating is still wet. (Sprinkle over a bowl so you can catch the sugar and reuse it.) Use some of the remaining tinted white coating to dot on a cute nose using a toothpick. Using the black edible-ink pen, draw eyes on the Santas. Draw cheeks with the peach edible-ink pen. Dab the cheeks so they look blended.

10. Return each Santa to the Styrofoam block as you finish. Let the cake pops dry completely.Cake Pops Christmas


Cake Pops: Christmas

Published in 2012 by Chronicle Books £9.99

Copyright © 2010 and 2011 by Angie Dudley.

Recipe For the Weekend | Halloween Treats!

Whether you love or hate Halloween, these spooky brownies from Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays, and Informal Celebrations are definitely more TREAT than TRICK!

To be baked in or out of costume and enjoyed by EVERYONE!

Halloween Brownies
© 2014 Brian Kennedy

Milk Chocolate Malted Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 36 to 48 mini brownies

Apologies are in order. We gilded the lily. It was inevitable. We took a sublime brownie—a brownie that is impeccable and delicious in its own right—cut it into bite-size squares, and drenched it in chocolate. For those of you keeping score at home, the base of this brownie is actually a variation of our classic brownie layered with milk chocolate and malt powder (it contrasts beautifully with the dark chocolate shell). Then, we committed the ultimate sacrilege. We went a little cutesy in décor.

We blame Halloween. A Baked chocolate-glazed brownie is pure heaven, but a Baked chocolate-glazed brownie with a hand-piped pumpkin on top is heaven on a roller coaster.

Baked Note

There is no wrong way to decorate these brownies. While we provide instructions for replicating our favorite Halloween icons, we know that decorating time is a luxury we don’t always have. Don’t worry—these brownies are just as tasty, and just as attractive, topped with a few tablespoons of chocolate, orange, or white sprinkles or nonpareils as soon as you finish pouring the ganache. (The sprinkles and nonpareils will stick to the chocolate better while it is still “wet.”)


For the Brownies

1¼ cups (160 g) all-purpose


½ cup (70 g) malted milk


1 tablespoon unsweetened

cocoa powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

6 ounces (170 g) milk

chocolate (40 to 60% cacao), coarsely chopped

4 ounces (115 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped

6 ounces (1½ sticks/170 g) unsalted butter, cut into

1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes, plus more for the pan

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

½ cup (110 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

5 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache

6 ounces (170 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped

½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream

For the Royal Icing

3 to 4 cups (340 to 450 g)

confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Blue, yellow, red, and black

food dyes or gels (optional)

Make the Brownies

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper so that it overhangs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) on the long sides of the pan, and butter the parchment.

2 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, and salt.

3 Place both chocolates and the butter in a large heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water (double-boiler method, see page 19), stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted, smooth, and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.

4 Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and whisk until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

5 Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

6 Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few

moist crumbs sticking to it, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, place the pan on a cooling rack, and let the brownies cool completely.

Make the Chocolate Ganache

1 Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a saucepan over medium heat and heat just until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Pour the warm chocolate ganache over the cooled brownies in the pan and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer. Allow the ganache to sit for about 10 minutes, then refrigerate for another 15 minutes to set completely.

2 Using a small paring knife, release the brownies from the sides of the pan and pull straight up on the parchment to remove them from the pan, then place the brownies onto a cutting board and remove the parchment. Place the brownies in the freezer for 30 minutes (this will make them easier to cut). Run a chef’s knife under hot water, wipe dry, and cut the brownies into 36 to 48 bite-size pieces (or smaller—these brownies are rich).

Make the Royal Icing

1 In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups (340 g) confectioners’ sugar, the egg whites, and lemon juice until the mixture is completely smooth. The mixture should have the texture of a thick glaze.

If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until it is thick enough to hold its shape when piped. Divide the icing into four bowls. Royal icing will begin to harden when exposed to air. If you are not using a particular color, make sure to cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or place the icing in a pastry bag and cover the tip.

2 Leave one bowl white for skulls and ghosts. In another bowl, create a black icing (about 8 drops of black gel or 2 drops each of blue, yellow, and red dye) for outlines and eyes. In the other two bowls, we recommend mixing orange for pumpkins and green for embellishments (green eyes are spooky). Put each color in its own pastry bag fitted with the smallest tip. (Pastry bags provide more control, but, if needed, you can fill four zip-tight plastic bags and cut a small corner from the bottom of each.) In essence, you want to pipe and fill all of your base layers first, then go back and add your final embellishments. (It is more difficult to decorate each brownie from start to finish.)

3 For skulls and ghosts: Pipe on the shapes of skulls or ghosts in white and allow them to harden for a few minutes (see photo 1). Then fill them in completely (see photo 2). Gently pipe final embellishments (eyes, mouths, etc.) directly on top of the white icing with any other color you like (see photos 3 and 4).

4 For pumpkins: Pipe on the shape of the pumpkins (not the stem) in orange and allow to harden for a few minutes (see photo 1), then fill them in completely. Gently pipe on the stem in green.

5 Allow the icing to harden completely before serving.

how to store

The brownies will keep, tightly covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Baked Occasions

Home Baked: A Baking Love Letter from Yvette van Boven.

Home Baked

Home Baked is my newest book.

Yesss, a book on baking.
Why? Because baking is something I do almost every day. And I’m not even lying about it. I like to bake because it is a relaxing little job. It’s a nice routine during the day.

Nicer, even, when you have something delicious to eat or treat. Baking will not only make you very happy; it will make you beloved.

Home Baked contains homey recipes: from spelt bread and homemade oat crackers to chic French cannelés, savory Irish pies, and formidable birthday cakes brimming with sugar and whipped cream. Nothing is impossible. You can do it too. Easily. Sometimes I like to bake with loads of sugar and cream, sometimes I want to be on a more healthy side and leave sugar out, use whole wheat flour , well just like everyone I think.

I luuuurve the Cinnamon & Caramel Pull-Apart Loaf for instance, but I’d be happy to eat my Oatmeal cake filled to the brim with nuts and seeds for the rest of my life too.

Here’s a little overview of how we (my husband Oof Verschuren and I) made the book. Oof ’s assistant Kyla Elaine Braamhaar took some of the pictures too. Our house transforms into a studio for weeks, what? Months! Okay… almost for a year.

I washed a lot of dishes.

But it was worth it.


1 7



The Kitchen is ready for it, I’m choosing some backdrops from the top of our cupboard




Recipe testing, kneeding dough, licking spoons, pots and pans


4Looking at the camaera with Oof, is it okay like that? Does it need a slight change?


5Grilling fruit for on a cake, mixing a lot of dough and pastry….testing testing and testing again

11Our curtains in the living room are pinned together with tape and pegs to shut out the sun, we’ve transformed the house into a studio for months on end

9 10Trying to be inventive, or creative or whatever. But we’re happy with the results!

3Running back and forth between kitchen and the computer, making adjustments in recipes, or to finish drawings if there is a spare moment left.

6 13and there’s cake and pie and plenty of it….

1918 20And there’s baking, and more baking to be done…


22Sometimes we only use one tiny piece of cake for a picture, so we give a lot of cakes, pies and cookies away to guests, neighbors or in this particular case Oof ’s assistant, who had friends coming over for dinner that evening

14 23A lot of baking results in a lot of dishes, that the sad part or course. Oh yes and the house is covered in recipe-notes.

12in between all the cooking and baking, I need to check my email, because, you know: work goes on of course

24a little nook of my work space: I ve been painting a lot for this book!

Home Baked:More Than 150 Recipes for Sweet and Savory Goodies is out now! To find out more and order your copy visit our website.

Recipe for the Weekend | Lemony Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

Try your hand at this tantalizing Lemony Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler from Nicole Franzen’s new book Sweet & Tart. 

Sweet & Tart
© 2015 by Nicole Franzen

Start to finish: 1 hour

Hands-on time: 30 minutes

My mother-in-law, Mary Snyder, makes the most memorable rhubarb pie I’ve ever eaten. Since I can’t compete with her most excellent pie, I have set my sights on making rhubarb cobbler. It’s a little easier and less time consuming to prepare, and if you’ve never tasted Mary’s rhubarb pie, you might think this cobbler is the best rhubarb dessert in the world.

12 oz [340 g] rhubarb, stalks halved lengthwise and diced

3 cups [360 g] strawberries, sliced

1 cup [200 g] granulated sugar, plus 3 Tbsp 1⁄2 cup [100 g] firmly packed light brown sugar

4 Tbsp cornstarch

1⁄2 tsp kosher salt

Zest of 2 lemons, plus 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 cups [240 g] unbleached all‑purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1⁄2 cup [110 g] cold unsalted butter, cubed

3⁄4 cup [180 ml] buttermilk

1 large egg

2 Tbsp turbinado or granulated sugar (optional)

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C]. Grease a 2-qt [2-L] baking pan.

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, 1 cup [200 g] granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, 1⁄4 tsp of the salt, half of the lemon zest, and the lemon juice in a large bowl and toss together. Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder, butter, 3 Tbsp granulated sugar, remaining 1⁄4 tsp salt, and remaining zest in a medium bowl. Rub the mixture together with your thumb and forefinger in a snapping motion until the butter is blended together and no large lumps remain. Beat the buttermilk and egg with a fork in a small bowl. Pour it evenly over the flour mixture and mix with the fork until the dough just comes together. It should resemble loose biscuit dough.

Heap the fruit into the prepared baking pan. Scatter the dough evenly over the top, breaking it up with your fingers to make equal-size chunks. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar (if using; it adds a bit of crunch).

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the top is browned and the filling is bubbly. Let cool slightly and serve warm with whipped cream. The cobbler can be baked in the morning on the day it will be served and kept at room temperature for up to 8 hours, or covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If you’d like to serve it warm, reheat in a 350°F [180°C] oven for about 10 minutes.


Sweet & Tart

Sweet and Tart by Carla Snyder, published by Chronicle Books (£12.99)

Recipe for the Weekend | Pure Nostalgia Vanilla Ice Cream on Soft Chocolate Cookie Bars

Want to know the latest trend in sweet treats? The ice-cream sandwich!

Try out this classic recipe this weekend; Vanilla on soft chocolate cookie.

I Scream Sandwich
© Sara Remington

Pure Nostalgia Vanilla Ice Cream on Soft Chocolate Cookie Bars

This is the quintessential sandwich: vanilla ice cream encased in a cookie that invites licking sticky chocolate crumbs from your fingers. This is the one that takes me back to Maplewood Pool in New Rochelle, New York, where I generated plenty of heat climbing the steep hill to the pool on summer afternoons, cooled down as I swam laps, and refuelled with an ice cream sandwich from the vending machine before heading home for supper. The cookie is adapted, with appreciation, from a recipe by Abigail Johnson Dodge on Fine Cooking’s website.

Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups (480 ml) whole milk

⅓ cup (67 g) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons inverted sugar syrup (page 27), golden syrup, or light agave nectar

2 tablespoons tapioca starch

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk ½ cup (120 ml) of the milk with the sugar, syrup, tapioca, and salt in a medium saucepan until no lumps remain. Stir in the remaining 1½ cups (360 ml) milk and the cream. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until it begins to steam and slightly bubble at the edges. Adjust to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a cream sauce, about 3 minutes longer; do not fully boil.

Transfer the mixture to a metal bowl set over a larger bowl of ice and water. Stir occasionally until the mixture is cool, taking care not to slosh water into the bowl. Stir in the vanilla, then cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours. Transfer the bowl to the freezer for the last half hour before spinning it.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Transfer the ice cream to a chilled container, cover, and freeze until firm but still spreadable, about 4 hours.

Soft Chocolate Cookie Bars

Neutral vegetable oil, for the parchment

1¼ cups (165 g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (50 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar

¼ cup packed (50 g) light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

⅔ cup (160 ml) whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC) with a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet (preferably rimless) with parchment paper and lightly oil the parchment.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Beat the butter with the granulated and brown sugar on medium-high speed using a stand mixer and the paddle attachment until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla on low speed. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, then all of the milk, then the remaining flour, scraping the bowl between additions. (Alternatively, use a handheld mixer.)

Dollop the batter all over the parchment paper, then spread it as smoothly and evenly as possible with an offset spatula to make an 18-by-12-inch (46-by-30½-cm) rectangle.

Bake just until the bar loses its shine, about 10 minutes, rotating the pan front to back halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and, while still warm, use a ruler as a guide to cut the cookie crosswise to make two 12-by-9-inch (30½-by-23-cm) cookie slabs. Use a fork to prick the surface of the slabs in neat rows, like the top of a traditional ice cream sandwich. Slide the parchment with the cookie bars onto a rack to cool completely.


Form sandwiches on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap (rather than in a pan) using the method below. Once firmly frozen, cut the sandwiches into 4 strips in each direction to make 16 bars.


Using Brownie or Cookie Slabs to Form Bars

  1. Bake brownies, cookies, bars, or slabs, using two 8- or 9-inch (20- or 23-cm) square pans, or one 13-by-9-inch (33-by-23-cm) pan, or as directed in the recipe. (Be sure to line the pan(s) with parchment paper extending up two sides as a sling for easy removal.)
  2. Use the sling to remove the cooled slab(s) from the pan(s), cutting around the edges of the pan with a knife to loosen, if needed. For a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-23-cm) pan, cut the large slab in half to form two 9-by-6½ inch (23-by-16½-cm) rectangles. Wrap the slabs in plastic and freeze until the ice cream is ready.
  3. Form the sandwich block in the pan used to bake the brownie or bar, or on a baking sheet. (If you used a 13-by-9-inch / 33-by-23-cm pan, you will be filling only half the pan.) Line the pan or sheet with plastic wrap, extending it well beyond the edges on all four sides.
  4. Place one slab top-side down in the pan and spread softened ice cream over it in an even layer. Top with the second slab, top-side up, pressing firmly to evenly distribute the ice cream. Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and freeze until very firm, at least 6 hours or overnight, for easiest cutting.
  5. When the ice cream is very firm, take the pan from the freezer, remove and unwrap the block, and place it on a flat cutting surface. Use a sharp, heavy knife to cut the block following recipe instructions, dipping the knife in hot water and wiping it dry between cuts.
Take it easy

Fill store-bought chocolate cookies or thin brownies with vanilla, chocolate, coffee, strawberry or mint chip ice cream.

Dress it up

Roll the sides of the sandwiches in mini chocolate chips, toasted nuts or toasted coconut.

I Scream Sandwich!

I Scream Sandwich by Jennie Schacht, published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang


Midsummer’s Day Blackberry Thyme Cake with Honey–Goat Cheese Frosting

Summer means blackberry picking and we’ve got the perfect recipe for you this Midsummer’s Day from Hannah Queen’s Honey & Jam!

© 2015 Hannah Queen
© 2015 Hannah Queen

In late July my sister and I brave the thorny blackberry bushes in our backyard and are rewarded with baskets full of ripe berries. When we’ve had our fill of eating them by the handful, I like to use up whatever is left by making this cake.

Serves 8

For the cake and assembly:

3 cups (300 g) fresh blackberries, plus more for garnishing

¼ cup (60 ml) honey

1 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus more for garnishing

1²⁄³ cups (215 g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk

For the frosting:

4 ounces (115 g) goat cheese, room temperature

4 ounces (115 g) cream cheese, room temperature

¹⁄³ cup (75 ml) honey

About 2 cups (200 g) powdered sugar

To make the cake:

In a small bowl, stir together the blackberries, honey and thyme.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 6-inch (15-cm) round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla.

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the mixer bowl, beginning and ending with the flour.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and top each with 1 cup of the blackberry mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before turning the layers out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the goat cheese and cream cheese until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the honey. Reduce the speed and add the powdered sugar ½ cup (50 g) at a time.

To assemble the cake:

Place one cake layer on a plate and spread the top with frosting, then add the remaining blackberry mixture. Set the remaining cake layer on top and cover the outside of the cake with frosting. Top with fresh blackberries and thyme.

Text and Images from Honey & Jam by Hannah Queen published by ABRAMS Stewart Tabori and Chang.

© 2015 Hannah Queen