Recipes: Two boozy bakes for Christmas

Amaretto Brownies

Amaretto brownies

Amaretto brownies

Boozy brownies, perfect on a cold winter’s night. Seriously dark chocolate spoked with Christmas flavours; bursts of tart cranberries in every bite liven up this otherwise dense, rich treat. Deliciously moist, with a dense, fudge-like texture dotted with nuggets of marzipan. A great addition to your party spread.

Ingredients:

170g unsalted butter

200g 70% bittersweet dark chocolate

30g dutch cocoa powder

4 large free-range eggs (at room temperature)

200g granulated white sugar

80g plain flower

1/4 tsp baking powder

seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod

1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp amaretto (or 2 tsp almond essence)

60g dried cranberries

marzipan

flaked almonds (toasted)

Method:

(preheat oven to 180*c and grease and line a square 8″ baking tin)

  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a pan of boiling water
  • Remove bowl from the heat and allow to cool slightly
  • Stir in the vanilla, amaretto and salt
  • Whisk the eggs and add to the chocolate and butter, along with the sugar
  • Stir in the cranberries
  • Sift in the flour and cocoa and combine without overworking the mixture
  • Drop in small balls of marzipan (as many of few as you want)
  • Pour the mixture into the baking tin
  • Sprinkle over with toasted flaked almonds
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-18 minutes
  • When cooked, remove tin from oven and place in a sink of cold water to stop cooking
  • Allow to fully cool in tray before slicing into 12 squares

Makes 12 brownies – serving suggestion: serve warm with cream or vanilla ice cream and a shot of amaretto

Coffee & Kirsch Cake

Coffee and Kirsch cake

Coffee and Kirsch cake

Coffee lovers, this is the cake for you. Had a sleepless night? Get your caffeine fix with a generous slice, with a hidden layer of kirsch sponge and sweet cherry jam for a fruity kick.

Ingredients:

Coffee sponge:

170g caster sugar

170g salted butter

3 eggs

170g self raising flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp instant coffee granules

1 tsp cocoa powder

pinch of kosher salt

2 tbsp boiling water

Kirsch sponge:

85g caster sugar

85g salted butter

1 egg + 1 yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/2 tbsp kirsch liqueur

85g self raising flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

Kirsch cherry jam:

6 tbsp dark cherry jam

2 tbsp kirsch liqueur

Coffee buttercream:

8oz salted butter (at room temperature)

12oz icing sugar

1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee granules

6 tbsp whole milk

Method:

(preheat oven to 180*c and grease and line 3 9″ round sponge tins [or use 2 and wash 1 after making the coffee cake])

For the coffee sponge:

  • Mix together the coffee granules, cocoa, salt and boiling water
  • Cream together the sugar and butter until pale and smooth
  • Beat in the eggs 1 at a time
  • Stir in the coffee mixture
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently with a metal spoon
  • Split the cake batter between the 2 tins and bake in the over for 12-15 mins, or until risen and cooked through
  • Remove from sponge tins and set aside on a wire rack to cool

For the kirsch sponge:

  • Cream together the sugar and butter until pale and smooth
  • Beat in the eggs
  • Add the vanilla and kirsch
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently with a metal spoon
  • Pour into cake tin and bake for 10-12 mins, or until risen and cooked through
  • Remove from sponge tins and set aside on a wire rack to cool
  • While the cake cooks, make the jam and buttercream icing

For the kirsch cherry jam:

  • Spoon the jam into a small bowl and put into a larger bowl of boiling water to melt
  • Stir in the kirsch
  • Put in fridge to cool

For the buttercream:

  • Cream the butter with the back of a wooden spoon to make it easier to mix
  • Add the sugar bit by bit and cream together to form a smooth paste
  • Mix the coffee granules with the milk and add a little at a time (if the buttercream is still a little to Stiff, add some more milk. On the other hand, if it is too runny, add more icing sugar)
Coffee buttercream for the coffee and Kirsch cake

Coffee buttercream for the coffee and Kirsch cake

Assembly:

  • Place one of the coffee sponges on a plate or decorating board
  • Spoon over half of the cherry jam and spread evenly, reaching the edges of the cake
  • Spread the kirsch sponge with a little of the buttercream and place buttercream side down onto the first coffee sponge
  • Spread the top of the kirsch layer with the remaining jam
  • Spread the second coffee sponge with a little of the buttercream and place buttercream side down onto the kirsch sponge
  • Use a spatula to cover the cake evenly in the rest of the buttercream (start with the top of the cake and then roughly smooth round the sides little by little until completely covered, then smooth all over for a nice finish)