Vegan chocolate and peanut butter choc chip cookies – inspired by Pret!

peanut choc chip cookies

I have been a little bit obsessed with the new Choc chip almond cookies that Pret have introduced to their menu. They are gooey, nutty and deeply chocolatey – I had a play last night with a recipe that I think is pretty close to the original. I only had peanut butter (crunchy) so I will definitely be trying them again with almond butter and chopped roasted almonds to see if they are even closer to the Pret original.

If you give this recipe a go I would love to hear what you think. We gobbled so many fresh from the oven and they were gooey in the middle and lovely and crisp on the edge. Today they have crisped up slightly more so I will also have a play with the cooking time next time.

You will need:

  • 2 baking trays lined with baking paper
  • Oven preheated to 180C

pret cookies.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 60g Peanut butter (other nut butters should work as well)
  • 60g Coconut oil
  • 100g Golden caster sugar
  • 100g Dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 125g Plain flour
  • 50g Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1-3 Tbsp Oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 100g Dark Chocolate

Method:

  1. Add the coconut oil and sugars to a stand mixer and cream together. Add the vanilla and mix in.
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and mix in the baking soda and salt.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing in by hand until crumbly.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp oat milk, or other non-dairy milk, and mix into a thick cookie dough – you may need to add more milk but be careful not to add too much.
  5. Add the chocolate chunks and mix in. Your cookie dough will be very thick, but sticky enough to easily roll into balls.
  6. Roll into small balls and space evenly on baking trays.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. The edges will be firm but the cookies will still be soft in the middle. This is fine, they will firm up as they cool.
  8. Do take a photo to share @thecaketastingclub on Instagram/Facebook.

NB: Cooking time will vary depending on size of cookies.

Do let me know if you give them a go and if you have any suggested changes.

If you don’t have time for baking and would like some fresh, homemade cakes delivered to your door each month then why not join The Cake Tasting Club?! Head on over to The Club to find out more.

Have a great evening,

Vikki xxx

pret cookies

Advertisements

Peanut butter and marshmallow cookies

Oh these beauties were so delicious. We love a bit of peanut butter here at Cake HQ so are super pleased with how these came out. Crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle – perfection!

Apr 18 recipe card (3)

Ready to get baking? Here’s what you need:

Start by lining 3 baking trays with baking paper and get the oven on 180C/Gas4.350F.

Ingredients:

  • 115g Butter, softened
  • 110g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 100g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 125g Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 170g Self Raising Flour
  • 50g Mini Marshmallows

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugars together, using a hand held whisk or free standing mixer, for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and peanut butter and beat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Gently fold in the marshmallows by hand.
  5. Using a tablespoon form the dough into approx 30g balls (ours were 15g so these will come out a lot bigger!).
  6. Place balls of dough on the baking sheets approximately 5cm apart.
  7. Bake for 11-13 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. Take a photo to send to Cake Club!
  10. Get a brew on and gobble!

Please do remember to share your photo on Facebook/Instagram @thecaketastingclub using #ibakedcake

Not got your name down for our May box yet? Head on over to the website and sign up now – you can get your first subscription box for just £7.50 and there’s no commitment (you can cancel anytime).

Frosting kisses

Vikki x

Apr 18 recipe card (2)

Easter Chocolate Tiffin

For our March recipe card we went with the Easter chocolate tiffin. Delicious chocolatey tiffin bejewelled with mini creme eggs and topped with crushed mini eggs. Happy Easter!

Untitled design (9)

You will need:

20cm square tin lined with baking paper

The ingredients you will need are:

  • 150 g Unsalted butter
  • 250 g Dark chocolate chopped
  • 150 g Milk chocolate chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons Golden syrup
  • 180 g Mini Creme Eggs unwrapped
  • 180 g Mini eggs crushed
  • 150 g Digestive biscuits in chunks
  • 150 g White chocolate chopped
  • Yellow gel food colouring
  • 8 Creme Eggs full size, unwrapped

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat.
  2. Add the dark and milk chocolate and golden syrup and melt slowly.
  3. Keep stirring until it’s thick and combined.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Add the mini Creme Eggs, most of the mini eggs and the digestive biscuits, stir.
  6. Press the mixture firmly into the tin.
  7. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of steaming water (temperature very low).
  8. Colour the white chocolate until very deep yellow using the gel food colour.
  9. Cut the full size Creme Eggs in half and press into the tiffin with the rest of the mini eggs.
  10. Drizzle over the yellow chocolate.
  11. Allow to set in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
  12. Turn out of the tin and using a sharp knife cut into chunks.
  13. Take a photo and share over on Facebook or Instagram @thecaketastingclub #ibakedcake.
  14. Gobble!

We would love to hear from you if you make the tiffin so please do get in touch. If you missed out on this month’s box remember that you can sign up over at The Cake Tasting Club and receive your first Classic box on subscription for just £7.50 including delivery. Our next shipment leaves Cake HQ on Monday 16th April.

DSC_1522
Sneak peak at our April box

Happy Easter!

Vikki and Dom xx

When I became a mother..

It’s very hard to describe the utter love and joy that is present when you birth your child. It’s a crazy and all consuming love that is at times fiercely overwhelming. But at the same time you know nothing about the realities of how you will actually manage to raise this tiny screaming bundle of joy. Finally, getting through the front door and breathing a sigh of relief to be home was coupled with the “bloody hell, they have actually let us leave with this baby, despite the fact we don’t know what the actual frig we are doing” panic! It’s literally learning on the job mayhem, which coupled with all the hormones and struggles of breastfeeding; sore nipples (actually sore everywhere!) and recovering from the birth, I found really tough. Actually, quite maddening to be honest.

The birth of my first born was everything I didn’t want it to be, none of my birth plan happened; I was disappointed and felt like a failure. I had placenta previa, which meant that my placenta was so low that there would be a risk of it coming out first during birth, which would obviously be a bloody shit show for all involved (literally…too graphic?!) So I was booked in for a C-section, which is my idea of a nightmare. It was a lot better to have a planned C-section than an emergency one and for that reason I am very grateful. Despite that, it was still an incredibly scary/odd/awful experience. As it’s planned they literally just get you to walk into theatre, everyone’s sort of bustling around and it’s all very normal – weirdly normal. Like guys, I’m literally about to have a baby and this is oddly everyday. I need somebody to make an announcement or sound a trumpet or something to signify what is actually about to happen here. My baby is about to be born! I worry that it does matter how you’re born and this kind of birth was just not what I had envisioned. I hate hospitals. I know for some people hospitals bring a kind of comfort and reassurance, but not for me, they make me an anxiety-filled sweaty Betty. My baby was born so suddenly (and unbeknownst to her) to a room full of strangers with masks on and bright lights, and not being able to hold her for a few minutes felt awful. And I still hold a lot of guilt about that, I know that I couldn’t perhaps of changed the fact that she did need to be born by C-section and that if I would have attempted to birth naturally it probably would have encountered huge problems but a little part of me thinks I should have fought it and attempted a natural birth crazy though that might sound. I should have somehow been able to protect her from that harsh first experience of life. I should have been better. I should have done better. I should have fixed it. That imperfect moment in which I became a mother felt tinged with another narrative of how it should have been. And I know in the grand scheme of things it really is insignificant, that I am so bloody lucky and believe me I am so so grateful and blessed and I would never ever ever think any less of anybody else for having a C-section but I just struggle to forgive myself.

My second birth was the complete opposite, and I really fought for it to be that way. I wanted perhaps to alleviate some of the guilt from my first birth, and to prove to myself that my body really could ‘do it’ and give birth, what is perceived by many to be ‘normally’ I guess. I planned a home birth despite some concern from my healthcare providers (after having a C-section there is a very, very, very tiny risk that  the scar could rupture during contractions) and went so far over that I almost had to have an induction and not have my beautifully planned home birth. But I did manage it and, after almost 36 hours of labor, my second little girl (actually big girl..8lb 9!) was born into the water and it was so lovely and peaceful. Except that after all those hours I was so emotionally and physically frazzled that I forgot that it was actually my job to pick the baby up out the water and not just hope that she perhaps might swim to the top… ha! Step in the midwife who swooped her up into my arms, bliss!!

I can look back now and realise that both births, no matter how different, were what they were meant to be and I can now start to accept that. I cannot change the past, the only moment we have is the present, the here and now and I can only continue to mother my children in the best way that I can, and that is enough – I am enough. #Selflove is something I struggle with and I think that feeling like a bad/not good enough mother is so common and really needs to be talked about more. Only by sharing stories and supporting each other as women can we really make progress and affect change. Having struggled mentally and emotionally over these last 3+ years I only really feel now that I am coming through the fog and actually able to reflect and attempt to process myself as a mother and perhaps even accept myself as a mother. Three years of no sleep really can send you a bit higidly pigidly, hey?! Anyway big love to everyone reading this, and if you take one thing away from this brief, messily written scrawl on motherhood I wish it could be this: Love yourself, you are enough, give yourself a break and if it’s hard right now just know it will get better. You can do it.

XXXXXX

 

‘You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!’

John Lennon

Cookie Bars

In February we featured these delicious cookie bars on our recipe cards – crispy, gooey and chocolatey finished off with delicious salted caramel – Winner!

DSC_1413

To make your own cookie bars you will need a 20cm/8in square cake tin greased with butter and lined with baking paper and your oven pre heated to 180C/Gas 4/350F.

Ingredients:

350g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
295g Butter
500g Dark brown soft sugar
4 Free-range Eggs
2 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
150g Dark chocolate chips
3 tbsp Salted caramel sauce

Method

  1. Using a free standing mixer or hand held whisk cream the butter and sugar together for around 5 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder and mix slowly until combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared tin.
  6. Drizzle over the salted caramel sauce and swirl into the cookie mix.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in tin before cutting into bars.
  9. Devour!

Here at Cake HQ we love to chat cake, please do remember to share your photos with us over on Facebook and Instagram.

DSC_1430

We hope that you enjoyed your cake delivery in February, if you haven’t joined us at cake club yet then why not try your first Classic box for just £7.50.

Keep it cake,

Vikki x

 

 

Classic Victoria Sandwich

This month we have chosen a classic Victoria Sandwich. Light vanilla sponge filled with lashings of buttercream and delicious raspberry jam.

Vic sponge recipe

Thank you for all your lovely feedback about our January Cake Boxes. We love hearing that you have had a go at one of our bakes so please do send us a photo.

Thank you to @heyimjasmineh on Instagram for sharing your photos. Your cake looks awesome and it looks as though you had some great helpers!

Here at Cake HQ we believe that Victoria Sandwich is a classic for very good reason. Also, once you have mastered the perfect sponge you can apply those skills to so many other great cake recipes.

We grew up baking with our mum’s and still believe that the “creaming method” is the way to go. However, if you are new to baking then Mary Berry’s “all in one method” is super easy and always produces great results.

When baking our cakes for our subscription boxes they are still done one at a time as you would at home, although they are slightly larger! We have scaled our recipe back down to make the perfect 8″ cake for you to enjoy at home.

Cake ingredients:

  • 225g butter – softened
  • 225g golden caster Sugar
  • 4 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract

For the filling:

  • 125g butter – softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste/extract
  • 1/2 jar good quality strawberry/raspberry jam

Method:

  1. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until pale and fluffy – this really needs to be done with a hand held beater or stand mixer. It will take a while so do be patient.
  2. In a separate bowl lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla paste/extract.
  3. Beat the eggs into the butter/sugar gradually with a little flour*.
  4. Gently fold in the remaining flour.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two lined tins and level the surface.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 mins.
  7. It’s ready if it springs back when pressed in the centre and the edges are coming away from the tin.**
  8. Cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack
  9. Make the icing – beat the icing sugar with the butter and vanilla until light and fluffy***
  10. Assemble the cake! Top one cake with jam and the base of the other with icing
  11. Then sandwich together and dust the top with icing sugar
  12. Take a photo and send it to @thecaketastingclub over on Instagram or Facebook.
  13. Pour a cuppa and gobble!

 

Remember, we’d love to hear how you get on if you make the cake. The best place to find us is usually over on Instagram but you can also find us on Facebook or just drop us an email.

Happy baking!

Vikki x

TIPS

*I add a third of the beaten egg mix with a tablespoon of flour, beat until combined. Then repeat this twice more until all the egg is added.

**A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean with just a few crumbs attached.

***Make sure you cover the mixer and start slowly otherwise you will disappear in a cloud of icing sugar! I also make the sure that the butter is very soft.

So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s nineteen ninety nine!!

So, it’s my birthday coming up in approximately 12 days, 2 hours and 54 minutes…can you tell I’m excited?!  Yes I’m getting massively older but I still love a good birthday. This is the prequel to the big 3.0. so I am planning to party like it’s 1999…haven’t been out in about 3 years so not even sure if that’s still the lingo.. anyway going to paint the town red and all that (am I ninety?!) which means a night off from getting the baby to sleep hoorah! The best bit for me about my birthday is the cake hands down, my husband (who isn’t at all keen on baking) always bakes me my birthday cake and now the toddler loves helping him so it’s really sweet (if a little mangled, and I sooo wouldn’t have frosted it that way but w/e…. #controlfreak) I just love it ❤ Second best bit is defo the birthday wish, it’s like one a year so you really gotta go for it and wish for something real special. Don’t waste it!

Birthdays are just bloody special right? I get a real happy vibe from dressing up birthday orders that come in with special confetti, a birthday balloon, and most importantly a golden candle that you can put in our fresh homemade cake, light, and make your ONE WISH OF THE YEAR ❤ It’s gonna be a great day! Happy Birthday! Also if anyone is my birthday twin and is also born 12 days, 2 hours and 52 minutes from now please do get in touch, love a birthday twin!

DSC_1014

So yeah Birthdays are the best day ever. If you need a special present everyone loves cake and we love jazzing up your box and writing your cutesy messages so drop us a line, we gotcha back babe! Our classic box contains a huge slab of cake, two pieces of brownies and a bag of cookies/biscuits, it’s a real treat and perfect for any celebration. Or just a Friday night treat for yours truly, go on you know you deserve it; the kids have been driving you loopy drawing on the walls with your best eyeliner, the cats done a poo behind the t.v., bloody Barbara at work is up to her usual tricks and your socks have holes in, WE GET IT. Take a look at happiness here.

 

Peace out kipper xxxx