Chocolate coconut scones

chocolate coconut scones

 

Oh my, I forgot what it was like to be struck by flu. I wasn’t too annoyed about the fever and the fact that every muscle and bone in my body hurt. It was the utter exhaustion that came with it that stopped me in my tracks. I’m still not 100% since it hit me 3 weeks ago but I do feel the brain fog slowly lifting and I’m starting to feel strong again. So in order to ease myself gently back into the baking zone I’ve made chocolate coconut scones for you this week. Scones are the simplest thing to make. It took me a while to realise that though. Actually, it was moving away from the UK that forced me to make my own. Scones aren’t readily available in the shops here in Berlin. And I have to say that so far I haven’t found a coffee shop or bakery that sells ones that I think make the cut.

Right at the start of my blogging days, I made these plain and raisin scones. And this time I am using the same basic recipe out of “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”. I chose not to add sugar to these scone because I think the chocolate and coconut chips add enough sweetness. If you do prefer your scones sweeter, just add some sugar (see recipe below).

Scones are great to have around the house. You can freeze them in a box or bag and take out however many you need. Perfect for unexpected coffees with friends. An easy to grab snack for the kids when heading out to the playground. That something sweet for your movie night. You can eat these chocolate coconut scones as they are or you can add some butter or clotted cream if you want. Either way, they are delicious.

Chocolate and coconut is one of my favourite flavour combinations so I decided to put it in a scone. What’s a flavour combo you’d like to see in a scone or bun? 

scrumptious chocolate coconut scones

Chocolate coconut scones

Makes 16 small scones

Ingredients:

225g flour

1 rounded teaspoon of baking powder

40g softened butter

optional: 25g sugar

1 egg

about 100-110ml milk

75g dark chocolate for baking (or use chocolate chips if you want)

20g coconut chips

Method:

  1. Heat your oven to 220 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Put the coconut chips in a food processor and whizz for about a minute so that the pieces are about the size of a pea. Finely chop up the chocolate with a sharp knife.
  3. Put the flour, baking powder and butter in a bowl. Use your fingers to rub it all together until it resembles really fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the coconut chips and chocolate to the mixture and rub it in.
  5. Crack the egg into a measuring jug and add the milk until the mixture totals 150ml. Whisk and then take a tbsp of the mixture and leave it in a small bowl (this will be our glaze for later).
  6. Add the liquids to the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine. Then use your hands again to make a smooth but still wet dough. Do not kneed it too much, you just want it all to come together nicely.
  7. Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the dough on a floured surface/silicone mat until it’s about the thickness of your baby finger.
  8. Use a fluted cutter or a small glass to cut out the scones. Don’t twist the cutter/glas! Push straight down and lift the scone straight out. Place them on the baking tray.
  9. Use the left over egg-milk mixture to glaze your chocolate coconut scones and bake them for 10 minutes until they are a nice golden brown.
  10. Cool them on a wire rack.

ENJOY!!

a basket full of yummy chocolate coconut scones

Belgian waffles (the quick version)

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So yesterday was waffle day in Sweden. And since my kids are 50% Swedish it went without saying that waffles were going to be backed. I had plans. Grand plans even. I wanted to introduce my little nordic munchkins to the delights of the authentic Belgian waffle: thick yeast dough baked to perfection. Crispy on the outside and a soft, fluffy on the inside. However, things didn’t really go as I had hoped. What happened, you ask? I ran out of time. Simple as that. When you’re a mother of 2 toddlers and your pilot hubby gets called out to cover a flight and unexpectedly has to stay the night in Italy, then you’re on your own. And all your previous plans go out the window.

But, when you’re a mother of 2 hungry toddlers and you’re wingman is gone, then you improvise. And so we had waffles in the end. I suppose you can still call them Belgian waffles because they are my recipe and I am Belgian :-) But I do owe you all the recipe of the authentic version.

Waffle heart with powdered sugar

The classic way to eat these is with just a dusting of powdered sugar. Or you can opt for a brown sugar. My favourite sugars are those of T-Sugars. I adore their light brown sugar.

3 sugars

Since toppings on the waffles tend to be sweet I reduce or completely eliminate sugar from the batter. It’s a matter of preference.

Belgian waffles-the quick version

(yield: about 10 waffles depending on the size of your iron)

500g flour

4tsp baking powder

500ml milk

150g butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs, yolk and whites seperated

optional: 80g sugar

toppings: powdered sugar, brown sugar, fruit, honey, whipped cream, …

Method:

1. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or a hand mixer) mix the milk, melted butter, vanilla, egg yolks and sugar.

2. Add the flour gently.

3. In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold this into the batter. The batter will be thick and stringy.

4. Lightly grease your waffle iron and heat it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Drop 2-3 tbsp of batter in the middle of the iron (it should fill about 2/3 of the iron).

6. Bake according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Eat the waffles while hot and crispy. When they cool they tend to lose their crispiness but a minute in the toaster or warm waffle iron will bring it back.

Enjoy!

waffles with sugars scattered

Waffles lightly dusted with sugar

waffle with brown sugar

Sugar cookies plain and simple

Good morning. And merry Christmas! If like me, you celebrated Christmas Eve last night, you will probably be looking to taking it easy today. Maybe you’re planning to go out for a long walk in the countryside. Or maybe you want to stay in your pyjamas all day and watch Love Actually 3 times in a row.

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If you’re celebrating today, I bet you’re already in the kitchen checking oven temperatures and making a mental inventory of how many bottles of red and white wine you have. Maybe, you’re going to have to make a last minute trip to the supermarket because you forgot to buy milk (it can happen).

Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Today could be just like any other day. But, whatever it is you are planning to do today, it is always a good day to bake. So let’s talk sugar cookies.

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Sugar cookies and easy and quick to make. Adding some festive decorations makes them perfect for a last minute addition to your Christmas coffee. Or tie a red bow around a stack of these lovelies and give it someone as a gift.

 

Have a lovely Christmas today.

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Recipe

(makes about 20 cookies)

250g flour

100g sugar

100g butter, softened

1 egg

8g/1tbsp vanilla sugar

Method

Use a standmixer or a handmixer to cream the sugar, vanilla sugar and butter together until the mixture is creamy and fluffy.

Add the egg and keep mixing until completely incorporated.

Add the flour and mix until the dough forms a smooth ball.

Flatten the ball slightly, wrap in clingfilm and cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Take the dough out of the fridge. Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough to about 1/2cm thick. Cut out any shapes you like.

Place the cookies on a lined baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until they start to turn golden.

Let the cookies cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Easiest Hot Chocolate

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in Berlin it’s been freezing cold these last couple of days. I find myself walking and cycling faster than usual in an attempt to warm up quickly. The down side to this is that when I do get to where I’m going, the sweat is running down my back and I find myself shivering in damp clothes.  What helps in situations like these is wrapping ones hands around a hot cup of coffee or tea (whichever I can lay my hands on the quickest) in an attempt to regain some warmth in ones body.

Of course, hot chocolate will also do the trick. So here’s my recipe for the easiest hot chocolate ever.

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Get yourself a cup of milk. Any milk. I chose vanilla flavoured soy milk. Then heat it up in the microwave (or use a saucepan) until it’s really hot but not boiling. Whilst you wait, get out the chocolate. Technically, you could use any chocolate but there are two things to consider:

– Make sure it’s good quality chocolate. This doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. You’re looking for a chocolate that doesn’t have a very long list of ingredients. Something that is rather on the purer side.

– Make sure that it’s meltable (is that even a word?). If your chocolate is filled to the brim with add-ons, you might find your hot chocolate less chocolaty and more lumpy with bits of nuts or candy.

Chop up the chocolate, add it to your hot milk and stir. Watch the transformation, it’s beautiful.

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And that’s it. The only winter warming tool you’ll ever need.

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Recipe

(serves 1)

1 Cup of milk (any kind you like)

approx. 25g chocolate

Method

Heat the milk in the microwave or a saucepan until hot but not boiling

Meanwhile, chop the chocolate in small pieces

Add the chocolate to the hot milk and stir until all the chocolate is melted

Enjoy!