Triple chocolate brownies

Who doesn’t love chocolate brownies? This is another one of my ‘throw everything in a bowl, mix it and shove it in the oven’ recipes. No need for scales or mixing this with that so it’s fuss-free, and they come out perfectly gooey, sticky and chocolatey!

Triple chocolate brownies
¾ cup cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups caster sugar
1 and ⅓ cups plain flour
2 large eggs
⅔ cup vegetable oil
½ cup boiling water (doesn’t have to be boiling, but helps the ingredients mix better)
1-3 tsp vanilla essence
60g white chocolate, chopped into chunks
60g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
60g milk chocolate, chopped into chunks

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, aside from the chocolate chunks. Use an electric whisk or mixer to ensure the mixture is free of any lumps of flour or cocoa.
Using a spoon, mix in the chocolate chunks.
Spread the delicious chocolate goo evenly over a shallow cake tin or baking tray with sides, lined with greaseproof paper, at a depth of 1-2cm.
Put the soon-to-be chocolate heaven in the oven at 180C for 35-40 minutes.

You can also substitute the boiling water for Baileys, Kahlúa, rum, or whatever else takes your fancy. It may require a little more mixing, although you can negate much of that by sieving the cocoa and flour.

Another option for those not veggie/vegan.. If you’re cooking bacon at any point, keep the oil/fat leftover in the pan. Use that to make up some of the oil content in the recipe.

Shepherds or cottage pie (or both)

This is one of those recipes that’s been mixed up a bit here and there as time’s passed. A lot of the inspiration came from how my Mum made this when I was a kid. It’s one of mine and my husband’s favourite meals, and despite the fact it would probably make any professional chef weep in despair over the deviation from classic versions, it’s absolutely delicious.
I personally call it ‘shepherds pie’, but since I don’t use lamb (normally pork and beef mince) it’s technically cottage pie. To save any arguments, I’m going to refer to it as both!*
I’m not going to give any indication of how long it would take to make, I sort of amble around the kitchen paying no attention to time so your guess is as good as mine on that.

Shepherds/Cottage Pie
Mince layer
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 onions, chopped however you want them
400g minced beef
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tins baked beans
2-3 carrots, sliced
2-3 beef stock cubes (depending on how beefy you want it to taste)
Tablespoon of tomato puree

Potato topping
A bunch of boiled potatoes
A tablespoon of butter
A little milk
A handful or two of chopped spinach (optional)

Fry the mince, onion and garlic in a large pan. Once it’s browned a bit, add crush up the beef stock cubes and mix it in. 


Strain the juice from the chopped tomatoes, keeping the juice to one side (you may need it later) and mix them in. Strain the baked beans and mix those in too, discarding the sauce they’re in.
Add the carrots and tablespoon of tomato puree. 

Bring to the boil and mix it all up. If it’s a bit dry, add in some of the tomato juice, bit by bit, until you’ve got the desired runnyness. 

Leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Boil the potatoes until they’re fully cooked. Drain the water from the pan and add in the tablespoon of butter. If the mash isn’t sufficiently smooth after a violent mashing, or seems a little dry, add a bit of milk to the mix and mash it violently a bit further. Once it’s smooth, mix in the chopped spinach (if you’ve decided to go that route), some black pepper, salt, or whatever else you feel might work. Or just have it as plain mashed potato, whatever works for you! 


Put the mince mix into the bottom of a large, oven-proof dish. 

Spoon the mashed potato onto the top of it, starting around the egdes (it’ll sink into the mix a bit, starting at the edges will help you judge how thick your mash layer is) and working inwards. 

Make sure the entire mince layer is covered with mash and then run a fork over it lightly, making grooves across the surface in pretty patterns so that it’s pricked up a little. The raised bits will become crispy after it’s been in the oven.

You can also top it with grated cheddar cheese before placing it in the oven, giving you a crispy cheesy topping to the mash.

Put it in the oven at 180C for 40-45 minutes.


Personally I like to eat it with a bit of ketchup, but it works perfectly fine on it’s own.

Enjoy!

*Allergy advice: This recipe does not contain any shepherds or cottages, however it may be produced in an environment containing shepherds and/or cottages, so caution is advised.

Lazy key lime pie (which includes no key limes)

Really, really easy recipe for lime pie (I left out the ‘key’ this time). It’s not the best tasting recipe compared to some of the fancier ones out there which involve a lot of egg yolks, mixing stuff here and there, squeezing limes and leaving you with a lot of washing up.

Lazy lime pie
1/2 cup concentrated lime juice (available in the baking aisle of most supermarkets)
400g tin/can of sweetened condensed milk
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks (I’ve found most recipes use 3+, so 2 isn’t TOO bad)

250g of digestive biscuits
2 tablespoons of butter, melted

Put the first set of ingredients in a bowl and whisk it up well until it’s all well mixed and maybe a little bubbly.
Crush up the digestive biscuits in an 7″ bowl, pyrex dish, pan, or whatever it is you want to use (make sure it’s oven proof), pour in the melted butter and squish the biscuit mixture against the bottom and sides of your chosen oven proof bowl-type thing. Get the sides about an inch and a half high. If the crust is a bit dry and not staying in place, add some more butter, if it’s a bit wet, add some more crushed biscuit. Remix it and try again.
When you’ve succeeded in making the crust, pour the limey mixture into it and shove it in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes.

Leave it to cool and, ta-da! You have yourself a lime pie. If you want to be all fancy, get some squirty cream and a bit of lime zest to serve it with.

As you can see, I did not go for ‘fancy’ in any way. But it’s
still delicious!