Matcha & White Chocolate Cookies

I’ve been a bit obsessed with cookies after visiting the iconic Levain Bakery in New York City. If you haven’t yet visited, they make the most wonderful cookies which are slightly crisp on the outside and melty and gooey on the inside. They’re glorious American-sized desserts, rather than an eat-on-the-go snack, but I’m not complaining!

Back at home, I’ve been trying to recreate smaller versions of their famous chocolate chip and walnut cookie, which have turned out deliciously (with thanks to Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s recipe from Sweet). But from the title of this post, you can tell I’ve strayed and started to experiment with other flavours!

I love the combination of matcha and white chocolate, so this was a no brainer – I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do! It’s important not to overbake these cookies as they’ll end up too crisp all the way through (unless you like your cookies that way!). You might have to make a test batch as different ovens may need a slightly shorter/longer bake time. You can easily double the recipe to freeze more of the cookie dough and bake at a later date.

Ingredients (makes 18 cookies)

  • 125 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 280 g self-raising flour
  • 10 g matcha powder
  • 130 g white chocolate, either in chips or chopped into even 0.5 cm chunks

Directions

  1. Beat together (using an electric mixer or whisk) the melted butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla extract and egg, and continue whisking until the mixture is paler in colour and smoother in consistency (another 2-3 minutes).
  3. Sift the flour and matcha powder into the mixture and fold everything together with a spatula.
  4. Add in the white chocolate chips and mix so they are well distributed in the dough. The dough may be difficult to mix with a spatula at this point, so use your hands if that is easier.
  5. Form the dough into the size of golf balls (approx. 45g each) and place onto a lined baking tray / cookie sheet.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. You can transfer the balls into the freezer at this point, to keep up to 3 months.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / 390°F. Spread the dough balls 3cm apart.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes from chilled, or 14 minutes from frozen.
  9. The cookies may still feel soft once out of the oven, but let them cool for 15-30 minutes before enjoying!

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Apple & Blackberry Loaf Cake

After a long, hot summer, cooler weather is finally upon us and I’m pretty relieved to be able to turn on the oven without fear of accidentally cooking ourselves in our apartment/furnace. No doubt I will be complaining about the bitter cold in the weeks to come, but for now I’m embracing the fall feels with this simple loaf cake 😀

I love that this recipe celebrates the end of summer with the last of the ripe, sweet blackberries, and the beginning of autumn with the crisp, tart apples. It’s a lovely bake that’s quick to whip together and can be kept in an airtight container for 2-3 days afterwards (if you have the self-control not to eat it all once it comes out the oven!).

This is another delicious loaf cake (see here for another autumn loaf and here for an indulgent dessert loaf) that I’ve added to my recipe book 😋 The apples keep the cake moist and lightly sweet. Feel free to add more spice if you prefer, and substitute the caster sugar with honey for a healthier bake!

Ingredients

  • 160 g butter, melted
  • 160 g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 rounded tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 2 eating apples (I used Braeburn)
  • 70 g blackberries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C / 140°C fan / 320°F.
  2. Line your loaf tin with parchment paper, and grease with butter (if needed).
  3. Beat together the melted butter and sugar, and add the eggs into the mixture one by one. Gently whisk until the mixture is pale and creamy.
  4. Add the Greek yoghurt and cinnamon.
  5. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold together.
  6. Chop the apples into small pieces (0.5cm cubes) and combine with the batter.
  7. Pour one-third of the batter into the loaf tin and dot with half the blackberries. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining blackberries before filling up the loaf tin.
  8. Smooth out the top of the mixture.
  9. If you wish, make a crumble topping using cold butter, flour, cinnamon and demerara sugar and sprinkle over the top of the loaf.
  10. Bake for 1 hour 5 mins at 160°C / 140°C fan / 320°F. For the remaining 15 mins, increase the temperature to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F.
  11. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  12. Enjoy!

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Remeo Gelato: A Taste of Italy in London

I felt like I just won the jackpot when Remeo messaged me to say that I’d won five jars of their gelato in flavours of my choosing! While I’ve seen their gelato sold in shops (found in Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods) before, I’ve never tried them so this was a great chance to try out their flavours. They also have sorbets (mango and lemon) which I’m definitely going to try at some point in the future.

I was impressed with the quality of the packaging and the fact that you can reuse the jars! Hope Remeo won’t mind when I end up storing my homemade ice cream in them 😜

A big thank you to Remeo for choosing me as the winner – here are my thoughts on their gelatos…

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No.1 Caffe Espresso

Although I don’t drink coffee that much, I love the smell of freshly ground coffee beans and that same earthy aroma greeted me when I opened this jar of gelato.

I really liked the lovely balanced coffee flavour of this gelato, which apparently is made with 26% liquid espresso – it wasn’t too sweet and had just the right amount of bitterness.

The gelato itself was very smooth, although I slightly struggled to scoop it (even after leaving it outside the freezer for a couple of minutes).

Overall: 7/8 scoops

No.2 Vaniglia del Madagascar

This gelato had a very light vanilla flavour, tasting more like milk than vanilla, and was a bit too sweet for my liking. I personally prefer a creamier ice cream with a stronger vanilla flavour, but Remeo’s version is still delicious served with fresh summer berries!

Overall: 6/8 scoops

No.3 Dark Chocolate 72%

Chocolate desserts are my absolute favourite and this dark chocolate gelato didn’t disappoint 😃 Made with 72% dark chocolate, the gelato tasted incredibly velvety and rich.

Dark chocolate can be tricky to work with in ice creams and sorbets as sometimes end up leaving a slightly gritty texture or acidic aftertaste, but there were none of these issues in Remeo’s gelato!

Overall: 7/8 scoops

No.5 Pistacchio Siciliano

Another wonderfully smooth gelato with a delicate and nutty flavour. I’ve tried making pistachio in the past and it’s tough to get the balance of the nuttiness and creaminess right – like their vanilla gelato, Remeo keeps the flavours quite subtle but I think it works nicely for this pistachio gelato.

Overall: 6.5/8 scoops

No.6 Stracciatella di Bergamo

This beautiful gelato had a subtle and balanced milk flavour which wasn’t too overpowering. I loved the generous amount of chocolate shavings which wasn’t too sweet nor too bitter. The chocolate shards added a really satisfying crunchy texture to an otherwise very smooth and creamy gelato.

The gelato melted quite quickly, but this wasn’t a major issue as we scoffed down our scoops even faster! This was our favourite flavour and the first jar to be finished – would highly recommend this flavour to all gelato-lovers 😋

Overall: 8/8 scoops

Many thanks again to Remeo for supplying me with these delicious treats at the peak of the British heatwave. Really authentic Italian gelato (and as good as the scoops I’ve had in Rome, Florence and Venice), so I definitely recommend trying some of their flavours!

Dark Chocolate Sorbet – Part 1

Inspiration

Not going to lie, I was a bit sceptical when I heard about this dairy-free dessert. I couldn’t imagine how a sorbet could have the rich texture of an ice cream!

Essentially, sorbet has a base of water / fruit and sugar; whereas ice cream has a base of milk, cream or a combination of both. Given the obvious difference between these ingredients – I was pleasantly surprised when I tried these dark chocolate sorbets from two great spots in London recently.

1. La Gelatiera (Stratford) – Extra dark chocolate with Calabrian chilli

IMG_8237I visited La Gelatiera’s lovely cafe in East Village with my sister and boyfriend after our 10K race at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The race was great fun, though exhausting, so seeing the signs pointing to GELATO drew me in instantly. I needed an energy boost and this sorbet did just that!

This was a velvety and luxurious dark chocolate sorbet which had the same richness as an ice cream. I was impressed by the deep flavour of the chocolate, and really liked the kick of chilli at the end of each bite (or lick). As a bonus, it’s also vegan.

The only issue I had with this was that I felt it left a slight residue on my tongue afterwards, but it could just have been the particular batch, as I’ve not had this issue with any of their other flavours in the past!

2. Udderlicious (Covent Garden) – Dark chocolate and sea salt

img_8294.jpgAs a complete coincidence, I also had this delicious duo of sorbets after a 10K race (the British 10K around Central London!). I feel like the run completely justifies having dessert before lunchtime!

I had a dark chocolate and sea salt sorbet and also a peach and raspberry daiquiri sorbet. Two contrasting flavours – the chocolate was very creamy while the peach and raspberry was light and fresh – but both were fantastic.

I’d highly recommend a trip to Udderlicious if you haven’t been before as they have some of the most delicious flavours London has ever seen (I really like their matcha & chocolate chip ice cream too).

I was so impressed by these two experiences that I had to give it a go myself – you won’t believe how easy it is to make as well!

Check out Part 2 of this post to see how my own dark chocolate sorbet turned out…!