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These enourmous homemade cookies with puddles of Lindt dark chocolate [70% cocoa] and a hint of La Baleine flaky sea salt will give an edge to your regular cookies like nothing you can imagine until you bite into the first batch. You really should not give this brilliant recipe from Smitten Kitchen a miss even if you have gone through a million of cookie batters before and have found the one you are ready to settle down with for this lifetime. Life is too short to stick to one chocolate chip cookie recipe forever.

SALTED CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (25 grams) turbinado sugar

3/4 cup (150 grams) light brown sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Heaped 1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt

1 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 pound (225 grams) bittersweet chocolate

Flaky sea salt, to finish

Method:

  • Heat oven to 360°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy.

  • Beat mixture for about 5 minutes. Cut chocolate into roughly 1/2-inch chunks with a serrated knife.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until incorporated, and scraping down the bowl as needed.

  • Beat in fine sea salt and baking soda until combined, then the flour on a low speed until just mixed.
  • The dough will look almost crumbly at this point. With a spatula, fold/stir in the chocolate chunks.

  • Scoop cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon mounds, spacing them apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
  • Sprinkle each with a few flakes of sea salt. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes until it’s golden on the outside.

  • Cookies will still be very gooey and soft inside. Let them rest on baking sheets for about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer cookies onto a cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Yields about 18 to 24 cookies.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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This healthy banana bread with chopped prunes and whole meal flour is packed with a good measure of fibre and nutrients. The recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly will help you start your day with a delicious and equally nutritious breakfast especially if have GI issues like bloating or dyspepsia that refuse to get better.

WHOLEMEAL BANANA & PRUNE BREAD

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (240g) wholemeal self-raising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons lemon rind, finely grated

100 g unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup (165g) packed dark brown sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 cups mashed banana

1 cup (170g) prunes, chopped coarsely

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 14cm x 21cm loaf pan; line the base and long sides with baking paper.

  • Extend paper 2cm over sides. In a large bowl, sift flour and cinnamon; add rind, butter, sugar and eggs.

  • Beat with an electric mixer on low till all the ingredients are combined. Increase the speed to medium.

  • Beat mixture until smooth. Stir in banana and prunes. Spread mixture into pan and bake about 1 hour.

  • Skewer should come out clean and dry after testing from the centre. Stand bread in pan for 5 minutes.

  • Turn, top-side up, on wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cut into a few thick slices before serving.

Wholemeal Banana & Prune Bread

My latest péché mignon is the anything-blueberry-dessert and with the abundance of blueberries on the market at the moment, I do not need an excuse to be baking with them almost every other day. Other than my standard blueberry muffins, I like to fold them in pancake batter or scatter them over a colourful fruit salad or simply as a topping for my boring morning muesli. This blueberry crumb cake from BarbaraBakes is packed with juicy berries and is nicely complimented by the addition of lemon zest. I chose to omit the lemon glaze for fear of going over the top with too much sugar, and also because I did not want anything to prevent me from focusing on my blueberries.

BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Blueberry Cake

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup full cream milk

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 cups fresh blueberries

For the Crumb Topping

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Lemon Icing

1 cup powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-inch spring form cake pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour.

  • Prepare topping by combining sugar, flour and butter in a small bowl. Mix until crumbly and set aside.

  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.

  • Add eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix in lemon zest. Add flour mixture and mix just until it is just combined.

  • Stir in blueberries and spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle the cake with crumb topping.

  • Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

  • Prepare the lemon icing by whisking together powdered sugar and lemon juice to create a thin glaze.

  • Drizzle the icing onto warm cake and cool completely before cutting and serving. ­Makes 12 servings.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

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