Call me crazy but I think some cookbooks talk to me - they beckon me to buy them and they do so quite relentlessly. This latest addition to my cookbook collection was one I picked up at Kinokinuya when they recently had 20% off cookbooks. I'd actually strolled in one day with no intention to buy and end up going back into the shop the next day and heading to the counter with it. I blame the cookbook.
The cookbook is 'Home Bake' by Eric Lanlard. I didn't actually pay much attention to who he was but was more flicking through the cookbook and deciding that I wanted to make every recipe. It just happened to be that I flicked on Foxtel one day and here Eric was with his show 'Glamour Puds' (which I've been religiously following since I've discovered it (those with Foxtel, new episodes are on 7.30pm Mondays on the Lifestyle Food channel). I wish more of his recipes on his show were actually in his cookbook!!
FYI: I doubled the following recipe to make a big tray of Cream Cheese brownies for my recent catering event - these smell absolutely divine as you're making them. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a baking tin with butter and line with making paper.
Melt together 150g unsalted butter and 200g chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally (the bowl should not touch the water). Remove the bowl from the heat and cool slightly. Stir in 250g caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt into the butter chocolate mixture, then whisk in 3 eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in 100ml freshly made strong coffee, then sift in 100g plain flour and carry on beating till glossy. Set aside.
For the marbling mixture, in a bowl beat together 150g cream cheese until smooth, then stir in 60g caster sugar, 1 beaten egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the tin first, then add the cream cheese marbling mixture and use a knife to cut through to create a marbled effect. Bake for 30 minutes (covering in the last 10 minutes of cooking)
Allow to cool in the tin before cutting into squares.
I have to say this again but this brownie smelt absolutely divine whilst I was mixing it together, when it was baking in the oven and even when it came out of the oven. Unlike the last Donna Hay cream cheese brownie I made (where the cream cheese sank to the bottom), the cream cheese in recipe was artfully marbled all the way through the brownie. I had a tiny nibble of this one (as I needed every slice I could get for the catering, as this was a last minute addition due to my failing lemon polenta mini cake) and wow, how deliciously rich and decadent did it taste!
There's a recipe for ricotta, apple and cinnamon cheesecake in the book which I slobber over everytime I flick to the page and well, I think I will very much make that recipe next!