Marcona Almond, Cherry & Chocolate Blondies

Marcona almond blondies 2

Blimey these blondies are good. They’re so good that I only had time to snap a couple of incredibly dull pictures before I had to tuck in, my willpower falling to the wayside.

Marcona almond blondies 5

The secret here, as in a lot of good things, is the almond butter. In much the same way as it adds richness to a bowl of overnight oats, here it adds an irresistible depth of flavour that blondies can sometimes lack.

Marcona almond blondies 3

Crunchy almonds, dried sour cherries and chunks of deeply dark chocolate add just the right amount of interest and variety to every bite. (Chocolate, almonds and cherries are always a fantastic combo, see also my cherry chocolate frangipane tart, ridiculously good.) (continue reading…)

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Cherry Chocolate Frangipane Tart

Cherry Chocolate Frangipane 6

This Monday is the first anniversary of Scaredy Cat Kitchen’s inaugural blog post, my ‘anniblogary’, if you will. It’s been an exciting and slightly terrifying year for me. There have been highs (did someone say Oreo Topped Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake?) and there have been lows. (man, those tastespotting rejections hurt!)

Cherry Chocolate Frangipane 4

To celebrate this momentous occasion,  I decided to bring together 3 of my all time favourite things, bitter dark chocolate, frangipane and cherries.

Cherry Chocolate Frangipane 3

Crisp chocolate pastry, filled with rich almond and melted chocolate frangipane with bursts of bitter sweet cherry and crunchy flaked almonds.  I am so bloomin’ happy right now. (continue reading…)

Cherry and Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns 2

Hot cross buns are a major Easter tradition here in the UK. The cross, which symbolises the crucifixion, means that they are traditionally consumed on Good Friday. Every year the supermarkets are jam-packed full of every type you can imagine, from super sophisticated, generously sized buns, (supposedly designed by Heston Blumenthal) to regular own brand, slightly sad and flat looking buns. Whatever the type, if I get through the Easter period without consuming at least one, I always regret it.

Hot Cross Buns  1

Hot cross buns, for the uninitiated, should be sweet, sticky and light, with a good helping of dried fruit and fragrant spices. Best served split through the middle, lightly toasted and slavered in butter, they should be soft, fluffy and warm in the middle and slightly crisp on the outside.

Hot Cross Buns 3

Sadly, shop bought buns don’t always deliver on this score, so I decided it was time to brave the complicated process of making my own. The secret to light and fluffy buns is leaving the dough to rise and prove 3 times, this makes the cooking process take roughly 4 hours, but trust me, it’s worth it. And who doesn’t love a spring morning in the kitchen, baking up a storm? (continue reading…)