Brownie with Peanut Butter Cookie Crust, Whisky Caramel Sauce and Sea Salt

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I had been craving something very rich. I ate chocolate and cookies but they didn’t cut it. I wanted to make a slightly salty dessert and this happened to satisfy my winter munchies. It’s rich, fudgy on the inside, crunchy peanut butter bottom, some caramel on top and some sea salt. It ticked all the boxes. My hubby and I shared the last piece before having breakfast.

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This recipe is for a 19cm round cake mold. I used one with a detachable bottom.

Ingredients:

For the peanut butter cookie crust:

½ cup of smooth peanut butter

56grs of softened butter

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of white sugar

¼ cup of packed brown sugar

1 small egg

1 teaspoon of milk

½ teaspoon of vanilla essence

½ cup + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon of baking soda

¼ teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

For the brownie:

120grs of dark chocolate, chopped

57grs of butter

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

For the Whisky caramel sauce:

½ cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of water

¼ cup of heavy cream

¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence

½ tablespoon of Whiskey

½ a tablespoon of salted butter

Extra:

Sea salt

Blueberries

 

Start by making the peanut butter cookie crust. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line the bottom of a 19cm round cake mold with a detachable bottom, with parchment paper.

Whisk the softened butter with the peanut butter. Add the sugars and whisk until fluffy. Then add the egg, milk and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Finally whisk in the dry ingredients.

Place about 2/3 of the cookie dough in the prepared cake mold. You can freeze the rest of the cookie dough and make cookies later on. Press with a spoon to spread it as evenly as possible. Bake it for 8 minutes. Then set it aside and start making the brownie batter.

Melt the butter with the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until it is completely melted. Then allow it to cool down for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the eggs and egg yolk. Then slowly whisk in the melted chocolate (make sure it’s not very hot, otherwise it will curdle the eggs). Then add the vanilla, flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk until well combined. Pour the brownie butter over the cookie crust. Tap it a bit  to get rid of air bubbles. Bake it for 25 minutes. Then set it aside to cool down in the mold.

Once the brownie has cooled down, carefully pass a knife around the edges of the mold. Carefully take the brownie cake out of the mold and plate it.

To make the whisky caramel sauce, place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook without stirring until the sugar has turned amber in color, swirling the pan from time to time. This will take about 8 minutes. Then slowly add the cream and vanilla. Mix it well with a wooden spoon. Then add the whisky and butter. Stir until well combined and then transfer it to a bowl.

Drizzle some of the caramel on top of the brownie and sprinkle it with some sea salt and add some fresh blueberries. Enjoy!

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Melon Salad with Roasted Shallot & Chili Vinaigrette

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Yesterday was such a beautiful sunny day that we went for a bike ride to the forest. I wanted to see the Scottish Highlands cows again. They are kept at the forest to naturally mow the grass and they are quite the attraction. They are such stunning animals and it’s a nice break from the city.

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My friend Karla introduced me to Tajin, a chili-lime seasoning, a few years ago. She would pretty much sprinkle it on everything from vegetables to fruits. I instantly loved it. I really wanted to eat a healthy salad yesterday and with the heat, the lighter the better. I made it with a mix of watermelon, melon, 2 different kinds of apples, a bit of blueberries and some arugula. For the dressing, I roasted some shallots in the oven and then blended them with the rest of the ingredients. This gives the dressing a nice creaminess. And because the Tajin seasoning goes so well with melon and apples, I added it to the dressing. It’s not a very spicy dressing, it’s subtle. The Tajin and cayenne just give it an extra kick.

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This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 cups of diced watermelon

2 cups of diced galia melon

100gr of feta, crumbled

½ red apple, thinly sliced

½ green apple, thinly sliced

½ cup of blueberries

2 handfuls of arugula

For the roasted shallot vinaigrette & chili vinaigrette:

4 small shallots

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1 lime

¼ of a cup of apple cider vinegar

1/3 of a cup of olive oil

½ teaspoon of Tajin chili-lime powder

1 tablespoon of honey

Pinch of cayenne

Salt to taste

For decoration:

1 handful of daikon cress

 

First roast the shallots; place them in an oven tray with the skin on. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast them at 180C/350F for 45 minutes. Once they are roasted, allow them to cool down enough to touch them. Then take the skins off.

Blend the roasted shallots with the rest of the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add salt last, after you’ve tasted it because the Tajin is already salty.

Divide the arugula between two plates. Then add the watermelon, melon and apples. Add the crumbled feta and the blueberries. Finish by adding the daikon cress. Serve with the vinaigrette on the side.