Chocolate Biscuit Cake

First, an acknowledgment. This is the second post in a row that includes Baileys. Not intentional, though my use of it at Christmas is entirely so. This lovely lovely recipe is one I have had for a good many years handed over to me from a friend, V. It’s fabulous and moreish and no-bake. It keeps for ages in the fridge, though we have no first hand experience of this 😉 I like to pass it on as gifts though I do confess we have been nibbling on it all week!

You will need two loaf tins, lined with cling film in both directions – enough to fold over the top and sides and then with a strip of parchment at the bottom.


400g chocolate (I favour the darker one – Lidl and Aldi have great cooking choc)

225g butter

1 tin condensed milk

600g (about 1.5 packets digestive biscuits)

large handful of raisins or dried fruit of your choice (see below)

large handful of nuts of your choice (I like to use a mix – cashew, pecan, hazelnut, almonds, brazil and pistachios for colour)

80-100ml of Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur

Melt the chocolate, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring.

Roughly crush the biscuits in a large baking bowl – only roughly as you do want some texture.

Pour the Baileys over the biscuits and stir to combine, followed by the nuts and fruit.  (This time I used dried cherries and cranberries. Lidl do a lovely new pouch of Cashew and Cranberry which I loved in this.) Use your eye to gauge how much fruit and nut to add – you are looking for balance.

Now mix in the melted ingredients and stir very well. Pour into two loaf tins, pressing down well.

Fold over the cling film and chill in the fridge until set.

This is best kept in the fridge and removed a while before serving if you like. I like to cut it into slices and then into smaller bitesize pieces.

Baileys Blondies with Pecans and Coconut

So my previous Christmas post on the Santa Hat Brownies was for children (big and small alike) and this one is more for the adults, but I do confess my kids enjoy these too. These are the blonde version of the brownies. I am all for equality, me. They make a quite a few, 24 the way I cut them, and they last for a few days and even longer in the freezer well-wrapped. I think anything with Baileys in it has quite the Christmas edge!


50g pecans
25g coconut chips
225g butter
380g light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 tblsp Baileys
300g flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g chocolate chips (I prefer plain/dark)

Preheat the oven to 160c and toast the pecans and coconut chips on a baking tray for 5 minutes, watching carefully so that the coconut doesn’t burn. Chop the pecans and set both aside for later.

Now increase the oven to 170c. Grease and line a 13×9 brownie tin with baking parchment and set aside.

Melt the butter, either in a saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave (the latter is my preference) stir in the sugar until smooth and well combined. Now add the eggs, vanilla and the Baileys, stirring to combine well.

Now add the flour and baking powder stirring well – no sneaky pockets of white!

Finally add in the coconut, pecans and chocolate.

Add to the tin, smooth over the top and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes – I start to check from about 25 – a tester in the middle should just come out clean. Usually in my oven they are done between 30-32 minutes.

Leave to cool and then cut – this is much easier when they are cool. The blondies make a tasty accompaniment to a cup of coffee or go equally well with vanilla icecream.

Santa Hat Brownies

It’s December! I can legitimately talk about some Christmas cooking and baking treats now. It’s our favourite time of year. The decorations went up yesterday, the lights in the village are being turned on later today and the Late Late Toy Show was on so the season has truly begun. We have a few favourite treats to go with the festive cheer and the first on our list are these little bites. I am a bit of a tart (!) when it comes to brownies having a favourites list of recipes stretching into double digits, but these are very cute and simple. The recipe came from a coworker of my husband’s in Toronto. He came home from work years ago raving about these little bites and was sent in with strict instructions not to return without the recipe, so thank you YuYen. She used a saucepan to make them, but I have used a bowl and a microwave with success and I have also used caster sugar here too. I gave them a festive twist with the addition of strawberries and cream, but you can also use buttercream for this too. I do like the fresh cream which works well with the sweetness of the brownies (and goodness knows there’s enough sugar floating around so for once I don’t mind eschewing it in favour of something a little more low key) The small size means they are a handy finger food dessert too.

Makes 25


170g chocolate (plain, at least 50%)

115g butter, very soft

60ml Chocolate syrup (note I use Hersheys which I have seen in Supervalu and Centra)

1tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, beaten

75g flour

160g caster sugar

pinch of salt if you have used unsalted butter

To decorate:

25 strawberries, topped and tailed

150-200ml cream, well whipped


Preheat the oven to 175c. Butter and line an 8×8 inch tin. I like to line mine for ease of lifting them out.

Start by melting the chocolate in spurts in the microwave (if you are more comfortable melting in a saucepan, no problem!) I usually do it in bursts of 30 seconds to avoid burning, stirring each time.

Stir in the chocolate syrup, followed by the butter, beating  until well incorporated and smooth.

Now add the eggs and vanilla, mixing well.


Finally the sugar and the flour, mixing well and making sure there are no sneaky pockets of white lurking there.

Pour into the prepared tin, smoothing out and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes (checking before the end – mine are usually done around the 28 minute mark)

Allow to cool in the tin. These little guys are much easier to cut if you pop them in the fridge for a while (or even the freezer for five minutes) as you will get a much cleaner line. The picture below is what they will look like when you are in a rush to get to the neighbours but are running late and do not have enough time to do this, not that bad but if you are a perfectionist it may make you twitch ever so slightly.


When cool and just before serving, it’s time to decorate.

I use a Ziploc bag (or you can use a piping bag) with the corner snipped to pipe little mounds of cream on each brownie.

I then top with a strawberry and finish with a splodge  dot of cream.

You can dust with icing sugar too for that extra Christmas effect.