Peanut Butter Cookies
Peter says: “My friends have been helping me out by taste testing as I create the recipes for this book. And this is one of the bakes that they’ve liked best out of all of them. Part of me is almost annoyed about this because it is such a simple recipe that didn’t take a huge amount of time to devise. But sometimes this is the way. Simple bakes with few ingredients can be just as good, if not even better, than more complicated ones.”
• 200g light brown sugar
• 200g peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
• 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 large egg
• 80g chocolate chips, milk or dark as you prefer
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/ 170°C conventional/gas mark 3.5. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
1) Add the sugar, peanut butter, bicarbonate of soda, salt and egg into a bowl and mix until combined. This is easiest with an electric hand mixer. Throw in the chocolate chips and stir through.
2) Roll into 12 balls and place these on the baking trays, leaving a good amount of space between each ball. Sometimes the chocolate chips will fall out of the stiff dough. Just press them back into the balls on the tray. Flatten the balls with the palm of your hand and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until beginning to brown around the edges.
“Simple bakes with few ingredients can be just as good, if not even better, than more complicated ones.”
Millionaire Shortbread Domes
Peter says: “Chocolate, caramel and shortbread, that’s a winning combo! These little domes are a fancy way to serve the classic traybake that’s everyone’s favourite. The domes are very small and dainty, so they can be a little fiddly to put together. However, if any turn out more broken or messier than you would like, you can enjoy a chef’s perk and hide the evidence with a tasty post-baking snack!”
For the shortbread
• 50g unsalted butter, softened
• 30g caster sugar
• 1 large egg yolk
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 90g plain flour (gf plus pinch xanthan gum)
For the filling
• 250g dark chocolate
• 1 quantity salted caramel sauce (high butter, low cream), or 1 tin of caramel
Preheat the oven to 150°C fan/160°C conventional/ gas mark 3. Line a baking tray with baking paper. You will need a small hemisphere or cake pop mould.
Make the shortbread
1) Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (this will take 3 to 5 minutes).
2) Stir through the remaining ingredients until it forms a stiff dough. Gently work together into a ball using your hands.
3) Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper until about ¼ cm thick. Place this in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.
4) Find a cutter that is just smaller than the opening to your hemisphere or cake pop mould. Cut discs of the shortbread using this cutter, transfer to your baking tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.
Fill and assemble
1) Melt 150g of the chocolate, remove from the heat, then stir through a further 50g until all melted. Pour a teaspoon of chocolate into each mould and use the back of a teaspoon to spread it around the inside of the mould, completely covering it. Leave this to set at room temperature.
2) Spoon or pipe the cooled caramel into the set chocolate domes filling them about five sixths full. Place a shortbread round into each dome. Melt the remaining 50g of chocolate and fill a piping bag with it. Cut a very fine hole from the piping bag and fill any gaps between the shortbread and moulds or caramel with chocolate. Leave this to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3) Once chilled, pop out from the moulds and dig in!
Grapefruit Gin Drizzle Cake
Peter says: “Drenched in sweet botanical syrup with a bitter edge, this cake is right on the line of how moist a cake can be. It will stay soft for at least 5 days if well covered, so it’s a useful bake if you like to prep ahead. Using a drizzle is also a good safety measure when baking a cake. There is virtually no way you can create a dry sponge once you have drowned it in a delicious syrup. The gin and grapefruit take this away from being overwhelmingly sweet, and I think the distinctive flavour is quite exciting. It’s something you don’t generally come across in cake form!”
For the cake
• 175g unsalted butter, softened
• 200g caster sugar
• 100g self-raising flour (gf)
• 100g ground almonds
• ½ teaspoon baking powder (gf)
• 4 large eggs
• 1 grapefruit, zested and juiced (1 tablespoon)
For the syrup
• 100g caster sugar
• 70ml grapefruit juice (from your zested grapefruit)
• 2 tablespoons gin
• For the icing
• 150g icing sugar
• 2 tablespoons reserved syrup
• 1 grapefruit, sliced
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/170°C conventional/ gas mark 3.5.
Grease and line a 900g loaf tin, with a long sheet of baking paper leaving overhang on the long sides of the tin.
Make the cake
1) Cream the butter and sugar until light. Add in the remaining cake ingredients and mix until combined. Add to the loaf tin and spread out evenly.
2) Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Make the syrup
1) While the cake is in the oven, make the syrup. Stir the sugar, grapefruit juice and gin in a saucepan over a high heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture boils. Remove from the heat. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the syrup.
2) Once the cake has baked, leave it to cool for 10 minutes in the tin. Poke it all over with your testing skewer and pour over the main, larger portion of syrup. Leave it to soak in as it cools completely in the tin. The cake sometimes sinks a bit in the tin. Don’t worry if it sinks on you, it still tastes delicious!
Make the icing
1) Mixing together the icing sugar with the reserved syrup to make a thick but fluid consistency. You may not need all the syrup, so add it gradually.
2) Remove the cooled cake from the tin and cover with the icing, encouraging a few drips around the edges. Top with some grapefruit slices.