Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

When it comes to homemade ice cream, I’ve found the magic formula. The perfect combination of ingredients which results in a rich, smooth and creamy texture with just enough sweetness for you to be able to trash it up with drop-dead-gorgeous toppings (like strawberry cheesecake) without going OTT. To put it into other, less dramatic words: I’ve found a great ice cream base.

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The Best Chocolate Cookies

When I first made these biscuits, they were a complete disaster – I mis-read the instructions and baked them too long! They tasted yum, but the texture was terrible; they were rock solid. I left them uncovered for a day, and fortunately, they softened up and were surprisingly gorgeous!

The Best Chocolate Cookies www.happyhealthymotivated.com

I baked these again recently for a friend’s birthday – making sure I followed the instructions correctly this time. They were incredible. The apartment was full of an intense, rich chocolate aroma. When they first came out of the oven, Boyfriend pounced on them to try one. They are really fantastic when warm – so thick and chewy.

The Best Chocolate Cookies www.happyhealthymotivated.com
When they’ve cooled down, the texture is still fantastic – they’re really delicate and just crumble in the mouth. The mouth-watering chocolate smell still remains even after they’ve cooled too! After making these cookies for the second time, this is definitely the best recipe I have ever found.
The Best Chocolate Cookies www.happyhealthymotivated.com

This recipe makes 14 cookies and is adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

Ingredients
60g flour
15g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
tiny bit of teaspoon salt
115g dark chocolate, chopped
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened but still cool
45g light brown sugar
25g granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
Recipe
1. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl above a pan of simmering water and remove from the heat. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla lightly.
3. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, before mixing both sugars until combined.
4. Gradually beat in the egg until just incorporated then add the chocolate.
5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Remember, it is so much better to under-mix than it is to over-mix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Cover and let stand at room temperature until the consistency is scoopable and fudge-like, about 30 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, place a rack in the centre of the oven and heat  to 175C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the mounds of dough about 5cm apart.
8. Bake until the edges of the cookies have just begun to set but the centres are still very soft, only about 10 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes- this will ensure they continue to cook for just a little longer. Slide the parchment with cookies onto wire racks, and cool to room temperature.

Fruit Scones

I used to really struggle making scones – they would never rise. I decided to pick a simple recipe and alter it until I found my perfect scones. Originally, the recipe called for 300g of plain flour. When I first made the scones, I didn’t have enough and substiuted 100g with self-raising flour. The result? Splendidly light scones!

Fruit Scones www.happyhealthymotivated.com

Unfortunately, this picture was taken by me. I’m sure my photograpy skills will improve soon. Or at least I really hope they do.

This recipe yields around six to eight scones.

Ingredients
200g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
4 tsp baking powder
good handful of raisins
Pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter, softened
70g caster sugar
1 egg
120ml cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 200 C and lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

3. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and add the fruit.

4. Beat the egg and cream together, with the vanilla extract. Pour into the flour mixture and bring together lightly with your hands into a dough.

5. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very briefly to form a fairly smooth ball.

6. Gently roll the dough out to a thickness of about 4cm. Use something round (such as a mug) to cut out the scones and place them on the baking sheet.

7. Brush the tops of the scones with milk, making sure the milk doesn’t flow down the side, and bake for about 15 minutes until risen and golden.

Chocolate Brownies with Ganache Frosting

This is the best recipe I have found for chocolate brownies – it came from Joyofbaking.com, with a few personal alterations. The thick smooth ganache accompanies the gooey, fugdey brownies perfectly.

Milk or dark chocolate can be used for the brownies and the ganache. I prefer using dark chocolate – it gives a much deeper flavour.

Chocolate Brownies with Ganache Frosting happyhealthymotivated.com

These pictures are my own – I think my photography skills are actually improving – yay! I was concerned about not capturing the dense fudgy-ness of these delectable treats, but I think these pictures definitely do them justice.

Chocolate Brownies with Ganache Frosting happyhealthymotivated.com

Although these pictures look like they were taken by two completely different cameras and of different brownies, I can assure you they’re not. I must have just caught the perfect angle to show of the incredible gooey-ness of the ganache.

This recipe yields eight bite-size brownies. That may not sound like much, but because they are so rich, the size is perfect. Be careful though – they are incredibly moreish!

Ingredients
Brownies
60g dark chocolate
57g unsalted butter
100g granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
48g all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Ganache
45g dark chocolate
40ml cream
7g unsalted butter
Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Grease a baking pan.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl and leave to cool before stirring in the sugar.
3. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and egg.
4. Stir in the flour and salt.
5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
6. Now to make the chocolate ganache. Melt the chocolate, cream and butter in a bowl and leave to cool.
7. Make sure the brownies and the ganache are completely cooled before spreading the chocolate loveliness over the brownies.
These brownies can be kept at room temperature (if it’s not too hot) or in the fridge.