traybakes & more

retro recipes for the modern baker

Tag: chocolate (page 1 of 2)

Mallow Squares

Chocolate! Marshmallow! Weetabix?! Yes, you did read that correctly. These Mallow Squares have Weetabix in the base. Mixed with some sugar and coconut, of course, I’m not going to try to pretend that these are some sort of breakfast food!

I guess it shouldn’t be all that surprising that there are traybakes out there with Weetabix in them, I have used Cornflakes (here) and Rice Krispies (here) before and I’m sure I’ve got a few recipes somewhere that use All-Bran. Breakfast cereals are a staple ingredient in the traditional traybake world!

If you’re in the US (or elsewhere) and haven’t heard of Weetabix, I’ve had no problems finding it at Trader Joe’s or even at my local Wegmans. It’s a bit of a classic breakfast food back home and is somewhat like Shredded Wheat. Although not quite the same. But, like I said, I’ve never had a problem buying it here.

So, the base for these does taste a little like sugary, coconutty Weetabix. Then you add a layer of squishy, sticky marshmallow and top it all with chocolate. And Mr Traybakes remarked that the mallow layer tasted like the filling in a Wagon Wheel. Only it’s a lot, lot thicker. What’s not to like!?

Making the marshmallow layer isn’t all that complicated. It does require quite a lot of whisking, so a free-standing mixer would be best here, but a hand-held electric mixer would also do the job. I did wonder if it would all work out in the end as the instructions are just to ‘boil for 3 minutes’ with no mention of temperatures or sugar thermometers. And it all came together beautifully!

Ingredients

Base

3 Weetabix, crushed

4oz/110g/1 cup desiccated coconut

5oz/150g/¾ cup brown sugar

4oz/110g/1 stick butter, melted

4oz/110g/¾ cup plain flour (all-purpose flour)

Marshmallow

8oz/225g/1 cup sugar

6 fl oz/180ml/¾ cup water

1 sachet gelatine (this is a ¼ oz/7g packet)

1 tsp vanilla extract

7-8 oz/200g chocolate, for topping

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 325F/160C.

2.  Mix all the base ingredients together and spread into a well-lined tin (the mallow is very sticky!) I used a 9″/23cm square tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes and set aside to cool.

3.  Dissolve the gelatine in the water in a saucepan, then add the sugar.

4. Bring this mixture to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.  Let the mixture cool and then whisk at high speed until thick, white and glossy.  This took me about 10-15 minutes. Add the vanilla at the end, then whisk briefly to incorporate.

5. Spread the mallow mixture over the base and let it firm up.  Then top with the melted chocolate.

6. Cut into squares when set. The mallow will be pretty squishy but it all springs back into place nicely after you’ve cut the slices. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Orange Slice

Chocolate Orange Slice.  Another one of those classic combinations. Often found together in cakes and biscuits (I’m not going to start a debate on whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit, so let’s just leave it there…) and also in that traditional Christmas treat – the Chocolate Orange!

This no-bake traybake brings together a classic chocolate fridge cake or tiffin (or whatever you choose to call it) with a smooth orange buttercream. Using cocoa powder makes the biscuit layer dark and chocolatey, but then the orange buttercream balances it out nicely. And then you’re left with, well…a few crumbs, considering the speed at which these disappeared in our house!

This is such a straightforward recipe. You measure, zest, juice, crush, melt and mix and then layer the resulting mixes into a loaf tin. You could probably even do all the melting work in a microwave, so you didn’t need to dirty a saucepan, but due to the lack of microwave in my kitchen, I can’t test this out for you. I know, no microwave! I have space for one after our kitchen renovation two years ago, but still haven’t got around to buying one. And, you know what? I don’t miss it. Until I start to wonder if this traybake would be easy to make in a microwave and don’t have the equipment to test my theory!

Anyway, to get back to the traybake, I used two mini loaf tins for my Chocolate Orange Slice. The recipe says to use a 1lb loaf tin, but I wanted to make the slices a little smaller. Use whatever tin you have, but for purely aesthetic reasons, I prefer a tin that will give you three biscuit layers and two buttercream!

Ingredients

Orange Buttercream Layer

2oz/55g/4 tbsp butter

1 orange, for zest and 2 tbsp juice

10oz/300g/2½ cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Biscuit Layer

4oz/110g/1 stick butter

6 tbsp cocoa powder

6 tbsp golden syrup

1 packet (7oz/200g) plain biscuits/cookies

Method

1.  Line the base and sides of a 1lb loaf tin (or two mini loaf tins).

2.  Zest and juice the orange and place the zest, 2 tbsp juice and the butter in a saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted then remove from heat.

And try not to spill the icing sugar everywhere like I did!

3.  Sieve the icing sugar and stir into the orange butter mixture until smooth.

4.  Then place the syrup, cocoa powder and butter into a saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Syrup, butter and cocoa powder. Yum!

5.  Crush the biscuits/cookies lightly. I used Goya Maria cookies, but Rich Tea or even Digestives/Graham Crackers would work well here. You want to have a good mix of fine crumbs and chunkier pieces. Stir the biscuits into the chocolate mixture until evenly coated.

6.  Press one third of the chocolate mixture firmly into the base of the loaf tin. Then spread half the buttercream over the biscuit base. Repeat with another layer of biscuits and remaining buttercream. Finally top with the last third of the biscuit mixture and press down firmly.

7.  Cover the tin with some foil. Place in the fridge and leave for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

8. Remove from tin, slice and enjoy!

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Chocolate Custard Slices

Chocolate Custard Slices. These were a big hit in the Traybakes’ household. They are no-bake. They are easy to make. They freeze well. And they are really rather yummy.

In my exploration of all things baking, I discovered that these Chocolate Custard Slices are incredibly similar to a Canadian traybake called Nanaimo Bars.  The main difference seems to be the inclusion of almonds in the base of the Canadian version.  Although, just like with many Northern Irish traybakes, there do appear to be multiple recipe variations.  But I’m going to stick with calling them Chocolate Custard Slices.

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Fudge Squares

This is not a recipe for traditional fudge. There is no need for a thermometer or trying to reach the ‘soft ball’ stage with your sugar mix. These Fudge Squares are an easy, no-bake traybake where you mix a caramel syrup with crushed biscuits and top it all with chocolate. Yum!

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Mint Aero Traybake

Amazingly, my little blog is now over a year old!  Belated Birthday Greetings to the blog and a huge thank you to everyone out there who has liked, read, commented and (most importantly) baked this past year.  To celebrate, here’s another classic traybake – the Mint Aero Square/Slice/Traybake!

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Wonder Bites

This is another remarkably simple recipe.  Chopped nuts, cherries and coconut, covered in chocolate.  There is a little bit of coffee essence in the recipe, but to be honest, I didn’t notice a discernible coffee taste from these Wonder Bites.

Well, I say this is an easy recipe and it looks remarkably simple.  My baking went something like this…

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Snowballs

We had our first flurries of snow in the week before Thanksgiving this year. When I’m clearing several inches (hopefully not feet!) of snow off our driveway later in the winter, I shall try to remember the look of sheer joy on Little Miss Traybakes’ face when she saw the sprinkling of flakes outside.  It won’t make the snow shoveling any easier but I’m hoping it’ll make me smile!

It’s not the earliest I’ve ever seen snow over here and there certainly wasn’t enough to make even the smallest of snowballs, so I’ve been making snowballs in the kitchen instead.

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Mars Bar Traybake

I’ve never been a big fan of the Mars Bar.  I would never buy one in a shop.  Although if you offered me a mini Mars Bar, I probably would take it.   For some reason, I think they taste better than the full-sized bars.

But, the Mars Bar Traybake is a different story altogether!  Somehow, a melted Mars Bar, mixed with Rice Krispies (other puffed rice cereals are available) transforms it into a very yummy, crispy, chewy treat that is hard to refuse!

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S’mores Traybake

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about baking and traybakes and baking traybakes…and after a while, I began to think about making some ‘new’ traybakes (hey, the classics all had to start somewhere!)

Living in the US, we have been introduced to s’mores and they have been a firm favorite in our house ever since – especially with Little Miss Traybakes.  For anyone who doesn’t know what a s’more is, you sandwich a piece of chocolate and a toasted marshmallow between two graham crackers (which are more or less like digestives) and then attempt to eat it without getting too much sticky marshmallow all over your face and hands (or is that just Little Miss Traybakes?!)

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Malteser Squares

This isn’t a recipe I remember from my childhood, so whether it’s a more ‘modern’ traybake or just one that Mummy Traybakes didn’t make until I was older, I’m not sure.  However, I think it’s one that definitely deserves a place on my (rather long and expanding) list of favourite traybakes.

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