Saturday, October 20, 2018

Donna Hay: Modern Baking - Cookbook Review + Recipe

Modern Baking: Cakes, Cookies, and Everything in Between by Donna Hay

I've tried a number of Donna Hay's savory recipes and have always been pleased with the results.  I was surprised and very excited when I saw that she was coming out with a baking book and this is the baking book to end all baking books!  It's a behemoth at almost 400 beautifully illustrated pages and full of unusual recipes or twists on the basics.

Want a chocolate layer cake?  How about the Salted Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache?  Cinnamon rolls?  Try the Crème Fraiche Glazed Cinnamon Scrolls!  There's a Blueberry Thyme Tart and a Banana Bread that involves yogurt, coconut, and maple syrup.  Every recipe (and there are so many) sounds delicious and isn't something I've come across before which is surprising since I've gone through more than my share of baking books in my day!

There are 5 chapters - Chocolate, Caramel Toffee and Coffee, Sugar and Spice, Fruit and Berries, and Milk and Cream.  Each chapter consists of a mix of cakes, cookies, tarts, panna cottas and anything else you can think of!  While not all of the ingredients can be easily found in my pantry almost all are easy to find at a good grocery store or online.

Today I thought I'd share a recipe for Fudgy Brownie Muffins.  They are as just as rich and gooey as the name suggests!

Fudgy Brownie Muffins:

225g unsalted butter, chopped
200g dark chocolate, chopped
350g 70% dark chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
1 cup (220g) white sugar
1 cup (175g) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup (150g) plain (all purpose) flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C (350F).  Line 12 x 1/2 cup capacity (125ml) muffin tins with paper cases.  Place the butter, dark chocolate and 200g of the 70% dark chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until melted smooth.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place the eggs, both the sugars and the vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the flour, baking powder and the remaining 150g of the 70% dark chocolate and mix until well combined.

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until slightly fudgy when tested with a skewer.  Serve warm or allow to cool completely in the tins.

My Thoughts:  Oh these are delicious!  All rich fudgy brownie goodness that is almost too much to eat in one sitting.  I did use all 60% instead of 70% dark chocolate.  The texture was super fudgy though it did tend to come apart a little when removed from the liners.  This could be because the 60% has a little more moisture or it could be that I should have greased the muffin tins.  But since my preferred method for eating these treats is in a bowl topped with a little ice cream or whipped cream the coming apart wasn't an issue.  Using my standard (US at least) muffin tin I ended up with 16 instead of 12 and cooked them for 25 minutes instead of the 30 called for.

Overall Thoughts On This Book:  This is a decadent and unique baking cookbook.  While it isn't one I'd reach for all the time it will be a go to when I'm looking for a dessert or cake for a special dinner.

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


  1. Oh my god, that recipe sounds delicious!!!

  2. Oh my, dark chocolate and fudgey texture! I'm in... for the eating, not the baking. I do okay cooking but I seem to mess up every bake from scratch recipe I try :) This book looks like the perfect holiday gift for a baker friend or relative-- the size of it and the beautiful cover will make it irresistable!

  3. Uh oh .... I think I'm doomed. I love dark chocolate!

  4. Just looking at cake gets me hungry! I'd eat a lot of the recipes but I don't do baking! I wouldn't have a clue!

  5. You could gain weight just reading that scrumptious list of goodies! Making desserts is just too dangerous.

    best... mae at

  6. You made this cookbook sound good. It popped into my head that having such a library book during winter break would be fun as there'd be more time to bake with my dames.

  7. She does good books - but I'm not a baker - too much precision required! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  8. I don't usually like muffins but who can resist fudgy muffins? I love that it has a ton of photographs which is what I always look for in cookbooks. What's the point of creating a recipe if I don't know what it looks like?