Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cats White Rum Balls



I was farting around in the kitchen - as I do - making another batch of Cats Rum Balls, and I decided to make yet another batch and dick with the recipe.
OMG they are so yum!

Cat's White Rum Balls
Ingredients
200g White Chocolate, chopped fine
30g Butter
1/4 cup cooking Cream
200g Arnotts Milk Coffee Biscuits (put through food processor until fine crumb)
 3 tablespoons dark Rum

Method
Place cream and butter into a small saucepan and stir over low heat until it comes to a boil.
Pour mixture over chocolate (I use a glass bowl for all chocolate work).
Whisk until smooth then add rum. Whisk in.
Stir in biscuit crumbs until well mixed.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Remove mix from fridge and roll into small balls (placing on greasproof paper lined tray). Refrigerate again until cold.
Using a skewer, dip balls in melted white chocolate and return to tray.
Place in fridge to set.

Notes:
For further decoration, melt dark chocolate and put into a ziploc bag, snip off corner and pipe zig zags onto the balls whilst on tray, returning to fridge to set.
Rum balls can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Photo update

I have had a busy 24 hrs!
Mini dark and white chocolate cupcakes. They were supposed to look like plum puddings, but it didn't really work out on the mini cupcake size, oOps. They were for Kindy end of year party, so it didn't matter.
This is what Plum Liqueur looks like (well, at the start). I have no idea how big the jar is, but you are looking at 3kg of plums, nearly a whole bottle of vodka, 2 cups of brandy and a heap of sugar!
Edited to add - I managed to get 4 wine bottles worth of liqueur out of this batch. 
It tastes yummy! Very plum jammy :)

I decided to go the plum jam instead of making the plum schnapps in addition to the liqueur. This is it at the start of the reduction - 100% plums.
And, of course I have been making chocolates! Here we have Salted Peanut Cream center chocolates, Honey Caramel center chocolates, Nutella center chocolates (I was getting lazy by then), and the ones to the right hand side are all rum balls! The chocolate dipped ones are Cats rum balls (yup, my recipe) and the coconut ones are all that is left of the super easy rum balls - all recipes a few posts back.
Edited to add - my Plum and Port jam is delicious!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dear gods

Dear gods, 2 buckets of ripe plums arrived today.
Better get my butt off to the bottle shop and get some vodka and brandy (and rum for other stuff)!

Fudges are on my hit list!

Ingredients
675g Caster Sugar
500ml Double Cream
50g Butter
1 Handful of White Chocolate
1tsp of Glucose syrup
1 Vanilla Pod - optional

Method
1. Put ALL ingredients except the White Chocolate into a good heavy saucepan! For the Vanilla pod, lay it flat on Chopping board, and run a sharp knife down the center of the Pod, split the pod in two and scrape out the hundreds of moist dense seeds from each half, add to the mixture! Grease and Line a baking tin ready to pour fudge in once cooled!)
2. Place saucepan on a VERY VERY low heat for the beginning stage! ( You want to dissolve all the sugar crystals before it comes to the boil! Look for a smooth liquid texture without any Graininess at all!)
3. Once sugar is dissolved, and you have a beautiful buttery, creamy golden sugar syrup, Increase the heat until it comes to Rapid Boil! (Keep stirring constantly or that cream in there will burn at the bottom of your pan and ruin your beautiful Fudge!)

Continue to boil and stir for 15-18 minutes!

4.'Soft Ball stage' (Beautiful Golden Thick Honey colour). It will be approximately between 112-115°C. Check its all reduced, a Deep Golden color, Thick yet smooth like Set Honey! ?
22 minutes.

5. Remove Fudge from heat once you feel you got the Beautiful Golden Thick Honey Syrup and put to one side!

6.You'll need a Cake/Pastry Mixer or you can do this by hand with whisk and bowl! Pour Fudge into Mixer or bowl and begin to beat! (people simply pour the fudge into tray and cool once cooked! This is WRONG! You need to cool the fudge slowly all the while beating it to give it that wonderful Smooth yet Crystaline texture!)

7. Cooling/Beating should take at least 10-15 min, all the while you'll see your fudge come into life as it begins to cool! About 5 minutes into the Cooling process..add the handful of White Chocolate while the fudge is hot enough to incorporate but not TOO hot to burn the Chocolate! (White Chocolate is very delicate and subtle!)

8. Now it should be getting quite cool by now before it starts completely setting, Spoon/Spatula the fudge mixture into your pre greaseproofed tin and smooth out so the mix lies flat (or you can always experiment with bread tins etc for different shapes :-)

9. Leave to cool out of the sunlight for at least 4-6 hours, (its best 36hrs after and lasts for 5-7 days after making!)

Mohan Thal (gram flour fudge)
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups Gram flour (Besan) aka Chickpea flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon warm milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seed powder
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Special Equipment:
  • Candy Thermometer
Method:
  1. Melt the butter and mix with gram flour by rubbing between both palms. Texture will become like a lightly rough powder. Keep aside for at least fifteen minutes.
  2. Add the milk. Milk should be warm, and rub the mixture again between your both palms.
  3. Next put the cream and milk powder in a frying pan and cook on medium heat. String continuously until mixture comes together and looks like soft dough. Remove from heat and keep aside.
  4. Mix the milk dough with gram flour mixture togather and stir fry on medium heat until it becomes light  brown in color and start giving off a sweet aroma. Tips: stir fry continuously making sure it stays powdery.
  5. Let it cool and add cardamom powder mix it well.
  6. In a saucepan, boil the sugar and water together on medium heat until syrup is 2 threads or 225 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  7. Mix the syrup with flour mixture mix well and pour on a 8 inch greased plate. Do this quickly before syrup cools down.
  8. Mohanthal should be about ½ inch thick and shape it into a square shape on the plate. While it is still hot spread the sliced almonds evenly over the top to garnish.
  9. Cut the mohanthal into 1-inch square shapes while it is still warm.
  10. Serve at room temperature. At room temperature mohanthal can be kept for 2 weeks or refrigerate for a month.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Plums


I am getting given a crap load of ripe sweet plums this coming monday.
Sooooooo, I am going to have a bash at making a plum liqueur! I wish they were Ume plums as I love Umeshi, but it is not to be...
Putting recipes here for prosperity ... I will update if I make any alterations to the recipe.

If I have enough, I will do both of these recipes.... C did say he has an awful lot of plums this year...


Plum Schnapps
Use sweet and fully ripe plums.
The plums must be fresh, firm, unwrinkled, smooth-skinned with no blemishes or soft spots.
You can make the schnapps in different ways.
You can use either the whole fruits, the whole fruits with small holes in them, or the whole fruits cut into halves - with or without the pits.
Using different methods, you get different results. It's a matter of taste which method you may want to use.
Personally I prefer the method with whole plums with small holes in them - I use a thick needle to pierce the skin to the pit.
You can use frozen plums. Just remember to defrost them in the vodka.
Direction:
  • Put 10-15 plums in a clean glass jar with tight-fitting lid.
  • Cover well with clear, unflavoured vodka - 40% alcohol content (80 proof).
  • Let steep for 3-6 months or more in a dark place at room temperature, 18-20°C.
  • Shake lightly and taste it from time to time.
  • Strain and filter your infusion into a clean glass bottle or jar with tight-fitting lid.
  • Store (age) for at least 2 months in a dark place at room temperature before serving.
Note:
If it comes out too strong, use the same base alcohol that you made it with (ie vodka) to dilute.
Serve your plum schnapps at room temperature.
Remember to keep your schnapps bottle tightly closed and in a dark place before and between servings.

Plum Liqueur
Ingredients 
1 kilogram plums
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups vodka
1/2 cup brandy

Method
1. Wash plums and pat dry, cut in half or smaller, and pit. Place in an aging container, pour sugar over, and stir. Add vodka and brandy, stirring to partly dissolve sugar. Cap container and place in a cool, dark place for 2 months, stir occasionally.
2. Place a strainer over a large bowl and strain liqueur. Press the liquid from the plums with the back of a wooden spoon, and discard plum pulp. Re-strain liqueur through cloth until clear, and bottle as desired.
3. Plum liqueur is ready for drinking or cooking, however for best results, age for another month


And, just in case I get a total tonne of plums....
Plum Wine
 1 kilo plums
600 grams sugar
1.9 litres water (boiling)
1 teaspoon citric acid
Wine yeast

Wash and cut up the fruit and place in a fermentation bucket. Pour over the boiling water and cover bucket and leave for four days. Stir twice daily and then strain on to the sugar, stirring vigorously until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the yeast and cover. Stir regularly for five days and then pour into fermentation bottle, fit airlock and leave to finish fermenting.

When fermentation has ceased, rack the wine into a clean jar and place in a cooler environment and leave for a further few months. Rack again if necessary and leave until the wine is stable and then bottle. This wine can take up to 12 months to mature.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BALLS!






Chocolate Christmas Pudding  Balls
Ingredients
700g plum pudding
250g dark eating chocolate, melted
½ cup (125ml) brandy
½ cup (80g) icing sugar
200g white chocolate Melts
glacé cherries, cut to resemble berries and leaves

Method
  1. Crumble pudding into large bowl. Stir in melted chocolate, brandy and sifted icing sugar; mix well.
  2. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls, place on tray; cover, refrigerate until firm.
  3. Melt white chocolate in small heatproof bowl over small saucepan of simmering water. Cool chocolate 10 minutes. Drizzle over puddings to form "custard"; decorate with cherries.
Notes
This recipe can be made two weeks ahead.
Use either bought or left over homemade pudding.
Rum Balls
Ingredients
250g Nice biscuits
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
395g can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence)
4 tablespoons rum

Method
  1. Put biscuits and cocoa in blender until fine. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 mins, then roll into balls.
  4. Coat in coconut or chocolate sprinkles.

Super Easy Rum Balls
Ingredients
8 weetbix
1/2 cup coconut
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tin condensed milk
Rum - 5 or 6 tablespoons (use less if using a dark rum)
Coconut for rolling

Method
Crumble the weetbix by hand. Soak the weetbix in rum, add the condensed milk and everything else... mix well until all combined. Shape into small balls, roll in coconut and store in the fridge.

Cat's Rum Balls
I've just done this one (13 Dec), and yum! I basically took someone elses recipe and dicked with it :)


Ingredients
200g Milk Chocolate, chopped fine
30g Butter
1/4 cup cooking Cream
200g Chocolate Ripple Biscuits (put through food processor until fine crumb)
4 tablespoons white Rum

Method
Place cream and butter into a small saucepan and stir over low heat until it comes to a boil.
Pour mixture over chocolate (I use a glass bowl for all chocolate work).
Whisk until smooth then add rum. Whisk in.
Stir in biscuit crumbs until well mixed.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Remove mix from fridge and roll into small balls (placing on greasproof paper lined tray). Refrigerate again until cold.
Using a skewer, dip balls in melted dark chocolate and return to tray.
Place in fridge to set.

Notes:
For further decoration, melt white chocolate and put into a ziploc bag, snip off corner and pipe zig zags onto the balls whilst on tray, returning to fridge to set.
Rum balls can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.

Peanut Butter Cups



Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Ingredients
1.5 cups dark chocolate, chopped (or dark chocolate chips)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter - here I used 1/2 cup of salted peanuts that I put in wizz with a tablespoon of oil
1/2 cup icing sugar
generous pinch salt - I left this out because I used salted peanuts.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method
1. Set 2-dozen mini muffin/bonbon wrappers on a baking sheet.
2. Melt approximately half of the dark chocolate, using a microwave-safe bowl and cooking it in short (30 second) intervals, stirring frequently, until smooth. Use a spoon to pour a little chocolate into each muffin wrapper.
3. Use a small, very clean brush to paint the chocolate up the sides of each wrapper. Alternatively, you could add extra chocolate and swirl it around, pouring out the excess later, to coat the inside of the wrapper.
4. Chill candy shells until set, about 20-30 minutes.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter(s), confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla. When the mixture has come together, heat it in the microwave (again in short intervals, stirring frequently), until it is very, very soft.
6. Working carefully with the hot filling, transfer it to a piping bag (or plastic bag with the tip cut off) and pipe a generous amount of the filling into each prepared candy cup. Chill again for approx 30 minutes, or until set.
7. Melt all remaining chocolate and, when the candy fillings have set, fill each muffin wrapper up with chocolate.
8. Chill until set.
9. Serve cold or at room temperature.

nb: Makes approximately 2 dozen.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mars Bar Christmas Crackles

I keep seeing all these yummy things I want to make! My pantry and fridge are seriously understocked atm!

from Kidspot Kitchen

Mars Bar Christmas Crackles

Ingredients 

200g Mars Bars, chopped
2 tbsp of thin cream
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
3 cups Rice Bubbles
Canola spray
100g white chocolate
24 red Smarties or M&M's

Method

  1. Spray a little canola spray into 2 x 12 cup mini-muffin trays.
  2. Melt the Mars Bars, cream and cocoa in a glass bowl over simmering water. The bowl should not touch water. Stir the mixture until smooth.
  3. Put the Rice Bubbles in a separate large bowl, pour in the chocolate mixture and stir until well mixed.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the muffins tray and press down gently.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours and turn out onto a tray to decorate.
  6. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave checking and stirring it at 30 second intervals. Pour it into a piping bag while warm and snip the tip off.
  7. Turn the crackles upside down and pipe the chocolate on. Finish with a red Smartie/m&m on top of each one.
EDITED TO ADD:
I made these today (7 Dec) and I have 2 comments
1) Sticky little suckers and very sweet.
2) Make sure that you ACTUALLY have white chocolate in the house, don't just assume that you do! Gah!

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

    Makes 7.
    1 x tablespoon = 20ml and 1 cup = 250g

    Ingredients

    110g dark chocolate
    70g milk chocolate
    120g butter (if using unsalted butter, add 1/8 teaspoon fine table salt with the butter)
    100ml (5 tablespoons) water
    2 teaspoons (10ml) whisky
    1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules/powder
    75g (1/3 cup) sugar
    1 large egg (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
    80g (1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons) plain flour
    20g (1 1/2 tablespoons) self-raising flour

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (fan-forced). Line a patty tin with seven patty cases that measure 5cm across the base.
    2. Place dark and milk chocolate, butter, water, whisky, coffee, and sugar in a large saucepan.

    3. Stir over very low heat until chocolate and butter have just melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
    4. When mixture has cooled, stir in egg. Gradually stir in flours.
    5. Divide mixture evenly between cases.

    6. Bake for about 25 minutes. A skewer or knife inserted into the centre of a cake should come out clean.
    7. Allow cakes to cool in tin.


    Milk Chocolate Ganache
    100g milk chocolate
    2 tablespoons (40ml) thickened cream (35 percent fat)

    Place chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring frequently. When chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Spread ganache over cooled cupcakes.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Caramel Popcorn Balls

    Recipe stolen from a parents forum


    Caramel Popcorn balls

    2 tablespoons oil
    1/2 cup popping corn

    3/4 cups castor sugar
    80g unsalted butter (I use salted)
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons cream

    Pop the corn using the oil, as per instructions on packet. Let cool in a large bowl.

    Put the sugar, butter, honey and cream in a small saucepan.
    Stir over medium heat, without boiling, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
    If I find the mixture is getting too hot, I take it off the heat and continue stirring.
    Once dissolved, DO NOT STIR, bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes, (possibly longer).

    Notes from author: I always double the recipe, (using a medium saucepan) and the caramel needs to cook for longer...about 8-10 minutes? Cook until it is thick and creamy brown.

    Let caramel sit for 1 minute, then pour over popcorn and mix with a wooden spoon.
    Rub a little oil on your hands and take spoonfuls of the mixture and mould into a ball.

    If you choose to use sticks you will need to squeeze some popcorn mixture quite firmly on to the stick and then add more, molding it into a ball as you go IYKWIM?
    Recipe is meant to make 50 small balls, or 10 large ones.

    Get the caramel to the right consistency and I promise you these will be a hit!
    As long as its thick and creamy brown, they will be perfect. Like Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs!

    Best made the day before.

    NB: Make size of a tennis ball and put on a stick and wrap in cellophane for great presentation.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    Recipe Pinching ....

    Came across these on a Facebook group - so posting here for storage until I get around to making them.
    I did have a kick ass home made Baileys recipe ... but I lost it around 15 years ago ~waaah~

    Home Made Baileys
    Ingredients
    400g tin of sweetened condensed milk
    250ml single cream (use a 'long life' cream not 'fresh' cream ..you'll find them on the shelves in supermarkets as they don't require refrigeration)
    250ml of whiskey (pref.Irish but not a must)
    1 tsp of instant coffee granules
    2 tbsp dark chocolate syrup/sauce
    2 level tsps of caramel flavoured 'coffee syrup' (used to flavour coffee)
    1 little packet of real Bourbon Vanilla Sugar

    Method
    1. Sprinkle the vanilla sugar into the whiskey and allow it to dissolve before continuing.
    2. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend using the pulse setting on your machine. Don't blend too much otherwise you'll end up with whipped cream. Don't worry if you think it looks too thin...it will thicken up slightly once its been in the fridge.
    3. Pour the finished cream into a sterilized bottle, seal and store in the fridge. Shake before use. It will keep for up to four weeks (unopened) but the flavour will change over time and i prefer to use it within the first 1-2 weeks of making it.

    Home Made Irish Cream
    Ingredients
    200gm Milk chocolate
    750ml (2 tins) evapourated milk
    1 tbs instant coffee
    750ml scotch wisky
    400gm Sweetened condensed milk
    300ml thin cream
    3 tsp boiling water

    Method
    Melt chocolate. Gradually add condensed milk, whisking briskly as mixture thickens. Continue whisking until completely blended. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, gradually add evapourated milk. Whisk until smooth. Add cream, coffe (dissolved in water) and scotch whiskey. Mix well, then pour into steralised bottles. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months.
    **I have never had any luck adding cream to melted chocolate. I find it easier to pour heated cream over shaved chocolate and whisking until smooth.

    Corn and Chilli Relish
    Ingredients
    500g corn kernals, cut from 4-5 cobs (ensure use cobs as alot fresher
    2 red chilies, deseeded if like and chopped
    115g deseeded chopped red pepper
    115g celery chopped
    115g red onion chopped
    175g granulated white sugar
    1 large lemon freshly squeezed
    300ml white wine vinegar
    1tsp mustard powder
    1/2 tsp celery seed
    2tbs salt

    Method
    Put all ingredients except salt in a large preserving pan, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring occassionally, until the sugar has dissolved
    Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20mins until the relish has thickened slightly. Test that it has achieved the right consistency: the relish is ready when there is still a little loosed liquid in the pan. As it is a chunky relish, it will be a little wetter than chutney.
    Add the salt and stir the chutney until the salt has dissolved.
    Pot the relish into hot sterilised jars, cover with vinegar proof seals and label.

    Keeps for 6-9 months
    Great with hotdogs, burgers, grilled chicken and fish

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Christmas Jars

    Okay, I am being super organised and have started making gifts in jars.

    I have done half of the Christmas eve ones (the brownies in jars - see recipe a few posts back)), and I have done up some gift jars for my eldests kindy besties.

    I still have to print out the instructions for the jars. Am planning on doing them onto a gold (gold gold, not yellow) star so it will probably be on a white circle, lol.
    
    Brownies - Not *too* different from the inspiration
    
    Xmas Eve place setting gifts - Luckily I found some gold satin
    and some burgundy and red ribbons with gold stars on
    them laying around the house.
    
    Kindy Kids gift jars - red, green and white Jelly beans or red, green and white M&Ms. The Green and white M&Ms are choc mint. The red M&Ms are actually Jaffas.


    

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Peanuttiest Blondies

    Okay, right now I am attempting to make this (it is in oven atm)



    Ingredients
    1 cup plain Flour
    1/2 tsp Baking Powder
    1/2 tsp Cinnamon
    1/4 tsp Baking Soda
    1/4 tsp Salt
    1/2 cup Peanut Butter ; Crunch or creamy - not natural
    5 tbsp Unsalted Butter 
    3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
    3/4 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
    2 Large Eggs
    1/2 tsp Vanilla
    1 cup Chopped Salted Peanuts
    170g Semi-sweet or Premium Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips

    Method
    Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180 C (160C fan forced).
    Line a 9-inch square pan with baking paper.

    * Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    * Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter together on medium speed until smooth.
    * Add both sugars and beat for 1-2 minutes until well incorporated into the butter.
    * Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each goes in. Beat in vanilla extract.
    * Reduce the mixer to low and add in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough; the dough will be thick.
    * Add the peanuts and chocolate and give the mixer a few turns to stir them into he dough. If the chunky ingredients are mixed in after a few seconds, just finish the job with a sturdy spatula-don't over mix the dough. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan.
    * Bake blondies for 40-50 minutes, or until they turn a deep honey brown and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
    * When its completely cool, carefully lift the blondies our of the pan using the foil edges as handles, and turn them out onto the rack. Peal away the paper and invert onto a cutting board. Use a long knife to cut into 16 bars, each roughly 2 1/4 inches on a side.

    The Verdict

    OMG, the flavour profile is just delicious! Unfortunately, I did stuff up a couple of the process steps (being distracted by a 5yr old that desperately wanted to put everything into the bowl at once). I also left it in the oven a bit too long. I had it in for 40 minutes (as per recipe), but I think it can go down to 30 minutes.
    But, it still tasted delicious! And it looked okay, though nowehere near as good as in the photo above from where I got the recipe. Mine looked like this


    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Xmas Eve place settings - Gifts in Jars

    Okay, I was going to do the cocoa in a jar and the christmas cookie in a jar for alternate place settings, but I went hunting for a recipe for someone and have decided that this would look nicer :)


    Soooooooooo, (from HERE)
     
    Brownies in a Jar

    Ingredients:

    1 litre sized jar
    2⁄3 tsp salt
    1 1⁄8 cup flour, divided
    1⁄3 cup cocoa powder
    2⁄3 cup brown sugar
    2⁄3 cup white sugar
    1⁄2 cup chocolate chips
    1⁄2 cup white chocolate chips
    1⁄2 cup walnuts or pecans

    To assemble the Brownie Jars:

    Wash, rinse and dry canning jars then layer ingredients as follows:
    2/3 tsp salt

    5/8 cup flour

    1/3 cup cocoa powder

    1/2 cup flour
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup white sugar

    1/2 cup chocolate chips

    1/2 cup white chocolate chips

    1/2 cup walnuts

    Make sure you also print out a set of cooking instructions for your recipient.

    Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a baking pan. Pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl and mix well.
    Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil and 3 eggs. Beat until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

    Christmas Cookies in a Jar  (from HERE)

    Ingredients:

    1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup cooking oats
    3/4 cup M&Ms
    3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/4 cup chopped pecans

    To assemble the Cookie Jars:

    Start with a 1 quart smooth, glass, canning jar. Layer the ingredients in this order:
    1. Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (stir these all up before pouring in the jar so they are well distributed)
    2. Oats
    3. M&Ms
    4. Chocolate chips
    5. Brown sugar
    6. White sugar
    7. Chopped pecans
    Pack each level down *really* tightly or else it won't all fit. You can get the most packing power after the oats layer and the brown sugar layer. I used that top piece from the lid of my food processor (the thing you use to push veggies in through the hole in the lid) to really jam it all down.

    Add the chopped pecans last, because depending on how well you pack the layers, you can add more or less pecans to adjust. As Bakerella notes, better to sacrifice nuts than chocolate. But also, for practical reasons, it helps keep the white sugar from spilling out all over the place when the recipient opens the jar.

    The ingredients will be flush to the top of the lid when you seal it up. To decorate the top of the jars, wrap 16 inches of decorative wire tinsel around the top. Print the Preparation instructions on little cards made from wrapping paper, and punch a hole in the corner so you can attach it to the tinsel.

    Print off instructions as the gift tag
    1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced).
    2. Stir all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
    3. Add 1 slightly beaten egg, 1/2 cup melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
    4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients thoroughly.
    5. Roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
    6. Enjoy while warm and gooey!

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Gifts in a Jar

    Okay, I am starting to get a bit obsessed by this concept!
    Scarily, I am also getting a bit obsessed by the soon arrival of Xmas!

    So, have been trawling the net and am going to link up here (mainly so I don't lose it) some of the creative ideas I have found and completely want to rip off ;)

    Super-Chunky Christmas Cookies In A Jar

    Christmas Cookie Packaging


    Classic Cocoa Mix in a Jar

    8 Different Gifts in Jars

    OMG, there are just so many talented people on the internet!
    Littel teacups

    Hamburger Cake

    Enchanted Kitchen - Christmas

    Bakerella

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Cupcakes in a jar

    OMG these looks so good!


    ^ Photo stolen from the link below. Go visit it for the recipe and the divine!

    http://mycakies.blogspot.com/2010/03/diy-cupcake-in-jar.html


    OMG, just found some other base cake ones...
    Poppyseed Cake in a jar

    Pumpkin Spice Cake in a jar

    Chocolate Cake in a jar

    Pie in a jar

    Mudslide pie in a jar

    Not Martha Pie in a jar

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Vegetable Cakes

    Chocolate & Zucchini Cake

    Ingredients
    240 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
    60 grams (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    180 grams (1 scant cup) light brown sugar (I use unrefined cane sugar)
    115 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, or 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or 2 tablespoons strong cooled coffee -- this is just to deepen the chocolate flavor, you won't taste it in the finished product
    3 large eggs
    350 grams (2 cups) unpeeled grated zucchini, from about 1 1/2 medium zucchini
    160 grams (1 cup) good-quality bittersweet chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
    Confectioner's sugar (optional)

    Method
    * Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a 25-cm (10-inch) round springform pan or a 22-cm (8 1/2-inch) square pan.
    * In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
    * In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand in a large mixing bowl), beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla, coffee, and eggs, mixing well between each addition.
    * In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, chocolate chips, and about a third of the flour mixture, making sure the zucchini strands are well coated and not clumping too much.
    * Add the rest of the flour mixture into the egg batter. Mix until just combined; the batter will be thick.
    * Fold the zucchini mixture into the batter, and blend with a spatula without overmixing. Pour into the prepared cake pan, and level the surface.
    * Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer onto a rack to cool for 10 minutes, run a knife around the pan to loosen, and unclasp the sides of the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar or a chocolate glaze if desired.

    Butternut Pumpkin Swiss Roll Cake
    nb: I plan to make this as just a cake, and not do the roll thing.

    Ingredients
    3 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    2/3 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
    3/4 cup flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 cup finely chopped walnuts
    confectioners' sugar

    Filling
    1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
    2 tablespoons butter, softened
    1 cup confectioners' sugar
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    confectioners' sugar (optional)

    Method
    * In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs; gradually beat in sugar.
    * Add squash and mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon; add to squash mixture and mix well. 
    * Line a 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan with waxed paper; grease and flour the paper. Spread batter evenly into pan. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 375 for 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
    * Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel, jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on wire rack.
    * In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Unroll cake; spread filling evenly over cake within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Just before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.


    Sweet Potato Cake

    Ingredients
    2.25 cups flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    500g sweet potatoes, mashed or grated.
    1 cup sugar

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    3 eggs
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 cup water

    Frosting
    3/4 cup white chocolate chips
    1.5 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
    1/3 cup sour cream
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    3 -4 cups powdered sugar

    Method
    * Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans. 

    * Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in small bowl. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add oil; beat until well blended. Stir in morsels, pecans and water. Stir in flour mixture; mix until blened. Pour into prepared pans. 
    * Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; invert onto wire racks to cool completely. 
    Frosting
    * Microwave chips and butter in small, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) for 1 minute; stir. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15 second intervals, stirring just until melted. Cool to room temperature.
    * Beat cream cheese and sour cream into morsel mixture until creamy. Add vanilla extract and almond extract. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until mixture reaches spreading consistency. 
    * Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    More Chocolates

    So, I finally had some time to make some chocolate!
    I made Goji Berry Chocolate, Cacao Nib Chocolate, Chilli Chocolate and Chocolate Truffles.
    The first 3 I used the recipe in previous post. For Goji I added a handful, same with the nibs, with the chilli I added a dash of Cayenne. Exterior they all looked the same, so I only took photos of the Cayenne Chocolates, which looked like this below...
    
    I also had a bash at making truffles for the first time. Firstly, you make the plain raw chocolate mix and let it set.

    Chocolate Truffles
    225g Dark Chocolate, chopped
    110g Thickened Cream
    30g Cacao Butter

    Method
    * Put chocolate into a glass (heat tempered) bowl.
    * Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan until scalding (be careful not to burn it!).
    * Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and whisk until smooth.
    * Put the mix in the fridge to set for 2-3hrs.
    * Once set, use a teaspoon to scoop and hand form into balls (about an inch wide). Work fast as it will melt quickly. You will end up with chocolate covered hands regardless.
    * Roll the truffles in whatever coating you like. Above I have used shredded coconut, hundreds & thousands and cacao powder.
    NB: if you decide to dip them in melted chocolate for a harder coating, put them back into the fridge to harden back up befor dipping. Use a skewer to impale a ball, dip into melted chocolate, and place onto greasproof paper lined tray until set.
    You could even dip straight from melted chocolate into crushed nuts to make your own ferrero roche style truffle. Or you could set it in chocolate in the fridge and then drizzle melted chocolate over them. Whatever you can think of really!

    Further note: If you want to add any flavouring to the balls, ad it to the cream mix BEFORE you add it to the chocolate. Things like Cointreau, Kahlua, Brandy, Peppermint etc.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Raw Chocolate

    So, I did a choclate course today. And here are the recipes I learned, courtesy of ROAR SUPERFOODS - from whom I have bought all my ingredients.
    Goji Berry Chocolate is super yummy.
    Basic Chocolate (makes approximately 25 chocolates)

    Ingredients
    3 Tablespoons of Dark Agave Syrup
    80g Cacao Butter - chopped into small pieces. (I have one from wild harvested from Peru)
    55g Cacao Powder - sifted. (I have 2 types,from Peru and Equador)
    Method
    1.Bring 2cm depth water in a small saucepan to boil.
    2.Sit a glass jug/bowl on the saucepan (nb: water should not be touching the jug/bowl).
    3.Place cacao butter in the bowl and then turn the heat off. Allow to completely melt.
    4.Add agave syrup, mix WELL ro warm through.
    5.Mix in the cacao powder1/3 at a time, blend well - by hand.
    6.At this point, you would add in any ingredients that you wish to add to the chocolate ie nuts or dried fruit or spices.
    7.Remove the jug/bowl and wipe all the water/condensation from the exterior of the container.
    8.Carefully pour into chocolate molds and gently shake the molds to settle the chocolate.
    9.Place in freezer for approximately 30 minutes or in the fridge for one hour to set.
    10.When set, twist the mold to loosen the chocolate. remove from mold.
    nb: Will keep refrigerated for up to one month. Will melt at room temp.

    Mayan Chocolate Drink (makes approximately 4 serves)
    Ingredients
    1 cup raw organic Cacao Powder
    Cayenne pepper - to taste
    1/2-1 teaspoon raw Vanilla Powder
    4 tablespoons Dark Agave Syrup
    4 cups of warmed Almond Milk (recipe below)
    Cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste
    Method
    Mix all ingredients in the blender and serve.

    Almond Milk (makes 1 litre / 4 cups)
    Soak 3/4 cup of raw almonds overnight.
    Strain and rinse almonds.
    Blend almonds with 4 cups of filtered water.
    Put through a fine strainer or a nutmilk bag (cheesecloth).
    Store in the fridge (3 days max).

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Easiest Fruit Cake Ever

    Easiest Fruit Cake Ever! - and variations

    We made it this morning and it was yummy, but  bit like a plum pudding.

    Ingredients

    500g mixed fruit
    600 mls chocolate milk
    2 cups self raising flour
    1 cup of walnuts - optional

    Method
    1. Soak the mixed fruit in the chocolate milk overnight in the fridge
    2. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Line the bottom and sides of 25cm square tin with either baking paper or alfoil, with the lining coming over the sides by about 5cm. Spray the paper or alfoil with some cooking spray.
    3. Mix the flour and walnuts into the soaked fruit one cup at a time and mix in well after each addition. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and cook for 1½ to 2 hours. After 1½ hours insert a skewer or cake tester into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean your cake is ready to be taken from the oven.
    4. Leave the in cake tin until cooled and then put onto a wire rack to fully cool


    nb: If the cake is browning too much before it is cooked, cover with alfoil.
     
    Variations:
    500g mixed fruit
    410 can Apricot nectar
    1 1/2 cups SR Flour
     
    or
    500g mixed fruit
    600ml unsweetened Orange Juice 
    2 cups SR Flour
     
    or
    500g mixed fruit
    2 cups plain black coffee
    2 cups SR Flour

    or
    500g mixed fruit
    600ml Iced Coffee
    2 cups SR Flour


    ** You can add a generous dash of Brandy to any of these for the soaking process.
     
    *** Also, most recipes use 1kg of dried mixed fruit. We used only 375g and found that heaps of fruit. I have compromised and used 500g for the recipes above.
     
    **** You can add 1 cup of nuts to any of these recipes for a texture and taste variation. Do not soak the nuts.

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Ziploc Omlette?

    Just saw this ... another one that I am posting here to try out later on ....

    ZIPLOC OMELETTE 
    A fun one for those with Kiddies!


    * Have kids write their name on a quart-size Ziploc freezer bag with permanent marker.
    * Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into the bag (not more than 2) shake to combine them.
    * Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, onion, mushrooms, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc.
    * Each kid adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and shakes it. Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up.
    * Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes. You can usually cook 6-8 omelettes in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling water.
    * Open the bags and the omelette will roll out easily. Be prepared for everyone to be amazed.

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup

    I had no clue as to what to do for dinner last night, so I did a "this looks like it might be a good combo" deal and made my own Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup.

    Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup (serves 4-6)
    Ingredients
    1 can corn kernels (salt reduced)
    1 can creamed corn
    1 brown onion, diced
    1 spring onion, sliced - into rings
    2 OXO chicken stock cubes
    2 Chicken Breasts
    1 tablespoon Soy Sauce

    Method
    1. Dice brown onion and fry off until translucent. Then take off the heat.
    2. Cut chicken lengthways (horizontal) then vertically across the breast so that ou end up with thin stips of chicken.
    3. Put onions back on heat and add chicken to seal.
    4. Add creamed corn and corn kernels to saucepan.
    5. Boil kettle. Add a crumbled stock cube into each remaining can of corn. top up the can with boiled water and stir - ensuring stock cube is dissolved. Then add stock to saucepan.
    6. Add in soy sauce and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile slice spring onions.
    7. Taste. Add more soy if required, or salt and pepper to taste. Add in spring onions.

    Serve.

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    Bircher Muesli

    I have been on the hunt for a good version of Bircher Muesli for Diabetics ... Bah Bow.
    So, I have made my own (photo to follow when I CBA)

    Bircher Muesli
    100g rolled oats
    15g flax (linseed) seeds
    15g almonds (flakes/slivered)
    10g raisins
    1 wedge of lemon, juiced
    1 small apple, grated (Granny Smith)
    1/8 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 small tub of low fat natural yogurt

    The night before you plan to breakfast, soak the oats, flax seeds, almonds and raisins in just enough water (or Skim Milk) to cover.
    In the morning, mix the above with the lemon juice, apple and cinnamon. Then mix through yogurt.

    Thursday, April 29, 2010

    3 Salads and a Soup!

    Recently I was diagnosed with Syndrome X/Metabolic Syndrome - which is a combination of various illnesses, two of which are Diabetes Type II and NAFLD (Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease). So I will be shifting the focus of this blog onto more healthy food :(

    To start off .... here are 3 of my favourite salad recipes along with a low fat Beef and Veg Soup.
    I usually do these salads for parties, but they can also be made up and left in the fridge for a few days (undressed) and then dress as you use it ...
    You can add purple/red onion (?Spanish onion) to any of these. I am not a fan of raw onion, so I don't.

    Potato Salad (makes a huge salad)
    Approximately 1kg blue or red potatoes (never the yellowy ones - I usually use blue as they are lower GI)

    Cube up the potatoes into bite size and boil until just cooked (knife slides in easily but they aren't falling apart)
    1 can of corn.
    1 cup of peas (frozen ones then cooked till just done)
    A good handful of chopped parsley.
    (occasionally I will throw in 3 spring onions - sliced)
    When potatoes have cooled, add all ingredients together and mix gently.
    For the dressing I cheat and use Praise French dressing (the light one), or I make a vinaigrette (see below for recipe).
    NB: For the fatty version, Add in 6 rashes of bacon (that have been chopped and fried crispy first) and use Kraft Onion and chives potato salad dressing.


    Coleslaw/Cabbage Salad (makes a huge salad)
    1/2 red cabbage - sliced in processor and then soaked in water for a few minutes to get all the "blue" out otherwise it stains the rest of the salad and it looks manky)

    1/2 white cabbage - sliced in food processor
    4-5 good size carrots (grated in food processor)
    (NB: I do it all in the food processor as I like a fine - thin shred - looking salad - so I use the fine slice blade)


    Add all ingredients together and mix till even spread of veg.
    For the dressing I cheat and use Praise French dressing (the light one), or I make a vinaigrette - see below for recipe.
    **If we are eating the same day as making, I will grate a whole granny smith apple into the mix. Any longer and the apple looks kak.


    Beetroot Salad
    400g raw beetroot (peeled & quartered)
    100g carrot, roughly chopped
    1 small green apple, quartered
    2 tbsp fresh coriander or Italian parsley leaves (personal taste)
    2 tbsp olive oil
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    1 red onion (optional)


    Place roughly cut vegetables in food processor until evenly chopped. Scrape down sides and chop again for a couple of seconds until desired consistency (should end up looking like a fine coarse salad about risoni size pieces, but can be done chunkier if that's what you prefer)
    NB: If you accidentally process too much, or you have leftovers, add some raw cashews/almonds or light sour cream, process until finely ground, and use as a dip!


    Vinaigrette
    3 parts of Champagne Vinegar (or vinegar of your choice) to 1 part of olive oil (I only use Cobram Estate) and a good pinch of salt (I am a total wanker, so I use Himalayan Rock Salt from the grinder)


    -------------------
    Okay, the Soup recipe makes an absolute truckload. I am not very good at making small quantity stuff. When I make this, we eat it for dinner one night, then for lunches for the next few days. I also give some to my mum. You will need a big stock pot to make this all in. Time to make? 1/2hr prep, 1-2hrs cooking (I cook this long to get meat soft)

    Beef and Vegetable Soup
    3 Carrots
    1 Swede
    1 Turnip
    1 Parsnip
    3 stalks Celery
    2 Brown Onions
    1/2 small green Cabbage
    1 kg of chuck Beef (casserole Beef) - fat trimmed off
    1 cup Pearl Barley (optional)- soak in water for 1/2hr before adding
    Beef Stock - about 2ltrs
    Vegetable Stock (I use Vegeta) - about 2 ltrs
    1 Tablespoon Oil
    Salt
    Paprika
    NB: This soup can freeze quite well, but I would tend to use it within 4 weeks.

    * Whack the onions through your food processor (slice disc) and fry off with the oil at bottom of stock pot - until translucent. Then add 2 ltres of beef stock.
    * Process the rest of the vegetables with the large size grating disc (Cabbage on slice disc). You can do this by hand, but what a PITA that would be! Alternately, if you like a more rustic look, you can use the chopping blades, or cube it all by hand (PITA).
    * Put all the veg into the stock pot and add 2ltres of vegie stock.
    * Cube the Beef into small bite sized portions and add direct to soup.
    * Check water level, you want everything covered by liquid. If not, cover with just water (you can taste test later on to get right flavour).
    * Drain off the Barley and add to the soup.
    * I will keep this on simmer for at least an hour to develop the flavours. When I check the taste, I will add in salt and paprika to my taste, so please do same for yourself.

    NB: You can omit the stock and use a packet of French Onion soup mix instead. 

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    Exclusively Food

    Just found a great cooking blog here

    http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Hazelnut and Chocolate Ganache Tart

    I am posting the recipe up now, before I have made it ... so I don't lose my train of thought (I am amalgamating a few recipes here)

    Hazelnut and Chocolate Ganache Tart

    Ingredients

    Tart Shell (See recipe below)
    Filling
    100g Hazelnuts (whole)
    230 grams bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream/thickened cream
    1 tablespoon alcohol (brandy, Grand Marnier, rum or bourbon) or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

    Method:
    Roasting Hazelnuts
    Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Bake the hazelnuts for 10 - 15 minutes or until the skins start to blister and the nuts are fragrant. Remove from oven and wrap the nuts in a clean towel and steam for 5 minutes. Rub the towel briskly to remove the skins. Let cool. Remove 1/2 to use as garnish.

    Filling
    Coarsely chopped the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl (preferrably pyrex). In a small saucepan bring the cream to a boil. Immediately, remove from heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Gently stir the mixture until smooth and then add the alcohol (or vanilla extract).

    Assembly
    Line base of tart shell with hazelnuts - sporadic, not packed in.
    Pour ganache filling into the base of the tart shell and allow to set for one hour (or until firm) in the fridge.
    After it has 'set', remove from the fridge and decorate with remainder hazelnuts.

    nb: best served at room temperature.

    Basic Tart Shell Recipe
    Makes two - 23 cm tart shells.

    Ingredients
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons granulated white sugar (skip for savory tarts)
    225 grams unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into small pieces
    1/2 cup of ice water
    Directions
    1.In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour water in a slow, steady stream until the dough just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
    2.Turn the dough out onto your work surface on parchment paper (you will need this later on) and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten each portion into a disk, cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. At this point you can also freeze the second dough for later use.
    3.Place the pastry back on the parchment paper and flatten with your hands. Cover with cling film and roll out the pastry to fit into your tart pan. With the parchment paper it is easy to turn the pastry round as you are rolling, it never sticks on the counter, no flour is required to be added and it is easy to flip into the tart pan.
    4.When you have inverted the dough in the tart pan, cut off any dough, which is in excess, prick bottom of dough (this will prevent the dough from puffing up as it bakes). Cover with the same cling film you used and refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the butter.


    For baking the tart shell
    1.Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and place rack in centre of oven. Line the unbaked pastry shell with the parchment paper you have already used and cover with beans or any other similar weight, making sure the beans are evenly distributed over the entire surface.
    2.Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is dry and lightly browned. Remove beans and cool crust on wire rack.
    Proceed with desired recipe that calls for a pre-baked shell.

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    Hot Cross Buns

    My first ever attempt!

    Ingredients

    4 cups plain flour
    2 x 8g sachets dried yeast
    1/4 cup caster sugar
    2 teaspoons mixed spice
    pinch of salt
    1.5 cups currants
    40g butter
    300ml milk
    2 eggs, lightly beaten

    Flour Paste
    1/2 cup plain flour
    4 to 5 tablespoons water
    Glaze
    1/3 cup water
    2 tablespoons caster sugar

    Method
    1.Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to currant mixture. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix until dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.

    2.Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

    3.Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Preheat oven to 190°C.

    4.Make flour paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.

    5.Make glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    NB:
    These buns can be frozen for up to 7 days once cooked.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    Cherry Cake

    not my picture
    I Love Cherries! So, having just come across this recipe ... I am posting it here for safe keeping till I can get around to making it :)
    I may try making it with black cherries soaked in brandy :)

    Cherry Cake

    To make it you need alcohol (brandy, coconut rum, amaretto, whatever you prefer) to soak the cherries in. Soak the cherries atleast a few days before you make the cake.

    Ingredients:
    Alcohol
    500g Cherries (pitted)
    200g Butter
    200g Sugar, caster sugar
    4 eggs (yolks and whites split)
    Rind of a lemon
    Pinch of Salt
    250g SR Flour
    2 tbsp milk
    Icing sugar to sprinkle

    Method:
    1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.

    2. Mix the butter, sugar and salt together til it looks creamy.

    3. Add the egg yolks, one at a time.

    4. Mix in the flour slowly, bit by bit, alternating with the milk.

    5. In a separate bowl, fluff the egg white til stiff peaks form. Fold that whiteness into the mixture! And don't be rough, ruffian!

    6. Pour half of the mixture into a well greased tin, then add a layer of cherries, and add the remaining mixture.

    7. Bake the sucker for 55 minutes or until golden.

    8. Once it's cooled, sprinkle the icing sugar on top and serve.