I made some cookies recently. Matt wanted brownies, again. I wanted to do something different, so I went with these. They have a cake like texture rather than being biscuity, so it seemed like a good compromise. They were tasty, and reminded me of my friend Bex’s ‘cakies’ – a cross between cookies and cakes. I personally still find the texture a bit weird, why not give it a try and make up your own mind?

Ingredients (to make about 20):

  • 60g butter
  • 175g plain chocolate
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • white chocolate chips (optional)

1. Melt chocolate and butter over a pan of hot water. Leave to cool slightly.

2. Mix flour, baking powder and salt

3. Beat eggs and sugar until pale (about 2 mins)

4. Reduce speed and add chocolate mix and vanilla

5. Add flour

6. Cover and refrigerate for between 1.5 hours and 2 days (I did 2 hours). Resist the awesome smell!

7. Put icing sugar in a shallow bowl and preheat over to 160c

8. Roll the dough into 4cm round balls and roll in sugar

9. Put on a lined tray and flatten with the back of a spoon

10. Bake for 12-15 minutes so centre is still soft

11. Cool on sheet for 5 mins and then on a rack

 

 

 

Yummy brownies - not many left by the time I remembered to take a photo!

Yummy brownies – not many left by the time I remembered to take a photo!

Everyone loves a chocolate brownie right? Here’s my recipe, totally stolen from Jane Short. They are excellent!

Ingredients:

  • 400g white toblerone (or white chocolate)e 
  • 350g plain chocolate
  • 250g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3tbsp black coffee
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g self raising flour

1. Melt chocolate and butter over a pan of hot water. Last time I made these I also added some rum (we bought it, its not very nice to drink, seemed like a good way to get rid of some. They turned out to be the best ones I’ve done so I might try that again next time.)

2. Roughly chop the toblerone. I find 4 bits per large triangle works well.

3. Whisk eggs and sugar  together. Add in the coffee and vanilla.

4. Add melted chocolate mix to the eggs and mix.

5. Stir in flour and then add in toblerone.

6. Pour into a greased and lined tray

7. Bake at 180 degrees. – unhelpfully i didnt write down how long – I check after 30 mins and go from there

Yummy! 🙂

09. June 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: Cooking · Tags:
Epic 4 layer birthday cake

Epic 4 layer birthday cake

I work in a newish team at work. With my birthday recently I confirmed that the ‘tradition’ will be to bring in cakes on your own birthday, like we did in the UK. (I have a vague suspicion this might change next time it’s someone else’s birthday!) Having recently produced a pretty sub-standard chocolate honeycomb tart for a work do (everything that could go wrong, did go wrong), I figured I needed to make something good.

Chocolate is always a popular choice, and eating it in cake form helps me get over my Dairy Milk withdrawal symptoms. So after a quick internet search I found this epic recipe from BBC Good Food. Its a four layer cake with vanilla, caramel, caramel chocolate and chocolate. I remember someone made one at my work in the UK once and it was seriously impressive then.

The cake pre-icing

The cake pre-icing

I’ll not repeat the recipe here. It turned out very well and I didn’t change a thing. The cakes rose evenly to there was no need to chop any off to make them stack up. I did two lots of two as I only had two of the same cake tin, so make sure you allow a fair bit of time for making it in two batches.

My other tip is that the cake was very high. The 4 layers stacked up without any icing or filling didn’t fit in my cake tin. Make sure you have a giant one if you need to transport it anywhere  I ended up cutting it in half and tipping it on its side, which luckily held up OK.

I got 10/10 from work – woo. It was seriously good, pretty indulgent. The final cake weights a good couple of kg’s so will easily make at least 16 slices I reckon.

Yum yum yum! 🙂

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

 

16. May 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: Cooking · Tags:
Something with this much chocolate and butter can only taste good!

Something with this much chocolate and butter can only taste good!

I like chocolate brownies. Matt wanted some the other day, so here is a recipe!

Ingredients: 

  • 400g white toblerone (or white chocolate)
  • 350g plain chocolate
  • 250g butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 3 tbsp black coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g self raising flour

Method:

  1. Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water
  2. Roughly chop the toblerone (if you use a big one, 3-4 bits per large triangle seems to be a good size)
  3. Whisk eggs and sugar. Add the coffee and vanilla.
  4. Add melted chocolate and butter. Mix.
  5. Stri in the flour. Add the toblerone.
  6. Pour into a greased and lined backing tray
  7. Bake at 180 degrees. I didn’t write down how long for, but mine took about 35 mins! 16

Yum yum yum.

P.S. I forgot to take a brownie pic before eating them, oops!

23. April 2013 · 1 comment · Categories: Cooking · Tags:

After the success of the banana bread (here), I decided it was about time for another cake. I fancied some carrot cake, so decided to make that! Here’s the recipe (a new one to me):

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice (I used more as I like it)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I used more as I like it)
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup sultanas (or chopped walnuts)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs

For the icing:

  • 125g full fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar (not pictured)
  • Lime zest and juice

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan and line a 19cm square cake tin

Step 2: Sift flour, spice and cinnamon into a big bowl. Add the sugar, carrot and sultanas

carrot-cake-3

Step 3: Add oil and eggs. Mix. Wack it in the tin and bake for about 1 hour and 15 mins or until its done!

carrot-cake-1

Step 4: Cool the cake. Whisk cream cheese and lime zest, plus a squeeze or more of juice (up to you, more juice = more sugar later). Gradually beat in icing sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add more sugar if its too runny, or more lime if too thick. Once cake is cool spread over the top and enjoy.

Verdict = Yum yum yum 🙂

carrotcakedone

Modifications / notes:

The recipe meant to be carrot and walnut cake, decorated with walnuts. I personally find nuts ruin the lovely soft taste of cakes (and chocolate). So, I swapped the nuts in the cake for sultanas and the walnuts on top for lime zest. Feel free to add the nuts back in, unless you are making the cake for me, in which case please don’t!

I once used not full fat cream cheese for icing in an attempt to be healthy. It was super runny, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

The icing sugar here is actually ‘icing sugar mix’. I don’t know why its different, it looks the same and has no list of ingredients  If your icing doesn’t work outside Australia don’t blame me!

Anyone else made anything yummy recently?

 

06. April 2013 · 2 comments · Categories: Cooking · Tags:

There are a couple of things you will find for breakfast in most good cafe’s and coffee shops around Sydney. One is a bacon and egg roll (very good, yay), and the other is the ‘healthy choice’ – banana bread.

I like making cakes and managed to recently re-acquire all the necessary equipment for making them! I thought I’d start off with something traditional, so went for banana bread. I like sultanas, but not really nuts, so I picked a recipe accordingly. Here it is:

Banana bread ingredients

Banana bread ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (300g) self raising flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon – I used more
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup (125g) sultanas  – I used more
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base and sides of a 23cm x 13cm loaf pan with non-stick baking paper. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in sugar and sultanas. (For the first time I used cups, not weight as I didn’t bring scales from the UK, they are expensive here and Ikea had some handy cups. I was a bit worried, but it came out OK!)

 

B-bread-3

 

Step 2: Combine eggs, milk and bananas in a large jug. Whisk with a fork, until well combined. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients, until well combined.

BBread1

Step 3: Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Step 4: Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve lightly buttered, or toasted.

I actually found the cake a lot lighter than the ones in the shops look. It was very moist, so didn’t need butter at all.

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

Right now we are winging our way over to Australia, stuck on a plane somewhere, totally confused about what time and day it is! I didn’t want to leave you dedicated followers without an update for a while.I like baking (and importantly I also like eating cake). So here is one about my recent Australia themed cake and how to make it.

Things you will need:

  • Ingredients and equipment for making a round cake of our choice
  • A large swiss roll
  • Icing sugar
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Black food colouring
  • 2 minstrels
  • White glitter sugar or dessicated coconut
  • Silver balls or a black icing pen
  • A big cake board or something similar

1. Bake a round cake of your choice. It can be one or two layers. I chose a chocolate cake. It was going to be two layers, but the new recipe didn’t make as much as I thought, and I had packed my small cake tins, so it ended up being a one layer.

 

My chocolate cake ingredients

My chocolate cake ingredients

2. Cool the cake.

3. Cut three slices of swiss roll. Two need to be the same height as your cake when put on their ends. The third can be a bit smaller. Lay them out on the cake roughly where you want them (see below). Then pop the middle one to one side.

*Rolf Harris voice* “Can you tell what it is yet?”

Cut and arrange the swiss roll

Cut and arrange the swiss roll

4. Use the icing sugar, butter and milk to make up a standard buttercream icing, depending on the size and number of layers in your cake – and of course how much you like icing! Add in some black food colouring, to make a light grey colour.

5. Set aside enough of the icing to cover the small bit of swiss roll.

6. Cover the cake and the two swiss roll bits in the grey icing, joining it all together. Finish it with a fork, to create a “furry” effect.

*Rolf Harris voice* “Can you tell what it is yet?”

 

Ice the cake with grey icing

Ice the cake with grey icing

 

7. Add more food colouring to the set aside icing, to make it black. Carefully cover the third piece of swiss roll in the black food colouring, making it nice and round. Pop it in the centre of the cake as shown. This is a nose!

Add the black nose

Add the black nose

*Rolf Harris voice* “Can you tell what it is yet?” It’s a koala!

8. Open the minstrels. Put two of them on the cake above the nose, to make the cute little koala eyes. I’m sure you can think of something to do with the rest of the packet!

Add the Minstrel eyes

Add the Minstrel eyes

9. Koalas are quite furry, so the next stage is adding them some fur. Sprinkle the white sugar glitter / desiccated coconut under the nose to make a beard and in the centre of the ears too.

Add the white and grey fur

Add the white and grey fur

10. Take some more glitter / coconut. Put it in a plastic bag and shake up with some black food colouring to make it grey. this is messy! Add this to the edges of the ears. Feel free to get creative and pop it other places on the head too.

11. Make a mouth – I used silver balls, but you could use a black icing pen too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Completed cake! Awww!

12. Admire and then get someone brave to cut open its head!

I made this cake as my leaving cake for work and again for our leaving party, and got very good feedback! I have to say I took inspiration from the internet, here