September 11, 2014

Pecan Slice (again)

Ahh, pecan slice, how you fill me with delicious joy!  I have posted about this before, but I made it again recently and I've edited the recipe a bit to make it easier to follow.  Enjoy!

Ingredients - crust
230g flour
60g brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
80g cold butter

Ingredients - pecan filling
185g brown sugar
230g corn syrup (2/3 cups)
100g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp table salt
2 eggs
4 cups pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).  Line a baking tin with baking paper (I use a 27 x 17.5cm tin).

2. Make the crust - add all the crust ingredients to a food processor and whizz until combined.  It should look like a powder.

3. Press the crust mixture into the baking tin.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden.

4. While the crust is baking, begin making the filling - start by melting the butter.

5. Whisk the sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract and salt together.  I do this by hand.

6. Add the eggs and mix them in.

7. Chop the pecans roughly and mix into the batter.  If you like, you can skip the chopping and leave them as halves.

8. Once the crust is done baking, pour the filling straight on top (make sure that the pecans are distributed evenly) and bake for another 30 minutes.  Cracks should have appeared on the surface and it should be golden brown.

9. Let the slice cool in the tin.  The filling will solidify more as it cools so it will be easier to cut and serve.

9. Cut the slice into squares or rectangles and enjoy!

September 6, 2014

Mocha Almond Cake

Hello all!  This moist cake topped with mocha icing looks great with some toasted almond slices on top, and tastes great too.  It was my first time using a ring pan for a cake and it's a good way to change things up a bit!

Recipe adapted from: The Australian Women's Weekly Cakes & Slices Cookbook
Ingredients - cake
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
1/2 cup boiling water
20g cocoa powder
90g butter
250g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup almond meal
155g self raising flour (or 155g plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder)
Flaked almonds for garnish

Ingredients - icing
60g butter
275g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1 1/2 tbsp boiling water

Method - cake
1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F).  Mix the instant coffee powder with the boiling water and cocoa powder.

2. Cream butter, caster sugar and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.

3. Separate the eggs.

4. Beat the egg yolks into the butter mixture, along with the sour cream.

5. Stir in the almond meal, then the flour as well as the cocoa mixture.

6. Line a 20cm ring cake tin with butter and baking paper, then spread the batter into the pan.

7. Bake the cake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

8. Let the cake cool in the tin for a bit and then turn it out onto a wire rack.

Method - icing
1. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa and beat it with the butter until combined.

2. Combine the instant coffee with the boiling water and add it to the butter mixture.

3. Spread the icing onto the cooled cake.

4. Garnish the cake with the flaked almonds - toast them first for added aroma and crunch!

This cake is also great in cupcake form.

August 31, 2014

Chocolate Mudslide Cookies

Chocolate Mudslide Cookies are another staple recipe for me - they're ridiculously easy to make (only one bowl needed!), soft and densely chocolatey.  These are great to quickly whip up when you need a chocolate fix!

Recipe adapted from: Cakespy
3 tbsp butter (40g)
225g dark chocolate (for melting)

185g white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
170g chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 175C (350F).

2. Melt the 225g chocolate with the butter and sugar;  I do this in the microwave.   Set the mixture aside to cool.

3. Lightly beat the eggs with the vanilla.

4. Stir the chocolate mixture into the eggs a bit at a time.

5. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and mix until combined.  The original recipe calls for 40g of flour but I always have to use more than 100g to get the batter into some sort of shape that it can be worked with (otherwise it's like brownie batter!)

6. Mix in the chocolate chips and the walnuts if you're using them.

7. Place rounded tablespoons of the dough onto baking trays lined with baking paper or silicone mats, making sure that there is enough room for them to spread when baked.

8. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.  They should still be very fudgy and soft; they will harden as they cool, but make sure you eat some when the chocolate's still melted and delicious!

August 22, 2014

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

I hope you're all prepared for more white chocolate, because you definitely want to make these delicious muffins.  The sweetness of the cake and white chocolate contrasts beautifully with the tart raspberries and they are so simple to make!

Recipe adapted from: The Golden Book of Chocolate
125g butter
100g white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
125mL milk
225g flour
2 tsp baking powder
180g white chocolate chips
1 cup raspberries (I used frozen ones)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).  Prepare a 12-cup cupcake tin with patty pans.

2. Melt the butter.

3. Beat the melted butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and milk until combined.

4. Fold the flour and baking powder into the mixture.

5. Finally, combine the raspberries and white chocolate chips with the batter.

6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake tin and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


August 3, 2014

Browned Butter Blondies

Blondie Jenga!
While I do love (and always will love) brownies, I've been enjoying blondies more and more.  There's something about the fact that it's akin to a cookie, but with heaps more bits stacked into it, that appeals to me.  Plus, the batter tastes like cookie dough, so that's a win!

These particular blondies are delicious, and the addition of browned butter takes them to another level.  I have used browned butter before in these cookies, but I felt that the taste was lost, and I was afraid that the same thing would happen with these blondies; but it was not so!  I could definitely taste the nuttiness of the browned butter in the end product, and coupled with white chocolate chips and pecans, I was in blondie heaven.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Recipe adapted from: Bake or Break
310g butter
370g brown sugar
125g white sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
350g flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pecans, chopped roughly
1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Begin by browning the butter.  In a saucepan, cook the butter over a medium heat until brown specks form underneath the foam.  It will smell absolutely amazing !

2. Transfer the butter into a bowl and leave it to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).

4. Stir the brown and white sugar into the cooled butter.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until light and fluffy.

6. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.

7. In a few portions, add the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing in between.

8. Finally, mix the chopped pecans and white chocolate into the batter.

9. Pour the batter into a brownie tin lined with baking paper, and bake for about 35 minutes or until the blondies are golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

10. Let the blondies cool, then cut them into slices of your choosing and enjoy!

July 25, 2014

Lemon Semolina Cake

Funny story - the original recipe for this cake lists ingredients for the cake and syrup in one list, combining amounts of sugar and lemon juice.  So I, like a fruitcake who didn't read the recipe properly, added all the lemon juice to the cake and didn't realise until I started making the syrup.  Luckily it turned out okay, though the cake was a little sour...

For you, however, I've split the recipe into cake and syrup so you won't have the difficulties I did!

Recipe adapted from: Homestyle Cookies, Muffins & Cakes
Ingredients - cake
6 eggs
250g caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
90g semolina
95g almond meal
2 tbsp self-raising flour

Ingredients - syrup
125mL water
75mL lemon juice
60g caster sugar

Method - cake
1. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F).

2. Separate the eggs, set the egg whites aside.

3. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest until thick and pale.

4. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form.

5. Combine the semolina, almond meal and flour in a separate bowl.

6. Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold the semolina mixture in, and finally the rest of the egg whites.

7. Line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper and butter the sides.  Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about 35 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

8. Let the cake cool, and poke lots of holes in the top in preparation for the syrup so that it can sink in.

Method - syrup
1. Place the syrup ingredients (water, lemon juice and sugar) into a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Turn the heat up and let the mixture simmer until thick and syrupy (about 3 minutes).

3. Make sure that your cake is on the plate you're serving it on, then pour the hot syrup over the cake.

4. Serve with cream and dusted with icing sugar.