March 28, 2010

What's in the box?

What's in the box?

Well, cookies of course.  Chocolate Oat Cookies to be precise.  From one of my newest cookbooks, The Golden Book of Chocolate, and for one of my friend's birthdays.

Recipe Source: The Golden Book of Chocolate
330g (2 1/4 cups) old-fashioned rolled oats
200g (1 cup) firmly packed dark brown sugar
100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
2 tbsp flour - I used much more.
1/4 tsp salt
330g (1 1/3 cups) butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
90g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips - me, being myself, used more.

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F)

2. Stir together oats, brown and white sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl.

3. Melt the butter.  I used margarine this time.

4. Stir the melted butter, egg and vanilla into the oat mixture.  Make sure it's all combined and there aren't any places with dry oats; everything should be coated in butter.

5. Stir in the chocolate chips.

6. Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto baking trays covered with baking paper or a silicon sheet.

7. Bake for 8 -10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
The first tray came out of the oven like this:

They were too wet, with buttery sugary caramelised crunchiness seeping out from the sides.  Hmm.  I added much more flour and the next tray came out like this:

Much better, yes?  And they tasted so yummy too - full of melty chocolate goodness and some semblance of healthiness in the oats.

Tips and Suggestions
 - Use more flour!

Happy birthday, Maxine!

March 13, 2010

Cupcakes of the Sophisticated Kind

These super sophisticated cupcakes were created for a birthday. I made some plain vanilla cupcakes, and some chocolate ones (just added cocoa until they were suitably chocolaty).  The recipe can be found here - just ignore the orange.  Again, I made big cupcakes and small; but most big.

The whizzed-up batter; it tastes delicious.  Believe me.

The cupcakes rose quite a bit in the oven, and unevenly too, to my aggravation.

So, I had to take action.  With a knife.

What a shame, all those scraps...

To top the cupcakes, I whipped up some buttercream then tinted it caramel-brown, and left some ganache I'd prepared earlier out to return to room temperature.

I piped on the buttercream studded it with silver cachous.  These cupcakes made me laugh.
As for the ganache...while I was piping, Mum took up a spatula and ganachified the other cupcakes.  I really like how she did them.  I dipped some of the mini cupcakes in 100s and 1000s...

 ...and Mum insisted on popping some sugar flowers on the big cupcakes.

Which, I must admit, look gorgeous.

It was late, and a school night, so of course I had to snap a couple more photos.