February 27, 2013

Heart Attack Slice

Heart Attack Slice is a delicious merging of brownies and choc chip cookies.

It's a fatal combination.

Making the slice is so easy - just whip up some choc chip cookie dough and then some brownie batter and smoosh them together.

So delicious.  For an extra bit of something, add nuts (I usually use pecans) to the cookie dough.

February 24, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

Recipe Adapted From: Homestyle Cookies, Muffins And Cakes 
375g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
165g brown sugar
125g butter/margarine
2 eggs
250mL milk
185g blueberries (can be frozen or fresh)

1. Preheat the oven to 210 C (415 F).  If you're using frozen blueberries, either set them aside to thaw or heat them a little in the microwave.

2. Lightly grease two six-hole muffin tins or a cupcake tin of your choice.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.  Mum bought this awesome triple-sifter gadget that's so easy to use!

4. Stir the sugar in and make a well in the dry ingredients.

5. Melt the butter.  In a separate bowl to the dry ingredients, add the butter, eggs and milk.  Stir to combine.

6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and fold them together until just combined.  Don't overmix the batter!

7. Fold the blueberries into the batter and transfer the batter to the cupcake/muffin tin.

8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, then turn the muffins onto a rack to cool.

These are lovely little muffins - they're moist and not too sweet, good for a snack!  You can sprinkle some icing sugar on top to make them a little sweeter.

February 22, 2013

Chocolate Ginger Cookies

If you want a soft, sugary, chocolatey and slightly spiced cookie, this recipe is for you!

Recipe Adapted From: Handle the Heat
230g + 1tbsp flour
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp cocoa powder
130g butter/margarine
1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
90g brown sugar
185g treacle
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 1/2 tsp boiling water
195g choc chips
60g white sugar

1. Combine flour, all the spices and the cocoa in a bowl.  Set aside.

2. Beat butter and fresh ginger in a mixer.

3. Add brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Add treacle and combine.

4. Dissolve the bicarb soda in the boiling water.

5. Add half of the flour and spice mixture to the butter mix and stir until combined.

6. Quickly add the bicarb soda mixture and beat until incorporated.

7. Add the rest of the flour mixture and combine.

8. Mix the chocolate chips in and then refrigerate.

9. Preheat the oven to 160 C (320 F).

10. Roll the dough into balls (I make mine a little smaller than a tablespoon, so that they're nice and bite-sized).  Chill them for a little more if they're too squishy.

11. Roll the balls in the white sugar.

12. Bake for about 10 minutes.  You want these ones to be soft in the middle!
I think they're best when they're warm from the oven and the chocolate chips are all melty.

February 19, 2013

Marbled Choc-Orange Cake

When I first found this recipe, I was very sceptical.  Fruit with my chocolate?  Pssh, no thank you!  Then I made it.  The batter was one of the best I'd ever tasted as well as being silky smooth, and the finished cake was fantastic.  

Recipe adapted from: The Australian Women's Weekly Cakes & Slices Cookbook
Ingredients (20 cm (8 inch) cake)
60g dark chocolate
125g butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
333g caster sugar
2 eggs
310g self raising flour
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp orange rind (heck, just chuck the rind of the whole orange in there, don't pussyfoot around with it)

1. Line two 20cm square cake pans with baking paper.  I used three shallow circular tins.

2. Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F).

3. Melt chocolate and set aside to cool.

4. Cream butter with the vanilla essence and caster sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

5. Fold in half the flour, then add all the milk and mix until combined.  Add the remainder of the flour and fold in.

6. Separate the mixture into two bowls.  One is your chocolate cake bowl, the other is for the orange part!
To your chocolate bowl, stir in your cooled melted chocolate.
To your orange bowl, stir in some orange zest.

7. Spoon the chocolate mixture into your cake tins.

8. Spoon the orange batter into the spaces and swirl the edges together with a knife.

9. Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

10. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

11. Ice your cake.  I used chocolate ganache to sandwich two of the cakes together then coated the outside in ganache, and topped it off with giant Jaffas.  (This cake was an ordered one, so no photos of the inside!)

Here's a slice of the other layer with some ganache slathered over it.  So delicious.

February 16, 2013

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Hello there!  -shouts into the abyss of the Internet-

I know it's been a while since I was last here - in the meantime, I've been travelling, completing high school and, of course, baking!  So, I've mustered enough oomph to sort through all the food photos I have lying around and start posting again.

To make these mini lemon meringue pies (or, as I like to call them, Lemon Meringue Pielets), I used this recipe.  The detailed recipe and ingredients can be seen there.

First, I made the pastry and cut it into circles with a cookie cutter, then pressed the circles into cupcake trays and individual fluted moulds.  I then cut squares of baking paper and filled them with ceramic baking beans (you can also use rice or other uncooked beans as loading).

I whipped the lemon filling up while they baked, then poured the filling up to the edges of the pastry after they came out of the oven.

After the pies were baked, I piped the meringue icing onto the top.

After the meringue icing was piped on, I used my little handheld torch (I like to call it my flamethrower) to brown the meringue.  It gives it a lovely caramelised flavour.

One thing I particularly love about lemon meringue pie is the contrast.  The shortcrust pastry has a bit of a crunch and is only a little sweet, the lemon is smooth in texture and slightly tart, while the meringue topping is sweet and fluffy.

Having pielets is a good option for parties and office birthdays when you don't want to be cutting up and serving up a cake.  Plus, they look so cute!