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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Remember our world travels?


WELL. 

We are extending our Asia part of the trip by 3 weeks!

For Muffin this is mainly for the joy he feels towards Asia.

For ME this is mainly for the panic I feel towards the price of 2.5 months in Europe!

This means 2 weeks each in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos 😀

The stress of saving money is only really helped by one thing.. damn straight that that thing is cookies.

Whether they be choc chip, peanut butter, white chocolate pistachio or cappuccino cookies!

My cookie making has come far and with lots of research (and cookie eating.. for research) I think I have made the perfect peanut butter cookie!

EXCLAMATION!

 


The Perfect Peanut Cookie.

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup (114 grams) softened butter

1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (crunchy>smooth)

1 egg (or egg replacer)

1 1/4 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

dark chocolate to melt (optional)

Preheat oven to 180C

Cream the butter until it appears light and fluffy. Add the sugars, cream for 2 additional minutes.
Mix in the peanut butter and egg.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and whisk out any lumps.

Stir this into the wet butter mix until combined.

Using a dessert spoon shape the dough into balls (wet your hands if it’s too difficult and sticky).

Place cookies on a baking tray about 6 cm apart.

THIS IS THE TRICK NOW.. smoosh them ever so lightly with the palm of your hand. When I say smoosh, I think I mean slap! Mine made a slapping sound one after the other.

Leave them about 2cm thick and they will melt down to ultimate cookie width! Trust me!

Place the trays in the fridge for 5-10 minutes so they are cool to the touch.

Bake until slightly browned, 9-10 minutes.

Cool on baking trays until not soft anymore and then transfer to rack to cool completely.

If desired, melt dark chocolate and drizzle over cookies when they are completely cooled.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

NOM.

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It sure has been forever and a day.

I’ve been cooking – I promise!

I’ve even been photographing!

(just not posting anything.)

More importantly – I’ve been working and saving and WE BOOKED OUR FLIGHTS TO EUROPE!

Funnily enough, our mainly Europe trip has ended up consisting of:

  • 5 weeks in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam
  • 2 weeks in India and Nepal (my heart flutters for Nepal)
  • 2.5 MONTHS in Europe
  • 3 days in NYC (hehehe – this is solely for us to ice skate at Rockefeller Centre at Christmas time!)
  • and then back to Canada to live for a year or two or 5 million, who knows.
So throw any food/restaurant/cafe ideas my way for any of those extremely vague travel plans I have given you!
To keep your tummies rumbling, here’s a little of what I’ve been up to lately..
Moroccan Chick Pea and Vegetable Curry. Served with cous cous and yoghurt.

A sneak peak into my quest for the perfect flatbread! Tomato, Basil, Onion, Caper and Cheese Flatbread.

Chilli Soy Hokkien Stir Fry.
(I work near an Asian cafe’ and have been stealing stir-fry tips to get the smokey flavour!)

Pizza pizza maaaaan!

What you will need…

FOR THESE RAINBOW CUPCAKES!

Creating some artwork with food colouring and a handy-dandy toothpick!

Fresh outta the oven.

Rainbow Delights!
Both cupcake AND icing recipe are from JoyofBaking.com – I’m really enjoying this website, it’s so easy to find good basic recipes. Everything I have tested from it has turned out great!


CLICK HERE FOR RECIPE.

Nom Nom Nom Nom.

pssst, this is mah new do. Ya dig?!



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It was my birthday a little while ago and all I asked of Muffin was to bake me the greatest cake in the world.
THAT’S IT!

Now.. he is a trained chef, so it wasn’t too much to ask, but this was quite seriously the first cake he had EVER baked at home..  (Which I personally find hilarious!) He even photographed the whole process so I could blog about it! Naww! This one’s a keeper.

So, did he fulfil his task? …. well you take a look and judge for yourself!
(ps, the answer is hell yeah)

 

 

Muffins cake-a-makin space.

Rainbows coming into action.

Holy colour – fresh outta the oven. (blue caused him issues!)

He chose to do a tiered cake because he is a maniac and likes a challenge. He also chose to individually flavour most layers, red was berry, orange was orange (duh!), yellow was lemon and green was lime.
THEY WERE DELICIOUS
and each layer worked well on it’s own and with the others!

 

WHAT WHAT! a girl cant slip in a photo of the picnic sammidge she made?! hahahaha.

ooohhhhh – ahhhhh.

to be honest, the bread I chose wasn’t crusty enough and this went soggy.
Soggy-town = not ok in my books.
Cake = quite ok in my books.

 

Cake decorating time and the anticipation was killin me!

My family came together to create the best picnic ever for me 😀
On the menu was mah picnic sammidge, pasta salad, roast vegetables, cheeses, dips, sour dough bread, coleslaw, stuffed mushrooms, inari, honey joys, chocolate crackles, muffins and sooo much mooorreee! Actually amazing.

MAH CAKE! JUST YOU WAIT…

I love this photo. That’s my Muffin and me! ❤

Lookie here! everyone literally gasped when I cut into it and my young, tiny relative yelled “HOW’D YOU GET A RAINBOW IN THERE?!” awwwww.

Filled with love and more love (and a rainbow).

I was clearly a little excited!

 

The end to a lovely picnic, a lovely birthday and a lovely cake.

Peace out alfalfa sprouts!

 

 

 

 

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Baking really does make my day.

 

 

I feel like somewhat of a housewife… but I really do love to get into mah polka dot playsuit, don an apron and get my bake on!

less this.

 

more this!

 

And that’s just what I did today! Muffin and I are celebrating our 3 year anniversary on Thursday so I guess this is more so for that than for Valentines Day.

 

Or to be honest, more so just for the sake of baking than anything else; as it’s what I love!

 

 

This was my very first serious go at piping my icing and I sure as hell did enjoy it. My dream would be to be a pastry chef! I just love it. I can’t explain it.. but every thing cakey and cute is right up my alley 😀

 

 

(with that said.. theres only so many cute-cupcake-themed things you can receive for birthday – yaknowwhatimean?!)

 

This cake I have baked before with both success and failure. I think today was a success.. but I haven’t eaten it yet – it just looks pretty! (I always end up cooking it for about twice the amount of time the recipe says however..)

 

I watched many videos and found them super helpful for my icing-confidence-building.

 

I went with this icing recipe and it worked perfectly for piping. I still had some left over at the end too! I added beet juice as dye and a little red food colouring for the writing at the end.

 

 

Anywho. Bliss. What a day. Enjoy your Valentines, peeps!

 

 

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Prepare yoselves for plenty of pics and plenty of sweets! and by sweet I mean cookies and brownies. MORE SPECIFICALLY, I mean choc chip peanut butter cookies, pistachio and white chocolate cookies and chocolate almond brownies!

What do you do when you’re expecting a certain Muffin’s father to arrive from Canada and his flight is delayed a day? WHY YOU BAKE OF COURSE. . . and bake I did.

I’m usually more prone to baking cakes and such, so I was pretty excited when I realised I could actually whip up an entire batch of cookies in about 6 minutes! They’re so simple – too simple my hips may say! These two cookie recipes I used were really great, even if I did adapt them a little.

For the choc chip peanut butter cookies, I halved the recipe as I didn’t really feel like having 72 cookies on hand! I also added the peanut butter to it as the recipe was just plain choc chip cookies. Obviously adding the peanut butter added extra fat to the cookie dough and a result was a VERY well-spread-out cookie! Still super delicious with a nice slight crunch.

For the pistachio and white chocolate cookies I only added 1 cup of white chocolate chips and 1 cup of pistachios as opposed to the 1 1/4 called for in the recipes. These babies are super sweet and very very much like the consistency of Subway cookies! I personally think they would be way better with macadamias – but muffin disagrees 😉

The brownies are my go-to recipe from the Kids Cookbook from my childhood. The only difference was this time I added in 3/4 cup chopped almonds for a nice crunch!

________________________________________________________________

choc chip peanut butter cookies

pre-baked choc-chip peanut  butter cookies.. notice the small size?

the size after baking!! holy hell.

piled high!

nom nom nom.

pistachio and white chocolate cookies

is this not the best table you have ever seen?!

what a beautiful plate!

chocolate almond brownies

the brownies out of the tin – looking like velvet!

sliced to perfection.

sticky inside view of fudgey-wudgy almond brownies!

and last but not least, a delightful photo of me stuffing my face with an oversized cookie I baked. That’s right – that’s my face! I know you were just dyyyyyyyyying to see it. WELL THERE I AM.

and what a pleasant face it is..

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when pumpkin met thanksgiving..

a polka dot pumpkin pie was born!


A few days ago was Canadian Thanksgiving, and so in true Australian style we celebrated with a thanksgiving bbq! The only similarity to the Canadian Day was that there was pumpkin pie and we were thankful for it 😀





I read billions of recipes to come up with this one and found it difficult to find one without tinned pumpkin puree. I’m not a great fan of tinned moosh when I can make it myself so easily.

First things first, I chose a Japanese Pumpkin because I think they are sweeter than the others and I can’t get sugar pumpkins here in Australia (I wish I could – they are so cute!)

Polka Dot Pumpkin Pie:

For the crust:
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup plain flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
3-4 Tablespoons cold soy milk

In a large bowl, add both flours, sugar, cinnamon, salt and mix together. Add in cubes of butter and mix together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add in small amounts of the milk until your dough forms a ball.

Shape it into a disk and wrap in cling wrap. Chill in fridge for a few hours or over night.

Remove from fridge and roll out between two sheets of glad wrap until it is about 5mm thick. Transfer to a pie dish, prick the base with a fork and crimp the edges. Bake in a 180C oven for about 10 minutes or until slightly cooked but not browned.

For the puree:
1 pumpkin, roasted, pureed (you need 2 cups of puree)
egg replacer, to the equivalent of 3 egg whites, whipped
1 & 1/4 cups cream
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Cut pumpkin into chunks and roast in a 180C oven until soft. About 1 hour. Remove and wait until slightly cooled, peel and mash. Then use cheesecloth or a tea towel to squeeze the puree to remove the excess moisture. Add in the rest of the ingredients and season to your taste. I like extra cinnamon 😀

Pour puree into pre cooked pastry and bake in a 170C oven until the filling is firm, about 40 minutes.

 


Weeee also had another pie. Yes, two pies in one day. This one was Banoffee Pie! Amazing, super simple and super sweet and delicious!

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Choconana muffins!

This is another recipe from the wickedly awesome book from my childhood, Kids Cookbook 2. I have never made this recipe before, but I feel as though nothing in this book can be a failure, even the coconut ice! (literally coconut, sugar and food colourful – aka, da bomb when you’re a kid obsessed with sugar and bright colours)

I baked these especially for muffin, and as my fabio is still liver cleansing and I feel funny about eating eggs – he can eat ALL TWELVE OF THEM. It was a lovely sunshiney day to be baking and generally enjoying life.

I think this recipe could be easily veganized, just add egg replacer and use dark chocolate. Voila.

Choconana Muffins

Makes 12

1 small ripe banana
1 cup white self-raising flour
1/2 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup choc bits
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup oil

Mash banana in a big bowl. Sift in flour and add husks left in the sieve.
Throw in rest of ingredients and stir with a fork until just combined – overworking the mix will make a heavy muffin!
Bake in an 180C oven for 20 minutes.

* I didn’t add the extra oil and they still seem moist enough.

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