Monday, March 29, 2010

{Crunchy Chocolate Chip Biscuits}

These are my favourite biscuits, I call them the crunchy chocolate chip, they are thin and crisp not too sweet and a little bit salty, I tried many many recipes before I settled on this one. I always make a double batch and freeze one for later but I'll give the recipe for a single batch. 

I also sometimes make this biscuit base and instead of adding the dark chocolate I add macadamias and sultanas, they are as good as the chocolate version. I whizz these up in my kitchenaid and they are super quick, the boys eat them warm before they even get a chance to crunch up but not me, no siree, I wait for the crunch.

125g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
115g dark chocolate chips
110g softened unsalted butter
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 egg

You'll want the oven at 175, but the biscuits go in the fridge for a while so don't it now. Cream the sugars and butter till pale and fluffy. Add egg, combine. Sift over flour, salt and soda, drop in chocolate chips and mix till combined, finito.

Lay out 2 sheets of clingwrap and put half the mixture in the middle of each one in a log shape, wrap and roll til smooth and about 4cm in diameter, pop into the fridge for an hour.

Remove from fridge, unwrap and slice into 1.5 cm thick slices. Place on lined baking tray and cook for 12 minutes allowing room to spread a bit. Cool on wire rack.

Friday, March 26, 2010

{Raspberry Muffins}

This morning I'm baking some Raspberry Muffins for Jacks first Kindy function, an Easter picnic and egg hunt, last friday I did kindy duty and helped all the little munchkins make easter baskets to collect the eggs in tonight, lots of fun. Jack started kindy this January and just loves it, he is so cute he carries the clock around waiting for the time to leave. 

Anyway this muffin recipe is a great base for any fruit, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and of course you can add some chopped chocolate.  I use the silicone muffin trays as its easy, no greasing, rinse clean in just water and I also like the shape, this recipe makes 9 muffins.

...the muffins
150g softened butter
100g caster sugar
2 eggs
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
115ml warm milk
pinch of salt
100g raspberries

Preheat oven to 180.  Beat butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Add in warm milk and sift over flour, baking powder and salt, mix again till combined, lastly gently stir though the berries so you don't break them up and make the colour seep out too much.  

Spoon into muffin tray, bake for 20 - 25 minutes, once ready pop out of muffin tray and cool on a rack.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

{Christmas Ham Glaze}

Yes I know its March but Jay is obsessed with the ham we make each christmas, put the ham on the blog , put the ham on the blog, so here you go honey the ham is on the blog.

It really is a sooooo good, it's fragrant and sweet and so incredibly delicious, everyone who tries it loves it and it just screams christmas to me now, when I smell the sweet smell of brown sugar, cinnamon and star anise I know its going to be a good day.

We use freerange ham its nice to know the piggys are happy and not kept in a cage, and its christmas after all.

...the glaze
1 large ham
500g apricot jam
185ml dry sherry
1 tbsp cinnamon
7 star anise - ground in mortar and pestle
95g brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180. Stir jam and sherry in a saucepan over medium heat until it forms a sticky spread.

Remove skin from the ham leaving behind the fat, score diamonds, grind the star anise in a mortar and pestle, add the cinnamon, rub into fat. Spread 2/3's of the glaze over the ham and press on the brown sugar, getting it into the score marks.

Pop it into your roasting tin, add 2cm of water and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours till its deeply golden and smelling amazing, check on it every 20 minutes or so and baste it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

{Banana Sourcream Cake}

This has been declared by Jay and Jack as the best banana cake ever, this time when I made it as I got the bananas out of the freezer to defrost (I always chuck them in there once they have turned icky) Jack said "yuck mum don't put sausages in it!" cute....  this cake is really moist and divine, I don't eat bananas but I love this cake.

... cake
115g butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp milk
2 to 3 ripe mashed bananas

1 cup icing sugar
juice of a lemon
couple of drops of yellow colouring

Preheat oven to 180.  Grease and line loaf tin.  Cream butter and brown sugar till pale, add eggs one at a time and combine.  Sift in flour and baking soda, stir, add in banana, sourcream and milk stir till combined.  Pop in oven for 50 - 60 minutes til skewer comes out clean.  

Cool and ice with lemon icing, its cute to add a couple of drops of yellow colouring to make it a pastel yellow.

{Lemon Yoghurt Syrup Cake}

So heres the first recipe, I'm not really sure what to say but lets start with the fact that everyone loves this cake and I always get asked for the recipe, plus its easy, I've been baking it for a while so it seems a good place to start, I'm a bit nervous actually, silly really, but here goes my online recipe book.

...for the cake
125g butter softened
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
200g natural yoghurt

... for the syrup
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup caster sugar
strained juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 180.  Cream butter and sugar until pale.  Beat in eggs one at a time (don't worry if it looks curdled).  Gently fold in lemon zest and flour, then add yoghurt stirring gently.  Use spatula to scrape batter into a lined 20cm square cake tin.  Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  

About five minutes before the cake is ready bring the water, sugar and lemon juice to the boil in a small saucepan, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove cake from the oven and with a skewer poke about 20 holes in it, spoon over the lemon syrup so it soaks the cake evenly.  Allow it to cool in the tin.