Tuesday, November 22, 2011

{Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Sourcream Frosting}

Our little Jack turns five tomorrow, he is such a cool dude, he is kind and polite (most of the time) and worries about things like flys flying too far away from their families and getting lost, bless, he loves chocolate and he loves to dance but the thing he loves most in the world is being outdoors camping and swimming, so tomorrow morning after he's opened his presents we are jamming as much camping gear as is humanly possible into our little vw golf and driving to the beach to camp for a week.  

This recipe made over 60 mini cupcakes so would make 30 full sized ones, if you don't have that many mouths to feed it would be easy to halve it, the little cakes themselves are really moist and sticky, I made them yesterday to save time and they tasted even better today.  They were a massive hit with Jacks kinder class including the teachers who all asked for the recipe, give them a try next time you need a knock out chocolate cupcake.

...chocolate cupcakes 
2 cups caster sugar 
1¾ cups plain flour 
¾ cup cocoa powder 
1½ tsp baking powder 
1½ tsp baking soda 
1 tsp salt 
2 large eggs 
1 cup whole milk 
½ cup vegetable oil 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 180.  Sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract til combined. Add to the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with wooden spoon until combined then lastly add the boiling water and stir again (note the batter is really thin). 

Pour batter into prepared tins, filling each liner about 2/3 of the way full.  For mini size bake approximately 12 minutes (full size around 22 minutes), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in tin for about five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

...chocolate sourcream frosting
300g butter, room temperature
240g icing sugar
6 tbsp sour cream
120g cocoa
6 tbsp of golden syrup

I know those quantities look enormous but this is for sixty mini cupcakes so again if you are halving the number of cupcakes do so with the frosting ingredients.

Just whack all of them into your mixer and whizz till fluffy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

{Cheese & Sage Shortbreads}

I have been baking a lot of cupcakes lately and with Jacks 5th birthday this week and a request for chocolate cupcakes I wanted to get my bake on but not use any sugar or sprinkles, have you got sage growing in your garden? we have and there is loads and loads of it at this time of the year so this is a really good way to use up some of those darling little purple and green leaves.  

These shortbreads are really rich, soft and crumbly, you just know as you bite into them that they are not going to do anything for your bikini body but just go ahead and buy a sarong, I am now thinking that these could be a contender for christmas presents, we all have peeps drop in for a glass of something to celebrate the silly season and these would be perfect to whip out for that, team them with some olives and chorizo its too easy.

...the shortbreads
150g butter, softened
225g plain flour
125g cheese, grated (I used half tasty and half parmesan)
small handful finely chopped sage leaves
pinch of salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper ½ tsp mustard powder

Pop all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Transfer mixture to a clean, floured bench top, knead it a little then divide in half and roll into two logs about 3cm round. Wrap in gladwrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 and line a large baking tray with baking paper.  Slice the logs into discs about 1–2 cm thick and place on the tray.  Bake for 10–12 minutes until just slightly golden, cool on a rack.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

{Louise Slice}

So pretty and girly, I remember eating this slice when I was a little girl at a neighbours house, she was called sheila and I've always wondered who louise was, shes's pretty lucky to have a slice named after her, wouldn't mind a slice named after me, maybe I'll invent one...

This is sweet, you need a cup of tea with it, I gave masses of it away so as to not encourage my already demanding sugar addiction.

...the base
50g butter
25g sugar
2 eggs (separated)
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

...the top
raspberry jam
2 egg whites
125g sugar
50g coconut

Preheat your oven to 180.

Cream the butter and sugar then add egg yolks and combine, next in with the sifted flour and baking powder.  Roll mixture out fairly thin (3-5mm) until it is roughly the size of your baking tin. Line your tin with baking paper and place the rolled out pastry onto that, press the mixture into the corners until the base is evenly covered.  Spread with raspberry jam.

Beat egg whites until quite stiff then add the sugar, continue to beat until sugar is dissolved. Fold in the coconut, do not over beat. Spread the meringue evenly over the jam.

Bake for 30 minutes, cool in the tin before slicing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

{Salmon & Dill Cakes}

One minute they are completely perfect, cooing up at you from their bassinets, the next minute they are stabbing you with a pencil at Ikea (yeah thanks Ikea for keeping those little pencils so sharp), the point (ha!) of that (true) story is that things change, sometimes they change for the better like salmon in a tin with no bones. 

When it comes to bones in fish I draw the line at whitebait, there is no way I am crunching through those little mini salmon skeletons, that's just not my thing, I would rather spend an hour removing them, but now I can buy salmon in a tin without bones hoo bloody ray for that.

Jay whipped these little numbers up last night and they were the perfect dinner for a hot spring night, they love a little side salad of rocket with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of evoo, Jay unfortunately is a little under the weather and couldn't actually taste the fruits of his labour, so I'll record them here and make them for him once he has recovered from his flu (ie; cold).

...the cakes
400g baby potatoes
1/4 cup whole egg mayo
400g tin salmon
1 tbsp chopped dill
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 egg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
olive oil

...the mayo
1/2 cup whole egg mayo
juice of half a lemon
tbsp chopped dill

Halve the baby spuds and boil till tender. Mash roughly with a fork and allow them to cool. While that's happening mix all the mayo ingredients together and pop it in the fridge.

Once the spuds are cool add the drained salmon, dill, spring onions and some s+p. Mix in the egg and mayo then divide into eight, shape into patties and press lightly into the panko crumbs.

Heat some olive oil in a frypan on medium heat and cook them for 3-4 minutes each side until golden brown, drain on paper towels and serve with a dollop of the mayo and a rocket salad.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{Afgan Biscuits}

If you are a kiwi you don't need any introduction to these, if you are not then you are in for a treat, they are a delicious chocolately biscuit crammed full of cornflakes and butter, lots of butter! traditionally these are iced with a chocolate icing and made pretty with a walnut on top.  I'm a bit lazy and over the years have given away with that malarky and quite often just drizzle or dollop them with melted dark chocolate and my nut of choice is the pistachio.  Super yum. And Jays nemesis.

...the bickies
200g butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups cornflakes
dark chocolate to drizzle

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, sift in flour and cocoa, stir, add cornflakes and stir again.

Roll walnut sized balls of mixture together and press gently onto a lined tray.  Bake at 180 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and firm.

Once cool drizzle with melted dark chocolate.