29 April, 2013
I made some nuts. You should totally put nuts your mouth...naughty! (See what I did there?) ;)
This recipe calls for very simple ingredients that you are bound to have in the house. The products are individual crunchy roasted nuts enveloped in a thick chocolate meringue with a hit of pepper/chilli. So grrrrrrreat y'all.
I have deferred my first semester of university meaning I have 2.5 months off whut whuuuttt woooppwoooop. I feel SO relieved because I don't have to worry about assignments and all that shit (been there done that in year 12). But I can laze around on my fat ass like I have been doing for the past 6 months I actually need to get things done. But. I. Can't. Be. Bothered.
I've started up tutoring services and I've got a few students lined up which is quite exciting! But I'm still on the hunt for a job.
Crunchy Cocoa Roasted Nuts
- 3 cups of raw almonds (I used both almonds and walnuts)
- 6 Tb of unsalted butter
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tsp of salt
-1 cup of caster sugar
- 3 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Place a rack in the cdenter of the oven and preheat to 350 farenheit (or 175 degrees celcius).
Place almonds on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes in the oven. Remove from the oven and place in a medium bool to cool completely.
Place butter on a rimmed baking sheet and melt in an oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add egg whites and 1/2 tsp of salt and beat until frothy. Gradually add sugar and increase the speed of the mixer. Beat until the egg whites hold almost stiff peaks.
Add the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, the cocoa powder, and cayenna pepper and beat until well incorporated. Pour the egg mixture over the toasted nuts and toss together until nuts are covered. Spoon mixture into the melted butter. Spread around the mixture onto the tray and place in the oven.
Cook for 30-45 minutes, taking the nuts out and turning them every 10 minutes.
02 April, 2013
I've been going through some stuff the past 4 months and as a result, my love for baking started to fizzle out and what used to excite me before just didn't interest me at all. But things are slightly starting to look up and it's kind of strange because all of a sudden its just all whooshed back at me and the past week all I have been thinking about is cakes, cookies, macaroons, trifles..ya know, the usual bakey stuff.
I stumbled across this recipe on Poires Au Chocolat where Emma made a seville marmalade version of this almost torte. (I was also desparate to back and we didn't have any eggs in the house so this recipe drew me in even more).
I also asked Mum to get me some marmalade.. which she didn't get and instead she brought home royal fig jam. But I think the flavours of ginger and fig work quite well so I decide to bung it in to my torte! I haven't even been able to try the torte seeing as I am allergic to literally every food on the planet. So I'm absolutely guessing when I say that I think the flavours work well. However, my family thinks they do which is good.
I had to use smaller tart tins which are literally the size of my thumb because I didn't have any 6-inch pans! And I really should have thought of that before I was halfway through making it (soo organised). But they turned out fabbo!
I'm hoping to get back into this blog more. I took the four months off because of on-going shitty phases in my life but I am back now and I really pray to god that things get better from here. We'll see.
Enjoy da torte yo.
Fig, Ginger and Walnut "Almost" Linzer Torte
(adapted from Alice Medrich's Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts)
50g whole almonds
65g plain flour (I used spelt flour)
75g light brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
big pinch of fine sea salt
75g unsalted butter
1 tsp milk
100g fig jam*
4 Tb of roughly chopped walnuts
Place the almonds, flour, sugar, ginger and salt into a food processor and blend until fine. Cube the butter then add it with the milk and blend until the dough just comes together. Wrap a 25g chunk of the dough in a bit of cling film. Lightly grease a 6" round cake or tart tin with a removable base (or in my case I used 10cm tart tins with a removable base), then scrape the rest of the dough into it. Use your fingers to press it out into an even layer with a little lip at the side. Place the little ball of dough and the tin into the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes - meanwhile, preheat the oven to 170C/340F.
Spread the marmalade out in the middle of the tin, leaving a gap at the edge. Tear the extra bit of dough into small chunks and arrange on the top. Put into the oven and and bake for 30 minutes until the sides and splodges in the middle are deep golden-brown and the jam is bubbling. Sit on a wire rack. After five minutes, run a knife around the edge and remove the tin. Leave to cool fully. Keeps well for at least 4 days in a sealed tin.
(Makes one 6" torte, 6-8 slices)
* The jams and marmalades I make are generally soft-set. If yours isn't, a tiny bit of lemon juice or water should loosen it slightly. Lemon would also be a good idea if the jam is purely sweet (i.e. not a little bitter, like marmalade).
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26 December, 2012
Merry (late) Christmas everyone! I hope everyone is having an amazing and festive holiday season. I wish I could say I'm having a white christmas..but I'm not. It's blazing heat over here and I am sweating balls!
These cupcakes have 43grams of butter in them. Yes, you read correctly. 43 grams in 12 cupcakes. So out of the ordinary for cupcakes yet so amazing! These have become a staple in my house as me and my family don't feel guilty stuffing our faces with them.
My family is safely inside with the AC on full blast. We have been lazy asses all day because the heat has gotten to all of us.
I made these cupcakes the day before yesterday for myself. I adapted the recipe slightly so I could have it by subsitituing the white flour for spelt flour and the milk for rice milk. It turned out absolutely fine and super spongey!
The recipe also calls for 5 tablespoons of butter in the icing - but I left that out because it seemed too sickly sweet in such hot weather. But altogether, it's one stick of butter for BOTH the cupcakes and icing. You can finally gorge on cupcakes and not even feel bad about it.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream
adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour (I subbed in 1 cup of spelt flour)
a scant 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk (I subbed in 1/2 cup of rice milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 celcius).
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or use a handheld beater and beat on slow speed until the mixture is a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half of the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side or the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing until the batter is smooth. Just a few minutes. Do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, dividing between the 12 cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
makes enough for 12 cupcakes, double this recipe to frost an 8-inch cake
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat the powdered sugar and butter together in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment on medium low speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer speed to low. Combine the milk and the vanilla extract and slowly stream it into the butter and sugar mixture. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes. If you find that your frosting is getting to warm in the summer months, stop beating and set in the fridge for a few minutes. Once chilled, hook the frosting back up the the mixer and beat once more until you reach the desired consistency.
14 December, 2012
This recipe is absolutely fabulous and as the posts title states, yes it has only two ingredients! The recipe produces the dense thickness yet airyness of a chocolate mousse while keeping the calories down.
I suggest while making this to use the best possible chocolate you can get hold of as there is no cream or eggs to mask the flavour of the chocolate and instead, the chocolate is the star of the show, being mixed only with water to produce this mousse.
This recipe was created by a French chemist who was a molecular gastronomist and I watched Heston Blumenthal make it on his show.
It's important to not overbeat the chocolate sauce once it is in the ice cold bath as it can become too grainy. However, keep in mind, the more you whisk, the more moussey the mixture becomes up until the point where the chocolate siezes.
I left mine at the cold chocolate pudding-semi mousse stage, however you can always keep whisking longer to get that thick dense mousse most people are after.
The recipe is all about timing. However, this recipe being as incredible as it is allows you to also reverse your mistakes using the SAME mixture! All thats needed is to scoop out the "wrong" (overbeaten, grainy etc.) mixture and place it back onto the saucepan where you reheat it to get the glossy chocolate mixture. Then you carry out again, the next step where you chuck it in an icebath with a bowl on top. So fab.
You could also use this recipe for a chirstmas vibe! And add any flavouring you want with the water, whether that be liquor or orange essence or juice to give it another layering of flavour. However, I think just using the chocolate on its own produces a very thick, rich and creamy mousse which lets the chocolate flavour shine through. Bon appetit!
Hervé's Chocolate Mousse (Adapted from Hervé This' Molecular Gastronomy, via Food 52)
100g high quality dark chocolate (roughly 70%)
80ml (or g) water
a few handfuls of ice cubes
good glug of double cream (optional garnish)
cocoa nibs (optional garnish)
Chop the chocolate up into chunks. Put the ice into a bowl then fit a metal bowl (if possible, it will let the mixture cool faster, meaning less whisking) into it. Add some water to the ice to make sure the bottom of the top bowl is submerged and cooled. Get a whisk and serving bowls ready.
Place the chocolate into a saucepan with the water. Warm over low-medium heat until the chocolate has dissolved and you have a smooth liquid. Pour into the cold bowl and start whisking immediately. As you whisk, the mixture should start to slowly thicken. Keep going until it holds thick ribbons. Quickly transfer to your serving bowls before it starts to set.
Remove the chocolate bowl from the ice and replace with a clean one. Pour in some double cream and whip until it holds soft peaks. Spoon over the mousse and sprinkle some cocoa nibs over the top. Serve immediately if possible. If not, place in the fridge then bring up to room temperature before serving.
11 December, 2012
Hey yo! I made these last night because I was craving a snack and the recipe kind of fell into the holiday recipe category!
I love scones so much their so easy and so simple in flavour and you can just snack on them whenever you want.
The addition of the brown butter also provides a nutty taste to the scones, making it even harder to not go back for a second, or third, or in my case...fourth.
Sweet Potato & Brown Butter Scones
(adapted from this recipe, makes about 10)
1 3/4 cups (245 g) plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup (250 g) cooked, mashed orange sweet potato
60g unsalted butter
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk (I used skim)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp brown sugar
To serve: Clotted cream & fresh strawberries, maybe a drizzle of maple syrup
Prepare your sweet potato first. I boiled mine until very tender, mashed and then set aside to cool. Place butter in a small saucepan on low heat and brown, swirling the mixture regularly so it heats evenly. Set aside. Preheat oven to 210°C (410°C). Sift flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg into a small bowl. Stir together sweet potato, browned butter, milk, egg and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Cut flour mixture into the wet ingredients using a flat bladed knife until just evenly moistened.
Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface. With floured hands, gently pat (don't knead!) out to a 2-3cm-thick round (I like them thick, so I do 3cm). Cut into rounds with a 6 cm biscuit/scone cutter. Place rounds on a baking tray about 2.5 cm apart. Gather up remaining dough. Pat into a circle; cut out remaining scones. Brush tops of the scones with some extra milk using a pastry brush. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes, cover with a clean tea towel once out of the oven to keep them soft. Serve warm with clotted cream and sliced fresh strawberries and maybe a little maple syrup if you wish.
30 November, 2012
The blueberries looked too pretty so I kept on taking pictures and I couldn't stop.
The purple streaked batter is patterned so nicely I could look at it all day.
The recipe says to put a streusel topping on top but I was too tired slash too lazy to bother so I went with the original good ol' muffin.
And finally, a piccy of my butterscotch-cinnamon muffins;
Brown Butter Blueberry Muffins
(Adapted from Joy the Baker, recipe here)
For the muffin mix:
90ml whole milk
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla essence
175g plain flour
170g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Put muffin liners in a muffin tin. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Keep heating it over medium heat until it has foamed up and brown bits have appeared and it smells nutty and delicious. Make sure you keep an eye on it as it happens - it takes a while but can burn quickly. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Whisk the egg, egg yolk, milk and vanilla together, then add the brown butter and whisk again. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl and combine. Pour the liquids into the bowl and fold in until just combined. Fold the blueberries in. Spoon out into the muffin cups.
20 October, 2012
Anyway, yesterday I made this pear and chocolate loaf cake, and as you can see it turned out fab.
I can't believe that this Friday I would have officially had my last day of school e v e r. I was so excited before but now all my sentimental memories of school are coming back and I'm so sad to leave.
However, if I was going to do this cake again, I would throw in a bit of spice to complement the pears because pears and spice are pretty much made for each other.
Pear and Chocolate Loaf
Makes 1 loaf - about 10 slices
Adapted from Poires Au Chocolat
1 small ripe pear
60g dark chocolate (around 70%)
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
135g plain flour
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of fine sea salt
1 tbsp plain yogurt
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line a 8-9" loaf tin with baking parchment (or one of those liners) - fold the corners in so it fits. Peel the pear over a bowl, catching any juices. Chop into small cubes - you should have roughly 100-125g of chopped pear. Chop the chocolate up into rough chunks. Weigh the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
Place the butter and both sugars into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a mixing bowl and electric hand whisk) and cream them together until fluffy and pale. Scrape down the sides then add 1/4 of the beaten eggs and beat well until smooth. Add the next 1/4 and beat well. With the final two 1/4 additions, add a teaspoon of flour from the bowl too (this helps stop it curdling). Take the bowl off the mixer and scrape down.
Toss the pears and chocolate in the flour mixture (this helps them stay up in the mixture rather than sink as it bakes). Add to the mixer bowl and fold together until you have a stiff but uniform mixture. Add the yogurt and any leftover pear juices and fold again until combined. Spoon into the lined loaf tin and smooth over.
Add a sheet of baking parchment or foil over the top (to stop it overbrowning) then place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes then remove the paper. Bake for a further 7 to 10 minutes until a cake tester can be removed cleanly from the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool - but do try a warm slice while the chocolate is gooey. The cake keeps in a tin for 2 days.