29 November, 2010

A Very Berry Trifle

My sister's 20th birthday was on the weekend and I made a sisterly 'Bed in Breakfast' for her. I'm such a saint sometimes, I owe that much to myself.

I awoke on a early sunny Sunday morning, and started off with her standard cereal;
- Kellogs' Corn Flakes
- Or Kellogs' Crunchy nut (my sister is very fussy when it comes to food, her standards have to be met)
- Covered with a drizzly dollop of honey
That was easy. I also chopped up some banana to try and make the tray look fairly presentable, I didn't want her to think I hadn't put in much effort.
And oh, just a little note; I went to sleep at about 11 the night before. And. I. Need. My. Sleep.
I decided to go with something quick and jazzy I had seen on TV before, with frozen berries, cream and biscuits. But we didn't have any cream in the house so I just left that out and carried on with the beautiful berries and biscuits.
Easily whizzing some frozen berries and crumbling some broken biscuits might just prove to be my new found temptation.

Very Berry Trifle

-100g Frozen Berries (Your choice)
- 3 Tb Icing Sugar
- 1/2 cup Whipped Cream
- 100g Digestive biscuits or plain wheat biscuits
Place frozen Berries and Icing sugar into a processor/blender and process. Process until liquified.
Seperatly, crush Digestive biscuits until finley crumbed and place into bottom of wine glass. Whip cream and 2 more Tablespoons of icing sugar and dollop ontop of biscuit mixture in wine glass, then ontop, pour the Berry sauce and repeat layers until the glass if full, or until desired.


26 November, 2010

The Humble Cookie

My sister's birthday is tomorrow.
Panic. ... Why?

Because I haven't even brought her a present yet!
In all honesty, I didn't know what to buy her, so I decided to... as usual, no doubt..Bake!

I had asked her a couple of times what she would like, she dropped a few hints mumbling about gingerbread, madeira cake, and cookies. Cookies caught my hearing.

As you do, you cream the butter and sugar for any normal cookie.
I used IKEA chocolate. Best. chocolate. Ever! It even over rules Lindt chocolate, which is a huuge acheivment. Go to IKEA and pick up a couple of hundred of these, you'll thank me later.

That is providing you have an IKEA around where you live, of course.
Then the rest is all up to that trustworty recipe of mine. This cookies recipe is not just any cookie recipe.
No. Definatly not. A cookies either too hard that it breaks your tooth, or too soft that it melts in  your mouth before you even have the chance to taste it.
And to finish off, a picture of the versatile egg.

The Humble cookie is a great one, and a very versatile one. I threw in a couple of chocolate chips, that I cut out from that fabsy IKEA chocolate bar, and a few walnuts.
Walla. Enjoy.

The Humble Cookie
     - Makes around 20, depending on size of choice

- 50g Butter, room temperature
- 2 Tb Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 Tb Caster Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 t vanilla essence
- 3 Tbs of chocolate chips, throw in a few walnuts if you're feeling generous
- 3/4 SR flour


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Cream butter with electric beater, then add both sugars until mixture is light and fluffly. Add in one large egg and beat again. Add the 3/4 cup of SR flour, and stir with a metal spoon. DON'T BEAT FROM NOW ON! Sprinkle the vanilla essence, and let the chocolate chips tumble in the bowl, and continue mixing until all combined quite well. Be sure not to over mix, only until the mixture comes and holds together.
Roll Tablespoons of the gooey mixture in your hands and place in a safe distance on a lined and greased baking tray.
Overcrowding them makes the mixture end up merging into one giant cookie, and whats the use in that if you can't share it?
Place the goods in, and cook for 20-25 minutes until light golden brown.

23 November, 2010

Homemade Bread

Not everyday is great...for example, I've got 2 exams tomorrow.. negative.
I'm feeling tired and unmotivated to study... negative.
And I'm craving something sweet, even though I haven't even had dinner yet...Definate negative.

I'm stressing so badly for tomorrows exams. Chemistry and Biology. Mmm.. Biologys not too bad, but Chemistry? Kill yourself, ecspecially if your studying Organic Chemistry.
I can't even hear what the teachers saying half the time, it seems to come out in a totally different language, and when she makes eye contact with me, I just give a quick nod as if to mean that I understood everything she just said.

Which I totally didn't. Now I'm regretting not trying to understand her scientific language.. because if I didn't already say.. I'VE GOT AN EXAM TOMORROW!

To other news.. a couple of days ago I made a Cinnamon Date loaf of bread, and forgot to post, because I was studying Chemistry. Note the sarcasm.

Anyway, I'm trying to cheer myself up by listening to some Glee songs, and a few Dana Glover hits.
Yes, sad I know, I'm totally self loathing.. but what am I supposed to do?

My Chemistry teacher is going to hate me forever.
On a lighter note.. try this.

Please, do it for me and my Chemistry exam. I'm so not motivated to study.. soooo.. Facebook? Gosh I'm so slack.

The recipe will be posted soon .. but til them I'm enjoying the freedom of not having to study for exams!

18 November, 2010

Bananarama Milkshake

Do you know what Beauty and the Geek is?

Only like my favrioute show ever.
It's starting in an hour and im uber excited. The countdowns already begun.
Watch it, or download it..wait that's illegal, but then again, it's totally worth it.

So is this banana milkshake. My sister drank it and said it tasted like the shop's milkshake.. I'm guessing thats a good sign, right?

57 Minutes to go 'til it starts. Get excited.

Gosh, that means I only took 3 minutes to write this post. Don't judge me, you try getting hooked on Beauty and the Geek, it's love, it's a drug... hmm quite like this bananarama milkshake..

Do try.

P.s I totally need to get a replacement of the picture at the top, talk about blurry... Don't blame me, blame that dodgy Canon camera of mine.

Bananarama Milkshake
- 4 ripe bananas
- 4 large scoops of vanilla ice-cream
- 4 cups of milk
- 1 Tb of cocoa powder (totally optional)

... I think you know how this works. Chuck it all into a blender and blend 'til smooth and thick, serve immediatly.

13 November, 2010

Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

How many ways are there to describe this chocolate mud cupcake?
I think 4? 
1. Moist
2. Chocolatey
3. Fluffy
4. Did I say Chocolatey?
Yes, I had another baking session on this fine Sunday afternoon, and I fattened up my household.
On another random note..I believe I haven't introduced my little budgie to you have I? How rude of me.
Everyone this is Georgie.
Georgie, this is Everyone.
He's gorgeous isn't he? 
He's a mad chirper and sings like all day everyday. No joke. literally, it gets annoying after a while.

Chocolate mud cupcakes
100g dark chocolate
1 cup water
125g butter, softened
255g brown sugar
3 eggs
225 SR flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup of cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius. 
Combine the chocolate and water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a separate bowl, cream sugar, butter and eggs until light and fluffy. Add the flours, cocoa powder and the warm chocolate mixture. Stir until all combined.
Spoon evenly into patty pan cases and bake for 20 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
Ice if desired. Or just gobble it all up..

12 November, 2010

All Spiced Up: Sweet Potato Pies

My house smells like a bakery. Not a bakery, the bakery I used to go to as a child. The fragrant nutmeg and cinnamon wafting through the shop as i eagerly awaited to sink my face into a pumpkin pie. Thats the excitement that I'm having now, ohhh the child hood memeories.
And sometimes if you were lucky the smell would have wafted into your clothes and when you got home you still smelt like a pumpkin pie, and yes, I admit it, still wanted to gobble up my coat in order to have some of that spice enter my mouth again.

But...I'm exauhsted. I was in the kitchen bustling around like a bee for nearly 2 hours trying to get these little suckers in the oven and out of my hands.
about 3 problems occured while this dilemma was taking place.

1. I couldnt find any ground coriander spice except for the one in mums spice pot which was half mixed with ground cumin seeds. Yay, a cumin flavoured savoury pie dish. (Note the utter sarcasm) I compromised and just threw it in anyway.

2. The pie filling mixture was too warm to mix with the egg mixture so I had a nervy b, and I decided to let it cool just incase it cooked the eggs and I was left with a mega disaster. So... this is what the result looked like, as I frantically ran around the kitchen

3. I had 36.. 36!!small patty shortcrust pies and I had a tonne of pie filling left over. I decided to go with the best way.. search 'what to do with left over pie filling' in google. No such luck and no good results. So I just bonged it all into a cake tin and left it in the ovens hands.

After those problems, the pie filling tasted pretty damn good

Sweet Potato Pie from Joy the Baker (Note: I dont own this recipe, the gorgeous Joy does)
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 granulated sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

2- 5oz cans evaporated milk (1 1/4 cups evaporated milk)

3 large eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

Boil two medium sweet potatoes in their jackets in a covered pot over moderate flame, until sweet potatoes are very soft and tender.
Test with a thin sharp knife. If there is any resistence, boil longer. Knife should penetrate the sweet potatoes fast and smoothly. Remove potatoes from the water and allow to cool on a plate or wire rack.
When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes, cut into chunks and place in a large bowl. Mash potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher. There should be NO lumps.

Measure 2 cups and put in a medium sized pot with the packed brown sugar, all of the spices, salt, the 1/2 stick butter, and one 5 oz can of evaporated milk. Cook on low flame for about 5 minutes, whipping with a wire whisk until butter and brown sugar are melted down and mixture is well blended, smooth and starts to bubble. Remove from fire and let cool in pot.

In a medium sized bowl, beat the three eggs with a fork. Add the second 5oz can of evaporated milk, granulated sugar and vanilla to the eggs and continue beating until creamy. Pour the cooled sweet potato mixture from pot into a large bowl. Stir in the egg mixture. Blend thoroughly with a whisk and refrigerate mixture overnight or use immediately.

Heat oven 450 degrees with a cookie sheet inside. After heated. pour filling into the pie shell and put on the HOT cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for ten minutes then turn oven to 325 (300 with the convection fan turned on) and bake for 1 hour more, or until edges and center are raised and puffed and the center only shakes slightly.

Remove from oven. Let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving.

Take it out, put it on a plate and stuff your face with all that goodness

03 November, 2010

All Spiced Up: Almond Macaroons

Nigella is a baking god. Did I already tell you this? Well, i'm telling you now. Her charming and attractive ways of rummaging around the kitchen to whip up a cake, or get ready to sink a chef knife into a leg of ham is so pleasing to me.

This sounds really weird doesnt it? Well if you've ever watched Nigella Bites you'll know what I'm talking about.

One fine day in my little kitchen I was thinking of ways to fill up my boring Sunday with some activity. No better way then to bake some macaroons that had been craved the whole weekend by my family, right?

Out of Almonds. Disaster. Annoying and fustrating.

Take two, on a Saturday afternoon the following weekend. And everything went according to plan. Yay!
I've baked these macaroons about 3 times already now, can't get enough of them.
The cardamom spice really lifts it to a whole different level.
Spice is nice.

Almond and Cardamom Spiced Macaroons
                                        Nigella Lawson

- 200g Ground Almonds
- 200g (1cup) caster sugar
- 1/4 t of cardamom powder
- 2 Egg whites

Place the ground Almonds, sugar and cardamom powder into a mixing bowl of your kitchen aid. Or if doing this by hand, a large bowl.
Combine the dry ingredients by simply pressing that nifty little on button on your mixer, or getting out a wooden spoon.. that always works.
Slide in the 2 egg whites and keep stirring/mixing until combined
Rub a couple of drops of Rose water on your hands and pick up the sandy mixture and roll into walnut sized balls, place each ball faaaar apart on the baking tray (Trust me they spread..alot!)
Pop into the oven for 10 minutes-ish, pop in to retreive it, pop onto a plate then pop into your hungrily awaiting mouth. Or in this case, my familys mouths...

Nice and Iced Chocolate Cupcakes

Hello, I bet you've been missing me..
No? Okay.. what about cake?

Yes. I though that would be the answer.
Here we go: I've started at a new school and all, and there is this Arts day, where anyone can bring got do to with dancing, cooking, photography, painting, drawing, singing.. and the list could go on forever and ever.
But you know me..
First thing I jumped at was cakes. Yessss I had this in the bag, and I was pretty certain I was going to take out first place .... along with second and third of course.

So, everyone has their cake in their hand with the theme of 'chocolate by death' and we're all huddling together, though very cautiously so we dont absoloutley squash our cakes.
This girl was standing next to me, and her cake was incredible.

It was out of this world.

I was so tempted to give her knock so she 'accidently' smooshed her icing all over herself, her uniform and the blue carpet.

But I thought better of it. As I looked around the room in horror, I realised I hadnt put any effort atall in to my cake. I had a really bad cold the night before you see.. so thats the only thing that stopped me producing some sort of chocolate wedding cake that would blow your mind and have you jumping out of your seats.

But no, dissappointment.

I will make a WOW one next year, promise?
Okay, as long as we're both even

p.s please praise my artistic photos, I tried the best I could with that dodgy camera of mine!

Nice and Iced Chocolate Cupakes
-125g butter (room temperature)
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup of Caster Sugar
- 2 Cups SR Flour
- 3 heaped tablespoons of Cocoa powder

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. The butter should be as white as possible. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy again. Stir in the sifted flour and milk with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
Place mixture into patty pans, 3/4 of the way full so they don't totally expand, blow up and mess up your oven with chocolatey goodness..
And bake for 10-15 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean and the top is springy.