18 June, 2014

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

My second post in a year and we are almost halfway through the year. Oh god :(
I was looking at my archives and I only posted 4 posts last year! I really need to pick up my game but I haven't made anything in my Melbourne kitchen because it's too small to do anything!

On another brighter note (or should I say sweeter and saltier note...lame), I found these cookies in my baking photos folder and totally forgot to post them. I think it's because the photos are quite dodgy and the light wasn't looking too good. But hey, I haven't posted in ages so I am literally scrounging for baking material to post.

I made these last year sometime (I think). The recipe yielded a huge batch which I didn't know what to do with so I distributed them amongst my friends and family! They are extremely short and so are extremely crumbly and v unhealthy. But sometimes ya gotta indulge...although I tend to use that phrase on a regular basis so it's not looking too good for me, help.

It's currently 1.30AM and I am sitting in my pyjamas, listening to Beyonce and munching on a carrot because I just woke up from a nap (I know, wtf...I'm confused too). So anyway, I will leave y'all with this recipe while I continue to lip-synch BeyBey and pretend I am at the MCWT (which was a life changing show btw).
Honey honeyyyyyy, I can see the stars all the way from here, can't you feel the glow on the window pane? You put ma love on top, top, TOP. Okay, yeah, bye! 

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
                             Adapted from For Me, For You
- 3 ½ cups plain flour

- 1 heaped teaspoon baking soda

- 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

- 1 heaped teaspoon sea salt

- 280g unsalted butter

- 1 ¼ cups brown sugar

- 1 cup granulated sugar (raw sugar works well)

- 2 eggs

- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

- 400g dark chocolate, chopped (you can also use choc chips)*

- Sea salt, to sprinkle

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars until pale.  Add the eggs and vanilla, and continue beating for 3 minutes.

In another bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir to combine.  Add the choc chips and stir until evenly mixed through. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge  for 2 hours or until chilled.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Using an ice-cream scoop (or tablespoon) scoop up the dough and roll in your hands to make golf ball sized balls of dough.  Place the balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Space the balls evenly with enough room for them to expand.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Makes 30 – 40 depending on the size of the cookies.

*I didn't stay completely true to the recipe as we didn't have 400g of dark chocolate so I used half dark and half milk. I know that the result would have been much better if I used all dark as it would have contrasted to the saltiness well..but next time! 

20 February, 2014

Cake in a Cup: Chocolate Mud Cake

Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am aliiiiiive..if anyone cared. I haven't blogged in about 7 months!? How crazy. A lot has happened since then. So, what I suggest y'all do is make up a cup of this cake, settle down and get ready to read.

7 months ago in July 2013 I decided to move to Melbourne. The decision was actually quite quick but I had been meaning to move out of home for a while as I felt like I needed to grow and gain independence. I also felt like there was so much out in the world that I wasn't seeing by simply staying confined and sheltered in a city which is extremely quiet. I sent out multiple applications to England and universities over there, but seeing as I missed the deadline for application admissions (ye...because the decision was spontaneous), many of the universities didn't accept them because the deadline was "strict" pfffft. Anyway, from the universities which I persuaded to consider my application, I got accepted into Edinburgh which um hello, yes, is in Scotland. I knew that it would be way too far and I knew that although I was desperate to move out of home I would miss my family like crazy. Also, I knew I would freeze my tits off.

My Dad suggested that I apply to Melbourne universities because a lot of my friends from Perth were moving there themselves. And he felt that it would be a city where I could experience a different lifestyle as well as be in touch with my fam bam...also, it was a 3 hour plane ride away. I applied to Monash university and got accepted. So, my mum and I packed our bags and headed over together. She stayed for a couple of days and helped me settle in. Getting my Mum to come with me to unpack was one of the best ideas because she really gave my apartment the home-y feel and I would be a headless chicken if she didn't come. Like, I don't think I would have made it to the apartment from the airport.. #awkward.

I started at Monash University as a mid-semester student. It took a while to settle in and feel comfortable and come to terms that I had to cook, clean, wash the dishes, do laundry, go to the market to get groceries and manage bills all by myself, but I guess that was the independence I was looking for. Also, no one prepared me for HOW FUCKING COLD Melbourne was........... ummmmmmmm. I didn't bring enough winter wear so I was constantly shivering and feeling glum. I made good friends in my apartment building and a few at Uni, but, to be perfectly honest I don't think they compared to the unbreakable friendships I had at home. 2 girls that I live with however, have become like sisters to me as we see each other everyday and are coping with the transition from school to uni together.

Anyway, I have had hardly anytime to bake and my kitchen is T I N Y. Literally a 1x1...I can barely turn around in there let alone cook up a dessert! But I am searching for recipes which are quick and require minimum effort and which don't require any space to work with...lol.

I went home for the summer for 2.5 months and while there I baked this for my Dad's birthday. He loves loves loves chocolate cake and I knew he would appreciate this. It's a serving for one and you don't have ANY washing up to do afterwards. I love cakes in cups because they are so handy. No need to whip out an entire cake and turn the oven on. You just bung all the ingredients in a cup and microwave dat shit

The cake came out a perfect consistency and was moist in the middle. Sooooo gooooood!

Cake in a Cup: Chocolate Mud Cake
- 4 Tb Plain Flour
- 4 Tb Caster Sugar
- 2 Tb Cocoa Powder
- 1 Egg
- 3 Tb Milk
- 3 Tb Oil (I used sunflower)
- 3 Tb Chocolate Chips (I just chopped up a chocolate bar! Feel free to use random bits of choc)
- 2-3 Drops Vanilla Extract
 *You can also throw in your choice of nut as well. I like roasted walnuts with this.

 Add all dry ingredients into a mug and mix with a fork. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Then add your liquids and pour in the milk, oil and vanilla extract.Whisk lightly with a fork to incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet. If using chocolate chips/nuts, add now. 

Place the mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on HIGH, although keep checking on the cake to make sure it does not overflow. I put a plate under the mug to catch any bits that decided to jump out! After the cake seems cooked (remember, the knife test here would be ineffective here as it's a mud cake and will naturally be moist in the middle). 
Allow the cake to cook a little and then enjoy!