Tag Archives: butter

Paul Hollywood’s chocolate chip shortbread petticoat tails

13 Feb

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Have you seen the Great British Bake Off? I love it! An Australian version was short-lived but to be honest the British version really appealed to me. I love learning about the history of cakes and tarts – as a history and all-things-British nerd I find the back-story of the bakes fascinating. Continue reading

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Donna Hay chocolate cookies with peppermint filling

7 Feb

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I think I am in the minority when I say it should be a case of ‘never the twain shall meet’ with chocolate and peppermint. Followers of my blog will know that I don’t have a sweet tooth but that’s not the reason for my somewhat controversial belief. Continue reading

Donna Hay Christmas cinnamon sugar cookies / biscuits

24 Nov

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Ho ho ho – it is getting very close to all that is festive… the ‘where has the year gone?’ conversations, the ‘what am I going to buy Aunty Carol?’ questions, the musings on when to bake to avoid the heat of the day…

Here in Sydney December is always a bazillion degrees. Often humid, too. And very often followed by a thunderstorm late in the day. As I type we are experiencing a house-shaking, sky-piercing, ear-throbbing thunder and lightening spectacular.

I used a snowflake cutter to make these cookies / biscuits as it is the newest member of my constantly expanding cookie cutter collection. We don’t get snow, so I don’t understand the fascination with all things frozen. Having said that, I’m not sure what a Southern Hemisphere festive-season cutter would be shaped like – a sun? A huge fly? A sunburnt tourist on Bondi Beach?

Maybe we’ll stick with tradition then…

Continue reading

Chocolate raspberry bread & butter pudding

3 Aug

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Despite being Sydney born and bred I am a winter gal through and through. The cool air, the fabulous clothes and the amazing winter fare is my kind of lifestyle. Forget frolicking at the beach or being burnt to a crisp – give me the great indoors, a fire and some cookbooks and I’m in hog heaven.
Of all the winter foods my favourite to cook and eat must be puddings. Despite not having an overly sweet tooth I am always drawn to puddings: self-saucing, gooey, oozy numbers are what the cold weather is all about. Wand when it comes to a hearty dessert to make you happy to be alive it is hard to go past a bread and butter pud.

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Australian blogger and writer Kate Gibbs’ recipe for choc raspberry bread and butter pudding, from her book After Toast, had my name on it: I had a stale loaf of chunky white bread and due to shopping miscommunication about 8 litres of milk in the fridge.
I made a few tweaks including the amount of eggs and milk and omitting jam that was used on the bread slices.

GATHER:
8 thick slices of good quality white bread
Enough butter to generously butter bread with
150g fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup dark choc bits / buttons/ roughly chopped chocolate
3 eggs
2 cups milk
Good splash best quality vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar plus extra for sprinkling

LET’S GET TO IT:
Preheat oven to 180C .
Cut bread into small rectangles or triangles then butter each piece on one side.
Arrange in shallow ovenproof dish and scatter with half the raspberries and all of the chocolate. Cover with remaining bread.
In a large jug whisk eggs until frothy then beat in milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
Pour over bread and scatter over remaining berries.
Stand for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle over the extra sugar, cover with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes. Remove paper and bake for another 15.
Serve warm.

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Pumpkin semifreddo and pumpkin snickerdoodles – two baking recipes

8 Nov

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So I have come late to the pumpkin party but boy am I an enthusiastic participant!

I have always loved pumpkin but in Australia it is eaten primarily as a savoury dish. I only discovered its use in baking from the many, MANY cooking blogs I follow. You may have noticed I have a recipe for pumpkin pie on my blog [sooo very delicious] but as canned pumpkin isn’t readily available here it means chopping/cooking/mashing pumpkin before you can even contemplate baking with it.

We recently returned from a US holiday, where we visited Disneyland [oh! So much happiness], San Fran [can I please move there?] and Hawaii. I dragged my poor family to every supermarket we passed [and many others that we had to make long-winded detours for] in order to stock up on baking provisions that aren’t available here in Australia. The legendary graham crackers. Pumpkin spice kisses. Hersey bars. And tins of pumpkin.

I couldn’t wait to get home and start baking with my imported loot and the first thing I made was Tartlette’s pumpkin semifreddo. Oh, what a revelation! Silky, creamy, and pumpkiny. Devine. All I did was change some of the spices to mixed spice & increase the cinnamon because I’m all about the cinnamon. Here’s her recipe: http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2009/11/recipe-pumkin-semifreddo-with-side-of.html

Then, as I had leftover pumpkin, I made a batch of Baked By Rachel’s pumpkin snickerdoodles. Without exaggeration I would rate these as some of the best bickies [or cookies, to speak in the parlance] I have ever made. Here’s the original: http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/2012/10/pumpkin-snickerdoodle-cookies/comment-page-1/#comment-94230

I served the two together because – well, why the hell not.

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Pumpkin semifreddo

Gather:

1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons (25gr) sugar
2 tablespoons water
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup tinned pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon mixed spice

Let’s get to it:

Spray a loaf tin with non-stick spray then line with plastic wrap, allowing for overhang.

Using whisk attachment in a stand mixer beat cream to soft peak stage then put in fridge.
Place honey, sugar, and water in heavy saucepan, stir, then bring to a boil over medium heat until it reaches 114C on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat.

In a clean bowl beat the egg yolks for a few seconds, then slowly but steadily pour in the hot honey mix. Don’t muck around – the honey mix will begin to solidify if you wait.  Whip until the mix is airy and fluffy and incorporated.

Fold one third of chilled cream in, then beat the rest in along with pumpkin and spices.

Gently scrape into loaf tin, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer overnight.

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Pumpkin snickerdoodles

Gather:

225g butter, diced, at room temp

1 egg

2 ¾ cup plain flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup caster sugar ( I reduced the original recipe)

¾ cup pumpkin puree

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon mixed spice

½ teaspoon vanilla

sugar mix:

¼ cup caster sugar

2 tablespoon cinnamon

Stir together in small bowl

Let’s get to it:

Grease and line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy then add egg, vanilla and pumpkin (do not over-mix).

Sift dry ingredients into a medium bowl and add to butter bowl, mixing until everything is combined.

Place in fridge for around an hour, then preheat oven to 180C.

Using your hands make golfball-sized biscuits, then dip into sugar mix.

Place on tray then gently squash down with a fork (I tried skipping this step and they came out too fluffy and big).

Bake 12-ish minutes; allow to cool on tray for a minute then place on wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon and vanilla madeleines

30 Jun

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Not only is Madeline the name of some of our very best friend’s daughters, but also the name of a delightfully light sweet morsel.

Continue reading

Fresh ginger biscuits / cookies

14 May

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My mum’s birthday and Mother’s Day are just one week apart, which means trying to get presents for both events is tricky. First world problem, I know, but after all my mum has done [and continues to do] for me I feel I need to give her something.

Mum adores ginger and last year I made her a jar of Donna Hay gingerbread biscuits, which she loved.

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This year I had a ginormous amount of fresh ginger so searched out a cookie recipe that used the real stuff. I found it at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fresh-ginger-cookies/

This produces a spicy biscuit, which is perfect for ginger fans. The original recipe called for the cookie to be rolled in sugar before baking but I opted to stud mine with dark choc, and some with walnut pieces, and some with both [for those indecisive moments].

I also reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe as I wanted something a bit tart.

You’ll need an hour to chill dough so allow plenty of time when making this [guess who didn’t?]

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GATHER:

2 ¼ cups plain flour

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger [tip – keep your ginger in the freezer to make grating simple]

1 egg

¼ cup golden syrup

¾ cup caster sugar

170g butter

walnut pieces or dark chocolate pieces to decorate

 LET’S GET TO IT:

Grease and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

In bowl of electric mixer beat ginger, butter, and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in golden syrup and egg then fold in flour until just combined.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for an hour.

Preheat oven to 170C and roll golf ball size clumps of dough.

Place on tray, flatten gently with fork and top with walnut or chocolate [or both].

Bake for 14-ish minutes and allow to cool on rack.