Chocolate Chip Cookies

As a little side project and after reading some of my favourite blogs I decided to do a bit of baking. While I can’t eat sweet, delicious baked goods at the moment, there’s no reason why I can’t make them for others to enjoy. Although yes, I did have two. Only two I swear!

Plus some cookie dough.

And maybe my daughters left over cookie.

But that’s it!

Rustling up ingredients from the cupboard I found I only had a small amount of milk choc chips left so I decided to also add the rest of my leftover white chocolate milk bits, roughly chopped to add a bit of chunk.

I love chunky, soft cookies and these did not disappoint. I think I should’ve reduced the sugar content a bit due to the white chocolate I added as white choc already contains more sugar than normal choc so they did turn out a little sweet.

All in all though, yum!

Ingredients:

125g unsalted butter, softened

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups chocolate bits

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add the vanilla and egg and stir to combine. Stir in the sifted flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. Fold through the chocolate chips.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture on a lined baking tray. Make sure you leave enough room for spreading as these babies spread! Cook for 15-20 minutes, until they are a light golden colour. Allow to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

(Originally from Bill Granger).

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Melbourne Moments Part 2

The first day my sister arrived in Melbourne I took her to a place that my husband and I went to when we went to Melbourne a few years ago for our first wedding anniversary. It was still exactly how I remembered it – beautiful, charming, delicious and the iced teas…ohhh the iced teas. Yuuummm. I still dream about this place.

It’s called the ‘Oriental Teahouse’ – 378 Little Collins Street  Melbourne.

 

Amongst all the eating, we shopped. Boy did we shop. Great deals in Zara. I got the cutest pink glitter shoes for my daughter there and she has been wearing them non stop.

Another dinner we had one night was at a little pub and I cannot for the life of me remember the name. I’ll come back and edit as soon as I do. I ordered the Fajitas. They weren’t what I expected…. I’ve never had fajitas with sweet chilli sauce before but they were still pretty nice in my starved state. My sister had the steak and received her chips arranged in a stacked like position so from then on, was affectionately named “Chip Jenga”.

 

Last but not least, we went was the chocolate house “Koko Black” – Shop 4, Royal Arcade, 335 Bourke St, Melbourne. We stopped in for a quick dessert and coffee and we were not disappointed. We were table ninjas as soon as we saw a free table – not realising there was a whole other seated section upstairs.

All in all, it was definitely a fun trip. Amazing coffee, lovely restaurants but I still think my Sydney is number one. 🙂

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

After days of wanting to make them, I finally got around to making my lemon curd filled cupcakes. Even with a tantrum throwing toddler hanging off the barrier to the kitchen wanting to eat whatever I was making, I didn’t get deterred.

 

Ingredients

 

I used the Magnolia Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe. But thanks to my darling hubby buying the wrong sugar and wrong icing mixture I had to make a few tweaks. In the recipe it just says to use sugar. Hubby bought caster sugar which I used. In the frosting recipe it calls for ALOT of sugar; Confectioners sugar which is just icing sugar. Hubby bought icing mixture which is slightly different so I ended up using the recipe on the back of the icing mixture packet.

100g butter

1 cup icing mixture

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

 

Completed mixture ready to fill cupcake holders

 

I had actually halved the cupcake recipe as it makes 24 and there’s no way they’d all get eaten so i just upped the qtys for the frosting to make enough for 12 cupcakes.

Before frosting, I cut little holes out of each cupcake and piped in some lemon curd. You can make your own but I just bought pre-made lemon curd in a jar. Still delicious.

 

 

Then, I piped on the frosting.

 

Finished!

 

As part of my search this is the 2nd cupcake recipe I’ve made. The first was delicious!! This one – whilst still nice, had a different texture compared to the fluffy ones I’ve always liked. I can’t describe it. It wasn’t dry at all, just a different texture. Interestingly, I had one for breakfast today (I know, naughty naughty!) but I liked it better today than yesterday. The texture didn’t bother me.

Hubby who only ever eats the frosting off cupcakes, again ate the whole thing. He actually ate 3 for dessert so by that grading, success!

Raspberry Cupcakes with White Choc Ganache

MMMMMMmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!! I made these last week and there are none left. I didn’t eat them all by myself… but I did supersede my weekly calorie quotient that’s for sure!!

I found this recipe on the Nigella website and the name captured me straight away. You can find it here: Recipe

I used frozen raspberries but let them defrost first just by sitting out on a plate but I strongly recommend soaking up most of the juices first as you’ll end up with runny batter.

The ingredients

 

I couldn’t stop tasting as I was going. This is definitely a recipe where you could lick the entire bowl.

 

Fold in the raspberries last.

 

My husband usually only eats the top of cupcakes but he ate the entire thing so I know I’m on to a winner here!

 

Ready for baking

 

I even gave some to Miss 1 and it was gone in seconds. (But if anyone knows my little Miss 1 they know that anything she puts in her mouth will be gone in seconds. 😉 )

 

The finished product!

 

Will definitely make these again! I think next time I’ll whip the ganache. It was actually my first time ever making it so when I piped it onto the cupcakes it was a bit heavy. I have also never piped before so they ended up looking like little white dog turds on top but they tasted fantastic!

The search is on!

When life gives you lemons, make lemon flavoured cupcakes I say.

I need a distraction and due to my overwhelming love of cupcakes in which I crave them nearly every day I have decided to try to save my moolah and to search for my own perfect cupcake recipe to make my own.

This is where I need help and where you come in! Do you have a favourite cupcake recipe? My sister in law makes cakes and cupcakes for a living and I love them and particularly the icing she makes but I don’t want to ask her for the recipe. I feel like thats her secret recipe for success. I’m not after dry, plain, boring cupcakes. I love elaborate, creamy iced, lip smacking flavoured cupcakes like red velvet, strawberry iced with an actual strawberry in the middle, chocolate with runny chocolate under the icing, cookies and cream….

I am going to make it a mission to try various recipes to find the best one that works for me and my family and blog about them along the way. I’m getting hungry just writing this!

Hopefully, it will provide me with the distraction I need from the crap that life throws at us.

Wish me luck!!

 

      

Balsamic Lamb with Peach and Rocket Salad

I can’t claim credit for the recipe…. but I can’t keep it to myself. It is simply too yummy!

In the latest edition of “Masterchef Magazine” you will find the divine recipe for the Balsamic Lamb with Peach and Rocket Salad.

Holy majoly!! I couldn’t stop eating it. It was amazing! I hope you enjoy it too.

Ingredients:

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp light soy sauce

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

400g diced lamb (the recipe says to use lamb backstrap but at $60 a kilo I successfully substituted)

SALAD

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs balsamic vinegar (recipe says to use verjuice)

2 tsp lemon juice (recipe says to use vino cotto)

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 ripe peaches, halved, stoned, cut into thin wedges

100g rocket

1 tbs pine nuts, roasted

120g soft goats cheese, crumbled

 

1. To make marinade, stir vinegar, sugar, oil, mustard, soy sauce and garlic in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Place lamb in a shallow glass or ceramic dish, add marinade and turn to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

2. Heat a greased pan or bbq over medium-high heat. Drain lamb and reserve marinade. Cook lamb, turning every minute and lightly basting with reserved marinade, for 6 minutes for med-rare or until cooked to your liking.

3. To make salad dressing, combine oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and mustard in a small bowl and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt.

4. To make salad, combine onion, peaches, rocket, and pine nuts in a large bowl. Drizzle over dressing and toss gently to combine.

5. Cut each lamb backstrap on the diagonal into thick slices. (Or slice your diced lamb in half). Divide your salad onto plates, then top with lamb. Scatter with goat’s cheese and season with pepper to serve.

Bon appétit!

 

Hubby’s 30th!

The big 3 0h!

Today is my gorgeous husbands 30th birthday. We first started seeing each other just before he turned 21. How time flies!

I’m just about to plan a nice dinner menu for tonight. A nice meze platter perhaps? Followed by a roast dinner?

My aunties authentic curry puffs? Followed by some home cooked Thai?

Or his favourite – malaysian chicken satay?

Too many options… I don’t know!

I guess it’s dependant upon what time our angel wakes up from her sleep and what time I will have on my hands! Based on experience, we could be having cheese on toast. ;p

Quick and Easy Dinner

When you’ve got very limited time to feed your family, this recipe is so easy and fuss free. (It does involve a cheats pasta sauce).

1 jar of your choice of pasta sauce. (Works best with a napolitana sauce though).

Chicken breast

Your choice of pasta

Your choice of veggies

Sour cream

All you need to do is brown your chicken, cut and steam your veggies, pour in the sauce and stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked. Once cooked, turn the heat down and stir in some sour cream – keep tasting and adjust to your liking.

Add it to your cooked pasta and voila! Easy dinner in under 10 minutes. It’s so very, very yummy too!

Cranberry and Almond Biscotti

I decided to make this biscotti to accompany our Christmas feast. By the time we got through all the food from the day we were a bit too full to actually eat it all but it’s yummy when you just want to have a quiet coffee and want something yum to dunk into it.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds

2 eggs

2/3 cup caster sugar

finely grated rind of 1 orange

2 cups plain flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Spread nuts out on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, until toasted. Set aside for 5 mins to cool. Roughly chop.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar and orange rind, until pale and thick. Sift flour and baking powder over egg mixture. Stir to combine. Add cranberries and chopped almonds and mix until dough comes together.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two. Shape each piece into a log about 25cm long and 4-5cm wide. Place onto a prepared tray, allowing room to spread. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until light and golden. Set aside to cool.

4. Reduce oven to 150 degrees celsius. Using a serrated knife, cut each log into 1 cm thick slices. Place slices in a single layer on the baking trays. Bake for 15 minutes, turning after 10 minutes until light golden and crisp. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

This recipe makes about 50  biscotti. I actually halved it when I made it. Enjoy. 🙂

Gingerbread For Christmas

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, at room temperature
  • 155g (3/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) golden syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 750g (5 cups) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 420g (2 2/3 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 200g dark chocolate melts
  • Kellogg’s Mini Wheats

Method

  1. Beat butter, brown sugar and golden syrup until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Gradually stir in flour, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda, ground cloves. Knead until smooth. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Use templates to cut out shapes. Use a 4.5cm round cutter to cut a disc from the front wall to make a window. Cut a cross from the disc. Place in window. Cut out a door. Bake on lined trays for 10-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  2. Trim the edges of the gingerbread. Beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in lemon juice and icing sugar. Place in a piping bag with a 3mm nozzle. Decorate gingerbread with icing. Set aside to set. Cover leftover icing.
  3. Melt chocolate. Spoon into a sealable plastic bag. Cut 1 corner to make a hole. To assemble, see note. For roof, pipe icing along 1 long edge of 1 roof panel. Top with Mini Wheats. Repeat in rows with remaining icing and Mini Wheats, slightly overlapping, trimming to fit, to cover completely. Repeat on other roof panel. Allow to set. Use icing to join chimney pieces. Allow to set. Attach to roof with icing. Dust house with icing sugar.
  •  To assemble: Attach the front and a side wall to the board and each other with chocolate. Use a square cake pan for support.Remove the cake pan and repeat with remaining walls. Set aside for 3-5 minutes. The chocolate sets quickly.Fix the door to the house. Attach a roof panel and gently hold in place until you feel it set. Repeat to finish your house.

    (I found this while googling Gingerbread houses and thought to share. Thanks “Good Taste Magazine”.)