Banana Bread

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It’s days like this (wind & rain) that you need banana bread.  Nothing beats the smell of the freshly cooked bread.  This recipe produces a really moist loaf that can be served cold, warm or toasted with or without butter.  Or for indulgence with mascarpone cheese and honey!!

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups of SR flour

1/4 cup of plain flour

1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup milk (I use full cream)

2 eggs

60 grams butter melted

2 overripe bananas mashed until smooth

rolled oats to sprinkle

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C.  Lightly grease loaf tin with canola oil spray.

Sift flours into large bowl, add cinnamon and sugar.  Stir until well combined, make a well in the centre.

In another bowl mix banana, milk, melted butter and lightly whisked eggs.

Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and mix lightly until just combined.

Pour mixture into loaf tin, spray with small amount of oil spray then sprinkle with oats, cook for approx 40 minutes or until golden and firm to touch.

Allow to cool slightly (if you can!!) then slice and enjoy.

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Corn fritters

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This is a slightly modified Bill Granger recipe.

Ingredients:

Corn kernels from 2 corn cobs
1/2 red onion chopped
2 eggs
2tbs chopped parsley
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch (or more!) of chilli flakes
salt and pepper

Method

Place 1 1/2 cups of the corn kernels, the onion,eggs, parsley, flour, baking powder, chilli flakes, salt & pepper into a blender and process until combined (mixture will still be slightly lumpy).

Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and add remaining corn.

Heat 1-2 tbs of olive oil in non-stick frying pan. When the oil is hot drop 2 heaped tbs of mixture per fritter onto oil. Cook until golden brown on underneath side then flip and cook other side.

Drain on absorbent towel.

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Great served with relish & avocado!

Double Chocolate Mocha Crunch Cupcakes

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This is not my recipe. I found it through Pinterest,(http://www.bakersroyale.com/cupcakes/double-chocolate-mocha-crunch-cupcake/) but I’ve made it twice now so decided to blog it. All I have done is translate it from American to Australian :-) and made a few other little adjustments.

Back to work tomorrow after the summer holidays, taking these to help!

Double Chocolate Mocha Crunch Cupcake

Makes 12 Cupcakes ( I doubled just this part of the recipe, so ended up with 24. Did not need to double other elements) What is written here is for a single mixture.

Preparation: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Ingredients
Cupcake:
• 1 cup all purpose flour
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoon instant coffee
• 1/2 cup hot coffee
• 1/2 cup crushed Maltesers

Chocolate SwissMeringue:

5 large egg whites
• 11/2 cup sugar
• 450 g unsalted butter, diced and softened
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
• 280 g chocolate, melted and cooled

Chocolate Pouring Sauce
• 2/3 cups dark chocolate
• 2 tablespoons heavy cream
• 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
• 4-5 tablespoons water, warm
Instructions:
Cupcake:
1. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine. Add in the butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for one minute. Add half of the coffee into the mixture and beat for 20 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add remaining coffee. Beat for 20-30 seconds until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin enough to pour. Divide it evenly among the lined cups. Bake 18-22 minutes just until a toothpick inserted into a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Set the pan on a rack to cool. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.

Chocolate Swiss Meringue:
1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.
2. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking-this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add cooled chocolate and mix to combine.

Chocolate Pouring Sauce:
1. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.
Assembly:
1. Frost cooled cupcakes. Freeze frosted cupcakes for ten minutes. Drizzle chocolate pour over chocolate frosting (reheat chocolate pour in microwave as needed to keep pouring consistency). Sprinkle crushed Maltesers on chocolate sauce. Finish with a small swirl of frosting and a Malteser.

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Chocolate layered cheesecake

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Long time between blogs! We were on such a roll and it was so much fun but then life got in the way and suddenly it became hard work. Trying to see if we want to reinvigorate the blog.

This is completely indulgent cooking. Something to make when you are feeling sad and need something else to think about! Didn’t end up being the prettiest thing I have ever cooked but it went down well with the people I made it for!

I have admired this picture on Pinterest for a while now and decided to adapt it so I can use my metal food rings again.

I wrapped the metal food rings in strong metal foil.

Layer 1: Oreo Crust
12 Oreo biscuits
50 g butter melted

Crush biscuits in a food processor. Add melted butter. Place the oreo mixture at the bottom foiled food rings. Smooth out the mixture. Place the crust in the freezer while you make the cheesecake.

Layer 2: Cheesecake
250 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup castor sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream

Put jug on to boil. Preheat the oven to slow/moderate.

Beat the cream cheese at medium speed in electric mixer until it is soft. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt, and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg, beating well. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and stir in the sour cream.

Pour the batter into the food rings, on top of the oreo base. Should come halfway up the food rings. Place foiled rings into a roasting pan and carefully pour the the boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the food rings.

Bake the cheesecake for 40-50 minutes, at which point the top will be lightly browned and the cheesecake is firmish to touch. Turn off the oven’s heat, and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool in the water for another 40-50 minutes.

After cooled, carefully remove the foil( there will be a small amount of water in foil) Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least an hour. Make the mousse once the cheesecake has cooled.

Layer 3: Chocolate Mousse
100 grams good chocolate
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp espresso coffee powder
2 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream, cold
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the chocolate and butter in microwave until melted. Whisk until smooth. Add in the coffee powder. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add the egg yolks to the chocolate, 1 by 1, beating with a whisk. Set aside.In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat. Gradually whisk in sugar, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Beat the cream until it begins to foam and thicken up. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Continue to whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.
Gradually and gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, carefully fold in the whipped cream. Place the mousse on top of the cooled cheesecake while still in foiled food rings.

Cover the mousse cheesecake with foil, being careful to not let it touch the mousse and place in the fridge. Once set ( 1 hour) make the ganache.

Top layer: Kahlua Ganache
1/2 cup cream
60 grams chocolate I used ANVERS
1 1/2 tsp Kahlua

Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Heat it up just BEFORE it boils. Place the chocolate in the cream, and remove from heat. Stir the mixture until smooth. Stir in the Kahlua. Allow the ganache to cool for about 15 minutes before pouring the mixture on top of the mousse cheesecake.

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Apple cheesecake slice

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Well it’s been a long time in between posts!

This recipe is an adaptation of a Womens Weekly recipe, I’ve made it on and off for the last 20 years!!

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp lemon rind

125 g butter

1 eg yolk

2 tbs sherry

Filling

1 can cooking apples

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 tbs plain flour

2 tsp lemon rind

1/2 cup cream

250 g cream cheese

1/4 tsp slt

300 ml cream whipped (extra)

cinnamon to decorate

Method

Pastry

Put dry ingredient, lemon rind and butter in food processor and process until bread crumb consistency.  Mix sherry and egg yolk and pour into pastry mix while processing.  Process until pastry forms a ball.

Spread pastry onto base of large slice tray.  Spread apples over the top of the pastry.

Filling

Beat eggs and sugar until thick, gradually add in flour.  Then add softened cream cheese, lemon rind, cream and salt.  Beat until well combined.  Pour over apple mixture.  Bake in moderate oven approx  1 hour or until cream cheese mixture set and lightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Spread with whipped cream, decorate with fork and sprinkle with cinnamon.

 

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Cherry strudel

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This is an adaption of a traditional Hungarian dessert……..and just quietly it’s delicious.

Folding the pastry + mixture can be a bit tricky so a spare pair of hands might be useful. Otherwise it really is an easy recipe, filo pastry is so great to work with. The syrup is optional, but really adds some zing!

Ingredients

125 g ricotta cheese

375 g cream cheese

3 tbs caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

5 sheets filo pastry

80 g unsalted butter melted

2 tbs dry breadcrumbs

680 g jar morello cherries – strained & juice reserved

2 tbs flaked almonds

icing sugar to dust

Syrup

strained juice from cherries

2 tbs cherry brandy

2 tbs sugar

1tsp cornflour mixed with enough water to form thin paste

Method

Strain ricotta in fine sieve for 1-2 hours before cooking.

Heat oven to 200ºC.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Beat the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until smooth, add the egg and beat well.

Lay 1 sheet of filo pastry on clean surface, brush evenly with melted butter.  Lay another sheet on top and brush with butter  - continue this process until there are 5 sheets of filo.  Spread the top sheet of filo with butter then sprinkle evenly with the bread crumbs.  Spread the cream cheese mixture along one side of the filo leaving a small gap around edges.  Place cherries on top of cheese mixture, then top with almonds.

Fold the side edges of the pastry in – brush exposed edges with butter.  Very carefully fold filo with mixture over, once again brushing exposed underneath with butter. Fold again until you have a nicely rolled package.  Spread butter over top of strudel.

Place onto prepared tray and bake for 15 minutes, reduce oven heat to 180ºC and bake for a further 5 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Strudel is ideally best left for about 30 minutes before serving.  Dust with icing sugar and serve with syrup and cream.

To make syrup.  Heat syrup, liqueur and sugar in a pan and boil until 1/3 reduced in  size.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Gradually add cornflour mixture and return to heat stirring all the time until slightly thickened.

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Chocolate cream puffs

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Chocolate cream puffs….why you might rightly ask :-) Some more procrastination and also a little trip back into time. Made these almost 25 years ago, been reminded of them again lately watching people making cream puffs for  a croquembouche. Old recipe or not, they are still pretty yummy! ( adapted from an old WW recipe book)

 

Ingredients

Cream Puff paste

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 125 grams butter
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa

 

Pastry Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspooon vanilla
  • 300 ml carton cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flour

 

Chocolate Butter Cream

  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons castor sugar
  • 60 g dark chocolate

 

Topping

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar

 

Method

Place water and butter in saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Quickly add the sifted flour all at once. Stir the mixture until it leaves the sides of the saucepan. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool slightly. Place mixture into small bowl of electric mixer, add eggs one at a time. Beat well between each addition. Beat in sifted cocoa.

 

Put teaspoons full of mixture onto lined tray. Allow room for spreading. Bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to moderate and bake for a further 30-40 minutes or until puffs are crisp. When cooked remove from the oven, make small slits in the side to let steam escape. Return to the oven for a few minutes to allow to dry out further. Allow puffs to become cold. Remove any soft filling from inside with a soft spoon.

 

Pastry Cream

Combine in a small bowl of electric mixer egg yolks and sugar. Beat on medium speed until mixture is pale. Reduce speed to low, add sifted flour, cream and vanilla. Place mixture in plan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to boil. Boil 30 seconds. Remove from heat, beat until mixture is smooth. Let cool. Push mixture through sieve to remove any small lumps.

 

Butter Cream

Have butter at room temp. Place butter in small bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar while butter is creaming. Beat in 8 tablespoons of the Pastry Cream, beat until mixture is smooth and almost doubled in bulk. Finally beat in the melted chocolate. Using a sharp knife,  make a small hole in the bottom of each puff. Put prepared Butter cream into piping bag fitted with a small, plain nozzle. Fill each puff with the cream.

Combine sifted cocoa and sugar, roll the puffs in the mixture to coat all over. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Makes about 20

 

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