Tuesday, January 21, 2020

TWD - Puffed Grain and Miso Cookies

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Puffed Grain and Miso Cookies. These are novel savoury, gluten free biscuits made from puffed rice, puffed barley (I used puffed corn instead), dried fruit (I used cranberries), peanuts, sesame seeds, rice malt syrup, sesame oil (mine was not toasted), olive oil and miso paste. 

The mixture is pressed into muffin tins and baked into cookies.

The end result is a delicious, crispy savoury sensation, quite unlike anything I have tried before.

To see what everyone else made this week and what they thought of it, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

If you would like a visual treat, check out my first Blue Mountains post on my travel blog, showcasing some of Australia’s wonderful natural landscape.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Katherine Sabbath's Flamin' Galah Cupcakes and Koala Cupcakes

For our work bushfire fundraiser bake sale, the second item that I made was the Flamin' Galah Cupcakes from p26 of Bake Australia Great by Katherine Sabbath. "Flamin' Galahs" is an Australian-ism for people who are idiotic, and Katherine has converted this phrase literally into these cute cupcakes.

Katherine takes vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream and makes them into fabulous pink and grey galahs using various sweets and cashews.  There are recipes in the book for the cupcakes and buttercream which I used, but you can use your favourite vanilla cupcake and buttercream recipe to make these cupcakes.   If you are a bit unsure what recipe to use, and you don't have Katherine's book,  try the Primrose Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe here.

Tint half the buttercream grey with black food colouring (only a drop or two of liquid colouring is needed so be careful!), and half of it pink with rose pink food colouring (again, be sparing with the colour to avoid it being too lurid), and ice the cupcakes half grey and half pink to look like feathers.

Attach the beak first - the beak is made of two cashews arranged to look like an open beak, with one half on the pink icing and one hlf on the grey icing.  (Note the grey icing is at the top of the galah's head).  Next cut a white marshmallow in half and attach half of it to the cupcake near the beak to form the eye of the galah.  Use a little buttercream to attach a brown M&M to the centre of the white marshmallow for the pupil of the eye. Cut a pink marshmallow into three pieces and arrange above the eye as shown to form the crest of the galah: 

So cute!  

I also made koala cupcakes:

These are chocolate cupcakes (use your own favourite recipe) that I iced with grey buttercream.  To create the kolas, you will need pink marshmallows, black jellybeans and brown mini M&Ms.

For each koala, take a pink marshmallow and cut it in half.  Holding each half marshmallow by the large flat sides, spread some grey colouring around the edge of each half of the marshmallow, then dip it around the iced edges in dessicated coconut.  Place each half on the cupcake, cut side up, to form ears.

Sprinkle the entire iced surface of the cupcake with dessicated coconut (avoiding the sticky pink marshmallow ears).  Position a black jellybean at the base of the cupcake to serve as a nose, and a mini M&M either side of the "nose" to serve as eyes.  Ta da:

You have cuddly koala cupcakes!

The koalas are less time consuming than the galahs as there are less moving parts, so consider this if deciding to make only one of these cutey-pie cupcakes.  Whether you make both or just one, I am sure that the recipients of these cupcakes will be delighted.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Embossed Marbled Fondant Covered Sugar Cookies

My workplace had a bake sale to raise funds for bushfire relief this week.  I wanted to contribute, so I baked a few things: 

One of my contributions was vanilla sugar cookies made according to the recipe from my Miss Biscuit  classes.  However, instead of covering the cookies with royal icing, I covered them with yellow and white marbled embossed fondant.

The marbling technique that I used is here.  First you make three sausages of fondant (yellow in the middle, two white either side), plait them together, fold and squash the fondant flat. Divide into three sausages again: 

plait them together:

squash the fondant flat:

Once you are happy with the amount of marbling, roll out the fondant, ready to use:  

The "Not All Heroes Wear Capes" embosser that I used to stamp the fondant comes from Custom Cookie Cutters, who for three days donated the proceeds of sale from these embossers to the Red Cross bushfire relief fund.

After stamping the fondant with the embosser, I cut out a round of fondant the same size as the cookie, brushed a little water on the surface of the cookie so that the fondant would adhere to the cookie, then carefully placed the embossed fondant round on top of each cookie.

I think these turned out rather well:

It was the first time I had marbled fondant, so I had fun trying a new technique.

All up, I made 45 cookies.  For the purposes of the bake sale, I packaged them in groups of two in clear cellophane bags.

The bake sale raised funds by way of a donation from attendees, and from all accounts did very well.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

TWD - Chunky Chocolate Fruit and Nut Bars

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Chunky Fruit and Nut Bars. These bars do not involve any baking - tbey comprise fruit and nuts mixed through melted chocolate.

I used almonds and cashews for the nuts,  and apricots, cranberries, currants and crystallised ginger for the fruit.

The end result was delicious, but hey, it’s chocolate- it’s hard to go wrong.

The teatowel in the background is a Rodriguez guide dogs fundraiser teatowel - so cute!

To see what everyone else made this week, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

TWD - Meringue Snowballs

Happy New Year for Tuesday with Dorie!  This year's first recipe is Meringue Snowballs.  These are basically just meringues, which Dorie suggests are shaped using an icecream scoop to make them round.

I made these at my Mum's while I was on vacation, so I had to use the equipment available to me.  For this reason, I just spooned out my meringues.  I made a third of the recipe to yield three meringues.  I flavoured my meringues with vanilla and coloured them with rose food colouring.

My meringue snowballs turned out OK, don't you think?  They are not round, but they looked and tasted good.

To see what everyone else made to kick off the New Year for TWD, visit the LYL section of the TWD website.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Caramelized Peanut Coffee Cake

David Lebovitz recently featured a Caramelized Peanut Coffee Cake on his blog.  It looked so delicious with its golden caramelized peanut topping, and knowing that I had peanuts and cream to use up, I went ahead and made this cake.

Now as you can see, my cake does not appear to have any peanuts on top.  And you would be correct - it doesn't.  Somehow, in the baking process, all of my peanuts sank to the bottom of the cake, so instead of a peanut topping, I had a peanut base.

The top photo demonstrates my solution to this dilemma - simply turn the slices of cake upside down!  And this is one delicious cake.  I highly recommend making it.  Just follow the link above to David's blog and you too can have this wonderful cake on your table for elevenses or afternoon tea or dessert.  You might even have a peanut topping instead pf a peanut base! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year to everyone!  

I don't have any spectacular photos of fireworks or parties to share for my first post, so I have instead decided to share with you the way in which I start most mornings - with a cup of coffee.  

This  gorgeous flat white with decorative swan in the crema came from a cafĂ© in the QV Building in Sydney when I was there in early November.  Most cups of coffee that I have, barista made or otherwise, are not this grand.  This morning started with a cup of rather grey looking instant coffee.  However, a cup of coffee  is a wonderful way to kick start my day, so it seemed fitting that it should kick start my blog in 2020.

May this new year bring you blessings and happiness.