Saturday, April 10, 2021

Caramilk Chocolate Chip Cookies


 

Cadbury Caramilk chocolate has been all the rage since it was resurrected a year or so ago.  You can now buy Caramilk baking chips, and to promote them, the local Woolies catalogue featured a recipe for Caramilk Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Caramilk is on the sweeter side, and these cookies are quite sweet when the Caramilk is combined with brown and white sugar.  They are sweet in a good way, but if you are not a sweet tooth, these are not likely to be your thing.

If you'd like to try out these cookies with the new Caramilk baking chips, you will need:

125g unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
130g Cadbury Caramilk baking chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the softened butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and the lightly beaten egg, and beat to combine.

Sift over the flour and cornflour.  Beat together on low speed until just combined. Fold through the baking chips.

Roll tablespoons full of dough into balls and place on  2 lined baking sheets, leaving an inch between each ball. Place biscuits in the fridge  to chill for an hour.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Place the trays of biscuits in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden at the edges, rotating front to back and top to bottom at the midway point of baking time.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow them to cool on the trays.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Cassata


 Recently, it was my friend Vanda's birthday, and a group of us went to her place for a birthday feast.  Vanda's family are of Italian origin, so I wanted to make an Italian dessert.  For ages, I had wanted to make cassata.  Someone else was bringing a cake, so I decided to make the icecream version of cassata. For the uninitiated, cassata is an icecream dessert comprising three layers, one of which is chocolate, and one which is flavoured with candied fruits and nuts.



There are many different recipes for cassata, and the more traditional ones I suspect are those that contain ricotta and marscapone.  However, I chose a recipe by the Australian Womens Weekly, which uses only cream.  The recipe refers to using a round tin, but the photo accompanying the recipe features a loaf tin, so that is what I used.  The only adaptation that I had to make is to make the layers in reverse order.

I think it turned out beautifully, and Vanda loved it:


To make your own cassata, you will need:

Almond layer

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup icing sugar
125ml pouring cream
1/2 teaspoon almond essence

Chocolate layer 

2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup icing sugar
125ml pouring cream
60g melted dark chocolate
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Fruit layer

250ml pouring cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons red glace cherries, chopped finely
3-4 tablespoons candied fruit of your choice, finely chopped
(I used candied clementines, pear and figs)
30g roasted flaked almonds (I just used roasted chopped almonds) 

Line a loaf pan with cling wrap, as smoothly as possible.

For the fruit layer, beat the cream and vanilla extract together until firm peaks form.  In a small separate bowl, beat the egg white to soft peak stage, then gradually beat in the icing sugar.  Fold the egg whites into the cream, then fold through the fruit and nuts.

Spread the mixture into the bottom of the lined loaf tin and smooth the top.  Freeze until firm (~1-2 hours).

For the chocolate layer, beat the egg whites together until firm peaks form.  Gradually beat in the sifted icing sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream to soft peak stage, then fold the cream into the egg white mixture.  

In a cup, blend together the cocoa and water.  In a small bowl mix the melted chocolate and egg yolks together.  Stir the cocoa mixture through the chocolate mixture, then fold the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture.  Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the top of the fruit layer in the loaf tin, and freeze until firm (~ 1-2 hours).

For the almond layer, beat the egg whites together in a small bowl to firm peak stage, then beat in the sifted icing sugar.   Lightly beat the egg yolks and fold them through the egg whites.  

In a separate bowl, beat together the cream and almond essence until soft peaks form.  Fold the cream through the egg mixture, then spread the almond mixture over the top of the chocolate layer in the loaf pan and smooth the top.  Freeze the cassata for a further 1-2 hours until firm.

To serve, unmould the cassata, fruit side up, onto a serving platter, and carefully remove the cling film.  Cut into slices, and enjoy!
 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Fennel-Orange Shortbread Wedges


Today's Tuesday with Dorie recipe is Fennel-Orange Shortbread Wedges.  As the name suggests, these shortbread biscuits are flavoured with orange zest and ground fennel.

I made a half recipe to get eight wedges:


I am not a massive shortbread fan, but these biscuits were nice.  They won't be on my high rotation list, but if shortbread is your thing, then you may enjoy this fennel-orange flavour riff.

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

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Bunny Cupcakes for Easter


 Happy Easter readers!  I hope that you are having a great day.

To celebrate, I made Bunny Cupcakes (down the rabbit hole).  The recipe comes from this week's Woolworths supermarket catalogue.


Instead of making marzipan bunny feet, I used white marshmallows, cut in half, and painted them with red food colouring.  These are really nice cupcakes.  There is no coconut in the cakes - the coconut is used strictly for decoration. 


To make your own Bunny Cupcakes, you will need:

Cakes

125g butter, softened
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup wheaten cornflour
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 egg whites
2/3 cup sugar

Icing and decorations

1 1/4 cup icing sugar
75g butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup shredded coconut
12 white marshmallows
red or pink food colouring

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake papers.  

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.  Add the whole egg and the vanilla and beat until combined.  Add a third of the sifted flours, and beat until just combined.  Add half the milk and beat until just combined.  Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, ending with flour.  

In a separate bowl, beat together the two egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Fold the egg whites gently into the batter with a rubber spatula.

Using an icecream scoop, divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake papers.  Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden on top and cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and unmould them from the muffin tin onto a wire rack.  Allow them to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cool, make the icing - Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until pale and creamy.  Gradually beat in the icing sugar, then beat in the milk and vanilla.

Spread the buttercream over the top of the cupcakes, leaving a small hump of icing in the middle of each one to form the bunny tails.  Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the top of each cupcake.  Cut each marshmallow in half, and arrange the two halves of of a marshmallow on the top of a cupcake near the tail to form "feet".  Using a small paintbrush dipped in food colouring, paint on the bunny's paws, as shown.  

I also made Easter marshmallow rabbits again this year:


You can find the recipe here.  The recipe makes one large rabbit or 6 junior rabbits. 

Happy Easter to all!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Chocolate, Fig and Stout Cake


 Happy St Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, I had to make a chocolate stout cake.  I also received some fresh figs from a colleague, so I checked to see if I could find a recipe with chocolate and stout and figs - and boom! Whole Foods Market came up with the goods with this recipe. Packed with chocolate and fresh figs, and with a full bodied richness from the stout, this cake is a winner.


I wanted it to be a celebratory cake, so I made the full recipe, in the knowledge I’d be catching up with friends so I could share. Here’s a close up of the figs inside, which have been sautéed in butter before being added to the cake:



Tempted? To make this cake, you will need:

175g + 25g butter
2 cups stout
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups brown sugar
225g fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
1/8 teaspoon black pepper 
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 10” springform pan and dust the insides with the 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, tapping out any excess.

In a medium sized saucepan, add the stout, 175g butter and 3/4 cup cocoa powder, and whisk over low heat until the butter melts. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved.  Transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Melt the rest of the butter in a frypan over medium heat, and when it begins to sizzle, add the figs and season with salt and pepper. Cook the figs until they soften and begin to release their juices. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the figs to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cloves. In a jug, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

Whisking continuously, mix the egg mixture slowly into the cooled cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour mixture, then fold through the chocolate chips.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, arrange the figs on top, then top with the rest of the batter.

Bake the cake in the oven  for 50 minutes to an hour, or until cooked through.

Allow the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the outer ring, and allow the cake to cool completely on thr pan base.

Before serving, dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder. Slice and serve.

Do you celebrate St Patricks Day? What will you be doing?




Tuesday, March 16, 2021

TWD - Mrs Corbitt’s Pecan Cake Fingers

 


This week’s Tuesday With Dorie recipe is Mrs Corbitt’s Cake Fingers. It’s hard to describe these - kind of a meringue cookie with browned butter icing.

I thought I’d really like these, but they were a tad too sweet for me. I took Steph’s tip and thinned the icing with water rather than pressing it onto the cookies. I also iced the cookies before cutting them to save time.

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


Friday, March 5, 2021

Champagne Cupcakes - La Boheme Inspired


In you, I see the dreams that I have always longed for!
 Rudolfo, La Boheme

My Pilates instructor is soon to be married (their third date after previous cancellations) - I have my fingers crossed that it will go ahead smoothly.  I thought their forthcoming wedding would be the perfect occasion for me to finally make the Champagne Cupcakes from the La Boheme episode of Cupcake Wars. I have wanted to make these cupcakes for ages, and I was so pleased to finally have an occasion to do so.


These cupcakes are made by an unusual method, where all of the ingredients are placed into a mixing bowl at once and beaten together. I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but the resulting cakes were light and airy:


For the icing, I made the champagne buttercream from Sally’s Baking Addiction, which is flavoured with reduced champagne, rather than the Italian buttercream featured in the original recipe (I am not a fan of Italian buttercream).

I decorated the cakes with pink glittery fondant hearts - I think they are so pretty:


 If you would like to try your hand at making these cupcakes, you will need:

4cups plain flour 
3 cups white sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking Skoda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups milk
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup champagne
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 egg whites 
(makes 24 cupcakes)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line two x 12 hole muffin tins with paper cases.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking sofa and salt. Add the milk, shortening, champagne and vanilla and beat in a stand mixer on low speed until just combined, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Add the egg whites and beat for a further 2 minutes.

Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly between the papercases and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the cakes from the oven and unmoved onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

180ml champagne
230g butter
4 cups icing sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
Pinch of salt


Reduce the champagne over low heat in a small saucepan until it is reduced to 1/4 cup. Cool.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and creamy. Beat in the icing sugar on low speed, a cup at a time. Beat in 3 tablespoons of the reduced champagne, the vanilla and the salt.

Pipe frosting on top of the cupcakes and decorate as desired.