Saturday, November 27, 2010

Baking: Easy Sticky Lemon (Meringue) Slice

Easy Sticky Lemon (Meringue) Slice

Recipe was requested by Fritha

This recipe is a family favourite which we have been making for years, infact I even took it on form two camp. It is an easy way to use up some lemons, and takes little time to provide something delightful for afternoon tea.

I personally can't be bother grating lemon rind, but feel free to add the rind of two lemons. I don't feel the extra effort adds significantly more flavour, however this is debatable. 

This recipe has been adapted from Julie Le Clerc's.

1 1/2 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
175 g Butter (softened)
5 Small Eggs
1 3/4 Cup Caster Sugar
Juice of 4 Large Lemons
1/3 Cup Flour

1.  Preheat oven to 180C

2. Cream butter and sugar using an electric beater.

3. Add flour and beat until combined, then turn out into a 20 x 35 cm lined tin and press until mixture is spread evenly in tin.

4. Bake for 15 minutes, remove and reduce oven to 140C.

5. Beat eggs and caster sugar using a clean electric beater and bowl until thick, pale and sugar has dissolved.

6. Add lemon juice and sift in flour. Fold in, until just combined and there are no lumps before pouring out over baked base (butter, sugar and flour mixture).

7. Place back in the oven and cook for a further 40 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and allow to cool slighly before cuttig.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bit on the Side: Slice and Toss Potato Bake

Slice and Toss Potato Bake

Photo shows bake before being put in the oven.

8 - 10 Medium Potatos (Peeled and Sliced)
2 Medium Onions (I often use 1 Red and 1 White)
1 Cup Chicken Stock (or 2 Teaspoons Chicken Stock Powder and 1 Cup Water)
1 Cup Milk
1 Teaspoon Mixed Herbs
Pinch Salt
Some Black Peper
1/2 Cup Grated Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Place all ingredients appart from cheese in a roasting dish and toss (the dish should be small enough that there are at least 3 layers of potato).

3. Cook for 40 minutes covered with foil (potato should be soft when pressed with a fork).

4. Take foil off and sprinkle cheese over top and cook (to melt cheese) for a further 10 minutes before serving.

Baking: Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

The banana muffins are made easily in a food processor. Caramel icing accompanies the banana muffins beautifully. The recipe for the banana muffins makes six large texas style muffins or twelve ordinary sized (the icing makes enough for just over half muffins or perhaps all if used sparingly) 

I made large texas size muffins which can be seen below.

Banana Muffins

3 Large Bananas
3/4  Cup Sugar
100 g Butter (melted but cooled) 
1 Large Egg
1 1/2 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

Caramel Icing

50 g Butter
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
5 Tablespoons Icing Sugar
1 Tablespoon Milk

1. Preheat oven 180C.

2. Place bananas, sugar, butter and egg in processor and blend thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder and soda and pulse until just combined. 

3. Divide into greased muffin trays and bake for 15 - 25 minutes depending on the muffin size.

4. Remove oven, turn out and allow to cool.

5. Place second measure of butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and melt.

6. When butter is melted and sugar is dissolved, turn off heat and add icing sugar and milk. Whisk thoroughly ensuring there as no lumps.
7. Allow to cool and thicken, then ice cakes when desired thickness is reached.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just a Note about the Quickest Easiest One Bowl and Spoon Chocolate Cake

Just a tip: Often cake recipes may be used to make mini cakes or cupcakes. The Quickest Easiest One Bowl and Spoon Chocolate Cake recipe makes some fast and fab chocolate mud cake cupcakes (makes approximately 12 normal sized cupcakes and 12 mini or 18 normal sized). In fact I think this recipe is much faster than make conventional cupcakes where creaming of the butter is required.

These would be amazing with some chocolate ganche.

Baking: Coffee Gems

                    Coffee Gems

Lately mum and I found my Nanny's gem iron. They are difficult to find now in baking shops, however they are well worth a good hunt around to find one (perhaps in a 2nd hand store).

I love how with this recipe the gem iron delivers a cake which is a little crunchy on the outside but spongy in the middle. They are best eaten within two days of making them, as they are a batter cake. Some recipes do not have baking powder in them, however I find these heavy, personally preferring a little bit of sponginess to them.

This recipe can easily be altered to make ginger gems, by omitting making the syrup and replacing the coffee and water with 4 (level) teaspoons ground ginger and 2 tablespoons golden syrup.

NOTE: the coffee syrup can also be used to jazz up a plain chocolate cake. This idea may be seen in the Superb Chocolate Cake recipe from the New Zealand Treasury of Baking.

3 Teaspoons Instant Coffee
2 Teaspoons Water
1/2 Cup Milk
50g Butter (Melted)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg

2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Cup Strong Filter Coffee
1 Cup Sugar

1. Heat oven to 200C with gem iron inside.

2. Place coffee and water in a large bowl and mix.

3. Add milk, sugar, vanilla and butter and whisk before adding egg and whisking again.

4. Add flour and baking powder and fold until combined.

5. Take gem iron out of oven and spray with baking spray before dividing the mixture evenly between the dividers (they should be about 3/4 full).

6. Bake for 12 minutes before removing from oven and turning out onto cooling rack. 

7. While gems are baking, make coffee syrup by combining strong coffee with sugar and boiling for 10 minutes, until liquid has reduced. Allow syrup to cool until just warm and pour over gems while on cooling rack.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Quick Easy Dinner Idea

Sausages are one of those things that are nice to eat by themselves in a piece of bread but for something a little different (to the ordinary flat meal) they can easily be jazzed up. 

For a quick dinner in a hurry on a warm summers night I chop up some good quality sausages as well as potatoes, break up some stale crusty bread and some peeled cloves of garlic. Place in a roasting tray and pour enough olive oil over to coat, then toss. This will ensure the bread and potato goes all crunchy on the outside in contrast to the sausage (and inside of the potato). Place some Rosemary on top and bake for about half an hour until cooked. Serve with a green salad

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baking: Gingerbread

Baking: Gingerbread

I have tried many Gingerbread recipes and have not found one that gets it quite as right as the recipe below (The photos have come out very dark and really do not do it justice). I have adapted this recipe primarily from Ruth Pretty's "Esther's Gingerbread". However Ruth's is more cakey and less moist. Hers also has a stronger mixed spice flavour, which I think overpowers the ginger. However if you wish to produce a cakier gingerbread, like Ruth's, replace the almond meal with 1/3 cup flour.

Sometimes I make this without the mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg, and it still produces a beautiful loaf, perhaps with a less complex flavour. I recommend playing with the recipe, until it produces something which suits your tastes.

I have served this with just cream and butter or with vanilla apple cream cheese frosting. To make this use cream approx 250g butter with 1 pottle of cream cheese, 2 teaspoons apple syrup, 1 large teaspoon vanilla bean paste and approx 1 1/2 cup icing sugar (only add as needed, may require more or less). 

TIP: Never eat hot, its terribly crumbly like this! Allow to cool, then it will cut beautifully.

1 2/3 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Almond Meal
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3 Level Dessertspoons Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Mixed Spice (optional)
1/2  Teaspoon Nutmeg (optional)
1/2  Teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
1 1/3 Cup Golden Syrup - I am quite generous with this, and perhaps put in more like 1 1/2 cups
225g Butter
3 Small / 2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Milk

1. Preheat oven to 150 C
2. Heat butter and golden syrup in saucepan until butter is just melted. Leave to cool.
3. Place all dry ingredients in bowl and mix.
4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredient mixture and add the milk and eggs. Roughly mix this, making sure the egg yolks have been broken. 
5. Add cooled butter/golden syrup mixture and mix until just combined.
6. Pour into a large loft tin, two small loft tins or a 23cm spring foam cake tin which has been lined with baking paper and greased.
7. Cook for 45 - 50mins in small loaf tins or 1 hr 10mins for a larger one. Keep an eye on the gingerbread as times will vary (likely to take more time than less).