Monthly Archives: March 2013

Buttermilk pancakes with bacon and maple syrup

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I have started a weekend tradition called pancake Sundays, really what it means is that Mr Goldie and I sit down to a yummy brunch on a Sunday morning and just take time to chill out and talk. I have made french toast, waffles, and pancakes on different occasions. As we have had the most amazing weather this summer in Auckland, most of the time we will eat outside. It is such a treat.
This Pancake recipe is a Nigella Lawson recipe, and makes the most perfect fluffy pancakes. The addition of banana’s in the batter is magic. It makes them light and fluffy without adding too much sweetness – they still work perfectly with bacon and syrup.

Ingredients
1 very ripe banana (mashed)
150 gms plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1.2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
250 mls of buttermilk or natural unsweetened yogurt
1 teaspoon caster sugar
30 gm butter, melted and cooled slightly

Put all the ingredients in a blender (or a bowl using a hand mixer) and beat until a smooth batter forms. Stir in the melted butter just before you are ready to cook the pancakes. In a non stick frying pan, pour in about half a cup at a time. Once bubbles form, flip the pancake and cook on the other side.

I served ours with bacon, plums, blueberries and bacon. Drizzle with maple syrup.

This recipe is so easy, leave it open for the boys to see on your birthday or Mothers day! You will be in for a treat.

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Sticky Banana Cake with Caramel and Cream Cheese

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This cake is as decadent as it sounds. There is no heart foundation tick. It is moist and sticky and simply luscious. It will make a great casual birthday cake, or a super delicious dessert.
Recipe adapted from Little and Friday http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10795656

Ingredients
2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
125 gms of butter (room temp)
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
4 small banana’s (mashed)
1 cup of dates (roughly chopped)
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup warm milk
3/4 cup walnuts

To finish
1 tin of caramel condensed milk
1 250 gm tub of cream cheese
1.5 cups of icing sugar
1 cup of cream

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, grease and line 2 round 8 inch cake tins. Put the dates in a small saucepan on the stove with half a cup of water. Bring to boil and stir for around 5 minutes. Take the dates off the stove and add half a teaspoon of baking soda, stir well with a wooden spoon. The dates should become soft and the mixture will become frothy. Leave to cool. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl between each egg. Add the banana. Mix the remaining teaspoon of baking soda with the warm milk (it will froth so leave room in your cup) Fold the flour and milk mixture into the banana mix and then fold in the walnuts.
Pour the mixture evenly into your cake tins and bake for around 50 minutes to 1 hour. The mixture is quite moist so remove the cakes when there is no wet mixture on the skewer (there maybe still some small crumbs)

To make the cream cheese icing, beat the cream cheese until smooth, in a separate bowl, whip the cream until thick. Add the icing sugar to the cream cheese and beat again, fold through the cream.

To Finish, Beat the tin of caramel condensed milk in a small bowl until smooth. Put one of the cakes onto a cake stand or plate. Spread over a layer of cream cheese and then a layer of caramel. It will spill over the sides so just put as much mixture as you are happy with – if you want a cleaner cake, don’t go right to the edges. Put the second cake on top of the first, and repeat the layer of cream cheese. Add the condensed milk and swirl with a skewer or knife to form a pattern you are happy with.

Enjoy, and perhaps consider going for a run the next day – this cake truly is a “sometimes” food!

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Chocolate Guinness cake with the best ever icing!

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Lets face it, we love all things Irish. We love St Paddy’s Day, the Irish accent, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and their magical little 4 leaf clover. I couldn’t resist hunting out some recipes for St Paddy’s Day and when my sister asked if I could make an Irish themed morning tea, I was very excited.

I borrowed a few recipes from my favourite blogs

These pretzel truffles are the perfect salt/sweet mix, and use the left over Guinness from the cake you are going to make http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2013/02/guinness-pretzel-truffles.html

This icing made the perfect biscuit filling, but could also be used on the outside of a cake like “Confessions of a Cookbook Queen” did http://www.confessionsofacookbookqueen.com/2013/03/mint-chocolate-chip-cake/

And now for the part you have all being waiting for…. This is my favourite chocolate cake in the world. I do need to emphasize, you do not have a better icing recipe. It is not just cream cheese icing, it is not just like the one you make at the moment… it is soft and fluffy and dreamy and doesnt go yuck in the fridge. Make it… just make it!

This recipe is by one of my favourite food bloggers http://www.whatkatieate.com/ and re-written by one of my favourite NZ food/lifestyle bloggers http://madefromscratch.co.nz/

Chocolate Guinness Cake

250 g unsalted butter (room temp)

250 ml (1 cup) Guinness

75 g Dutch cocoa (3/4 cup), sifted

275 g (2 + 1/4 cup) all purpose flour, sifted

2 teaspoons baking soda

400 g (2 cups) sugar

2 medium eggs

150 ml (2/3 cups) sour cream

1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing

300 g (1 + 1/3 cups) cream cheese

150 g (1+1/2 cups) powdered sugar, sifted

150 ml (2/3 cups) cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Add butter, cocoa and Guinness to a saucepan. Warm over a medium heat and stir until melted. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Add flour, baking soda and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix together well. Pour in the Guinness/cocoa/butter mixture, lightly combine, add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream and beat everything together until well combined.

Pour into a greased ring tin (or greased and lined normal round tin and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.

*Note: Do not leave in the oven until the cake has totally dried out — cook long enough so there is no uncooked cake on the skewer but there may be a few moist crumbs sticking to it after an hour of cooking. You can start checking around 45min depending on the size of your cake pan. Leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the cake tin and placing on a wire wrack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Icing Instructions

Place the cream cheese into the bowl of a mixer and beat on a low-medium speed until smooth.
Gradually, add in the sifted powdered sugar and beat gently to combine. After 2 to 3 minutes, stop the machine, scrape any excess frosting from the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed until lump free. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream, and then continue mixing on low speed until fully combine.

Place cooled cake on a cake stand and add the frosting, spreading out just to the edge without going over the side

This cake can also be made into cupcakes, bake for around 40 mins but skewer test once the cakes are starting to look set

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Chocolate Almond Waffles

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I came up with these waffles this morning as I felt like something a bit different for brunch. Waffle makers aren’t very expensive and they make a lovely weekend meal.

Chocolate Almond Waffles with summer fruit and syrup
Serves 4

1 1/4 quarter cups of plain flour
1 cup of almond meal
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
3 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup of dark cocoa powder
3 eggs (separated)
1 1/2 cups milk
125gms butter (melted and cooled slightly
2 bananas sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup of fruit (I used plums, but you could use berries, stonefruit etc)
Maple syrup (not maple flavoured syrup – splash out and buy the real stuff!)

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolks, milk and butter and mix until smooth
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Use half a cup of mixture into a med heat waffle make and cook for 3 minutes.
Serve with chopped fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup

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For the love of caramel

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I love caramel, I love caramel sauce, caramello chocolate, anything caramelised, and I love caramel slice or caramel tarts!

Today I an dedicating a post to caramel. I have a few different recipes to share

First is just plain and simple caramel sauce (for ice-cream etc)

Caramel Sauce
1 300 ml bottle of cream
1 cup of caster sugar

In a small bowl dissolve the caster sugar in a couple of tablespoons of sugar (enough water for the sugar to look like wet sand)
Boil the sugar until it turn golden – do not stir!!!! While the sugar is turning, heat the cream to boiling point in another saucepan.
Take the sugar off the heat and gradually add the cream to the sugar, constantly stirring as you pour (the cream will puff up, so make sure you pour slowly)
Stir until combined and smooth and pour into a jug or bottle, If you are not using it straight away (and will be refrigerating it) I recommend using glad wrap to create a false skin on the top of the caramel by lying it flat on the surface of the caramel once it has cooled.

The second recipe is Chocolate Caramel filling (to be used in tarts)

Chocolate Caramel Filling
80 gms of unsalted butter
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 395ml tin of condensed milk
50 gms of dark semi sweet chocolate chopped (I use dark choc chips)
1 tablespoon of golden syrup

Stir butter and sugar in a small pot on a low heat until sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk and continue to cook until the mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly (this should take around 5 mins)
Remove from heat and add chocolate and golden syrup. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. You can add anything to this mixture as it cools (Such as walnuts, hazelnuts etc)

Thirdly, this is condensed milk caramel. I actually find this more time-consuming than the others as I have been known to let a pot boil dry in the past.

Condensed Milk Caramel
Take one tin of Highlander condensed milk and remove the label. Boil a large pot of water (enough water that the tin will be submerged) place the tin in the boiling water (unopened) for 3 hours. Remember to check the water levels and continue to add boiling water when needed. After 3 hours remove the tin from the water and allow to cool. Open and use as required.

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English Macaroons

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This is the most simple and tasty recipe. It is a great recipe for kids to do, so you can insist they make their own school fair baking.
Please don’t be scared by the word macaroon, these are English, not fancy french ones!

Ingredients
1 can of condensed milk
4.5 cups of coconut (I used half shredded and half dessicated)
1 cup of chopped dried apricots

Method
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl (by hand is definitely easiest) roll into tablespoon sized rugby balls and pop on a lined baking tray.
Bake for 12-15 mins until golden and set. If they soften in storage before use, pop back in the oven to crisp up.

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Lemon meringue tarts

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This is the perfect High Tea recipe as you can dictate the size of the tarts. You could do one big tart and cut it into slices, or bite sized individual tarts (made from mini muffin cases)

Ingredients
One portion of sweet short crust pastry*
One portion of Lemon curd*
2 egg whites
1/3 cup of caster sugar

*You can use store bought or follow Mum’s short crust pastry
Mum’s short crust pastry
Ingredients
225 gms of flour
1 heaped tablespoon of icing sugar
170 gms butter
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons of cold water (have a bottle or jug in the fridge)

Grate the cold butter into the sifted flour and icing sugar. If you have a retro pastry tool (or a knuckle duster as its called in our house) use this to rub the butter into the flour mix. If you don’t have a pastry tool, use your finger tips but keep washing your hands in cold water and drying if you feel the mixture is getting too hot.
Once the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, mix in the egg yolk and water. Turn onto a floured board and knead.
Wrap the mixture in gladwrap and place in the fridge for 30 mins

*Please see the lemon curd recipe I have posted previously

Lemon Meringue Tarts
Method

Grease two mini muffin tray (24 holes), Take your pastry out of the fridge and roll to 1cm thick. Using a pastry cutter or drinking glass cut small circles out of the pastry, press into holes of the pans. Prick the base of each case with a folk and pop in the fridge for a further 30 mins, In this time preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
Take the cases out of the oven and using baking paper (or small muffin cases) line the pastry and fill with baking weights. Bake the tarts for 12-15 mins swapping half way through if you have them on two racks in the oven.

Rest the cases for 5 mins before removing the weights cooling on an oven tray.

Fill a piping bag with lemon curd using a small round nozzle. Pipe a small amount of lemon curd into each tart and press any peaks down with a wet finger.

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C
Make your meringue by whisking the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form, gradually at the caster sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and all sugar has dissolved.
In a clean piping bag add the meringue with a nozzle of your choice, and pipe little hats onto each lemon curd tart. Bake for approx 3-4 minutes, swap your trays if there is a hot spot in your oven.

Allow to cool slightly before serving

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