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GenevieveF

Home-Made Chocolate Chip Cookies

Question:  What’s better than a big, crispy AND chewy, chocolate chip cookie, paired with a glass of milk?

Answer:  A Home-Made one.

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A while back, I made these vanilla shortbread sugar cookies.  I loved the taste of them so much, and how easy they were to make, so I used the same recipe, but I made them a little differently this time, in that I chunked them up thicker in slicing them, and I studded them with little, delicious pellets of dark chocolate chips.  Oh and I stamped them of course, just so you know they are the real deal.

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I bought this cute little irresistible stamp recently, and this is now the second batch of cookies I’ve made with it.

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About two weeks ago, I hosted a high tea at our house.  I made all the desserts, and admittedly I bought some of the savories given time constraints.  But for sweet temptations I made little salted chocolate tartlets in the cutest cups, topped with edible flowers.  I made my baked cheesecake with ginger biscuit base and a hint of lemon zest.  I also baked fresh a batch of vanilla cupcakes, topped with strawberry jam, fresh whipped cream and berries.  And finally I made these take home cookies.  I can’t say there was a favorite because everything went down so well, happy me!

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When it comes to these cookies, one of the positives, aside from complete and utter satisfaction in taste, is, they require a mere 6 ingredients to make to completion.  And you can prepare the dough in advance because it requires at least 2 hours in the fridge before baking.  They are crispy on the outside, a little chewy in the centre, loaded with chocolate drops, and have this warm, comforting, homey taste to them.  Perfect for both adults, and kids alike.

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Home-Made Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes approx 16 large cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup salted butter (softened)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup caster sugar

2t vanilla paste

2T vanilla essence

1 ½ cups chocolate drops or chips

¼ cup powdered sugar (for stamping)

Method:

  1. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes, then slowly add the caster sugar, and beat for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla to the butter mixture and combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, then slowly add it to the butter mixture, whilst keeping the mixer on a low speed. Continue to mix until a dough forms.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and mix on a low speed to incorporate.
  5. Flour your hands, then remove the mixture from the bowl, and place on a floured surface.
  6. Divide the dough into three parts. Roll the individual parts into a ball, then using your hands, mould them into log shapes.
  7. Wrap the logs individually in cling film (tightly), then refrigerate for 2 hours.
  8. Once the dough is ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  9. Unwrap the logs, and using a sharp knife, slice 2cm thick cookies.
  10. Allow the dough to come to room temperature for around 10 minutes. Once the dough is slightly softer, use your palm of your hand to press the dough down and spread just slightly.  Dip the cookie stamp into the powdered sugar, and stamp into the centre of the cookies.
  11. Place the cookies onto the trays, and bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown on the outside. If you like your cookies more crispy in the centre, then bake for slightly longer.
  12. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Until next time…

Funfetti Sprinkled Cupcakes

Spring has officially sprung – let’s have some colourful cupcakes!!

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Two things happened in the first week of Spring.

Happiness bloomed everywhere!

And Roxy moved into her own house!

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So I thought, let me bake some cupcakes filled with specks of colorful funfetti, and decorate them with sprinkles and flowers and hearts, and take them over to Rox and her house mate Clari to enjoy with their friends as they settle into Spring, and their new humble abode – which by the way is just delightful!

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Speaking of delightful, how cute are these?

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And then there is the cake…

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And the taste…

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The vanilla fluffy texture, combined with the smooth and sweet cream cheese frosting is just so exciting.  Perfect for any celebration, party, or just because we can!  Happy Spring to us, and happy home Rox and Clari!!

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Funfetti Sprinkled Cupcakes

(makes 24 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose or cake flour

½ t salt

1 ¼ cups salted butter (softened)

1 ½ cups granulated (caster) sugar

5 egg whites

1t vanilla extract

1t vanilla essence

1 ¼ cups buttermilk

1t baking soda

1T lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line cupcake trays with paper cups.
  2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Then add the sugar in small amounts, mixing after each addition.
  3. Once all the sugar is added, whip on a high speed for five minutes, until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  4. In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour and salt, and whisk to mix.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the egg whites and vanilla by hand until foamy.
  6. Add the egg white mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on a medium speed until it comes together. Ensure you scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  7. Add the flour mix, and the buttermilk to the butter mixture in three parts, mixing on a low speed after each addition. Again scrape down the sides, and give a final mix so all ingredients are incorporated.
  8. In a small cup, mix the baking soda and lemon juice with a teaspoon, then pour into the batter and combine on a slow speed for a few seconds until incorporated.
  9. Scoop the batter into the cups 2/3 of the way full.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted comes out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, before transferring the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:

500g salted butter

500g good quality cream cheese

3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

1t vanilla paste

Method:

  1. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth and pale.
  2. Add the soft cream cheese to the butter mixture and mix until no lumps are present.
  3. Add small amounts of the sifted sugar, mixing after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla and combine.
  5. Refrigerate the frosting for 20 minutes before frosting the completely cooled cupcakes.
  6. Frost and decorate as desired.

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Until next time…

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tart

I actually don’t have words for the deliciousness that is this tart, made of all things I favorite…

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So instead of words, let’s allow the pictures to do the talking for me.

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Ok, now that I have gathered myself, let me tell you about this tart of tantalizing goodness.  I was thinking to myself, what can I make that is chocolate, that isn’t cake, that is cool (as in temperature), that combines crunch with smooth texture, isn’t overly sweet, and will go down well as an after dinner treat for the family on this random Tuesday evening.  Oh, and low admin.  And the answer hit me, a chocolate and hazelnut mousse tart.  Voila!

The base is salty sweet, crunchy and nutty, the mousse is smooth and light but still rich enough to give you a wow moment, and the overall result is just pretty to look at and so damn sexy to eat.  I’m finding it hard not to stand at the fridge and stick a giant spoon into it right now, Nigella style.

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Highly recommended, here you go, it’s a pleasure:

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Tart

Ingredients:

Base:

200g tennis biscuits (or biscuit of your choice)

2T cocoa powder

125g salted butter (melted)

½ cup blanched (skinless) hazelnuts

½ t salt

Filling:

2 ¼ cups cream

160g dark chocolate (chopped)

2 egg yolks

3T granulated sugar (or Xylitol which I used)

2T cocoa powder

Extra hazelnuts (about ¼ cup), and edible flowers to decorate

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, then line the base of a deep tart tin with a baking paper round.
  2. In a food processor, grind the biscuits, hazelnuts, cocoa powder and salt. Once the mixture is fine, add the melted butter and pulse.
  3. Put the biscuit mixture into the tart tin and press firmly to cover the bottom and sides of the tin.
  4. Bake the base for 20 minutes, then remove and place in the fridge to cool completely.
  5. Once the base has cooled, make the filling.
  6. In a pot over a medium heat, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and 1 cup of cream for approximately 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Then turn the heat off.
  7. Quickly add the chopped chocolate to the mixture, stirring continuously until it has melted.
  8. Sift in the cocoa powder and whisk.
  9. Place the mixture into a bowl and into the fridge to cool completely.
  10. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, whip the second cup, plus ¼ cup of cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream into the cooled chocolate mixture, then pour into the base, and smooth the top with a palette knife or back of a tablespoon.  Place the tart back into the fridge to set for approximately 3 hours.
  11. Once the tart has set, remove it from the fridge, and carefully lift the base to expose the sides. Then run a large palette knife, or similar between the base and the baking paper to loosen.  Very carefully slide the tart off the base/paper onto a cake stand (be careful not to break the base).
  12. Grind the balance of the hazelnuts in the food processor, and decorate the mousse tart with the ground nuts and edible flowers as desired.
  13. To cut the tart, warm your knife up under hot water before slicing.
  14. Keep the tart refrigerated and bring out only 10 minutes before serving.

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Until next time…

Ginger Spiced Cheesecake Tartlets

I’ll tell ya what I want, what I really, really want….

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I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really, really really wanna eat these cheesecakes!

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But alas, I must resist the temptation to have more than one at this time.

And now I have that annoying song in my head.

Truth – I was never really a fan of the Spice Girls.  I just couldn’t resist the play between words because I am a sucker for cheese.  And cheese cakes.  Ok, I get it, enough already!

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I figured, with Summer fast approaching this Southern Hemispheric land I live in called South Africa, I’d celebrate what’s probably a few more days of cold (relief), with some spicy little tartlets made of ginger cookies and cream cheese and such delicious stuff.

They’re almost bite size……..if your bites are super big.  But let’s go with that.

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Ginger Spiced Cheesecake Tartlets

(Makes approx. 18)

220g Ginger Biscuits (I used Marks&Spencer All Butter Stem Ginger Cookies)

¼ cup salted butter (melted)

500g medium fat cream cheese at room temp

½ cup plus 1T caster (granulated) sugar (plus extra for dusting)

2 eggs

1T plain flour

½ t ground cardamom spice

1t ground ginger spice

¾ cup cream

2 tsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, and line cupcake trays with paper cups.
  2. Crush the biscuits finely by using a food processor or a rolling pin (suggest food processor). Once finely crushed, add the melted butter and mix until well combined.
  3. Spoon the biscuit mixture into the bottoms of the paper cups, then press down lightly with the back of a spoon.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until no lumps are present and then add the sugar to the cream cheese gradually whilst beating.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, ensuring the eggs are well incorporated.
  6. Add the cream and vanilla and combine the mixture on a medium speed.
  7. Sift the flour, cardamom and ginger spice into the cheesecake mixture and beat slowly until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix further to ensure a smooth consistency.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the paper cups just short of full, and place into the oven.
  9. Bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops turn slightly golden.
  10. Remove the cheesecakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the trays for about 15 minutes, before carefully transferring them to a flat dish or backing tray to cool for another 30 minutes or so.  Then put them into the fridge to set for about 1 hour.
  11. Top the cheesecakes with a dusting of caster sugar.  I mixed a quarter teaspoon of ginger spice and a pinch of cardamom spice into the sugar for extra kick but that is optional.
  12. Grate some lime and orange zest on top before serving.

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Until next time…

 

Triple Choc-Chip Cookies

There was a charity bake sale, so I made LOTS of these giant cookies for my friend to sell.

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And I know, it looks like I have a giant chocolate chip on my thumb.

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I saved just one cookie for each person at home, despite the hints for me to bring out more, I wasn’t giving in on this one – charity came first this week.  These cookies are totally scrumptious, crispy, sweet, chunked with chocolate nuggets and totally delicious.  And, bonus – they are so easy and fun to make!

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Triple Choc-Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ t baking soda

12T salted butter (melted)

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 ¼ cups white sugar (granulated/caster)

2 eggs

3t vanilla essence

½ cup dark chocolate drops

½ cup milk chocolate chips

½ cup white chocolate buttons

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C, and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, vanilla and the melted butter for 1 minute.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add to the butter mixture and whisk until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking soda and whisk to mix.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 parts, stirring gently with a flexible spatula, and using hands to bring together if necessary, ensuring all the flour is incorporated.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips for even distribution.
  7. Using hands, tablespoons, or an ice-cream scoop, make golf ball sized shapes with the dough, and place on baking sheets allowing generous space for spread (I do 6 cookies on a sheet).
  8. Bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes (longer for crispier cookies), or until the sides are golden.
  9. Remove the baking trays from the oven and allow the cookies to cool and crisp for about 3 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Note, they are soft as they come out of the oven and harden as they cool.

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I tried, I couldn’t resist..

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Until next time…

Lifes Best Carrot Cake

This is honestly one of the most delicious carrot cakes since life itself!

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I found the recipe a few years ago, whilst paging through a lifestyle magazine.  I stumbled across a picture of a really enticing looking carrot cake, under the brand banner of Maille Mustard.  A bit weird right?  Mustard in a cake?  But I am all for trying new things, so I gave the recipe a try, including the call for two tablespoons of wholegrain mustard, and it was so worth it!  Since then, I have adapted the recipe a bit, and gotten it to where my family and I agree is a really outstanding carrot cake!

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The ingredients create a really warm, spicy, nutty, fruity complexity in this cake.  It’s a rewarding taste, like each bite gives you a different hit of flavor.  The cream cheese frosting is the perfect pairing to this deeply delicious cake, it’s smooth, sweet and creamy and complements the salty/sweet with ease.

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You can substitute the dates for only raisins or vice-versa, and you can also use walnuts in place of pecans.  It’s all about personal preference.  It may seem like a fair amount of work given the ingredient list, but it’s really easy to make, fairly quick to bake, and before you know it, it will be out for the family to enjoy in spoonfuls!

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

(makes two 8” round cake tins)

Recipe adapted from Maille

Ingredients:

¾ cup salted butter

3T chopped pecan nuts

4 eggs

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup almond flour

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

5t baking powder

½ t salt

1 ½ cups grated carrots

2T Maille wholegrain mustard

¼ cup desiccated coconut

3T chopped dates

2T raisins

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lime

1t vanilla extract

1t orange essence

1t cinnamon

1t ground ginger

1t mixed spice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, line the bottoms of baking tins with baking paper, and grease the sides.
  2. Melt the butter, then immediately add the chopped pecans to the melted butter.
  3. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on a medium speed until foamy.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, almond flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, ginger, salt and baking powder, then whisk to mix well.
  5. Add the butter to the egg/sugar mixture, followed by the orange essence and vanilla extract and combine.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and combine on a slow speed. Once combined remove the bowl from the stand.
  7. Stir in the mustard, followed by the coconut, zest, dates, raison and lastly the carrots.
  8. Once all the ingredients are combined, evenly distribute the batter between the two tins.
  9. Bake the cakes for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then tip onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:

500g good quality cream cheese

1 cup salted butter

3 cups powdered sugar

2t vanilla paste

Method:

  1. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter for 5 minutes until pale and smooth.
  2. Add the cream cheese in small amounts, combining well and ensuring a smooth consistency.
  3. Add the powdered sugar in ¼ cups, mixing after each addition.
  4. Finally add the vanilla paste and combine, ensuring you scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Add the frosting to a piping bag with nozzle attached, and pipe as desired. Alternatively, frost with a palette knife.

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Until next time…

Perfectly Pink Birthday Cupcakes

You can tell it’s mid-Winter here,when I start making a lot of PINK things..

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Winter, and girls birthdays of course!

Last week was my friend Bel’s birthday.  So I made her some pretty, pink, belated birthday cupcakes, and took them over to her place today.

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Bel and I are both blonde.  And she has three little girls  who are also blonde.  Today we discovered that like Bel and I, their favourite colours are blue, and PINK of course.  So conveniently, we agreed, it’s a blonde thing.

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These cupcakes are simple in flavour, and easy to make, but they taste just like the memory of child hood birthdays, and are perfect for adults and kids alike.  The sponge is airy and soft, and the whipped buttercream is sweet and silky.

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Perfectly Pink Birthday Cupcakes

(makes 24 cupcakes)

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose or cake flour

3t baking powder

½ t salt

1 ½ cups salted butter (softened)

1 ¾ cups granulated (caster) sugar

6 egg whites

1t vanilla extract

1t vanilla paste

1 ½ cups whole milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, and line cupcake trays with paper cups.
  2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Then add the sugar in small amounts, mixing after each addition.  Once all the sugar is added, whip on a high speed for five minutes, until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  3. In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk to mix.
  4. Add the egg whites to the butter mixture, and mix on a medium speed until it comes together. Ensure you scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Add the vanilla and combine.
  6. Add the dry ingredients, and the milk to the butter mixture in three parts, mixing on a low speed after each addition. Again scrape down the sides, and give a final mix so all ingredients are incorporated, but be careful not to over mix the batter.
  7. Scoop the batter into the paper cups 2/3 of the way full.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, before transferring the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Ingredients:

500g salted butter

3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)

2t vanilla paste

½ cup cream

Pink colouring

Method:

  1. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth, then whip for 10 minutes until pale.
  2. Add small amounts of the sifted sugar, and cream, to the butter mixture, mixing after each addition.
  3. Add the vanilla and combine.
  4. Whip the frosting for 2 minutes.
  5. Add small amounts of the pink colouring and mix until the desired colour is reached.
  6. Whip the frosting for another 2 minutes on a high speed.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with nozzle attached, pipe as desired and top with sprinkles.

Note**  I find when making cupcakes in the colder winter months, it’s best to serve them fresh on the day of baking where possible.  The lack of moisture in the cold and dry Winter air tends to dry the sponge out quicker.  If you’re serving them the day after baking, always make sure you store them in an air tight container overnight, to lock in as much moisture as possible.

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Until next time…

Banana Cream Caramel Cupcakes

I posted a video on Instagram

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The video was of me cutting into one of these cupcakes, and opening it up to expose the soft caramel centre.  You should check it out…@genevievef30. WHY?  Because if you think these look good in the photo’s and you’re tempted to make them, the video will likely just fast forward you to definately making them..immediately!

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A while ago, T and I went for a weekend away to the Drakensberg, for those who are uncertain of what or where that is, it’s basically the mountains.  We stayed at a fairly old fashioned resort, because that is generally how the Drakensberg rolls, and in keeping it old fashioned really adds to the charm of the getaway.

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There, at the buffet dessert table was a banana cream pie dessert…which speaks to the more “traditional” nature of the hotel.  I didn’t imagine as I dished up a teaspoon size amount on my plate, along with the five or so other desserts I just had to taste, that within minutes I would be back for tablespoons more of the banana cream pie.

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It was truly delicious, comforting, moreish!  So, when  I considered a cupcake flavor last week for the family, I was quickly inspired in remembering that creamy, caramel banana dessert, and it was a no brainer to replicate it in the form of a cupcake.

Voila!

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These cupcakes are fluffy, moist, and the perfect banana compliment.  The caramel centre is made from scratch, and a sweet surprise in the centre, and the pillowy cream clouds of frosting just make these cupcakes delightful and not overly rich.  I dusted them with cinnamon sugar, and topped them with banana chips, and then I surrendered myself altogether.

Great recipe, great combination, great timeless treat!  And….

there it is

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Banana Cream Caramel Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

1 ½ cups all-purpose or cake flour

1t baking powder

½ t salt

½ cup plus 1 T salted butter

¾ cup granulated (caster) sugar

2 large eggs

2 small bananas (mashed)

1t caramel essence

1t vanilla extract

½ cup milk

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C, and line cupcake tray with paper cups
  2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Once smooth, add the sugar in small amounts, mixing after each addition.  Once all the sugar is added, beat on a high speed for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk to mix.
  4. Once the butter mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, combining after each addition, and scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  5. Add the mashed banana, vanilla and caramel to the butter mixture and combine.
  6. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture in three parts, combining on a slow speed after each addition.
  7. Again scrape down the sides of the bowl, and fold a few times with a spatula to ensure all ingredients are incorporated but not over beaten.
  8. Scoop the batter into paper cups 2/3 of the way full, and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, allow them to cool for 15 minutes in the trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Ingredients:

1 cup granulated (caster) sugar

4T salted butter

½ cup full fat cream

Method:

  1. Have all your ingredients measured out and ready, and a wooden spoon on hand.
  2. In a pot over a medium heat, place the sugar, and begin to stir immediately. This takes some patience as it will take a few minutes for the sugar to form chunky crystals, and then melt completely, it’s important to keep stirring.
  3. Once the sugar has melted and just turned a copper like colour, add the butter in tablespoons whilst continuing to stir. Be prepared for a bit of splattering at this point.
  4. Once the butter is completely melted, slowly add the cream and again prepare for some splattering. Keep stirring, still over the medium heat until the ingredients are all combined.
  5. Boil the sauce for one minute, then remove from the heat to cool down.
  6. Allow the sauce to cool for about 30 minutes in the fridge so it thickens a bit before using it, and note you can reheat it if you need to soften again.

Whipped Cream Topping:

Ingredients:

2 cups cream

½ cup powdered sugar

1t vanilla paste

Cinnamon brown sugar to top

Banana chips to top

Method:

  1. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, whip the cream on a high speed until stiff peaks form.
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small amounts combining after each addition.
  3. Add the vanilla and whip again until the cream is at a consistency conducive to piping (in other words, it must be stiff enough to hold it’s shape but don’t whip it to butter).
  4. Keep the cream refrigerated until ready to pipe.

Assembly of the cupcakes:

  1. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, use a knife to make the shape of an X in the centre of the cupcakes. If necessary, wiggle the knife just a little to make some room for the caramel to spread.
  2. Place the caramel into a piping bag with a small nozzle attached, and carefully place the nozzle into the X centre of each cupcake, piping the caramel in gently until it reaches the top of the cupcake.
  3. Place the cream into a separate piping bag with a nozzle attached, and pipe the cupcakes as desired. I used a large, plain round tip nozzle.
  4. Dust with cinnamon brown sugar and top with banana chips.

**Note these cupcakes are best served and eaten immediately, and if you want to keep them fresh they will need to be stored in an air tight container in the fridge, and then taken out and brought back to room temperature before serving.

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Until next time…

Rocky Road Toffee Pizza

I mean, why the heck wouldn’t you put home-made toffee and other sweet toppings onto a honey matza cracker and eat it like a pizza?

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This idea was born from a very good friend of mine named Claire.  Her and I were having brunch recently and discussing dessert recipes when she asked if I have ever made toffee, to which I replied “no”.  She said she had tried herself a few times with no success, and asked if I would try to make it and let her know if I succeeded..challenge accepted.

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But, when I asked her what she wanted to do with the toffee, she explained she had an idea to spread it onto matza bread and put chocolate on top.  That sounded interesting and quite tasty, so I thought, if I am making the toffee, why not use her idea (which she will be super happy about), and make rocky road, toffee pizza slices with the matza.

So…off I set a couple of days ago to make home-made toffee, referencing a couple of recipes online to get a good sense of ingredients, quantities and methods.

FAIL x 2, and only on my third attempt did I succeed, so Claire Bear, you are not alone!  However if at first you don’t success, try, try again!

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What I can tell you from this experience is that the first two recipes I tried called for me to stir the mixture continuously whilst cooking it, and eventually it split both times and ended up a gloopy, oily mess.  The third recipe I tried called for me to stir until the butter melted and ingredients dissolved, and then boil and NOT stir.  This time it worked a treat! So thank you to @Dreamgoddess for this recipe.

This rocky road toffee pizza is something really different, easy to make, and fun to eat.  It’s perfect for a party, and it’s interesting, not to mention really scrumptious.  My family came home to find it two evenings ago and they were very intrigued.  I honestly wasn’t sure what their reaction would be, but they LOVED it, and kept going back for more, which made me so damn happy!  They all agreed this recipe is totally blog worthy.

So thanks Claire, and remember you can top this with whatever sweet treats you like!

Have fun!

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Rocky Road Toffee Pizza

Ingredients:

Home-made toffee (adapted from Food.com Dreamgoddess)

  • 2 cups caster (granulated) sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • ¼ cup golden syrup
  • 2T vinegar
  • ¼ cup water

1 box honey matza bread (crackers)

4 Crunchie chocolates (crushed into chunks)

2 cups mini marshmallows

¾ cup sliced almonds

Method:

  1. Place matza crackers close together onto baking trays lined with baking paper or parchment.
  2. To make the toffee:
    1. Place all the ingredients into a pot over a medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
    2. Then, boil the mixture on a medium heat until it turns golden, DO NOT STIR. I boiled mine for approximately 7 minutes.
    3. You can test if it is done by spooning a few drops of the mixture into cold water – it should harden immediately when the toffee is ready.
  3. Once the toffee is ready, remove it from the heat and pour it over the matza immediately. Use the back of a large spoon, or a palette knife to evenly spread the toffee over the crackers (work quickly).
  4. Whilst the toffee is still warm, sprinkle on the chocolate, marshmallows and nuts, and press into the toffee lightly.
  5. Allow the toffee to cool completely, then cut out slices with a large knife.

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Until next time…

Orange Drizzle Cake (for Fathers Day)

Let’s celebrate Dad’s with this cake!

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I have two men in my life to celebrate this Fathers Day.  My own special Daddeo, and my BF (which stands for both Boyfriend and Bestfriend), who is also a Dad to two ultra cool people.  So double the gratitude, double the love, double the cake!

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This is a happy cake isn’t it, bright and fun, warm and inviting.  So if you’re looking for something special to make for the man or men in your life, then look no further, because this Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Glaze is the perfect cake to make.  It’s easy to make, nice to look at, and scrumptious to eat!

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Make it on the day of celebrating, or the day prior, and involve the kids or the whole family, because baking is all about the love, the fun, and bringing people together.

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You’ll note below I have mentioned you could opt to make this as a loaf cake if you prefer, I chose a bundt tin because it looks so pretty, and makes a cake big enough for the whole family.  If you use a loaf tin, you may have some batter left over, depending on the tin size.

The cake itself is fluffy and moist, and zesty with orange.  The drizzle and cream glaze give it an extra hit of sweetness.  As my BF says, sometimes simple is best, and despite this cake being easy to make and simple to decorate etc, it’s such a treat, and really delicious, perfect for any occasion, but ideal for Dad’s everywhere.

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Orange Drizzle Cake with Cream Glaze

Makes 1 round bundt cake, alternatively you can use a large loaf tin

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups all purpose or cake flour

2t baking powder

½ t salt

1 cup salted butter

1 ½ cups granulated (caster) sugar

4 whole eggs

Zest of 2 oranges

1t vanilla paste

1 cup full cream plain yoghurt

½ cup plus 2T milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, grease and flour dust your cake pan, or line if using a loaf tin.
  2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream butter for about 1 minute until really smooth, then add sugar in small amounts whilst mixing on a low speed. Once all the sugar is added, beat on a high speed for about 4 minutes until pale and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time to the butter / sugar mixture, beating in after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are being incorporated.
  5. Add the orange zest and vanilla to the butter mixture and combine.
  6. Alternate adding the yoghurt, flour and milk in 3 parts, keeping the mixer on a low speed to avoid over mixing and knocking the air out of the batter.
  7. Once combined, scrape down the sides again and give a final mix.
  8. Transfer the batter to the cake pan or loaf tin, and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Note a loaf tin may affect baking time)
  9. Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool in the tin for 20 minutes whilst making the drizzle.

Drizzle Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup orange juice freshly squeezed

2T lemon juice freshly squeezed

2/3 cups of granulated (caster) sugar

Method:

  1. Add the orange juice, lemon juice and sugar to a pot over a low heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Once the cake has cooled for 20 minutes, pour the warm drizzle over it whilst still in the cake tin and leave to absorb and cool completely before turning out.

Cream Glaze Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

½ cup cream

Zest of 2 oranges

Method:

  1. In a bowl, sift the powdered sugar.
  2. Add the cream to the sugar and whisk or stir until smooth. If it is too thick then add a little more cream.
  3. Pour the glaze over the cake only when completely cool.
  4. Top the cake with the orange zest.

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Until next time…

Hi, I’m Genevieve


This is where I create.

Learn more about me here
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