About Me

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What can I say?? I just love to bake!! Ever since I would go to Grandma's house as a little girl and bake highlight cakes or help Ninny make her famous vanilla cookies, I've been obsessed with baking! Not only from recipe books, but freestyle too! With a father as a chef, i suppose it is in my genes! Some of my favourite memories from growing up were those moments after dinner when my dad would get his sweet tooth pang and have me help him whip up a batch of toffee fruit kebabs, or irish caramels! I used to love how he never followed recipes, he always just knew what ingredients worked with one another and how to play with quantities. So, from an early age, i had learnt from the master and i was well on my way to bake on my own! When i was 7 years old, i used to bake chocoloate cakes to sell to the mothers of my friends when they came to watch our Saturday morning minkey hockey games! Before i knew it, i was being commissioned from my school teachers to bake cakes for them at $2 a pop! This blog holds just a few of my favourite tried and tested recipes which I've thoroughly enjoyed both baking and eating! So enjoy!!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Coconut French Macaroons

 - 3 egg whites
 - 1/4 cup castor sugar
 - 1/2 tsp coconut essence
 - 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
 - 3/4 cup ground almonds
 - 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
 - 1 tbs icing sugar (extra)
White Chocolate Ganache
 - 1/4 cup single cream
 - 155g white eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
 - 2 tbs coconut flavoured liqueur (optional)

 1)  Preheat oven to 130'C.  Line baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2)  Beat egg whites in a small bowl using an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Add the castor sugar and essence, then beat untl the sugar is dissoved. 

3)  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and and fold in the icing sugar, ground almonds and coconut, in two batches.

4)  Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain tube.  Pipe 4cm rounds, about 2.5cm apart on your prepared trays.  Tap the trays on the bench lightly so macaroons spread slightly.  Leave to stand for 30minutes.

5)  Bake macaroons for about 20minutes.  Cool on the trays. 

6)  Meanwhile, make the white chocolate ganache by bringing the cream to the boil in a small saucepan.  Remove cream from heat and pour over your chocolate in a small bowl and stir until smooth.  Stir in the liqueur.  Stand at room temperature until the ganache is spreadable.

7)  Sandwich the macaroons with ganache.  Serve dusted with extra icing sugar.  ENJOY!

Granola Bars

These delicious bars are so easy to make and are perfect lunchbox snacks.  You can be flexible with the ingredients and add your favourite nuts or dried fruits.

 - 320g unsalted butter
 - 240ml golden syrup
 - 250g light brown sugar
 - 250g rolled oats
 - 200g desiccated coconut
 - 125g dried apricots, chopped
 - 60g dried dates, chopped
 - 125g cornflakes
 - 125g sunflower seeds
 - 60g dried cranberries
 - 125g shelled walnuts, chopped
 - 125 g raisins

1)  Line a 33x23x5cm baking tray with greasproof paper.

2)  Put the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat and heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

3)  Put the oats, coconut, apricots, dates, cornflakes, sunflower seeds, cranberries, walnuts and raisins in a large bowl and stir to combine.  Pour in the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until everything is well mixed and the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed.

4)  Press the mixture into your lined baking tray, using a tablespoon to flatten and compress it.  Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper, then a tray covered in jam jars or tins to apply pressure on the cake and compress it even more.  Leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Chocoholics Chocolate Brownies

Sorry everyone for not posting this recipe earlier!!  FINALLY - here is the much anticipated chocolate brownie recipe you've all been waiting for!!  Beware... they're not weight watchers approved :-)  I whip these bad boys out whenever i'm having a party as they make perfect little petit fours (which everyone seems to LOVE!) and they keep well in an airtight container for yonks.

Cooking Time: 40 mins
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Serves: 24

 - 200g butter
 - 200g plain chocolate
 - 500g castor sugar
 - 2tsp vanilla extract
 - 4 eggs
 - 250g plain flour
 - 4tbs cocoa

1)  Preheat oven to 180'C

2)  Prepare a small rectangular roasting tin or oven proof dish (8x12'' or 20x30cm)  Line with baking paper.

3)  Melt the chopped chocolate and butter over a pan of simmering water and allow to cool slightly.

4)  Stir in the sugar and vanilla.

5)  Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.

6)  Sift in the flour and cocoa and mix in for about one minute, or until smooth.

7)  Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for about 45-50mins.  The mixture needs to be just cooked, so start testing with a skewer at about 40 minutes - It should have moist crumbs, but not wet batter, sticking to it.

8)  Cool in the tin completely before turning out onto a board to cut into pieces.

Nom nom nom.  Enjoy.

**Image below under 'Housewarming Party Platter'