Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Choc Raspberry Brownies

Another baking post..

Yes - at the moment, I am spending alllll of my free time in the kitchen.

Today it's about brownies.

C H O C   R A S P B E R R Y   B R O W N I E S

choc raspberry brownies >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES

Sidenote : One day I will figure out how to photograph chocolate baked goods so that they look appetising.
Please bare with me while I stumble along blindly taking terrible photos!

I bought a new brownie tin which makes 12 individual brownies.

Individual brownie pan - Available here

You know, so you -
a) don't make a mess when you turn out an entire slab of brownie from a lamington tray; and 
b) don't make a mess when you're trying to cut said brownie slab into bite-sized pieces (or is that just me who can never, ever cut neatly?!)

In any case, I am in love with my new tin. And am planning on extending it's skills wayyy further than brownie baking. So watch this space..................

But... Back to the recipe - 

You will need - 
300g dark chocolate (I used 200g dark choc block; and 100g dark choc pieces)
200g butter
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g frozen raspberries



Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celcius

Grease your new fancy brownie pan

Melt 200g chocolate and butter in microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sift flour and cocoa into large bowl. Stir in sugar.
Whisk in eggs; vanilla; and cooled choc/butter mixture.
Add raspberries - Fold.
Divide mixture into pan.
Sprinkle with choc pieces.


For about 30 minutes ?
Keep an eye on them.. the time will vary.
Cool completely in pan.
Or - Eat while warm and gooey.


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

My Style : Beauty in Bows

I have a crush..

On bow jewellery. Specifically rings. But I won't turn away from a cute pair of earrings either.

It's taken me by surprise. And I am head over heels.

Bows give me butterflies in my tummy.

I can't get enough of them.

Bow rings = L-O-V-E


Images 1; 2; 3; 4; 5

Mini Apple Pies

Yep.. I've moved away from baking cupcakes a little bit.
But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate small individual sized desserts.

These mini apple pies were just the right size to be eaten by themselves (one after the other...);
Or with a scoop of ice-cream... 

mini apple pies >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Warm Apple Pies
Ready for a picnic...

These were a spontaneous baking decision spurred by an abundance of apples in our fridge that had been hiding in the back a little tooooo long to be enjoyed fresh.

What better way to reduce wastage than to whip up a few little pies?!

Actually.... this recipe made HEAPS of pies.

M I N I   A P P L E   P I E S

I was on auto-pilot cutting the pastry and filling the muffin tins.. 
I lost count of how many trays I put into the oven.
And when they came out (all warm and crispy and smelling simply ah-mazing), I had to taste a few for quality control purposes so I don't have an exact number..
But at a guess, I think this recipe probably made over 40 pies.

40 super cute pies with little stars on top.

mini apple pies >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Fresh out of the oven

Here's how it's done - 

 Start by cutting up the apples - At a guess (yep... There was no tight recipe following during this baking session) I probably chopped up about 8-9 apples.

Mix the apples with:

12 tablespoons of flour
1 + 1/2 cup of sugar
4 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
Plus butter chopped into little centimetre cubes
and Pastry.

This is going to sound snobby - But I don't usually bake with frozen pastry. 
(Like, with this lemon meringue pie for example...)
But (sadly and strangely) I 'inherited' an abundance of frozen pastry from my Nan's freezer..
So I specifically searched for a recipe which required frozen pastry on this occasion, 

 Stir the dry ingredients through the apples. Coating them evenly.

Then cut large circles out of the shortcrust pastry; and smaller circles out of the puff pastry (I would suggest that you can use the same pastry for both pie base and top - but I had both to play with..)

Line each cup of your muffin tin with the shortcrust.

Fill the crusts with your apple mixture; pop a cube of butter on top; then top with puff pastry circle.

I brushed each pie with an egg wash to get that 'golden glow', but melted butter would work too.

Then bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 10-15 minutes or until golden.

 Enjoy - Preferably with friends like KimberleeEmma and Pippa (at the infamous unveiling of Mr Chuck Bass).!


Monday, 18 June 2012

The Key to Pie

I went to the Adelaide Showground Farmers Markets last weekend.

I must admit - wandering from stall to stall admiring people's dedication to fresh produce is inspirational.

So I bought some fresh limes and turned them into a pie.

K E Y   L I M E   P I E

key lime pie >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES

It was just the right combination of sweet and tangy. 
And the biscuit base was crumbly with a 'melt in your mouth' consistency.

(OK.. So I'll never be a judge on MasterChef with a critique like that.. But it's the best I can do!)

Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

  • 200g Granita biscuits
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 395g can condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) cream
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 4 limes

Preheat oven to 170°C. 
Line base of a 20cm springform tin with baking paper.

Process biscuits until fine crumbs. 
Add almonds, sugar and butter, process until combined. 
Press mixture firmly into the base and up sides of tin. 

Whisk eggs, milk, cream, lime rind and juice until smooth. 
Pour into biscuit crust.
Place on tray and bake for 40-45 mins or until set. 
Serve with extra lime slices.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Triple Chocolate Mousse Tart

I have some serious catching up to do..

I have been baking enough to feed a small army but sadly my blogging mojo is not on the same level as my baking.

I have already mentioned my tendency to spend time in the kitchen when I am stressed/emotional. And there has been no shortage of either in the past few weeks - which has resulted in me experimenting with some new recipes; including this one - A triple chocolate mousse tart.

triple chocolate mousse tart  >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES
Triple Chocolate Mousse Tart

I seem to have diverted from standard cupcakes and I must admit that new desserts and sweets are a fun new challenge.

This tart was a popular dessert at a recent family gathering - it may have won more thumbs up than the traditional pavlova...

It was rich on it's own so I would suggest serving with a dollop of cream or vanilla bean icecream if you feel like indulging.

Here you go - 


Chocolate Base

  • 250g plain chocolate biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 125g butter, melted
  • cocoa powder, to serve

Chocolate ganache
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream

Chocolate mousse
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 600ml thickened cream


Grease a pan. Line base with baking paper. 
Place biscuits and flour in a processor. Process until finely chopped. 
Add butter. Process until combined. 
Press mixture evenly over base of prepared pan. 
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make chocolate ganache: Place chocolate and cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. 
Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth. 
Pour over biscuit base. 
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.

Meanwhile, make chocolate mousse: Place chocolate, vanilla and half the cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth. 
Remove from heat. 
Cool for 15 minutes. 
Using an electric mixer, beat remaining cream until soft peaks form. 
Fold chocolate mixture into cream.
Gently pour over ganache layer.
Refrigerate overnight.
Dust with cocoa.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Eating My Feelings

I've said it before and I'll say it again - When things get hard, I eat my feelings. And they taste delicious.

eating my feelings : apple cake with praline glaze >> STARTS WITH CUPCAKES

Apple Cake with Praline Glaze

120g butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 175 degrees; Grease cake tin (I used a bundt tin.. because I love them)
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy;
Beat in egg yolks; Vanilla extract; Yoghurt;
Sift in flour; Baking powder; Salt. Combine.
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks; Stir egg whites into cake batter;
Fold in apple slices;
Pour into prepared cake tin;
Bake for 40 minutes;

Then make the praline glaze.....

1/2 cup brown sugar
60g butter
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar

Bring sugar, butter and milk to the boil over medium heat; whisking constantly;
Boil 1 minute;
Remove from heat; stir in vanilla;
Whisk in icing sugar until smooth;
Pour over cooled cake.



Monday, 11 June 2012

An Incredible Loss

I have no words for this post.

Just an ache in my heart that I can't soothe - no mountain of chocolate, cups of tea, hours in the kitchen, or time spent running at the gym can distract me from the sadness I am feeling.

I do find comfort in this quote though.
 "We will never be the same as we were before this loss. But are ever so much better for having someone so great to lose."

Rest in Peace Nan.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

In Need of a Smile

Sometimes you just need a smile.

Direct quote from Pip - "This is like sex in my mouth"

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