Friday Food: White Chocolate & Raspberry Scones

SconeThe August Coles magazine has this recipe for scones made with lemonade and cream, but no butter. I made a plain version of these scones in 2010. I followed this recipe faithfully, except for the raspberries: I used frozen boysenberries or Loganberries from MrsReno's garden.

I found the dough to be very sticky and it was difficult to cut out the scones. I placed them close together and they sort of melded into one large segmented tessellated scone. Happily, once the scones cooled a little I was able to cut around each one and so make individual scones. MrsDrWho tasted the scones and declared them delicious. They are very light, but don't keep very well. This is an easy recipe to halve if you only want eight scones. I made 15 scones, and was too lazy to cobble together the leftovers to make scone 16.

The recipe calls for 600ml of cream, 250ml of which is used in the dough and the rest is for brushing on the scones, and whipped for serving.

The Typepad is working as normal today. There are no bullet points or numbered lists on my Compose page and I can't click and drag pictures to make them bigger or smaller. I have asked why, but I have to wait for Help.

 

 

Raspberry & White Chocolate Scones           Makes 16

 

3 cups (450g) self raising flour

1 cup (250ml) lemonade, chilled

1 cup (250ml) thickened cream, plus 350ml more

150g white chocolate, finely chopped

150g raspberries, fresh or frozen.

 

 

Well and liquid

Preheat the oven to 220*C and line a tray with baking paper. Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the lemonade and cream.

  Add berries and choc

Here is where you also add the chocolate and berries before you fold the ingredients together. I forgot, and added them when I remembered. Use a butter knife, or flat non-serrated knife, to fold the ingredients gently together. It will be a quite sticky dough.

  Dough

Tip the dough out onto a board and use floured hands to gently bring the dough together. Press out until is is 3cm thick. Use a 5cm floured scone cutter and cut out each scone and carefully place it on the tray. I placed mine close together and I would do the same next time, even though they spread. Brush the tops and sides with some of the remaining cream.

  And bake

Bake for 12-15 minutes. I actually baked mine for 20 minutes. Allow the scones to cool slightly on the tray. I cut around my scones to separate them. Whip the remaining cream and serve with the warm, or hot scones.

  White choc and berry scones

 

 


Friday Food: Lemon Curd Cheesecake Bars

The lemon curd cheesecake barsMrsDrWho's sister is on holiday and I passed over my iPad so she could choose a recipe. She saw the Lemon Curd Cheesecake Bars and didn't go any further. In a way, I was quite pleased, because this is such an easy recipe. It is from the August Fast Donna Hay issue. I believe it is the recipes that are fast, and not Donna. 

This week I have been very social and also rather crafty with some sewing and appliqué, and I didn't make my own lemon curd. Again. I am pleased I can buy some decent curd in the supermarket and I don't feel guilty at all. 

The recipe says to use a food processor, but I just mixed the softened cream cheese and melted chocolate with a large spoon. No machines needed at all. The cheesecake mixture is not very thick, but it is a bar and not a cheesecake per se. I used Granita biscuits because they are so easy to crush and ordinary desiccated coconut. You should use full fat cream cheese, I used Philadelphia. 1 cup of the lemon curd is mixed into the cream cheese and the other 1/2 a cup is swirled on top.

There isn't anything else to say: a few easy ingredients and a few easy steps and the cheesecake bars are chilling in the fridge and ready in 2 hours. The cheesecake is a softly set one, and needs to be well refrigerated.

I discovered just tonight that we could lie in bed and I could write my post on the iPad. The Typepad has made the Compose page mobile friendly. Now of course we all have to get up so I can transfer the photos from my camera to the computer and insert them. I am not sure what font or colour this text will be, or if I can save it here and it will appear on my computer. Ah, technology! I hope today it is here to help me!!! Yes it is, the text is green and the correct font, so I count this as a win.

 

 

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Bars          makes 20 pieces

 

  • 300g plain sweet biscuits, crushed to crumbs
  • 1 cup (75g) shredded coconut
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 500g full fat cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups (525g) lemon curd
  • 180g white chocolate, melted

 

Line the base and sides of a 20 x 30cm tin with baking paper. My tin was about 5cm high at the side.

  Making the base

Mix the crushed biscuits, coconut and melted butter together. 

  Chill the base

Press firmly into the base base of the tin. I used my silicone spatula to press it into the corners and then smooth it out. Chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

  Cheesecake

While the base is chilling, mix together the softened cream cheese, melted white chocolate and 1 cup of the lemon curd. Use a food processor, a hand mixer or just a spoon or spatula as I did. 

  Fill and swirl

Once it is smooth, pour the cheesecake mixture over the base and level it out. Dollop the rest of the lemon curd over the top and use a knife or the handle of a spoon to swirl the curd. Refrigerate for at least two hours, then cut into slices and serve. It is that easy. I think it would be nice with some cream, and maybe some candied lemon zest strips, to tizzy it up for a fancier dessert.

Lemon curd cheesecake bars


Friday Food: Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie

Lemon meringue cheesecake pieThis month the August Super Food Ideas magazine had a section with mash-up desserts: two desserts, Frankenstein monstered together. I made this Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie. I will not lie, it has A Lot of steps and there is a lot of chilling time involved. Nevertheless, I have made it twice and it has been very popular. Reviews have been glowing and people were eagerly eyeing off the leftovers. If you can't face making pastry, I think this would be great with a biscuit base:  250g plain sweet biscuits crushed to a fine crumb and mixed with 100g melted butter. Press into the base of a lined spring-form tin and refrigerate for 30 minutes. My spring-form tin is 23cm in diameter.

I found I needed to add another 4 teaspoons of chilled water to bring my pastry together, I added one at a time until I felt it was correct. MrsDrWho's mum says she always seems to need more water in her pastry too, so I don't feel wanting in that department. After I put the pastry into the tin, I used the scraps to roll a long thin sausage of pastry and I used that to level and even off the edge of the top of the pastry. I did this as an experiment the first time, and the second time because it worked so well

I used my new yellow Americolor food colour to tint the cheesecake filling. It might be just a lot too yellow, but the colour is optional. There is gelatine in the filling. I used the best lemon curd I could buy in the supermarket, in a perfect world I would have made my own. I only used two egg-whites for the meringue topping as it isn't baked. I thought there was just too much uncooked egg-white meringue on top and it would not taste very nice at all. This is the photo from the magazine.

Magazine photo

I used two egg-whites and it baked perfectly under the grill in less than a minute. I checked every 5 or 10 seconds as I was worried it would burn. You can also use a kitchen blowtorch, but I am afraid of them. This would work with a Swiss or Italian meringue though.

I don't believe this cheesecake pie will keep well in the fridge. Maybe a day or two, as the meringue topping could weep and the pastry soften. It really is best eaten as soon as it is topped with meringue.

 

 

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie      serves 12

 

For the pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour, plus a little for dusting
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 125g butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-6 teaspoons of chilled water

 

For the filling:

  • 250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 140g lemon curd
  • 2 tbspn (40ml) caster sugar
  • 1 tspn lemon zest
  • 2 tspn lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 1 1/2 tspn powdered gelatine
  • 2 tbspn (40ml) boiling water
  • yellow food colouring, optional

 

For the meringue topping:

  • 2 egg-whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar

 

 

Rub butter in

Begin the pastry by putting the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and rubbing the butter in until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. You can do this in a food processor.

Add egg and water

Add the egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of the chilled water and bring together, adding more water as needed. It will start to form a ball.

Bring together

Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured bench and knead gently and briefly until it is smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll pastry

When the pastry comes out of the fridge it may be too hard to roll, so leave it for 10 minutes to soften. Roll it out between two pieces of baking paper, that way you don't add too much flour. Roll the pastry out to a circle that is the diameter of your spring-form tin and at least an extra 6 cm for the sides (3 cm each) My tin is 23cm, so I rolled it out to a circle quite larger than 29cm. The pastry should be 5mm thick.

Place pastry in tin

I turn the base of my spring-form tin upside down and then sandwich the baking paper between the sides and the base when I clip it together. It makes it easier to remove the pie from the base at the end. I also greased the sides and lined them with baking paper that was not as high as the sides of the tin.  Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and the roll it out and lower it into the tin. Quickly support it and press it into the sides and base, making sure the "corners" are pressed in too.

Edge pastry

Trim the height of the sides, I made mine about 3-4cm and then I re-rolled the scraps into a long thin sausage and pressed that around the top to make a nice even edge. Refrigerate for another 15 minutes. Turn on the oven and preheat to200*C/180*C.

Refrigerate blind bake

After 15 minutes, press some clean baking paper inside the pastry case and fill with dry rice, or bean or baking beads. Whatever you have that will keep the pastry flat while you blind bake. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the paper and rice/weights and bake for another 1-0-12 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Cool in the tin.

Filling begins

The filling is very easy. Place the cream cheese, lemon curd, lemon zest and sugar in a bowl and beat with a mixer for 2-3 minutes. It should be smooth and creamy.

Add cream and gelatine

Sprinkle the gelatine over the boiling water in a cup or heatproof bowl or jug. Whisk until the gelatine is dissolved and slightly cool. Add the cream, lemon juice and gelatine mixture,  and beat until combined and add the colour if you so desire.

Fill and chill

Spoon the filling into the cooled pastry base and spread out evenly. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 6 hours or until firm. My filling was firm in about 4 hours, so do check.

Make meringue

When you are about to serve the cheesecake pie, make the meringue topping. Whisk the egg-whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form and then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Beat until it is glossy and smooth and you can't feel any gritty sugar when you run a little mixture between your finger and thumb.

Top and grill

Spoon the meringue over the filling, trying to cover it evenly and then use a fork to pull the meringue into little peaks all over. This will give it a very pleasing look when it grills.  I made sure none of the baking paper had the chance to catch fire under the grill: I removed the lining paper from the sides, and tucked or tore away the base lining that was outside the tin. Place under the heated grill and check Very Frequently, every 5-10 seconds until it is browned to your desired brown-ness. Cool for 10 minutes and then cut into slices and serve. 

It is delicious and really doesn't need anything else, but you could add some ice-cream, cream or berries. they would all be marvellous.

Piece of lemon meringue cheesecake pie


Friday Food: Chocolate-Mayo Cupcakes

Choc mayo cupcakeI did not know that today was International Chocolate Day. Indeed for a large part of the day I did not even realise it was Friday. Even though MrsDrWho started school holidays, and sent me an email saying that, I still thought it was Thursday. The SMH had a World Chocolate Day headline, but the clicky link sends you through a wormhole to the 4th November last year. Very timey-wimey.

Luckily I had a chocolate recipe on hand, Martha Stewart's Chocolate-Mayo Cupcakes. Yes, mayonnaise in a cupcake. I was dubious. I secretly worked with friends to have people taste test the cupcakes without knowing they contained mayonnaise. No-one could tell. So there you go. I tasted the icing and I thought I could tell, but apparently we got away with it. I don't have a link to the recipe, but it is in the July/August Martha Magazine.

The recipe requires a lot of Dutch processed cocoa: 1. 1/6 cups. So be prepared. It  is the Dutch cocoa that gives the cupcakes their rich chocolate taste. I bought whole egg mayonnaise, but I used instant coffee because that is all we have at our house. I can't drink coffee. Or eat chocolate.

Other than that, I followed the recipe and used 1/4 cup measure to fill the cupcake papers. I was only able to make 14 cupcakes, and the recipe says it will make 18. This is an easy, all-in-one recipe and I can recommend it highly!!

 

Chocolate-Mayo Cupcakes       makes 14-18

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1/4 tspn salt, I used sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of strong hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbspn milk (40ml)

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C and line two muffin trays with cupcake papers, 14-18 of them.

Mix all ingredients

Put all the ingredients into a large bowl. Then remember the coffee, add that and whisk together some more.

Add coffee and it is done

I wondered why it was so dry, it needed the coffee!! Divide between the cupcake papers, and then bake for 15-17 minutes. The cupcakes will be cooked when the top springs back slightly when pressed. Let the cakes cool completely in the tin.

Bake

Make the icing by whisking all the ingredients together. 

Icing

The icing seemed quite dry and I added a few teaspoons of milk, just to free it up a little. I had icing left over, it is a very generous recipe, which I like.

And ice the cakes

When the cakes are colds, ice them and decorate as desired. I crumbled some Flake over the top.

Chocolate mayo cupcake

Happy International Chocolate Day!!!


Friday Food: Giant Macadamia & Chocolate Biscuit

Giant chocolate biscuitNoooo, Better Homes & Gardens magazine, you should not be publishing the August issue while it is still June. It is making my year go way too fast. But you are forgiven because you have an excellent biscuit baking section. This week I made giant biscuits.  The recipe makes two. The biscuits are melt and mix and I complicated things by making a plain and a chocolate version. I don't think the chocolate version was as successful, but I can't taste it to find out: it seems less snappy and crispy. I halved the initial melted mixture and then substituted 1 tablespoon of Dutch Processed cocoa for one tablespoon of the self-raising flour.  I forgot to add the vanilla.

I am not sure if the white chocolate is supposed to be melted, but I don't think it is, otherwise it would have been melted with the butter. I used white choc chips and a good bar of dark chocolate. The only macadamia nuts in the supermarket were already chopped into smallish pieces. I kind of prefer larger chunks really.

My oven trays are 28cm wide and I traced a slightly smaller circle on the back of the baking paper so I could make the biscuit roundish. And that's it: easy to make, quick to bake and they look very impressive and the plain biscuit has a lovely golden edge.

 

 

Giant Macadamia & Chocolate Biscuit           makes 2

 

  • 200g butter, melted
  • 100g white chocolate, finely chopped. I used choc chips.
  • 220g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla paste
  • 1 egg
  • 300g (2 cups) self raising flour
  • 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g good dark chocolate, chgopped
  • 1/2 cup macadamias, chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 200C or 180 fan-forced. Line two trays with baking paper. I traced a circle on the back of the paper to help make more circular biscuits.

Melt

Put the sugar and butter in a bowl and mix with the white chocolate.

Egg and mix

Add the egg and mix till combined.

Dry and half the yummy things

And from here I halved the batter and made half plain and half chocolate as explained at the top. Add the flour, bicarb and half the dark chocolate and nuts. Save the other half for the topping.

Mix to a dough

Mix to a dough. I ended up using my hands to bring it together.

Make a big biscuit

Form a disc and then press out into a circle on the baking paper, it should be about 1cm thick.  Sprinkle over the extra chocolate and nuts and press gently but firmly so they stick on top.

And baked

Bake for 20 minutes, I swapped the trays and turned them half way through. Cool on the tray. The biscuits will keep for a week in an airtight container, or freeze for 3 months!!

Giant choc biscuits

 


Friday Food: Nutella Chocolate Truffles

TruffleIn spite of the blog title, I used Nutino for my truffles because it appears higher on the list of friendly choc-hazelnut spreads. This three ingredient recipe from EugenieKitchen, well four if you count the sprinkles, takes but a few minutes to make. Then, as many lazy hours of refrigeration or freezing as you wish, before you roll it into balls and be-jewel with chocolate sprinkles.

I used Old Gold eating chocolate with 40-45% cocoa, and thickened cream. You can buy thickened cream with no gelatine now, which vegetarians would appreciate.

I used a baking paper-lined box to refrigerate the truffle mixture as I find it easier to divide evenly using a rectangular container.  It measures 5 x 6 inches, which is an unwieldy  12.7 x 15.2 cm. I drew some lines using the Imperial measurements and made 30 truffles. I could only find a 115g bottle of chocolate sprinkles, but it was plenty and there were some left over.

The truffles will keep for at least a fortnight in the fridge in an airtight container and they do need to be refrigerated as they are quite soft*.

 

Nutella Chocolate Truffles          makes 24-30

  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
  • 130g (4 1/2 oz) good dark chocolate
  • 110g (1/3 cup) Nutella or substitute
  • about 120g sprinkles or 1/2 cup cocoa powder

 

 

Cream and chocolate melt

Heat the cream in the microwave for 1 minute on High, stir and then heat for 1 minute more. It should be almost boiling. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over. Meanwhile chop the chocolate finely and place it in a small bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate and cover for a minute to let the hot cream melt the chocolate.

Add choc hazelnut spread

Stir gently but firmly until the chocolate and cream is smooth and combined. Add the Nutella (or substitute) and once again stir until smooth and combined.

Refrigerate and divide

If you so choose, pour into a square or rectangular container lined with baking paper or cling-wrap and refrigerate until firm. I marked some truffle-sized portions as soon as it was set. You can just refrigerate the truffle mixture in a bowl and scoop out a spoonful later on. I am a tad obsessed with trying to make them the same size.

Roll in sprinkles

I find it easiest to put the sprinkles/cocoa in a bowl and then gently shake the truffles about until they are coated. Then I roll them into balls and refrigerate again until firm.

Nutella chocolate truffles fake roses

And that is it, so simple and so delicious. I admit I did lick the spoon at the end and they taste heavenly: so smooth and chocolaty.

* I realised as I typed the recipe that I had only used 110g of chocolate instead of 130g. This may be why the truffles are softer. They still taste decadent!!


Friday Food: Ferrero Rocher Brownies

A ferrero rocher brownie pieceEvery week Taste.com.au sends out a newsletter and the words Ferrero Rocher Brownies leaped out at me on Monday. Yes: I had everything I needed except the eponymous chocolate treats. I decided to make the brownie for Sewing on Thursday evening and serendipitously the chocolates were on sale for half price!! This is an unusual brownie in that you whip the eggs and sugar, rather than melting chocolate and butter: there is no butter in this recipe. Despite this, MrsDrWho said it was excellent, very rich and she could only eat a small piece. My brownie was quite fudgy, but still properly cooked.

I have trouble with things being arranged randomly. In spite of my best efforts the 16 Ferrero Rocher** supposedly arranged randomly, were really (secretly) in a 4x4 array. I just gave in and made the array properly. I did cut pieces of the baked brownie to make the best of the cross-section of the Ferrero Rocher and it looks pretty fabulous.

I used Dutch Processed cocoa and Original Old Gold chocolate which is 40-45% cocoa. Two of the eggs are from the chickens over the road and one from the deli at the corner and the over-the-road eggs are have much paler yolks. In truth, you could replace the Ferrero Rocher with any chocolate confectionery you desire.

 

 

Ferrero Rocher Brownies     serves  16-20

 

  • 3 eggs
  • 200g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 300g (1 cup) Choc-Hazelnut spread
  • 115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
  • 1 tbspn Dutch processed cocoa
  • 100g dark choc, finely chopped
  • 16 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced and grease and line a 20cm/8 inch square cake tin.

Beat eggs and sugar

Use an electric mixer or beater to beat the eggs and sugar for about 4 minutes, it will become thick and creamy and double in size.

Add hazelnut choc spread

Gently warm the Choc-Hazelnut spread in the microwave and then fold carefully into the egg and sugar mixture.

Dry ingredients and chopped choc

Combine the flour and cocoa, and chop the dark chocolate.

Add dry and choc and fold in

Add the dry ingredients and chopped chocolate to the batter and fold together, trying not to knock out too much air.

Ferrero rocher

Unwrap the Ferrero Rocher.

Arrange ferrero rocher

Keep 1/4 -1/2 cup of the brownie batter aside, and pour the rest into the tin and spread evenly, smoothing the top. Place the chocolates randomly, or not randomly in my case, into the brownie.

Add extra batter and bake

Pour the resrved brownie batter over the top, trying to mainly cover the tops of the chocolates and bake for 35-40 minutes. My brownie was set on top, but still soft in the centre after 35 minutes. Cool in the tin and then cut into pieces as you like.

Ferrero rocher brownies

I especially like the way the brownie looks when the Ferrero Rocher are cut in cross-section.  I can't think of a way to improve the brownie at all!!

** What is a Ferrero Rocher?? I am not sure how to refer to them. They are not lollies, and not really chocolates per se, hence the endless repetition of Ferrero Rocher throughout this post!!


Friday Food: Giant Choc Chip Cookie

Giant cookieI love a good baking trend, and the Better Homes & Gardens trend this year is a giant cookie shaped silicon baking pan. Last year it was a doughnut pan and a few years before a long bar tin. I bought the $8 offer in the supermarket for the magazine, cooking booklet and one silicon pan, but there is an offer in their shop if you fancy a pan or two. I decided I only needed one pan and chose the cheaper route.

There are eighteen recipes: gluten-free, no-bake, microwave and ordinary oven baking. There are also three variations for the Giant Cookie: classic, triple chocolate and confetti. I chose the classic.

If you don't have this silicon pan, you can use any 23cm/9 inch round cake tin.

I followed the recipe exactly, and it is just melt and mix, so marvellously easy. The giant cookie turned out surprisingly well, surprisingly because this is the first time I have used a silicon pan. I greased it very well, in every nook and cranny. I placed it on a baking tray at every turn to make it more stable. You could use any combination of choc chips, even chopped chocolate and/or nuts and dried fruit. I even piped chocolate over the pattern on the top, in a wriggly way, but a pattern nonetheless. MrsDrWho declared it exceedingly tasty, as did people in the staffroom when she took some to school.

I shall definitely make this again.

 

Giant Choc Chip Cookie        serves one giant or 12-14 ordinary people

 

  • cooking oil/spray to grease silicon pan
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 300g choc chips, any combination
  • 50g chocolate of your choice extra, melted, for piping

 

Grease the pan

Preheat the oven to 180*c or 160*C fan-forced. Thoroughly grease the silicon pan. I used some baking paper and oil, but it is easier to use a cooking spray, I just don't have any. Put the pan on an oven tray.

Butter sugar egg

Use a large bowl and mix the melted butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix again.

Make the dough

Stir in the dry ingredients until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough into thirds, roughly.

Cover the star

Press one third of the dough into the centre of the silicon pan, to cover just the star part.  Leave the outside border dough free, and smooth the top as best as possible.

Choc chip dough at last

Add the choc chips to the remaining two-thirds of the dough and mix through evenly. Very gently press the choc chip dough in the pan, covering the centre star area and pressing right out to the fluted border section.

Smooth the top

The recipe says to smooth the top and so I used a piece of baking paper to protect the cookie and smoothed as best I could. I am not sure so much care was needed, but the cookie was beautifully smooth.

Bake and cool

Place the tray with the cookie pan into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. I found it took 40 minutes for mine to bake properly. The recipe says bake for 30 minutes for a chewy cookie and 40 minutes for a crunchier texture. I have not tried any other baking times, so I can't say what will happen.

Cool in the pan, on the tray, for 20 minutes and then turn out onto a rack, starry side up, and leave to cool completely. When it is cold you can pipe chocolate, following the outline of the star pattern. I forgot my piping tips, so I used a ziplock bag with a tiny hole snipped in one corner. It was not very accurate, but it shows the general idea.

Slice of giant cookie cake

The giant cookie is fun to make and I would definitely love to try some more baking ideas using the silicon pan. Oh I did, I baked a giant wagon wheel!! It was a labour of love, but worth it in the end. Don't cut the wheel straight from the fridge, it cracks terribly. IPad photo, so not the best, sorry.

Giant wagon wheel

 Oops, I pressed Publish and forgot to remove all the white space at the bottom of the post!!


Friday Food: Coconut Rough Muffins

Coconut rough muffinI remember eating Golden Roughs as a child. They were milk chocolate and toasted coconut, shaped into a disc. It seemed quite big then, bigger than the palm of my hand, but since I haven't seen them for years, I expect they were much smaller. The toasted coconut ever so slightly poked up through the chocolate top. They were delicious. The new May Delicious has a no-waste cupcake/muffin baking section. MrsDrWho, who once thought she didn't like coconut, actually does. As she is on school holidays, I decided to bake some Coconut Rough muffins.

Serendipitously, I had everything except the shredded coconut, which was the no-waste item, and now I have left over shredded coconut which I need to use up: coconut inception!!!!

I followed the recipe exactly, although it made 16 rather than 12 muffins. I measure out cupcakes and muffins with an old-fashioned ice-cream scoop which I think is 1/4 cup. A cupcake is a cupcake, and I prefer to make 16 smaller, instead of 12 overflowing, cakes.

I can't taste the muffins, because they are chocolate, but they smell delicious. Oh and they are so easy to make, you can make them even if you are still recovering from a never ending cold.

 

 

Coconut Rough Muffins     makes 12-16

 

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 70g shredded coconut
  • 25g cocoa, I used Dutch processed cocoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 375ml buttermilk
  • 165ml sunflower oil
  • 1 egg

For the icing/ganache:

  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125ml thickened cream
  • extra coconut for sprinkling

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C and line one or two muffin trays with paper cases: if you have two trays you can bake all the muffins at once, swapping and turning the trays half way through the baking time to help them cook evenly.

Put the flour, sugar, coconut, cocoa, salt and the 50g of chopped chocolate into a large bowl and whisk to smooth any lumps and combine.

Dry ingredients

In another bowl or jug combine the buttermilk, oil and egg. Again, whisk till combined. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet. In hindsight I should have used a larger bowl. No matter. Mix gently to combine. Some people only mix their muffins 20 times, eg, I just mix them until all the ingredients come together and no more. It is important not to over-mix muffin batter.

Add wet to dry

Scoop the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 22 minutes. They are cooked when a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. This is a very good recipe because I set an alarm for 22 minutes on my Ipad, and they were perfectly baked in the time allowed.

And bake and cool

Leave for a few minutes in the tray and then remove to a cooling rack until they are completely cold.

Icing ganache

To make the icing, which is chocolate ganache, put the 150g of chopped chocolate into a bowl and heat the cream to almost boiling point: I use the microwave. Pour the cream over the chocolate, cover and leave for a minute and then stir until smooth. When the ganache is cold, spread over the muffins and top with a little of the shredded coconut.

Coconut rough muffins

Perfect.


Friday Food: Chocolate Scotch Eggs

Scotch creme eggsTwo words, two weeks: head cold. We shall speak of this no more.

Yesterday I saw these Easter Egg Scotch Eggs on Lorraine's Not Quite Nigella blog. Excellent, I thought, easy and fun. And they are. I did change a few tiny details: I used Butternut Snap biscuits instead of Kingstons. Butternut Snaps are an oaty Golden Syrup biscuit, rather like an ANZAC, but without the oats. I used Mini Creme Eggs. My friends are experienced chocolate eaters, but I thought a large Creme Egg might be just a tad too much, even for them. The Creme Eggs proper look so much nicer when you cut them in half, but I made my Creme Egg bed and I had to lie on it. This makes 4 large Creme Eggs or a packet of small ones, which is 10.

I bought the "value" pack of TimTams and I used 9 biscuits, or 165g. The packets vary so much now, some are 180g, some 200g. I don't think it matters.

 

Chocolate Scotch Eggs

  • 165 - 200g TimTams
  • 65g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • Cadbury Creme Eggs: 4 large or 10 small
  • 4 Butternut Snap/Kingston biscuits

 

Crush timtams

Crush the TimTam biscuits in a  processor or a plastic ziplock bag.  

Add philly

Then add the softened Philly cream cheese. Blend or mix till well combined: you should see hardly any white cream cheese streaks and it should be quite fine.

Crush butternut snaps

Crush the Butternut Snap/Kingston biscuits in the same way and place in a small bowl or ziplock bag.

Eggs!!!!!

I experimented using two different amounts of the TimTam mixture when covering the eggs: 2 teaspoons and 3 teaspoons. I think 3 teaspoons is the best, and there is enough mixture to cover the small eggs this way. I scooped out the TimTam mixture into portions and then moulded it around the Creme Eggs. I tried to remember which was the pointy end, but sometimes I forgot. It doesn't seem to matter.

And rolling

Once moulded, I smoothed out the eggs rolling them between my hands and then covered them with the Butternut Snap crumbs. I found I needed to press the crumbs on firmly.

Inside and out eggs

Refrigerate till firm and then eat!! Of course keep these in an airtight container and I think they are best eaten at room temperature.

Easter egg scotch creme eggs

The eggs are resting in the Petit Four basket I sewed today. It has rabbit and chicken material and a pretty green lining.