Dip-That-Toe

For the last two months I have either had a cold, or been recovering from a cold. And not even a bad cold. I went to the doctor for my usual appointment and she decided I didn't need antibiotics, and I didn't. But it took me so long to recover. Every day we would go for a walk, then we would go to bed until four or five o'clock in the afternoon, and we would sleep all night too. It was only last week that I started having proper days awake. Consequently I am dipping my toe back into The Internet and my blog.

There has been very little crafting: I knitted a Milo (It's Marvellous What A Difference), some socks for MrsDrWho ( Magical Happy Socks) and I made Wee Master Singapore some Shiny Gold Disco Trousers to match the Shiny Gold T-Shirt I sewed for him. Oh and I made a whole other set of pouches with Labradors on the front. I sewed one set and promptly put them somewhere safe, aka Lost. I sewed another set and of course then I found the first.

Things I have made

Lorelai Gilmore's health has continued to improve. She is feeling very well and loves to run and play all the time. Winter is here today, but we have had a few fogs and frosty cold mornings already. Gilly and Hedy love the colder mornings, they are invigorated.

Winter walk

We went to the vet for Gilly's blood test a fortnight ago. This is how Hedy waits for Gilly.

Hedy waits for Gilly at the vet

And it is impossible to take a photo of her joy when Gilly comes back. Poor Gilly, Hedy's waggy tail is a bother.

Gilly is back  Hedy is so happy

Hedy loves to play with Rafa and the ball. The ball is the thing. They both want it, they both can't have it at the same time. Rafa has the same toy, but if there are two, it is too confusing for them.

Hedy and rafa wrestling with the ball

I've had to return a whole stack of books to The Library, unread. I couldn't concentrate at all. Thank goodness I feel better, as I have lots of new books on Hold as well as the old one, back on Hold again.

I used my candy thermometer for the first time and made some Italian meringue. I made a syrup with sugar and water and brought it to the boil until it reached 120*C. Meanwhile I whisked some egg-whites. When the syrup reached the correct temperature I slowly poured it into the bowl as I whisked the egg-whites until they were cool. I don't have a blowtorch to brown the meringue. I am afraid of them, uncalled for I know, but gas and matches or an ignition spark scare me. I made some lemon curd and marscapone filled doughnuts topped with the Italian meringue and also some apple pie doughnuts, tipped with whipped cream, pecans and maple syrup. I took them for supper at Sewing. I feel more confident with the candy thermometer now, there may be more temperature related recipes in my future.

Doughnuts

Last week I went to Sewing, this week to Knitting Dining Out and I was also an unexpected Patient/Partner for the Fourth Year Doctors. I was the lucky ninth phone call to find someone to fill a gap.

And now it is time for all good Labradors (and naughty ones) to go to bed. Tomorrow I am going to ask my next door neighbour to take a photo of the new dress I sewed ages ago, and I shall endeavour to post for Friday Food and even, shock/horror, read and comment on blogs!!!

Here is Lorelai Gilmore running. She hasn't run like this since Peri Naughty died. Oh and here's Hedy Lamarr and her BillyBall and Sandy too.


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.


Friday Food: Easter Nutella Fudge

Easter nutella fudgeHello Real World: of which we know little as this week we have been for a walk, and then slept till 3pm every day. We are looking forward very much to the extra hour of sleep when Daylight Saving ends this Sunday morning.

Well, Nutella Fudge recipes abound on The Internet. Once more I used Nutino as a slightly more ethical substitute for Nutella. I don't eat Nutella, or any chocolate hazelnut spread because: chocolate.

Still, this is a quick and easy recipe and it looks so cute as Easter shapes. I used biscuit cutters. I tried to buy Easter sprinkles, but they are not to be had in the whole city, so I made do with a pink, white and silver selection. I am sad it is not orange and green, or pink, green and purple, but beggars can't be choosers. If I had some mini Easter eggs or M&Ms I would have used those too.

On to the recipe: generally most recipes call for Nutella, sweetened condensed milk, butter, chocolate and salt. I used this recipe because it had metric measurements, and used a microwave instead of a double boiler. I am lazy. I put the fudge into a 20 x 30cm slice tin rather than a 20 x 20cm square tin because the cutters had a larger area than if I had just cut squares.

I followed the recipe, but added 1/4 tspn of sea salt flakes, just to cut through the sweetness and I believe salt enhances the chocolate flavour. I will be keeping these in the refrigerator until I pop them in some Easter cellophane bags, or arrange them on the Happy Easter plate!!!

 

Easter Nutella Fudge    makes a 20 x 30cm rectangle

 

  • 1 x 395g can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 200g dark chocolate, I used choc chips
  • 25g butter
  • 300g Nutella or substitute
  • 1/4  tspn sea salt flakes
  • sprinkles for decoration

Ready the ingredients

Place everything, except the sprinkles, into a microwave proof bowl and heat on High for 30 seconds at a time. Stir well in between. It is better to have the chocolate a little lumpy and then stir until it is smooth. This fudge took 2 minutes to make.

Melt  mix  salt  melt  mix

Oops, I forgot the salt until almost the end. The fudge is ready when it comes away from the bowl, and forms a fudge-like batter really. It is smooth and glossy.

And pour into tin  smooth

Grease and line the tin and then pour the fudge in and smooth the top with a spoon or spatula.

Decorate refrigerate

This is the time to add any decorations to the top. I sprinkled on some of every kind and then placed another piece of baking paper on top and gently smoothed and pressed the sprinkles into the fudge. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Cut out shapes

To cut out the Easter shapes, first dip the cutters very carefully into hot water for a few seconds, wipe dry, and then press into the fudge. I used the cutter to transport the fudge to another baking paper lined tray. Repeat as desired. Scraps are, of course, cook's privilege.

Ready to refrigerate

Refrigerate in an airtight container. These should last at least a week. You can be really well prepared for Easter!!!

Nutella fudge


Friday Food: TimTam Tart

Taste's timtam tartI accidentally started a chocolate Easter theme and so I am just going with it. This recipe is from the April Taste magazine. I am using a picture of their page because I sent the TimTam Tart proper along to MrsDrWho's Morning tea. We made do with a small version at Sewing.

The recipe calls for TimTams, which are two rectangular chocolate biscuits sandwiched together with a chocolate cream ganache and then covered in chocolate. The tart used dark TimTams, but I went with a mixture of original milk chocolate TimTams and the dark.

You need 2 x 200g packets of TimTams: 300g used to make the tart case and the remaining 100g for the decoration.

I could not buy a tart tin with a removable base, so I used a loaf tin with the same dimensions and made some baking paper handles under the lining paper so the tart could be lifted out. This worked successfully at Sewing, though I did need to dip the base of the tin in some hot water in the sink.

There are a few steps to follow, but this is definitely easy. Don't leave the tart out of the fridge.  In the last photo you can see that the milk ganache does start to soften.

Other than using a mixture of TimTams, I followed the recipe and MrsDrWho reported that the tart was a big hit at Morning Tea!!

 

TimTam Tart     serves 8-10

 

  • 300g TimTams
  • 35g butter, melted and cooled

 

For the milk ganache:

  • 400g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 250ml thickened cream
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tspn salt flakes

 

For the dark ganache:

  • 150g dark chocolate, I used 70%
  • 50g butter

 

To decorate:

  • 300ml of double cream whipped to soft peaks
  • 100g TimTams, cut into shards
  • dark cocoa powder for dusting on the top

 

TimTams

 

TimTam crush and butter

Crush 300g of the TimTams using a food processor or put them in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Add the melted 35g of butter and process, or mix well.

Tin and timtam crust

Grease and line a 2.5cm deep, 11 x 35cm fluted tart tin with a removable base. I used a 12 x 28cm loaf tin. Press the mixture over the base of the tin and up the sides as best you can. I used the base of a glass to get right into the corners. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Milk choc ganache

The 15 minutes freezing time is the exact amount needed to make the milk chocolate ganache. Put the milk chocolate, cream, butter, vanilla and sea salt in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on High for 30 seconds at a time and mix very well in between. It took 2 minutes for the ganache to form. It is best to mix the last few lumps of chocolate into submission. Cool for 5 minutes.

Milk choc ganache layer

Pour the ganache into the tart case and level with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Dark choc ganache

To make the dark chocolate ganache, microwave the dark chocolate and butter on High for 30 seconds at a time until it is almost melted. Then stir until it is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Last layer dark ganache

Pour over the milk chocolate ganache layer, smooth quickly as the chilled layer will speed up the setting process. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes and it is ready to serve. Or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days at this stage.

When ready to serve, remove the tart from the tin. The recipe says to top with whipped cream, TimTam wedges and dust with the dark cocoa. MrsDrWho said that they cut the slices first and then dolloped on the cream, added a TimTam wedge and a final dusting of cocoa. This is what we did at Sewing. As you can see, I allowed the tart to sit out of the fridge for a tad too long and the milk chocolate ganache softened. The taste was not affected!!

Timtam tart

 


Wasp The Eye Doesn't See, The Heart Doesn't Grieve Over.

Hello Denizens of The Internet. It has been Some Time, though I tried to keep up with Friday Food. The end of February, and all of March, has been hot (30*C and hotter in some places), and we suffer from heat stress, The Labradors and I.

Wasp walk

And now I am sick. I have a sore throat that has worsened and I have fifty antibiotics to take. They are less powerful and more targeted, but it has been five days and I am not feeling terribly much better. I may have to go back to the doctor. I was going to have lunch with MrsDrWho and Mrs HouseOf today and I went for a little lie down and overslept by an hour. Even the phones ringing out didn't wake me up.

Wasps

What we do have is a wasp nest. I went outside yesterday in the late morning and there were a bazillion wasps circling outside the back door. There was a nest between the rocks in the retaining wall. My next door neighbour saw me looking worried and came over and put some wasp killing powder in the niche. As the gardener was here whipper-snippering we all had to stay inside, so no Labradors were in danger. They did have a middle of the day walk instead of a morning one:

Hedy was confused,

Hedy and her shadow

Gilly took it all in her stride.

Gilly on a mission

Lorelai Gilmore has taken to running interference when Rafa and Hedy Lamarr play in, what she considers to be, a rough way.

Hedy Rafa Gilly

Lorelai Gilmore is just checking up to make sure everyone is OK.  Hedy is showing everyone her belly!!!

Rafa Hedy Gilly

Christmas has long gone, but I have been catching up on a few late gifts. First a Christmas banner print fabric sewn as a bag for AuntieDutch and a Star Wars bag for me!! I know: for me. Bags 108 and 109.

Bags 108 and 109

And for The Dutches a Reindeer apron. I bought the panel off the roll, but the pocket was too small before I even started sewing, so I added a border to the top, and a lining, all in one. Now it looks like the apron is smiling, and not in a good way.

Reindeer apron

I also made a Christmas Grumpy Cat cross stitch for MrsDrWho. Actually I made two. A certain puppy may have knocked a cup of tea over the first one in the middle of last year. I glued a teeny tiny bobble border around the little frame. If you click on the clicky Grumpy Cat link, the pattern is free, just scroll down the page.

Christmas grumpy cat

And now it is time for a cup of tea and a rest. It has been hot again today, 28*C, and the same tomorrow. The BOM have forecast a cooler week ahead and some rain, at last.

Thank you for all the lovely comments, I plan to reply as soon as the weather is cooler and I feel better. I do appreciate that despite the unplanned interruptions to blogcasts, kind people (and dogs) leave us comments!!


Friday Food: Over-The-Top Chunky Chocolate Brownie Tart

Over the top chunky choc brownie tartThis Over-The-Top Chunky Chocolate Brownie Tart is from April's Super Food Ideas Magazine. I made it in the afternoon and took it to Quilting, where upon it was declared quite Over-The-Top, but utterly delicious.

The tart is made in a fluted flan tin with a removable base, but if you don't have one, you can use a spring-form tin, or even a plain cake tin. I would make a firm cardboard base, covered with foil and/or baking paper, with baking paper handles underneath poking out, so the tart can be lifted out after it is baked.

I used two packets of Kingston biscuits: a Kingston is two smallish coconut biscuits sandwiched together with chocolate cream. I didn't even use a blender or food processor, I just put them in a plastic ziplock bag and used the heaviest glass olive oil bottle to crush them. They are very crushable, though I did need to break up the chocolate cream somewhat. If you can't buy Kingston Biscuits substitute 400g of your favourite biscuits.

The brownie filling is studded with chocolates before it is baked. I used a box of Favourites as specified by the recipe, but you could use 160g of any chocolates. I cut the whole 320g of mini chocolates on an angle and arranged them with the cut side up. Waste not, want not.

And that's it. It is a quick and doubly delicious chocolaty treat. They suggest serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Whatever you choose, it is definitely Over-The-Top. It serves 10, but could easily serve 12-16: you only need a wafer thin slice.

 

 

Over-The-Top Chunky Chocolate Brownie Tart         serves 10-16

 

  • 2 x 200g packets of Kingston Biscuits
  • 50g butter, melted and cooled
  • 100g butter extra, chopped
  • 100g good dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup (140g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • optional: 1/4 tspn salt flakes
  • 2 tspn vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 320g box of Favourites chocolates

 

Grease a 3cm deep, 24cm round loose based fluted flan tin. Place on a baking tray for stability.

Kingston biscuits

Process or crush the biscuits then add the 50g of cooled butter and mix/process until well combined.

Line the flan tin

Press evenly over the base and sides of the flan tin. I used the base of a small glass to compact the biscuits firmly. Refrigerate while you make the brownie filling.

Melting for brownies

Place the 100g butter and dark chocolate in a bowl and microwave on High for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat at 20 second intervals, stirring. It is best to err on the side of not quite melted and stir till smooth: chocolate burns quite easily. Cool slightly, then add the eggs and whisk till combined

Flour cocoa salt

Now heat the oven to 180*C/160*C fan-forced. Sift or whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt together.

Fill flan with brownie

Add to the chocolate mixture in 2 parts, folding firmly together. Add the vanilla and stir for a final time. Spoon into the prepared biscuit base and smooth the top. If it is a little stubborn, use the back of a large spoon, dipped in very hot water and dried before you smooth.

Add chocolates and bake
Prepare the chocolate, cut or trim as desired, and arrange in the brownie batter.  Bake for 30 minutes. The brownie should be just set to the touch.  Cool completely in the tin.

Half a tart

Remove carefully from the flan tin, cut into wedges and serve with any accompaniments you like. I think a light dusting with icing sugar would be lovely.

Piece of tart

Next week: TimTam Tart


Friday Food: Hobnobs or Choc Oat Biscuits

HobnobsWell, time has slipped away unexpectedly. We have been tired and it has been hotter than Hades. Thankfully it was cooler today and apart from the actual turning on of the oven, these biscuits require very little effort. Hobnobs are an oaty biscuit from the UK. They are very plain, but now they are also topped with chocolate if you so desire. I made dark, milk and white chocolate Hobnobs. I tasted the white chocolate one and it was delicious. I love the oaty taste. I did put in less salt than the recipe said and even now, I think they taste salty. I try not to eat too much salt, so I may be super sensitive. I used plain wholemeal flour and added 1 1/4 tspn of baking powder. This recipe is from the March Recipes + magazine. I was able to eke out 18 biscuits.

 

 

Hobnobs      makes about 16 biscuits

  • 1 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tspn salt, I put 1/4 tspn salt flakes
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 20-40ml milk as needed
  • 100g dark/milk/white eating chocolate, melted

 

Preheat oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced and line two trays with baking paper.

Dry and wet

Put the oats, flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Mix together and make a well in the centre. Pour in the melted butter.

Make the dough

Mix thoroughly and then add as much milk as is needed to make a dough. I used 20ml.  Form into a disc and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Cool roll cut out

Unwrap the dough and place it between two sheets of extra baking paper on the bench. Roll it out to a thickness of about 3mm between the sheets of paper. This will stop it sticking. It is also a weird kind of ANZAC biscuity dough and you can just take a piece from one place and add it to another and it joins in very happily. Use a 6cm diameter circle cutter, mine was 6.5cm, and cut out biscuits.

And bake and cool

Use an egg slide or an offset spatula to move them to the tray. They don't seem to spread very much at all. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely on the tray.

Choc on top

When they are cold, flip them over and spread melted chocolate on the flat side. Allow the chocolate top set and you have Hobnobs!!!

All the hobnobs


Friday Food: Choctella Cupcakes

A choctella cupcakeThis week I had medical appointments every day except today, when I had a social appointment. There was a lot of sleeping in the afternoons. I started making the frozen caramel slice from the cover of the March Delicious, but I slightly lost the will to continue. Instead, I baked the incredibly quick and impressive Choctella Cupcakes from the March Taste Magazine.

I changed one thing: I only used 85g of butter and I substituted vegetable oil for the remaining 15g. The oil helps to keep the cake moist and gives a nice texture, while the butter adds flavour.

I know there are some people who do not like to use Nutella, as it contains palm oil. There are recipes to make your own Nutella: eg here and here. I don't eat chocolate so I don't eat Nutella, but I am conflicted. I bought another brand, Nutino, which rated a B on the Shop Ethical site.

Baking crisis averted. I can highly recommend this recipe. When I moved the cupcakes to the cooling rack I accidentally tore a little piece from the top of one and I ate it!! It was delicious and I thought a fingernail size piece wasn't going to hurt me!!!

 

Choctella Cupcakes       makes 12

  • 140g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 100g butter, room temperature, cubed ( I used 85g  butter/15g oil)
  • 75g dark choc (I used 70%) chopped
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g (1 cup) self raising flour
  • 50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
  • 2 tbspn (40ml) cocoa, (I use Dutch processed)

To decorate

  • 240g (3/4 cup) choc-hazelnut spread
  • 300ml cream, whipped
  • 12 Ferrero Rocher chocolates ( hazelnut chocolate confections)
  • chocolate sprinkles or grated chocolate

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C/160*C fan-forced and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.

Everything but the dry

Put the sugar, butter (butter and oil), chocolate and water into a pan over a low-medium heat and stir for 2-3 minutes until smooth. I microwaved mine for 2 minutes on medium, stirring half way through. Cool slightly then add the eggs and whisk.

And the dry

Sift over the flours and cocoa and fold gently through.

Fill and bake

I used a 1/4-ish cup ice-cream scoop to fill the paper cases. The recipe filled the 12 cases perfectly. They should be about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes. The cupcakes are cooked when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Put them on a cooling rack straight away. When they are cool, swirl on some choc-hazelnut spread, dollop on some whipped cream, add a Ferrero Rocher and chocolate flakes. The cupcakes look, and taste, fabulous!!!

Choctella cupcake


Friday Food: Pineapple Coconut Cake Slice

Pineapple coconut cakeHow lucky we are, it was only 24*C today, so it was nice weather for baking. I chose to bake the March 2017 Better Homes & Garden Pineapple Coconut Cake Slice, which can also be **muffins. I shouldn't have used the blender part of my food processor. I really should have used the bowl, but after some poking and prodding (with the machine off I hasten to add) everything went swimmingly.

All the ingredients are added in turn and blended and then spread into the tin and baked. It is nice and easy. There is not much pineapple, just a 225g can, nevertheless it is very tasty. The cake really is a slice, quite thin, but you have a pleasing icing-to-cake ratio. The icing uses the juice drained from the tin of pineapple. I drizzled passionfruit over the top and its sharp tanginess contrasted well with the sweeter cake. Icing sugar mixture contains cornflour or something similar. It helps the icing to set more quickly, but it isn't gluten free. Pure icing sugar is, but it needs far more sifting.

The recipe says it takes an hour to cool after it is baked, but it took far less than that. The cake/slice serves 18, and I think this is an accurate estimation. I don't think this is a cake for keeping, it is a cake for eating right now, or in the immediate future. I have decided to think of it as the scone of cakes: it only takes 5 minutes to prepare and mine took 20 minutes to bake.

BH&G suggests several different toppings for the cake/slice: blueberries, toasted coconut chips, diced pineapple, passionfruit, mint leaves and edible flowers. The cake has a very delicate pineapple flavour, and I really enjoyed it. I did actually eat a piece from the stack in the photo because, (Sad!) the icing on top was spoiled by being stacked!!

**To turn the cake batter into muffins, use a 12-hole muffin tray and fill the paper cases 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes.

 

Pineapple Coconut Cake Slice       serves 18

  • 225g can of pineapple pieces/slices in juice,
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut, I used shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture for the icing

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C and grease a 20 x 30cm tin and line it with baking paper. Drain the juice from the can of pineapple and set it aside, you will need 1/4 of a cup later on.

Pineapple butter eggs

Put the pineapple in the bowl of a food processor and puree, add the butter and eggs.

Sugar

Blend again and then add the sugar.

Coconut and flour

Almost done: add the coconut and pulse a few times and then finally the flour. Pulse gently. If the cake batter is worked too much it will become tough. If in any doubt, scrape the batter into a bowl and gently fold in the flour.

And bake

Spread the cake batter into the tin and smooth the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, the cake comes away from the side of the tin, and the top is golden brown.

Cool in the tin for 15 minutes and then place on a rack until it is completely cold.

Icing

Add 1/4 cup of the drained pineapple juice to the icing sugar mixture and whisk until there are no lumps. I thought the icing was far too runny and added at least another 1/2 a cup of icing sugar. Here is where you can add further toppings, it's where I spooned on the passionfruit. Set aside for maybe 15 minutes for the icing to set.

And then ice

Cut into 18 pieces and eat with gusto.

Some pineapple coconut cake