Monday, 28 December 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
Saturday, 14 November 2009
It's raining, it's pouring, we had to do SOMETHING!!
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Friday, 6 November 2009
Sunday, 25 October 2009
I'm not a major fan of brownies, when you get them from the shops or even Borough Market they tend to be a touch dry, or they fall apart. So with the exception of Nigella Lawson's philadelphia cheese brownies, I rarely make them.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (220g ish) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar (used 1 golden caster, 3/4 granulated white)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (used one)
1 cup sour cream
3 Tbsp jam, optional
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Sunday, 12 July 2009
The recipe for the cake is as follows, but it gives you slightly too little for the cupcake size and alarmingly grease soaks into the cupcake papers like crazy.
The buttercream icing I suggest you find your own as, whilst I had a recipe, I possibly ended up putting twice as much icing sugar in as required, and felt it could have used a lot more lemon juice to give that punch.
The swirls I was quite happy with, a bit of fun in my mundane world. I've also got a bowl left over so I better bake something else this week!!
125g unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup self raising flour
lemon zest (1/2 lemon but tbh I just scraped a little in)
3 tbsp milk (warm it up a bit)
1. Cream the butter and the sugar together.
2. Add eggs.
3. Add everything else.
To be honest, you could just shove everything in and mix it, this recipe originally called for a food processor. But mix, pour, make 12 slightly undersized cupcakes.
4. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 15 minutes until springy.
5. Cool it down (that's hard for me!!) then cut a little cone out of the top (and eat) and fill with a teaspoon or so of lemon curd (or jam I suppose - blackberry would be very cool).
6. Top with buttercream (125g butter, 4-6 cups of icing sugar, 1/2 lemon's juice, 2 tbsp milk)
This is the Malteaser cheesecake I made recently. Not a favourite, well people ate it! But they tend to with the cheesecakes because they don't necessarily become "second-rate" as such after the first five minutes out of the oven! It's my usual recipe for cheesecake, but topped with crumbled digestives and malteasers. There was also an abundance of malteasers crushed in when I made the base. I'm not a fan, but I think if I tried the baileys chilled malteaser cheesecake one day I might be a convert.
Sunday, 14 June 2009
The recipe is here, but I made a few changes. One, I added a tablespoon of lemon juice because I didn't read it before I chucked it in (and I cba to drain it off either). Two, there's no sanding sugar because I don't own any. Three, I added a slug of vanilla to the mix because I could. All in all, a very nice cookie, especially fresh from the oven. But after that I think it lacks a certain punch, even with the lemon juice. Maybe I should have considered adding black pepper or balsamic? Those tend to add some tang to the mix, however even as is, I reckon these are going to be well received although I might have some difficulty transporting them as they are distinctly floppy with strawberries unless I toast them crisp.
I also made some mini-muffins from the mix (no difference, just in the cases). This was because I couldn't be bothered to use another baking sheet and just plonked them in. Very cute and because they're small, they'll get eaten. Dangerous!
Sunday, 7 June 2009
It was a small class (just two students including me) and it was pretty damn interesting. Firstly, she's from the same university as me, and evidently experienced the hideous office politics barricade and left the rat race for the baking tray. Interestingly enough she's not a lover of cake. It is to her, a business, which makes a lot of sense to an LSE girl like me as well. Whilst I love, love cake, I'd be reluctant to lose my tastebuds in an "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman" sense. If you didn't love it to begin with, well that's probably okay, because you might end up hating it. My school of thought is more Nigel Slater, live it, breathe it to the point of lovers lost and spurned (a date who doesn't like cake?? If he doesn't at least hold a spoon and pretend to share mine I'd see issues...)
Anyway, back to the class. I went because it was of a level that suited me. I don't pipe stuff. I've never piped stuff save the icing gun debacle which a friend told me resembled one of his tissues (don't ask) and I guess the macaroons which are less piping, more dripping decoratively. It was unfortunate in essence that there was very little actual piping time, however the smushing of buttercream of airbubbles and filling the piping bag will probably make more difference to future piping than what practice I could get in there.
What was interesting was the other lady who was there, she was basically practically using Faircakes as a franchise. Wanted the EXACT recipes, the EXACT tin measurements, and I was kind of (in a way) laughing because here was a woman who was making cakes, selling them, and quite frankly doing it at a loss. Like, BASIC spreadsheets, costs vs pricing. It's the business nerd in me that I take for granted. You wonder why people go out of business. Actually it makes me wonder why I don't go into business. I can bake. I know better than to pay for a stall in Oxford St markets (Borough, Kings, Portabello - the price might be more expensive but here is where people will linger for food purposes.) *shrugs* And here was the interesting thing. The lady taking notes, she didn't seem to twig that her idol (the teacher) was trying to get OUT of baking cupcakes and into classes because the profit and time allocation was better. If it didn't suit her as a business model, for someone who has finally established herself (thanks to Facebook, twitter and the internet revolution!) why copy it? Not my problem, I was there to make cakes look pretty.
Anyway, the above is basically what I made, the flowers and stampy things are what the lady teacher made - I did like that trick, can't make the piping look good? That's fine, cover it with a flower or something. She was literally the Delia's Cheat guide to cupcakes. Two things she did miss out on which I could have suggested as a net nerd/cake addict
- chiffon cake
- scooping batter in with ice cream scoops
Will post some more later.
Sunday, 10 May 2009
I made these insanely early, but here is my schedule:
4th May the Cookie Carnival email came out from Kate, this weekend I made them, next weekend I'm in Scotland, that gives me two weekends left. Yeah, looking at that, now I have no idea why I thought I HAD to make them this weekend (10th) :S I'll figure out what I HAVE to do in May soon. Probably some hen-do or wedding for someone I've forgotten. Ouch.
I've always struggled with macaroons. I've made them... twice. Once using the Roux brother's book, once from the wonderful Tartlette blog (see right). Both failed miserably. The first one was edible. It probably wasn't a good idea to try and use teaspoons which they SAID was okay, the second time I tried to risk it with greaseproof and naturally everything stuck everywhere. They also make scarily little so by the time you've peeled them off the tray, you've eaten most of them. This recipe made a shed-load. There's pictures of the macaroons on every surface, but I think you'll get it from the following picture - and that is AFTER me and my sister worked our way through the ugly ones!
So today's recipe is from Williams-Sonoma. Which I gather is a US version of a cookery store like Lakeland only a bit more flash. And it was with a great deal of apprehension that I embarked on making these. I wouldn't say it was a successful macaroon, not in the way that La Duree macaroons are, with delicate little feet and flat tops. Mine were more along the lines of almond macaroons slash meringues with a nice nutty flavour.
There are things in both the Roux books and in Tartlette's blog that I believe might make a difference - firstly Tartlette ages her egg whites, and the Roux brothers use the high heat then switch ovens/leave the door ajar after the initial period approach. Both might be interesting, but quite frankly, these were lovely anyway. I'll spare you the chocolate ganache, namely because I thought the jar in the cupboard would work, but apparently after donkey's years it's finally decided to grow some mould. Instead I've applied a little peanut butter and some lemon curd to some for the pics but they were pretty de-lovely to begin with. Scratch that, just ate one with peanut butter. WOOT WOOT!!!
The hazelnut came through which was brilliant - namely because I could only find one packet of hazelnut in the shops and I used a mini-chopper to "grind" it. I did force it through a sieve before using and the stuff that didn't make it through, I made up the difference with a pile of ground almonds from a pack.
Overall a wonderful experience this time around, and I sincerely doubt the trays of macaroons will survive the evening let alone till I get home from Scotland next week!!
BRING ON THE NEXT CHALLENGE!!
What with my new cupcake books arriving from Amazon, one look at the Raspberry Cream Cheese buns on someone elses's site (made with blackcurrant there) and I had to make them. Knowing full well my family wouldn't touch them. Four of these babies were therefore made with big dollops of lemon curd instead, which made delightfully caramelly messes of the tin, but also on the buns, not that I get to touch those - I have eight buns to eat!
The original recipe is from Buttercup Bakery book (New York) and one of these days I'll try the dried cherry one from Magnolias (since I own the book...)
What you need to know about these is that the recipe is easy - as easy as muffins are, but they sink like heck given the amount of preserves you're putting in them. What they give back though, is something so moist and rich you just want to sink yourself into them. And since I've eaten two of them, I'm doing quite well!
As you can see, massive craters. If you don't want that, use less stuff (see one on right). I chose not to use preserves, but to mush raspberries over the stove with a bit of icing sugar. It causes the proportions to be more damp and I guess, results in the intense cragginess. Not that it's a bad thing. I flooded the ones I ate with leftover sauce at the end. Reasons unknown, I just wasn't in the mood for another jar of jam in the fridge. It's loaded with maple syrup, apricot and lemon curd as it is.
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
200g pack of soft cheese
1/2 cup marg
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup of raspberry slush (chuck in saucepan, heat with some icing sugar, smush in a sieve)
1. Cheese, marge, sugar, eggs, vanilla. In that order.
2. Add the dry stuff and the milk, mixing in a bit of each till you've run out.
3. Fill your muffin tin (I lined with papers because I don't want to scrub. I admit it's prettier without and you won't have people thinking you have cupcakes gone wrong.)
4. Put splodges of jam/curd/raspberry slush on top and swirl in with a knife/spoon etc.
5. Gas Mark 5 for 25 minutes. They'll sink on the way out.
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Carrot cake cupcakes are a stalwart of cupcake books. They go with the peanutbutter and chocolate ones I have yet to make. But anyway, I love really good carrot cake and after the super finance woman who made amazing cupcakes blew me away with the her carrot cake one (recipe was not forthcoming - grrrrrr) I decided I needed to try my own.
These ones were from Elinor Klivans Cupcakes! book. They were pretty decent. I love golden raisins/sultanas in carrot cake so it worked well. The frosting had butter and cream cheese in and I have to say, I'm not a fan of the buttery-ness in frosting.
On the grounds I cba to post recipes which don't blow me away anymore please go buy the book or ask me if you really want it. They were nice. The recipe was definitely good. But it wasn't, please have sex with me fantastic. Which of course, is what every single girl wants to say!
The recipe itself left lots of room for icing on top and I managed to use the ice cream scoop to measure it into the cups. Half a scoop each makes for the cupcakes shown.
Oh happy day!! Oh happy Dayyyy... last weekend I made snickerdoodles. As you do. It came from the Ultimate cookie book and I downsized on the sugar for the parentals and they liked it. Snickerdoodles (such a cool name) to me should be softer and more cookie bendy like the chocolate chip things you get in shops. However, that might be because M&S once upon a time had bendy snickerdoodles in their shops. Those might have been more peanutty and chocolatey though. Not sure if it's my memory or whether they thought that was a cool name to call american cookies.
Anyhow, as usual, I digress. Snickerdoodles are apparently originally German and the name got mutilated by the good ol' US of A. But it is such a cool name! These babies, probably because instead of making 36, I made 15 -20 golfball sized blobs on a few baking pans, turned out a bit humped and less cracked, which doesn't look like the wikipedia picture but I'm not that bummed. As a result they kept really well and I ate them the next day without being disappointed.
If I did it again, I'd put more cinnamon in the rolling mix as I really wanted distinct brown vs crack patches (no jokes please gentlemen!)
There are gazillion snickerdoodle recipes out there. So go forth on the internet and search people! I think I'll try another variation next time. Good, but not enough to make me commit!
Just for silliness sake, here's a pic of what I did with the remaining cream cheese frosting from the carrot cake. Gingernut sandwiches (shop bought with squishy cream)
Sunday, 19 April 2009
Lemon bars from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy. I have no idea who Melissa is but I'm not a fan of her lemon bars. Hmm, I sense I'm already at odds with the cheery Cookie club mentality, but to thy own self be true. (Lord, I'm quoting Clueless again...)
The recipe looks close to Lemon Meringue bars, but with less yolk and a touch of flour. And missing all important meringue. Now here’s the thing. This is the
I made a few changes but not enough as far as I'm concerned. More yolks would have made the filling that bit more yellow, and it would have needed some more flour to keep it a bit more solid, it was still liquid compared to the pictures I've seen online. Moan, moan, moan. Anyway. The fundamentals to why I am changing the recipe:
1: I don’t own a food processor, ergo I’m cheating on the ground toasted almonds.
2: How is 20 tbsp = 1 ¼ cups??
3: I’m cheap. I’m not buying almond extract. Will exchange for a bit of orange blossom we already have instead.
4: 7 lemons does not a ¾ cup juice make.
My amended recipe (for the real one, go search someone else's website ;) )
For the Crust:
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds (lightly toasted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup butter
Method: 1. Toast the ground almonds under the grill. Keep a close eye on them and give them a stir until they change shade and smell nice and fragrant. 2. Mix all the dry stuff together.
3. Add the butter and mush to make crumbs as usual.
4. Grab a pan lined with greaseproof and gently oil.
5. Smush crumbs into a pastry case. Manfully ignore your fingerprints in the pastry and just bear with it. Make walls on the edges because the filling is liquid.
6. Bake blind for 30minutes at Gas Mark 4, then 15 more without the beans. Scarily enough, this pastry needs it because of all the almonds I think, as the paper came up slightly damp and stuck to the pastry which isn't normal.
7. Allow to sit whilst you get on with the filling.
1. Toast the ground almonds under the grill. Keep a close eye on them and give them a stir until they change shade and smell nice and fragrant.
2. Mix all the dry stuff together.
For the Lemon Filling:
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (replaced with orange blossom water)
1/2 cup plain flour
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons but note that these are the big unwaxed ones which are 50% pith, a small organic waxed one yields much more juice comparatively)
1/4 cup icing sugar for sprinkling
1. Sugar, eggs, then extract, then flour, then juice. Mix.
2. Pour into case.
3. Bake for 30 minutes at Gas Mark 3.
4. Douse in sieved icing sugar, slice into pieces and enjoy.
Conclusion? Bring on the next challenge!!!
The recipe came from Faircakes and I won't repeat it here. It was, a relatively decent recipe. Pretty much victoria sponge, give or take a few spoons of cornflour. It was... just vanilla cupcake. As it was designed for people to plaster with icing, it made only ten normal muffin tin sized cupcakes. For me, the minimum spoonage into one of those cups is one "plop" from a normal tablespoon (i.e. the non-officiated tablespoon people actually own.) This is why I only made ten.
Once they were out of the oven, the first few were eaten warm by Daddy dearest, who asked me regarding timing so he could return from his walk and not miss the fresh from oven taste. He ignores all baking after this five minute time frame. Since there wasn't that many remaining, I just cut a little cone out and filled it with some apple sauce made from the leftover apple and a spoon of sugar. I WAS going to do a whipped cream swirl over it. But with around four cupcakes left it seemed a waste, hence we just have some top-hatted apple cupcakes.
My other bake was something for Cookie Carnival, which I'm not entirely sure I'm allowed to post about yet. Will read the rules as next week I'm in Edinburgh and will have no time to post. Brb.
Monday, 13 April 2009
Okay so here is what I made.
Cinammon and apple french toast.
All before midday!
It actually involved a sprint to Waitrose when I realised I forgot to add sour cream to my cheesecake ingredient list. I used the same recipe as last time doubled, but added 300g less cream cheese as we didn't have any, one egg rather than two egg yolks. Added a tablespoon of lemon juice because we had some. Added bigger heaps of tablespoons of flour (to firm it up) because we have to go Toby Carvery soon. That's about it.
I'm kind of looking at it and thinking, maybe that's a BIT too much flour. Because it's rising slightly.
French toast - I should have put the more aesthetically pleasing middle slice on top, but you know what? I wanted to eat it, and it was YUM. One shot only.
1 tsp and sprinkling of cinnamon
60g brown sugar
1. Mix milk, eggs and 1 tsp cinnamon together with 30g of the sugar.
2. Soak slices of brioche in the mixture.
3. Peel and core slices of apple, cutting into wedges.
4. Coat apple in a mix of remaining sugar and cinammon.
5. Heat up butter/spread and pan fry apples gently. Just leave in the pan and turn once each side is done.
6. Now, you have a choice. You can either finish cooking the apples and use a new pan for the brioche. Or you can be lazy and fry the brioche in the same pan. Word of warning, because the apples have already been going, you end up with more burnt bits of sugar on the brioche if you use the same pan. You can imagine which one I went with! It's not a BAD thing, just that you have to be careful not to take it past the ucky stage.
If I was feeling disgustingly presentationy, I'd sprinkle with icing sugar. But that's a waste of a packet of icing sugar. For brunch as well.
Cheesecakes are now out of the oven. Look a bit over cooked to me (probably because of the flour firming it up a bit much for moi. There are also HUGE cracks in it as a result. Will decorate ours with blackberries to hide the cracks. This will no doubt be scraped off by my loving family.
Sunday, 5 April 2009
Chocolate and Cherry Cookies
75g caster sugar
75g light brown sugar (WOW I FORGOT TO ADD THIS!!! Umm... the recipe doesn't need it.)
1 tsp vanilla
175g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g dried cherries chopped in half
100g chocolate chips
1. Grease the greaseproof.
2. Butter, sugar, add egg, add vanilla, add cherries, add flour and baking powder, add half the chocolate chips.
3. Place in teaspoon sized heaps on the greaseproof, sprinkle over remaining chocolate chips and flatten.
4. Bake for 10 minutes at Gas Mark 4 till golden.
My adjustments. One, don't do the sprinkle of chocolate chips - they go all over the place and look kinda alien. Just mix them all in like you normally would. Two, these babies don't spread. Well maybe they would if I added the rest of the sugar but I doubt it. But, they make kinda weird cookie shapes if you follow the recipe. I suggest you do what I did to achieve the round little baby at the top of the page - put in a freezer bag, roll into a sausage and put in the freezer to chill. Slice them out (24 cookies in total) and whilst they do squish a little as you slice, you can reshape with your fingers before you bake. (Is it just me or is there a generation who remembers Cher in Clueless with the cut and bake cookies - "Thunk" she didn't bother cutting...)
Anyway, pretty cookies result. xx
No I'm not an academic. But here I was tapping my laptop wondering why suddenly all my web disappeared when my brother hasn't unplugged me. Turned out my dad unplugged the router for the vacuum cleaner.
So here is my new purchase. The Usbourne Children's Book of Baking. Bear with me, I'll get it on my side list, especially as I cooked not one but two recipes from this book today. Both were pretty tasty, with minimal messing with.
Pear and frangipane tart
I used apple - sorry I had four giant bramleys left. I will of course next time do the proper pear tart because aesthetically speaking it's more attractive. Also, you can actually slice it properly like they instruct you to, without slicing a little bit out of your finger! (I'd like to say at no point did my blood enter my cooking, and also it was just a fleshwound babe ;) Papercut size and the result of trying to core an apple without breaking it into quarters first. This was parentally approved (the cake not the cut) and at no point did anyone go "Add some red bean paste to this..." and instead they asked if we had any vanilla ice cream to go with. My mother. Whilst yes indeed vanilla would have gone well, I think this culinary demand stems from the fact they went to Burger King yesterday and managed to get apple pie warmed with ice cream. Myself, I still miss the McD's apple pie ala mode...
175g plain flour
25g caster sugar
2 tsp cold water
50g caster sugar
50g ground almonds
15g self raising flour
3 small, ripe pears or alternative fruit
2 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Make shortcrust. If you don't know how, I'd worry. Sugar plus butter, add egg, add water, add flour and mush into dough. It is extremely dry but bear with it and knead. Chill for half an hour and then roll out to line a 20cm flan tin before chilling for 20minutes, baking blind at Gas Mark 6 for 10mins with 5 minutes in the open air. Oh and remember to prick before it goes in.
2. Frangipane: Butter, sugar then add a tablespoon of ground almonds.
3. Add the egg, then the ground almonds, then the flour and pour into baked pastry.
4. Cut pears in half lengthways, core and then split the fat bit into a fan, not cutting all the way to the top. Place on top of frangipane.
5. Bake for 35 minutes at around Gas Mark 3 (I ramped it up, especially since I wanted it a bit more brown.)
6. Glaze with warmed apricot and lemon juice mixed together.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Ever since I've become hooked on reading food blogs I've been interested in the mass bake-athons that are baking rings. People bake, usually monthly but sometimes more regularly than that! the same dish. Now given that I'm not at home half the time with work, it makes it a little hard, but check it out. I found a group to join. Okay, sounding a little weird and psycho now. Kinda like "BE MY FRIEND.... PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE" And that's just not me. But hey ho, this might let me do my baking thing, indulge some of the showy off tendencies other than on facebook, and generally enjoy the company of other online bloggers in a non-perverted way.
Oh and FYI I cancelled the gym membership. 3 months off due to illness and now 5 weeks solid client bookings, it's just money down the drain. Now it's money into a nice new camera or a Wii. I haven't decided.
Sunday, 29 March 2009
The dove cut outs you can see above are from Amazon marketplace. I put them on my shopping list awhile ago, forgetting to read how tiny they are. I think they are definitely better for fondant, although come winter I'm making the partridge in a pear tree linzer cookie I see so much of. Meanwhile, I also realised I desparately need PLAIN cutters. Some plain round and maybe some frilled ones. Our frilly ones are circa 1970s and come with associated rust. The round ones cut above were made by using the lid of my matcha tin. Yay for great packaging.
The second cookie of the day was Melting Moments from 1000 recipes. These were very simple, and I actually followed the recipe, bar the lack of the glace cherry. My mum first made melting moments for Christmas Eve when I was little, just before we went off to work. These tasted similar, but weren't quite as dark. As it was though, these still taste a lot tastier than the ginger and nut cookies. What a shame though, that these cannot be cut into pretty shapes.
1/2 cup margerine
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1. Cream margerine and sugar.
2. Add egg and vanilla.
3. Add flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Drop spoonfuls (around 16) onto a greased baking tray.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes at Gas Mark 4-5.
Friday, 27 March 2009
b) it came out well (and like the shop bought stuff)
c) it was ridiculously easy
1/3 cup of lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
50 g unsalted butter
1. Stir lemon juice, eggs and sugar over a bain marie.
2. After around ten minutes it gets thick.
3. Pour through a sieve and then whisk in butter.
4. Cover and cool.
The cake, the cake... I made a cake because I felt like it (mother's day at the time). The recipe for the cake was from Good Food and it was really tough! Looking at the photo they have, I think it's supposed to be. Don't know why they've rated it so highly. I stuffed it with pear and whipped cream. I covered it in a mixture of whipped cream and ready made custard just for a bit of a change. Yes I know it's sloppy, but since I realised the cake itself wasn't going to amaze me, I got lazy with the decoration.
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
First of all, the recipe calls for dried cranberries. Let me make that clear. I knew therefore at the outset there was a bat's chance in hell that the brownies I made would actually set, being that I used frozen berries defrosted. Other than that, recipe wise it was pretty decent. Used cocoa rather than dark chocolate which made it a darn sight cheaper than usual. Definitely fudgy since it won't set. I would like to try it with dried berries one day, to see if it will set, but since I whacked it in for another half an hour with the frozen berries, I have my doubts. Otherwise, it's a nice, moist, tangy chocolate pudding. Served warm with vanilla I think it'd go down a treat.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour (probably add some more if you wanted it to set)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1. Blend dry ingredients into the wet.
2. Spread in a greased pan and bake for 25 minutes at Gas Mark 5.
I'd make the coconut cranberry chews because the reviews are raving about them online, however, I can also read. And when it says 6 DOZEN, one should worry. 6 x 12 = 72. 72 cookies! That my family won't eat! Screw that. Save that one to try at Christmas when the offload potential is greater. Curiously the Metric recipe they offered uses 10 g more brown than white, but cup wise it's the same. Either way, will cheat and use margerine, even though I should really use butter in such a simple recipe because the ingredients really pop when you have less of them.
Post making conclusion? Make these. It's nothing fancy but just nice in the way shortbread is nice. The recipe is really simple. I made 22 golf balls of cookie and they worked out the right size. It is worth squishing them down as they don't spread like chocolate chip cookie dough for instance. Not major spreaders either so you don't have to position them 3 inches apart like the original recipe said. It was however pretty necessary to rotate trays near the end so that the bottom layer were lightly browned too. I made basically four trays of cookies with six/five cookies each. Parents were very happy with these.
Chewy Coconut cookies
1 1/4 plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter (marg!)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup dessicated coconut
1. Cream butter and sugars, add egg and vanilla.
2. Add flour gradually then coconut.
3. Drop by the teaspoon onto an ungreased pan.
4. Bake 10 minutes at Gas Mark 5.
Monday, 16 March 2009
After a bit of a horrible day off - me with the grumps, an aunt downstairs with a very loud voice, I finally got round to baking. Bring it on! I used up the apples, overdosing the cake with them since I'm sure four granny smiths does not equal 2 cups (see the massive chunks in the picture). But it all turned out well. I had the apple corer/slicer thing which I bought for a quid, and aside from drenching my top in apple juice, it did the job fine. I also managed to use a cup of cranberries, leaving another cup to use up tomorrow I guess, but since it's been sitting in my freezer since Christmas it's time.
My verdict on this cake? I love it. The apples are slightly too bland, probably because they've sat around for awhile and because the chunks are so big, but the cranberries work a treat alongside. Plus it would seem this cake is ridiculously healthy. No butter, just 2 tbsp of oil and one egg. It lacks some punch though, so I think next time I'll add some more spice or lemon peel just to give it a boost. As it was I put a tsp of mixed spice rather than the original cinnamon requested, but other than giving it a lovely colour and smell, it doesn't offer much in the way of warmth or depth.
It does look a bit of a stunner though doesn't it? Mother dearest commented I should have put those peeled almonds round the edge like in dundee cake. What you don't get in dundee cake (I suspect at least, because I never made it myself) is the sheer lumpiness of this cake pre-bake. I wish I took pictures, but it went in as a pile of apples coated in brown batter. It is pretty amazing how it expands and becomes a cake though.
Picture of the sliced wedge just to show how chunky the apples were. It was ever so slightly raw in the top of the dome in the middle, but we ate it anyway. Not entirely convinced skewer trick works given the amount of fruit in the mix.
Since this was a recipe worth repeating, especially how healthy it felt. Please see below.
Apple and Cranberry loaf
2 cups peeled, chopped apple
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 cup cranberries (I used frozen dunked in water briefly)
(The original recipe calls for chopped walnuts but I chose not to sully my cakes with nuttier elements - feel free if you want = 1/2 cup chopped walnuts at the same time as the cranberries)
1. Apples, sugar, oil and egg - mix.
2. Add everything else bar the cranberries.
3. Mix well and then stir in the cranberries (wait till now otherwise you'll just have pink cake with lots of cranberry skins. Not a bad thing. Just pink.)
4. Place in a lightly greased pan. I used a deep round cake tin with a loose base. I'm not convinced not greasing it would have mattered, but will experiment with that next time.
5. Cook for 1 hour at Gas Mark 5 until skewer comes out clean.