Saturday, 30 January 2010

PB and Mrs G (part 1)

You may have heard that my mate Mrs G has a real peanut butter and chocolate weakness. So here are some chocolate cookies that I made for her. Don't they look boring.

But hold on... break one open!
They're awesome peanut butter and chocolate cookies with a peanut butter frosting filling.

I copied the recipe from a website about a gazillion years ago and i don't know where from. I know it was an American baking blog but that's all I know. Whoever came up with these - thank you!

What are these! Chocolates?
I admit they're not very professional looking. I'm not great with the chocolate finish on chocolates. But gosh they tasted nice. And in keeping with the theme...
Remember the peanut butter cookies from a few posts ago? Well I turned them into truffles. I usually make them into truffle lollipops but the mixture was too soft and fell off the sticks.

So there you have it. There will be more more episode of PB and Mrs G to follow in the next couple of weeks. I just hope that I don't over do it. I don't think our friendship will survive if I turn her off peanut butter! Nah, never happen (I hope)!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The First Cupcakes Of 2010

My first order of this year! A birthday for a friend's granddaughter.

I went for very simple chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and chocolate brownie toppers. There is some pink glitter on the cakes but you can't see it properly. Actually, you can if you click on the picture.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Pineapple and Almond Upside-down Cake

Last Tuesday I came across an old Marks and Spencer magazine at my Grandad's house. I always copy recipes down but I never actually make them. I have untried recipes written down everywhere in my house. I bit the bullet and actually decided to go for it. Since I was meeting a fellow foodie - Simon, I thought I'd have someone to give me some useful concrit.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Mix together 50g each of sugar and butter and spread over the base of a 22cm diameter springform tin.
Arrange seven slices of drained pineapple on top of the butter mixture.

125g butter
125g sugar
2 eggs
100g self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
a few drops of almond extract

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, gradually beat in the eggs. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir in the almonds. Add a few drops of almond extract at the same time as the eggs if you are using it. Pour the mixture over the pineaplle in the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until risen an firm to the touch. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.

By the way, Simon said it was nice.

Happy Australia Day

Do you know what Anzacs are?

Anzac biscuits are a sweet biscuit popular in Australasia.

Anzac biscuits have long been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) established in WWI. The biscuits were often sent to loved ones abroad because the ingredients didn't spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. This is probably due to the omission of eggs which were scarce during war rationing.

These biscuits seem like they're rock hard. like a hard flapjack. Due to the addition of coconut I won't be trying one.

Anzac biscuits.
6oz plain flour
5oz rolled oats
3oz dessicated coconut
8oz dark brown sugar
4oz lightly salted butter
2tbsp honey
1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line two trays with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix the flour, oats, coconut and sugar together.
Melt the butter and honey.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the milk and then mix into the butter/honey mixture.
Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together.

Drop rounded teaspoons of mixture on the prepared trays allowing space to spread. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes 40.

These biscuits are a gift for my friend Pete. Pete spent 13 years living in Australia and although he has lived here for a 10 (?) years, I associate Pete with Australia. He doesn't suit living in cold and wet UK, he's like sunshine and awesomeness all rolled into one. Even though I'll miss him loads I really hope he'll move back to Australia to live there again some day.


Sunday, 24 January 2010

What, No Cupcakes?

Last year I don't think I baked anything other than cupcakes. Well I certainly didn't mention here If I did. There are so many more things I want to bake this year. So I started tonight.

I'd like to present Mrs G's secret peanut butter, cheesecake brownies. YUM! They're not really secret but they are the most deelish brownies ever.

Just a side note on brownies, I'm not the biggest fan. I prefer cakey brownies not the fudgey kind. Although Dish and Spoon bakery (see the links I follow) do a lovely really dark chocolatey one and I love Baking Bites oreo brownies. For a long time that was the only brownie recipe that would work for me. I've always used to regard brownies as the enemy as I found them extremely difficult to bake. I don't mind them but I stay away from shop bought ones because most of them in the UK taste nice-ish but have the consistency of crumbly brick.

I also made up the mix for some secret truffles (only secret because they're a present for someone!) and some peanut butter cookies. The truffles will be revealed soon.

What am I going to do with 11 brownies (I ate one) and half of the peanut butter cookies? I am supposed to be on a diet! The other half of the peanut butter cookies will be used for another something secret. I think I'll be giving away baked stuff at work tomorrow.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Inspiration to keep on baking!

This blog was about the be consigned to the internet ether, just before Christmas I'd decided to give up baking. I had a couple of bad orders and I was no closer to my bakery dreams. I'd spent a lot of money on ingredients and had nothing to show for it. I'd told my friend Nadia (Mrs. G) that that was it, no more!

The picture above was her response. The print is a special Cakespy creation that was ordered by Nadia for me for a Christmas present. According to Nadia, I'm the Cupcake Queen. Check out the writing on the crown!

It really made me so happy. So I guess I'll carry on baking but I'm not going overboard like I did last year and this year I'm going to try to make more than just cupcakes. I've been reliably informed that they were so 2009. Well, I don't buy it, I think cupcakes are here to stay but I do want to try baking more things. I make darn good cookies - keep tuned for a feature soon!

Just one more thing - thank you Nadia! (This is why she gets free cupcakes for life!)