Archive for baking

A: It’s raining, it’s pouring…

Posted in Muffins with tags , , on June 15, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

and 2 old men, 1 young boy, 1 middle-aged woman and a cat are snoring. Or sleeping, at least.

We were meant to head out to see the Botanical Gardens this morning but all have decided to have a lie-in, which means I get the house to myself for just that little bit longer! (No real point trying to enjoy the great outdoors when you’re dodging pellets of winter rain in the cold)

Too wet to head out

Decided to warm up the house with a quick fruit muffin (have done it with pears, apples, rubarb, plums, etc.)- my basic standby to compensate for a compulsive need to stock the house with way too much fruit, inspired by BJs Quick Pear and Pecan cake.

Pear and apple muffins

Quick fruit muffins

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 roasted pecans/walnuts, chopped

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup light vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 tbsp brandy

2 eggs

approximately 2 cups of chopped fruit (anything that will hold its shape; I like the apple and rubarb combination best. 2 large pears will suffice– I had some fruit left over and stewed it to serve with muffins)

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in nuts.

Combine all the wet ingredients and stir into the dry.

Stir in fruit.

Fill greased/lined muffin cups approx 3/4 full and bake at 180C for 18-20 minutes.

leftover fruit

Above: Stewed leftover pear and apple with a pinch of cinnamon and nothing else.


A: When the going gets tough…

Posted in Biscuits/Cookies with tags , , , on June 14, 2008 by gluttondressedaslamb

The tough get baking!

It’s a busy time at work and of course I have left too much too late. The house is a mess, car needs fixing, and of course there’s the impending in-laws visit. So what do I do 90 minutes before we’re due at the airport to pick them up, surrounded by a paper-trail-moat and tripping over misplaced magazines and bric-brac? BAKE!

On one of my late night trawls through the internet I chanced upon Baking (From my home to yours) by Dorie Greenspan and I officially LOVE it. She offers up interesting alternatives and substitutions and her recipes are nothing if not versatile and plain ‘ol YUM.

So, I pile up paper-trail-moat to build a substantial tower instead, shovel all else under some unassuming rug and started on Dorie’s Chocolate Chunkers. Mmmm…..

Prepped it, baked 4 batches, washed up, and we still had to wait 15 minutes at the airport for said in-laws to clear customs.

Fresh from the oven!

Left chunkers (and they really are very chunky) to cool and returned an hour later, weary guests in tow to the warm homely smell of freshly baked cookies. Didn’t take long for taste tests 1, 2, 3 and then some, to take the edge off having sat 5 hours in a cramped budget airline cabin. YAY! Took some more to gym this morning and shared it with my workout posse (ironic really but we feel we earned the sugar hit), then sat down to a relaxed cup of tea on the balcony this afternoon in between procrastination and daydreaming to savour what was left of the bickies.

Enjoying some much needed balcony time

Chocolate Chunkers (adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking)

1/3 cup plain flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp softened butter

200g 70% chocolate

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

175g 70% chocolate, chopped

175g white chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I roasted some pecans before chopping and adding to the mix)

Melt butter and 200g lot of 70% chocolate (I use the microwave and watch it like a hawk). Set it aside to cool.

Beat eggs and sugar on med-high until pale and foamy.

Beat in vanilla then add melted butter and chocolate, mixing only until incorporated.

Scrape down the bowl, then add dry ingredients on low. Dough will be thick.

Using a spatula, mix in chocolate and nuts (original recipe also called for 1 cup raisins or chopped apricots)

Drop dough by generous tablespoons onto baking sheets, leaving room between each mound and bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!