Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

I've made so many batches of these, and they're always devoured! They are crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy with little bits of peanut going through and fantastic peanut butter flavour .. I always put a white chocolate drizzle on these... Yum!

Recipe :
40z butter(room temp), 4oz peanut butter, 1egg, 6oz light brown sugar, 6oz self raising flour, melted white choc to drizzle later on.

Cream the butters together and then beat in the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, med to high speed for 2mins. Beat in the flour until a dough forms. The dough will be slightly sticky. On a clean (ungreased) baking tray and with floured hands shape little balls. Flatten them a little bit, they flatten in the oven anyway. Bake at 180C for 15 mins if you want soft cookies or 25 mins for hard crunchy ones. I bake for 20MINS to get that just a bit crunchy exterior and nice soft inside .

Melt some white choc buttons or cooking choc and drizzle over cooled cookies... SAVAGE xx

Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

These are delish! I used the chocolate mayo recipe for the cupcakes as it is a liquid batter and i figured they would come out nice and even and they did  :) i used a third of the recipe for the full cake and it made a perfect 12 cupcakes .. yay! I then topped them with my favourite, vanilla buttercream and a couple of chocolate buttons for good measure... they went down a treat.

Recipe :
1egg, 91g caster sugar, 1/3 tsp vanilla extract, 75g mayonnaise, pinch bread soda, 91g self raising flour, 17g cocoa, 100ml cold water.. ***i know the amounts are totally random but it is a third of the other recipe and it makes exactly 12!

Beat the egg sugar and vanilla for a couple of minutes, then beat in the mayo until it's nice and fluffy. Sift the flour cocoa and bread soda together in a bowl and then fold half of it into the egg etc. Beat in the water and then fold the rest of the flour in to the mixture. Voila done in a couple of mins! The mixture will be really liquid but its perfect for pouring. Fill regular size queencake cases 3/4 full . Then bake at 180C for 15mins until risen and a skewer comes out clean.

Cool and Ice with piped vanilla buttercream
200g icing sugar, 100butter (room temp), tsp vanilla and a tbsp of milk.
Beat together very well for a minute or two until creamy and no lumps of sugar left!

The full cake recipe can be found here *Choc Mayo Cake* !

Monday, February 22, 2010

Choc and Vanilla Marble Loaf

This is such a great recipe, it's so simple to make, its basically a madeira recipe, it's really cool the way it marbles together! I made this as a loaf, but I've made it in a round cake tin aswell before and it works just as well. It takes a good bit longer to bake as a loaf so I ended up putting a bit of foil on the top to stop it from browning too much... it didn't dry out or anything though!

225g butter, 225g caster sugar, 4eggs, 2tsp vanilla extract, 225g plain flour, 2tsp baking powder, 50ml milk, 50g cocoa powder.

Grease and line a large loaf tin. Cream the butter, and beat in the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one, beating well in between. Mix in the vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently. Add the milk and mix to combine. Split the mixture evenly and fold the cocoa into one bowl. Spoon the mix into the tin, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla mix and chocolate mix. When all the mix is in the tin, swirl with a skewer or sharp knife to make a marble effect. Bake at 180C for 35 to 40 mins, keep and eye on it!! It's done when risen nicely and its springy to touch and a skewer comes out of the middle clean.

Ice with Chocolate buttercream :)
150g icing sugar, 75g butter, 2tbsp cocoa, 2tbsp milk.... Beat together mad ;)                         

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I usually make this as a loaf, but decided to try it a different way for a change! The recipe for the loaf makes about 24 cupcakes, and they were still as moist and light as they would be if I made it as a full cake. The recipe for the carrot cake is here

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday - Hot Cross Buns!

Hot Cross Buns are a must at this time of the year, especially on Ash Wednesday. This was my second time making these, and because I dont work with yeast and bread making that often they were a bit crazy to make! All in all they turned out ok, they tasted great but they were a lot smaller than expected. I used the recipe in Rachel Allen's Bake, and the recipe says make them into 40g balls and let them rise again so maybe next time i'd make them into 60g balls??? Who knows! I always change things up anyway :)

I'm only going to put up the pics for this one as the recipe is long enough, but if you really really want it you can e-mail me

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lemon Loaf with White Choc Drizzle

I LOVE LEMONS! :) This loaf is like a madeira loaf, the yoghurt in the recipe makes it nice and moist. Its a great cake to have with a cup of tea and it's not too rich that you feel like you're being bold!

340g plain flour, 2tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 240 ml plain natural yoghurt, 225g caster sugar, 3 eggs, finely grated zest of 2 lemons, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 120ml vegetable oil
Grease and line a loaf tin and Bake at 180C

Beat the eggs, sugar, yoghurt, vanilla and zest until well mixed. Slowly beat in sifted flour baking powder and salt. Fold in the oil until well incorporated. Pour into the prepped tin and bake for 45mins. Keep an eye on it depending on the oven and if its fan etc.

Melt 2 packs of white buttons and drizzle over the loaf when it's completely cooled.... Boil the kettle!

Brick Oven, Cork

Decided to have a nice dinner out to start the week and ventured to The Brick Oven, Probys Quay in Cork. It's the second of it's kind in Cork, the other being in Bantry and hats off to the proprietors for creating a relaxing, warm atmosphere and serving up top nosh. The menu is simple yet tasteful ranging from seafood starters of calamari or shrimp to steaks and  pizzas cooked in their fantastic "brick oven"! It was my second time visiting the city branch, the first time was a staff night out and we were delighted with our choice. Service was quick, the food was great and the wine never stopped flowing. The round of vodka and prosecco during the night was an added bonus!
Tonight, it was a calmer evening to say the least, no alcohol unfortunately as we were both driving. I had the chicken breast stuffed with sundried tomato and parmesan, wrapped in pancetta and a creamy mash with a  mild salsa garnish. It was delicious, but the portion of mash definitely could have been bigger! Joe had the steak ciabatta, with salad and home cut chips, also very good. And we had a nice cup of tea after!
All in all, a lovely bistro with nice staff and good food. I'll visit again :)

Bailey's Mocha Cupcakes

I wanted some sort of a coffee cupcake, then decided to add a dash of chocolate to the mix for good measure! I was going to top the cakes with coffee butter icing and I thought sure why not add a splash of Bailey's ... They were divine! I'm going to recreate this idea as a drink some evening after work when I need a serious wind down .. yum!

Recipe @ 190C, Gas 5
175g self raising flour, 50g cocoa, 225g light brown sugar, 175g butter melted, 4 eggs separated, 60ml strong coffee**, 3tbsp water

**I diluted 2 tsp of instant coffee in hot water, bringing it up to the 60ml and let it cool.

In a spotless dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Meanwhile in another large bowl, sift in the flour and cocoa, then add the sugar and mix well. Using a wooden spoon beat in the egg yolks, melted butter, water and cooled coffee until nice and smooth. Gently fold the cake mixture into the egg whites, until no white can be seen. Spoon into cupcake cases filling to only 3/4 of the way. Bake for 15mins

Coffee Butter Icing with a Baileys Twist :)
200g icing sugar, 100g soft butter, 1-2tbsp baileys, 3tbsp cooled coffee
beat the butter until very soft, beat in the icing sugar gradually add in the liquid and beat until creamy and smooth. Decorate away! I topped them with some cadbury Flake aswell... whats a few more calories :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Key Lime Pie (gluten free version!)

Made this gluten free key lime pie for dinner at Joe's brother and girlfriend's house! It was a great evening, plenty of wine, chat and good food :) What more could you want!

Crumb crust : 175g gluten free digestive biscuits(i used GF choc chip cookies), 2tbsp caster sugar, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 70g melted butter

Filling: 400ml can condensed milk, 125ml fresh squeezed lime juice, finely grated rind 3 limes, 4 egg yolks

Serve topped with whipped cream and a lime garnish! mmmmm...........

Preheat the oven to 160C and grease a 9inch tart tin
For the base, put the biscuits sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and whiz until its fine crumbs (not powder)! Add the melted butter and process until moist. Tip the mixture into the prepped tin and press over the base and up the side. Bake for 5 mins.
Meanwhile, beat the condensed milk, lime juice and rind and egg yolks on med to high speed until well beaten. Remove the tart tin from the oven, pour the filling on and smooth out to the edges. Bake for another 15 mins until set but still a bit wobbly in the middle.
Cool completely on a wire rack, cover and chill for 2 hours. Spread with thick whipped cream about a cm from the edges. Tuck in!!!