Friday, January 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups

G came home from work and I said, 'Go to the kitchen and get something sweet!'
He said, 'Did ya bake?!'
The answer was no.

So, technically, this post doesn't belong on this blog. But peanut butter cups are one of my favourite things and I want to showwwww you the ones I maaaaaade, okay?

I made eight little ones in silicon cups, and one big one in a mini tart pan. Oh, and I also made three peanut butter balls.

Peanut Butter Cups
Chocolate-- it really depends how many you want to end up with! I used one bag of Cadbury chocolate chips.
3/4 cup smooooooth peanut butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter

1. Boil water in a saucepan, then remove from heat and place bowl of chocolate chips on top
2. Stir until the chocolate melts, then add 1 tablespoon butter
3. Spoon into moulds (app. 1/4 full) and use a small spoon or spoon handle to smear the chocolate up on the sides

4. Place in fridge to set
5. Thoroughly mix the peanut butter, icing sugar, and 1 tablespoon melted butter (taste it, and go ahead and make it more peanut buttery or more sugary according to your liking)
6. When chocolate has set, roll the peanut butter into small balls, place them in each mould, and smoosh them down a bit

7. If the chocolate in the bowl has hardened, repeat the melting process, then spoon it over the peanut butter just to the brim of the mould
8. Return them to the fridge to set!

When they hard, eatum.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Strawberry Cake to Have with Tea

The other day, two of my favourite people brought over a punnet of strawberries! Oliver and Georgia had gone strawberry pickin' in the country and their bounty was too great to keep to themselves.

I ate a fair few strawberries over the next couple days, but my efforts weren't making much of a dent. So, I confronted the large punnet head-on, and baked a darn cake.

I wish I could describe to you how much I enjoy this cake. Maybe I enjoyed it so immensely because I was just a leetle drunk when I had a piece last night. But, then again, my husband wasn't drunk and he really dug it. Also, I had another piece this morning and it was just as good-- with a lil bit of whipped cream, oh HELL YEAH.

Strawberry Cake
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 cups sliced strawberries

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in mixing bowl
3. Add milk, egg, and butter
4. Spoon into 8-inch pan (in the past, I've used the plain, 8-inch cake pan, but this time I used a slighter larger but shallower tart pan)
5. Top with strawberries
6. Combine crumb ingredients
7. Sprinkle over batter in pan
8. Bake 30-35 minutes

What would you guys do if I just got stuck like a broken record and I was like:
5. Top with strawberries
5. Top with strawberries
5. Top with strawberries
5. Top with strawberries


The only direction you need: Go make a cake, fool.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting (for Australia Day!)

Yesterday was Australia Day! Before the drinking and barbecuing began, I churned out some special Aussie cupcakes. I ate a fair few in order to pad my stomach for the afternoon's heavy alcohol consumption-- so I can happily report that the verdict is... nummy!

The cupcakes are my usual vanilla cupcake recipe, which is here. And guess what flavor the frosting is! GUESS GUESS GUESS! It's LEMON! Ohmigoodness.

Everything went fairly smoothly. I put too much lemon juice in the frosting, so I had to add more butter and sugar-- but stick to what the recipe calls for and you'll be fine. If you want them extra-lemony, add extra zest, not juice.

At one point, I felt like a fraud when I called a mini cupcake a 'little shit' (it kept falling over, but in retrospect, that was probably my fault for making it so top-heavy with all that frosting). But immediately felt remorseful and said, 'No you're not a little shit, you're lemony and perfect.'

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
(from Cupcakes by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas)
1/2 cup butter, soft
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest from 2 lemons
2 cups icing sugar

1. Beat butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and half the icing sugar
2. Gradually add remaining icing sugar, and beat well

I think maybe double the recipe. Or halve my cupcake recipe. Cause I know you don't want to have to be stingy with the frosting.

Aussie flag, coat of arms, and silhouette.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Baked Doughnuts

I have searched high and low for a doughnut pan for years. I would be able to find one faster than you could say 'fractured prune' if I was in the USA. But I live in Australia-land now, and although dreams do come true here as well, the selection of most things is somewhat less extensive. I wandered into The Essential Ingredient the other day with the intention of buying a cookie dough scoop, and stumbled upon a lone doughnut pan amongst bundt pans, shell-shaped tins, and all kinds of the usual baking paraphernalia. Oh boy, was I excited!

My pal Jessie and I organised a baking day soon thereafter, and the rest is chocolate icing, sugar+cinnamon, and sprinkles.

As it was my first time, I wrote down four or five different recipes and went with the most promising. The only change I made was to omit the nutmeg and double the cinnamon-- I find nutmeg to be overpowering and didn't want it to dominate the doughnut.

Baked Doughnuts (makes 12)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk (I used soy)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 egg
1/4 cup butter (I used Nuttalex)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon
3. In a saucepan, combine milk, vinegar, egg, and butter over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and it's well-combined
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined
5. Scoop into greased doughnut pan, filling each thingy 2/3
6. Bake for 12 minutes

Allow them to cool for a couple minutes in the pan, then tip them out. It's the best part-- they look so cute when they bounce out and roll around the table. I know doughnuts are best warm, but if you ice them when they're warm, the icing thins and melts all over the place. But if you're doing a glaze, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar doughnuts it's fine to dress them and devour them right away.

Chocolate Glaze
1/2 cup chocolate morsels
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons boiling water

1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
2. Remove from heat and add the sugar, vanilla, and melted butter
3. Add boiling water

Dip the doughnuts into the glaze to the halfway point and sprinkle some sprinkles before the icing hardens!

For cinnamon and sugar doughnuts, brush them with melted butter and roll in a bowl of sugar mixed with cinnamon to coat.

You can use white sugar or powdered sugar-- both were delish, but I found myself particularly enjoying the powdered sugar doughnuts.

Mini Birthday Cake

Last weekend we celebrated my friend Hannah's birthday! I've never been in the country for her birthday, so I felt I ought to make something real special for her ('I've never been in the country for her birthday'-- that makes me sound so cool).

I decorated it in such a hurry, my kitchen was left looking like the aftermath of a party hurricane.

The cake is a vegan recipe I got from one of my favourite blogs, Bread and Honey. However, Hannah's tumtum doesn't agree with wheat, so I substituted brown rice flour for this particular cake. I've used this recipe many times, and both flours work a charm. I also double it, because the original recipe is for a mini vegan cake, and I usually want a full size 8-incher. So, this is the recipe, doubled.

Vegan Chocolate Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
3. Grease an 8 inch cake pan
4. Pour da batta in
5. Bake 25-30 minutes
6. If you want to make a three-tiered cake like Hannah's birthday cake, after the cake has cooled COMPLETELY, cut three circles out of it, each slightly smaller than the last. My base circle was probably about 3 1/2 inches across, 4 tops.

The frosting I made is very yummy, but cream cheese/whipped cream frostings are a pain because they're just not especially firm and they don't like to be out of the fridge for long. I made a very small batch because the cake is teensy. Also, note that the frosting isn't vegan.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 a package cream cheese
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl
2. Add cream and continue to beat beat beat until it forms firm peaks

So, stack the three cake circles, using the frosting as an adhesive between each one. I stuck a wood skewer (which I later put a little H-flag on) right through the whole cake to prevent slippage. Now, frost the whole darn thing and decorate with sugar and spice and everything nice-- that's what birthday girls are made of!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mini Blueberry Muffins + Icing With a Hint of Orange

There are three brown, brown, brown bananas in the fruit bowl, so I was going to make some banana-nut muffins today. I went for a little joggerson, and headed to the store directly from the track to pick up some NUTS. Wandering the aisles of the supermarket, the banana-nut muffin plan was axed when I stumbled upon a blueberry sale!

Bananas are badass, but blueberries are better.

I combined two muffin recipes to produce the muffins: 1) my Mom's banana-nut muffin recipe and 2) a blueberry muffin recipe from

These aren't the greatest as big muffins-- you gotta go mini. And these muffins are a strange sort of muffin. They're almost like a mix between muffin, cake, and donut.

'Muffin' is starting to look like an alien word! I've used it too many times. I'll lay off the M-word for a while. But only a leetle while-- this is, after all, a post devoted to them.

Mini Blueberry Muffins
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
2. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in small bowl
3. In a larger mixing bowl, combine sugars, eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla
4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix
5. Stir in blueberries
6. Divvy up the batter into the mini muffin pans
7. Bake 15 minutes

Icing With a Hint of Orange
3/4 cup icing /confectioner sugar
2 tablespoon orange juice (fresh is better, o' course)
(Now, to be honest, I didn't measure the icing ingredients all that precisely-- just start with the 3/4 cup icing sugar and keep adding the orange juice bit by bit until your icing is the texture you like; some like a thick, gloopy icing, others like a more glaze-like icing.)

1. Combine the sugar and orange juice
2. Mix well
3. Spread (well, drizzle) onto mini muffins!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Or, if alphabetical order is important to you: brownie-cookies. Or, if you like to smoosh words together: browkies, crownies, bookies.

This combines my famous (in some circles) brownie recipe with the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the previous post. Ya make the cookie dough and the brownie batter and ya ker-plop the dough into the batter. In the end, it's a pan of brownie and cookie marble treat.

My friend Jessie recently tried one and said "This must be what angels eat."
I responded, "If you're eating one, it must be so!"
Smooth-talking Bean.

Jo Bean's All-Time Favourite Brownies

1 cup butter, very soft
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder (I like Nestle!)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Mix sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs
2. In seperate bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt
3. Combine wet and dry

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(This is the recipe from my previous entry, halved)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Combine flour, baking soda, salt in small mixing bowl
2. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla
3. Add egg
4. Gradually add dry mixture

Now, to make these two entities into one!

1. Preheat oven to 190 C (350 F)
2. Pour brownie batter into pan
3. Drop dollops of cookie dough randomly into the batter

4. Bake for quite awhile-- my oven is foolish, but they were in there for a good 45 minutes

(If there's a leetle bit of cookie dough left over, either (a) get it from the bowl into your mouth using your finger or (b) make a little cookie pie like I did!)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm going on a picnic tomorrow. So it was absolutely imperative that I bake chocolate chip cookies this evening.

To be honest, I have yet to make the perfect batch of c.c. cookies. But this recipe rates high in my books, and the end results are scrumptious enough to make over and over again. I still tweak it from time to time, and I hope it grows up to be a great recipe that yields countless broods of beautiful cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cup flour (plus a possible 1/4 cup extra if you want a stiffer batter-- I like a nice, thick cookie dough, so I'm all about that extra 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (115 grams), slightly softened
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (totally optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C)
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt
3. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl
4. Add eggs
5. Gradually add dry mixture
6. Drop by the tablespoon onto a greased tray (I usually do 12 per tray)
7. Bake 6-8 minutes, or until just the tiniest bit golden along the bottom edges


Beginning their transformation from dough balls to cookies

Plate o' treats.

I used the last glob of dough to make a tray of teensy cookies.

Nom nom.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

White Cupcakes + Sensational Chocolate Frosting

One evening I announced to my housemates and husband (heehee, I've only written husband like twice since getting hitched) that I was going to bake for them the best cupcakes in the entire world!

I combined a few recipes I found online with a recipe I had scribbled in one of my many Official Recipe Notebooks.

For some reason, I feel uneasy about my first recipe post. Anyone could stumble upon this here blog; it could fall into the wrong hands!What if someone uses it against me? Hopefully, no one reads it but you. I know I can trust you. Enjoy!

Vanilla Cupcakes
2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 caster sugar
3/4 cup milk (I've always used soy, but no doubt the real thing will be even better)
125 g butter, melted then cooled
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 200C (390F-- but my oven tends to be crapola, so maybe try 175C/350F if your oven isn't a P.O.S.
2. Combine flour and caster sugar in mixing bowl and make a nest in the center
3. Add milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla
4. Stir gently to combine
5. Spoon into cupcake pans
6. Bake 10-12 minutes, or thereabouts (again, my oven is an oven unlike others)
7. Remove from pan, and when fully cool, pile on the:

Rich Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup butter (or substitute), softened
2 1/4 cup confectioner sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup milk

1. Cream butter
2. Gradually beat in confectioner sugar, cocoa, and vanilla
3. Add milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency
4. Spread!

This is the batch I originally made, halved. However, sometimes I make the full batch so that the cupcake:frosting ratio is something like 1:1. In other words, I LOVE THIS FROSTING AND IT DOESN'T MATTER IF IT EVEN MAKES IT TO THE CUPCAKES BECAUSE EATING ALL OF THE FROSTING RIGHT OUTTA THE BOWL IS A VIABLE OPTION.

The cupcakes themselves, the frosting, and the mixing bowl from whence it came in the background.

One special one for me to eat...

...while I do this post.

Let's play!

I'm going to log my baking from now on.
What will I get out of it?
A record of my kitchen goings-on and another reason to bake.
What will you get out of it?
Recipes and a good read.