Just a Moment

Melting moments are one of my favourites. Perfect with a cup of tea, they literally melt in your mouth. They’re also ridiculously easy to bake. I found this recipe while searching for melting moments with jam. The recipe yields 5 large biscuits but I prefer to make 8-12 smaller ones.

Melting Moments

Ingredients

180g butter

60g icing sugar, sifted

60g custard powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

180g plain flour

Vanilla Buttercream Filling

60g butter, softened

1 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (vanilla essence is fine but vanilla bean paste is another level)

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1/4 cup raspberry jam*

*The actual recipe includes a raspberry jam recipe but a jar of good quality raspberry conserve is more than adequate.

Method

1, Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.

2, Cream the butter for 2 minutes. Add the icing sugar and custard powder and beat until combined.

3, Sift the baking powder and flour together then add to the dough and mix well.

4, Roll teaspoon sized portions into balls and place them on the lined oven trays. Flatten them with a fork and bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. If you’re unsure, check the bottom of the biscuits, if the bottom is golden, they’re ready to come out.

5. Remove them from the tray and place them on a wire rack to cool.

Vanilla Buttercream Filling

1, Beat butter and vanilla bean paste together with an electric mixer.

2, Slowly add the icing sugar and beat until all ingredients are combined.

Build a biscuit

1, Spread jam on half the biscuits and vanilla bean filling on the other half.

2, Sandwich the two halves together and enjoy.

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Please note, I may have indulged in a little bit of piping action for the filling in this picture but it’s not at all necessary. They’re just as yummy with a large amount of filling smeared on with a knife…or a spoon.

Also know that it is okay to pull them apart and eat them as two separate and equally yummy biscuits with a little bit of jam and filling on each.

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Chocolate Caramel Slice

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An oldie but a goody, I’ve been making this since I was a child. I used to hold the measuring cups for mum when she made it and since then I’ve committed the recipe to memory and made a few little tweaks. I have a good friend who has this recipe, yet believes that it just somehow tastes better when I make it, flattery will get you everywhere.

INGREDIENTS

Base

2/3 cup plain flour

1/3 cup coconut

1/3 cup brown sugar, tightly packed

80g butter, melted

Caramel

60g butter

395g sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons golden syrup

Chocolate

125g Lindt Excellence Touch of Sea Salt (or good quality dark chocolate of your choice), chopped

30g copha

METHOD

1, Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

2, Combine plain flour, brown sugar and coconut in a mixing bowl and make a well.

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3, Add melted butter (melt butter in the microwave for about a minute or in a saucepan over a low heat) and mix to combine. The mixture should resemble breadcrumbs.

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4, Press the mixture firmly into a slice tin, roughly 27cm x 17cm. You may want to line the tin with baking paper to ensure the easy removal of the slice. I prefer to use butter but it makes it harder to get it out of the tin when it’s cooked.

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5, Cook for 10-12 minutes or until brown around the edges.

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6, Melt remaining butter in a saucepan over a low heat.

7, Add golden syrup and condensed milk and bring heat up to medium, stir consistently until all ingredients have combined. The texture should resemble apple sauce.

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8, Smooth over cooked base and return to the oven for a further 8-10 minutes.

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9, Remove when caramel is blistered and slightly browned.

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10, Allow to cool completely. I usually put it in the fridge after about 20min but I’m just impatient.

11, Melt copha in microwave in 30 second blasts. Add chopped chocolate to hot copha and stir until the chocolate has melted completely.

12. Pour over caramel and smooth over entire slice.

13. Place slice in the fridge or freezer, depending on your level of patience. For best results make sure the surface is level.

14, When the chocolate has almost set, mark the lines for your slices with a sharp, hot knife (dip the knife in boiling water and wipe it off).

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15, Return to the fridge until set.

I prefer my slice to be in delicate little squares but you can be more generous with your portion sizes if you wish.

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Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Toblerone Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe is inspired by an amazing cheesecake I baked a few years ago. It was supposed to be a plain baked cheesecake but it cracked on top so I was forced to top it with Toblerone ganache. Yeah, that’s right, I  was forced to make the plain old cheesecake way more yummy for the sake of presentation, which is ironic because presentation is not my gig. My baking will always have rustic charm. That and I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with piping bags. It gets ugly when I try to make things pretty.

Lucky for me, these cupcakes don’t need to be pretty, they’re just plain yum. I like to use Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate when I bake Mississippi Mud Cupcakes. Today, Lindt Excellence chocolate bars were on special so I decided to employ some Lindt Extra Silky white chocolate in my creation. I found a recipe for white chocolate cream cheese frosting a while ago when I was obsessed with red velvet cake. I must try baking these one day…I digress.

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Toblerone Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

125g butter

100g Lindt 70% Cocoa chocolate

2/3 cup of milk

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup plain flour

1/8* cup self raising flour

1/8 cup cocoa

1 egg

Frosting

40g butter (room temperature)

125g cream cheese (room temperature)

100g Lindt Extra Silky white chocolate

2 cups icing mixture

20-30g Toblerone

*If you don’t have 1/8 measure, one heaped tablespoon is about right.

Method

1, Combine butter, chocolate, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring consistently until smooth. Pour into mixing bowl immediately.

2, Preheat oven to 170 degrees C, 150 for a fan forced oven.

3, Line a 12 cup muffin tin with good quality patty cases. Poor quality patty cases tend to peel off these cakes very easily, learned that the hard way, foil Multilex are good.

4, Sift flours and cocoa into a separate bowl. By now your chocolate mixture should be just the right temperature to move on. Please note that if it cools too much, the chocolate will harden and so will your cupcakes.

5,, Whisk the flour mixture and egg into the chocolate mixture. The batter should be runny enough to pour easily. Pour the mixture into a jug and distribute it evenly among the patty cases, they should be about 3/4 full.

5, Bake for 25-30mins. I always test them with a cake tester ( or toothpick) at the 25min mark, if it comes out clean, they’re good to go. If not, turn the tray around and put them back in for another 5mins.

6, Remove cakes from muffin tin within 5 mins of coming out of the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting

1, Melt white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in two 30 second intervals, stirring in between until smooth. Chocolate burns quite easily in the microwave, it’s important to monitor it closely.

2, Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.

3, Stir in the white chocolate.

4, Add the icing sugar one cup at a time, beat well after each addition.

5, Top each cupcake with a generous helping of icing. I’m a more is more person when it comes to icing and I still had more than enough…

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6, Melt Toblerone in the microwave for 10-20 seconds and top the frosting with a swirl of melted Toblerone. I used a knife but you might have a better idea.

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Told you I’m not the presentation guru.

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Oh well, they didn’t last long enough to make it to an arts and crafts show anyway.

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The perfect cake to frosting ratio.

 

 

 

 

When Bros Bake

When I published my first post, I wanted to make sure my recipes were going to be easy to follow for bakers and non-bakers alike. I’d like to think I could direct anyone who asks for one of my recipes to this site and be perfectly confident that they’ll bake something delicious. I needed a recipe guinea pig and I knew just the person to help me out.

My brother is kitchen confident when it comes to cooking for the family but baking isn’t his forte so I gave him a call and asked if he was busy on the weekend. Lucky for me, he was busy looking after the kids while my sister in law was on a work trip. Mission accepted. Something to entertain the kids and, with any luck, some yummy cupcakes to eat.

He called me from the supermarket to ask what pouring cream was and whether or not the muffin tin had to be a certain size. You’ve got to admire his determination to get this right, he was worried about the cooking time changing if he had the wrong size. I told him as long as he could make 12 from it, it’d be fine. As for the cream, dodged a bullet there, he very nearly bought cooking cream! Great feedback there, I’ll have to include a link to clarify what cream to use.

About an hour later, he sent me a progress report…

“When bros bake. Only got 11.5 but the kids had a lot of taste tests.”

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I’m sure the dad had a few cheeky “taste tests” too. Looking good so far. Twenty minutes later, I called him and told him to check them with a toothpick at 20mins. The recipe says 25-30mis but I’m a bit paranoid about baking times as I very rarely pay attention to them. He told me it’d already been 25mins and they were out of the oven, toothpick tested and good to go. Another photographic update was on its way…

“Didn’t rise as much as I thought they would. They pass the toothpick test, taste test to come.”

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I was quick to point out that they’re not supposed to rise very much, they only have one heaped tablespoon of self raising flour in them. They look exactly the way they’re supposed to, I’m impressed! Little brother got skills. 🙂

The frosting was another story. I’d neglected to tell him that this frosting recipe has a very high degree of difficulty. There’s a lot that can go wrong. It involves dissolving sugar completely and bringing it to the boil, it can crystallise very easily and be ruined. It’s also difficult to determine how dark the colour should be before you add the butter and cream. Too light and the flavour won’t be right, too dark and it will be burnt. Also, when you add the butter and cream, the toffee will harden and get lumpy. After all that, if you haven’t put the right amount of butter in, it wont fluff up properly when you whisk it. It was always going to be an up hill battle.

That said, he did pretty well. The sugar dissolving component didn’t give him any drama. He made it all the way to the whisking before he called me to say it wasn’t fluffing up properly and he would return it to the fridge and try again later. His next MMS expressed alarm at how thick his frosting was after being left in the fridge…

“it went really thick”

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It’s not how it should look but it’s a mighty fine effort and I’m sure it tasted good.

Actually, I know it tasted good. He took some cupcakes to our parents place and they called to tell me how lovely they were. Here is the finished product…

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And here it is after the first official taste test…

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I’m sure you’ll agree, the texture of the cake looks perfect and the caramel frosting looks lovely too.

Thanks for all your efforts little brother, I really appreciate your enthusiasm and feedback. Hope the kids had fun and enjoyed them too, I know mum and dad did.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Who in the world likes caramel and doesn’t like salted caramel? No-one in their right mind, that’s for sure. I came across this recipe when a good friend, who is well aware of my baking prowess and my love for salted caramel, posted this little gem on my Facebook wall…

https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/valentines-day/salted-caramel-brownie-sandwich-cookies

My response to this recipe was immediate. I developed a baker’s crush on Donna Hay and high tailed it to the supermarket to pick up some ingredients. Must. Bake. Now. Long story short, I made the biscuits and they were yum but the caramel frosting was the true star so I gave it another run.

SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING

3/4 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup pouring cream

150g butter, chopped

grated Lindt sea salt chocolate for garnish

Method 

Unlike most cake recipes, in this one it’s best to make the frosting first.

1, Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir with a metal spoon until the sugar is dissolved completely. This will probably ruin your Teflon coated saucepan but you won’t care, it’ll be worth it.

2, Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 8–9 minutes or until golden. Watch it change colour after the 8th minute. I have a gas stove and the heat isn’t necessarily even across the pan. You might need to move the saucepan around in order to get an even colour.

3, Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream and butter. Return the saucepan to the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth. It gets really lumpy with toffee when you first add the butter and cream. I’ll be honest, I thought I’d ruined it at first but I persevered and, sure enough my mixture went smooth.

4, Refrigerate until cold.

5, Make some Mississippi Mud Cupcakes.

6, When the cakes have cooled completely, remove the caramel mixture from the fridge. Using a hand-held electric mixer, whisk mixture until soft peaks form. The amount seems to double in size and gets really light and fluffy.

7, Cut a small wedge out of the top of the cupcakes and fill the well with frosting before replacing the wedge. This step isn’t necessary but it helps with even distribution of the frosting on the cupcake and the recipe makes ample frosting* so you may as well use it.

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Ignore the one at the back, it was a failed experiment.

8, Frost over the wedge and sprinkle with grated “Lindt- touch of sea salt”. Alternatively, you can use grated dark chocolate and a sprinkling of sea salt.

The finished product should look a little something like this…

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and they’re just as pretty on the inside. Happy baking.

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*left over frosting can be heated in the microwave and used as caramel sauce for ice cream or pancakes.

One Mississippi

I had no idea I liked Mississippi Mud Cake until I found out that the delicious cupcakes a friend so very kindly made for me, were based on this recipe…

http://today.ninemsn.com.au/foodandwine/636162/mississippi-mud-cake

When I made them myself, I halved the recipe and used brown sugar instead of caster sugar, as was suggested by a fellow dessert addict. This is my version of the recipe, perfect if you want to make cupcakes and only have one egg. Also a much better option if your partner is a “cheese person” and you’re forced to eat them all yourself.

MISSISSIPPI MUD CUPCAKES

125g butter

100g dark chocolate

2/3 cup of milk

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup plain flour

1/8* cup self raising flour

1/8 cup cocoa

1 egg

*If you don’t have 1/8 measure, one heaped tablespoon is about right.

Method

1, Combine butter, chocolate, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring consistently until smooth. Pour into mixing bowl immediately.

2, Preheat oven to 170 degrees C, 150 for a fan forced oven.

3, Line a 12 cup muffin tin with good quality patty cases. Poor quality patty cases tend to peel off these cakes very easily, learned that the hard way, foil Multilex are good.

4, Sift flours and cocoa into a separate bowl. By now your chocolate mixture should be just the right temperature to move on. Please note that if it cools too much, the chocolate will harden and so will your cupcakes.

5,, Whisk the flour mixture and egg into the chocolate mixture. The batter should be runny enough to pour easily. Pour the mixture into a jug and distribute it evenly among the patty cases, they should be about 3/4 full.

5, Bake for 25-30mins. I always test them with a cake tester ( or toothpick) at the 25min mark, if it comes out clean, they’re good to go. If not, turn the tray around and put them back in for another 5mins.

6, Remove cakes from muffin tin within 5 mins of coming out of the oven and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

7, Frost as desired or enjoy one warm with cream or ice cream.