Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Raspberry and Coconut Banana Bread

You can get the recipe for this Raspberry and Coconut Banana Bread at Bakelife. I can't guarantee it will make you a morning person, but it will make getting out of a bed that little bit easier.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Espresso Brownies

When you just pull a batch of Espresso Brownies out of the oven and your sister texts you to ask if you're free and can she come over for coffee... like she even had to ask!

Espresso Brownies
Makes 16 - depending on how big you slice them

200g dark chocolate, chopped
200g unsalted butter, chopped, plus a little extra for greasing
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g caster sugar
2 tablespoons espresso coffee (or very strong coffee)
200g plain flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Line a 25cm x 20cm baking pan with foil.  Butter the foil and set aside.

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and put the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar together with a wooden spoon.  Add the coffee and the cooled chocolate mixture and stir to combine.  Add the flour and salt and stir until it is just incorporated.  

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.  The top should be set, but it should still be gooey underneath.  

Leave to cool in the pan until just warm.  Remove from the pan, using the foil to lift, slice into desired size and dust with icing sugar.  I served them dusted with icing sugar and also with a dollop of  my French Vanilla Ice Cream

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Potato, Onion and Cheese Pierogi

You know you married the right guy, when you make an odd number of pierogi for your anniversary dinner and he lets you have the last one.  (It was our anniversary yesterday.)

Potato, Onion and Cheese Pierogi
Makes about 15
slightly adapted from here

For the Dough:
250g self raising flour, plus extra from dusting
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil, (I used sunflower oil)
150ml warm water

For the Filling:
250g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters (I used Royal Blue)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely sliced
250g reduced fat cottage cheese

To Serve:
150ml sour cream
Dill fronds

Make the Dough:
Sift the flour into a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre and add the salt, oil and water.  Use a fork to gradually bring the dough together.  Get your hands in mix until you have a smooth dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and rest in a cool spot for 20 minutes.

Make the Filling:
Put 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a frying pan and heat over medium heat.  Add the onion and fry until deep golden brown.  Remove from the heat and reserve a tablespoon for garnish.

Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until soft.  Drain and mash them.  Add the oil, fried onions and cottage cheese and stir them together.  Season to taste and set aside.

Assemble the Pierogi:
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to about 3mm thick.  Cut 10cm rounds using a pastry cutter.

Place a teaspoon of the filling into one side the the pastry rounds, brush the edges with a little water and fold the edges together to create a half-moon dumpling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil.  Poach the pierogi for about 3 - 4 minutes, or until they float to the surface.  Drain well.

To Serve:
Place the hot pierogi on a serving platter and dollop with sour cream and sprinkle with dill fronds and reserved fried onions.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Semlor Buns

You can get the recipe for these Semlor Buns at Bakelife and remember, always wear your best undies.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Hazelnut Olive Oil Cake with Coffee Cream

All things in moderation... except for coffee and chocolate.

Hazelnut Olive Oil Cake with Coffee Cream
adapted from here

For the Cake:
220g caster sugar
5 eggs
350g hazelnut meal
50ml strong espresso coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
150ml extra virgin olive oil

For the Filling:
2 tablespoons caster sugar
60ml strong espresso coffee
250ml thickened cream

For the Ganache:
70g dark chocolate, chopped
70ml cream

Make the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease and line a 23cm round springform pan with baking paper.  Set aside.

Combine all the cake ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, until it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
Make the Filling:
Put the sugar and coffee into a small saucepan over a medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Boil for a few minutes until it starts to thicken and become syrupy.  Set aside to cool completely.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add the coffee syrup and whip to firm peaks.  Set aside.

Make the Ganache:
Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl.  Set aside.

Put the cream into a small saucepan over a medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate.  Leave for 1 minute, then stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture becomes smooth.  Leave to cool and thicken slightly.

Cut the cake in half horizontally.

Place the bottom half of the cake on a cake stand.  Spoon the filling over and spread to the edges. Place the top half of the cake on top and pour the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Puffed Rice and Pistachio Energy Bars - Gluten Free and Vegan

We all need a little hit of unrefined sugar, protein and carbs now and then to boost our energy levels and get us through to the next challenge... even if that challenge is just to make it through to 4pm without a nanna nap.

Puffed Rice and Pistachio Energy Bars - Gluten Free and Vegan
slightly adapted from here
Makes 8

45g puffed brown rice
80g natural almonds, roughly chopped
70g pistachios, roughly chopped
50g white chia seeds
175g brown rice syrup
140g smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Good pinch of sea salt flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
80g dairy free dark chocolate, melted

Spray a 20cm square cake pan with cooking oil and line the base and sides with baking paper.  Set aside.

Put the puffed rice, almonds, pistachios and chia into a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.

Pu the rice syrup and peanut butter into a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until smooth.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.  Pour the peanut butter mixture to the puffed rice mixture, add a generous pinch of sea salt flakes and mix thoroughly, making sure all the dry ingredients gets a good coating of the sticky syrup mixture.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and press it firmly into the corners and edges, smooth the top by rolling a jar or glass over it.  Pop it in the refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours.

Lift the slab out of the cake pan using the overhanging baking paper.  Cut into 5cm x 10cm pieces and dip each end into the melted chocolate and sprinkle the chocolate with a little extra salt flakes. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and put them back into the refigerator to firm up. The in the refrigerator until your ready to serve.P: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to five days.