Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Honey, Apple and Pecan Loaf with Whipped Honey Butter










 
 




I received a pot of gorgeous garden honey from one of my husbands work colleagues whose mother is a local bee keeper. I pondered hard over what to make with such a precious pot of golden nectar. I stumbled and bumbled through my day, souring recipe books and magazine until I came up with this golden loaf, swirled with autumnal goodness and slathered with whipped honey butter. If I were a bee, I think I'd be okay with the fruits of my labor winding up here.

Thank you Joe Teese... and thank you to your mum and her hard working bees.



Honey, Apple and Pecan Loaf with Whipped Honey Butter
slightly adapted from here

For the Whipped Honey Butter:
250g softened unsalted butter
250 honey
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean

For the Loaf:
120g wholemeal flour (I used Atta flour)
3g dry yeast (about 1/2 sachet)
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
300g plain flour
160ml milk
60g honey
1 egg, at room temperature
60g softened unsalted butter
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated and juice squeezed out
70g pecans, finely chopped
Melted butter for brushing

Make the Whipped Honey Butter:
Put all the ingredients for the whipped honey butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat  for 4 - 5 minutes until very fluffy. Divide into two even portions. Put one portion into a ramekin and chill in the refrigerator until needed.

Put the remaining half of the whipped honey butter into a bowl. Add the grated and squeezed apple, chopped nuts and 40g of the plain flour and stir to combine. Set aside.

Make the Loaf:
Preheat the oven to 180C. Spray a 23 cm x 13 cm loaf pan with cooking oil spray and line with baking paper or a liner. Set aside.

Combine the wholemeal flour, yeast, orange rind and the remaining 260g of plain flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix to combine.

Heat the milk and  honey in a small saucepan until lukewarm. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg. Add to the flour mixture and mix on low speed to combine. Add the butter a little at a time, mixing on low speed until you have a smooth dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for an hour until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to a 23 cm x 30 cm rectangle. Spread it with the apple mixture, roll into a tight cylinder using the short edge. Place it into the prepared pan, seam side down and cover with plastic wrap to rise slightly for about 30 minutes.

Bake for 1 - 1 hour 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Cover with foil half way through baking to prevent the top from getting too brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out. Brush the top with melted butter to give it a shine.

To Serve:
Slice into thick slices, toast until golden and slather with whipped honey butter.


 

Monday, 30 March 2015

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cheesecake Filling













I like my chocolate cupcakes like I like my... ... coffee, dark and handsome.



Chocolate Cupcakes with Cheesecake Filling
slightly adapted from here
Makes 12

For the Filling:
200g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

For the Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use grape seed oil)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the Filling:
Put the cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the caster sugar and egg and beat until combined. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and set aside.

Make the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 175C and line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper liners. Set aside.

Sift the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and pipe a few tablespoons of the filling into the centre of each cupcake.
 
Bake for 25 minutes, or until they spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from the oven and transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Buttermilk Crumpets with Blackberry Butter


 







 
 
 
 
Why does the word crumpet make me feel a little bit naughty? Must be all those British sitcoms.



Buttermilk Crumpets with Blackberry Butter
slightly adapted from here
Makes 15

For the Crumpets:
1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar
7g (1/4 oz or 1 sachet) dried yeast
375g (12 oz) plain flour
A pinch fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Melted butter for frying and greasing

For the Blackberry Butter:
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

Make the Crumpets:
Pour the buttermilk into a saucepan and heat over low heat until lukewarm. Remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and yeast and stir. Allow to stand for 10 minutes until foamy.

Sift the flour and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually add the buttermilk mixture and beat until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. 

Mix the baking soda with 200ml (6 1/2 fl oz) water. Fit the bowl of yeast mixture back onto the mixer and add the baking soda mixture. Beat to combine to make a thick, airy batter.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. Lightly grease some 8 cm (3 inch) metal egg rings and put them in the pan. Reduce the heat to low and spoon 3 tablespoons of batter into each egg ring. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the surface is covered with bubbles. Slide an egg flipper under the rings and flip. Remove the rings and cook the other side until golden. Remove from the pan, transfer them to a wire rack and cover with a cloth to keep them warm. Continue with the remaining batter.

Make the Blackberry Butter:
Place the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until it starts to become syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

Using a wooden spoon, whip the butter until light and creamy. Fold through the blackberries to create a ripple effect. Put into a ramekin and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve fresh or toasted with heaping helpings of blackberry butter.
 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Everyday Chocolate Cake














Everyday Chocolate Cake...or as it appears in my mind, Chocolate Cake Everyday.




Everyday Chocolate Cake
slightly adapted from here

For the Cake:
230g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
85g (3/4 cups) Dutch cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g (1 cup) light brown sugar
125g  (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

To Serve:
Crème Fraiche
Fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Spray 23 cm x 13 cm  (9 inch x 5 inch) loaf pan with cooking oil spray and line it with baking paper or a nifty liner like I did. Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high for about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Add the buttermilk. The mixture will look like a disaster at this point, but don't worry. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 - 70 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with fresh raspberries and crème fraiche.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Banana, Choc-Chunk, Chia Muffins - Gluten Free










 
 





You know how last week I was waxing lyrical about how breakfast sandwiches were the bees knees of breakfast food? Well, a good breakfast muffin would have to be the bees elbows.




Banana, Choc-Chunk, Chia Muffins - Gluten Free
adapted from here
Makes 12

140g Gluten Free Flour Blend (recipe below)
35g almond meal
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons white chia seeds, blitzed in a spice or coffee grinder until it is a fine powder
90ml grape seed oil
100ml maple syrup
90ml buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, pureed in a blender
3 tablespoons toasted, chopped walnuts
130g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

For the Gluten Free Flour Blend:
2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cups white rice flour
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/3 cups cornflour
1/2 potato flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 teaspoons xanthan gum

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container. This will make more than you need for this recipe, but you can keep the remaining blend until you need it for your next gluten free recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper liners. Set side.

Put the Gluten Free Flour Blend, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ground chia seeds into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a medium jug, mix together the oil, maple syrup, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the pureed bananas, chopped walnuts and chocolate chunks.

Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake for 22 - 25 minutes, or until browed and spring back when lightly pressed.


 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Strawberry, Almond and Coconut Slice






 
 
 



My days can be busy. With a family to run around after and clean up after, a girl sometimes needs a happy-ever-after. And in my case, that means coffee with something sweet in the afternoon, before the school bus pulls up and the madness starts again.




Strawberry, Almond and Coconut Slice
adapted from here
Makes 12

For the Base:
200g plain flour
140g unsalted butter, at room temperature
80g caster sugar
60g desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 tablespoons cold water

For the Filling:
150g strawberry jam
170g fresh strawberries, sliced

For the Topping:
45g caster sugar
1 large egg
60g rolled oats
40g sliced almonds
15g desiccated coconut

Make the Base:
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 27 cm x 17 cm baking tin with baking paper. Set side.

Put the flour and butter into a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. Add the caster sugar, coconut, baking powder and salt. and toss the mixture together to combine. Add enough cold water to bring the dough together. Try not to over work the dough. Press it into the prepared tin and bake until golden, about 15 - 20 minutes. Sete aside to cool.

Make the Filling:
Spread the jam over the cooled base and top with a layer of sliced strawberries.

Make the Topping:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the caster sugar and egg together on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until fluffy. Turn the mixer off and use a spatula to fold in the oats, almonds and coconut. Pour the mixture over the strawberry filling, spreading to the edges.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the top is golden. Leave to cool in the tin before slicing into squares.