Monday, March 30, 2009

best EVER brownies


 Okay.... so I know there are a ton of great brownie recipes out there. We've all had that rich chocolatly goodness that you couldn't say no to and let me tell you... these I definitely couldn't say no to that I so much as had to get rid of them... so off to work they went.   My coworkers couldn't have been more pleased!
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Mine was filled with attempting to solve the case of the missing shirt!  I had just recently bought this great top.... well I guess I didn't think it was so great after all since I'm attempting to return it.  Well I think the top must have known and decided to hide it self and wait for the return limit to expire because I can't find the thing anywhere!  I have looked every odd place even...yes... in the cracks of the couch (I'd thought I'd look).  It's spooky I tell ya.

back to the brownies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
150g dark chocolate
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup of pecans

Preheat oven to 350 d.  Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler of barely simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool a little.  Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture, stir in the vanilla then the eggs, one at a time. Fold the dry ingredients into the mixture, then gently fold in the pecans and coconut.
Put into a prepared 8in pan and bake for 25-30 min. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

morning goodness



  This delightful morning treat is an attempt to get back to some healthy roots.... even if its just the morning meal!  No, this is actually one of my favorite cereals and I do love a good muesli.  This recipe actually comes from one of my favorite Naked Chef episodes.  The one where Jamie does a huge midnight breakfast for his wife and her girlfriends after a night out.    What a treat!

muesli

8 large handfuls of rolled oats
2 large handfuls of ground bran
1 handful of chopped dried apricots
1 handful of chopped dried dates
1 handful of crumbled walnuts
1 handful of smashed almonds, hazelnuts or brazil nuts
(I added)
1 handful of coconut
1 handful of wheatgerm
1 handful of ground flaxseed

Combine all and put in a air tight container.  
Best served with a good lug of milk or soy milk poured over a couple of hours or overnight before consuming.

Friday, March 20, 2009

cookies and tea


   Spring is here today!  Although it was a cold one I'm still glad it's sprung.  It's still been chilly but what better way then to relax with a hot cozy tea and these cashew almond spice cookies.  It was one of those things where I was doing my usual foodie mag read and came upon these little cookies, saw the photo of them, what they were and pretty much got right off the couch and started baking.  They are similar to french macaroons, but there is no need to whip the egg whites.  These couldn't be any easier.
happy weekend!

almond cashew biscuits

1/2 cups almonds/cashews
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (all-purpose) flour
2 egg whites
raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 355d. Place the nuts, caster sugar, spices, and vanilla in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely chopped.  Add the flour and egg whites and process until combined.  Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe rounds on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake for 10-12 min or until light golden.

recipe adapted from Donna Hay mag.



Sunday, March 15, 2009

bread sticks


    Today was total sweater weather.  Yes SWEATER weather, finally no jackets, just a plain beautiful day! I just hope its here to stay.
My weekend , although it's still not quite over, has been filled with cleaning, thrift finding, some un-needed clothes shopping and a bit of baking.  While sipping green tea and looking threw my continuous array of cooking books I came across these bread sticks, these being a little on the rustic side were the best bread sticks I've come across yet.

homemade bread sticks

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 butter or veg shortening
3/4 milk

Preheat oven to 450 d
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter/shortening until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture. Add the milk all at once. Using a fork, stir the mixture just until moistened. The the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Quickly kneed the dough until nearly smooth.
Divide the dough into quarter twice and the halves to create 32 pieces.  Roll each piece into an 8in rope.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10min or until golden.
Makes 16 breadsticks.  

*I rolled these in garlic powder and salt and pepper to make them extra tasty.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

baking day part two


    Here's yet another glorious chocolatly delight.  This is a very similar recipe to the DB challenge we did last month... well my friend just loved it and asked if I could do it cupcake style.  I used Nigella's recipe from her book Feast for the chocolate torte which turned out awesome for cupcakes.  It does look like a failed attempt at a chocolate souffle` but the sunken effect only made it perfect to pile on the whip cream... so bring on that whip cream!   I knew I was gonna have  some extra batter left so I just put them in  little ramekins and they cooked up just as nice!

Nigella's Chocolate torte

250g best-quality chocolate
125g softened butter
6 eggs: 2 whole; 4 separated
175g sugar: 75g for the yolk mixture; 100g for the whites
1tsp real vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 D 
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, set aside to cool slightly.  Whisk the egg whites until firm then gradually add the 100g of sugar, whisk until shiny peaks form.  In another bowl hand whisk the 2 whole eggs and yolks with the 75g of sugar and vanilla.  Add the chocolate mixture and stir right away.  Then add just a dollop of the egg whites and stir until combined then slowly fold in the rest of the egg whites.

For cupcakes bake for about 15min until the tops look done and they have risen.  For a 8in cake cook for 35-40 min until the top forms a crust.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

baking day part one

    Here's just one of the things I've been testing and well tasting.  While making some cupcakes for a friend, I had some extra batter left over and decided to try it in my popover pan... making these very vanilla little cakes on the high side.  I loved how they turned out.  I could see em loaded with butter icing as cute little mini cakes!   I used the same vanilla cupcake recipe you can find here.  

cheers!
ps... more goodness on its way.

Friday, March 6, 2009

a hint of spring...

Today was a little glance of spring.... ahh spring I miss you.  The sun was shining, sunglasses on,  and the jacket unbuttoned.... waiting for those flip flop days, long backyard summer nights and perhaps the rest of the snow to melt. 
I had a bit of a baking day yesterday... cooking, reading, relaxing listening to Madeleine Peyroux's jazzy front porch tunes.  So I assure you all those delights of my baking day will be coming this way.

happy weekend!