Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Pink lemonade cupcakes and coffee & walnut cupcakes

Last weekend my friend Tania baked these fantastic cupcakes for her friends little girls party. I thought they were the cutest cupcakes I'd seen in ages so I asked her if I could blog her recipes and share some of her pretty pictures with you all.


Tania is a fellow avid cupcake baker and scrapbooker (but her scrapbooks are infinitely cooler than mine). Check out her blog here.


Pink Lemonade Cupcakes:


Makes 10

115g/4oz self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
115g/4oz butter softened
115g/4oz caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
pink food colouring
55g/2oz granulated sugar
juice of 1 small lemon

buttercream (I did a cream cheese icing with lemon instead of this one):
115g/4oz unsalted butter softened
juice and finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
4 tbsp double cream
225g/8oz icing sugar
pink food colouring

to decorate:
pink and white sugar sprinkles
pink, white and red hundreds and thousands
pink or yellow drinking straws

Preheat oven to 180degrees. Put cases in bun tray
Sift flour and baking powder in large bowl. Add butter, caster sugar
and eggs and using an electric mixer, beat together until smooth. Beat
in a little pink food colouring to colour the mixture pale pink.

Spoon mixutre into paper cases. bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes
until risen and firm to touch. (I did mini cupcakes so cooked them for
10 minutes on fan bake and this was fine)

Meanwhile place granulated sugar and lemon juice in small saucepan and
heat gently, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.  Leave to cool for
15 mintues.  Prick the tops of the warm cupcakes all over with a
skewer and liberally brush with the lemon syrup. Transfer to a wire
rack and leave to cool.

To make buttercream, place butter, lemon juice and lemon rind in a
bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until pale and
creamy. beat in the cream then gradually sift in icing sugar and
continue beating for 2-3 minutes until buttercream is light and
fluffy. Beat in a little pink food coouring to give a pale pink colour

Using a small palette knife, thickly swirl the buttercream over the
tops the cupcakes. Scatter sugar sprinkles in the centre of 5 cupcakes
and edge the remaining cupcakes with hundreds and thousands. Cut the
straws to 8cm lengths and push into the cupcakes.





Coffee & Walnut Cupcakes:


For the cupcakes:
150g (6oz) butter, softened
150g (6oz) caster sugar
3 large eggs
125g (4oz) plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g (3oz) walnut pieces
2 1/2 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1tbsp hot water (I used the
Coffee Essence)

For the Frosting:
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp instant coffee
85g (3oz) butter, at room temperature
160g (6oz) icing sugar, sifted
Walnut halves, to decorate

Preheat oven to 175degrees. Line two 12 cup muffin pans with paper baking cups
Beat butter and sugar togehter until pale and creamy, then beat in the
eggs one at a time.  sift the flour and baking power (book omits this
but kinda needs to be there and its in the ingredient list!!!!) over
the butter mixutre and stir in.  Fold in the walnuts and coffee.
Divide mixture between the paper baking cups and spread out evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes (i did 10) until golden and cupcakes spring back
when pressed gently. transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make frosting, warm the milk and coffee in a pan, stirring until
coffee has dissolved.  Pour into a bowl, leaving to cool unitl just
warm before adding butter and icing sugar.  Beat together unti lsmooth
and creamy. spread the frostin govcer the cooled cupcakes then
decorate with walnut halves.

store unfrosted in an airtight container for up to 3 days. use frosted
cakes on the day they are decorated.

(I just used a butter/icing sugar/milk/vanilla essence icing).



The Birthday display- Talk about a cute stand!


Thank you letting me share your beautiful creations Tania! xx

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Lest we forget

It's ANZAC day here on Wednesday, which is like Remembrance Day but just for New Zealand and Australia. ANZAC day is one of those holidays that feels really special so James and I always try to attend a memorial service (and then go for breakfast afterwards).


This year for the first time I decided to make my own homemade ANZAC biscuits. I used a traditional recipe that has baking soda instead of baking powder and loads of golden syrup. 

One of the food items that women in both countries sent to soldiers during the First World War were these hard, long-keeping biscuits that could survive the journey by sea, and still remain edible. These were known as Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the Gallipoli landings in 1915, they became known as ANZAC Biscuits.

Soldiers themselves made a similar form of biscuit from ingredients they had on hand: water, sugar, rolled oats and flour. How cool is that?!

The traditional ANZAC Biscuit is hard and flat - ideal for dunking in tea and then eating. The recipe I used made about 30 biscuits! Which seems like a lot but they last for ages.


This is the recipe I used, it's from Allyson Gofton's book 'Bake'.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
175 grams butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

1.  Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease 1-2 baking trays or line with baking paper.
2.  In a large bowl, sift flour with a good pinch of salt. Stir in the sugar, rolled oats and coconut and make a well in the centre.
3.  In a saucepan, melt the butter, golden syrup and vanilla essence together.
4.  Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Mix into the melted butter and quickly pour into the well. Mix all the ingredients together quickly.
5.  Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the prepared trays. Flatten with the tines of a floured fork.
6.  Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until the biscuits have flattened out and have become a reddish-brown colour.
7.  Transfer to a cake rack. They will crispen as they cool. Once cold, store in an airtight container.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Feijoa, feijoa,feijoa

It's feijoa season my friends and what better way to celebrate than to share a yummy feijoa recipe. This afternoon I baked these beauties...

My Feijoa and Blueberry muffins


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 feijoas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries and scooped out feijoas (chopped roughly). Fill muffin cups right to the top.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done. 
I used fresh blueberries but you could also use frozen.
Feijoas are one of my favourite fruits, they have a really unique flavour apparently a combo of a strawberry, gauva and pineapple. 
  And you can eat the pretty feijoa blossoms too!
If you love feijoas as much as me you should check out this ladies blog 'feijoa,feijoa' I found it last year and use it for all my feijoa needs. She has so many great feijoa recipes and related things, she even has list of all the feijoa products and where you can buy them in NZ - awesome!
http://feijoafeijoa.wordpress.com/

My favourite feijoa products are feijoa sour lollies you can buy from Countdown & Redwoods feijoa wine (They also make a kiwifruit wine!)



Let me know if you've tried any other feijoa products, I'm always keen to try anything feijoa flavoured especially if it comes recommended!
 

Monday, 16 April 2012

Pie time

In case you forgot, I really love Autumn. To me it means hearty, warming food and what better hearty warming food is there than pie! This weekend I baked two pies  (and ate three! We bought pies from Blue Belle Cafe for lunch on Saturday) Anyway all of which I really enjoyed and so did James and our flat mate.

The pastry part I'm not so keen on, not because it's not tasty but because it takes ages. I made my own short crust pastry for my berry pie and it took a good 20 mins and to be honest I think the frozen pastry you buy is better. Pro tip just spare yourself the hassle and use bought stuff.

I made the chicken pot pie on Friday night and its pretty delicious. The filling is not dissimilar to making a stir fry. You just throw everything in and wait a few mins, pour it into your pie crust and bake then mmm it's pie time! 

Sarah-Rose's chicken pie:

1 stalk of celery chopped
1/2 cup milk
2-3 tablespoons of flour
Chicken breast chopped and cooked
Handful of peas
One grated carrot
Thyme
Salt
Pepper
frozen puff pastry floured and rolled out
2 cloves of garlic minced
One onion chopped
Butter about 50 gm
Chicken stock cube broken up

Throw the garlic and onion in a pan with a little oil and just cook until soft. Place all your other ingredients in the pan too except for the flour, milk and butter. Cook everything until it is smelling and looking delicious. Then add you milk,butter and flour, It will thicken really fast so if you don't want a really thick mixture then add some water until you reach desired consistency for your pie filling. Roll out your pastry on a floured surface and place your pie filling into little pie pots or a big dish. Cover the top with your rolled out pastry and bake for about 30-40 mins at 180 degrees C until the pie toping is golden brown and crunchy.

My Berry Apple Pie

For my berry apple pie I just cut up 3 apples into cubes, cooked them in a tiny bit of water with about a 1/4 cup of sugar and a few handfuls of mixed frozen berries.

Once the apples were cooked through I added 2 big tablespoons of flour and some vanilla essence. This thickened up nicely into a yummy berry apple filling.

I then cut out some long strips from my homemade pastry ( but I'd use store bought if I was you) and wove a little lattice top. Baked it for about 50 mins until golden brown.

The cool thing about pastry is you can make it into all kinds of cool shapes, I decided to put little leaves and berries on top of mine!

My berry apple pie


Heres some more pie eye candy for you!


 
Mmmmmm Pie!!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Coffee Fix

I know I usually do blog posts that are baking and cooking related but I thought for something a little bit different I would share some coffee related goodness.

 (You can buy this cute coffee cup sleeve here)

Coffee is my one vice... I have to have a coffee every morning or I just feel a bit off all day. My coffee can't be any old coffee though, I have a really good plunger and I always use fair traded ethically grown freshly roasted coffee. I realise as I'm typing this now I sound a bit 'fancy' but truthfully it just makes such a big difference. I like to start off my day on a good note, for me coffee that tastes delicious does that.

Living in Wellington is awesome if your a coffee lover like me. There are so many locally roasted coffee blends, I'm spoilt for choice really! A few weekend's ago I discovered Flight coffee (now my new fav) and it is seriously, seriously good coffee. Strong but not bitter, flavourful but not overpowering, just really very good.

Here are my top 5 current favs, some you can only source from Wellington but others you can buy at your local supermarket or online.

1. Flight coffee


It's just amazing, you need to try it. Memphis Belle Coffee House in the city would be a great place to try it out otherwise The Cheeky Pipi in Island Bay use it and so does Gasworks in Miramar or buy it online from www.flightcoffee.co.nz

2.  Caffe l'affare


I buy this one most weeks because its usually on special at the supermarket and that is awesome for two reasons. One,I save money and two, its really delicious coffee! My favourite is the Organic blend, it just has a bit more depth of flavour than the other ones I've tried. But I'm yet to try all of them so I'll keep you posted.

3. Havana Coffee Works

Another Wellington favourite. Havana have only three blends but they are all really decent and available at your local supermarket (if your in Wellington). They also have a really cool cafe where you can buy the beans freshly roasted or just enjoy a coffee.

4. Atomic

Based out of Kingsland, Auckland they are the coffee James used to Barista with when he made coffee (back in the day). Their classic roast is sweet and fruity with hints of cedar and citrus, yum!

5. People's coffee
I used to live about 2 blocks from them when we lived in Newtown and that was awesome because I could pop down and check out their new blends. I'm still in walking distance but I usually buy their coffee as a special treat now as it's pretty expensive. They also sell these adorable keep cups, so cool!


I hope my mini coffee review gave you some new coffee's to try out. If not heres some cool coffee art to entertain you.



xx SR

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