Monday, April 25, 2016

Anzac Slice with chocolate chips

I have been taking part in the super fun Fat Mum Slim 365 photo a day challenge for nearly 1.5 years now, where you post a photo to your Instagram account according to the theme set out for that day. You attach the relevant hashtag so other participants can find you and then you enjoy seeing everyone else's interpretation of the prompt.

You may be wondering what this has to do with my baking, but bear with me.  The lady who is Fat Mum Slim is Australian, and she recently was pleased to take part in something or other to commemorate Anzac Day today, and she also posted a recipe for and Anzac Slice with chocolate chips that sounded both tasty and easy.  So I made it.
The recipe was really easy and straightforward to follow, and before long I was at the stage of putting the slice in the oven.
As you can see from the before photos, I may not have waited quite the full 15 minutes she recommended, because some of my chocolate chips are glistening from starting to melt.  But I got it straight into the oven after this, just to be sure.
And took it out 27 minutes later - wow Becca Towers smelt great!!!   They tasted amazing straight from the oven, warm and comforting and just the right mix between crunch and chewiness.  But I left them to cool overnight, planning to take them in to colleagues the next day and by morning they had hardened up.  The Team and I had to taste test them (again) obviously, and they were still fabulous but with a more solid and thus harder to initially bite into texture.  
So next time I shall try them for only 24 minutes.  Happy Anzac Day one and all.  Lest we forget.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mmm melting moments

We caught up with friends we hadn't seen in a while over these spring break school holidays.  I have been a little less hectic with the baking, not baking so frequently as I used to because I'd been pulling longer shifts at work, and the kids are just as busy as ever with after-school clubs and activities.  But these particular friends that were coming - well, their 13 year old was really getting into baking and I felt that I had to offer them something fresh and new as it was quite likely they'd bring along one of her treats.
I decided to keep things simple and fun, and go for small individual servings rather than a large cake that may not get fully devoured when at its best.  I chose Melting Moments - a sandwich biscuit well-loved but not often enjoyed from my youth - and even used an Australian recipe.  Well, it had to be, didn't it?!  
These beauties needed to have a particular consistency that melted in your mouth and crumbled slightly when you bit into them, but not so much that you lost all your biscuit at the first bite.  So I was a little apprehensive as I started.
Following the recipe to the letter, they rolled into what looked like small cute balls of dough.  I then flattened them with a glass and made indents with a fork.
So far, so good - they looked correct, or should I say, as I remembered.  Once out of the oven, they still looked pretty darn good but had spread a bit bigger.  I hadn't bargained on that, so made a note on the recipe for the next time.  Some were a cute 4.5cm in diameter but others were up to a centimetre larger.  So I took note to choose similar sized ones to sandwich together.
I had some classic vanilla buttercream and also some rich, decadent chocolate buttercream waiting ready to fill them.  Then I thought lemon would taste nice, so chose a lush lemon curd to add to some of the vanilla buttercream - mmm, great idea.
All the taste-testers were impressed, and I am pleased to say that this recipe tastes just like the ones I remember from cafes of my youth.  And all 3 flavours worked really well - a definite recipe to keep.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Double chocolate chip cookies - afternoon tea winner!

It's the second-last day of the spring school holidays here, and we've been busy with play dates (so much fun for me too, as it's too long between catch-ups for us Mums too), sports camp/classes, walks, arts and crafts, general outdoor play and so on.  This week's gymnastics sports camp is getting them pretty tired, so when they asked to go out for afternoon tea today, I didn't really fancy it.  Instead we went home and whipped up some super delicious double chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.
But that will take ages, you might think.  Well, kinda but not really, and it was much more fun and we knew exactly what we were eating.  Mini-1 retired to the couch with her tablet computer and Mini-2 and I got started.
She's keen to be as grown-up and independent as possible, and has listened well on other baking projects, so enjoyed using the hand-mixer - but not cracking the egg.  Why, you ask?  Well, she didn't fancy washing her hands yet again, ha ha.
Two different types of chocolate chips were added - the recipe calls for peanut butter chips but a) we've used up all that we received from the USA a year or so ago, and b) we're kinda over them. Sorry to all our American friends out there.  We'd love to try any other fancy chips you do, not butterscotch though please as we've had them too, but not pb any longer.  No hurt feelings, right?
Anyway, back to the cookies...

We chose to do just small cookies, with a spoon and knife for skill and cleanliness.  We managed to get 40 small mounds of dough out of our mix and popped them in the oven.  A scant 12 minutes later we had hot cookie heaven!!
I couldn't resist and tasted one just moments later - oh my!!  So so good, crisp and crunchy, just the way I like them.  When the kids came through, one had the great idea of sandwiching them with cookies and cream ice-cream to make a Choc Chip cookie Ice-cream Sandwich - oh yes please!  

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Nutella banana bread is to die for

The girls love that I bake, and sometimes like to join in.  So this Nutella Banana Bread was a special request for one of them.  She remembered it from a few months back, and was sure it was to die for so wanted to have some more.

Personally I didn't remember it that way, but I'm not so keen on bananas as the kids are - though I am coming around to them slowly - but I do love chocolate, and Nutella.  We always have some bananas in the house (and Nutella for that matter) because they're such a nutritious, healthy and handy snack to have, so this cake may well have been made with some slightly overripe bananas - it doesn't affect the taste or texture of the final bake so I think it's a great way to use them up.
I like chocolate (did I mention that?) so I added in some totally unnecessary chocolate chips to the mix.

Then drizzled over lots of melted Nutella, in the middle and on top.

And baked it.

And shared it round.  Mmmm, that didn't last long (but it stayed deliciously moist while we had it).