Category Archives: Morning or afternoon sweet treats

Chocolate hazelnut muffins

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Ingredients
  • 21/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup Nutella
 
Method
Grease 12 hole( 1/3 cup capacity) muffin pan
Sift dry ingredients into large bowl, stir in butter, eggs and buttermilk
Spoon one-third of mixture into prepared pan, top with one level tbsp of Nutella. Top with remaining mixture. Bake in moderately hot oven for 20 minutes.
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A recipe for Anushka – Chocolate Chip Biscuits

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My niece Anushka is my biggest fan.  At the tender age of nine – she is my best advertisement.  Not only does she spread the word about my blog to anyone she meets but she has also started to use it to advance her baking skills and that gives me great joy. This recipe is for you Anushka – hope you enjoy baking these yummy biscuits.  

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Ingredients

175g butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method

Melt butter. Sift flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients. Add condensed milk, vanilla essence and melted butter to dry ingredients. Mix well until combined. Mix in chocolate chips. Roll heaped tablespoon of mixture into balls. Place on greased trays and flatten with a fork. Bake at 180 deg C for 15 minutes or until golden.

upside down peach cake

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Another easy recipe although the end product looks like a lot of effort went into baking this cake.  I served it with dollop of condensed milk ice cream. I didn’t have muscovado sugar so I used brown sugar instead.  The original recipe used apricot, and I think it would be great using pear or apples as well.
 
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For the peaches
  • 30g light muscovado sugar
  • 30g lightly salted butter, softened
  • 5-6 peaches halved and stoned
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For the cake
  • 150g light salted butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 125 ml milk
  • 200g plain flour sifted
  • 11/2 tsp baking powder
 
Method
Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C fan forced. To prepare the apricot base layer, cream together light muscovado sugar and butter in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Using your fingers, smear the mixture over the bottom of a 20cm non stick cake tin with a removable base.  Place the apricots cut side down on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
To make the cake, place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the lemon zest.  Incorporate the milk, flour and baking powder. Spoon the mixture on top of the apricots, smoothing the surface.  Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Run a knife along the collar and leave the cake to cool for about 15 minutes. Place a plate on top of the cake tin and invert it, pressing the base down until the cake touches the place. Now carefully run a knife  between the base of the tin and cake till the tin lifts off.  Accompany with cream or ice cream.

 

Shortbread

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The shortness of this shortbread will surprise you…  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand it is so easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Method

Melt butter in a  saucepan large enough to mix all ingredients.  Remove from heat, sift flour, cornflour and icing sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon.  Knead dough for 1 minute or until well combined.  Roll out to 1.5cm thickness and shape as you wish. Place on a lined oven tray.  Prick with a fork.  Bake at 150 deg C at 30 mins or until lightly golden.  If necessary cut while hot.

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Stollen – a german festive bread

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Ingredients:
  • 75g sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 50g cup currents
  • 3tbsp rum
  • 375g cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar 
  • 1/4  tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 40g fresh yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup mixed (candied) peel
  • 1/3 cup blanched whole almonds
  • melted butter for brushing
  • icing sugar to dust
For the Almond Filling
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 egg lightly beaten
Method
Lightly grease a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 180c/350F/Gas 4. Put the sultanas and currants in a heatproof bowl and warm for 3-4 mins. Pour over the rum and set aside.
Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and spices.
Mix the yeast with the milk until creamy. Pout into the flour and mix a little of the flour from around the edge into the milk mixture to make a thick batter. Sprinkle some of the remaining flour over the top of the batter, then cover with clear film (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for 30mins.
Add the melted butter and egg and mix to a soft dough. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10mins until smooth and elastic. place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled clear film and leave to rise, in a warm place, for 2-3hours, or until doubled in bulk.
Mix the ground almonds and sugars together for the filling. Add the lemon juice and sufficient egg to knead to a smooth paste. Shape into a 20cm/8in long sausage, cover and set aside.
Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knock back (punch down).
Pat out the dough into a rectangle about 2.5cm/1 inch thick and sprinkle over the sultanas, current, mixed peel and almonds. Fold and knead the dough to incorporate the fruit and nuts.
Roll out the dough into an oval about 30 x 23cm/12 x 9in. Roll the centre slightly thinner than the edges. Place the almond paste filling along the centre and fold over the dough to enclose it, making sure that the top of the dough doesn’t completely cover the base. The top edge should be slightly  in from the bottom edge. Press down to seal.
Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet, cover with lightly oiled clear film and leave to rise, in a warm place, for 45-60mins, or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6. Bake the loaf for about 30mins, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Brush the top with melted butter and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Cook’s Tip: You can dust the cooled stollen with icing sugar and cinnamon, or drizzle over a thin glace icing.

Mars Bar Slice

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  • 4 x 65 g Mars Bars, chopped 
  • 100g butter 
  • 4 cups Rice Bubbles 
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 25 g butter extra

Method
Line a slice tray with baking paper.
Combine Mars Bars and butter in a saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat, without boiling, until the mixture is smooth.
Stir in Rice Bubbles and press mixture evenly into lined tray.
Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave on a low setting, stirring every 20-30 seconds. 
Spread the chocolate evenly over the slice mixture and refrigerate until topping is set. Slice into squares.