Tag Archives: Recipe

Mini Hawaiian Carrot Cake and Work in Progress

What’s been going on in Katie’s Kitchen? Lots of healthy eating. And of course a little baking. This weekend was two Hawaiian carrot cakes for my buddy Michelle’s birthday. The restaurant we went to wouldn’t allow BYO cakes so I made a small take-home cake for Michelle and one for our friend Jess. The cake tins I used are 15cm and I got two three-layer cakes from the original recipe. Sometimes a cake is just more special than cupcakes. Happy birthday Michelle!

Last weekend was banana bread. The freezer is stocked with slices for breakfasts or snacks.

Next weekend will feature cupcakes, as will the weekend after. I hope to fit in some crochet time and get my current ripple blanket finished soon. My new (vintage) fabrics are waiting to be cut and sewn. Such fun!

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German Chocolate Cake

A few years ago, when we were newly married and had just moved in to our first home together hubby baked me a birthday cake. Looking back, it was my first homemade birthday cake in quite a few years. He literally stayed up all night to make it for me, it was a German chocolate cake. Not a German recipe for chocolate cake, the cake was apparently named after a brand of chocolate. The cake he made was delicious and shared with my family on the night of my birthday.  German chocolate cake has a specific frosting – a pecan and coconut frosting made with evaporated milk and egg yolks.

The recipe I used today is from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. I’m yet to find a recipe I don’t like in either of the two Baked cookbooks (New Frontiers in Baking and Baked Explorations). Could be because I keep choosing to make the chocolate recipes? I made one substitution today – I used regular pain flour instead of cake flour as my local supermarket didn’t have it in stock. I read somewhere you should subtract two tablespoons of plain flour for each cup used when making this substitution. Of course, I read this after I’d made the cake. The crumb is so soft, almost too soft. I wonder if this is due to the flour, I’ll have to pick up some cake flour and try it again. Sweetapolita did an interesting post on types of flour recently.

I still have the original recipe hubby used, written on the back of two envelopes. Me, sentimental?

Click here for German chocolate cake recipe
Click here for the Baked: New Frontiers in Baking cookbook

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m on a mission to perfect the chocolate chip cookie. It needs to be chocolate filled, chewy but not undercooked in the centre, browned on the edges and not too salty. These cookies are good, very good even, but not great. Yet.

I made one batch of dough then divided it into three parts. One part I baked immediately. The second I refrigerated for about 8-10 hours. The third I froze overnight then baked straight from the freezer. The batch I baked straight from the mixing bowl were the least chewy of the three. The cookies baked with frozen dough were thicker and more dense than the other two batches, but were still chewy in the centre and crisp on the edges. I think I’d choose the frozen dough cookies as my favourite this time.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Makes 24 cookies (I used a 2-tablespoon scoop and got closer to 30 cookies)

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (this was too much for me, next time I’ll halve it)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 packets Cadbury Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions

 In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until smooth and creamy. Don’t over beat. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, then the egg yolk, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat until just combined.

Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate chips.

Option 1- Bake now as below, skipping the chilling stage.
Option 2 – Cover the bowl tightly and put in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
Option 3 – Scoop 2-tablespoon-size balls of mixture and place on a baking tray lined with baking/parchment paper, cover tightly with cling wrap then freeze for at least 4 hours. Bake as below straight from the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out dough in 2-tablespoon-size balls. Use your hands to shape the dough into perfect balls and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. They will spread considerably. 

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the pans once during the cooking time, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the tops just start to darken.

Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 – 10 minutes, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

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Cinnamon Ice Cream

The most common question I’m asked about this blog is Do you take the photos yourself? The answer is yes, I bake or make and then photograph. This time, however, I didn’t do the making. This was hubby’s project from start to finish. He makes ice cream a couple of times a year. I’m still wanting some more of the chocolate ice cream he made last Easter. The first batch for 2012 is cinnamon, a flavour I know he has been wanting to make for a while. If you like snickerdoodles and ice cream, you’ll love this recipe. It’s creamy, with all the flavour of a snickerdoodle. The original calls for just white sugar; this batch substitutes brown sugar and Equal for 1/2 of the white sugar.

Hubby recommends letting the ice cream freeze for at least a night, but says the texture will be best after two days. If you add anything to the recipe, like walnuts or pecans, be sure to chill them first and add them to the ice cream machine late in the freezing process. That goes for any goodies you add to homemade ice cream, says hubby.


Cinnamon Ice Cream
Adapted from recipe from All Recipes

Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Equal sugar substitute (do not convert to grams, as you will add way too much sweetener. the conversion from sugar to sweetener works only if you go by volume)
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream (can substitute 3/4 cup of pouring cream plus 3/4 cups of whole milk)
2 eggs, beaten
1  1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

In a saucepan over medium-low heat (make sure it’s not too hot) stir together the sugar and half-and-half. When the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat, and whisk half of the mixture into the eggs. Whisk quickly so that the eggs do not scramble.

Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir in the heavy cream. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla and cinnamon. Cover and set aside to cool for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Pour cooled mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Pour ice cream into freezer-safe container with lid, cover surface of ice cream with plastic wrap under lid, and let harden in freezer overnight. Scoop and serve. 

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Gluten-free Caramel Slice

Caramel slice reminds me of two things – the 80s and my mum. Did everyone’s mum make caramel slice in the 80s? It sure seemed like it. I don’t really remember for sure if my mum made it regularly but each time I make it the memory of her is near. There is something familiar about it, comforting and nostalgic.

It’s an easy recipe to modify to make it gluten-free friendly, I’ve included the modification below.

Caramel Slice
Modified from a recipe by Donna Hay
 
Ingredients
Base:
1 cup gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour mix (Use regular plain flour here if you don’t need it to be gluten-free)
125g butter, melted
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
Filling:
125g butter, melted
1/3 cup golden syrup
1 can (400g) sweetened condensed milk
Topping:
1 block dark cooking chocolate
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions
Preheat oven to 180°C (355ºF).
Base: Place the flour, coconut, butter and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine. Firmly press the mixture into a 20cm x 30cm tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.

Filling: Place the golden syrup, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat and stir until thickened. Pour over the base and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Refrigerate until cooled completely.

Topping: Place the chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted.Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel and refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

To serve slice with a warm knife. (Leave the slice out of the fridge a few minutes if it’s too difficult to cut.)

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Christmas Cookies

*Edit – A few people have asked where I got the containers with lids. They are from my local supermarket, and are a generic brand. If you are in Australia I think they are from Coles.

Christmas treats for my co-workers have been baked, packaged and gifted. The out-of-office alert is active on my e-mail account and work is done for 2011. Now it’s time to wrap presents, bake food to share with family and friends and to look towards 2012. I’m looking forward to the new year and the possibilities it brings. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season.

Christmas Kitchen Sink Cookies

Homemade Oreos (without filling)

Snickerdoodles

Reindeer tages by Eat Drink Chic

Knit tags also by Eat Drink Chic

Wood type tags by Ellinee

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Christmas Kitchen Sink Cookies

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes about 40

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
2 cups Christmas M&Ms

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until well blended. Stir in oats, M&M’s, choc chips and chocolate.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto trays, about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies evenly. Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes (10 minutes in my oven). Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.

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Sweet Potato Pie

My philosophy when it comes to dessert is usually If it’s not chocolate, why bother? While I don’t mind a coconutty treat or a caramel-flavoured delight, chocolate has a special place in my heart and on my dessert menu. Imagine my surprise when hubby introduced me to sweet potato pie. Magical, delicious sweet potato pie. There is a reason I only make this at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. It’s too tempting to resist, warmed and served with vanilla bean ice-cream. Now, if only I could get my chocolate habit down to two indulgences a year.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
from Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay

Ingredients

2 cups flour
3 tbs caster sugar
150 g (5 oz) cold butter, diced
2-3 tbs ice water

Directions

Process the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running add enough water for the dough to cling together.
Knead lightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Allow to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 2-3 mm (⅛ in) thick. Line the greased tart tin. Blind bake for 10 minutes. (I don’t do this next step unless it’s a big pie with thicker pastry – Remove the baking weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is golden.)

Sweet Potato Pie
Adapted from: Allrecipes.com View recipe and reviews here.

Ingredients

1 (1 pound/454 g) sweet potato
1/2 (115 g) cup butter, softened
1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
1/2 (120 ml) cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Peel sweet potato and boil until soft.
Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into pie crust (see recipe above).
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

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Macarons

Basic Macarons
Adapted from recipe in Donna Hay Magazine Issue 59 Oct/Nov 2011

1 1/4 (200g) cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar
1 cup (120g) almond meal
3 eggwhites, at room temp
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
Food colouring

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit).
Sift the icing sugar and almond meal into a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.
Place the eggwhites and food colouring in an electric mixer and whisk on high for 30 seconds.
Add the caster sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Fold through the almond meal mixture in two batches until smooth.

Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 1 1/2cm plan nozzle and pipe 4cm rounds onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.
Lightly tap trays.

Allow to stand for 20 minutes or until a “skin” forms on top of the macarons.
Reduce temperature to 130 degrees Celsius (260 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake macarons for 17-18 minutes or until crisp on the outside and moist in the centre.
Allow to cool completely on trays.
Spread half the macarons with your chosen filling and sandwich the remaining macarons.

Makes 24.

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Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

My fascination with layer cakes continues, this time it’s a chocolate cake. I made this cake for no other reason than just to make a cake. With all the sewing and crochet projects I have going on, sometimes it’s nice to start something and finish it a few hours later.

This is the second time I’ve made Swiss meringue buttercream frosting and I’m happy to report all went well. After I added half the butter (the amount of butter in this recipe is crazy, try not to think about it for too long) to the egg white and sugar mixture, I popped the whole bowl in the fridge for a few minutes. I was worried the mixture was too soupy and I’d read cooling the mixture would help this. It worked like a charm! I added the rest of the butter and let the KitchenAid mix away. It was only afterwards that I realised I was supposed to change the whisk attachment to the paddle. It looks like no harm done though; the frosting was fluffy and dense and easy to spread. I couldn’t decide whether to colour the icing but after reading about people having trouble mixing Wilton gel food colouring and Swiss meringue buttercream, I decided against it. I quite like the dark cake against the white frosting. I think the next cake I make will be pink, a pink layer cake. Perhaps gluten free. Wish me luck with that one!

Rich and Dark Chocolate Cake recipe by Sweetapolita here
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting recipe by Whisk Kid here (I used nine egg whites and had enough for the whole cake)
Rug from Urban Outfitters (yes they ship to Australia!)
And just for laughs: I can’t think of chocolate cake without thinking of  Bill Cosby
Cake plate from Freedom

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