Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Moist Chocolate Cake - The Best!

I really hope I don't get in trouble for this.  :(  But here goes. 
Last year, sometime near the end of the year, I had to bring some morning snacks for the staff at our school.  I really really really wanted to bake some yummy and super moist chocolate cake so I went a searching for a recipe online.  All I did was type 'moist chocolate cake' on google.  There were quite a few recipes, as you can imagine, so I did my research and sifted through a few recipes and landed on this one.  The ingredients and the how-to just looked like they would work beautifully.  I baked little moist chocolate cupcakes out of them and they really were the best kind of chocolate cake.  They almost tasted like one of those high-end chocolate cakes that you get from really expensive pastry shops. 

I was utterly pleased with them.  But I could not blog about them because I forgot the site.  I know.  This is very very bad.  I took screen shots of the recipe but could not find the original site for me to let you know where I got the recipe from.  Bad. Bad.  But I will keep searching and let you know the original site when I find it.  But in the meantime.  Enjoy them.  They will be certain to brighten up anyone's day. 

Peanut butter Cookies

Here are the peanut butter cookies I baked for my colleagues for Christmas.  I'd stopped doing Christmas goodie bags for awhile.  Only because Christmas time always gets so hectic, I eliminated some things to alleviate stress and this was one of them.  But this year I opted to go ahead with the Christmas bags at work, as I was going to be in a new role the following year which meant I will not be working with the same people anymore.  I wanted to show them how much I enjoyed working with them and what better way to do that than with cookies.  Peanut butter cookies.

I have to say, readers, that these cookies taste better than their scrumptious appearance, if you can believe it.  They really are amazing cookies and should definitely be in everyone's baking repertoire.   They freeze very well, too.  Oooh, almost forgot.  I used crunchy peanut butter - which is the best kind of peanut butter.  I also used regular sugar to coat the cookies but the crystalized(?) ones (the bigger sugar) will probably work better - as is shown on Smitten Kitchen's post. 

Here's the Smitten Kitchen link to the recipe.  She got it from the Magnolia Bakery book.    :)
By the way.  How was your Christmas and New Year's?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes

So.  The other day, I was faced with a problem I'd never had.  Bags of ground pumpkins.  The story is, is that Mum was here in Auckland for a little while to take care of me while I was in the hospital and was busy making me all sorts of stuff with all sorts of stuff which included pumpkins.  She bought one huge pumpkin and had just too much leftover so froze all of it and left me with it.  I scrap a lot of recipes but never anything to do with pumpkins.  But I was up for the challenge.  Lucky for me, it is autumn in the Northern Hemisphere which means many pumpkin recipes floating around the foodie blog world so it wasn't hard to score some scrumptious-looking recipes.  I went with How to Eat a Cupcake's pumpkin cupcake recipe.  And I am now in love with pumpkins in bakings.  Yu-Ummm.  These were unbelievably moist and I absolutely loved the spice it had with all the cinnamon and the etecetra's.  I added white chocolate bits to half of the recipe and toasted walnuts to the other half.  How to Eat a Cupcake had toasted pecans which I imagine would be divine as well.  These will also go fabulous with cream cheese frosting.  

Pumpkin  Cupcakes
Cupcake recipe adapted from How to Eat a Cupcake who adapted it from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped or white chocolate

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, and eggs. Add the flour mixture and whisk to combine completely. Stir in the chopped walnuts or white chocolate.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 22-24 minutes (my oven took 17 minutes).  Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
Spoon the glaze over the cupcakes and serve.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Banana Butterscotch Syrup Cake

This happened to me.

But don't you feel bad about me.  The absolute deliciousness of this cake made up for it.  Big time.

I finally got off my butt to bake something out of my beautiful book: "Classic Cakes"  by the Australian Women's Weekly and, just as I imagined, the book did not disappoint.  My very first cake out of this book was a huge success, even though the cake decided not to stay in tact as a cake.

This is another classic 'moist' cake.  It freezes well and it stays moist all the way through for a long long time.
A note:  I used roasted walnuts (chopped of course) because I prefer them with my banana cakes.  They were gorgeous.  I know I say this a lot but trust me.  You want to bake this cake.

Banana Butterscotch Syrup Cake
from "Classic Cakes" by Australian Women's Weekly

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 3/4 C (165g) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C mashed banana (about 2 large overripe bananas) *I used 3 to get rid of all of my overripe bananas.  I kinda liked it!
  • 3/4 C (110g) self0raising flour
  • 3/4 C (110g) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4C (110g) hazelnuts, roasted, chopped finely ( like I said, I used walnuts and they were divine!)
  • 1/2C (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 30g butter, chopped
  • 3/4 C (180ml) water
The Cake
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C fan0forced.  Grease deep 19cm-square cake pan; line base with baking paper.
  • Beat butter and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Stir in banana, then combined sifted flours and soda, and nuts.  Spread mixture into pan; bake about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, make butterscotch syrup.
  • Stand cake in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack set over tray.  Drizzle hot syrup over hot cake.
  • BUTTERSCOTCH SYRUP:  Combine sugar and butter in small saucepan; stir over heat until butter melts.  Add the water and bring to the boil, stirring; remove from heat.