Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baking Club - Episode One

My kitchen this morning was filled with a wonderful aroma. A couple of workmates and I decided last weekend we would start up a baking club where each of us would take turns to make a recipe to share on Saturdays. I woke up early this morning at 6am to specially make my chosen recipe. Butter, cocoa, sugar, caramel, freshly chopped pecans all combined together to create a chocolatey, warm brownie.

The brownies were well received; they had a firm chewy texture on the outside but were warm and soft on the inside. The flavour was perfect: not too sweet and the caramel flavour was quite subtle.

I think I'm going to look forward to work on Saturdays!

Caramel Choc Pecan Brownies

150 g butter
1/2 cup NESTLÉ Baking Cocoa, lightly beaten
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts
3/4 cup NESTLÉ Top'n'Fill Caramel

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line an 18cm x 28cm lamington tin with baking paper.

2. Beat butter and NESTLE Baking Cocoa until combined. Beat in eggs, sugar and vanilla then stir in flour and nuts.

3. Pour mixture into prepared tin.

4. Spoon NESTLE Top ‘n’ Fill Caramel onto brownie mixture and swirl through.

5. Bake 35 minutes until cooked. Cool then cut into squares to serve.

This recipe was taken from the Nestle Australia website and features their wonderful, yummy product Top 'n Fill Caramel. This is the first time I have used the product and I will definitely be using it in the future!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Love Apples: Part 2

Apples are probably the most commonly consumed fruit in the world. It was one of the first fruits to be cultivated and became more prized once grafted to make new, sweeter varieties.

I found
this recipe the other day browsing different blogs; this one is from Oh She Glows. The muffin is sweet with a wonderful texture and crunchy sweet topping. I used macadamia nut oil and added the walnuts. If you can't find pumpkin pie spice in the store, you can make it by mixing 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice & 1/8 tsp nutmeg.

Apple Walnut Streusel Muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples
1 cup of walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Combine eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. For topping, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle 1 teaspoon over each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I Love Apples

I discovered Daisy loves apples the day she hopped in my lap and started nibbling on the apple I was eating. It was funny to see her cute little face an inch from mine sharing my apple.

A few weeks later I bought a bag of apples and left them on the kitchen floor. I leave Daisy in the kitchen for 5 minutes by herself and I come back to find that she's ripped the bag open and has started nibbling on one of the apples.

Here she is today enjoying the rest of that apple:

Stay tuned tomorrow for an apple recipe!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Peanut Butter Fruit

I recently bought a new book: Edible, The Illustrated Guide To the World's Food Plants (see the side bar on the right). As I was browsing through, I noticed the name "Peanut Butter Fruit". Amazing... I had no idea there was such a thing! It's a tropical fruit that is native to South America. When it is just ripening into an orange colour, it gives the most crunchiest peanut butter flavour. It is typically used in preserves or blended into milkshakes or added to cakes.

How about that? You learn something every day.