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Recipe: Ginger Biscotti #recipe #baking

Biscotti

This is another recipe from Annabel Langbein’s Simple Pleasures. I’ve been working my way through this book and found dozens of tempting recipes to try. This one for ginger biscotti was a real winner. I’ve tried biscotti recipes before, but this one was the best of all. Hubby said so!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1 1/2 cups castor sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.

2. Mix ingredients together until you have a soft dough. Pat into a log shape – around 23 cm x 7 cm and place onto the tray.

3. Cook until the log is a pale golden color – about 30 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and decrease the temperature to 140C.

5. Let the log cool until you can cut it without burning your fingers. Slice thinly and arrange on a tray.

6. Bake again until crisp and dry. This should take about 15 – 20 minutes, but the biscuits will become crisper as they cool.

7. Once completely cool store in an airtight container.

Ginger Biscotti

Shelley’s Notes:

1. As usual, my cooking time was less since my oven is on the hot side.

2. I’ll use this recipe and experiment with some different flavors, maybe cranberries and chocolate.

3. This recipe really worked well, and the biscotti were perfect with a cup of tea.

Recipe: Kiwi Crisps

Last Saturday I made some biscuits (that’s cookies to those of you in the US) and I took them out to my father’s farm on Sunday. Last night, my sister rang.

Sister: I’m sending those biscuits back to you via courier.

Me: Why?

Sister: I’ve eaten three, and I’m not meant to be eating sugar. They’re very moreish.

Me: *laughing* I’m so sorry! I didn’t think.

Sister: It’s only three. I’ll start my diet again tomorrow. Only another 20 kg to go.

My sister has lost a lot of weight already since visiting a dietician. Her new sugar-free diet and increased exercise has made all the difference. I’m so proud of her.

Anyhow, here is the recipe for the troublemaking biscuits – Kiwi Crisps.

DSCF8867

Ingredients:

4 oz butter

2 Tablespoons of castor sugar (2 oz)

2 Tablespoons condensed milk

1 1/2 cups plain white flour (6 oz)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 oz dark chocolate chopped

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 350 F (175 C)

2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.

3. Add the condensed milk and mix well.

4. Stir in the chocolate.

5. Add the baking powder and the flour and combine well.

6. Line a tray with baking paper.

7. Roll the dough into small balls. Place on tray and flatten slightly with the heel of your hand.

8. Press down with a fork. To keep it from sticking to the dough, I dipped my fork in a cup of warm water.

9. Bake for approx 12 minutes.

10. Cool on the tray for a few minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Shelley’s Notes.

1. I used dark chocolate chips and they worked perfectly.

2. The recipe said to bake for 20 minutes, but in my oven this was way too long. I cooked mine until they turned color slightly because I prefer my cookies crisp, but around 10 – 12 minutes should be okay, depending on your oven.

3. These biscuits have a caramel flavor, thanks to the condensed milk, and sprinkling the biscuits with a hint of flaky salt would give them a salted caramel taste, although I haven’t tried this yet.

As I said, these biscuits are very moreish, and it’s difficult to eat only one. Now, my question for you. Are you able to stop at one biscuit/cookie?

A Delicious Ginger Crunch

Ginger Crunch

I really, really like Ginger Crunch, and I’ve been on the lookout for a good recipe for ages. This recipe comes from the recipe book A Treasury of New Zealand Baking and is from Jo Seagar. I liked this recipe because of the super gingery flavor and the fact that it has wholemeal flour, which makes it feel healthy…even though it isn’t really. Smile

Ingredients for base:

150 grams butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup long-thread coconut (I didn’t have any so used finer coconut)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (porridge/oatmeal)

3/4 cup wholemeal flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup chopped crystallised ginger

Method:

1. Melt the butter, golden syrup, and sugar together in a saucepan.

2. Place the other ingredients in a bowl and stir in the melted ingredients from 1 above.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a slice tin with baking paper and flatten the mixture into the tin.

4. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Topping:

100 grams butter

6 tablespoon golden syrup

2 1/4 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

3 teaspoons ground ginger

Method for Topping:

1. Melt the butter and golden syrup together then add the ginger and icing sugar to make a frosting.

2. Spread the topping on the warm base.

3. Chill and cut into pieces

Shelley’s Notes

1. I added a little extra icing sugar since the frosting ran off the base the first time I made it. I put it in the fridge the second time and didn’t lose my frosting.

2. This is crunchy and gingery, although a little sweet. It was delicious and I can see myself making this often.

3. I used bake instead of fan bake, and the 20 minutes was the perfect cooking time.

Are you a fan of ginger?

Recipe: Tomato and Pesto Tart

Hubby and I like to test new recipes, and this is our latest—a Tomato and Pesto Tart. We found the recipe at our local supermarket on one of the leaflets they give out to customers.

Tomato and Pesto Tart

Ingredients:

750 grams tomatoes

1 sheet of puff pastry (defrosted)

1 Tablespoon pesto

1 Tablespoon butter

Salt and Pepper

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/428F

2. Cut the tomatoes in half.

3. Melt the butter in a pan. Place the tomatoes cut side down in the pan. Add salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender.

4. Place a little of the juice from the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish. Gently remove the tomatoes from your pan and place cut side down in the ovenproof dish. Place as close together as possible.

5. Spread the pesto over one side of the pastry. Place the pastry over your dish of tomatoes with the pesto side down. Fold back any excess pastry.

6. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden.

7. Loosen the edges and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Place a plate on top of your dish and turn your tart out so the tomatoes are on the top as above.

8. Serve with a green salad.

This tart was simple yet so, so delicious. If you’re a fan of tomatoes, you’ll love this dish.

The Glamorous Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet cake seems to be everywhere I look at the moment–at a friend’s birthday party, at one of the cafes I visit in order to write and on my favorite television cooking shows.

I’m a recent convert to the Red Velvet cake, and I remember where I sampled my first piece. It was at a California Kitchen in Los Angeles for my dessert. I enjoyed every mouthful.

I’ve been wanting to try making my own for ages and found a recipe on one of my favorite local sites Baking Makes Things Better. Yesterday was the day. The actual recipe was very easy, but my trials started when I looked through my cupboard for a suitable tin to bake my cake. I had a springform tin, but I learned my lesson last year. If your cake batter is runny, do not use one of these tins because the mixture will leak through the bottom and make a mess in the oven! Take this as a public service announcement and don’t repeat my mistake.

I ended up using two loaf tins in which to bake my cake.

Red Velvet Cake

Here’s the recipe:

Dry Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups oil

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

50ml red liquid food coloring (1 bottle)

Method:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a different bowl.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.

4. Grease two tins (20 cm cake tin)

5. Place half the mixture in each tin.

6. Cook in oven preheated to 180C/360F for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

7. Cool and frost.

Frosting:

250 grams cream cheese

200 grams butter (softened)

5 cups icing sugar (Confectioner’s sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine all ingredients and frost cake.

Shelley’s notes:

1. The cake mixture is in-your-face red but it’s meant to look like that. I managed to get red cake mix everywhere. I think I had a bad day, but take care Smile

2. I didn’t have any buttermilk and used regular milk, which worked fine.

3. This cake is delicious!

Recipe: Bread Made in Crockpot

Firstly, I’m visiting out and about on the web today:

I’m with Taige Crenshaw and have a post and contest.

I have an interview and contest with Kate Hill.

And I have a writer craft post over at Savvy Authors.

During the weekend I experimented with two different recipes. There was the Ginger Oat Slice, which I posted yesterday, and today I’m posting the recipe for Bread made in a crockpot. This recipe came from Robyn Martin Bakes recipe book.

Crock Pot Bread

Ingredients:

15 grams dried yeast (1/2 ounce)

4 teaspoons sugar

2 1/2 cups warm water

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups wholemeal flour

4 cups bread making flour

Instructions:

1. Place the yeast in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. Add 1/4 of a cup of the warm water and leave for around five minutes until it looks frothy.

2. Place flour and salt plus remaining sugar in a bowl. Add the rest of the water plus the yeast mixture to the bowl and combine well.

3. Turn out onto a floured bowl and knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. Add more flour as necessary.

4. Oil your crock pot/slow cooker bowl and switch your crock pot onto high.

5. Place the dough into the crockpot and cook on high for two hours. The bread is cooked when it gives a hollow sound when tapped.

6. Cool on a wire rack.

Shelley’s notes:

1. I make bread several times a week and didn’t follow the instructions exactly.

2. After the initial kneading stage, I let my bread rest a bit in a warm place until it had risen.

3. Once it had risen, I punched it down and shaped it. At this stage I plopped it into my crock pot to cook.

4. I had to cook my bread for a bit longer than what the recipe said. I suspect that some crock pots are hotter than others.

5. I also turned my bread over and cooked the top for about ten minutes before I took it out to cool on a wire rack.

6. The final result was soft and yummy. I’ll definitely make this recipe again. I’ll probably add sunflower or pumpkin seeds and experiment with different herbs and flour.

Crock Pot Bread cut

Do you use your crock pot much?

Making the Perfect Scone

When I was a child my mother made a lot of scones. Since we lived in the country, it wasn’t easy to run out to buy a loaf of bread. Whenever we ran out of bread, mostly during the weekends when we were eating her out of house and home, she’d whip up a batch of scones. I remember cheese scones, warm from the oven, slathered with butter and date or sultana scones heaped with jam and whipped cream. My mum made excellent scones.

In the past I’ve tried making scones, with mixed results. Although the ingredients are basic, they’re tricky to make.

Here are some tips I’ve discovered along the way:

1. Work quickly and don’t over handle your scone dough.

2. Pre-heat the oven. Scones should be cooked in a super hot oven.

3. Most scone recipes tell you to rub in the butter. I find it easier and quicker to grate the butter into the dry ingredients.

4. The dough should be on the moist side rather than dry.

5. New Zealand cook, Alison Holst suggests that if you have problems with your scones, don’t make plain ones where every imperfection is evident. Try pinwheel scones or twist-type scones.

Cranberry Scones

Cranberry Scones

Ingredients:

3 cups plain flour

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

50g butter/ .44 stick butter

1 + 1/2 cups of milk

Method:

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Grate in the butter. Add the milk and mix quickly without overmixing (most important!). Place on a floured board and roll lightly until about 15mm (3/4 inch) thick. Cut into squares or use a cutter to cut out rounds.

Bake in a hot oven pre-heated to 230C (450F) for 10 minutes.

Makes around 16 scones

Cranberry Scones

Shelley’s Notes

1. I added cranberries to my scones – around 1/2 cup. You can add sultanas, chopped dates or add cheese to make savory scones.

2. I cut my scones a little bigger and ended up with 14.

3. I served my scones with cherry jam and thick Greek yoghurt I’d made. Normally, I’d go for jam and whipped cream.

4. If you have trouble with scones try this recipe-Date and Orange scones-with cream and Sprite. It’s pretty fail proof.

Cranberry Scones

Are you a scone fan? Is there a recipe from your childhood that you like to make?

Delicious Orange Muffins

Orange Muffins

This is a new recipe that I tried this week. It comes from The Best of Annabel Langbein, Great Food For Busy Lives. The muffins have an intense orange flavor and would be perfect for a breakfast or brunch. They’re unusual because the entire orange, including peel, is used in the recipe. I know – I had to read the recipe twice before I really believed I had to put the peel in as well as the flesh of the orange.

Orange Muffins

1 orange, preferably an organic one
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup orange juice
1 egg
120 g butter, melted (1 stick of butter)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

Cut the whole, unpeeled orange into chunks and remove the pips. Puree in a blender. Add the raisins, orange juice, egg and melted butter and blitz briefly to combine.

In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.

Add the liquid mixture and gently fold in until evenly combined. Don’t beat or overmix.

Spoon into greased muffin pans (I used muffin paper cases) and bake for 15 minutes or until risen and cooked through.

The recipe makes 12 small or 10 medium muffins.

Shelley’s notes:
I like cranberries, so I replaced the raisins and used cranberries instead
The cooking time will be less if you use a fan bake oven. I cooked mine for 12 minutes.

Verdict: Will I make these again? Heck, yeah. They were delicious!

Sweet Treat — Chocolate Slice

Chocolate Slice

Here’s the recipe for one of my favorite slices. It’s my father’s favorite too. It’s simple and easy to make and always goes well with a cup of tea or coffee.

250g butter (2.2 sticks/8.8 ounces)
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 T golden syrup
2 cups flour
1 cup coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
chocolate icing (frosting) and extra coconut for decoration

Melt butter, sugar, cocoa and golden syrup in a large saucepan. Do not let the mixture boil. Let it cool then add flour, coconut, baking powder and salt.

Press into a greased and baking paper lined tin and bake at 180C (350F) for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool for another ten minutes. Ice (frost) with chocolate icing. Sprinkle with extra coconut. Cut into squares and store in an airtight tin.

Shelley’s notes:
1. This recipe comes from Seasons, a year of fabulous food by Annabelle White
2. I use the normal bake setting rather than fan bake. If you use fan bake reduce the cooking time.
3. I like to add chopped cranberries or walnut pieces to the mix for a variation. (You’ve probably noticed by now that I like cranberries and add dried cranberries to everything!)

Do you have any favorite slices you like to eat/bake?

Recipe: Easter Biscuits

I used to make these biscuits (that would be cookies to those of you in the US) when I was a teenager and had a yearning to bake some last weekend. They’re easy to make and children like rolling out the dough ready for baking. I think they’re called Easter Biscuits because of the spices and currants, which also go into Hot Cross Buns.

Easter Biscuits

Here’s the recipe:

225 g (8oz) Flour
125 g (4oz) Butter (softened)
125 g (4oz) Sugar
50 g (2oz) Currants
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Grated rind of 1/2 Lemon
1 Egg

Rub butter into sifted flour and baking powder. Add remainder of ingredients. Mix to a stiff dough with beaten egg. Roll out thin, cut into large rounds with a fluted cutter. Bake 20 minutes at 180 C (350F)

Shelley’s notes:

I chucked the ingredients into my Kitchen whizz in the order specified above. It was super quick and easy.
I didn’t have currants so I used finely chopped dried cranberries.
I don’t have a cutter. I used a small bowl as my cutter.
I also added a little plain lemon icing, piping the squiggles on top of the biscuits.
My oven seems to cook quickly and I only cooked my biscuits for 15 minutes.



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