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Archive for October 2008

Today is my baby girl’s birthday. I can’t believe how fast time has flown. She is just a treasure (most times) and i still love her to bits (except when she’s destroyed something of mine – which sadly is a common occurance). It’s not hard to remember her birthday, being born on Halloween and all… (maybe that’s where she gets her evil shoe biting traits from?) Nevertheless, she is the happiest, craziest, most lovableĀ dog you’ll ever come across šŸ™‚

Being a Friday, i’m not sure if i’ll have time to bake her a doggy cakeĀ so i thinkĀ iĀ may just treat her with her favourite dinner of raw chicken and rice. For dessert,Ā it’ll have to beĀ none other than aĀ big, juicy pigs ear (eww!)

Happy 2nd Birthday Molly!

Happy 2nd Birthday Molly!

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Even though the weather has become a little warmer lately, i’m still finding myself wanting to eat comfort food. It’s been a strange Spring actually, we’ve had the coldest day in October since 1962 (or something like that) and the warmest day in something like 12 years.

This unpredictable weather makes preparing dinner difficult cos i usually like to eat according to the weather. Anyway, i had bought the ingredients for this chicken and leek pie and thankfully it was a nice cool day for it.

Chicken & Leek Pie

Chicken & Leek Pie

Chicken & Leek Pie

Makes 4 individual pies or 1 large pie

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 400 grams skinless chicken thighs or breasts (chopped)
  • 100 grams short cut bacon (diced)
  • 3/4 cup leek (finely sliced)
  • 1 large garlic glove (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed grated cheedar cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3-4 sheets puff pastry (thawed)

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or frying pan over high heat
  2. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally for about 7 minutes or until golden. Remove chicken and set aside
  3. Reduce heat to medium low. Add bacon, leek and garlic to saucepan and cook, stirring for about 3 minutes or until leek has softened and bacon is cooked. Set mixture aside with chicken
  4. Over medium low heat, add butterĀ to saucepan and allow to melt. Add flour and cook for 1 minute whilst stirring
  5. Add stock, wine and cream, stirring continuously. Increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes
  6. Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper and remove from heat
  7. Add chicken, bacon & leek and cheese to saucepan. Stir to combine and set aside to cool
  8. Pre-heat oven to 200C (180C fan forced)
  9. Grease 4 ramekins and invertĀ onto puff pastry. Cut around the ramekins to form a base, sides and lids
  10. Ease puff pastry into ramekins making sure there are no air bubbles under the pastry. Trim overhanging pastry with a sharp knife
  11. Divide chicken mixture evenly among ramekins
  12. Brush edges of pastry with water and press firmly along the edges with a fork
  13. Using a sharp knife, cut a small cross on top of each pie
  14. Bake pies for about 25-30 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.

This recipe was adapted from Exclusively Food šŸ™‚

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I think i’m over making brownies (for now) and have found a new favourite recipe. Not only does it taste good and look good, it’s healthy for you. Ok, so not really but it contains fruit and there’sĀ no trace of chocolate so it’s my story and i’m sticking to it.

I forgot this recipe contained sour cream so i didn’t have any on hand but i must say, after tasting it i don’t even know if you really need it.Ā It was perfect without it so i wouldn’t worry too much if you skip it.

Banana Cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes

  • 125 grams butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 150 grams sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (160C fan forced)
  2. Cream butter and sugar together, using an electic mixer until light and fluffy
  3. Beat eggs in one at a time
  4. Add mashed banana, sour cream and milk and mix with a wooden spoon until combined
  5. Add sifted flour, bicarb and cinnamon and fold through until combined well
  6. Place a generous tablespoon of batter into muffin trays lined with patty cases. Try not to overload the cases as it will rise too much
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool
  9. Once cooled, top with cream cheese icing and decorate

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 30 grams butter (softened)
  • 100 grams cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until well combined and fluffy
  2. Slowly, add icing sugar, beating well before adding more

This recipe was adapted from Helen’s Grab Your Fork Blog šŸ™‚

This Caramel Slice recipe has to be one of the easiest recipes ever. I always have a can of condensed milk in the pantry so whenever i’m feeling like a sugar hit i just whip these up. The only thing i don’t like about this is that there is a lot of waiting around for things to set. If you’re impatient like me, you can skip that part. It’ll still taste yummy, just won’t look as good.

Caramel Slice

Base Ingredients
1 cup plain flour (sifted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
125 gms unsalted butter (melted)

Filling Ingredients
400 gms can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbs golden syrup
60 gms butter (melted)

Topping Ingredients
60 gms copha
125 gms good quality dark chocoalte (chopped)

Base Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Line a 3 cm, 28 x 28cm (base) lamington pan.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  4. Press into prepared lamington pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool.

Filling Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook and whisk for 8 minutes, or until golden.
  3. Pour over cooked base and bake for 12 minutes or until firm.
  4. Cool completely and refridgerate for 2-3 hours or until set.

Topping Method

  1. Place copha and chocolate into a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
  2. Stir until melted.
  3. Pour over caramel and refridgerate to set.
  4. Cut into square and serve.

I am so excited – i have just booked myself into a wedding cookie class! The original class i wanted to take at Planet Cake was fully booked so i have been searching high and low for another one. As it’s fast approachingĀ Christmas all classes were full so i was just about to give up when i came across this one. It’s not really cake decorating (which is what i wanted to try) but it’s close enough (hey you can still eat it).Ā But best of all,Ā it’s wedding themed so i am SOLD!

Class starts next Saturday (1st November) through Cake Decorating Central and goes for 3 hours. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun so i promise a full report and lots of photos.

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I can’t count the amount of times i’ve made brownies. Each time i make them, i want to perfect it even further. My first brownies were rather ordinary. It looked like a good brownie but when you bite into it didn’t sing in your mouth like it’s supposed to. Yesterday, i came across this recipe and decided to try it out. It’s not quite the perfect brownie but it’s pretty darn close!

Chocolate Brownie

Chocolate Brownie

Chocolate BrowniesĀ 

  • 300 gms good quality dark chocolate (finely chopped)
  • 120 gms unsalted butter (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten lightly)
  • 1 cup plain flour (sifted)
  • 100 gms additional good quality chocolate (dark, milk or white – whichever you prefer)
  • Icing sugar or cocoa powder (for dusting)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
  2. Grease a 19cm square cake tin with butter and line with non stick baking paper.
  3. Combine finely chopped butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium – low heat. Use a metal spoon to stir until melted.
  4. Add caster sugar and stir through till sugar is melted.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add whisked eggs and flour till mixture is combined and fairly smooth.
  7. Fold in chopped chocolates.
  8. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Set aside and cool for 20 minutes.
  10. Dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder.
  11. Cut into squares and serve with vanilla ice-cream.
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It’s been awhile but it’s so good to be back!Ā I thought i could give it up, you know, talking, thinking, eating food but i can’t. It’s all i seem to do these days and so i decided to revive my food blog. As you can see, it’s got a new look and i promise to make it bigger and better than ever. In the mean time, i’ll be slowly transferring my old posts over so you may see some double-ups for awhile.Ā 

For those who know me well know that I am always up for new (food) challenge so if you see a recipe that looks interesting and you’d like me to try it, send it my way and i’ll see what i can do.

Bon appetit! xo