Anzac Biccies

I’m a few months late… I had intended on making these since before Anzac Day (celebrated in Australia and New Zealand on April 25) but just hadn’t gotten around to it until now.

Actually, that’s not entirely true…  I did attempt a gluten and refined sugar free anzac a month or so ago but it was not what you’d call a success what with me eating half of the mixture uncooked- thanks to the lack of eggs- and the other half congealing into one large biscuit while in the oven. Whoops.

This second attempt happened because on my “time out” afternoon one of my treats was a vegan anzac and hot-damn it was sensational. So much so that the following day I stocked up on ingredients and got to baking.

Anzac biscuits

I wasn’t so concerned with keeping these babies vegan, but still wanted to give them a gluten and refined sugar free twist.

This time around I also followed a recipe- always helpful. And I am please to announce that they were exactly what I was after! Just out of the oven they were crunchy on the edges and chewy in the middle. The following day they were super-chewy all over. As a result I may bake them for a little longer next time, because there will most definitely be a next time!

Anzac biscuits

I pretty much stuck to the recipe entirely, aside from subbing the macadamias for additional oats, so there is really no need to rehash it here, head on over to I Quit Sugar and get baking!

Oh and if you’re wondering… they go particularly well with Greek yoghurt and fresh juicy strawberries…

Anzac biscuits

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Banana protein muffins

I have a biology exam on Friday. This is the second time I have attempted the subject because last time the exam was on I was in Europe and holidays aren’t a good enough reason for deferrals… It wasn’t a bad thing, I think having to go over everything a second time was helpful.

Anyway, procrastination is a wonderful thing. Procrastination lead to these muffins. Well procrastination and 3 overripe bananas on my kitchen bench. I had actually been wanting to make a muffin for a little while now so this presented the perfect opportunity.

I knew that I wanted to make these grain free and protein packed, so after a little perusal of standard banana muffin recipes to get the proportions I headed to the kitchen. And the result wasn’t too shabby at all. banana protein muffinsbanana protein muffins

Banana protein muffins

Ingredients
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I use Sun Warrior)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts
Pinch of salt
125gr coconut oil, melted
1/2tsp vanilla
1/3-1/2 cup almond milk
3 eggs, lightly whisked
3 bananas, mashed
1 1/2tsp apple cider vinegar

Method
1. Combine your dry ingredients, except walnuts
2. Make a well and throw in all your wet ingredients- except apple cider vinegar- mix it all up
3. Add your banana and walnuts, don’t mix it too much you want some banana chunks in there
4. Mix in your apple cider vinegar last
5. Spoon into a lined muffin tray
6. Bake at 180*c for 20-25 minutes
7. Allow to cool and try not to eat them all at once

banana protein muffinsEnjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

There are few things in life as satisfying as pulling freshly baked chocolate chip cookies from the oven. The smell is enough to make me a little weak in the knees, and I  don’t even eat them anymore. IMG_2405I mean look at them… all golden with flecks of chocolate, just begging to be eaten before they are appropriately cooled.

Everyone has a go-to recipe for chocolate chip cookies. My go-to has evolved over the years to arrive at this fail safe, always incredible, mouth watering, concoction. IMG_2403Even the raw dough looks incredible. There have been times when I’ve bought those cookie dough rolls just to eat them raw… so good. IMG_2404They are perfectly bite sized at this stage. One mouthful. Gone. What raw cookie dough?IMG_2406But then you wait and that smell comes out of your oven! Good lord. What a smell.IMG_2407Then you box them up and take them all out of your house (much to the disppointment of the BF). They were highly appreciated in the wee hours of morning during Relay for Life, I am sure.

Chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup (235 grams) butter
2 cups plain flour
0.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar (I sometimes do half white, half raw if I feel inclined)
2.5 cups oat bran (I like mine a little bit chunky still, it gives the cookies a chewier texture)
200gr milk chocolate
140-200gr dark chocolate

Method:
1. pre-heat over to 180*c (350*f) and line some cookie trays with baking paper
2. combine flour, oat bran, salt, baking power and baking soda in a bowl, set aside
3. cream your butter and sugars until they are looking fluffy and glorious (you’ll know it when you see it)
4. add vanilla and eggs one at a time, beat baby, beat
5. add your flour mixture gradually until it’s all combined
6. roughly chop all of your chocolate, I use chocolate blocks rather than chips because it melts rather than holding its shape giving you these pockets of chocolate goodness… is anyone else drooling a little?
7. mix your chopped chocolate through your dough, get in there with your hands for even distribution
8. Roll dough into balls, I go with about a teaspoon of mixture, place them on your prepared tray a little way apart so it doesn’t become one big cookie (would that be so bad though, really?)
9. bake for 8-10 minutes, if you want them crispier leave them a little longer, I personally like them soft and chewy so 8-10 is perfection.
10. pull out of oven and try not to burn the roof of your mouth while stealing piping hot cookies off the tray,

Chocolate-chocolate cupcakes + chocolate-salted caramel donuts

Today, despite the fact it was another day of 35*c, was a baking kind of day. Not in my little hot box of a house though, instead I went to visit a friend who has recently moved into an amazing new house built by her very talented husband. Everything is brand-spanking-new, including the self-cleaning over and crazy effective AC. IMG_1822First up to decide on recipes. After much deliberation we went for Magnolia’s chocolate-chocolate cupcakes (possibly the favourite cupcake variety of the BF) and chocolate-salted caramel donuts.

IMG_1823The thing that makes Magnolia’s chocolate cupcakes better than any other? Melted dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder.

IMG_1824Sifting, sifting, sifting… this sifter was super cute but not terribly effective. Not a lot was sifted after this point.

IMG_1837IMG_1821Beating. Creaming. Mixing. Whipping.

IMG_1825Action scooping. Ice cream scoops give you the perfect amount every time, so all of your cupcakes will be the same size, no arguments over who got more cake. IMG_1826And with a near empty bowl into the oven they went. In the interests of full disclosure I’ve no idea what happened once these went into the oven. All of them oozed out the sides and were flat as pancakes on top. I was pretty much mortified.

IMG_1833Icing however can do wonders, especially when applied with fervour by a three and a half year old who ate nearly as much icing as she spread. Sprinkle application was also professional as hell- look at the coverage achieved on the far right!

Donut time.

IMG_1836 IMG_1828Mixed and into pans. Donut pans are magic. This is only the second time I have used them and my goodness I was pleased.

IMG_1829Out of the oven, cooling and waiting for salted-caramel icing. IMG_1830Iced and sprinkled with salt.

IMG_1832BOOM. These babies 100% redeemed the cupcake disaster and apparently tasted just like sticky date pudding.

Recipe wise the cupcakes were Magnolia’s chocolate cupcakes with the chocolate buttercream, which you can find here. The donuts have been pinned on my donuts, oh donuts pinterest board for some time, you can them here.

It’s been far too long since I have baked for no reason at all than simply to be in the kitchen, and it’s even more rare to be doing it with someone else, usually it’s just little ol’ me. I loved being in the kitchen with friends, and kids. A very happy Saturday indeed.

Profiteroles

A good friend of mine just turned 30. Next weekend she is having a party and requested a croquembouche as her cake. I have never attempted a profiterole, let alone a whole lot of them and then fashioned them into a tower…

So, some practice was in order. And that happened today.  I was scared, intimidated by this French classic. But with the help from the BF (who had tried his hand at choux pastry before) I think it has been conquered.

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I googled (and decided on Gordon Ramsey’s recipe which I found here) and measured. He whisked. I particularly like the bottom action shots.

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Then there was the piping (him) and the baking (me). Here is where I deviated from Gordon’s recipe just a tad. Rather than make the chocolate sauce it calls for I went for a toffee dipped and cream filled delight… dipping in toffee is a dangerous business, be wary if you choose to do the same.

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But it does make ’em look all glossy when they’re done. Not too bad for a first attempt, right?