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Monday, 30 July 2012

Pancakes !!

I start a new job today. Well, the same job but at a different place. I'm nervous but happy that I don't start until 11am. Lovely chance to sleep in and enjoy a cheeky pancake breakfast with Mr!
I never managed to master pancakes until I came across this recipe, it's fluffy but thick enough so that it doesnt spread too far in the pan. It has a lot to do with the use of malt powder in the recipe rather than sugar.
This is now my go-to pancake recipe.

  The mix after being rested
 Just a small tip for those who are nervous around frying pancakes - only flip them over once you can see little bubbles popping on the surface as below. I have killed many a pancake learning this lesson!!
 This is what you get after flipping them over - perfect!

Simply Perfect Pancakes
from King Arthur Flour
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
3 Tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar or 1/4 cup malt powder

- Beat eggs and milk with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes at high speed
- Stir in butter/vegetable oil
- Whisk dry ingredients together and mix into liquid mixture quickly and gently
- Rest for at least 15 minutes
- Grease pan and drop 1/4 cupfuls of mixture in at a time to fry, flip over when bubbles appear on the top

- After dropping the mix in to the pan, a sprinkle of blueberries on the top is a delicious addition. If using frozen berries, be sure to thaw them first. - I've done this and it's YUM!
- A grated apple added to the mix will keep the pancakes moist to be eaten later - I haven't tried this but intend to!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Oreo Cupcakes

I'm off to see a lovely friend and her son today, and it's my turn to bring dessert. Apparently her boy is a cupcake fan, so this is a perfect opportunity to make some of the yummiest cuppies out there - Oreo cupcakes!
I've tried a few different Oreo cupcake recipes over time, mostly vanilla cake with chopped up Oreos mixed through which is very yummy. This one is different as the cake mix itself is very chocolatey. I'm not generally a fan of chocolate cake, but this is an exception. It's moist and rich without being crazy sweet.
The recipe comes from Bakerella, a blog I lurk at on a regular basis. Her photography is gorgeous and makes me want to upgrade my brand new camera!

Having made this recipe a couple of times with massive success, of course the Oreos rose to the top in pretty much every cuppy this time when I want to take photos! They still taste awesome. (I've just re-read Bakerella's recipe and hers did the same thing, I suddenly feel better!!)

A whole Oreo in the bottom of the pan - these have to be good!
 This is so easy - mix it all up.
 Stick it in a jug and simply pour it into the cups!
 Ready to go
 And as if scripted, every Oreo rose to the top - except the top left, look at that one!! I was especially impressed by the lava-like explosion on the far right in the middle row.

Oreo Cupcakes
From Bakerella
Makes at least 12 cupcakes (I always get around 20!)
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup hot water
2 x packets of Oreo biscuits

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
- Line cupcake tin with baking cups
- Place one whole cookie in each cup, or alternatively break apart at least 12 cookies and place the broken pieces in each cup.
- Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bown using a wire whisk (I have a kitchenaid which is effectively cheating!)
- Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix well until thoroughly combined. Add the hot water and mix until combined.
- Transfer the batter, which will be very liquidy, to a large measuring cup and pour batter into each baking cup so that it's about three quarters full.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes
- Cool, frost with your favourite frosting (I went with a vanilla buttercream as I think chocolate may have been a bit of an overload!)
Ready to go - hope they like them!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Triple Chocolate Muffins

It's my last day on the couch relaxing before going back to work tomorrow. I had an order to post so thought I'd head to the shops while I was out - and came across the new Nestle Caramel Chocolate Bits. This was a little too exciting for me as a caramel lover, so naturally I came home with a bag of them. As I'm still in lazy couch potato mode, I thought I'd try them out with an easy favourite, Triple Chocolate Muffins.

This recipe is SO easy, but extremely yum. The vegetable oil serves to make them nice and moist, and buttermilk is always a star ingredient in any baked good!

Sift flour and cocoa, add sugar and choc bits in a bowl.
 Put eggs, oil and buttermilk in a jug.
 Mix them together!
I use a regular cupcake tin rather than a muffin pan as the muffins are so rich, I feel that muffin sized they'd be a little too much. Ready to go in the oven!
Out of the oven 20 minutes later, looking good enough to eat already..
 But adding a white chocolate melt to the top makes them that little more impressive to look at, and you can never have too much chocolate in a triple choc muffin anyway!
All melted 2 mins later and looking good!

Triple Choc Muffins - from Women's Weekly Easy Baking
Makes 12 (I got 20 by using a regular cupcake tin)
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup dark choc bits (I used milk chocolate chips)
1/2 cup white choc bits (I used caramel chips)
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
White chocolate melts, for decoration

1. Preheat oven to 200c. Line 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Sift flous and cocoa into large bowl, stir in sugar and choc bits. Stir in combined eggs, buttermilk and oil. Do not over mix, mixture should be lumpy.
3. Divide mixture into paper cases. Bake muffins 20 minutes, remove from oven. Top each muffin with a white chocolate melt, return to oven and bake a further 2 minutes.
4. Stand muffins in pan 5 minutes before removing to cool fully on wire rack.