Kitchen Therapy


10 Comments

Black Forest Soft-Centered Teacups

choc cakes1

These were so quick and any easy to make!
Melt some butter and chocolate together until smooth and glossy.
Beat some eggs with sugar until fluffy, throw in a couple of spoons of flour.
Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and cook 10-12mins.
Very little effort for an amazing outcome!

choc cakes2

I have been craving Black Forest Cake, it’s a favourite of mine.
So I took Dorie’s suggestion and threw in Morello cherries.
I’m also not a big chocolate fan, I do like it though when there is another flavour to break up the sweetness.
The tart Morello cherries tasted amazing in these little teacups.

choc cakes3

The only problem I had with this recipe is that makes 4 cups and we are a family of 5!
As soon as I made these, my husband and I had to run off to the Year 10 Information Night at my son’s school.
When we returned, the kids were kind enough to leave us one cup to share.

choc cakes4

I will definitely be making these again, they are too easy and satisfying not to! Everyone loved them.
I am looking forward to reading what the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie group thought.


17 Comments

Tiger Cakes

IMG_3120

In her book Baking Chez Moi, Dorie Greenspan describes these mini bite sized cakes as “…a traditional French pastry made with egg whites, almond flour and lots of butter. The addition of finely chopped chocolate that melts and stripes the little cakes explains their name.”

IMG_3122

That sums up nicely this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe!
The problem for me however was that two out of my three children have nut allergies.
So after a little bit of research, I substituted almond flour with coconut flour.
I had read that coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture and can result in a dry and flaky end product.
Google had many suggestions on how to fix this little problem and to be honest the more I read, the more I felt overwhelmed with ratios, quantities of eggs and liquids etc to add moisture.
So I decided to keep it simple and keep the almond flour and coconut ratio the same, I replaced the cup of almond flour the recipe called for, with a cup of coconut flour.
I mixed the flour into the egg whites as the recipe instructed and then I added a cup of milk to the mixture before following the rest of the recipe as it is in the book.
My little cakes didn’t rise with baking and I was worried!
However I pulled them out and they turned out amazing.
The outside was firm and the inside was moist and delicious.
The family loved them and the only complaint I heard was “I can’t stop eating these!”
The boys in the family loved them dipped in chocolate, my daughter and I preferred the naked 🙂
IMG_3100


4 Comments

Nutella Buttons

nutella1

This week is catch up week for the Tuesdays with Dorie group. Which is great for me since I have a lot to catch up on! The Nutella Buttons were an easy choice. We are a Nutella loving family! My daughter turned 18 a few weeks ago and her friends arrived with a 5kg tub of Nutella.

nutella3

My husband is the only one who doesn’t like Nutella. He’s also the only one in the family who isn’t into superheroes and comic books. We don’t understand it but we love him nevertheless 🙂
So when completing this week’s recipe I took Dorie’s suggestion and filled some of these bite sized mini muffins with jam.

nutella2

It’s school holidays here so these didn’t last long. They were delicious!
Looking forward to reading the rest of the Tuesdays with Dorie posts.


21 Comments

Mocha Choc-Chip Cookies

mocha choc chip

It has been a long, long, while since I last posted.
I have missed everything that goes along with producing a new post.
The planning, the cooking, the photos and then putting it all together in some sort of presentable way!

At some point, I think I decided that since it had been so long since I had done anything, I needed to do something really great to make up for it. That didn’t work out so well for me… so I did more of nothing!

I became the poster child for procrastination.

Then Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia scheduled Mocha Choc Chip Cookies for this week’s recipe.

Simple.

And I realised that simple was exactly what I needed.

I put so much pressure on myself to come up with something amazing, I totally lost sight of the simple pleasures that make life special.

So on the weekend I took out my baking pans and started.
It had been so long, I actually felt a little anxious! Crazy, I know!

However, as I started mixing the dough I began to enjoy myself.

I decided to try a few different variations…

mocha choc chip

…and as soon as I pulled out one batch of cookies, my daughter and her friends ate them hot out of the oven on their way to make a video for their homework.

The next batch my husband ate most of, on his own!

The final batch I had to rescue from my boys and their friends who were running in and out of the house.

So…

Choc Chip Cookies came to my rescue!

I can’t recommend these enough. For a sweet break (and for mental health)!

Please click over to Peggy at Galettista who has the full recipe on her site!

 


17 Comments

Best Ever Brownies

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help think “best ever” claims just invite trouble!
I mean, we’re all different, with different taste and preferences…
It’s what makes life interesting.

However when it comes to these brownies, I kinda sorta feel the claim is justified.
These really were the best brownies I’ve ever had!
And I’m not even a chocolate lover.

I followed the recipe to the letter.
I knew these brownies were meant to be gooey and fudgey so I fought my natural inclination to keep cooking them until I felt comfortable.
I took a deep breath and removed them from the oven at 28 minutes.
I figured my husband and kids fight over cake batter, so barely baked brownies would not go to waste!

I did not expect to love these so much!
And we all agreed the wet gooey bits were far superior to the better cooked cakey edges.

I used 2 ounces of Cadbury Milk Baking Chocolate and 4 ounces of Lindt 70% cooking chocolate.
So I’m not sure if my milder, sweeter choice in chocolate made a big difference.
But I’ll be definitely making these again.
The entire tray was gone by the next day!

If you would like to try these for yourself, Monica from  A Beautiful Mess is this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking with Julia host and has the recipe available on her site!


19 Comments

Chocolate Mousse

I like chocolate.
However I need my chocolate to be part of something bigger.
It can be the star of the show. Definitely.
But there needs to be a show. (No matter how small!)

I prefer it’s sweetness be offset with the tartness of fruit. Strawberries. Raspberries. Pineapple.
It’s texture elevated with the addition of nuts, coconut, honeycomb, popcorn.

I’ve come to believe my chocolate preferences are an extension of my personality.
The part of me that gets bored quickly.
The part that says too much of anything (even if it’s good), can become dull and monotonous.

My husband and daughter do not share my opinion.
To be honest they passionately disagree with me.

So for them, this dessert was perfect.
They thoroughly enjoyed it.

I on the other hand struggled.
I followed Dorie’s recipe and then promptly threw it out.
I did not like it! Actually none of us did.

I turned to my collection of cookbooks and searched the internet to see what I was doing wrong and how I could improve the flavour.

I noticed a few of the recipes had butter added to the melting chocolate and cream mixed into the final product.

I ended up following Dorie’s recipe and then adding the extra’s from Donna Hay’s recipe I found here.

My hybrid mousse was much nicer.
And the raspberries took the taste to another level.
Delicious!

I’m looking forward to reading what the rest of the French Fridays with Dorie group thought of this one!


7 Comments

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

Winter is on it’s way out here in Sydney.
The days are getting longer and the temperatures are starting to average in the 20’s (degrees celsius that is).


I’m looking forward to summer fruits.
Peaches, nectarines and sweet juicy mangoes.
In the meantime, I’ve been using up left over bananas any chance I get to make banana bread.

I’ve experimented with recipes from Joy the Baker Cookbook, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, Home Baked Comfort William Sonoma and the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook to name just a few.

 

What can I say… we’ve eaten our way through a lot of banana bread!
We’ve had heated debates about which one is the best, we all have a favourite.
I’ve even gone as far as making each version a variety of ways, with nuts, with choc-chips, with both and even with bourbon (thanks to Joy the Baker)!

I’m going to go off an a tangent here so bear with me… I do have an important point!

Lately I’ve found myself with the usual crazy schedule of kid related events, like the book parade at my son’s school.

 

However, in addition to all the running around I’ve also had a string of frequent visitors stopping by for cups of tea and coffee! And because I’ve been running around more than usual, I’ve taken to stopping by a cupcake bakery store that’s just opened at our mall to grab something sweet for my guests and I to share while we chat!

Aren’t they just soooo pretty!

Now these are tasty cupcakes. Some more than others. But tasty nevertheless!

 

But as I was chatting away I couldn’t help but think how much I’d prefer to be eating the Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins that I had made the night before.

I went through a phase of making these on a very regular basis a few months ago, my daughter took them to school and she and her friends were absolutely obsessed with these and kept asking me to make more!

 

They come from one of my most flicked through books, Baked ‘New Frontiers in Baking’ by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

I cannot recommend these enough…

 

BANANA ESPRESSO CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS 

 

1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (sometimes I put up to 3 teaspoons, other times I just leave it out)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (I use Cadbury Baking Chips and I can’t help wonder if this is what takes them to the next level irresistibility!)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (or 180 degrees Celsius).
Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk and egg.

In a another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each cup about three-quarters full. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Move the muffin pan to a cooling rack, and let cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and let them finish cooling on the cooling rack.

 

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

These are honestly amazing!!!