Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daring Bakers January - Tuiles

This was my first daring bakers challenge and I am so excited. And a challenge it was. I don't think I would have ever thought of making these if it wasn't on daring bakers. I'm not sure I mastered it but i tried! Mine were a little bit thicker and chewier then I think they are supposed to be, and I can't say that it was the most creative creation. But completed it is.
I made two similar creations. One was Cookie bowls with ice cream, the other was pink wafers to make an ice cream sandwich. Both lots of cookies with edged with chocolate.
This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Baking Soda and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

Tuiles with banana split ice cream and strawberries

65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
dash of vanilla extract
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 
1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
pink food
chocolate, melted to decorate

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

Outline the desired shape on a piece of parchment paper. Use a spatula to spread the mixture into shape. Leave some room in between shapes. Mix a small amount of batter with the food coloring to make alternate coloured cookies. 

Bake in preheated over (180C/350F) for about 5 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from baking sheet and shape or bend into desired shape. There have to be shaped  when still warm. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I continue my Australia Day celebrations with one of the few recipes that can be claimed as Australian.  Australia has great food but not very many dishes that are truly Australian.  Our country is such a mix of different cultures and influences that we have no distinct flavour or cuisine.  Lamingtons however belong to us!  They are simply sponge cake squares dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. Traditionally made from stale (or day old) sponge so that it is easier to handle.  They are simple yet amazing. I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't like lamingtons.  Some variations also contain cream, or cream and jam. You can also get them as larger cakes or rolls (roulade).  I've stuck with the traditional lamington of just plain ol' sponge.
They can be a little messy to make, but my tip is to use a fork to dip the sponge in the chocolate and coconut. The fork marks will be hidden by the chocolate that soaks into the sponge. If you are pressed for time you can use pre-made sponge. 

Happy Australia Day!!  

recipe from AWW Bake


6 eggs

⅔ cup  (150g) caster sugar

⅓ cup (50g) cornflour

½ cup (75g) plain flour

⅓ cup (50g) self-raising flour

2 cups (160g) desiccated coconut


4 cups (640g) icing sugar

½ cup (50g) cocoa powder

15g butter

1 cup (250mL) milk


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 20cmx 30cm lamington pan; line base with baking paper, extending paper 5cm over long sides.

Beat eggs in medium bowl with electric mixer about 10 minutes or until think and creamy; gradually beat in sugar, dissolving between additions. Fold in triple-sifted flours. Spread mixture into pan.

Bake cake about 35 minutes. Turn cake onto baking-paper-covered wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make icing. Cut cake into 16 piees; dip each square in icing, drain off excess. Toss squares in coconut. Place lamingtons onto wire rack to set.

Icing Sift icing suar and cocoa into medium heatproof bowl; stir in butter and milk. Set bowl over medium saucepan of simmering water; stir until icing is of a coating consistency. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

ANZAC Biscuits

Yesterday I was talking about traditions and how they get started. ANZAC biscuits are an Australian tradition with an interesting history. The most common theory as to their origin is that they were made by women in Australia during WW1 to send to the Australian soldiers overseas. They could survive the often long journey and are made from simple ingredients. They are a delicious biscuit made from oats, maple syrup, coconut and some other baking staples. Most are crunchy (like this recipe here) but chewy varieties are available.

An interesting fact too, is that they legally cannot be called ANZAC cookies. In fact Subway Restaurant over here in Australia removed their ANZAC 'cookies' from the menu after getting into some legal trouble with the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more about ANZAC biscuits here and here

And now to Sunday Baking, my weekly round-up of baking in the blog world.

ANZAC Biscuits


1 cup plain flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup desiccated coconut

125g butter, cubed

1/4 cup golden syrup (I'm told its similar to dark corn syrup)

1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda


1. Preheat the oven to moderate 180C/350F. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar, oats and coconut and make a well in the centre.

3. Put the butter and golden syrup together in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat. Dissolve the bicarb in 1 tablespoon boiling water and add immediately to the butter mixture. It will foam up instantly. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.

4. Drop level tablespoons of mixture onto the trays, allowing room for spreading. Gently flatten each biscuit with your fingertips. Bake for 20 minutes, or until just browned, leave on the tray to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mars Bar Slice - or Chocolate Crunch Slice

I'm not sure how traditions or family favourites start. Where does the recipe come from? Who made them first? How do they become so important?  This recipe has been a staple at family gatherings since I was a kid. I'm not sure who first made it, or why its so popular but it is. Of course the taste has something to do with it. The carmel and chocolate of the mars bar mixed with the rice bubbles is amazing. Its not as popular as its close relative the chocolate crackle but in our family its king.  It still appears at all family gatherings even though all the 'kids' are in there 20s and 30s. And we still get just as excited. 

***sneak peak*** its a big baking weekend this weekend so keep an eye out for some great sweet treats over the coming days. Happy Australia Day! 

Mars Bar Slice  (Or Chocolate Crunch Slice)
I do mine from memory but I know the recipe can be found in AWW Cakes and Slices


3 65g Mars Bars, chopped (If you're in the USA this is similar to a milky way bar)

90g butter

3 cups Rice Bubbles (Rice Krispies)


200g milk chocolate, chopped

30g butter


1. Grease a 19cmx 29cm lamington pan.

2. Combine Mars Bars and butter in a large saucepan, stir continuously over low heat without boiling until mixture is smooth; stir in rice bubbles.

3. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan, spread with topping. Refrigerate into set before cutting. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jewelry Box

I bought this box a long time ago always knowing what I wanted to do with it but never getting around to it. Well thanks to all that spare time over christmas/new year the plain old $5 box was transformed into this jewelry keeper. 

Project Materials:

Wooden Storage box

PVA craft glue

Pattern paper

Acrylic paint

Mod Podge

Silver bird laser stickers

To make:

Remove the hinges and clasps from the box. Measure the inside compartments and cut out the individual pattern paper pieces. Glue down using PVA glue and seal with Mod Podge.

Paint the entire box with two coats of acrylic paint (I used antique white). When the paint is dry apply two coats of Mod Podge. 

Apply the silver bird stickers to the glass window. Put the hinges and Clasp back onto the box to finish it off. 

Low-fat Double Chocolate Brownies

This has been on my to-cook list since I first saw it and I can't believe I've been missing out for so long! This is a great recipe. The brownies came out beautiful and moist. Not too sweet but very rich and chocolate-y. And can you believe its low fat!! (well *lower* fat) Definitely a keeper. I struggle alot with eating so much sugar and saturated fats when I do my baking, so to know that low-fat recipes are possible is great. Although those high-fat recipes will keep coming! Moderation is the key, remember.  

Sunday Baking goes bananas this week! There was a bit of a banana theme running through some of the blogs this week so I decided to showcase all those uses for almost gone bananas. 

If you would like to submit a post for Sunday Baking email me at sundaybaking[at]hotmail[dot]com

Low-fat Double Chocolate Brownies
Recipes from Recipes+ October 2008


160g/6oz good quality dark eating chocolate, chopped (mine was mixture of dark and milk melts)

80g/1/3 cup reduced-fat margarine

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup no-fat vanilla yogurt

3/4 cup plain flour

1/4 cup self-raising flour

1/4 cup white choc bits (I used dark choc bits)


1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C/340F. Grease and line a shallow 20cm/8in square pan with baking paper.

2. Place chocolate and margarine in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until melted and combined. Remove from heat; stir in sugar. Cool slightly.

3. Stir in eggs until just combined. Stir in the yogurt, then flours. Spread the mixture in pan; smooth the surface. Sprinkle evenly with choc bits.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is firm. Cool to room temperature. Chill for 2 hours or until firm before cutting. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rice Krispie Treats

I seem to have a habit of cooking things completely different to what I intend. Perhaps its poor planning, or indecisiveness, or both.  I have been wanting to make muesli (granola) bars for a few days now and today was going to the day. But an inspection of the pantry showed that there was no muesli. In an attempt to use up those things already in the house (read: couldn't be bothered going to buy anything) I decided to use up some marshmallows that had been no good for s'mores and some rice bubbles that had been around for awhile. Not as healthy as the muesli bars but they did the trick! 

Rice Krispie Treats
Original recipe from kelloggs - adapted to make smaller quantity

1 tablespoon of butter
2 cups rice bubbles (krispies)
half packet of marshmallows
choc chips and sprinkles to decorate

In a large saucepan melt butter and marshmallows. Stir in rice bubbles. Spread into greased pan. Decorate with chips and sprinkles. Allow to set in fridge. 

Nice and Easy!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hummingbird Cake

I am a picky eater. I mean a really really picky eater. I don't eat any vegetables (well potato but I don't think that counts) and apples are about the only fruit I'll eat on their own. But I will eat some fruit and tomatoes if they're mixed in with something, such as pasta sauce or cake. Which is why I have no problem with this hummingbird cake. Give me a banana on its own and I won't touch it. Mix it into a cake and I'll eat it all up. Same with pineapple, won't eat it on its own but in this cake I loved the flavour. I wasn't all that pleased with the chunky-ness of the pineapple but I'm sure less picky eaters will love it (as my taste-testers did!)  

I found some great recipes in the blog world this week to highlight for Sunday Baking. Here is a small selection to inspire. 

Hummingbird Cake
Another recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly Bake

450g (1lb) can pineapple in syrup
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup mashed banana
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 cups icing (confectioners) sugar
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pineapple syrup


Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (375 F). Grease deep 23cm-square cake pan (9 inch); line base with baking paper. 

Drain pineapple over medium bowl, pressing with spoon to extract as much syrup as possible. Reserve ¼ cup syrup.

Sift flours, soda, spices and sugar into large bowl. Stir in drained pineapple, reserved syrup, coconut, banana, eggs and oil. Pour mixture into pan.

Bake cake about 40 minutes. Stand cake in pan 5 minutes; turn, top-side, onto wire rack to cool.

Make frosting; spread cold cake with frosting.

Frosting: Sift icing sugar into a bowl, stir in vegetable oil and syrup.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Drop Scones

Today was one of those days that I just wanted to get in the kitchen as soon as work finished. I had spent most of the day thinking about how I would perfect the chocolate fruit and nut I attempted yesterday, I think I've got it figured out. Put like usual, things didn't go to plan. When I grabbed the leftover fruit and nut I discovered the half-full bag I had left yesterday was now almost empty. My tip, don't leave food lying around the house for other people to eat. 

I wasn't cooking dinner tonight (we share it around) so after dinner my kitchen craving was still there. Solution: simple drop scones. These are kinda like mini pancakes or pikelets but the mixed spice and nutmeg give them a lovely flavour. They are great accompanied with jam and cream or chocolate sauce. I smothered mine in Nutella.  They were exactly what I needed!

Drop Scones


1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon honey


1. Sift flour, mixed spice, nutmeg and bicarb into a bowl. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre. 

2. In a jug, whisk together milk, egg and honey. Gradually beat into flour mixture until well combined

3. Heat a large frying pan on medium. Spray with oil. Drop tablespoonsful of the mixture into the pan. Cook in 5 batches for 1-2 minutes until bubbles form on the surface and begin to break and the underside is golden. Turn and cook the other side for 1 minute. Wrap cooked ones in a clean tea towel to keep warm while cooking the remainder. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Recipe Conversions

So being over here in Australia with our strange ingredient names and metric system I thought a quick conversion guide might be handy. 


Common Ingredient Measurements

Liquid Measurement

Ingredient names

Oven Temperatures

Cake Pans

Sources from

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Raspberry Butter Cake

I'm not sure if its just because its a busy time of year but I feel like the last week or so has flown by. Its time to go back to work tomorrow and I don't think I got nearly as much done as I was hoping. But not to worry. I did manage to get some baking done. 

There were some leftover raspberries in the freezer and I decided to use them today for my Sunday baking. I have been meaning to get a start on baking my way through the Australian Women's Weekly Bake cookbook I got a little while ago so chose a simple Raspberry Butter Cake. The recipe went together pretty well but the timing was a little off. The recipe called for an hour of baking but when I checked it at 50 minutes it was over done, it probably should have come out at about 45 minutes. It was still pretty good though. 

I've spent a lot of the week checking out lots of other food blogs and decided that there are so many great recipes out there I might share a few that I've found. So I'm officially starting Sunday Baking blog highlights. Along with my own Sunday Baking recipe, I'm going to share a few other blogging highlights I've found during the week.

Raspberry Butter Cake
Australian Women's Weekly Bake


125g butter, softened

¾ cup (135g) caster sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups (225g) self-raising flour

½ cup (125ml) milk

¾ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)


Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease deep 20cm round cake pan, line base with baking paper.

Beat butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Transfer mixture to medium bowl; stir in sifted flour and milk, in two batches. Fold ¼ cup raspberries into mixture.

Spread three-quarters of cake mixture into pan; sprinkle with remaining raspberries. Spread remaining cake mixture over raspberries. 

Bake cake about 45 minutes (original recipe called for about an hour). Stand cake in pan 5 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.

If you have recently posted a baking recipe that you would like to be considered for Baking Sunday send me an email at sundaybaking[at]hotmail[dot]com.