Thursday, 15 July 2010

mocha coconut slice

My cousin most aptly pointed out the other day that there seemed to be a lot baking posts on my blog. He asked me whether I was still doing my restaurant reviews or if I enjoyed baking more. To be quite honest, I really do enjoy both and well, the overkill of baking posts comes about because these were all the things I ended up baking for the catering do I did back in May. Now that I look back through the photos, it does seem rather alarming and well, yes, I do seem to have an extraordinary collection of photos of cake being mixed at different stages!

Here are the books or shall I say 'bibles' that got through my catering do. I can't say which book I like more; I really love them all! Anyway, the recipe I'm about to share with you is from Woman's Day 'Sweet treats' (the mag at the top of the pile).

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease and line a 18x28cm slice pan with baking paper extending 2cm above pan edges.

In a large bowl, combine 125g melted butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 lightly beaten egg. Mix well. Stir in 1/2 cup sifted plain flour, 1/4 cup sifted self-raising flour and 2 tbsp cocoa powder. Fold in 1 cup dessicated coconut.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm. Cool completely in the pan. For the icing: In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp instant coffee and 1 tsp warm water, stirring until the coffee dissolves. Add 1 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar and 1 tsp butter and mix well. Stir in enough hot water until icing is a spreadable consistency.

Spread icing over slice.

Cut into squares.

In hindsight, I should've dusted these with the cocoa and grated chocolate like the recipe recommends but at the time, I got so busy trying to get things baked and packed that I didn't even think twice. I think they look rather cute and dainty in their little paper cupcake liners and in some ways, the simpler the presentation the better.

I had a tiny square of this (not exactly the best idea when you are trying to pack them into a square box where it becomes immediately obvious if you've had a slice or not) and I do love the combination of chocolate, coffee and coconut. The icing is a tad sweet but pairs well with the slighter drier texture of the cake.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

cinnamon jam drops

I've made jam drops a handful of times now and despite making them repeatedly, I love making them! I love the colour and how simple they are to make, you can easily knock up a batch in no time! These were made for the catering event I had over a month ago (let's say I'm way behind in my posting and I am literally only halfway through posting all the recipes that were made for the event) - they turned out nice and soft to the bite with a good hit of cinnamon spice goodness. Most recipes for jam drops don't seem to have the ground cinnamon in it but I do strongly recommend the cinnamon for depth of flavour.

Recipe from Marie Claire's 'Kitchen'.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. In a bowl, cream together 210g softened unsalted butter and 12 tbsp caster sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add in 3 beaten eggs. Sift in 270g self raising flour, 3 tsp ground cinnamon and 9 tbsp rice flour. Fold together all ingredients until just combined.

Roll 1 tsp of the dough into a ball and place on a lined baking tray. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Press a deep indent into the centre of each ball.

Fill with a selection of your favourite jams. In my case, I used blueberry conserve and orange marmalade. Try to use jams which are thick so that the jam doesn't run. I love Bonne Maman jam to bits but find that the jam tends to spread more than I would like it to.

Keep filling the balls of dough with jam. FYI: I've tripled the original recipe which is why I have so many trays of jam drops. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove from tray to cool. Once cool, pack away into an airtight container. There should be about 108 individual jam drops in this box!

Well maybe not quite as many as 108 jam drops because I did start eating them. I find jam drops rather addictive (especially when they're bite sized). Before you know it, you've scoffed down a handful!

Monday, 12 July 2010

sweet blog award

I was awarded the 'Sweet Blog Award' way back in May by the lovely Mashi. Thanks ever so much for the award chick! And well, in the usual fashion of blog posts piling up, I've finally managed to get around to doing this post and would like to pass this award along to some of my favourite chicks/blogs out there. Thank you girls ever so much for popping by blog and leaving comments - I really do appreciate it and seeing your comments really does make my day!

The Sweet Blog Award Rules Are:
  • Give this award to 10 sweet and friendly bloggers
  • Make a post about the award including the picture and mention the person who gave it to you
  • Put the award on your blog
  • Let your nominated 10 know you've awarded them by leaving a comment

I'm passing this award along to:

Girls - you all deserve this award!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

mini florentines

Whenever I see florentines, I think of the ones I used to make at Le Cordon Bleu. To date, the Le Cordon Bleu ones are the best I've seen and tasted and in hindsight, I really should've pulled out that recipe before I made this batch. This was almost like a cheat's version and well, whilst comparatively easier and quicker to make, they just weren't quite a proper florentine (I really need to see where I put my Le Cordon Bleu folder and trust me, that's the only recipe you'll need to have).

Anyway, if you're after a quick florentine fix, you'll find it in the AWW 'Macaroons & Biscuits' book. This ended up being my bible for all my catering baking and having made the choc nut slice with half a box of cornflakes, this batch of florentines easily finished the box.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line oven trays with baking paper. Combine 4 cups corn flakes, 240g sultanas and 120g roasted flaked almonds in a bowl. Quarter 200g red glace cherries and add to the bowl.

Add 320ml sweetened condensed milk.

Drop tablespoons of mixture about 5cm apart on trays. 

Bake for about 5 minutes.

Let to cool on trays.

Spread the bases of the florentines with melted dark chocolate. Run fork through chocolate to make a wave pattern. Stand at room temperature until set.

These pics you see are the best ones from the day. Not sure where I went wrong but I had half trays that baked ok but then crumbled into pieces as soon as I tried tipping it in chocolate. Then to salvage (and not waste anything), I started stuffing these into my mouth and managed to get chocolate all over the place. A bit on my face, a bit on my sleeve, some on the table, a little bit on the chair and some dried bits of chocolate are still to be found scattered throughout the kitchen as I if I can offer any advice, don't wave your arms around when you're stuffing yourself with melted chocolate - the result is chocolate everywhere and I am living proof of it.