Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category
A lot of people are not too fond of christmas pudding, but these Christmas Pudding Truffles put a whole new spin on the stodgy old christmas pudding. Of course, because it is Christmas the truffles are also extremely rich and decadent, but so easy to make and just as easy to pop into your mouth!
You will need one family sized christmas pudding (the type you buy from the supermarket and steam or pop into the microwave at home),200grams of dark chocolate, 100grams of white chocolate and some red and green jelly sweets or glace cherries. I used the jelly sweets as glace cherries get eaten in my house before I can do any baking with them! If you can't find christmas pudding you can use a rich fruit cake ( approximately 400gm worth).
Melt the chocolate. I always melt it in the microwave in a porcelain bowl because I am way too lazy to use a double boiler. If you do melt the chocolate in the microwave do so carefully, 20 seconds at a time so that the chocolate melts and doesn't burn. Be careful not to stir the chocolate as this can make it hard. Just swirl it around the bowl until it's all melted.
Crumble up the christmas pudding and stir it into the chocolate. If you wanted to you could add a tot of brandy to the mixture. I didn't as I was serving to children and I felt the truffle had a rich enough flavour without the liquor. The mixture should be quite stiff. Roll the mixture into little balls. This is quite messy as your hands get full of chocolate, but be strong, keep rolling and you can lick all the chocolate off your fingers afterwards!
Allow the truffles to set in the fridge. Melt the white chocolate the same ways as you did the dark. Cut up your jelly sweets or cherries into little slivers. Dribble some white chocolate over the truffles and arrange your red and green bits to look like a holly leaf. Allow the truffles to harden again in the fridge and keep popping one in your mouth each time you open the fridge door!
My friend Esme always makes an awesome microwave chocolate cake, known as Zurkia's Chocolate Cake. The problem is I lost the recipe! I googled a few recipes and managed to find something similar. This is not really a cake, in that you can't take it out of the container you baked it in until you are serving it. I supposes that makes it more of a pudding, which is what I used it for the other day.
Somehow, I don't have an affinity with baking. I think it is a bit too precise for me - I'm from the school of "Chuck it all in, we'll see what happens!" With cooking it works very well, but baking is another story. So my advice is: Follow the recipe and hope for the best. I can't guarantee success, but if I can make it and it's edible, most people should be able too.
As an added bit of useless information, I once heard of a woman who did a doctoral thesis on chocolate cake!
So, back to the recipe.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 tbs cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup cold water or coffee
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1tsp vanilla essence
Mix all the ingredients together to form a smooth batter. Pour into a 24cm square microwave proof dish. Bake on high in the microwave for about 8 minutes, checking every 2 minutes.Once the cake is firm and you can stick a skewer into it and it comes out clean, the cake is done. Melt a slab of chocolate and smooth over the top of the cake. Esme uses whole nut chocolate which adds a nuttiness to the cake. I used dark chocolate and decorated with gold sprinkles to add richness a sparkle to it!
Slice the cake into squares and serve it with ice-cream, whipped cream of even a hot chocolate sauce. This keeps well as my boys ate the leftovers as a pre-breakfast snackthe next day!
My mom always believed that her children should be able to do anything in the house whether they were a boy or girl. Hence, my brother could bake cakes, iron shirts and vacuum a carpet with the best of them!
We always had cakes and cookies in the house and they were mostly made by my brother and me. My sister was the youngest and she figured out that if she baked really badly she would get off the hook.It worked, her stuff was truly horrible.
We made this crunchie recipe so often we knew it off-by-heart, and it always made lovely cookies. They are a great snack and they fill a hole in the nicest way if you feel like a slightly sweet snack. So, thanks mom, for teaching us to bake because I know this recipe is a hit in my home, and I'm sure in my brother's as well!
- 240gm margerine
- 2 dessert spoons syrup
- 240 gm flour
- 180 gm sugar
- 150 gm oats
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat oven to 170°c. Melt the margerine and sugar together. Mix all dry ingredients together. Pour melted margerine over and mix. Place teaspoonfuls on a baking tray and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Remove when they are golden brown and let them cool. As they cool they will become crunchy. Should make at least thirty cookies.
My youngest went on a swimming trip and parents were asked to each supply a tin of crunchies for the squad to nibble on between races. As they were small children who were racing in an outdoor pool in the middle of winter I thought they would need as much energy as possible. I added a cup of peanuts to my batter to boost the calorie value of each cookie. It worked out well and the kids enjoyed the variation for the normal crunchie.
I am not really known as a baker but I have been making these rusks at least twice a month for the last 10 years and have NEVER had a flop.
With two growing boys, a husband and two very spoiled dogs ( who are programmed to expect rusks with OUR coffee), when the rusk tin is empty panic sets in!
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law and it is one of the most wonderful gifts she could have given me. It sustains our family summer and winter and provides a crunchy nibble when anyone's feeling hungry. We eat them with or without dunking and they really are a staple food in my cupboard.
I tend to add or change a few ingredients depending on what is in my cupboard but it always turns out great.
- 350gm melted margarine
- 2 cups sugar
- 1kg Self raising flour ( I sometimes use "bran rich")
- 3 eggs
- 500ml buttermilk
- 1 cup all bran flakes/cornflakes/weetbix (optional- depending on what's in the cupboard)
- 1/4 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, linseed, sesame -also optional but great)
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional - unless you are my friend Estelle - then definitely NOT)
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Grease a 24cmx30cm tin
- Mix all ingredients together and scrape into tin
- Bake for approx 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean
- Remove and cool
This is the part where I normally have to post a guard! Slice the loaf into fingers and try not to let everyone eat the warm fingers with butter! Place the fingers onto flat baking trays and dry overnight in a warm oven (about 70°C).
Remove from oven and store in your rusk tin. Be prepared to bake again in about two weeks!