Sunday, November 27, 2011

Coffee Syrup Cake

Coffee Syrup Cake

185g unsalted butter
185g caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon lemon zest
250g sour cream
60g plain yoghurt
235g self-raising flour
25g ground almonds

250ml strong coffee
125g caster sugar
2 tbsp cognac

1) Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease a 23 cm fluted ring tin. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg yolks; add the lemon zest. Beat well. Add the combined sour cream with the yoghurt alternately with the sifted flour. Stir in the almonds.

2) Beat the whites until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon, fold them into the flour mixture. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160C. Bake for another 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Cool completely.

3) To make the syrup, combine the coffee, sugar and cognac in a saucepan over a low heat without boiling until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 3 minutes to reduce. Remove from heat and cool slightly. 

4) Skewer random holes on top of the cake. Spoon the syrup over it. 

You can serve this with whipped cream and chocolate curls. But I preferred it plain.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 175°C.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter mixture. Stir in the oats, raisins and walnuts.

3. Scoop the cookies onto a baking tray and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes taking them out when golden at the edges.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate Muffins

You can make 6 extra large muffins if you have large tin. I only had small so I got 12. If you make them larger, don't forget to bake longer. It should take about 30 minutes. I baked mine for 20 minutes.


2 eggs
220 g sugar
110 g all-purpose flour
70g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
160 ml milk
150 g butter
120 g semisweet chocolate chips (optional) (I didn't add any)


  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
  2. Put paper muffin cups into your 6 extra large or 12-15 medium muffin tins.
  3. Beat the eggs with sugar. 
  4. Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla.
  5. Add the dry ingredients along with the milk into the egg mixture.
  6. Fold in the melted butter.
  7. Add chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes for large muffins, or 20 minutes for medium size muffins or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool completely before serving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quick Apple Pancakes

~3-4 medium apples, shredded
3/4 cup flour
1 level teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons sugar (You should add more if you want sweet pancakes)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
some water (I don't know how much exactly I used, maybe about 3/4 cup. Add as much as needed to get a thick consistency.)

Mix the dry ingredients, then beat in the egg. Mix in the apples and finally add water. (Unfortunately, I didn't have any buttermilk. I'm sure they would come out even better with the buttermilk. So you can definitely substitute water with buttermilk.) Then cook them on preheated skillet for ~10 minutes. At first I bake them on low heat until golden and then increase the heat to medium and bake until golden brown. 

Serve with a dollop of sour cream

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Brownie Pie

Brownie Pie
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Preheat oven to 180°C. 

Lightly grease a baking dish. Mix the flour, sugar, chopped chocolate, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt until well blended. 

Add the eggs and oil and mix until blended. Scrape into the pie plate and spread evenly. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the top. 

Bake in the center of the oven until a pick inserted in the center comes out with some gooey pieces clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Berry Tartlets

Berry Tartlets

For the dough:
110g butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder

For the vanilla cream:
1 1/4 cups milk (300ml)
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
3 large egg yolks
100g sugar
30g cornstarch
45g butter

Make the dough:
1. Cream butter and icing sugar together. Add vanilla and the yolk, beat until smooth. Stir in the flour and cocoa powder, beat until combined. Put the dough in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. On a floured surface, roll the dough 4-5mm thick and cut off rounded shapes. Transfer them into the baking moulds. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until dark brown. Let cool completely.

Make the cream:
1. Bring the milk and vanilla bean to boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and set aside for 30 minutes. Or, if you are using vanilla extract, just bring the milk to a boil and proceed with the recipe. Bring it back to the boil and continue.
2. In a heavy saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until thick. Whisking enthusiastically, drizzle some of the hot milk onto the yolks very slowly. Continue whisking as you pour the rest of the milk in a steady stream over the tempered yolks.
3. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisk until the mixture comes to the boil. Turn down the heat and keep the mixture at the boil, whisking constantly, for 1 or 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and pour the cream into a bowl. Allow the cream to cool for about 3 minutes.
4. Stir the butter into the hot cream. Put a plastic wrap on the top of the cream and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Fill the dough with pastry cream and decorate with some fresh berries. You can use cherries, strawberries or any other kind. I chose different berries, even currants and gooseberries. Raspberries or blackberries would also taste good.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Black & White Sandwich Cookies

For the cookies:
145g sugar
200g flour
50g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder
215g butter (room temperature)

For the cream:
90ml whipping cream
200g white chocolate

First, make the cream:
In a heavy pot, pour in the cream and heat almost to boil. Turn off the heat and mix in the chocolate. Mix well until the chocolate is melted. Pour the cream to the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
Mix the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and espresso powder. Fold in the butter, cut into cubes, and start kneading the dough. Take 1/2 of the dough and roll into 3mm rectangular between two sheets of parchment paper. Put the remaining dough into refrigerator. Form the cookies into disks and bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes and then transfer them to the wire rack. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

Take the cream out of refrigerator. Take a teaspoon of cream, put on one side of the cookie and flatten with another.

Saturday, November 05, 2011


·                                 500g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
·                                 7g sachet or 1 tsp dry yeast
·                                 1 tbs lukewarm full cream milk
·                                 310-330ml cold water
·                                 25g unsalted butter, melted
·                                 1 1/2 tsp salt
·                                 1/4 cup caster sugar
·                                 250g unsalted butter, softened
Egg Wash
·                                 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 1/2 tbs milk

1.                              This recipe is best made over two days to allow the dough to rest.
2.                              Place the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and milk, stirring to dissolve. Wait a few minutes until the yeast mixture begins to bubble. Slowly add the water and melted butter and combine the ingredients gently with your fingertips. Add the salt and sugar and keep mixing with your fingers until the dough becomes very sticky. (You may need to add a little more water if the dough is not sticky enough.)
3.                              On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough with the palm of your hand, rolling it away from your body, for eight to ten minutes. Do not add any flour during the kneading. Place the dough in a bowl, cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. It will double in size in the fridge.
4.                              Roll the dough into a rectangle about five millimetres thick that is three times longer than it is wide. Spread half the softened butter over the centre third of the sheet. Fold the top third of the dough over the centre buttered section. Spread the remaining butter over the folded section, then fold the bottom third over the top.
5.                              Turn the dough 90 degrees so that the folded seams are at the sides. Roll the pastry again to form a large rectangular sheet and fold it in three. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
6.                              Repeat the process of folding and refrigerating another three times - a total of four times.
7.                              Heat the oven to 220°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
8.                              Roll the dough into a large five millimetre thick rectangle. (If you find the dough hard to manage, divide it into half.) Trim the edges, then cut into triangles 6-8cm wide x 12-15cm tall. Make a small triangular incision in the centre at the base of each triangle to allow the dough to stretch when being shaped. Starting from the widest end, roll the triangles up and shape into a crescent.
9.                              Space the croissants out on the baking tray and leave them to rise by about one-third in a draft-free, warm room (21°C is ideal) for about an hour.
10.                          When the croissant have risen, brush them with the egg wash and bake for ten minutes, or until golden. Do not open the oven door during cooking time. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

300g macaroni
1 tsp macaroni seasoning
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 cup milk
3 cups cheese
1 slice of white bread

1. Boil the macaroni, according to the instructions. Pour on cold water and drain completely. Mix with the seasoning.

2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add flour, pepper, pour in the milk and keep stirring for ~10 minutes, or until thickens.

4. Mix in 2 cups of grated cheese. Stirr until it melts.

5. Pour the sauce over macaroni and mix well.

6. Put half of the macaroni into the baking dish and sprinkle with some grated cheese. Pour the remamaining macaroni on top and sprinkle with cheese and bread crumbs.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

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