Friday Afternoon Chocolate Goodness – choc chip banana blondies

Yesterday I had a wonderful couple of hours to myself at the hairdresser- well Aiden was with me but he slept the whole time.  Since the past week has been crazier than normal, with broken bones/visitors/cranky toddler and a last minute trip to pack for, I took with me the September issue of Delicious magazine to enjoy in peace.  About a third of the way through I came across this recipe and knew I had all the ingredients to give it a go when I got home.

September 2013 issue of Delicious Magazine

September 2013 issue of Delicious Magazine

It was fairly quick to put together, and I baked mine for around 40 minutes.  They came out of the oven just as I was about to leave for dinner out with the girls, so I was able to skip buying a caramel sundae on the way home and tried a piece of blondie instead.  The verdict is – they are GREAT!  I tried a middle piece that was gorgeously (not sure if that’s a real word, but it’s an accurate description) soft and fudgey.  The combination of white/dark chocolate, banana and walnuts is sensational.  Given I’d had a relatively high calorie dinner, I skipped the extra drizzle of white chocolate and just sprinkled it with icing sugar.

 

Happy Friday everyone – try these this weekend!

 

100g unsalted butter chopped

250g white chocolate chopped

250g castor sugar

1 egg lightly beaten

2 bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups plain flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup walnuts chopped

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Icing sugar to serve

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees & grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper
  • Place the butter and 200g white chocolate in a heatproof bowl which is on top of saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let bowl touch the water) and stir until melted
  • Remove from heat
  • Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and stir in sugar, egg, banana and vanilla
  • Sift over flour and baking powder, stir to combine, the fold in the nuts and dark chocolate chips
  • Pour batter into the pan and bake for 35 minutes or until golden, cool completely in pan
  • Melt remaining 50g of white chocolate, cut blondies into squares, dust with icing sugar and drizzle with melted chocolate to serve

choc chip banana blondies1

Throwback Thursday – McAlpin’s Sponge Sandwich

Even though I love to bake, I don’t seem to make a lot of sponges.  We had a heap of strawberries in the fridge and some cream, so I thought I’d give the McAlpins Sponge Sandwich a try.  The tins I used were a bigger than those suggested, so my sponges were a bit thin. I was happy with how they turned out. The colour was good and they had both risen evenly.  I cooked them on the same rack in the oven, which I’m not sure if you are supposed to do?To compensate for their height, I just put a thick layer of cream and strawberries in the middle which improved the overall appearance of the cake.

I didn’t get to try a piece, Scott took it to work the next day.  He said it went down well, but suggested adding a layer of strawberry jam to the cream and strawberry layer.. He is my biggest critic & always seems to have a suggestion on how I can improve!

Original Recipe

Original Recipe

Please click here for metric conversation table

McAlpins Sponge Sandwich

4 oz and 1 slightly rounded tablespoon of self raising flour

Pinch of salt

4 oz sugar

3 eggs

2 tablespoons of hot milk or water (I used hot milk)

600ml of thickened cream

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

250g strawberries

  • Sift flour and salt
  • Separate whites and yolks of eggs
  • Place whites in a warm dry basin with a pinch of salt and beat until very stiff, then beat yolks in lightly (low mixer speed)
  • Add sugar and beat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is quite thick
  • Sift flour onto mixture and fold lightly through with a knife or a tablespoon
  • Fold in 2 tablespoons of hot milk or water
  • Divide mixture evenly between two 7 – 71/2 inch greased sandwich tins.
  • Bake in a very moderate oven for 15 – 18 minutes (I baked for 15 minutes in a 180 degree fan forced oven).
  • When cooked, turn cake onto a care wire covered with a cloth
  • Whip cream, vanilla essence and icing sugar together
  • Cut strawberries into thin slices
  • Once cake has cooled, spread cream on top of one cake, and cover with half the strawberries
  • Spread remaining cream and strawberries on top of cake – serve
Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip, Date & Coconut Lactation Cookies

I had never tried lactation biscuits before having Aiden.  Whilst googling random things during a night feed, I came across ‘low fat’ biscuit recipes on the Lose Baby Weight website.  I have since made a few batches and have added a couple of ingredients and make my cookies smaller (usually getting between 36 – 48 cookies), so I am unsure of the nutritional content.

I snack on these during the afternoon to help boost my milk supply during the early evening when it seems to be at it’s lowest.  A batch usually last up to a week (my husband won’t eat them as he thinks they will make him start lactating!), and I think they have helped my supply – or I may just be telling myself that they are!

 

1 1/2 Cups of Rolled Oats

3/4 Cup of Flaxseed (Linseed Meal)

3 Tablespoons of Brewers Yeast – I use 4 x 5g sachets of brewers yeast

1/2 Cup of Unsweetened Applesauce

1/3 Cup of Maple Syrup – I substitute for Golden Syrup as it’s cheaper

1/4 Cup of Light Oil

1 small Egg

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chips – I use Cadbury dark chocolate chips… yummo!

8 -12 Pitted Dates chopped up

1/2 Cup of Coconut

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees (Fan Forced)
  • Line 2 trays with Baking Paper
  • Combine Apple Sauce, Maple Syrup, Oil, Egg and Vanilla Extract and whisk until smooth.
  • Stir in Oats, Flaxseed, Brewers Yeast, Baking Soda, Coconut and Cinnamon until combined
  • Fold in Chocolate Chips and Dates.

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  • Lightly roll teaspoon sized balls of mixture and place on tray – flatten slightly with a fork
  • Bake for 12 – 14 minutes until starting to turn golden brown

I’d love to hear any other lactation cookie recipes that you may have – preferably ones that work!

Finished Product

Finished Product

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Last week I started my journey through Donna Hay’s Simple Essentials – Chocolate book with Triple Choc Cookies. This week I’d thought I’d try the Double Chocolate Cupcakes.

As usual, this was a pretty straight forward recipe. The cupcakes were lovely and soft, and the chocolate fudge icing was awesome.  I decorated them with a single white chocolate chip which cut through the dark chocolate well.  I let myself try just one piece of everything I make, it was difficult not to keep a couple of these at home for my morning tea instead of sending them all off to work with Scott.

125g butter softened

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

100g dark chocolate melted

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of mixer and beat until light and creamy
  • Gradually add eggs and beat well
  • Sift over flour, baking powder and cocoa and beat until combined
  • Fold through the milk and chocolate and spoon the mixture into 12 x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tins lined with cases
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until cooked when tested with skewer
  • Cool on wire racks
  • Spread or pipe the chocolate fudge icing the cupcakes and keep in the fridge until serving.

Chocolate Fudge Icing

  • Place 250g of dark chocolate, 1/2 cup single or pouring cream and 70g of butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water
  • Stir until smooth and melted
  • Let mixture cool completely then beat with electric beaters until thick and fluffy
Double Chocolate

Double Chocolate

Lemon Coconut Cake

When I want to bake with Liam, I always want a simple recipe that doesn’t require too much preparation.  Last week when he was in a good mood and I wanted to use up a container of sour cream that was sitting in the fridge,  I turned to my trusty Donna Hay ‘Fast, Fresh and Simple’ book & found a recipe for lemon yoghurt cake which Iooked like it would fit the bill.

My little helper

My little helper

I’ve written out the actual recipe from the book and have added the adjustments I made, due to not have all of the ingredients.

My version turned out lovely and moist.  Instead of using lemon frosting, I made a simple plain icing which worked well.

 

3/4 cup vegetable oil (replaced with 3/4 cup of light virgin olive oil)

2 eggs

1 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup thick natural yoghurt (200g of light sour cream and an extra 2 tablespoons of milk)

1 3/4 cups castor sugar

2 cups self raising flour

I also added 1/4 cup of coconut

 

Lemon Frosting

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Place the oil, eggs, rind, lemon juice, yoghurt (sour cream & milk) and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Sift over the flour and add the coconut and stir until smooth
  • Pour the mixture into a greased 24cm fluted ring tin and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer
  • While the cake is still hot, remove from the tin and place on plate
  • To make lemon frosting gently stir together the sugar and lemon juice and spoon over cake and allow to set.

 

** You can also just use a plain icing as I did which also works well.

 

Lemony Goodness

Lemony Goodness

Donna Hay’s Simple Apple & Blueberry Cake

We’ve had my Mum and Nan visiting  this weekend and since I’m a semi single parent at the moment (Scott is out of action after falling off his bike and breaking his collar bone), I took the opportunity to get some baking done whilst I had live in babysitters.

I’d been eyeing off this recipe for awhile, and since we had a bowl full of apples and I’d stocked up on frozen berries through the week, the timing was perfect to give it a go.  It made a great Sunday afternoon snack/dessert. We ate it warm from the oven, it would be great with ice cream or custard – unfortunately I didn’t have either.

I was impressed with how quickly the cake batter came together, and we all agreed it was a very light cake and the texture reminded us of a tea cake packed with fruity goodness.  I was pretty generous with the apples and blueberries and I was happy that the majority of fruit stayed on top of the cake, with a few lovely bits sinking in.

This is another great Donna Hay recipe, this time from her book – Fast Fresh and Simple.

 

You could substitute with any fruit you had. We’ve got a ton of strawberries in the fridge, so I’m thinking of trying a combination of strawberry and blueberry next.

 

1 1/2 cup self raising flour – sifted

3/4 cup castor sugar

125g butter – softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 apple, cored & thinly sliced (I used royal gala apples and didn’t peel them)

3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons demerara sugar

 

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • Place flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until just combined.
  • Spoon mixture into a greased 22cm springform tin lined with non stick baking paper.
  • Top with apple slices and blueberries and sprinkle over sugar.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until cake is cooked (I found it took an hour in my oven)

IMG_7310 IMG_7304

 

Linking up with awesome Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

Chocolate Goodness – Triple Chocolate Cookies

I may possibly be crazy.  As well as working my way through the McAlpin’s Recipe Book, I’ve decided to also work my way through the Donna Hay Simple Essentials Chocolate book.  It’s worth it though, these are possibly the BEST chocolate cookies I have ever tasted.  They remind me of my favourite triple choc cookies from Mrs Fields.  The original recipe is for Double Chocolate cookies, instead of just using chopped dark chocolate, I used half white and half dark.  They were so good I ate four in one sitting… and then felt guilty for the rest of the day!  The dough was also very yummy, and I may have possibly made a few more biscuits if I had not been sneaking spoonfuls whilst waiting for the first batch to bake.

As with all Donna Hay recipes, it is a super easy recipe to follow & the end result is well worth it.

 

110g unsalted butter softened

3/4 Cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 cup plain flour sifted

1/4 cup cocoa powder sifted

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

125g dark chocolate melted

280g dark chocolate extra roughly chopped (I used half dark chocolate and half white chocolate to make these triple chocolate)

 

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
  • Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until light and creamy.
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat for a further 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir through the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and melted chocolate
  • Add the extra chopped chocolate and stir to combine
  • Roll tablespoons of the mixture into rounds
  • Place on baking trays lined with non stick baking paper, allowing room for the cookies to spread and flatten slightly
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slight cracks have formed
  • Cool on wire racks
These are sooooo good

These are sooooo good