Tag Archives: sugar

Red Tea and Sweet Bread

I did no work for this post whatsoever. The Offspring made the sweet bread rolls, and I can’t even tell you where the cup-and-saucer came from as the mark is so small and smudged I couldn’t make out even a single letter. But it is pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

The bread rolls turned out to be delicious, and vaguely reminiscent of croissants. Not as fluffy and flaky, of course, but the kind of flavour that you could eat with either jam or something more savoury. Definitely a hit.

The Offspring found the recipe for the bread rolls on Youtube and followed the instructions on the video. There are a lot of breadmaking videos so here’s a selection of good ones:

All three videos use plain [all purpose] flour, egg, butter, yeast, salt and sugar, but the techniques are slightly different. Oh, and the buns won’t rise quite so well if you make the gap between each ball too wide – i.e. they need to be close enough to support each other as they rise.

And now for the red tea. I couldn’t get the same ‘pink’ tea as before, so this time I tried Twinings ‘Cranberry & Pomegranate’. The flavour is great but it’s the smell that blows me away. I think they add hibiscus to the tea because the aroma is strong, distinctive and fruity/flowery.

-blush- Apologies, I sound like some wine buff waffling on about the ‘bouquet’ but honestly, the smell is divine, and that’s coming from someone who loves coffee!

If you’ve had a special treat lately, I’d love to hear about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

cheers
Meeks



Cookies and Milk

The title of this post should have been ‘Coffee and Cake’, but we made the Triple Choc Chocolate biscuits last night, and it was too late for coffee, so…

Ahem. The Offspring and I adore these biscuits because they really are made with three lots of chocolate. There’s cocoa and melted chocolate in the biscuit dough, and then there are lumps of chocolate in each biscuit as well [the recipe is at the end of this post].

You can see how gooey and melted and divine those lumps of chocolate are here:

and here:

and here:

That’s why these biscuits are at their most divine straight from the oven. They are delicious cold as well, but not quite as delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, a word about sweetness. If you love super sweet, commercial biscuits, you will not love these triple choc biscuits. There is sugar in the biscuit dough, but not a huge amount, and the chocolate is unsweetened, dark chocolate. The cocoa is unsweetened, Dutch cocoa as well so the overall effect is not overly sweet.

There, you have been warned. For everyone else, I hope you enjoy the following recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Provenance: Vogue Entertaining & Travel, June/July 1999.

[We only ever make half quantities at a time so I’ve provided the cut down quantities in brackets. They’re not exactly half quantities, but they work.]

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups plain or all purpose flour [1/2 a cup and a ‘bit’]
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch cocoa [1 tablespoon ]
1 teaspoon baking powder [1/2 a teaspoon]
3/4 of a teaspoon salt [1/4 teaspoon]
500 gm good quality bittersweet dark chocolate [250 gm]
125 gm unsalted butter [60 gm]
1/2 cup sugar [1/4 cup sugar]
3 large eggs [add 1 whole egg, then crack a second egg into a bowl, beat it and add half of the beaten egg only]

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180o C or 356 F [make it a little less if using fan forced]
  2. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt
  4. Melt 3/4 of the dark chocolate [about 190 gm if making half quantities] with the butter in a small saucepan – don’t let it burn!
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the sugar [I let the mixture cool a tiny bit before the next step]
  6. Stir in the eggs, one at a time until well mixed
  7. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined
  8. Cover the dough with cling wrap and chill for up to 1 hour
  9. Remove teaspoon sized balls of dough and place on the baking sheet, about 3.5 cm or 2 inches apart [the balls will expand a lot as they bake]
  10. Push small [or larger] chips of the dark chocolate into each biscuit [we like big gooey lumps so tend to use 1 large piece in instead of 2 or 3 smaller ones]
  11. Bake in the middle of a hot oven for 10 minutes or until just done. I set a timer for 8 minutes, turn the sheet, and reset the timer for another 2 minutes. The biscuits should feel slightly squishy to the touch. This is what you want as they will harden as they cool. If you leave them in for even 2 minutes longer, they’ll be hard and biscuity instead of soft and chewy.
  12. Allow the biscuits to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. That’s the official line. The unofficial line is that you can eat them as soon as they don’t burn your fingers….

Have a wonderful day, and don’t eat the Triple Choc Biscuits all at once!

cheers
Meeks


From disaster to a delicious biscuit

Okay, for my US friends, our biscuits are your cookies so this is a cross between a sweet lemon cakelet and a ‘cookie’. Ta dah….:

lemon biscuit recipe 001

The outside is lovely and crisp, but despite being so thin, the inside remains just a tiny bit soft and chewy:

lemon biscuit recipe 002

Before I write up the recipe I should explain that this started out as a kind of lemon tart cake that went very wrong. Cakes are not my forte, but I suspect the original recipe was at fault as it called for a tart base made from self-raising flour. Into this uncooked tart base went a very nice, cooked lemon filling and the whole lot was supposed to bake in the oven until it turned into a tart.

I don’t have a picture, but my lovely lemon tart turned into something resembling a soufle. It overflowed the baking dish like Vesuvius and made a sweet-smelling mess of my oven. What little I could salvage tasted like lemon toffee cake. I was not happy.

To cut a long story short, I had just enough unsalted butter left over to try the cake part of the recipe as a biscuit, and at last something worked! Here it is.

Ingredients

60 gm unsalted butter

1 cup self-raising flour

1/2 cup caster sugar

the rind of one lemon, finely grated

1 whole egg

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 160 C [if using fan-bake] or 180 C if just using the ordinary oven setting [this is a moderate oven].

Line baking trays with baking paper. [You will need more than one tray as the biscuit mix spreads out quite a lot as it bakes so the biscuits have to be spaced fairly wide apart].

Toss the flour, sugar and grated lemon rind together [to spread the lemon flavour evenly]. Add the butter and cut it into small chunks with a knife, mixing into the flour as you go. Once the chunks are small enough, rub the flour mix and butter between your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Lightly beat the egg and add it to the butter mix until you get a fairly smooth ‘paste’.

Spoon heaped teaspoons of the paste onto the trays, leaving at least 2 inches between each one, and place in the oven. Baking time is approx. 10 minutes or until the biscuits are firm in the middle and slightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on the tray if you can wait that long…-rolls eyes-…we didn’t.

The quantity given should make approximately 24 biscuits which sounds like quite a lot, but they are very moorish. If anyone manages to keep some for more than a few minutes I’d love to know how long they last. ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Sunday,

Meeks

 


Upside down apple cake – a recipe

This recipe is for Anneb54 who expressed an interest in upside down peach cake. Apologies Anne, I had to use apples instead of peaches but you can easily substitute fresh peaches once they come into season again.

I’ve had this recipe for years, and it has remained one of my all-time favourites because it’s so easy to make, and because I always have the ingredients on hand. Okay, let’s do it!

Ingredients

2 large Fuji applies

1/2 a cup of caster sugar

4 teaspoons of cinnamon sugar – 3 tspns of sugar to 1 tspn of cinnamon [optional]

100 gm of butter [unsalted or salt reduced] – at room temperature.

2 eggs beaten

1 cup self-raising flour

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C [or 350 F]. [I use my fan-bake setting and drop the temperature a little to compensate].

2. Grease a 4 cup pie dish, or 8 inch ring-form tin. I always use the ring-form because I find it so much easier to work with. I put aluminum foil over the base plate and close the ‘ring’ around it to get a nice tight seal. Then I butter the two together. The foil will make it easier to decant the cake once it’s baked. [Oh, and don’t be stingy with the butter!]

3. Peel the apples and slice them thinly [leaving out the core of course]. Arrange the slices over the base of your baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar [or just plain sugar if you prefer].

4. Cream the butter and caster sugar with an electric mixer. [If you forget to let the butter come to room temperature first, cut it into small chunks before trying to cream it with the sugar].

5. Add the beaten egg to the butter in about 4 go’s, beating the mix well between each addition. [At this point the mix could ‘curdle’ – i.e. begin to look granular – so I sprinkle about a teaspoon of the flour in with each addition of egg. The flour stops the curdling].

6. When all the egg has been added to the mix, sift the rest of the flour over the mix and fold in by hand. [If you’re lazy like me you can skip the sifting part without any dramas].

7. Spread the cake mix over the apple and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer through the middle comes out clean. [If the tip of the skewer feels ‘sticky’ leave the cake a little longer].

8. Take the cake out of the oven. Gently run a knife around the inside of the pan, and then undo the ring-form. You will now have the cake sitting on just the base plate. Take a cake rack [cooling stand] and place it on top of the cake. Hold the rack in place with one hand as you carefully flip the cake over. Now hold the base plate by the aluminum foil and gently lift away. You should be left with the fruit on top.

Storing this cake is never a problem as we tend to eat it within two days. However once the cake has cooled, you should cover it with cling wrap.

And there you have your upside down apple cake! Serve hot or cold, with cream or ice-cream. or just plain. Trust me, this buttery cake is more than good enough to eat plain. And think of the calories you’d be saving. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Enjoy!

Meeks


%d bloggers like this: