Prep Time : 15 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy
Halloween baking is essentially regular baking with lots of make up on. There’s lots of food colouring and fine motor skill involved. How about something simple, seasonally appropriate, requires no piping, no food colouring and tastes like Oreos? There’s no argument really. This recipe uses one of my favourite ingredients, black cocoa. It’s cocoa that has been dutch processed an extra couple of times giving a it a distinctive flavour and black colour when baked. It’s why Oreos taste and look like they do, and it’s a lifesaver when you don’t want to load up on odd tasting artificial colouring to get things black. I get mine from one of my favourite places here in NZ, Equagold. King Arthur in the US have one, and there are other brands available on Amazon.
While this recipe is designed to save the fiddly decorating, the cakes themselves are also a great base for other decorations if you are more talented than the rest of us. The cakes are not overly sweet so stand up well to more frosting. Be careful not to over-bake these cakes or they will get dry – and let’s be honest if they dip slightly in the top it’s just more room for frosting….
Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 0 Minutes | Total Time : 10 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy
Hello my lovelies! Once you make your own hummus you will never go back to store bought. We make hummus every week and use it for meals and snacks. We are a two person household so we only need a small batch, and I don’t have the time or patience to cook chickpeas from scratch. This quick one-can recipe is the perfect amount for a meal or appetizer. Hummus is best when it’s fresh but I doubt you will have any leftovers to worry about! Try and find a good brand of chickpeas that are canned in water without added salt so you can control the salt yourself. As I am obviously obsessed with lemon, this is our favourite at home but you should experiment with flavours as much as you like.
Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 40 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy
So we’re having a bit of a chocolate detox this week… With the warmer weather (we are pretending it’s not raining today…) I was ready for a change from a hot breakfast but clearly we are staying oat-based because duh. Homemade muesli is so much better than store bought for so many reasons. It has less sugar, you can make it just how you like it and pack it full of goodness and flavour. And it’s wahaaay easier than you think. I generally make it up with whatever is in the pantry and this time I just bought some dried figs so here we are! Take the base recipe and mix it up however you like – use maple syrup instead of honey. Add different spices, different fruits or different nuts. Your breakfast destiny is in your hands.
Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 25 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy
Hello my lovelies! I know it feels early with daylight savings and all, but you can always make yourself an ultra-rewarding chocolate hit in almost no time at all so life can’t be that bad. It’s been a very chocolate filled week. After recipe testing this bad boy and our annual trip to the Amora Hotel Chocolate Buffet for dinner the other night I am probably at peak chocolate saturation, medically speaking…
You guys, this cake is amazing. It is incidentally gluten free, but mostly just delicious. It is adapted from one of my favourite books Flavour Flours by Alice Medrich. If you are gluten free, or just like to experiment with different flours it is fabulous. This recipe utilises two of my favourite baking concepts. Rebranding and things-that-look-fancy-but-are-actually-super-easy. The astute among you may realise that you are essentially making a large round brownie. But now that it’s round and you’re serving it slightly warm in wedges it’s a truffle cake. Bam. Regardless of whether you are on board with that concept, you will still be making some of the most amazing tasting brownies ever.
The second important takeaway is that asian supermarkets and stores are your friend. For more than just things you need to make dinner. Any of the asian supermarkets I have gone to here have gochugaru or korean chili flakes. Try to get one that is made by sun-drying the chili if you can for the best flavour. I absolutely love gochugaru and I use it everywhere. It is less hot and more flavourful than regular western chili powder and adds a lot of fruitiness. I also learned that indian stores have an insane range of alternative flours at really reasonable prices. In NZ it is slowly getting easier to buy alternative flours in supermarkets, but most still require a trip to a health or organic store where they can be eye-wateringly expensive.
Prep Time : 30 + 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Moderate
Hello my lovelies! Turned out nice again today… The weather at the start of spring is all over the place here and right now it’s in a very very rainy place. Not to worry – rainy weekends are perfect for baking! Every cloud has a silver lining. If you have a whole grey day ahead then it’s the perfect time to try something that takes a bit more time but gives impressive results. And at the end you get to smugly curl on the couch with a cup of tea and a warm, fluffy, jammy roll that you made yourself. This is a great foundation recipe that you can fill with whatever takes your fancy. It’s not quite as rich as a brioche dough and is much easier to handle so it’s great for practicing being fancy with a yeasted dough. I know it’s a lot of instructions, but it’s all good helpful stuff!
Prep Time : 15-45 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy
Hello my lovelies! Well the first burst of spring was short-lived! We have had gale-force winds, sleet and hail in the last week. I also have my first real cold of the year both of which have left me moping around trapped in the house for the last few days. What could be better than a melt-in-your-mouth cookie that comes together in the food processor and is the perfect companion for a hot coffee? These cookies are a breeze to make, the only tricky part is toasting the hazelnuts. If you can get them, buy pre-toasted hazelnuts. It’s a bit more expensive but they will always be perfectly done and it saves the fiddling of getting the skins off. Here in Wellington I buy the Hazelz brand. I love the flavour of hazelnuts and I’ve found the only way to get genuine hazelnut flavour to come through is to use the nuts themselves. I am yet to find any flavouring or extract that gives a good result.
Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Moderate
Welcome to spring my lovelies!! It’s a bit grey today but it has been fabulous here lately with sunshine and mild weather and longer days. I felt like I needed something light and lemony and these madeleines totally fit the bill. Light and frivolous and french. I have had my madeleine pans for a while and don’t use them nearly enough! The shape is so whimsical and sweet. This recipe is very straightforward and the batter is easy to prepare. The tricks are in the preparation of the pans and careful hawk-like monitoring while baking. It is essential not to over-bake, but since they are made of next to nothing then making a second batch to practice is not such a hardship and you can always drizzle the slightly dry ones with liqueur and top with custard and blueberries for instant trifle! This is also an excellent idea for any that might be hanging around the next day.