Baking it Better -3

#Bakingitbetter – A Wellington on a Plate Adventure

Baking it Better -3

Hello my lovelies! Sorry for the radio silence – I had been preparing a post to keep you all up to date on what I’ve been up to, namely the #Bakingitbetter Mystery Box Baking Challenge, part of Wellington on a Plate. For those who aren’t from around these parts, for two weeks in August every year Wellington restaurants put on special menus, there’s a burger contest, and all manner of food activities and events take place all in the name of deliciousness! This year the fabulous charity Good Bitches Baking, held a baking challenge. GBB organises bakers and drivers in different NZ regions to make and deliver treats to people who are having a hard time at places like hospices, the womens refuge, city missions and the like. They are some truly kind and wonderful women that I am so glad I’ve met!

Anywho I ended up flat out last weekend so I was very neglectful of you all. I had a schedule for the Sunday morning before the entries had to be in and I realised at about 10.30 that I hadn’t put any time in to have a shower and get dressed. You’ll be pleased to know that I ended up with time to spare so no one had to witness me pajama-clad roaming the streets covered in flour and sugar…

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Gingernuts -11

Gingernuts


 Prep Time : 30 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Gingernuts -11

I could eat ginger flavoured things all day, errry day. And I kinda do. I also believe there is a more delicious home made version of almost everything. These gingernuts are a shining example of gingery satisfying goodness made with your own hands. And while for some the texture of a commercial gingernut is a satisfying challenge, for others it’s expensive dental roulette… What if there was a way to have that delicious spicy ginger taste without putting your dentist’s kids though college or abandoning your cup of tea halfway though because it is now a soggy gingernut graveyard?

The answer is here, gentle reader! These gingernuts are easy and delicious. The come together quickly with no chilling. And you can bake them to the exact texture you like!

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Classic Pikelets -11

Classic Pikelets


 Prep Time : 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Classic Pikelets -11

My parents came to visit me the other week (still looking after me even now) and we had a great time wandering around shopping and looking at things. One afternoon while they were here, I made afternoon tea and in this case it was pikelets. I realised I haven’t made them for you all, which is quite remiss! Pikelets are a staple of Kiwi home baking and were always to be found at family gatherings. These days they may be a bit kitsch but they’re so easy and rewarding. Why should you let style police stop you from enjoying a satisfying home made treat?

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Malt, Chocolate + Sea Salt Finger Cookies -13

A Malted, Salted, Chocolate Dipped Cookie Situation


 Prep Time : 45 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 3 Hours | Difficulty : A bit fiddly

Malt, Chocolate + Sea Salt Finger Cookies -13

It’s all malt, all the time around here! I’ve been working on these cookies for a while now, trying to bump up the malty flavour as much as possible. They’re pretty darn good if you ask me! I was originally intending to use cutters to cut them out but got lazy. As I was cutting the strips I realised I was essentially making homemade Pocky… You should absolutely cut them out into shapes if you wish, or even cut the strips a little narrower to get a more adorably nibbly treat! These cookies were only meant to have a little chocolate accent, but when I first tasted a baked cookie, I knew it needed something to break the sweetness and flaky sea salt came to the rescue! This is not a difficult recipe, but it does require some time to spend fiddling with cutting out the cookies and dipping them in chocolate.

Be careful not to bake these cookies too long as they can get very hard. When sprinkling with salt let the chocolate half set first so that the flakes will still be visible, and won’t dissolve into the chocolate.

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Mixed Berry, Yoghurt + Olive Oil Cake -12

Berry, Yoghurt + Olive Oil Cake


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 60 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Mixed Berry, Yoghurt + Olive Oil Cake -12

Sometimes you just want to pretend that it’s summer. And the way to do that is to go straight to the frozen section and grab some frozen berries to whip up this cake! I was totally winging it when I created this cake last week – I really wanted something with summer flavour and then remembered I had berries floating around in the freezer. The rest is tasty tasty history!

The base for this cake comes from the Honey & Co Baking Book and is one of my favourites. It uses olive oil rather than butter, so has a soft texture and an amazing complex taste. I recommend using the best olive oil you have – a bland vegetable oil will make a much less interesting result. This cake is amazingly easy to put together as well – just remember to use a light hand when adding the dry ingredients.

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Dark Chocolate, Cherry + Coconut Cookies -8

Dark Chocolate, Cherry + Coconut Cookies


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Dark Chocolate, Cherry + Coconut Cookies -8

Just in case anyone was concerned, we are circling back to cookies! Really easy cookies that require no mixer and no chilling yay! I’ve had dried cherries knocking around in the pantry for a while waiting to fulfil their destiny. They have such a great tart fruit flavour – nothing like their fluoro glace cousins – and they really round out these chewy oaty, coconuty cookies. Did I mention that they’re easy?

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Pistachio + Apricot Muesli Bars

Pistachio + Apricot Muesli Bars


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 5 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Easy

Pistachio + Apricot Muesli Bars

If you read this blog regularly you may get the impression that I spend 97.3% of my waking hours snacking. While this is not quite the case, I am a big fan of the snack. In particular I am a fan of having healthier home made snack options around to keep you fuelled throughout the day. Today’s recipe is a very loose adaptation of a couple of recipes that uses one of my favourite ingredients at the moment – malt syrup. Many of you may remember being fed spoons of it as children, but it’s malty, not-too-sweet flavour is great in baking. I did experiment in making these using coconut oil instead of butter to try and eliminate dairy altogether. The ‘caramel’ wouldn’t come together properly and the oil just floated on top. In the end I gave up and went back to butter. With less than a teaspoon per bar, there’s probably more on a slice of toast and it’s not worth sweating over. These bars are easy to make, just make sure you are paying attention while cooking the goo!

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