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Gluten Free Keffir Lime + Chili Chocolate Truffle Cake


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 25 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

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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.

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Berry Cheesecake Scrolls


 Prep Time : 30 + 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 15 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Moderate

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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!

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Hazelnut + Chocolate Melties


 Prep Time : 15-45 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

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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.

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Lemon + Honey Madeleines -10

Lemon + Honey Madeleines


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 Minutes | Total Time : 30 Minutes | Difficulty : Moderate

Lemon + Honey Madeleines -10

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.

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#Bakingitbetter – A Wellington on a Plate Adventure

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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

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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


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

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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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