26 September 2011

Cherry Choc Marshmallow Cookies

Hello all,

What a weekend!! Not only did the All Blacks win a match we absolutely had to win, for our egos sake, against France but more importantly (we are a league household after all) the Warriors won their game to get into the Grand Final next Sunday. So much happy screaming went down in this house on Saturday night!

Anyway here's something to start your week off with. A bit of cookie, marshmallow and chocolate makes anything, including the rather too cold for Spring weather alright again.

These are so much fun to make and the kids would enjoy it too. Its does involve three different processes - making the cookies, making the marshmallow and then melting the chocolate for dipping so its not a quick one. But there's plenty of leftover marshmallow and chocolate to create some yummy treats with.

Cherry Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies 

For the cookies:

125g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 egg
1 2/3 cups flour
Combine butter and sugar and beat till creamy, add egg and beat till combined. Add vanilla. Add flour in two batches and mix until a nice cookie dough consistency. Take out of bowl place in between two sheets of  baking paper. Roll till approx 5cm thick and place on baking tray and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
Take out of fridge and take off top layer of baking paper and using round cookie cutter cut as many shapes as you can. Bake in 180deg C oven for 10mins. Leave to cool.
While the cookies are baking you can start on the marshmallow.

2 tablespoons gelatin
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Cherry flavouring
Pink or red food colouring

The first measure of water and gelatin need to be combined in a microwave proof bowl. Leave to swell for roughly 10 mins. Place second measure of water in a saucepan and add the sugar. Heat gently over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Put the gelatin mix in the microwave for 30 seconds or until its a clear liquid and add to the sugar mix. Bring to boil, then leave to boil for a further 15 mins (make sure its not on too high a heat or it will bubble over the top). Leave to cool till lukewarm.
Once cool put it in an electric mixer and using the whipping attachment mix until thick, glossy and white. Add the colouring and flavour and mix a little more until incorporated. You can now spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled biscuits.
Leave to set for 30 mins.

Chocolate Dipping
I used a whole 250g block of Whittakers 62% Dark Cacao and melted it gently and dipped the tops of the marshmallows into. I sprinkled a couple with a small amount of sea salt, and some had the cocoa nibs with chilli flakes ground on top. The rest I left plain. You can add whatever you like to the top of these!

With the leftover marshmallow I poured into a wet baking tray (just run it under the cold tap first) and let it set in the fridge. The leftover chocolate I just spread on top...makes a fun treat for the kids.

Have fun!

15 September 2011

Cupcakes For Florence

On Tuesday I helped out a couple of Year 5 boys from Bayswater School who decided they wanted to run a cupcake stall at school to raise money for the schools World Vision sponsored child Florence. But they wanted to bake some themselves so I gave them a few pointers and the use of my KitchenAid. The two Jacks made "Super Strawberry" and "Ultimate Apple". And they looked great!! Young pastry chefs in the making maybe?

But what a great idea, and what a great turn out! The kids were fed sugar and sprinkles and I think the school raised the money it needed...I don't know the final tally yet but there was plenty in the money jar!

Here's some pics.

Ultimate Apple by Jack S

Super Strawberry by Jack A

Phew!...does this make you hungry now?

RWC Party!!!

I know I'm late to the party with these pics as its nearly a week since I took them. But we had a fantastic night celebrating Auckland and the All Blacks on the roof of Grandmas house up at Stanley Point last Friday.

We will never see this again. Well not from this angle anyway as the house is sadly going on the market very soon. I would say without a doubt, and with uninterrupted views of the entire harbour...we had the best view in the entire city.

08 September 2011

This time last year...

I had this recipe posted last September. I've been slack these last few weeks - although I have been baking I've not been photographing, so I'm being lazy and repeating last years post for spring baking. Excuse me if you've seen this before.

So Chocolate and Pear Self Saucing Pudding anyone?

2 pears - peeled and sliced
100g butter
3/4 brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon cornflour

Preheat oven to 180deg C. Grease ovenproof dish and line with sliced pear.

Cream butter, add sugar, egg and vanilla.
Fold in mixed flour, baking powder and cocoa. When mixed place in dish over the pear - spread evenly.

Mix the second amount of sugar with the cocoa and cornflour and sprinkle evenly over the top. Using the underside of a large spoon, pour the boiling water over the top.

Place in oven and bake for 35mins.

When baked, dust with icing sugar and serve. Eat while hot!

The good news is that I have plenty of recipes up my sleeve that I've been working on, so I'm really excited to share them over the next month or so.