23 August 2013

Peppermint Mallow Brownie {with bonus GF version}

A minty and chocolaty treat for your Friday, courtesy of me and the Edmonds cookbook, where I've adapted and combined the chocolate coconut brownie recipe and the marshmallow recipe for the gluten version. Then I used my own made up version for the gluten free base.

There's a few steps but essentially its pretty easy to make.

Yield: 15 slices (depending on how big you cut them!)
Prep time: 10 mins brownie 10 mins marshmallow
Cook time: 15 mins brownie and 25 mins marshmallow

125g butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup almond flakes
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup dark choc drops

Preheat oven to 190 deg C
Line brownie tin with baking paper
Gently melt butter in a saucepan, when melted take off heat and add the cocoa. Mix well then add the sugar. Then add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, coconut and almonds and mix well. Then sift flour, baking powder and add and mix well. Then add the chocolate drops.
Put mix into tin, spread so its even and then bake for 15 minutes. The middle will be soft and gooey...that's okay its normal.

GF Base
125g butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
70g ground almonds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup almond flakes
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Combine the almonds, cocoa, almond flakes, coconut and sugar in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Melt the butter and the coconut oil and making a well in the dry mix pour in and mix through well. Add the egg and mix in well.
Put mix in brownie tin and evenly spread it. Bake for 15 mins. 
Obviously it won't be as gooey as the gluten version but its nutty and delicious.

While baking you can start on the marshmallow. When baked, set aside to cool.

1 tablespoons gelatin
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon peppermint essence
mint green food colouring

Add the gelatin to the first measure of water in a heat or microwave proof bowl and set aside until it is swollen and its absorbed all the liquid.
Combine the second measure of water into a medium saucepan with the sugar and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
Bung the gelatin in the microwave for 30 seconds or heat gently over a bain marie until it is a liquid and then add it to the sugar mix.
Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Take off heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.

In a mixer (stand or hand held), using a whisk attachment beat the sugar mix until it is white and fluffy and thick. Then add the essence and colouring until it is the colour and taste you desire.
Pour immediately over the cooked brownie mix.
You can either let it set as is or add some melted chocolate and swirl it in just before it sets. Or cover it completely with a melted chocolate topping. Or top it with coconut flakes. Or just eat it straight away?

Pop in the fridge for 1 hour before cutting to allow the marshmallow to set properly.



21 August 2013

Raspberry Muffins

I'm a big fan of the muffin. It's easy, quick and a great lunchbox filler or if you have guests coming a fast treat to whip up. Then there's the choice of ingredients...so many choices. Sweet or savoury? Cheesy or chocolately? Spicy or syrupy?

Today I've gone with sweet and simple. Raspberry sweet with a little bit of chocolate thrown in for good measure. Because I can't help it - I try to put chocolate in as much as I can.

These I whipped up for school lunches and for the big man to take to work. They're big enough so he feels manly eating it (no delicate dainty cupcakes for him) and big enough for the kids to probably have half at morning tea and the other half at lunch!

So here's the ingredients: 

Yield: 6 Texas size muffins or 12 regular size.
Prep time: 10mins
Cook time: 25-30mins

75g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup plain yogurt (as in, no added sugar)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
handful of choc chips (white chocolate goes REALLY well with this muffin, but I only had dark chocolate drops...so I used them instead)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups self raising flour.

Preheat oven to 200 deg C and line a Texas muffin tin. I don't have big sized liners so I just cut up cooking paper into squares and fit them in - or just oil the tin and have no liner. It's your call.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add milk and yogurt and mix well. Then add the raspberries and chocolate, flour and baking soda and CAREFULLY fold through with a spatula (not your electric mixer). 
The trick to a successful fluffy muffin is the care you take in folding through the mix so its just incorporated - its okay if you still see bits of flour. Thorough mixing will only result in a flat and heavy muffin.

Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 25-30mins.

These are best served on the same day you make them, as muffins tend to dry out fairly quickly.

This is also my entry for August's Sweet NZ hosted by Sweets & Brains -  I haven't participated for a few months. So its time to get back into it.

07 August 2013

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These beauties are preeminent of spring, because today feels like spring. We've had sunny clear skies and temps in the low twenties yet we are still well entrenched in winter...not really very wintry though. So I made these because I love the plain vanilla cupcake, the tart but creamy lemon curd and the sumptuous gooey meringue...and the crunch and flavour of toasted coconut. On their own very nice, but together? Super delicious!


Vanilla Cupcake

1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon curd (homemade or bought, I've included a recipe below)
2 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 180 deg C
Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt into a bowl.
In a separate bowl mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla and oil together and beat well. Combine the half of the dry mix with half of the buttermilk to the wet mix and mix well, combine the other half and beat until mixture is smooth.

Spoon into cupcake papers and fill 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 15-20 mins or until the sponge springs back when pressed.

When cooled, using a knife cut out a small section at the top of the cupcake in which to fill with the lemon curd. Fill with the curd and then pipe with the meringue topping then sprinkle with the toasted coconut flakes.

Lemon Curd (from Treats from Little and Friday cookbook)
125g unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
juice and zest of 4 lemons
3 large eggs

Place all ingredients except eggs into a metal bowl. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from heat when there are no sugar granules left.
In another bowl beat the eggs, add butter and sugar mixture to the eggs and beat until combined. Pour mixture through a strainer to remove the zest and place mixture back over simmering water and heat slowly until thick enough to coat a spoon. 
This makes 2 cups and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Swiss Meringue

Fill a saucepan 1/4 full and heat until simmering.
Place the egg whites and sugar into a bowl (preferably your metal mixing bowl) and put over simmering water, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved (you can test this by rubbing mixture between your fingers, it is done when you can't feel any granules).
Take your bowl off the heat and using a whisk attachment whisk until glossy and thick peaks form. Add the vanilla and mix in.
Fill a piping bag and decorate cupcake, add toasted coconut flakes.