Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lamington Bites

I'm not sure what prompted me to make these cute lamington bites... It could possibly be the list of ever growing "to bake" recipes i have starred in my gmail :P

I'm sure most of you do this as well? See something online that you want to make ----> copy paste into an email ----> mail it to yourself ----> 'starr/bookmark' it for a later date. (or copy paste into word document, then save in a special folder called "bake when you have time!" or something along those lines. (i do this too actually hehe), or have a special bookmarked folder on your computer with a bunch of saved links (yes, i do this as well haha..)

From looking at my email right now i can tell you the last 10 things i've saved..

1. golden syrup scones link here
2. chocolate and peanut butter fondant link here
3. okinomiyaki from this website which i copied and paste so i'm not sure of the link
4. valentines day cupcakes (which i never got around to making) link here
5. caramelised banana crepes with roasted macadamias and caramel sauce link here
6. thumb print cookies link here
7. choc chip cookies link here
8. rainbow cake link here
9. spanakopita link here
10. red velvet cupcakes link here

80% sweet, 20% savoury.

But lamington bites weren't starred, bookmarked or saved anywhere. I think i saw them in a cooking magazine, a lamington squares recipe (must've been in food ideas because i have a bunch of them in my room). But i thought to myself why not make them into smaller bite sized pieces, less guiltier sized pieces that you can just pop into your mouth as a quick & naughty snack.

Well on this occasion, my sister was having some friends over so i thought i'd take this chance to treat them as my test tasting guinea pigs :P

I never knew how simple it was to make lamingtons at home. All it involves is baking cupcakes, make the icing, dip into icing, roll into coconut - and that's it.

The icing is absorbed into the outer layer of the cupcake, and when you roll it into the coconut - the coconut attaches itself to all the wet icing bits and you're left with a dry lamington piece :)

And the verdict? Almost all of them finished! I did try one small one myself (i only allow myself to try a small piece of my baking .. if i were to have anymore i'd be so fat, and all my hard work at the gym goneskies!)

Cupcake was moist, the chocolate icing had set with the coconut and it was like having a piece of chocolate cake, but with icing on all sides (if only that were true everytime you had a slice of cake hehe).

I REALLY recommend trying to make these at home, it was heaps of fun dipping and rolling and seeing the final product, and because its a cupcake mix instead of a sponge you get a bit more dense cake (well i prefer it this way over an airy spongey cake)

As you can see i've made small ones and large ones, personally the smaller ones are my favourite. And here is the recipe, have fun!

Cupcake batter:
makes about 12 muffin sized ( or 48 small cupcake sized)

1.1/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g softened butter
3/4 cup casor sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Pre heat oven to 170"c

Sift together flour & baking powder.

In a separate bowl, cream butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar a third at a time, beating for two minutes after each addition. After the last addition, beat until mixture is light & fluffy and the sugar has almost dissolved.

Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition or until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.

Add a third of the flour to the creamed mixture, and beat on low speed until combined. Add half the milk and beat until combined. Repeat this process. Add the remaining third of the flour and beat until thoroughly combined (do not over beat cos this will toughen the mixture)

Spoon into cupcake patties and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from tray and let cool completely before proceeding with the icing/coconut part below

Chocolate icing
300g (2 cups) icing sugar mixture
35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
60ml (1/4 cup) boiling water

170g (2 cups) desiccated coconut

To make the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl.

Add the milk and water and stir until smooth.

Use 2 forks to dip each cupcake into the warm icing to evenly coat. Allow any excess icing to drip off.

Use your fingers to roll the cake in the coconut to evenly coat, then place on a wire rack.

Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, icing and coconut.

Set aside for 1 hour or until icing sets.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Melting Moments

I found this recipe here, and bookmarked it, and set a reminder on my phone to bake bake bakE! I figured i couldnt go wrong with these crumbly morsels, but i have had my fair share of wrecked cookie batches due to a) crap oven or b) unreliable recipes.

Melting moments:

250g butter, cubed
55 g (1/3 cup) icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla essence
260g (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
50g (1/3 cup) cornflour

60g (3 tbs) butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
pink food colouring
110g (2/3 cup) icing sugar, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

2. Use electric beaters to beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a medium bowl until pale and creamy.

3. Sift the flour and cornflour together into a bowl and add to the butter mixture. Beat on lowest possible speed until just combined and a soft dough forms.

4. Lightly flour your hands and roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into small balls. Place on the prepared baking tray about 5cm apart (note – these expand in the oven!). Use a fork that has been dipped in flour to flatten each ball to about 3cm in diameter and 1cm thick (mine were a bit larger).

5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Cool on the baking tray. Transfer to a wire rack and repeat with the remaining mixture.

6. To make the filling, use electric beaters to beat the butter, vanilla essence in a small bowl until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat until combined, then add colouring until desired colour you want. Cover and place in fridge until required.

7. To assemble the biscuits, spread the base of a biscuit with filling and then join with another biscuit. Repeat with the remaining biscuits and filling.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Town of Berry - & their famous Donut Van

Queen Street, Berry
About 2 hrs drive out of Sydney

The first time i went to Berry was maybe about 4 years ago - on a day trip to Kiama with my family. Berry is about a 20min to half an hour further from Kiama, but its so worth the drive to come here for these awesome donuts.

This trip to Berry would be my third in 4 years - 2nd & third time dragging Richard with me for the long drive to get my donut fiX!

The van also sells hot drinks, cold shakes, and on this visit new additions hot dogs, hot chips, and few other hot food items but one thing everyone always orders is their freshly made donuts. YES you heard me, FRESH and is - made only when they are ordered :)

just an average food stand in a van
on the side of the road... nOT!

yummy in my tummy - fresh hot donuts

When you grab your paperbag of donuts you can feel the incredible heat from then as they have just come out of the fryer and popped into the bag, burnage is possible so i know not to just take a huge bite but to sort of break a piece off carefully with my fingers and blow on it to cool it down before *CHOMPING* it down like a mad donut monster hehe.

"munch munch*

the simplest form of donuts
coated in sugar & cinnamon

Being the greedy chicka that i am - i buy 6 for $5 and save two for us for later in the day as they are just as nice cooled down and slightly soggy from being bashed around in my bag haha :O)


We also ordered some hot beverages to go with the hot donuts (even though it was a pretty hot day i didn't mind it at all) but our cappuchinos were watery and way too hot to drink. Even when it cooled down i couldn't finish it :(

The town of Berry lies on the one street called Queen street, so when you enter Queen street that is the only place you need to be. Parking anywhere along that road (and im sure there are a few small side streets but i've never had a problem finding parking. The Donut Van you will find on the right side furthest from you, you can't miss it!

So while i've been here three times now i've never actually explored the place.. so we went for a walk and found a few interesting shops.. :)

what a spinnout..wooah

Now this was really random a street pole with atleast 30 places ?! Various places in Oz i guess but still cool.

This bottle shop/motel just beside the Donut Van is covered in HUB CAPS! Small large medium any size you can find i think it looks pretty cool.

On Queen Street you can also find clothing stores, a butcher, a few cafes, a pub and other shops that i didnt think were too interesting to go into until Richard pulled me into this liquor store called "berry bottle shop"..

This wasnt just any old liquor store .. as you can see in my pictures below- almost every bottle of wine had a note attached to it - with a description of the drink! This guy has tasted almost every drink in his store! Haha, what an alco.. kiddin! hehe.

So obviously you would trust this dude and his stock as he would only stock the wines he thinks is worth selling so we asked him for some recommendations & left with two bottles (one sweet muscato for me and one red for Richard).

anything rainbow will attract my attention

"better than sex . . . and cheaper!"

We spent a good ten or fifteen minutes in this shop (only cos Richard is a winohead hehe).

Another shop that caught my eye was this clock shop called "cuckoo corner".

tick tock tick tick tock

The shop is just full of clocks, and even the huge standing vintage clocks they had a few (but had a ridiculous price tag on them i felt poor just looking at them so i didn't take any photo's)

I asked the lady behind the counter if i could take some pictures and she kindly (and shyly) said yes as if she thought

I've also been told there is a famous PIE shop in berry which i might have a look for the next time i'm visiting (probably later this year!)