Melting Moments

In one word: Amazing. In two words: Absolutely delicous. In three words: Try these today! Melting moments from the Masterchef website, so easy and so so so good!

180g unsalted butter, softened

60g custard powder, sifted

60g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

180g plain flour, sifted

 Icing Ingredients:

60g unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2/3 cup icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 175’C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. In a mixer cream butter for 2 minutes or until fluffy, add in custard powder and icing sugar and mix until combined. Sift baking powder and flour together and add to the butter mix in two lots. Beating well after each addition. Roll into balls with the weight of 25g, I got 21 halves out of the mix. Place on the lined trays, leaving a gap between each to allow for spreading, press a fork into the top of each biscuit to make the line pattern. Place in the oven for 13-16 minutes or until light golden. Once baked mine were approximately 6cm across, if you want to make larger ones you can make 40g balls and this will make 10 halves. Place on racks to cool.

Meanwhile in a small bowl of a mixer beat butter and vanilla bean paste until smooth and fluffy, sift in icing sugar and mix until a thick paste forms. Use a dash of milk to thin if needed. Spoon into a piping bag with a large nozzle and pipe filling onto half of the biscuits. Stick the halves together and enjoy! Store in an airtight container, in the fridge if you want your icing hard.

After watching Masterchef on the weekend I just knew I had to give these a go. I have attempted melting moments before but with no success. These were fool proof. Baked by Julia on the show she won the challenge, hers also had home made raspberry jam in the middle, but that was a bit much to ask for a Tuesday night baking fix. Daniel loved them and kept coming into kitchen to “check” on me while they were cooking. I would definitely like to try the jam version on a lazy Sunday but the vanilla bean frosting is perfect for mid week.

I had no issues with this recipe. I chopped up a whole 250g block of butter to soften, the recipe only needs 240g but you lose some to the bowl, the spoon, the beaters and in my case the floor as well so 250g worked out perfectly for me. The biscuit mix seems quite wet when you first roll it but it works out perfectly, if anything I think the extra moisture helps stop them from cracking. I ended up eating the extra half last night for my dessert instead of a whole one, and I tell you what I think I might be onto something, half biscuits with icing, amazing!

Something about the addition of custard powder makes these even better, I have used that method before but this is the perfect amount, it makes a light yellow coloured biscuit which contrasts beautifully with the white and black speckled icing in the middle. I think the 40g biscuit suggested in the original recipe is too big, 25g worked perfectly for me and I am really glad I read the comments on the bottom of the recipe from other people who had tried it earlier in the day. If you get a chance this week or even this weekend, give these a go. I realised after I made them that Daniel and I had been together for 3 ½ years exactly yesterday, so they made a nice half anniversary treat, even if it was unintentional!

This will be this weeks only post but I promise you next week will be filled with awesome posts, being my birthday on Saturday I will be getting my bake on big time so will have heaps to share with you. Have a lovely week!

Love Sonia

 

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Banana Nut Bread

Another family favourite, this time from my Mum’s family. Banana nut bread, possibly the weirdest mix of ingredients you’ll ever combine but trust me it is delicious!

50g Butter, softened

1 Egg

½ cup of white or caster sugar

1 tspn vanilla essence

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 ½ cups of plain flour

2 tspns baking powder

½ tspn salt

¼ cup chopped nuts

2 cups rice bubbles

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a loaf tin. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add vanilla and egg and beat well. Stir in bananas and rice bubbles. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture. Add nuts and stir only until combined. Spread mixture in loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

An easy mix and easy to bake and lasts all week long so you can have it all to yourself if you want. My Mum has made this for me for as long as I can remember and makes it for me nearly every time I go to visit. It is perfect for lunch boxes or morning tea and it is pretty healthy so even makes a pretty good peckish after dinner snack. Some of my favourite memories of camping when I was younger involved banana nut bread, breaking pieces off for a snack after swimming and playing.

This doesn’t have a texture like banana bread, if you make it and think it will be like that you will be bitterly disappointed. It is dense, moist, nutty and you can spread margarine on it if you want. You can slice it thick or thin or just break chunks off like I do. The best cereal for this is rice bubbles, however as I found out when baking this you can also use other cereals, I had to use half corn flakes because I ran out of rice bubbles. It works but it isn’t as nice. The longer you leave it through the week the more bananary it gets.

If you have small kids and they aren’t allergic to peanuts give this a go. Kids love it and I love it too, maybe I’m just a big kid at heart! If you are looking for a delicious warming scent to fill your kitchen with this weekend, give banana nut bread a go.

Love Sonia

Gran’s Malt Loaf

This is an absolute family favourite! I remember eating it all through my childhood and love it even more now!

260g Self Raising Flour

1 teaspoon bi carb soda

2 tablespoons golden syrup

2 tablespoons malt extract

300ml milk

1 egg

100g sultanas

Preheat the oven to 180’C. Sift flour and bi-carb together in a bowl. In the microwave, melt the golden syrup, malt extract and milk together and stir until combined and a golden colour. Beat egg and add it the flour mix. Add sultanas. Pour in milk mix and stir until all combined. Grease and line a loaf tin. Por mixture in and bake for around 40 minutes. Check after 30. Store in an airtight container. Serves 8.

“Traditionally” in the Clarkson family we eat this with margarine spread on it, why? I don’t know why, it’s just how it has always been, and its good! As someone who doesn’t have butter or marg on bread it’s odd for me to like it like this. Try it both ways. It has a soft almost spongy texture scattered with plump sultanas.

I only used 80g of sultanas because my lovely Daniel doesn’t like them. As he said when he tried it this afternoon, it’s really good except for the sultanas. But hey, I can’t always please everyone! This is one of those recipes you will either love or hate, for the same reason as Daniel or if you don’t like malt. The malt extract comes in a large tin from the supermarket and is about $12 you only need 2 tablespoons so you get heaps and heaps out of the tin. Oh and it’s a liquid, like golden syrup.

When I checked the cake half way through, to turn it around because my oven has a nasty hot spot, it had formed some kind of growth and the top was really hard. I have to admit I was worried. Once the cooking time was up I put it on the bench to cool. Once it had cooled for about 10 minutes the top softened and started looking more like my Gran’s. When I cut into it all fears I had melted away, it was perfect, I cut myself a slab and buttered it up. Just as good as I had remembered!

I hope that you get the chance to make this and it becomes a family memory for you too!

Love Sonia x

Where the magic happens – My Kitchen

 

After many suggestions from my family that I should show you all where the magic happens, here it is – My kitchen 🙂 Made out to be tiny by anyone who comes to visit -it suits me just fine for now. Granted there is minimal bench space, hence I have become a whiz at mixing while holding the bowl. Enjoy!

My Pride and Joy!

 

Tomorrow’s post will be Gran’s Malt Loaf, stay tuned!

Love Sonia x

 

Gran’s Lemon Syrup Cake

 

Want something simple, something you can make from the pantry and ready in an hour to impress your friends? Lemon syrup cake, light, fluffy, deliciously lemony!

125g butter, softened

1 ½ cups caster sugar

1 large or 2 small lemons, rind finely grated, juiced

2 eggs

1 ½ cups self raising flour, sifted

½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 180’C. Grease and line a a 19cmx 10cm loaf tin. Using and electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time beating well after each addition. Add half the flour and half the milk and stir to combine. Fold in remaining flour and milk. Spoon mixture into the loaf tin. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Combine remaining sugar and 1/3 cup of lemon juice in a small jug or cup, pour over hot loaf while still in pan. Stand in pan until cooled. Store in an airtight container. Serves 8.

This cake is too good considering how easy it is to make! I took the butter out of the fridge when I got home from work, set it in front of the heater to soften, (Canberra weather doesn’t like softening butter on the bench after April) made dinner and watched Masterchef. At 8pm it was cake time, make the batter, bake for 45 minutes, pour syrup over and let cool for as long as possible before the temptation of warm lemony cake became too much. There is nothing quite like fresh cake while watching Packed to the Rafters on a cold May night.

Nothing hard about it, just a simple weekday cake that I am so so so glad my Gran shared with me. I shared it around at work today and everyone loved it, if you like lemon and you like light cakes, this is for you. A really nice change from a plain chocolate weekday cake. Having become a little obsessed with lemon lately this really hit the spot.

After a lovely weekend in Queensland to visit my Mum, step-dad and little brother I felt I needed to have my baking fix, even though with Mum’s help I baked a pavlova and chocolate marmalade cake complete with chocolate transfer shards. With very little in the cupboards after a weekend away this cake was so easy to do with all the ingredients on hand. Below are the photos of the weekends desserts. Enjoy!

Love Sonia

 

Lemon Sunburst Slice

A zesty slice that proves that taste always conquers  looks. Although not so pretty, this tart is guaranteed to bring a smile to every one at afternoon tea time.

1 cup self raising flour

1 ¼ cups plain flour

2 cups icing sugar mixture

250g butter, room temperature

4 eggs

1 ½ cups caster sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

½ cup lemon juice

Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm lamington tin, the edges extended 2cm above the pan. Preheat the oven to 170-180’C. Process self raising flour, 1 cup of the plain flour, ½ cup of the icing sugar and butter until combined. Press over the base of the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes or until firm. Cool in pan. Whisk eggs, caster sugar, remaining plain flour, rind and ¼ cup of lemon juice in a medium bowl. Pour over the biscuit base and bake for about 30 minutes or until firm, Cool in pan. Stir remaining icing sugar and remaining lemon juice in a small bowl and spread over slice. Cut into squares when set. Store in an airtight container.

This recipe was given to me by my Gran, along with some other recipes, I decided that this one looked the tastiest, so decided to give it a go. More time consuming than I originally thought, I ended up getting up extra early this morning to ice it. Luckily I could leave it on the bench to cool over night, -0.8’ overnight meant it was fine to do so. Once I peeled back the paper (after making the trip to work in the car where the heating melted the icing and slid it all over the place) a realised that this tart had the wrong proportions. Never the less I cut it up and shared it with the people at work, Its beautiful lemony flavour and sweetness of the icing made up for the 2/3rd base 1/3 filling slice I had created.

The issues I had with this recipe was that I didn’t have the right sized tin, I used a 20x20cm tin instead which resulted in the base being way too thick. It rose to about double the height it was when I pressed it into the pan. A trap for young players! Having said that, I don’t think the filling would have been enough for a 20x30cm tin. The icing was the perfect amount even after losing a bit to the container and under the baking paper.  Even with all the minor issues I would still bake this again, leaving more time to do so.

Sweet, sticky, crunchy, gooey and tangy. The perfect non chocolate slice if you ask me! If you have a 20cm x 30cm lamington tin please try this out for me and let me know how you go! For now I’ll be adding that tin to the list of things to buy when we get a bigger kitchen!

Love Sonia x

 

Lemonade Scones

What happens when it is day before pay day, there is nothing to eat in the house yet you still want something sweet and indulgent. Scones! Cheap, delicious and ready in 15 minutes.

2 cups Self Raising flour, sifted

¼ cup caster sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup lemonade

½ cup thickened cream

2 tbs milk

Preheat oven to 220’C. Grease or cover a baking tray. Place the flour, sugar and ½ tsp of salt in a large bowl. Add the cream and lemonade and mix to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until combined. Press the dough with your hands to a thickness of 4cm. Use a 6cm cutter to cut out 8 or so scones. Place on the baking tray, brush the tops with milk and bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Serve warm with your favourite jam and some cream if you wish.

I made 7, and one small ball of dough. I also used sugarfree lemonade and they were sweet enough like that. For me this recipe was a little strange, having been a flour, margarine and milk girl, not adding milk or marg to this seemed strange, but it did work! They have a different texture to my usual scones but they still have that delicious, warming, comforting feeling accompanying them. I think that the cream makes them a little softer, more like bread.

I had no issues making these, in fact they took a lot less time than my normal scones and were a lot better as a dessert scone as they were sweeter. A beautiful last minute dessert for a cold Canberra night. Spread with raspberry jam from the handmade markets and a little thickened cream mixed with a teaspoon of icing sugar which ran all over the scone to make a very cheap indulgent dessert.

There isn’t much else to say about scones apart from the fact that they are one of my favourite baked treats and as far as this recipe goes I’d definitely use it again. If you run out of food like we did or you just love scones or your mother in law is on her way over and you only just found out, lemonade scones are the way to go.

Love Sonia