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Lovers Shortbread

Lovers Shortbread recipe

Lovers Shortbread

This has got to be the simplest shortbread recipe I have ever had the pleasure of making. It takes all of 10 minutes to prepare and another 30 minutes until you can eat your heart out, they taste fantastic and freeze extremely well, what more could you ask for?  I am told these are a Lebanese shortbread, not sure where the Lovers shortbread comes from.

Folks, you really must make a batch of these, we used walnuts but you can make them without anything on top, with almonds or even a little dollop of your favourite jam. I reckon these are going to become very popular. Makes 2 dozen large short bread bisciuts.

What you need

  • 375g salted butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • Walnuts, cherries or whatever you are going to top them off with.
  • Lots of icing sugar to sprinkle on top

The process

  1. Heat your oven to 190 Celsius.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and then pop it into the microwave for about 30 seconds or so. You want it to be soft enough to beat with an electric beater.
  3. Add the icing sugar and beat it very well on high for about 5 minutes until it becomes very pale and creamy, almost white.
  4. No toss in the flour and baking powder in 3 portions mixing after each addition.
  5. Thats it, now all you need to do is form little balls of the mixture, roll them gently in your hand (yes round balls), place them on your baking sheet, press a little hole in the top with your finger and fill the hole with a nut, a lttle jam or even a piece of chocolate.
  6. Pop them in the oven for about 7-10 minutes and then turn off the oven and leave them inside for another 15-20 minutes.
  7. If you notice some of them browning on top you can open the oven to let out some of the heat and close it up again. We made batches that were very pale that melt in your mouth and also had some browned ones that were more like biscuits with a bit of a crunch that I must confess I enjoyed even more.
  8. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool before covering with a generous amount of icing sugar.

(http://cookbook.co.za/baking/famous-cookie-recipes/lovers-shortbread/)

Black Cherry Tiramisu

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Black Cherry Tiramisu

This is a non alcoholic Tiramisu that worked so well the friends and family were groaning at the table, taking “just one more little piece”. It really is very simple and the only thing you need to be a little careful with is not turning the egg yolks into scrambled eggs but I have a fool proof method for that which will make sure your Black Cherry Tiramisu is perfect every time. You wil;l need a 30cm round pie dish or similar (makes enough for 10 people)

What you need

  • 1 x 200g packet lady fingers (Bonomi is the brand I used from Picknpay)
  • 2 x tins black cherries in syrup (pitted)
  • 3 x tablespoons caster sugar
  • 6 x egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 500g Mascarpone cheese (or 250g mascarpone and 250ml fresh cream beaten stiff)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

The process

  1. Open the tins of black cherries and add the syrup to a pot on a medium heat. Add the caster sugar and stir until the caster sugar is completely dissolved then remove and allow to cool while you make the mascarpone mixture. (if you want an alcoholic version, add 2 tots of cherry liqueur now.

Follow these steps for the mascarpone exactly to ensure your egg yolks don’t scramble

  1. Put a small pot of water onto the stove and bring to the boil, remove it.
  2. In a glass mixing bowl add the egg yolks and caster sugar and beat to combine. Now place the bowl over the hot water in the pot and continue to beat until the mixture turns a pale yellow (more white than yellow). It will thicken and when you lift the beaters it should leave a light trail along the top (about 3 minutes of beating)
  3. Remove from the pot of hot water and beat for another 2 minutes until it has cooled a little.
  4. In another bowl combine the mascarpone and vanilla essence (or if you like it a bit lighter like I do the mascarpone and beaten fresh cream and vanilla essence) Mix until smooth with no lumps.
  5. Add the egg yolk and sugar mixture to the mascarpone mixture and fold together until well combines and smooth.
  6. Dip the lady fingers one at a time in the cherry sauce and line the base of your pie dish with ladyfingers.
  7. Add a layer of the creamy mixture and half of the cherries (halve them for a complete layer) and then sprinkle over a little cinnamon.
  8. Repeat the process one more time ending with a layer of black cherries over the top.
  9. Chill in the fridge for about 4-6 hours (this can be made the day before.

Folks, this is seriously delicious, the cherry flavor seems to fool you into thinking it’s not so rich and every mouthful is so tasty you will be hard pressed to stop before you are groaning. 

(http://cookbook.co.za/dessert-recipes/black-cherry-tiramisu/)

year-one-mag:

We’ve already posted a recipe this month, but it’s National Baking Week so we decided to take on a challenge. That’s right, we’ve been making

MACAROONS

You will need:

  • 125g ground almonds
  • 175g icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • food colouring

… and for the filling:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 50g butter
  • flavouring (we used vanilla extract and coffee)

1. First prepare your baking sheets - draw circles of 3-4cm diameter (we drew around a roll of electrical tape!), with enough space between for your macaroons to expand. Use a thick pen that will be visible from the other side - the mixture will pick up any markings on the paper.
2. Mix together the ground almonds and icing sugar in a bowl.
3. Separate your eggs (try this) and whisk the whites in another bowl until they form soft peaks. Add the caster sugar in 3 or 4 portions, whisking well in between each, until you have a smooth glossy mixture.
4. Time to add your colour! We went for red and purple, so we separated the egg white mixture into two bowls before adding the colouring. Mix well.
5. Add your coloured mixture to the almond mixture (don’t forget to split the almond mixture in half if you’ve used two colours like we did!) Use a spatula to fold the mixtures together, until you have a thick smooth consistency.
6. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag (we just used a sandwich bag with the corner cut off) and pipe into the circles on your baking sheet. MAKE SURE you use the pen-less side!
7. Leave the macaroons at room temperature for about 20 minutes - in the meantime pre-heat the oven to 160. Your macaroons are ready to go in when they’ve become firm, and you can touch the top without the mixture sticking to your finger.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes (10 for a smaller macaroon, 15 if they’re slightly bigger). When they’ve risen and are firm and dry on the top, they’re done. Cool on a wire rack, then use a palette knife to get them off the baking paper. 
9. For the filling, mix icing sugar and softened butter, then add a flavouring. We split the mixture in two, adding vanilla essence to one batch and a few drops of strong coffee to the other. Spread the filling on the underside of one macaroon and sandwich it together with another one.

So there we have it - macaroons. Not the easiest thing we’ve ever baked, but a lot easier than we were expecting (especially for our first try!) Our attempts were hardly the smooth little globes of perfection you can buy in fancy bakeries, but hey. Thankfully we prefer the homemade look - and they taste just as good! 

nosebear:

Steamed Cabbage Buns
A kind of Chinese themed version of the Greek dolma, these cabbage buns are full of flavour. Best enjoyed with a soy sauce, garlic and chilli dipping sauce to add a little extra bite to the rolls.
8 cabbage leaves
400g minced pork
handful of pre boiled rice
1 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
Boil a large saucepan of water and add the cabbage leaves. Blanch them for around a minute and a half, take them out and leave to dry. Mix the pork, rice, cornflour, chilli powder and the egg together. Divide into 8 parts and add one part to each of the cabbage leaves.  Wrap the cabbage leaves around the pork and place seam side down in a steamer.
Cook in a steamer for 10 minutes and serve with dipping sauce.
Zoom Info
Camera
Nikon COOLPIX S200
ISO
300
Aperture
f/3.1
Exposure
1/125th
Focal Length
6mm

nosebear:

Steamed Cabbage Buns

A kind of Chinese themed version of the Greek dolma, these cabbage buns are full of flavour. Best enjoyed with a soy sauce, garlic and chilli dipping sauce to add a little extra bite to the rolls.

  • 8 cabbage leaves
  • 400g minced pork
  • handful of pre boiled rice
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Boil a large saucepan of water and add the cabbage leaves. Blanch them for around a minute and a half, take them out and leave to dry. Mix the pork, rice, cornflour, chilli powder and the egg together. Divide into 8 parts and add one part to each of the cabbage leaves.  Wrap the cabbage leaves around the pork and place seam side down in a steamer.

Cook in a steamer for 10 minutes and serve with dipping sauce.

Fall Baking: The Pumpkin Edition

mimieats:

Fall baking - especially when it includes pumpkin - is my absolute favorite, but as I’m in New York and won’t be able to do any of that this year, I decided to go through my old recipes and just reminisce. And share them with you guys, of course.

Mini Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (RECIPE)

Pumpkin Bread (RECIPE)

Pumpkin Mini Muffins (RECIPE)

Hope you guys get to try these out! I’ll just go get myself a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks as consolation…

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