Sunday, August 28, 2011

Craving Caramelisation

I have been craving caramelised onions for days, I can taste them, the sweet & savoury delight, only I have never cooked them myself before. But my craving was overtaking my senses so I had little choice but to learn fast!

I have had them on little puff pastry squares, cut a sheet into 9 squares and them place a spoon of caramelised onions into the centre of each and top with grated cheese.....
Find a great recipe for an awesome tart and make it for the entire family!

Caramelised Onion Tart
4 Medium Onions – sliced
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1-2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Packet Puff Pastry
½ cup Ricotta Cheese (light or full cream)
1 Egg Yolk
¼ cup Tasty Cheese – grated
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese – grated
1 Tbsp Parsley – finely chopped
Salt & Pepper

Using a medium fry pan, place it on a low heat and heat up your olive oil. Slice up the onions and set aside.

Once oil has heated, place in the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for 15-20 mins until translucent.  Add brown sugar to start the caramelizing process, and then the vinegar. Cook for 10 minutes until a nice sticky and caramelized mixture, and you are stopping yourself from eating out of the frypan!

Preheat oven at 180 degrees. Roll out your pastry and press it into a greased and floured pie dish.  Mix egg yolk into the ricotta with a fork. Spread the cheese mixture over the pastry in the pie dish.
Then cover the cheese with the caramelised onions. Sprinkle the parsley, parmesan and the tasty cheese. Finally sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in to the oven and bake the tart for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Baking for a Cause!

When there is call for a “Cause” to Bake for, I am up there volunteering that a much needed cause is the Australian RSPCA! The RSPCA help 1000s upon 1000s of helpless animals each year through rescues, care, shelter and rehousing the numerous animals including domestic, livestock and wildlife.

I decided to bake & frost a batch of cupcake especially for the laaaaaadies!

Devils Food Cake Cuppies with a Rosewater flavoured Swiss Meringue Buttercream, piped on the top just like actual rose. With glitter of course!

Not a flavour I would think would have usually worked but not long ago I gave a dessert a go.... how unusual for me.... and it was a chocolate and rosewater parfait. It was to die for!

Price RSPCA Cupcake Day = $1.00 each
Special Cook for a Cause price.

We made $120.00 which was donated on 17 August 2011 to the RSPCA. My Cuppies (to be honest) were a huge hit and were first to go in the sale! A very proud moment.

The texture of Swiss Meringue Buttercream is fantastic to pipe with. I thought that I had ruined it when I whisked the 5 egg whites and the 1 1/4 cup of castor sugar, I needed to take off the double boiler and into the kitchen aid and whisk on high until it was white, thick and just prior to the stiff peaks you add in the butter and or shortening..... given it was late and I had obviously momentarily lost my baking mind... I tipped in the hot egg white mix and then immediately added the butter and started to whisk! What had i done?? It went to a white milk like consistency and I freaked out! I flicked the switch to super high speed, fingers crossed, whisk it baby.... and ran to start googling like a crazy girl on how to recover adding butter in too early, googling however was not very successful, however when i returned about 15-20 minutes later to peek in the mixer..... volare!!!!! I had stiff meringue!!! I couldn't believe it!! Moral of the story - believe and you can recover a swiss meringue buttercream failure.

A shout out to Dianne at for the fabulous utube link on the rose frosting tutorial. Uing piping tip Wilton 2D and the technique was easy and effective! Thank you Dianne XXX.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Ladybirds & Ruby Heels for a Special Birthday Surprise!

It was Miss Meaghan’s birthday and I was all a twitter to bake her a super surprise but I had to figure out the perfect theme...

To help figure it out I put the story of Meaghan together, I needed a set of three:
-          Animal lover
-          Girlie Girl
-          Always a lady

After much googling, hey presto! Click your heels Dorothy and take me home, it’s M’s for Meaghan and showered all round in Ladybirds!!

Price  = $3.50 each
Made to Order.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Oldie but a Goodie – a Banana Blueberry Loaf Cake...

This recipe I am about to share is so tried and tested that it is etched into my brain. I hadn’t made it in at least 2 years, however the other day I was at my best friends and waiting for her 4 year old to get dropped off to me and I thought... what do kiddies love to do??? Cooking! Well cracking eggs and stirring! Hey Presto! Now what can I cook off the top of my head best of all?? That’s right my good ole Banana Blueberry Cake, and even me who doesn’t do bananas eats this scrumptious warm gooey cake.

The great thing with this cake is that you don’t need a mixer, it is best done with a simple wooden spoon. And the two key things best to remember are grease & flour your loaf tin well, and add your blueberries last and don’t stir much.  You want your blueberries to remain whole and plump in the mix, too much stirring will break them up and just turn your mix purple.

Banana Blueberry Cake

125g (or ½ cup) of soft Butter or Margarine
1 cup Castor Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence (not essential)
1 tub of yoghurt (preferably vanilla or can be substituted for sour cream)
1-2 mashed bananas
2 cups of Self Raising Flour
1 can of drained Blueberries

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
In bowl mix butter and castor sugar until well combined.   Sugar should be creamed in the butter to make a soft paste.  Next mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.

Stir in the yoghurt and combine.  Next up mash your bananas in a separate bowl and add to your mix. Lightly stir in the flour until just mixed in and finally add your drained blueberries and just stir through about 3 stirs. Pour mixture into the prepared tin.

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes, or until golden brown, must spring back when touched and depending on the brand of yoghurt or the ripeness of bananas it may require longer to bake.  Allow pan to sit on counter for approximately 15 minutes after baking and tip out onto a cooling rack.

Then ensure that you cut yourself at least one slice whilst it is still warm, cause it’s the best time to sit and enjoy it, when its moist and the blueberries are all warm and gooey.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lemon Crumb Squares are Devine!

I have been on a personal mission for 2011 and that has been to cook my way through the world’s greatest blogger (in my eyes), it is

This Lemon Crumb Squares was another fabulous recipe I took on and you need to try it, its easy and absolutely delicious!!  Especially if you love lemon curd, it’s a must.

Cudos to The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond on another brilliantly devised recipe!

1 &  1/3 cup Plain Flour
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
125g Butter – room temp
1 cup Oats
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cup Lemon Juice
Zest of 1 Lemon

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In bowl mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.   Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.   Then add the oats and flour to the butter mixture and mix well.
Using a lamington tin, press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased and floured pan.

In a separate bowl mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest until it is a golden creamy delicious concoction. Spread on top of the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, crumbling it over the creamy lemon (do not press this time).

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool. Best served cold.  If it lasts it will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge, but I bet it doesn’t last anywhere near that long!