Thursday, July 31, 2014

BREAD by Dean Brettschnieder

Bread by Dean Brettschnieder 
There is nothing quite like the taste and aroma of warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven bread baked in your own kitchen. Bread is the latest book from New Zealand celebrity chef Dean Brettschnieder.  When I met Dean at the launch of his first book (Pie: 80+ Pies and Pastry Delights), he said he thought it would be awesome to release a series of books each focussing on a certain food.  The arrival of Bread sees Dean on the path to achieving this dream. In this irresistible collection of bread recipes, you'll find breads to match any occasion – from savoury to sweet, healthy to festive. Whether you fancy a bagel or a baguette, sourdough or sticky buns, these delectable and easy-to-follow recipes are sure to become firm favourites.

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The book has over 60 recipes (you can check out the one for NYC Sticky Pecan Buns on the Penguin Books website) which have been gorgeously photographed by Aaron McLean.  Dean also shares his expert knowledge of how to make exceptional breads with detailed step-by-step instructions on artisan techniques, plus information on essential ingredients and equipment.

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I think the book would make a great gift, especially for those guys out there who like baking, because let’s face it, baking bread seems a bit manlier than making pretty little cupcakes.  You will be amazed at the quality, lightness, volume, flavour, crust and crumb of your bread after following Dean's recipes, tips and know how.  The book is out in stores now (RRP $45), so keep an eye out for it and grab yourself a copy.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sandwiched Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies

Salted Caramel Brownie 1

I saw a delicious looking picture (similar to mine) pop up in my Facebook newsfeed recently so I followed the link to the Donna Hay website and had to get into the kitchen to give them a go, making a few tweaks along the way. They were better than I imagined, actually I think they are one of the best things I have ever baked!

Ingredients:
350g dark chocolate, chopped
40g unsalted butter
2 eggs
⅓ cup caster sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup plain flour, sifted
¼ teaspoon baking powder, sifted

Salted caramel frosting
¾ cup caster sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup cream
150g unsalted butter, chopped
sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

Salted Caramel Brownie 2

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place 200g of the chocolate and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.
Set aside. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and whisk for 12-15 minutes or until pale and creamy.
Stir through the flour, baking powder, chocolate mixture and remaining chocolate and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room to spread.
Bake for 8–10 minutes or until puffed and cracked. Allow to cool completely on trays.

To make the salted caramel icing, place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir with a metal spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 8–9 minutes or until golden.
Remove from the heat and carefully add the cream and butter. Return the saucepan to the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth.
Refrigerate until completely cool.
Using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk mixture until soft peaks form.
Spread half the cookies with the icing, sprinkle with the salt and sandwich with the remaining cookies.

Salted Caramel Brownie 3

I do urge you to give them a go! They are simply amazing. Although before I sign off, a couple of tips - make sure you do let the mixture stand, it will thicken and reduce spreading. If your brownie cookies do spread unevenly use a circular cutter to cut down/shape the biscuits while they are still hot out of the oven, you do need them to be a uniform size to sandwich. Also, I made my caramel frosting first as by the time I had made my cookies and let them cool completely I was ready to sandwich.

Friday, July 4, 2014

July on Food TV

July on Food TV is all about ‘Winter Warmers’ and with the cold snap covering the country at the moment you will want to check out their website and Pinterest board for some inspiration to warm up in the most delicious of ways! They also have two fabulous new baking shows new this month for us to enjoy.

CHEF HESTON BLUMENTHAL

HESTON'S FANTASTICAL FOOD: MONDAY 12.30PM, 4.30PM, 8.30PM FROM 7TH JULY
If you are a regular reader of the blog you will know that I have a real soft spot for Heston! I am so excited about this series, it is absolutely wondrous and encourages you to find your inner child and find joy in the simple pleasures. This series will allow you to step into chef Heston Blumenthal's wonderland as he creates amazing, supersized versions of meals and treats, bringing back the wonder and excitement of childhood food. From creating the world’s largest boiled egg and cereal on an epic scale to creating the biggest ‘99 ice cream and flake the world has ever seen, which is large enough to feed a whole town and flavoured with extra special paint balls! This magical series won’t fail to wow, entertain and enthral audiences the world over.

Unique Sweets

UNIQUE SWEETS: SATURDAY 2.30PM, 6.30PM, 10.30PM FROM 19TH JULY
Unique Sweets is an insider's peek into innovative eateries across America that are creating the most unique and exciting desserts today. These sweet spots cover the gamut: restaurants with revolutionary pastry chefs; candy shops inventing eye-popping confections; chocolate boutiques with wild artisanal flavours; and bakeries producing one-of-a-kind pastries, cakes and cookies in the middle of the night. Wherever there are gooey, crunchy, sticky and sweet treats that you won't find anywhere else, Unique Sweets will take you there.

Unique Sweets (1)

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Sweet Giveaway from Little Cherubs

We are really lucky to bring you a super sweet giveaway from our wonderful sponsor Little Cherubs! Little Cherubs is an online business that brings a you a premium range of children's tutus, pettiskirts, jewellery and hair accessories. We are excited to offer you not one but two chances to win!

Little Cherubs GA

Our grand prize winner will receive a prize for the sweetest little princess. It includes a Berry Twist Mini Pettiskirt, matching Doll Sized Pettiskirt, and a gorgeous headband.

Little Cherubs GA2

The second prize winner will receive their choice of either a red velvet cupcake scented pendant necklace or Hokey Pokey scented pendant necklace.

To win you need to check out the Little Cherubs website and tell us, in the comments section below, what you think the sweetest product they stock is! You must also ‘like’ the Little Cherubs Facebook page to be in the draw, this will ensure that you are kept up to date with new stock offerings and are aware of any sales. Please make sure that you leave your name or email address so we can contact you if you are a winner.  The giveaway closes at 5pm  7 July. 2014.  We will choose our winners by a random draw and announce them on the blog and on our Facebook page.  If we haven’t heard back from you (if you are the winner) by the 14th of July, the prize will be re-drawn.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Cake Book by Cupcake Jemma

Cupcake-Jemma 
Food Tube is Jamie Oliver’s YouTube community of food lovers – the series showcases the most popular talent on the channel and has over 400,000 subscribers, if you haven’t already, go check it out. It’s free and updated weekly with new videos sharing new recipes, tutorials, and fabulous food.

Food Tube Books 
Out of the Food Tube channel comes three great new cookbooks.  We’ve got The  Cake Book by Cupcake Jemma, Kerryann Dunlop The Family Cookbook by Kerryan Dunlop and The BBQ Book by and DJ. All the recipes featured in this series fulfil Jamie’s exceptionally high food standards of quality, flavour and fun.  

Being obsessed with baking, we got our hands on The Cake Book to review.  It’s great!  The book has four chapters of delicious seasonal recipes, plus an extra chapter covering the basics.  There are over 50 unique recipes, as well as hints and tips to get you set up and help your along the way.  Some of Jemma’s inventive creations include PB & J Cupcakes, Jamaican Ginger Cake, and Vegan Vanilla Fudge Cupcakes (click on the links for the recipes!). All the recipes have been beautifully photographed by David Loftus (I follow this guy on instagram – man he has a lot of talent and one awesome job). 

JEMMA_4 
Cupcake Jemma (Jemma Wilson) is a part of the London street food scene and began baking professionally in 2006 with her own Brick Lane market stall, which has since turned into her hugely successful company Crumbs and Doilies.  She is super creative and her videos on Food Tube are fun to watch.    

 

The Cake Book is instores today and is super affordable with an RRP of just $15.99.  We can’t wait to try out the awesome recipes and collect the other books in the series!

JEMMA_4 
The Cake Book by Cupcake Jemma, RRP $15.99, published by Penguin Group in Jamie’s Food Tube Book series. Copyright Jamie Oliver Enterprises (2014 The Cake Book) Photographer: David Loftus.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Caramel Nut Slice

Caramel Nut Slice 1

This slice is an absolute favourite at my workplace at the moment and in a very short time I’ve been asked to make it several times by those who have sampled it. It is a very simple recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Ingredients:
180g butter
1/2 cup White Sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Caramel
1 tin condensed milk
75 grams butter
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup

Topping
1/4 - 1/2 each cup each, *peanuts, cashews, slithered almonds, walnuts roughly chopped
*You can use whatever nuts you prefer/have on hand

Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and line a 25cm x 15cm slice tin with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar, then add in vanilla.  Sift in the flour and baking powder and gently mix until combined.
Press mixture evenly into your baking paper lined tin.
Flash bake in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and set aside.
At this stage you will need to make your caramel.  To make the caramel melt together the condensed milk, golden syrup and butter in the microwave, I gave mine four zaps of 40 seconds each, stirring between each interval.  Your caramel is ready when it is golden and thickened. 
Pour the caramel over the base you have created in your slice tin.
Cover with nuts, pressing them very gently, just into the caramel.
Bake in your pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven when the nuts are golden/beginning to brown.
Leave in the tin to cool completely before slicing into squares.
You can decorate by drizzling melted chocolate over it or serve as is.

Caramel Nut Slice 2