My Blog List

Saturday, October 31, 2009

White Chocolate and Orange Cookies - Sweet & Simple Bakes

A plate full of cookies and there's more to come - I got 40 cookies out of this recipe. They are delightful and delicious. I found the best baking time was 8 minutes as they are left to sit on the hot tray for 5 minutes after being taken from the oven.

Here is a case of "From England - To England." Sweet and Simple Bakes is a wonderful English blog and my niece in England is going to get a box of these cookies in the mail. My niece lives in Cornwall, UK. It's her Birthday and I'm also sending her something pretty from L.L. Bean in the package, plus some lemon cookies from the Lemon Cookie recipe I posted last week.

White Chocolate & Orange Cookies

115g (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
200g (7ozs.) caster sugar (superfine)
1 egg
Grated zest of 1 orange (2 to 3 tsp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g (7 ozs.)plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ baking powder
¼ tsp salt
225g (8 ozs.)white chocolate chips (milk or dark chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Beat the butter and sugar. Add the egg, orange zest and vanilla extract.Sift together the dry ingredients.

Stir the dry ingredients and chocolate chips into the butter mixture and combine.

Roll into balls. Use your fingers to flatten onto a non-stick baking sheet 5cm/2in apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool for five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

When cool, store in an airtight container for up to four to five days.

A Lovely Award!

I've got the Kreativ Blogger award from Nat of Girls are Made of Sugar and Spice. Why, thank you, Nat! It's perked up my day and my blog - been quite a while since I got a nice award. Check out Nat's blog - she's got some great recipes and pics.

This award comes with a tag therefore here is the list of rules :

1) Thank the person who has given you the award.
2) Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3) Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4) Name 7 things about myself that people might find interesting.
5) Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.

My 7 Kreativ Bloggers are:
Occasional Sugar
Eat My Cupcake
Eat My Cake Now
Crazy Asian Gal

Seven Things:
I speak Afrikaans as my second language.
I taught English in the Western Transvaal in S. Africa.
I went to school in Australia.
I love to visit my niece, Lisa, in Penzance, UK.
My favorite hobby is looking at pictures of beautiful cakes in glossy cookbooks.
I have a closet full of cookbooks.
I love spicy foods, particularly Indian and Middle Eastern foods.We got fabulous curry in S. Africa.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cherry-Fudge Brownie Torte - Tuesdays with Dorie

I have such hopes for the deliciousness of this torte. It's almost cool and just waiting for its mousse topping. I can't wait to take it to work tomorrow to get comments.

I made a couple of changes to Dorie's recipe - firstly, I used glace cherries, not sour cherries, and soaked them in the Kirsch for 24 hours. I did not strike a match -there is no way I'm going to play around in the kitchen with bringing up flames. I left out the cherry preserves as I believed it would be too sweet mixed with the glace cherries.

The torte mixing was pretty straightforward; it took more like 70 minutes to get baked. I tasted the mousse - wonderful! A delicate flavor and not too rich.

Thank you April of Short+Rose. This is an exotic pick.

The picture of Kitty Cat is Phoebe trying to get in the way of her Mommy's sewing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Macarons - Daring Bakers

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! My first Macaron effort. I'm posting them just so I can get DB credit for October but I am really ashamed of them; if I only had the time I would try another batch. I did learn some things, though. I made coffee macarons (no feet showed up) and orange zest macarons (feet showed up but still mega room for improvement). One "scientific" discovery was that I should let the macarons sit in the oven at 200 F for more than 5 mins.- more like 10 mins. This way I got the feet on the orange macarons.

I also found that 7-8 minutes at 375 F was not enough. Next effort I'll try 10, but my 2nd batch, the orange macarons, are a bit overbaked, to say the least, as I left them in for 15 mins!

For the filling I have chosen Nutella - always delicious and I just don't think my little experiment matches up to getting a gorgeous buttercream filling. Hopefully my next batch will. I have just pre-ordered, "I Love Macarons" by Hisako Ogita - I have always been a person who buys a book as the solution to whatever problem arises so hopefully this wonderful looking book will do the trick.

The ray of hope is that they tasted really good - particularly the coffee macarons.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lemon Cookies

Delicious, very lemony, and quick to make. I am taking them to a nice afternoon tea with a neighbor today.

These lemon cookies are icebox or refrigerator cookies.
Prep Time: :
Cook Time: :12
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (6 ounces) butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together 1 cup of the sugar with the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, lemon juice and zest, then gradually blend in the flour mixture. Form the dough into 2 rolls about 2 inches wide and 7 inches long. Wrap the rolls in waxed paper and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°.
Unwrap the cookie dough and cut into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle slices lightly with remaining sugar and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on a rack and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 5 to 6 dozen lemon icebox cookies.

Recipe is from

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Almond Cornmeal Cake with Mascarpone Frosting and Toasted Almonds

This is a recipe for a plain almond loaf adapted from Epicurious. It's a very pleasurable cake to make, slightly unusual because of the cornmeal. It fits perfectly into an 8-1/2 loaf tin and rises very nicely.

I got a good tip from the recipe, too: to cut a 24x3 inch piece of parchment paper and place it on the base - middle of the tin with the sides hanging over. These can be used as handles to ease the baked cake out, instead of doing the upside-down, and possibly, disastrous thing. I'm going to use this tip often in future.

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup whole blanched almonds
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 sticks (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°F and butter an 8 1/2- by 4 1/2- by 3-inch loaf pan. Put a 24- by 3 1/2-inch strip of wax paper lengthwise down center of pan (to facilitate unmolding), leaving an overhang on each end.

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Finely grind almonds with 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor and stir into cornmeal mixture.

Beat butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until combined well. Beat in eggs 1 at a time until just blended, then beat in vanilla. (Mixture will look curdled.) Add cornmeal mixture and stir and fold until just combined.

Transfer batter to loaf pan, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife, then use strips to carefully lift cake from pan onto rack.

It says 6 servings, but that would be 6 very large slices. My team is going to have thin, delicate slices so I'll get 12 out of it. Dabbed with mascarpone frosting and some toasted almonds it should be quite elegant.

The Mascarpone Frosting:
8 ozs mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teasp. vanilla
1 TBS 2% milk
1 cup confectioners' sugar

In large bowl, beat together mascarpone and butter until smoothe. Beat in vanilla extract and milk. On low speed, add in confectioners' sugar, increase speed to high and mix 1-2 minutes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Allspice Crumb Muffins - Tuesdays with Dorie

Nice tummy-filling muffins - a really good breakfast, except I have just consumed mine as an after dinner treat. The muffin part is delicious and could certainly stand on its own without the crumble, but the crumble adds a special spicy zing. I was a bit sparing with it after reading the P&Q for this week as I didn't want it to run over the top. I also think the muffins are well, not very light in consistency, but, no problem, they taste good.

Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table selected this weeks recipe. It'a a great one. Thank you, Kayte.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cookies for Our Troops - Operation BakingGALS

Here's this month's round of cookies for our soldiers overseas. The first box is filled with Snickerdoodles, nice old fashioned cookies; the second is of Rice Crispy Brown Sugar Cookies and then the cookies ready to go in the USPS by Priority Mail.

I hope my soldier and his team enjoy the cookies - I am told he likes sugar cookies, and these are pretty close.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Mini Vacation

I'm taking a mini-vacation for a week - going to visit Atlanta, GA. I have never been to Georgia before so I'm really looking forward to it. Will get back to blogging with TWD's Allspice Crumb Muffins.