Sunday, August 31

Browned butter and cinnamon apple slice




This recipe takes me back to my childhood to when my grandparents used to make afternoon tea. .. I never knew my grandparents as a couple, they divorced long before I was born (and long before it became 'acceptable' in society).  In any case, they both baked and loved to bake for their family for morning or afternoon tea.  You'd never have caught either of them buying baked goods, and I'm mostly the same, mostly because I love the creative and nurturing aspect of cooking for others, but also for cost.  Back in my grandparents' day I'm sure even more so.

This is super easy, you don't need any fancy mixers of equipment and it uses ingredients you could easily have laying around the cupboard and fridge.  The browned butter gives it a more caramelly and rich taste, and the slice makes at least 12-15 pieces, or even more if want to spread it further!

Ingredients:
Crust
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tb brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
150g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping
5 cups sliced apples (I basically cut 8 pieces from 1 apple)
2 eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup plain flour
150g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract


Method:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees c

Line a 13 x 18 inch rectangle cake tin with oil and baking paper

In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients and mix up with a fork.

Melt your butter and mix in your vanilla extract.  Gradually add to the dry ingredients stirring well with the fork.

It should come together like breadcrumbs.  Don't worry if it's a bit on the dry side, just get in with your fingers if necessary and make sure there's no big lumps

Press into the bottom of the tin and then bake for 20 minutes.

While that's baking peel and cut your apples or if you're like me and have some in the freezer (I love when I can get apples at 80c a kilo!).

Then get your butter browned.. remember this isn't burnt! This is not browned... it will froth up first..

THIS is frothy.

Then it becomes brown on top.. take it off the heat now an put into a jug or bowl.

See how it's brown on the bottom?

Put the topping dry ingredients in a bowl, mix then add eggs.

Slowly add the vanilla and the browned butter and mix until smooth.. won't take long.

Add your apples and coat them well.

Add to the base and flatten out all the apples so there's an even coating.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top.  Cool on a rack to allow the bottom to get cool as well.

Slide out when cool onto the bench or chopping board and slice how you like..

Dust with icing sugar when ready to serve!

I managed to sneak a piece when putting into an airtight container to take to church, but didn't get a chance for a second piece, all gone!



Saturday, August 16

Sunday Baking Project Cinnamon swirl raisin bread - perfect for toast!




I actually can't believe it's taken me so long to make this - given that I love to make bread and I'm never ashamed of saying cinnamon is my favourite spice.   This one is quite easy and can be made in bulk if you like to freeze it.  I made two and sliced them before freezing, now we have a slice every other day - it's a good break from cereals and regular toast... and a bit of a treat!    Only issue is 6 days later, there's no more left - a bit too popular in this house.  I think I'll be making it again before this weekend's out.

Ingredients
Per loaf
3 1/4 cups plain flour
2 1/4 tsp dried yeast
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
80g softened butter
1/2 cup raisins

Egg wash:  1 egg mixed with 2 tsp milk
Cinnamon swirl:  1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Method:
In a bowl mix flour, sugar yeast and salt.  Stir to combine.

With your hands of with an electric mixer with dough hook or food processor with a plastic blade, add the flour mixture and then add milk, egg and butter until it makes a smooth dough, should take about 2-3 minutes with electric mixers - 5-8 minutes if doing by hand.

Then knead through your raisins.

Put in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap in a warm place for it to rise to double it's size, should take about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Do you like my solar-powered waving queen?  She was looking after my dough..

And did a great job of supervising the rise..

Then roll our your dough into an oblong with the shorter side being roughly the size of your loaf pan.  Cover with egg wash.

Sprinkle your swirl mixture evenly, then fold in the sides into the mddle.

Then roll up the dough from the short side up.

Place into your loaf tins seam-side down (that's where the edge of the dough you rolled up is) and leave to rise for another hour.  Preheat your oven to 190 degrees c.

When that's done, push into the corners of your loaf tin a little and brush again with the egg wash.

Bake for about 40 minutes.  Leave to cool in your tin for about 20 minutes before slicing.

If you can't wait (completely understandable, it smells divine!) put it in the toaster straight away..

and lather with butter.  Yum.
Thank you to spicedblog.com for the inspiration!  Yummy!

Tuesday, August 12

Home-made crunchy muesli (for yoghurt topping or for breakfast cereal!)





Years ago when I lived in the UK I had a mad obsession for almond and strawberry muesli.  It reached it's peak when I was living in Jersey in the Channel Islands where I was working long days and fed myself this glorious muesli with fresh jersey milk (more like cream actually) for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner.  It was a bit mad.. but hey, I'm sure I'm not the first person who loved cereal for dinner and I won't be the last.

My girls love muesli too, but I can't get them to eat raw muesli.  Not.at.all.  Their favourite way to eat muesli is on top of yoghurt, and they're fine with natural yoghurt, just as long as the yoghurt isn't raw.  So I pick my battles and made this muesli and it lasted a whole... 3 days.  I suspect hubby may have had some too... It's not rocket science and it's completely adaptable.

Ingredients
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup oats
1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup flax seeds
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey 
80g butter
2 cups rice bubbles
100g packet dried blueberries (or other fruit that you like)

Method:
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees c

Roughly chop up your almonds or blitz them in a blender, depends how whole you like them..
Pour them on a lined baking tray and add your pepitas and oats.

Lastly add the flax seed (you can buy this from most health food shops/delicatessens) and give it a good mix

Toast in the oven for about 15 minutes - until you can smell your almonds roasting.

Empty into a bowl, add blueberries and ricebubbles, give it a good mix.

In a saucepan, add butter and honey, and then when your butter is melted, mix well and add to your bowl.

Mix well.

Spread back on your lined baking sheet and pop into the oven for another 25 minutes until golden brown

It smells aaaaaahhhh-mazing.  let it cool and then break up to eat later, or eat it now... no judgements from me...


Sunday, July 27

A foodie's must do in New York City: Chelsea Market



New York in summer is such a different experience to the winter.  It's almost a different city and and not in a bad or a good way, just different, every season brings it's charms but this city changes dramatically.

Something I never did last trip was to take the Subway.  With 5 people it isn't as cost effective but on your own or with just a few of you 2.25 for each ride on the MTA (Metro) is quite reasonable and it doesn't matter how long your trip is.We got off at 14th Street Station and took a short walk to Chelsea Market


Just a tip, hang onto the something on the subway, especially when it first jolts out of your stop.  You will go flying otherwise, and because the subway is so old, the tracks aren't strictly even so you go up and down side to side much more than the more modern trains of today.  But I found the trip pleasant and quick.

Chelsea Market, which has been refurbished from a former biscuit company is where they film a lot of the Food Network Shows like Iron Chef America and Rachel Ray and the bottom floor houses a glorious food market which is infamous here in New York.

Inside, it's set up as a long arcade with a few offshoots.  It's allllll about food my friends so it's an absolute must do.  There's places to eat, cakes, snacks, kitchenware and bookshops.  Completely fabulous!

My favourite shop was Elenis which had cupcakes and the most adorable decorated cookies.  Just unbelievable really.


I particularly liked their 'Color me' series where they had blank cookies of all sorts and sizes and they had food colouring pens (like textas) for you to decorate them.  I bought some of the pens - 4 for $7.95.

And this cute messenger bag is $7.95.

Of course you have to check out New York's pride bakery - Amy's bread I got quite a bit of baking inspiration there.

Start.drooling.now.

Another little shop I liked was the doughnuttery.  It has tiny doughnuts - $6 for $6 and cheaper the more you buy.  You can get different flavours -


 Some of these are so crazy but I'm sure they're delicious!

You'll be very surprised to know I didn't buy any cookbooks!  But I will say I was very tempted!  Have you been to Chelsea Markets?  Could you recommend anything/offer any more tips?  If you haven't, would you put it on your list?

 

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