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?

Thursday, July 17

No bake chocolate splodge slice




This is a chocoholic slice.  If you are a chocoholic or you are catering for chocoholics - read on.  I made a double batch that makes easily 20 pieces so if you are catering for a crowd, you may like to do that too.  If not just keep to the ingredients listed here. 

It's very simple to put together - and you can mix it up a bit - I used Reeses pieces and hob-nobs but use choc-ripple biscuits or choc wheatens and M&Ms or smarties or whatever you like :)  Colour-co-ordinating it to party colours, or your special cause or whatever!  Be creative!

Ingredients:
150grams hob-nobs (or biscuits of your choice)
145grams butter
145 grams of 50% dark chocolate
150ml condensed milk
100g milk chocolate
150g reeses pieces (or smarties/m&ms of your choice)

Method
Line a loaf pan with baking paper ensuring it reaches all sides.

In a bowl, break up your hobnobs/biscuits.

Add half your Reese's pieces.

In a jug or microwave proof bowl add butter and chocolate and heat on 50% for 1 minute, remove and stir and then repeat for another minute.  If not completely melted keep microwaving in bursts of 20 seconds on 50% power. Stir well between each burst.

 Yum.

Add your condensed milk and stir well.

Add to the biscut mix.

Pour into your tin and then put in the fridge for 20 minutes until it sets.

Repeat the process with melting the milk chocolate, 50% power for 1 minute, then stir and repeat until melted.  Pour over the top of the chilled slice.

Now add the other half of your Reese's pieces to the top, or get a special assistant to help ;)

Be as creative or random as you like.

Chill for another 20 minutes.

Slice with a hot knife into slices and store individually in strips of baking paper.

These would be fabulous with icecream I think!  


 

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