Hummingbird Bakery Books – You Need Them All.

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I have just discovered that I am missing a Hummingbird Bakery cookbook from my collection. Don’t worry, I have fixed things and ordered Home Sweet Home.

These books are the most amazing, mine are full of bookmarks. Everything I cook comes out fabulous and they are an enjoyment just to look at when you need to feel happy. My one regret from my last trip back to the UK was that I didn’t go to the actual bakery when I was in London. Next time I will make it top of my list.

My most recent bakes have been very successful, if I do say so myself.

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Yesterday, I made the Brooklyn Blackout Cake from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (p 54) and it saw off my grumps and was a bit of a challenge. I enjoyed every moment of making it and eating it. It is the kind of cake I would be happy to pay too much for a slice of.

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A couple of weeks ago I also made the Butterscotch Pecan Cheesecake from Cake Days (p174). I did reduce the cheese layer and did 2/3 of the original recipe. I kept the amount of base, nuts and delicious butterscotch layer the same. It was so very good and my friends were all impressed.

So, off you go…… buy them all. I am not going to blog the recipes because you need these beauties in your life.

 

High Teas Society And Me.

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A few months ago I got a surprise message on twitter from a fellow former blogger, Lady Loves Cake. The message was asking if I would be interested in taking over her post as reviewer of all things High Tea in the Wellington region for the High Tea Society. The answer was a swift yes.

After a few emails back and forth and pinching myself a few times, I got my first assignment at Martha’s Pantry. As photography was required I invited my birthday buddy and fellow food focused Brit along, Lucy from Wellington Foodies. We are now a High Tea Team.

Our first experience was lovely and at the same time, overwhelming. We ate, we laughed and were made to feel very welcome. After a couple more reviews we are both more confident and enjoying our journey.

This weekend we will be at another venue scoffing our faces and trying to behave. I can’t wait. Thank you Michelle Milton for giving us the opportunity to indulge.

Here are the reviews Lucy and I have sacrificed ourselves for so far. I would like to say to my personal trainer Tim that I don’t eat it all but we both know that is a lie.

 

Martha’s Pantry

The Intercontinental Wellington

The Gear Homestead

 

 

 

 

 

Shared Lunch- Jalapeño Popper Pies?

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Friday was a sad day at work, we said goodbye to a friend. In the grand tradition of our branch we had a shared lunch. Said friend is a spice fiend and rather than do my predictable sweet baking, I opted for something with jalapeños in. After getting lost in Pinterest for a few hours I settled on a recipe for the above pies. They were good and a big success.

I made them the night before, let them cool and stored. Some of my pies burst a bit and while they were still warm I pushed the cheese back in. I will be making these regularly for bring a plate events.

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The original recipe is here and I adapted it to suit me. Now these are not a quick thing to but I did enjoy myself with a Luke Cage Spotify music fest and a dance.

Jalapeño Popper Pies- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: enough for a group
  • Time: 20-30 mins prep, 15-20 mins cooking
  • Print

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

150g cream cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 tablespoons plain flour

1/3 cup jared jalapeño peppers chopped (we use Delmaine)

1 packet frozen puff pastry with 5 sheets

Lay pastry  sheets out to defrost.

Heat oven to 200°

Cover 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar, flour and jalapeño peppers.

Cut pastry with a fluted 5cm cutter.

Place heaped teaspoon of cream cheese mix in centre of pastry circle.

Moisten edges with egg/water mix.

Put another circle on top and crimp shut with a fork.

Lightly prick tops with a fork.

Place on a greased baking tray.

Continue until all circles have been used.

Brush finished pies with egg/water mix.

Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes.

Allow to cool on tray.

 

Use The One Egg Up- Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin.

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There was one egg left in the box. Do you know how nuts that drives me? All day I have been thinking of using that egg up as the oven was going on at dinner time. At the last minute I decided to experiment , this Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin was the result. They are smaller than your average muffin, I used a cupcake tin. I also managed to use up the dregs of the peanut butter . Winning. Also, this is a bung it all in and stir mix.

 

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Brownie Peanut Butter Muffin- Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 10-15 mins cooking
  • Print

Heat oven to 180º

55g butter

2/3c plain flour

1/2 c caster sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg lightly whisked

3 tsp peanut butter (I used crunchy)

Grease a 6 hole cupcake tin.

Melt butter in a saucepan or microwaveable bowl.

Add all of the ingredients except the peanut butter.

Stir until all the flour is mixed in.

Share mix between the 6 cups.

Put 1/2 tsp peanut butter on top of each muffin.

Swirl with a chop stick so it mixed a little.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool on a rack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Enough Less Sugar, More Taste- A Great New NZ Baking Book.

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A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this lovely book. If you enlarge the photo you will see that it mentions my birthday buddy, Lucy Mutch from Wellington Foodies. She got to take all the wonderful photos as The Isherwood Sisters who wrote the book live in Wellington. You can find out all about the sisters and the books aim, to reduce sugar here.

Sunday afternoon Miss was baking for her week and I decided to help fill the oven and put a Monday smile on my colleagues faces by baking from the book. I chose the Wholemeal Ginger Crunch. The base has little sugar in and the icing is delicious. To top it all, it was very easy. I do enjoy a good one pot recipe. My colleagues enjoyed the slice.

You can arrange to sell the book for fundraising, I think that is a pretty nifty fundraising idea. So, order yourself the book and have a look and see for yourself.

 

Miss Muffin’s Muffins- Lunch Box Filler.

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So Miss Muffin is nearly 13 years old. When I say nearly , I do mean like three weeks away. She is in a permanent growth state and always hungry. I don’t think I have confessed it on here, she surpassed me in height about 6 months ago and is far too tall for my liking. She is very handy for reaching things and I don’t have to rely on Mr or stand on a chair.

Her lunch box has been a big issue this year. It is hard to muster independence but make sure there is enough good fulling and healthy food. With this in mind Miss Muffin has been making muffins for the past few weeks. Together we have developed a simple recipe  and they add a nice bit of bulk to the lunch box.

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Fruit Muffins - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20 mins cooking,
  • Print

Dry

1 c SR flour (or 1 c plain and 1 tsp baking powder)

1/2 c wholemeal flour

1/4 c caster sugar

1/4 c desiccated coconut (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

Wet

1/3 c oil (canola/olive)

1 egg

1/3 c + extra milk

1 c frozen fruit (raspberries are a favourite)

Heat oven to 180 °c

Prepare a 6 hole muffin tin, cup cake cases are good

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl

Measure the oil in a measuring jug

Break egg into the oil and mix

Top up to the 1 cup line with the milk

Add wet to dry and stir just enough to mix

Fold in fruit

Share the mixture out between the cases, an ice cream scoop works well.

Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

Crumble Recipe – This Is It Mrs Muffin.

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I have been trying to perfect the right crumble recipe for a long time. Some are shortbread like and others are similar to flapjack. Last night I did a mishmash of several recipes and actually kept notes of what I was doing, I am glad I did as this is my favourite crumble recipe to date. I would say it is of the flapjack persuasion. I have to blog this one as it is a keeper.

I used 3 apples, 2 pairs and 1/2c frozen raspberries  sprinkled with a tsp white sugar and a tsp of cinnamon for the fruit base. I topped the peeled and chopped fruit with the crumble and baked for 30-40 minutes.

Best crumble topping ever - Muffinmum.com

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30-45 mins cooking, 10 cooling
  • Print

100g butter

1 c self raising flour

1/2 c oats (any kind)

1/2 c soft brown sugar

2 tsp golden syrup

Pinch salt

Melt the butter in a large glass bowl or saucepan.

Add the other ingredients and mix well.

Place on top of prepared fruit and bake at 180 until golden.

Leave to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.