Tag Archives: sugar

Best Oatmeal Cookies!

I’m that kind of person who gets inspiration from just anything. The other day as I was doing some shopping in the supermarket, I saw a packet of oats and there and then I knew I wanted to buy some.

The oats I used
The oats I used

 

Disclaimer: Prior to this, I had never had oatmeal cookies and the only oats I’d ever  tasted were part of my breakfast cereal.

Now to the recipe, since I was venturing into the unknown and we all know that Google is your friend, I researched on a recipe and settled on this one with some few tweaks.

Ingredients:

3 eggs well beated – I only had two

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup mixed peel – my own addition

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup margarine

1 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

2 cups oatmeal

For the desired best results start by combining the eggs, raisins, mixed peel and vanilla essence and let it stand for one hour.

The eggs and raisins
The eggs and raisins

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One hour later…

Cream the margarine and sugar.

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Add the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and mix well.

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after mixing well
after mixing well

Blend in the eggs raisin mixture and oatmeal and mix well.

the egg, raisin, mixed peel mixture
the egg, raisin, mixed peel mixture
the oats
the oats

The dough will be stiff. Don’t be alarmed. Roll them into balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet and flatten slightly.

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Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly browned.

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I used only half the dough. The rest I wrapped in some cling film then put it in the freezer. For the frozen cookie dough, always remove it about an hour before using to allow it to thaw.

crunchy
crunchy

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Very delicious and crunchy, a favourite of hubby’s.

Variations: You can also add desiccated coconut or chocolate chips.

 

 

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Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cake

I love baking!!!  That said, I was a bit scared of baking a red velvet anything but over this past weekend I decided to face my fears. I googled several recipes and decided on a mixture of some.

Ingredients:

For the cake;

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon strawberry red food colour

1/2 cup margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting;

Puratos – non dairy whipping cream used here

Sprinkles

Strawberries

The cast of characters
The cast of characters

In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Then set aside.

In a small bowl mix the cocoa powder and the food colouring and set aside.

Using a wooden spoon or a mixer beat margarine and sugar in a bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time.

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Beat in the vanilla essence and the cocoa and food colour mixture.

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Add a third of the flour mixture, then beat in half of the buttermilk.

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Beat in another third of the flour and the second half of the buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture.

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In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda, it will fizz. Add the vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine.

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Pre heat the oven, 370°F.

Line your cupcake tin with some muffin liners.

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Fill about 3/4 way.

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The recipe said to bake for 20-22 minutes but mine took about 15 minutes to bake.

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For the remaining batter I decided to bake a cake.

The cake, sliced in half.
The cake, sliced in half.

For the frosting, nothing fancy since it was just for our consumption.

Spread some whipping on one half and sprinkle some diced strawberries.

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Layer the other half and cover with the remaining whipping cream.

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For the cupcakes, I just dipped them in the frosting then sprinkled over some sprinkles 🙂

Done
Done

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I would like to mention that normally the frosting on red velvet cakes or cupcakes is cream cheese frosting not whipping cream. I didn’t have any cream cheese and honestly I’m still scared of making some O-o plus have you seen the cost of cream cheese? Jeeze!!

The cake is/was delicious.

Thoughts?

Tamarind Dip

Thanks to my foodie pen pal for the month of March, Swabra, I have a new recipe up my sleeve. The dips is perfect for bhajias.

The main star being the tamarinds.

tamarind
tamarind

Ingredients:

500ml hot water

1 rind (about 8-10 seeds) of tamarind

1 small onion finely chopped

A handful of chopped dhania

Sugar – depends on your taste buds

In a bowl, pour in the hot water then soak the tamarind seeds.

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Soak till the brown stuff lets out. Then sieve the particles. In related news, I need a proper sieve it took close to forever to sieve.

yeah the sieve i used
yeah the sieve i used

Add the sugar, chopped dhania and onions. Her recipe also had blended carrots and chillis, didn’t have either.

Serve.

tomato dip, bhajias, tamarind dip
tomato dip, bhajias, tamarind dip

Verdict:

Tangy and delicious.

Thanks Swabra :*

Black Forest Cake

If you like my page on facebook or follow me on twitter you must have seen my previous complaints about my black forest cake backfiring. It got so bad that I decided not to try again. I resulted in getting my brother to bake the cake then I do the frosting.

This past weekend we were having a bridal for a good friend of mine and I offered to bring a black forest cake. At first I had requested my brother to do the baking but on second thought I decided to ask him for his recipe. I needed to face my fears. I normally hate it when cakes back fire, though my friends think otherwise since they enjoy eating my backfired cakes, ha!

This recipe is a bit different from others that I have tried. The great thing is that it worked.

Before I go on, be warned this will be a very long post full of many photos so if you are yet to have lunch I suggest you eat first :-). Oh and another thing, making a black forest is a bit tedious, not the baking part but the layering and frosting so patience is key.

Ingredients:

For the cake;

7 medium sized eggs

220 g all purpose flour – about 1 3/4 cups

23o g sugar – about 1 1/2 cups

160 g margarine – about 3/4 cup

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon coffee

2.5 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon of passion flavour essence – optional

For feeding the cake

2 tablespoons of icing sugar

4 tablespoons of water

Some juice – optional

For the frosting

Whipping cream

Strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered

Chocolate

Equipment

Electric mixer

wooden skewer or toothpick

Start with baking the cake.

Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Grease the baking tins and line them with grease proof paper. I used 2 9 inch round tins since I wanted the cake to have four layers.

the main culprits
the main culprits

Baking this cake is pretty easy since you just dump in all the ingredients then using an electric mixer you combine the ingredients and the cake batter is ready.

All the ingredients
All the ingredients

Using the handy mixer…

Cake batter
Cake batter

Divide the batter between the two tins. Ensure they are more or less the same.

ready to be baked
ready to be baked

Bake for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. I said a prayer as I put the cakes in.

Excitement!!! I was jumping up and down. The cakes had not backfired. Thank you God.

Fresh from the oven
Fresh from the oven

Let the cakes cool for about ten minutes then remove them from the tins to cool further.

chilled out
chilled out

It’s advisable to let the cakes cool completely, this will come in handy when layering the cake. The crumbs won’t be as many.

I wrapped my cakes in clear cling film them I put then in the fridge.

Same day evening…

Layering and frosting.

Take one cake, I put mine on top of an overturned baking tin. This is to aid in layering the cake.

Start by leveling the cake.

Leveled, I guess
Leveled, I guess

Then slice the cake in half to form two almost equal layers.

tada
tada

Repeat the above steps for the second cake.

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leaning tower of black forest

Now for the fun part.

the whipping cream
the whipping cream
strawberries and whipping cream
strawberries and whipping cream

To make the sugar water, combine the icing sugar, water and juice if using. I used some orange juice that I had in the fridge. For the extra kick I guess you can put a tablespoon of rum in the mixture instead of juice.

food for the cake
food for the cake

Place the bottom layer of the cake on a board, then using a wooden skewer or toothpick poke the surface of the cake.

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Then drizzle about a tablespoon of the sugar water over the cake. This will feed the cake to ensure it continues to be moist and spongy.

Put a dollop of whipping cream on the surface of the bottom layer.

bottom layer
bottom layer

Spread it evenly on the surface of the cake.

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Spread the strawberries. I had some leftover cherries so I threw them in.

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Repeat the steps for all the layers.

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After filling in all the layers, coat the entire cake with the whipping cream.

white cake...
white cake…

It doesn’t need to look perfect since you will pile on chocolate.

When it comes to putting the chocolate, you can be as creative as you want to be. You can choose to grate the chocolate and sprinkle it all over the cake. If you are in a hurry, like I was, you can cut the chocolate into chunks and stick around the cake. Don’t worry they won’t fall off, the whipping cream acts as the glue.

Decorate the top with smaller pieces of chocolate then make a border on the cake with whole strawberries that are slightly dipped in whipping cream.

talk of abstract art
talk of abstract art

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the cake
the cake

By the way I used homemade chocolate.

The cake looks so huge, I guess it’s a 1.5kg.

When it got to cake time, I was anxious to see how the layers would look. Then the bride to be sliced the cake.

Need I say more?
Need I say more?

This cake may take long to prepare but, trust me it’s worth the wait. So go on try it out, in case you don’t succeed on the first attempt don’t give up there’s always a second, third or fourth try.

Drop Scones for Dinner

My friend Kui asked me if I knew how to prepare drop scones, at first I told her no but after researching I realised one just uses the basic pancake batter. The difference is in the size. You use a spoon to drop the batter into the pan and voila drop scones.

During my research, I landed on a you tube video that even had serving suggestions. The chef made some caremelised pineapples to serve with the drop scones. I just had to try out the recipe. So on our way home I tell hubby that we’ll have pancakes for dinner and surprise surprise he is ok with it. Well before you go to think I was going to make pancakes without a back up plan you are mistaken. I knew I had some leftover food in the fridge so in case he wasn’t full I’d re heat that.

For the drop scones, I used my basic pancake recipe:

1 1/2 cups all purpose

2 eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

zest of one lemon

1 cup water (The batter should be a bit thick)

Oil for frying

In a bowl combine the flour, sugar and baking powder. Then add in the eggs.

Add the eggs to the flour, sugar and baking powder mixture

Add the vanilla essence, lemon zest and the water.

sorry about the shadow

So now, heat your skillet and prepare to cook the drop scones.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter and drop/pour over the heated oil in the skillet.

Drop! Drop!

For the caramelised pineapples you’ll need:

Pineapple chunks

11/2 tablespoons sugar

A pinch of cinnamon

1 cup pineapples chunks

In a pan over low heat, caramelize the sugar.

Sugar in the pan

So don’t do what I did and burn the caramel, the pineapples will have a sort of burned taste like mine did :-(.

Sprinkle some cinnamon over the caramel and add the pineapples.

Caramelising

Stir the pineapples to ensure all are coated with the caramel.

All coated 🙂

Everything is set. Plate the drop scones add the pineapples and drizzle some of the caramel over the pancakes. We also drizzled them with some honey.

Dinner is served 🙂

Drop scones

So, I take the dinner to hubby and again I mention that there’s food in the fridge in case he feels he won’t be satisfied.

Great thing, he didn’t ask for the food. He loved the meal. Yippee!!