dirt bombs

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I love donuts but I don’t have the patience to wait for dough to proof and I hate frying things, so this recipe is perfect for me. No yeast, no proofing, no frying. Dirt bombs are basically baked cinnamon donut muffins coated in cinnamon sugar. Once they’re baked they have a crusty top but are still fluffy on the inside.

When I first found this recipe I made these dirt bombs twice in one week. They’re so easy to make and even easier to eat.

dirt bombs (aka baked cinnamon donuts)
adapted from bon appetit
makes 12

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
113g butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
1 cup whole milk

topping
1/2 white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
85g butter, melted

Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tray with vegetable oil.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside.

Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. With the mixer on low, add one third of the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk. Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated.

Divide the mix among the muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack.

While the muffins are cooling, combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. In another bowl melt butter. One at a time dip the tops of the muffins into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar.

Happy baking!

 

chocolate chip cookie dough cake

Life has been hectic – travelling, work, and more work. The cure? Baking of course 🙂 I’m planning something big for my partner’s 30th in December so I thought I should use that an excuse to bake and do some recipe testing.

The plan is to make three epic cakes. The chocolate chip cookie dough cake is going to be one layer in what I’m calling the ‘chocolate on crack’ cake (basically everything chocolate I can think of). I was a bit scared that the cake would be too sweet so I thought I’d do one layer of cookie dough and sandwich that between mud cake.

chocolate cookie dough cake 
adapted from baked bree

Because I’m just recipe testing I halved the recipe and made a small cake. To make a larger version double the ingredients and baking time.

170g butter, room temperature
3/4 cup soft brown sugar, very lightly packed
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped (you could also use store-bought chocolate chips)

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.

Cream the butter and brown sugar for about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, toss the chocolate chips and 2 tbsp of flour together. This should help the chocolate stay where it is in the batter and not sink to the bottom.

While the butter and brown sugar is mixing. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Once the the butter and brown sugar is thoroughly combined add the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated – do not overmix. Fold the chocolate into the batter.

Spoon the batter into a prepared tin. I used a 17.5cm/7 inch cake tin for this recipe because I halved everything. Bake for 30 minutes. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes until removing.

chocolate chip buttercream
110g butter, room temperature
1 – 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped (you could also use store-bought chocolate chips)

In a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy and it becomes pale yellow in colour. Add sifted icing sugar and mix to combine.

Add vanilla, milk, and chcolate and mix to combine.

Once cake is completely cooled, frost with buttercream and enjoy 🙂

That’s one part of the epic cakes sorted – watch this space for updates, and of course the final products. Happy baking 🙂

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black forest cupcakes

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There’s nothing like a bit of baking at the long week – especially if it’s for a surprise birthday lunch. My aunt had a big birthday recently (I won’t say how big) so of course I had to make her favourite – black forest.

While most black forest cakes are made with sponge I decided to go with a super moist mud cake instead stuffed with a sweet cherry filling. These babies are topped off with a creamy mascarpone frosting, a bit of chocolate, and of course, a cherry.

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The cherry filling and chocolate discs can be made a day in advance and stored in air tight containers.

chocolate mud cupcakes
makes ~24 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups dark cocoa powder
2 cups castor sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup strong coffee, at room temperature
2 tbsp vinegar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (e.g., canola)
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.

First up, make the coffee so it has time to cool. I usually mix about 2 heaped tablespoons of instant coffee powder into 1 cup of boiling water.

Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle.

In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and add to the dry ingredients, mixing well.

Fill cupcake papers to about 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs. If you’d rather make a cake, then bake for 1 hour.


cherry filling
450g fresh cherries
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup castor sugar

Remove the stones from 260g of the cherries (reserve some to serve) and roughly cut the cherries into quarters.

In a medium saucepan stir together the cherries, water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes and allow to cool at room temperature.

The syrup looked a bit thin, but because I made this a day before it thickened up quite a bit.


mascarpone frosting
600g mascarpone cheese
8 tbsp icing sugar
2/3 cup cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the mascarpone and icing sugar until fluffy. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until thickened.


chocolate discs
~300g dark chocolate (I used 50% cocoa)

Roughly chop or break the chocolate into pieces and melt over a double boiler. Remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. This will let the chocolate thicken slightly so it’s easier to work with.

While the chocolate is cooling, line a baking tray with non-stick paper. If you’re as OCD as me you can draw circles on the baking paper to make sure the discs are all about the same size (just make sure you put the pencil side down when you start piping), or you could just wing it.

Once the chocolate is cooled, place it in a piping bag with a small hole cut into it (or use a small nozzle), and start drawing circles onto the baking paper making sure there’s enough overlap so it won’t break when you lift it off the paper. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.


 

 

to assemble
Core cupcakes and add a few bits of cherry and the syrup into each.

Pipe or spoon the mascarpone onto each cupcake. Place a chocolate disc on each and top with a cherry!

Happy baking! x

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roasted cauliflower with garlicy browned butter pasta and bacon pangratta

I absolutely love pasta! This pasta dish is simple but delicious, and the cauliflower makes me feel like I’m being just a little bit healthy. Roasting the cauliflower caramelises it and helps to bring out its sweetness. Adding the bacon pangratta was just an extra touch but adds a crunchy element to the dish – plus, who doesn’t like bacon?!

Hope you guys enjoy 🙂

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roasted cauliflower with browned butter garlicy pasta with bacon pangratta
serves 2
1/2 head cauliflower
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
4 rashers bacon, roughly chopped
1-2 slices of bread, crusts off (preferrably a day old)
140-150g dried pappardelle
1 tbsp butter
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of half a lemon

To make the roasted cauliflower preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Cut cauliflower into small pieces, about 2cm bits. Toss cauliflower in olive oil, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until browned and caramelised, turning halfway through.

While the bacon is roasting make the pangratta. In a non-stick frying pan cook the bacon until crispy and set aside keeping the oil in the pan. Tear the bread into small pieces and fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. If the bacon fat didn’t render add a bit more oil to the pan. Set aside.

Bring a large saucn of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta but reserve a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water.

Wipe down the frypan and add butter. Over a medium heat melt the butter and cook until it’s a deep golden brown.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan with the crushed garlic and lemon juice. Add the reserved cooking water – this just helps to loosen up the sauce a bit.

Serve the pasta with the roasted cauliflower and the pangratta.

 

creamy chicken and mushroom pie

It’s starting to feel a lot like winter!

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One of the only things about winter is curling up on the couch in my pjs on chilly days when it’s absolutely awful outside  with a good book and some good old fashioned comfort food. What better than pie? (or maybe that’s a kiwi thing). My creamy chicken and mushroom pie is an absolute winner and is super easy to make.

Mushrooms are yum so why just stick to one variety? You can add a mix of your favourite mushrooms into this pie – I usually use white button mushrooms, brown mushrooms and portobellos.

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creamy chicken and mushroom pie
600-700g of skinless chicken thighs
500-600g mushrooms – white button, brown, portobello or a mix, sliced roughly
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock or mushroom soup
1/2 cup cream or sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
4 sheets of pre-rolled flaky puff pastry or 1 block of puff pastry
1 egg or 1 tbsp milk to glaze

To make the filling roughly cut the chicken thighs into 1cm cubes. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and brown the chicken, a small handful at a time (if you put too much chicken in the pan it will start to boil instead of brown). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Lightly brown the mushrooms and set aside.

Add the onion and sautee for about 5 minutes until translucent then add flour and stir to combine. Add chicken stock or mushroom soup (I just used the packet mixes) and simmer for 5-10 minutes whisking regularly until sauce thickens. Stir in cream/sour cream.

Return the browned chicken and mushrooms to the pan and stir. You can add the juices from the chicken and mushrooms for extra flavour but just make sure to simmer the sauce for a bit longer until it reduces and becomes thick. (If the pie filling is too liquid it will mak the pastry soggy). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Allow the pie filling to cool before assembling the pie – this ensures that the pastry stays relatively crisp and doesn’t become too soggy. But, if you’re as impatient as I am then you’re welcome to skip this step.

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Lightly oil a 24cm pie dish. Alternatively, if you wanted to make smaller individual portions you can use ramekins. Arrange 3 pre-rolled pastry sheets in the pie dish using wet fingers to bind the pastry together. If using a block of pastry (or if you made your own) roll out 2/3 of the pastry to 3mm thick and place into the pie dish. Spoon the pie filling into the dish. Use the remaining pastry as a lid making sure to pinch or crimp the edges. Finally, brush the pastry with beaten egg or milk and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.

Happy eating 🙂

 

donut waffles with an espresso maple glaze

We all have those kitchen gagets we buy, use once, and then they sit neglected in a cupboard or a shelf for ages. That’s my waffle iron – I’ve only used it a handful of times since I bought it so I decided to dust it off and put it to good use. I love donuts and I love waffles so why not put them together? Added bonus is the espresso maple glaze!

donut waffles with an espresso maple glaze // kitchen adventures

donut waffles
adapted from handle the heat
makes 10

1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp fine salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour

Place sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a mixing bowl, whisk to combine.

Add the egg, egg yolk, melted butter, and milk. Whisk to combine.

Sift in flour and stir to combine – the mixture will be very thick.

Preheat the waffle iron. Place two tablespoons of the waffle batter into the waffle iron and cook until golden. Remove and place on cooling racks.

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espresso maple glaze
1/2 tbsp coffee
1/2 hot water
4 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

While the waffles are cooling, mix the coffee powder and hot water together and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Stir in the maple syrup and icing sugar. Either dip the waffles into the glaze or spoon over.

Enjoy 🙂

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chewy gingerbread cookies

For some reason I’ve just been itching to bake cookies so on the weekend when it looked like it was threatening to rain every hour so I decided to bake these chewy gingerbread cookies. They’re so soft and chewy – exactly how a cookie should be!

chewy gingerbread cookies // kitchen adventures

chewy gingerbread cookies
adapted from gimme some oven | makes 36

1 1/2 cup (340g) butter, at room temperature
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup agave nectar (if you can’t find agave nectar you can use golden syrup, maple syrup, or molasses instead)
2 eggs
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon, heaped
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

While the butter and sugar are creaming, in a medium bowl sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Add salt and whisk together. Set aside.

Once the butter and sugar is fluffy, add the eggs and nectar/syrup and beat for about 1 minute. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix to combine between additions.

Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until it is chilled. The dough will be too soft to work with otherwise. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.

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Roll the dough into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Because the dough is quite soft I find that using a small ice-cream scoop helps with portion sizing and means you’re not fluffing around trying to get sticky dough off spoons.

Fill a small bowl with sugar (I used castor sugar but feel free to use white or brown sugar). Roll each ball in the sugar until completely coated. Place on lined cookie tray about 1-inch apart. Bake for 8-10 minute until the cookies start to crack a bit on top. Remove from oven and leave to cool on the tray for about 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks to completely cool. You can return the cookie dough to the fridge between batches if it starts getting too soft to work with.

chewy gingerbread cookies // kitchen adventures

If you don’t eat all of these cookies on the day they should keep for 1 week in an air-tight container.

salted caramel

If you haven’t already noticed – I’m on a bit of a salted caramel buzz at the moment. It just goes with everything – in milkshakes, on pancakes, on ice cream, or even in buttercream.salted caramel sauce // kitchen adventures

salted caramel sauce
adapted from gimme some oven

1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp salt

Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to boil. If sugar crystals start to form on the sides of the pan brush the sides down with a pastry brush dipped in water.

Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook without stirring until it becomes a deep amber colour – make sure to watch carefully, the sugar can burn very quickly! Remove from heat and slowly add heavy cream, vanilla, butter and salt. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Pour into an airtight container (I used an old jam jar) and once cooled place in fridge. Before using you may have to let it sit at room temperature, or if you’re impatient like I am put the jar in a large bowl and add hot water. Remove from hot water when it turns into a sauce consistency (about 5 min).

 

 

 

 

 

salted almond praline

Being bored one weekend I decided to experiment and make salted praline. It’s super easy but be warned – if you don’t watch it carefully it will burn and taste bitter (something I’m guilty of doing once or twice).

salted almond pralinesalted almond praline // kitchen adventures
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup chopped or sliced roasted almonds
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt

Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to boil. If sugar crystals start to form on the sides of the pan brush the sides down with a pastry brush dipped in water.

Once the sugar is dissolved, continue to cook without stirring until it becomes a deep amber colour – make sure to watch carefully, the sugar can burn very quickly! Add salt and mix. You can either use a spoon but I usually just swish the pan.

Time to work quickly! Pour caramel onto a tray lined with baking paper – I use a glass board but anything heat-proof should work. Perhaps stay away from metal baking trays because the last time I used one the caramel continued cooking and ended up tasting burnt. Tilt the tray so the caramel spreads out into a thin-ish layer and sprinkle almonds over the top.

TIP: whenever I work with caramel I have hot water on standby – once you’ve finished adding the almonds onto the caramel fill the saucepan with the hot water. Adding hot water will help the sugar dissolve and makes the saucepan much easier to clean. Once the sugar is dissolved pour hot water out.