Thursday, 21 July 2011

Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter........its in almost all of our cupboards. So are most of the ingredients in this recipe. So its quick and easy to make. Delicious.

240g Peanut Butter
140g Butter
250g Caster Sugar
200g Dark Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
240g NEILL'S®Plain Flour
1.5tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence
1.5tsp Baking Powder

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 170c
Beat the butter and peanut butter together until well mixed
Beat in the two sugars and mix until well combined
Beat in the three eggs one at a time
Mix in the vanilla
Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl
Fold the flour into the butter and sugar mixture and mix well until well combined
Beat the entire mixture until it is smooth and comes together
Pour into a baking tin with the bottom lined with baking paper
Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 mins
Allow to cool for 10 mins, turn out on a cooling rack and allow to completely cool before cutting.

You're Done!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

French Macaroons

Notoriously hard to make......or so many people think. French Macaroons require exact measurements to get them just right. Having never made these macaroons before I decided to attempt a recipe for them. Some people wished me luck and others warned of frustration on my first attempt. Thankfully, and probably due to a lot of luck they turned out acceptable. Of course there is always room for improvement and we will be working on this recipe in the coming months to make it even better.

130g Ground Almonds
200g Icing Sugar
115g Egg Whites
30g Caster Sugar
Food Colouring (Powdered or Gel works best)

White Chocolate Filling:
80g Butter
150g Icing Sugar
60g White Chocolate
1tbsp Double Cream

The How-To:
Measure out the ground almonds and icing sugar and sieve together. Some larger pieces of almond will get stuck in the sieve. Do not add these to the mix. If there is a lot of them sieve a little more ground almonds to make up the lost amount.
Now this part is slightly unusual and I have never used it for any other recipe, but I was warned not to question this method when making macaroons, and who am I to argue with that. So weigh out exactly 115g of egg whites. I worked out this is about 3 medium eggs.
Place these egg whites in a large bowl and whisk on a medium speed until soft peaks form.
Add 1tbsp at a time of the caster sugar while continuing to whisk the egg whites.
Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Fold in the food colouring to get the colour which you want.
Fold half the almond/icing sugar mixture into the egg whites at a time and stir until combined
Continue to fold the mixture together for about 2 minutes, do not worry about knocking some of the air out of the egg whites. These are not like meringues.
Place the mixture into a piping bag (or freezer bag) with a round nozzle.
Pipe 2 inch circles of the mixture onto baking paper. You will get about 30 shells out of this recipe.

Set these to the side and allow to sit for about 1 hour until the mixture is tacky to touch.
Now you are ready to bake at 140c for 15 mins. It always wise to do a test batch of about 4 as every oven differs slightly.

When these come out of the oven do not attempt to peel them off the paper, they will fall apart. Allow to cool completely. If they still wont come off the paper I found if you place them in the fridge for 10 minutes they simply lift off.

Now to make the filling. White Chocolate Frosting
Whisk the butter until creamy
Stir in the icing sugar and then whisk this until smooth
Add the 1tbsp of cream
Melt the white chocolate and add this to the mixture while whisking
Place in the fridge for 30 mins+ to cool and thicken

Now the fun part, the assembly
Pipe the filling onto a shell using what ever piping attachment you want, place the top on the macaroon and enjoy!

You're Done!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Bastille Day French Crepes

Bastille Day also called La Fête Nationale is a huge celebration in France. If you happen to be in France on the 14th of July any year you will be able to witness one of the biggest parties of the year in France. With military parades, celebratory feasts and fireworks. Interested in learning more about Bastille Day? Here is a link to the wikipedia article.

A very common french classic dessert is crepes. They are extremely simple yet very tasty. You can put just about anything you want in or over them. Chocolate is an all time favourite but strawberries and cream or simply just a squeeze of lemon juice.

This recipe makes 6 large crepes.

120g NEILL'S®Plain Flour
120ml Milk
120ml Water
30g Melted Butter
0.5tsp Salt
2 Eggs

The How-To:
Add the flour to a large bowl and add the two eggs
Add the water and milk and whisk together until combined
Add the melted butter and salt and beat until the mixture is smooth
Preheat a large frying pan or crepe pan on a medium heat
Pour 1/3 of a cup of the batter into the centre of the pan and swirl around so the batter covers as much of the pan as possible
Cook for about 1min30sec on the first side
Turn and cook for a further 1min until golden brown
Remove and place on a plate to cool
The traditional way to serve crepes is either rolled or folded into a triangle.

You're Done!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cherry & Coconut Cake

This is a simple but absolutely delicious moist cherry and coconut cake. Perfect for serving with afternoon tea or as a dessert with some warm custard.

The Ingredients:
210g Caster Sugar
75g Butter
2 Eggs
220g NEILL'S® Plain Flour
120ml Milk
1.5tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence
35g Desiccated Coconut
1tsp Baking Powder
4tbsp of Runny Icing
12 Glacé Cherries

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 170c
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, add the eggs and beat until fluffy
Stir in the vanilla extract/essence
In a separate bowl sieve the flour and baking powder together
Halve the 12 Glacé Cherries and mix them into the flour. This helps stop the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the cake when baking
Add half of the flour into the butter mixture

Now add half the milk
Stir until combined
Add the second half of the flour and milk and stir until combined.
Stir in the coconut until well combined.
Pour the batter into a loaf tin. place a rectangle of baking paper in the bottom. This makes it a lot easier to turn out later!
Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow to rest for 10 mins, turn out.
In a separate bowl make about 4tbsp of thin icing (mixing about 10tbsp of icing sugar with a little water)
Drizzle this over the still warm cake. Allow to cool and soak up the icing.

You're Done!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

A deliciously rich buttery shortbread combined with soft melt in the mouth chocolate chips. Sounds complicated? It really isnt.

200g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
75g Good Quality Milk Chocolate
300g NEILL'S®Plain Flour

Preheat oven to 150C
Rub the flour and butter together using your hands. You can use a food processor however I prefer doing it by hand. Continue until everything comes together.
Add the sugar and work this through the mixture. Knead until you can form it into a ball.
Cut the chocolate into small chunks and quickly work through the mixture, do not over handle or the chocolate will begin the melt.
Place the dough on a small baking tray and press down until it is about 0.5 inches thick
Use a knife to mark into squares. Do not cut all the way through.
Bake in oven for 35 mins. They should be a light golden colour.
Take out, Sprinkle with a little caster sugar and leave to cool.

You're done!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Happy 4th July!! - Independence Day Cake

BakingBar wishes all our American readers a very Happy 4th of July! For this celebration we wrote a very special Independence Day cake recipe!

The Ingredients:
230g NEILL'S®Plain Flour
120g Butter
220ml Milk
200g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Baking Powder
Red Food Colouring
Blue Food Colouring
2 tsp Vanilla Extract/Essence
0.5tsp Salt
225g of Icing Sugar
55g of Butter
1tsp Vanilla

The How-To:
Preheat oven to 175c
Cream the butter and sugar together
Beat in the eggs
Beat in the vanilla
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together
Stir the flour mix into the butter mix alternating with the milk until all ingredients are combined
Now split the mixture into two different bowls, add a little red food colouring to one and some blue to the other.
Add the blue mixture into the lined cake tin first and then drop tablespoons of the red mixture on top.
Use a knife to swirl the mixtures together, do not stir too much.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 35 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Now we need to make the frosting
Cream the butter in a bowl for aprox 5 mins until light and creamy.
Mix in the vanilla
Mix in the icing sugar until combined.
Finally whip the frosting for aprox 2 mins on high speed until light and fluffy.
When the cake has cooled spread the frosting onto the cake using a spatula or pipe on.

You're Done!