July 29, 2017

Butterscotch Squares

These are delightfully chewy, sweet squares of goodness. Super simple to make and super delicious to eat!

Recipe adapted from: Husbands That Cook
Ingredients - 20cm (8 inch) square baking tin
125g butter
200g dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 large egg
75g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

3. Add the brown sugar and stir; cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for a minute. Then remove the saucepan from the heat, stir the vanilla in, and allow the mixture to cool down for about 10 minutes.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg to break up the yolk then whisk a spoonful of the brown sugar mixture in; then add the rest of the brown sugar mixture and stir until combined.

5. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir gently until combined.

6. Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper and pour the batter in.

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges look slightly browned and crispy.

8. While still warm, cut into squares. When they cool down more, the chewiness gets much more intense!


July 9, 2017

Mocha Fudge Cookies

Fudgy baked goods are my favourite kind of baked goods!  These cookies are rich with chocolate-coffee flavour, chock full of chocolate chips and deliciously soft in the middle.

Recipe adapted from: King Arthur Flour
113g butter
210g brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp instant coffee powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
57g cocoa powder
206g flour
170g chocolate chips
170g chocolate chunks*

*(If you don't have chocolate chunks on hand, you can just use 240g chocolate chips; I used 170g dark chocolate chips and 170g white chocolate chips. You can use whatever type of chocolate you like!)

1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).

2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.

3. Mix the sugar, baking powder, coffee powder and salt into the melted butter until combined.

4. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

5. Fold the cocoa powder and flour into the batter - the dough will be quite sticky, but don't worry, this is fine!

6. Mix the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks into the dough until evenly distributed.

7. Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto baking trays lined with baking paper or silicon mats.  You don't need to leave too much space between them as they don't spread out too much.

8. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.  They should have started to crack along the tops but still be soft when you poke them.  Don't over-bake them because you want them to be nice and fudgy!

9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and enjoy!

June 12, 2017

Speculoos Ice Cream

After coming across speculoos spread in Belgium I have been obsessed! This ice cream is gorgeous and creamy, packed with speculoos spices, and of course I swirled some speculoos spread through the finished product. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Recipe adapted from: Three Bears Melbourne
330mL milk
1 vanilla pod, split
4 cm length of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced finely
5 whole cloves
1 cardamom pod
200g dark brown sugar
200mL pure cream (not thickened with gelatine)
4 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla essence
Speculoos spice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Approx. 3/4 cup speculoos spread (a.k.a. speculaas, Biscoff, cookie butter) - for swirling into the ice cream

1. Heat milk until just above body temperature, ensuring that it does not boil.  I did this in the microwave but you can use a saucepan on the stove if you like.

2. Add the vanilla pod, sliced ginger, cloves and cardamom pod to the milk.  (I didn't have a vanilla or cardamom pod on hand so I just used the fresh ginger and the whole cloves).  Let the mixture infuse for 30-45 minutes.

3. When the milk is nearly done infusing, combine the brown sugar and cream in a medium saucepan.  Heat the mixture over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has melted.  When the mixture is smooth, remove it from the heat.

4. Strain the milk to remove the spices, and whisk the egg yolks in.

5. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the milk mixture into the sugar and cream mixture.  The constant whisking is to prevent the egg yolks from cooking.

6. Return the mixture to medium heat and cook until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes.  The mixture should coat the back of a spatula/wooden spoon.

7. Remove the thickened mixture from the heat and stir the vanilla essence in.

8. Set the mixture aside to cool down to room temperature.

9. Add the dry speculoos spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom) to the cooled mixture, stir until combined.  You can taste test at this point and add more spices to suit your tastes if you like!

10. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn as per the manufacturer's instructions.  I churned mine for about 30 minutes.

(If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for about 4 hours.  When almost fully set, take the ice cream out of the freezer and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, then put back into the freezer.  You can do this another time after a few more hours of freezing if the ice cream is not set enough.)

11. With a knife or spatula, stir bite sized amounts of speculoos spread through the ice cream.  When frozen, the speculoos is really hard so make sure that the chunks aren't too big!

12. Decant the ice cream into a bucket or tin and place in the freezer to set fully.


May 6, 2017

May The Fourth Be With You

Star Wars Day (May the 4th) was this week so it's the perfect time to post these BB8 cookies.

But really, you don't need an excuse to make them - look how adorable they are!

I used this sugar cookie recipe, royal icing and M&Ms.  BB8 is a really easy character to make as you only need circular cookie cutters.

I hope that everyone had a great Star Wars Day!

April 1, 2017

Hershey's Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies

One of my lovely friends gifted me with some Hershey's Kisses - I used them to bake some fluffy peanut butter cookies!

Recipe heavily adapted from: How Sweet It Is
125g butter
35g peanut butter
200g white sugar
40g brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
280g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Hershey's Kisses or choc chips (optional)

1. Preheat your oven to 175C (350F).

2. Beat the butter, peanut butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Beat the egg and vanilla essence into the mixture.

4. Mix in the flour and baking powder until just combined.

5. Scoop heaped tablespoons of cookie dough onto a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicon mat, leaving a bit of space between the dough balls.

6. Top each ball with a Hershey's Kiss or a chocolate chip.  Of course, you can also make these without the chocolate kisses!

7. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden.  You want the middle to still be soft!

8. Allow the cookies to cool on the trays for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies sans kisses

March 24, 2017

Speculoos Buns

These buns are delightfully soft and chock full of delicious speculoos spread.

Recipe adapted from: The Imaginariyum
125mL buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp dry instant yeast
3 tbsp white sugar
1 egg
250g flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1 cup speculoos spread (a.k.a. speculaas, cookie butter)
Optional - about 1/4 cup chopped apple

1. Heat the buttermilk until lukewarm, then mix the yeast in and leave to activate.  It should start to froth up.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the buttermilk and yeast mixture with the sugar, egg, flour and salt.  Mix until combined.

3. Add the butter and mix until it's been incorporated.  Continue to knead the dough with the mixer on low speed for about 10 minutes.  The dough will be a bit sticky. 

4. Place the dough inside a bowl greased with butter.  Cover it with a tea towel or cling wrap and let it rise for about 1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.

5. After the dough has risen, lightly dust your work surface with flour and roll the dough out into a large rectangle, so that the dough is quite thin.

6. Spread the speculoos across the dough.  If desired, you can sprinkle other fillings such as chopped apple or nuts on top.

7. Roll the dough up, starting with the short edge.  Pinch the seam closed and cut the log into about 12 even slices.

8. There are a few options for baking these buns - you can arrange them in a brownie pan for a more rustic approach, or butter a muffin tin and place each roll into a separate cup (this will give you lovely round buns!)

9. Cover the buns with a tea towel or cling wrap and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

10. Preheat your oven to 175C (350F).  When the buns have risen, bake them for about 15-20 minutes.

11. Let the buns cool.  If you've baked them in a muffin tin, after they've cooled for 10 minutes, remove the buns from the tin by loosening the edges with a table knife, then place them on a wire rack to cool further.

These are great when warm from the oven!  If you have leftovers the next day, heating them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds will rejuvenate them and bring back that just-baked feeling.