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Thursday, September 30, 2010

tinned muffins

Sounds wrong doesn't it? Tinned muffins. But that's exactly what I made. Muffins in a tin.
I think I originally got the idea from the cookbook Gran's Kitchen a while ago. But it is certainly not a new idea. I think Women did it a lot during the war when there wasn't much access to bakeware. Genius really.

I made peach and banana crumble muffins. Unfortunately I didn't write the recipe down as I made it, but you can use any muffin recipe you like.

I filled two tins about 3/4 full, then poured the rest of the mixture into normal muffin tins. Unfortunately I became a bit impatient and didn't wait long enough for the muffins to cook in their tins. One worked out well, the other not so well. So I'd advise you to be more patient than I was and wait.

Here's what they look like:

I suggest putting the jug on, then slicing these babies, smothering them generously with butter. Once the jug is boiled, make a cup of tea and drink it with a few slices of muffin.  Slices of muffin. Sounds a little strange hmm?

Well I am off to Sydney for a week with my lovely friend Joanna, so you may or may not hear from me whilst I am away. We hope to have a merry time exploring the merry or not so merry things Sydney has to offer. I especially can't wait to check out the food scene there. Any suggestions?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not quite Martha's, but still dandy

If you haven't had a high tea before, then you really must. Especially a Martha's Pantry High Tea. I had wanted to celebrate my birthday there yesterday but they were all booked out. I guess that's what you get if you're a little dis-organised like me. So instead I decided to have my own at the flat. Thanks to the lovely Sophia and my flat mates, we got baking and tea making to enjoy a lovely high tea with lovely people. 

I remembered to take photos before people came...then they started arriving, I got chatting and completely forgot... Sorry. Useless I know. We had lots of pretty tea cups and scrummy cakes and scones and lemon meringue can see some of the pretty cups in the photos, but for the rest, your'll have to use your imagine. 

Maybe I'll be more organised next year for a birthday high tea at Martha's. I promise I'll remember to take more photos.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lemon Curd

Mmm sweet, sweet lemon curd. I was brought up on this stuff. Whether it was a lumpy egg white version given to us from a relative or a thick and creamy version home-made by my mum or a family friend, we usually had a jar of this on tap. And straight to the jar with a spoon we would go! (Bad habits taught to me and my siblings by my dad - yes dad, I'm blaming you).

I've been at home crook this week and something inside me told me I needed lemon curd - nothing like a little nostalgia to make you feel better. I had never made it before, perhaps because it was always in the fridge or maybe I had been put off by people telling me how tricky it can be and how impossible it was to not to get the white lumps. Those people were wrong. It's surprisingly easy, especially if you use a little trick, my mum taught me.

All you need is:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
200g butter, diced evenly
4 eggs, gently whisked to combine

- In a pot, combine sugar, juice and butter. Place over a medium heat and stir until butter has melted. Bring this to the boil. 

- Prepare a larger pot of water to the boil. 
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture and whisk like crazy. 

- Place this pot on top of the larger pot of boiling water and stir until the lemon curd thickens. Once cool, pour into jars. It keeps in the fridge for 10 days.
Makes 2 cups.

If you have the pesky white bits showing from the eggs, you can sieve the curd to get rid of them - a handy hint from my mum.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this velvety goodness, here are a few ways you can eat it:

- Smothered on toast (esp. yummy with bananas and yoghurt)
- As a topping on ice cream
- Stirred through a creamy un-sweetened yoghurt
- A filling in sweet pies e.g. lemon meringue pie
- Getting your paws straight in there with a spoon (or no spoon...)


Monday, September 20, 2010

Baking Date

My friend Sophia and I have something in common. We love to bake. So much so, that we actually have dates where we do just that. Don't judge us. It's a fantastic night really. It involves a trip to the supermarket to get pumpkin soup and garlic bread (special stuff, not the one wrapped in tinfoil), and perhaps some cheese and crackers then back to mine where we get busy in the kitchen, followed by a dvd whilst eating whatever we've made. Bliss.

She came around a while ago and we made this AMAZING Lemon Cheese Pudding. It was so incredibly delicious that we made it again the other night. The name of this pudding is a little deceiving however, as it contains no cheese. In fact, the thing I love the most about this recipe, is that it contains no 'special' ingredients at all and yet it tastes so darn good. I think it might be one of those really old-school Edmonds recipes. Ah Edmonds.

Anyway you're probably wondering how to make this wee slice of heaven. Here goes:

Lemon Cheese Pudding


1 tbsp butter          Rind and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar         1 cup milk
2 tbsp flour            2 eggs (separated)
A pinch of salt

The how-to:

- Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Boil a half- full kettle of water. 
- Beat egg whites until stiff. 
- Cream butter and sugar. 
- Add flour, salt, lemon (rind and juice) milk and egg yolks (Ooo, plus I think a few added tablespoons of coconut would go down nicely at this stage. Give it a go?)
- Pour mixture into three ramekins, or a large dish (ramekins are way more fun) and place these in a pan of boiling water for 15 minutes (longer if in large dish).

Serve with greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

Heaven in a ramekin I tell you. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

K & S

So it turns out being engaged makes for a pretty busy lifestyle. Party after party, email after email, fabric shopping, dress hunting, venue hunting, card making...

It's such a tough life isn't it?

Although it's busy, it sure is a lot of fun. I totally recommend joining the band wagon- everyone's doing it. You might want to find yourself a decent other-half first however...

Last weekend we had our Wellington engagement party which was for all our wellington folk. My bridesmaid, kindly made some cute cupcakes for the occasion. They were decorated with pretty sprinkles and signed with K & S (Kevin and Sarah) on them. Unfortunately I didn't get any close up pictures of the wee gems on my camera but you can get the idea from these photos.

Ahem, yes. A little grossed out? So am I. Especially at Kev's sifty pose. Sorry... Maybe just feast your eyes on these for a second to rid yourself of such horrid things. I don't think Kev knows I'm posting these photos on here. Maybe don't tell him.

Hope you all have a swell weekend.x

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pumpkin and a whole lot of pie

So this was a pie that resulted from my indecisive nature. I wanted pie and cheesecake and couldn't decide between the two, so decided to merge them. It didn't go too horribly wrong but it did turn out a little unexpectedly...

I based the pie/cheesecake using a recipe from AWW: Bake, combined with a cheesecake base, then to top it off I created a wee concoction of nuts, chocolate and sugar as a scrummy topping. Confused? Here's the how to:

Made the Crust/base: 
1 packet of plain biscuits (I used Malt) 
250g Butter, melted

- Pre-heat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Process together in a food processor. Press into a tin/dish of desired size. 

Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Make the filling:
2 eggs
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground allspice

1. Beat eggs, sugar, maple syrup in a small bowl with an electric beater until thick. Stir in pumpkin, milk and spices. Once base has set pour in the filling.

Place in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. 

While this is in the oven combine the topping:
1 cup nuts, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Combine ingredients and mix together.
After 20 minutes, sprinkle this topping over the pie. Cook for a further 25-30 minutes or until cooked. You may find you need to place some tin foil over the pie to prevent nuts from burning.

So there you have it: Pumpkin pie/cheesecake. Though I think it's more of a pie. Would you agree?
I was surprised to see that the base swelled considerably, giving a thick edge instead of a thin one as most cheesecakes have. Not too sure why this was. Maybe I'll need to make it again. Maybe you should make it and tell me how yours turns out?

I am sure, however, that it was super tasty. I think I will make again. Its very morish so if you do decide to make it too, be warned...

As for the next pumpkin recipe, I no longer have any pumpkin to use! This pie used up most of what was left and then my flat mate used the remaining bit in a yummy roast vege and couscous salad. Sorry I don't have any pictures of that to show you, but I can assure you, your pumpkin won't be wasted on such things. 

So there we have it. Five ways with a pumpkin. Now you have a few pumpkin recipes under your belt for the next time you arrive home from the supermarket holding a pumpkin. 

Yum. Thanks pumpky for delivering deliciousness every time. Now what?