Baking Day with Evie Pt 3

So the last thing on our baking day was cookies. Unfortunately they were a little bit dry because I should have just pulled them out of the oven but I was like no, they can go a little longer... So I cooked them a little long. But other than that they taste great, so I would definitely recommend them!

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies

125g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
75g milk chocolate, chopped
30g cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 eggs, at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2T espresso powder or 1/2T brewed coffee
1t vanilla
6T flour
1/2t baking powder
1/8t salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Put chopped chocolates and butter (first three ingredients) into a sauce pan over low heat and melt. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Mix eggs, sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla. Add the melted chocolate to the egg/sugar batter. Mix well. Next add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the batter. Mix well. Lastly, add chocolate chips. Chill dough for approximately 60 minutes or until it can hold a shape. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet/tray with baking paper and scoop dough in small balls on paper and space about 2cm apart from each other. Press dough to flatten. Bake for 10 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE!

Baking Day with Evie Pt 2

The second thing that we made yesterday was... Death by Oreo Cupcakes! These are soooo yummy. Especially for someone who loves cookies and cream. :D They were a little dry, but I think that's because we added all of the flour and ground oreos as well, so I've reduced the amount of flour in this recipe. I would even just eat a bowl of this icing. Mmmm...

Death by Oreo Cupcakes

1/4 cup & 2T unsweetened Dutch-process or dark cocoa powder
1/4 & 2T cup hot water
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
3/4t coarse salt
175g unsalted butter
1 1/8 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1T & 1t pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 pkt oreos
200g cream cheese, room temperature
115g butter, softened
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
1t vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 12 cup standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Process the between a 1/4 and a 1/2 of the packet of oreos in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Alternately, melt together in the microwave. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream and oreos, and beating until just combined after each. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Then pipe the icing on to finish off.
Oreo Cream Cheese Icing:
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla, then add powdered sugar slowly until blended well. Put the cookies in the food processor and process until very fine and powdery. Add to frosting and mix well.

Baking Day with Evie Pt 1

Evie is a lovely friend of mine who also really enjoys baking and we were planning our baking day for a while. As quite often happens though, life kept getting in the way. Every time we planned to have it, something else would come up or one of us wouldn't be free etc. So, after about 2 months, we finally got our day! :) We actually had a huge list of things, most of them more americanised, that we wanted to make, but you only get so long in a day! This is the first of the three recipes and it turned out pretty much perfectly! We were really happy with the finished product, even if we did both end up setting the paper cases on fire! :O These are great for a neat presentation and a perfect sized dessert. Also, we halved the recipe, so this quantity makes 12.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Cupcakes

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (or digestive biscuits)
3/4T sugar
1/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
250g cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup & 1T sugar
2T cornstarch
1T finely grated lemon zest
2T fresh lemon juice
2t vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar with 1T taken out
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners. To make crust, combine the first 3 ingredients until evenly blended and crumbly and press into bottom of mini muffins cups. Bake for 8 minutes, then cool. Spoon or pipe cheesecake filling into cooled mini muffin tins bake for about 18 minutes, until cheesecake still moves a little when pan is shaken gently. Let cheesecakes cool to room temperature. Meringue layer can be made once cheesecake have cooled and cheesecakes can be chilled overnight (or at least an hour) and then finished. To finish, fill a piping bag with a large star or plain tip and pipe on top of each cheesecake. Evie and I used a cupcake pen with a very wide tip to pipe the meringue and that worked really well. Bake pie for about 6 minutes, just until meringue browns lightly. Alternately, use the blowtorch to brown the meringue, turning whilst cooking the meringue. Allow cheesecakes to chill for at least an hour and up to a day before serving.
Cheesecake Filling:
To make cheesecake, reduce oven to 160°C. Beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, then gradually add sugar while beating, scraping the sides of the bowl often. Beat in cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, scraping well after each addition. 
Meringue Top:
For meringue, preheat oven to 190°C, or ready your blowtorch! Whip egg whites until foamy. While whipping, gradually pour in sugar and whip on one speed less than highest until whites hold a stiff peak (the meringue stands upright when whisk is lifted).


AFS Camp Pizza

The potluck dinner from the other night (where Oscar made some really nice chicken!) was followed by an AFS camp over the weekend. It was a camp for returnees who had just come back to New Zealand after their exchanges. It was great because most of the students we had seen just before they left, so it was awesome to see how much they'd changed and what their exchange was like. Everyone seemed to have fun weekend and we certainly had some fun making pizzas in the kitchen! I don't usually make bread or dough and if I do it's often in the breadmaker. But Cam (different Cam to my Cam, he's an orientation coordinator with Oscar) is really good at making bread without a breadmaker and he does it all the time. He even has pizza stones which we used to cook the pizza, so it was pretty hard out! The pizzas tasted really good and so did the sauce that Steph (another volunteer) made. All in all a pretty great weekend with some good food.

Homemade Pizza (enough for 2 pizzas)


3t yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2t sugar
2T oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2t baking powder
1 can tomato purée (400g)
1 small onion
2t oregano
2t mixed herbs
Pizza toppings (we used ham, salami, green and yellow peppers, red onion, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.)


Dissolve the sugar in the lukewarm water and then stir in the yeast. Leave this in a warm place to proof for 10 minutes. In a separate large bowl mix together the flour and the baking powder. When the yeast mixture is ready (puffy and foamy), add the oil to it and then pour the mixture into the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, using more flour as necessary, until the dough is soft. Place the dough in a clean but oiled bowl and cover with a damp teatowel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size. When the dough has risen, punch it down, remove from the bowl and separate it into two parts. Knead again until they are pliable and not sticky. Roll out on a lightly floured surface until you reach the size that you want. Then move the base either to an oven tray or a pizza stone and cover with the pizza sauce. Then add the toppings and turn the oven to 200°C on fanbake. Bake the pizzas for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the cheese is completely melted.

Tomato Purée:

Chop the onions finely and fry in a small pot with some oil until translucent. Pour the tomato purée over the top, add the herbs and simmer for half an hour.


Cupcakes for AFS Potluck Thing

Not sure if this is actually going to be a potluck tomorrow, but Oscar (another volunteer with AFS-we're going to his house) asked if I could bring dessert, so here it is! I was just looking through Brown Eyed Baker's recipes and I came across this one. Now me, loving chocolate and peanut butter and all, I couldn't go past it. It looked reasonably simple but so yum! Of course I made it! They taste AMAZING. Using dark chocolate is a good idea because it contrasts so well with the sweet peanut butter icing on top. Last night, after I made them, I left 4 for my family and me. Alex and I had one and there were two left, but mum doesn't like peanut butter as much as we do, especially with chocolate (crazy, right? :O), so there were two left. Dad came downstairs with a cupcake and asked if I wanted half. I thought that it was his so I said, no you have it, it's yours. And he said that he'd already had one but they were so good he wanted another! But, he didn't want to feel bad for not sharing and he knew I was still up so he offered me some! Haha. A testament to just how delicious these are.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing

115g butter, softened and cut into cubes
50g dark chocolate bits
1/2 cup dutch-processed or other dark cocoa powder
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2t baking soda
3/4t baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1t vanilla extract
1/2t table salt
1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup icing sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
75g butter, at room temperature
3/4t vanilla extract
1/4t salt
1/3 cup cream

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line standard-size muffin pan with cupcake liners. Combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. (Alternately, you can microwave the mixture at a lower power, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted. This is what I did.) Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch. Whisk eggs in second medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of the flour, baking powder and baking soda over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is and thick. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.

Peanut Butter Icing:
Place the icing sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. Ice the cupcakes and eat!

Wellington Bake Off!

Yay! Finally here! Although, to be honest, I wasn't a fan of the category. It was decorated biscuits. Of course, I like biscuits, BUT I'd never done decorated biscuits and never done royal icing before. I was considering quite a few different things, but I wanted to more conservative and try to do something really well, rather than something complicated and stuffing it up. When dad suggested emoticons I thought it was a really good idea and pretty simple to do so I went with that. I guess if I had my time over again I might try something a little more involved, maybe a filled biscuit? I'd also probably put a bit more time into presentation, it's definitely something that I need to work on. They tasted good and they looked good, very neat and well done I thought, but they weren't as flashy or intense as some of the others. So unfortunately I didn't win, but the woman who did had hers hanging off a tree, so that looked pretty damn cool! Becca and I did win being the youngest bakers there, so that was nice. :) I think mine possibly would have appealed more to a younger panel of judges because the judges were more around my parents' ages and I kind of had to explain the theme to them, that it wasn't just smiley faces but that they were sitting on an iPhone for a reason! Oh well, it hasn't deterred me from baking, I'll just have to put in more effort next time! They did taste good, a nice simple biscuit so if you're looking for something a little different, then here it is! :)

PS: The reason behind the name is that there is an application on iPhone that is really common and it's called Emoji. It gives you lots of cool emoticons to use in messaging etc. So we went with the tech-themed name!

Emoji Cookies

300g butter, softened
225g icing sugar
225g cornflour
300g plain flour
1t vanilla essence

3 cups icing sugar
2T meringue powder
8-10T water

1 cup icing sugar
1/2T meringue powder
2-4T water
75g chocolate bits

Gel food colouring (I used yellow and black)

Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a baking sheet. Cream together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla essence. Sift in the cornflour and plain flour and mix all togther with a wooden spoon until it comes together as a dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until you can work with the dough. Roll out the dough on a flour surface to whatever your desired thickness is. If you're doing some sort of decorated biscuit, I'd recommend about 2cm. Then take whatever circular object you have on hand (I used a plastic glass) and cut circles out of the dough. Place on the baking sheet, pull the leftover dough together and then roll out and cut again. Repeat until there's no dough left. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until they're just brown on the bottom. Cool completely.

Pipe a circle around the outside with the royal icing. Then thin the icing by adding tablespoons of water until the icing disappears back into the mixture after 10 seconds of dropping it back on top. Flood the cookies with the icing. You do this by pouring maybe half the area of the circle on top of the biscuit and then spreading it with a palette knife or the back of a spoon, right to the edges of the piped circle so that there are no gaps. You have to do this well in advance of when you need the biscuits, because the icing will take at least 3 hours to dry, I left mine overnight.

It would be a good idea to either print or draw some pictures of emoticons to have as a reference whilst icing. Use the black (chocolate) royal icing to make the faces and be creative! I did lots of different ones and it was really fun to experiment. This icing dries faster, so you only need maybe an half an hour afterwards to leave it to dry. Or not even. Just eat them.

Royal Icing:
Mix all ingredients (second group) on low speed for 7-10 minutes or until the icing loses its shine. Add more water by the teaspoon if it appears too stiff. At this stage you want to be able to pipe it easily. Once you have it at a good consistency, add the yellow (or whatever colour) gel food colouring. Beat until coloured, which can take maybe 3/4t of colour to get it really yellow enough for a face.

Chocolate Royal Icing:
Melt the chocolate at a reduced power in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and then whist until smooth. Add the black (or whatever colour-but I used black because it's easy to colour something black when it's already brown!) food colouring and whisk until all the chocolate is completely black. This will take maybe 1/2t. Then put the icing sugar and meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix together with the chocolate until incorporated. Add the water, tablespoon by tablespoon, until the mixture is a little thinner that the yellow one used for around the outside, but thick enough to pipe easily. Mix until the icing again loses its shine. Then you're ready to pipe!

Baking Club Challenge 4

The last challenge before the big bake off! This is actually rather late, so I know how the bake off has turned out now... But I shall keep you all in suspense! :) The fourth challenge was "baked slice". I really, really wanted to make hedgehog slice, but unfortunately it's not a baked slice so that idea was out. As a side note, has anyone tried the hedgehog slice from Brumby's? Amazing right? My sister and I always used to get one when we were younger and mum went to get bread from there... And then mum would cut the end off of each of ours so she could have some but it was even! Haha. So after considering flavours and the fact that Becca and I were slightly chocolate-d out (impossible right? But we've had so many chocolate things in the past few weeks!), we decided that we'd make a maple pecan slice. Who knew that pecans are so expensive? A ridiculously small bag for $5 later and we had everything we needed. It has a really nice texture and the sweetness of the maple syrup balances out the pecans. It's also very sticky, so take a serviette when you eat it!

Maple Pecan Slice

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
2/3 cup pecans
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp flour

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cake/slice tin with baking paper. Mix the first lot of ingredients for the base with fingertips and press into the tin. Bake for 5 minutes.
Raise the oven temperature to 200°C. Mix brown sugar, butter and maple syrup in a medium sized saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool to lukewarm. Add beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Add the other dry ingredients and spread over the base. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and cooked through.


Sophie's Birthday and Cam Leaves for Afghanistan

Last week was pretty hectic for me, so sorry I haven't posted anything! Last Sunday was Sophie's birthday and I thought that it'd be nice to finally bake her the brownies that she requested so long ago! She loved them and I tried them and they're sooooo good! The reason that I made white chocolate blondies instead of brownies is also because Sophie doesn't like chocolate, only white chocolate (crazy right?). She actually ate them too fast to take a photo (haha) and I forgot to take one before I gave them to her, so the photo is from the recipe from Food Channel. But mine looked pretty much exactly the same and they taste even better than they look! The other thing that happened last week was that Cam left for Afghanistan. For those who don't know, Cam is currently in Afghanistan for about 6-7 weeks working for his uncle doing stuff to do with solar powered engineering. I'm not really sure what exactly... But stuff like that. So, I was reasonably depressed last week but baking cures all, so I've been using that to keep me distracted. Voilá, blondies! :) So give them a go, especially if you have a friend who doesn't like chocolate. :)

PS: If you want to check out Cam's blog while he's there, here's the link.

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Blondies

1/2 cup plain flour
1t baking powder
100g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
150g peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1t vanilla extract
75g white chocolate, chopped

 Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 20 x 20cm square cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper. Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter together until very soft. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder and the chopped chocolate and mix to form a dough. Place the dough into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until golden brown and almost firm in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, before removing and cutting into squares.


Baking Club Challenge 3-Dessert

This is the second part after my post about the pie that I made for dinner with Becca and... Well Alex did the dishes. So this dessert was good, but very annoying. Becca and I made the pastry according to the recipe from Always Order Dessert and it kinda turned out like a pancake. A very yummy pastry pancake, but nonetheless, not able to be used! We think it's because the pie tin that we used has quite high sides and the pastry didn't go all the way up AND the recipe didn't say to bake it blind, so I went against my instincts but... Bad move. Pancake. Then I thought we should double the recipe, that would solve all of our problems. The only thing is, the pastry is very short and needs to be rested in the fridge for at least an hour and even then, handled very quickly. I didn't realise this and the pastry all fell apart in my hands and I got very frustrated and it was nearly 9.30 so... Scrapped the idea of having dessert that night (we were all really full from the other pie anyway!) and I put the pastry, the ganache and the caramel in the fridge to wait for another day. I finally got around to using them, and it actually went very well! It tastes divine, I think the ganache adds a nice, slightly different flavour. Also, chocolate. You know. Can't go past chocolate. So if you're like Keira Knightley from Love Actually (great movie!) and have a "terrible taste in pie" then give this one a go!

Banoffee Pie

1 (395g) can condensed milk

1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup icing sugar
Pinch of salt
1t cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup chocolate chips

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup cream
Grated chocolate, for decoration

Fill a large and deep pot with water and place the can of condensed milk at the bottom. Make sure the water covers the can by at least 8cm (preferably more). Bring the water to a boil, then lower to a rapid simmer. Let boil for 2 hours, adding more water every 15-20 minutes to keep the water level at least 8cm above the can. It's really important that you keep the water at this level, because if it gets too low, the can could explode. Kinda dangerous. But it's pretty easy, you just have to keep your eye on it. Once the caramel is ready, pour it into the baked tart crust and spread evenly. Drizzle the chocolate ganache over the caramel in the crust, using a spoon to swirl it in. Slice the banana into 2cm pieces and spread on top of the caramel and chocolate, pressing in slightly. Whip the remaining cream and 2T icing sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Spread over the pie and sprinkle over grated chocolate or drizzle on any remaining chocolate ganache. Or both if you want! Serve immediately or let chill. Store leftovers wrapped in gladwrap in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 18-20cm pie tin well, making sure to grease all of the crevices. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor until it forms coarse crumbs. Then add 1T iced water until it just comes together. Add more if needed, but be careful not to make it too damp. Take the dough out of the food processor and knead it gently into a ball. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Working quickly, knead the dough a little to make it pliable and then, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until the circle is big enough to line the bottom and edges of your pie tin. You can either roll the pastry onto your rolling pin and place it over the pie tin, or just pick it up really quickly and plonk it on. I like that option. Then press the pastry into the tin, making sure that every crevice is pressed in and using excess dough to fill any gaps. Trim the excess. Use a fork to poke holes in the bottom of the tart and place in freezer to chill for 15 minutes (apparently this will prevent shrinking, see if it works for you...). Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the baking weights and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool at room temperature.

Chocolate Ganache:
I tend to do this in the microwave, just because I've been doing it for years and it's easy, but you can do it on the stove too. In the microwave: heat the chocolate chips in a mug on 500W for 3 minutes, then add the cream and heat for a further minute. Then stir until smooth. Stovetop: Heat the cream until it just starts to boil and then pour over the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.

Baking Club Challenge 3-Dinner

So the third challenge for the baking club was... Pie! I was super excited, because pie is amazing. I was trying to think of a savoury pie Becca and I could make, because we decided that we'd do a dinner with one savoury pie and one sweet one. My favourite pie ever is potato top pie, but Ashleigh's not really a fan of shepherd's pie, so we weren't sure if she'd like it... Although she didn't end up coming!! :O Anyway, I thought the next best thing would be a chicken pot pie and I looked through many recipes to find the right one... This one turned out to be amazing, a creamy filling and a good savoury pastry top. Ours was a little runny, as you can probably see in the picture, so next time we thought it would be better to cook the vegetables first to evaporate some of the water before putting it all together. This recipe is from The Food Network.
Chicken Pot Pie

5 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
3T olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
5 cups chicken stock
175g butter
2 onions, chopped
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups carrots, diced and blanched for 2 minutes
2 cups frozen peas
1 leek, chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

3 cups plain flour
1 1/2t salt
1t baking powder
250g cold butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup iced water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the chicken breasts on a baking tray and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle then dice the chicken into large cubes. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock (if not using oxo/bouillon cubes). In a large pot, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2t salt, 1/2t pepper, and heavy cream. Add the carrots, peas, parsley and leek and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Then add the chicken and mix well. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Either divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls or pour into one big dish. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Or whatever shape your big dish is. Brush the outside edges of each bowl (or the dish) with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the dough to 2cm larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


Baking Club Challenge 2

So those of you who read my previous post about the bake club will know what I'm talking about, but just in case you haven't, you can read it here. :) The second challenge was brownies, so this time I went to Becca's house and Ashleigh came later and we made a day of it! We made some amazing-flavoured brownies and had a good laugh so hopefully they'll put a smile on your face too! The idea comes from The Londoner, but Becca and I made the brownies and the cookies from scratch-way better!

Slutty Brownies

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
150g butter
1t vanilla essence
3/4t baking powder
3/4t baking soda
1 7/8 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

2/3 cup flour
2T cocoa powder
1/2t salt
150g chocolate bits
115g butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1t vanilla extract

2 packets oreos

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a square 20cm pan. Cream the butter and the sugars together in a large bowl with an electric mixer. The mixture should be light coloured and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg and mix well. Add the flour and the baking powder and soda and mix together with a wooden spoon. When it's just about mixed, add the chocolate chips and mix well. Spread this layer of cookie dough (the consistency should be spreadable but not runny or anything) over the prepared pan

then layer the oreos over the top.

Then pour the brownie mixture over this, making sure to spread it to the edges.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is cracked but the brownie is still fudgy.

Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler or a medium-large bowl set over gently simmering water. Stir until smooth, then remove from heat. Whisk in sugars and stir until dissolved and mixture has cooled slightly. Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract until just combined (do not overmix). Sprinkle flour mixture over top and fold in to chocolate mixture using a large rubber spatula until just incorporated.

Ashleigh and Becca with the brownies.
A rather artistic photo of Ashleigh with the brownies. :)