ANZAC day scones and food memories

I have written before about how ANZAC Day is tied up with food in my household. I cannot imagine an ANZAC Day where my dad didn’t make biccies and I didn’t eat the raw dough. So it was with some trepidation this year that I bustled into the kitchen myself and made a different kind of ANZAC Day treat.

 

ANZAC day scones (15 of 16)

 

Dear readers, please be aware that I have gone against a long-standing tradition…

Home made raisin toast and Easter hangovers

Anyone else feeling the effects of Easter still? I know I am! All of that chocolate and merriment! Easter at my house is jam packed with so many people, so much food, and lots of laughs with the kiddy Easter egg hunt that Easter Monday has a hard act to follow. To counter the blues that set in when you realise that Easter is over, and you no longer have an excuse to eat your body weight in chocolate, I recommend straight up denial.

Denial in the form of chocolate spiked raisin bread!

Hot cross bun bread (13 of 18)

It’s basically a giant hot cross bun that you can eat warm out of the oven, cold with a smattering of jam, or piping hot, straight from the toaster and smothered in butter.

Not only is this bread the perfect way to relive Easter at any time of the year, it’s also a great way to use up the Easter eggs that you may have hanging around the house. I don’t know about you, but after Sunday I seem to have about three tonnes of them in various bowls around the house!

How was your Easter? Do you have a tradition of Easter egg hunting like my family does?

 

Home made raisin toast / hot cross bun bread

  • 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 3 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150g milk chocolate easter eggs
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 1 tbsp milk

Vanilla bean butter

  • 160g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Pour your warm water and yeast into a cup and set to one side for the yeast to do it’s thing for ten minutes.

While the yeast is set aside, sift your sugar into a bowl. Mix in the white sugar, followed by the allspice and cinnamon.

Hot cross bun bread (1 of 18)

Make a well in the centre and mix in your yeast. Pour in your water, about ¼ cup at a time until you’ve used it all and have a cohesive ball of dough.

Hot cross bun bread (2 of 18)

If you’re using a stand mixer, mix on a medium speed for 3-4 minutes. If you’re hand-kneading, do it for about 10 minutes.

Lightly oil your bowl and set the dough back in it, cover the bowl in cling wrap and set to in a warm spot to rise for one hour. For those of you who don’t know, sausage dogs prosper in the heat just as much as rising bread does. Try to keep sausages and dough separate.

Hot cross bun bread (3 of 18)

When your dough has more than doubled in size, lightly flour a surface and scoop your dough out onto it. Put half of your chocolate and sultanas into the middle of the dough and fold the dough in on itself a few times. Put the rest of the chocolate and sultanas in the dough and knead until the chocolate and sultanas are evenly distributed throughout.

Hot cross bun bread (4 of 18)

Pop into your bread tin and set in a warm place to rise again for 15 minutes.

Hot cross bun bread (7 of 18)

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Brush your bread with the milk, then pop your bread in the oven for 10 minutes.

Hot cross bun bread (8 of 18)

Reduce the temperature to 170°C and continue baking for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven when the top of the loaf is nicely browned and it makes a hollow sound when you knock the top of it.

Hot cross bun bread (9 of 18)

 

This bread is great served with regular butter, but I recommend whipping up some vanilla bean butter for an extra tasty slice. Allow your butter to come to room temperature and quickly mix in the sugar and vanilla. I use regular, salted butter as it adds a nice little edge to the otherwise sweet spread. Enjoy fresh from the oven, cooled, or toasted – whichever way you serve it, this bread is scrumptious!

Hot cross bun bread (18 of 18)

Hot cross bun bread (5 of 18)

Hot cross bun bread (16 of 18)

Hot cross bun bread (12 of 18)

Hot cross bun bread (15 of 18)

Planning on making this recipe? Tag me on Instagram and use #bakingwithgab so I can see your wonderful creations!

Cinnamon and date scrolls and familiarity

It dawned on me recently that I’ve been home from my holiday for nearly a month.

And I haven’t posted ONCE. I’m a bad blogger, I apologise.

set scrolls aboveI’ve been super productive in the kitchen working on various bits and pieces, I just haven’t had the chance to put it all down. So to kickstart my blogging once more I’m putting a twist on an old favourite.

Easter bunny buns and kid-friendly recipes

aboveI think it’s well-established that I love Easter. I love Easter egg hunts, I adore chocolate, and I love the way that it brings family together. I’ve spoken before about how food and love are almost synonymous terms to me; I’ve grown up in a family who love long lunches, big dinners, epic desserts, and everything in between.  

Mexican chocolate cake and silliness

This stunner of a cake was made for a friend’s Mexican-themed birthday. I was asked to provide a Mexican themed cake. I never need an excuse to bake, so I happily obliged.

above

I did some research and found authentic Mexican cakes were either too complex for my liking, or used ingredients I didn’t have on hand…so I sort of made one up. There was a touch of cinnamon in the recipe which gave the chocolate a gorgeous warmth. The crumb reached that perfect equilibrium of moistness and crumbliness. It was big enough to share around the large gathering, and the icing was absolutely divine; it looked effortlessly (and deliciously) dripped without excessive effort.

drip

I hope you’ve noticed that I’m talking about this beauty in the past tense by now.

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Because I’ve lost it. Not the cake, that was eaten within minutes, the recipe. This recipe which I was super excited to share. And have been promising since Saturday. I even promised it as recently as two hours ago, when I was blissfully unaware that I’d lost it. And the recipe for the icing as well, which was so good that I wanted to shout about it from the roof tops…gone.

flower

The Boy and I moved house this weekend and it was a mammoth task. We have things everywhere. EVERYWHERE. And the recipe for this little beauty is in there somewhere. I just don’t know where.

Insert crying face emoji here.

So this post is a no recipe kind of post. Consider it a mourning. Alas, poor Mexican bundt, you were too delicious for this world. All we have left of you are mouth-watering photos.

preview

(If I ever do find the recipe, once all of my stuff is out of boxes, I’ll promise to post it.)

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Caramel apple scrolls and rainy mornings

scrollWhen I woke up this morning it was raining. Hard.

It’s been doing so on and off for a few days now. This kind of weather makes me want to shrug off anything that resembles responsibility and stay in bed, only leaving the covers to bake and make more tea.

Scrolls are perfect for this kind of weather. You can whip them up and let them rest while you return to bed. Then pop them in the oven and take them back to bed once they’re done!! The sweet smell of caramelising brown sugar will creep into every corner of the house and have it smelling inviting after just once batch. The smell will settle right around the house like a big, warm hug, fending off those rainy day blues.

Citrus hot cross buns and fickle baking

crossI’m torn. The Sydney weather is trying to rain on my sunny disposition, quite literally. Monday morning the heavens opened and it bucketed down, but by midday there was nothing but stretches of cloudless blue sky.

Autumn is such a fickle season.

As a result, my baking barometer is muddled. Do I bake gorgeous, warming chai fudge, or opt for a zesty lime curd tarts? Should I poach some pears and close off the house to let it fill with warm, peary scents, or fling open the doors and invite the neighbourhood over for some raspberry lemon tray bake?

Cream buns with mock cream and indulgence

bunsIt’s Valentine’s day today and I thought cream buns would be a cute things to post. I’m not really one for pet names, but I think that “my little cream bun” would be a rather adorable term of endearment.

Just me?

Anywho, I recently made these buns for a dear friend of mine (at his request!) and they were such a lovely treat to be able to share. They’re old school indulgence, the kind of thing I can picture my grandparents serving to friends at social events. They’re not showy, but they’re delicious and pretty enough to impress.

Raspberry scrolls and hearts

closeI’m not really that big a fan of Valentine’s day. I love the idea of celebrating your loved one, and I love ANY excuse to bake, but I get a little jaded by the comparisons and expectations that couples have put on them as the day dawns. I would much rather a hand-picked bunch of flowers than a shop bought one, I’d rather a batch of home-made cupcakes than a box of chocolates – I love jewellery and pretty things, but I much prefer presents that are better thought out.

So when I saw heart shaped pastries on Pinterest, I started to think about what else I could make into heart shapes. Y’know, because baked goods + festive shaping = ultimate gift.

Ask anybody, it’s a well-known fact.

Damper and brown butter sugar

sceneAustralia day is dawning, and I love how it brings people together. This holiday is laidback, community-focussed and gets pretty warm. The same can be said of this damper! The fact that damper only has six ingredients and needs very little attention is just a plus! Damper is an easy dish to serve at your Australia day gathering – even though I would say it is best enjoyed with a cuppa, this rustic Australian classic will sit comfortably alongside whatever you choose to drink this weekend.