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.  

Baileys buttercream sandwich biscuits and St Patrick’s day surprises

pileI started making these biscuits so that I’d have a St Patrick’s Day appropriate recipe. I don’t really like to go for the super cliched option when it comes to occasion baking, so I’ve stayed way from green desserts this year. Last year I made the delicious Guinness cake, but this year I opted for Baileys instead because I drink Baileys all year round. Now that I’ve made these delightful little morsels, I know that they’re far too delicious to only make once a year. This babies are going to be on high rotation because they’re addictive!

I also had lots of fun messing around with videos as I was making them. I was surprised at how fun playing with Instagram videos is – I’m going to be making lots more videos! My new, adorable baking paper and speedy baking are a match made in heaven!

Mooberry review and waffles

wafflesI’ve been putting off writing this post for a while. Not for any sinister reasons , it’s just that this blog post hinges around waffles. Or the making of them.

I have been searching and searching and searching for a waffle maker so that I could post a recipe to accompany the review of Mooberry Neutral Bay which inspired me to make waffles in the first place.

I have had approximately zero luck finding a reasonably priced waffle maker! I thought I might be able to pick one up easily at Kmart or Target, but I have not had any luck. How is this? The few that I have found are either massive or too expensive. Where are the reasonably priced waffle irons that will fit in my small rental kitchen?

So this post has two parts – one part is telling you how awesome my Mooberry experience was. The second part is to implore you to help me find the waffle iron my dreams. Suggestions and donations welcome!

pairI was invited to sample Mooberry’s delights through my blog. I said yes, assuming that I’d get some froyo, which I love. I didn’t realise that Mooberry have so much more to offer than just frozen yoghurt!

I took the Boy along and we had a Mooberry date. It was so cute. The lovely Jamie, who took care of us, started us off with some froyo. The Boy got salted caramel with Maltesers, M&Ms and Tim Tam. It was the ultimate chocolate dessert.

flowersHe’d never had froyo before that day (because he thought it would be gross) and I think it’s safe to say that this serving changed his mind.

I got passionfruit with fresh strawberries and kiwi and lychee pearls. Those little pearls were unreal. They were like little bursts of summer. So you’d think that was it. Mooberry is predominantly a frozen yoghurt place.

hot chocolate
YOU’RE WRONG! Perusing the menu I realised that they offer delicious, even healthy brekkie options. I didn’t sample any of these though, I focussed on the sweet things! The Boy and I devoured a hot chocolate each (go Belgian chocolate every time, it’s glorious) and split a waffle and churros.

churros

Everything is drizzled in chocolate. It is basically my idea of heaven.dip

Jamie explained that they currently have their waffles delivered, but they’re experimenting with making their own. I will definitely be back to try out their house-made waffles, because if they’re better than the current ones, they’ll be divine.
It’s too bad I can’t try and replicate them. Who knew that finding a waffle iron would be so difficult?!
Mooberry Neutral Bay is friendly and funky. There are stag heads and faux grass on the walls, fairy lights adorning bannisters and Instagram pictures on the wall upstairs.

bananaIt’s a pretty photogenic place, as you may have seen, I insta-spammed my followers while I was there!  The staff are sweet and super helpful, the Boy and I had a lovely time.

 

 

Peanut butter slice and broken ovens

cutThis little slice was created at a time when I thought that I had no oven. The oven in my rental property had been smoking  like crazy for no apparent reason at all. So I stopped using it while we tried to get the issue sorted.

Some people could cope with just a stove top to cook on…I can’t.

Ovens are kind of integral to what I do here at Baking with Gab.

So in the week that I went without an oven I went Pinterest crazy on no-bake recipes. I was amazed at the amount of food that people get away with not cooking! Lots of fudges are no bake, I almost made a cake batter dip, and there are so many raw desserts that I want to try.

Chocolate chip biscuits and requests

sceneI was recently asked by a regular reader if I had a good chocolate chip biscuit recipe. A chunky, chewy, good old-fashioned type of biscuit.

And I didn’t! What kind of blogger doesn’t have a basic choc chip biscuit recipe?!

I have several types of biscuit recipes (there’s dark chocolate caramel popcorn, perfect chocolate, boyfriend, Anzac,  gluten free choc chip, speculoos and salted caramel just to name a few), but no basic choc chip ones.

So I’m setting out to amend this.

These biccies are soft and chewy, with sweet, caramel undertones as a result of the brown sugar. A word of warning – these biscuits puff up beautifully, creating a smooth, even top of the biscuit, so if you want chocolate chunks poking out of the top of your biscuit, maybe place them into the rolled balls just before you put them in the oven.

Traditional choc chip biscuits

  • 200g buttermilk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup choc chips
  • 100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

mixCream the room temperature butter together with both types of sugar. Add in the egg and beat well before mixing in the vanilla and cornflour.

Add in the flour one cup at a time and mix at a medium speed. The mixture will become quite dry. Once all of the flour is mixed in, shape the mixture into a ball, wrap it in cling film and pop into the fridge for 20 minutes.

coldI never used to refrigerate my biscuit dough, but it really makes a difference to the end result. It also makes rolling the balls less greasy because the butter firms up whilst in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper (I used my silicone baking mat from House, which I’m slightly in love with.)

rolledOnce your dough is chilled, scoop a tablespoon off the mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat until you’ve finished the mixture, then pop into the oven for 13-15 minutes. Rotate half way through the baking process if they over-brown.

stackThe biscuits that were part of the photo shoot were eaten so quickly by The Boy and my brothers that I didn’t get a shot of how jam-packed with chocolate these little biccies are. You can see the chocolatey goodness in my breakfast biscuit Instagram post though!

Baking and absences

Hello dear followers!

I’ve nabbed a computer to let you know that I’ve not forgotten you all, I have broken my computer.

And I miss you!!

I was madly blogging the other day and leapt up from my seat to plug it in to the charger, and I knocked the computer from its perch. My computer was in a very sorry state, but I’ve sent it off to be fixed and should have it fixed in a number of days.

If you miss me terribly, you can keep up to date with my adventures (Norman and I are continuing to be cute and bake, respectively) on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

I’ve been Instagramming like mad, because there has been so much going on. I went to Mudgee for a fabulous weekend with friends, I turned 24, Norman got a hair cut, the Boy’s parents have flown over from England come to spend Christmas and the new year with us, and CHRISTMAS IS COMING!! We finally got out Christmas tree as well. The house smells all piney and delicious, I can’t wait to share photos with you!

Overall, I’m pretty excited, I love December.

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 18.40.40

Ooh AND my teapot give away is still running, there are four days left – find out how to win here!

Can’t wait to get back to blogging once my computer is fixed. In the mean time, happy baking!

Mini mushroom tarts and lady beetles

A lady beetle was the highlight of my morning.

I opened a bag of baby spinach to put in a breakfast smoothie and she was there. I stared at her for a second, because it’s not what you expect of baby spinach. When you buy unwashed greens you sometimes encounter slugs or a teensy snail, or something equally squeamish…but mainly they’ve just got a little soil clinging to a few leaves.

She was so still and curled up that I assumed she was dead. I contemplated how long this gorgeous little beetle had been alive before she landed on the wrong leaf and was packaged up, shipped and refrigerated.

Norman and superstardom

side viewThe moment has arrived. The blog is going to take off.

Norman has been immortalised.

He is now bound for superstardom. He will, no doubt, shed me once he’s famous enough to do a solo Norman act. For now I’ll ride on his coattails.

I’m sort of kidding. Norman would never leave me, just as long as I promise to keep feeding him off-cuts of pastry and brushing him so his fur stays unmatted.

And he has been immortalised. Unfortunately it wasn’t because he was scouted on the street and noticed for his handsomeness. I requested he have his likeness made into a cupcake topper.

Chocolatey chocolate tart and leftover egg yolks

yolkEgg yolks have so much potential.

I hate to waste a good egg yolk because of this potential. I also hate the idea of letting good food go to waste!

This is a great way to use up egg yolks after you’ve made meringues. I made some pretty spooky meringues for Halloween (as you may or may not have seen on my Instagram) so I had five egg yolks to play with. This recipe didn’t use them all up, but it got rid of four and Norman enjoyed lapping up the final yolk!

edgeI took the meringues and this tart to a Halloween party. I say party, but it was better than that – it was a group of my friends watching Hocus Pocus and eating yummy food. The tart works with out without meringue ghosts, in case you were wondering.

Worms in mud cupcakes and more Halloween ideas

labelLast year for Halloween I made spooky cupcakes. There were ghosts, spider webs, grave yards, brains and mummies. I couldn’t find any photos of them, except for this one on Instagram. I’m an Instagram tragic, I know.

I really enjoyed making the tombs look like they were in dirt…mainly because I adore chocolate sprinkles. So I used them again! This time I created worms in mud cupcakes – they’re about as gross as I want to make my food look. They’re still pretty cutesy, but more importantly, they taste delicious!!