Peanut butter brownies and procrastinating

flowersI’ve had a crazy few weeks. Work has been busy, I’ve been baking with renewed gusto (and trying to get the recipes posted, rather than just consume the finished product) AND trying to have a social life.

It’s like I can only have two out of three – I can either work and socialise, and leave my beloved blog to gather dust, or I can socialise and blog, and get fired from a job that I love. Neither of these options are ideal!

I need to plan my life. Continue reading “Peanut butter brownies and procrastinating”

The best hot chocolate in the world

aboveWant the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day? Chocolate.

That is all you need. (Well, that’s all I need!)

It’s no secret that I love chocolate. When it comes to food, the more chocolate something has in it, the better. That is why I skip cocoa and go straight for a block when I make hot chocolate. Your loved one/s will love you for this, trust me. Continue reading “The best hot chocolate in the world”

Homemade twix slice and promises:

cornerI dangled this tart in front of your eyes about a week ago. I taunted you with a picture of its shell, ready to go in the oven, and then I never gave you the recipe.

How mean of me!!

To be perfectly honest, I lost the recipe! I had all of the tantalising pictures and could still tell you how delicious it was, but I couldn’t give you the ingredients! One of the problems with me being a blogger is that I’m prone to misplacing things. I used to write my recipes on scraps of paper and then lose them and get disappointed. The Boy bought me a notebook to stop this happening…now I just lose the notebook. Continue reading “Homemade twix slice and promises:”

Rosewater pistachio meringues and the Sweet Swap 2014

In the world of blogging, I’m a relative newbie. I hit my 200th post yesterday and was quietly thrilled at achieving such a milestone – but there are many people who have been blogging for years and have way more street cred than I do.

rosesBut the bloggers I’ve come across so far don’t even care! They’re a lovely, funny, clever, talented bunch and they welcome anyone into the fold. They’re top class human beings that I would never have had the chance to interact with if it weren’t for Baking with Gab.

Which is why I leapt at the chance to sign up to the Sweet Swap 2014! Not only do you get to create delicious little morsels and trade them with three people, the donations go to charity AND it opens you up to a whole new set of Australian bloggers.

There is not one thing that I dislike about these outcomes!!

I was assigned the 120 Dollars Food Challenge, A Cupcake or Two and Western Sydney Food Blog – three blogs who hadn’t yet come across on WordPress/Instagram/Facebook yet. I’m now stalking each of them a little bit, obviously!

unwrappedI packed up my fragile little meringues and shipped them off. I also included some little plastic pots of tea – because no Baking with Gab creation is truly complete without a good cuppa beside it. The tea that I included was a beautiful French earl grey from Neo.

peanut-finish

As per the rules of the swap, I was assigned three other bloggers – I received a gorgeous little raw vegan chocolate coconut squares from On the Flavor Road, which were gobbled up in one day because it sat dangerously within reach of my work keyboard.

I got chocolate and peanut butter cookies from Jeroxie, which the post office man was reluctant to let go because he could smell the peanut butter!

My final parcel to arrive were the butterscotch brazil nuts from Tiffin – they arrived in one piece (unlike my meringues, sorry guys!) and were snaffled by co-workers very quickly!

photo (2)I can’t wait for next year’s Sweet Swap. I’m going to start planning from now, so that I know that whatever I post next year will arrive completely in one piece and will be packaged as gorgeously as possible!

And here is the recipe that I sent out to my sweet swappers. Rosewater and pistachio meringues, such a classic combination of flavours.  I also sent off one experimental meringue, a  citrus and earl grey meringue – but they’re still a work in progress!

Rosewater pistachio meringues:

  • 4 egg whitesclose
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp rosewater
  • 1 tsp pink food colouring
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
  • 8 rosebuds, dried (optional)

 

Before you start any whipping, wipe down your whisk and bowl with half a lemon to remove residual fats. Fats flatten meringues, so this is a precautionary little step. Wipe any leftover lemon juice out with a paper towel.
Whip your sugar and egg whites together. Start on a lower speed (I went for 3 on my stand mixer) and speed it up a notch at a time (up to about 8) over the course of a minute; I find that this method gets the most air into the meringues.

While the egg whites whip up, preheat your oven to 140°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.

 

Keep whipping until the mixture is thick and glossy, then add in your rosewater. It should take a further 3-5 minutes after adding the rosewater. When you’re done, the your mixture to hold soft peaks.

Using a tablespoon, plop great big lumps of meringue mixture onto your lined baking trays. You can sculpt them slightly if you like, or you can just leave them as is. They’re beautifully imperfect either way.

Pour your food colouring into the lid of the food colouring bottle and dip the end of a teaspoon into it. Delve the teaspoon straight into the middle of the meringue and swirl it gently outwards to create a beautiful seam in your meringue blob. Repeat with each meringue.

Sprinkle your uncooked meringues with the chopped pistachios. Be generous with them! If you’re including rose petals, pluck them from the stem now and scatter them over the tops.

Turn your oven down to 120°C and pop the meringues straight in.

Bake for 50-60 minutes – you’ll know they’re done when they’re dry to touch. You should be able to lightly tap on the outside and have it make a satisfying little hollow sound.

Transfer to a cooling rack and devour once cool. You can leave them overnight in the oven with the door open to dry them out further.

Chocolate sprinkle cake and sprinkle love

unicedIn my last post I talked about Brazil’s love of sweetened condensed milk. That lead me to discover a woman in Sydney who makes and delivers authentic dulce de leche. Needless to say, I purchased two jars – one for experimenting with, and one for eating. While I await the delivery of those delectable jars, I’m continuing to explore Brazilian recipes.

Not the most appetising imagery, but it’s kind of fun! It’s no secret that I love sprinkles, (check out my brigadeiros, doughnut cake or my home made sprinkles to see aforementioned love) they’re tiny, sugary crunches of joy. Continue reading “Chocolate sprinkle cake and sprinkle love”

Brigadeiros and fanfare

groupThe World Cup is in full swing and I haven’t even mentioned it. I love any excuse for a themed post , but I realised recently that I haven’t taken the opportunity yet.

So I did some Googling. Having never been to Brazil, I’m not an expert on Brazilian cuisine (not that lack of experience stopped me having a go at foreign sweets before!) I am, however, a keen reader; Google, Pinterest and Instagram have taught me lots about Brazil in a relatively short amount of time.

I’ve learned that Brazilians seem to have a love of caramel and sweetened condensed milk.

I, therefore, love Brazil! Continue reading “Brigadeiros and fanfare”

Almond berry cupcakes and favourites

unwrappedThese cupcakes are officially my new favourite thing. I love experimenting with lots of different kinds of sweets, but there are a handful that I could cook at the last minute and know that they’d be a hit. There’s mum’s sticky date, cinnamon scrolls and Nutella fudge, just to name a few. These are recipes that I can always rely on to be brilliant. And I know them like the back of my hand, which helps! Continue reading “Almond berry cupcakes and favourites”

Choc chip slice and change

aboveI usually dislike change. I like adventures, but I am all for stability. Which is why moving has kind of thrown me off a little bit. Not having access to internet, for example, has resulted in very few posts recently. Not having access to a camera (I used to use my dad’s) means that even I do bake, I can’t show you. Not having an entirely set up kitchen yet means that my baking has slowed.

To top all of this off, the beautiful rustic table that I bought for our dining room didn’t fit through our door (insert crying face here), so we’re borrowing one from my brother’s generous girlfriend (who has been coming up lots recently!)

All of these things are different to what I am used to!!

What I do like about change though, is that it is a catalyst for experimentation. Lacking a cake tin, I opted to go back to my parent’s house and use their kitchen and camera. I was also equipped with their fabulous house warming present to the Boy and I, the Country Women’s Association Cook Book. Aren’t parents fantastic? Continue reading “Choc chip slice and change”

Chocolate raspberry muffins and familiarity

previewChocolate and raspberries are such a familiar combination. One of those things that I always fall back to when I need a fail-proof result. The sweet and tart notes of the raspberries, mixed with the sophistication of the dark chocolate turn out perfect, comforting little bites of homely muffins.

I always have raspberries in my freezer. They’re an easy way to jazz up a dessert, they’re a great addition to a smoothie, and I happily munch on them straight from the freezer sometimes. Actually, the reason I whipped up this recipe was because I needed to finish off my freezer stockpile. Continue reading “Chocolate raspberry muffins and familiarity”

Rhubarb doughnuts and plenty

previewLacking doughnut tins, I constantly avoid making doughnuts. Over the weekend, however, my will was not strong enough to resist my cravings for doughnuts, and I made them without the proper tin. And I made lots of them. Seriously, lots.

Was it an issue? Not at all. In fact, I’d say they were a resounding success. They were slightly heavier than a fried doughnut, but the taste was perfect. The Boy took one bite, and, eyes widened, exclaimed “they actually taste like doughnuts.”

As though my doughnut cravings would have settled for anything less!

The only tip in would offer for future doughnut bakers is to use thin jam. My jam had strawberry chunks in it (which is usually a good thing!), which made it difficult to squirt them into the centre of my doughnuts.

Mini rhubarb doughnut cupcakes:jam

Makes 48 minis, or 24 large

  • 6 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 x 8g sachets yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 cups milk

Chocolate rhubarb glaze:

  • 20g butter
  • 1 ½ cups rhubarb, chopped
  • ½ cup cream
  • 100g white chocolate
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • ½ cup jam or custard

mixtureFit your mixer with your bread hook attachment*. Combine your flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add in your melted butter, slowly, allowing it to start to bring the mixture together. Mix for two more minutes, adding the eggs and vanilla as you go. Mix in the milk, half a cup at a time, until you have a cohesive dough, then continue kneading for 6 minutes.

*If you don’t have a stand mixer, a wooden spoon will work too, it will just take a little more muscle! When it comes to kneading, you can do this by hand as well, just adjust the kneading time by about half, so instead of stand mixing it for 6 minutes, you’ll hand knead it for 9.

Divide the mixture into two and put them in separate bowls. Cover your bowls with cling wrap, then leave it in a warm, dry place to sit for 1-1.5 hours. I left mine for 1.5, just to make sure I got maximum doughnuts out of mixture.

rhubarbWhen your dough has 30 minutes of rising left, preheat your oven to 180°. Grease a large baking tray with the 20g of butter and put your rhubarb in the tray. Roast for 20 minutes, until softened. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool slightly, then mash into a pulp.

Once the dough is risen, divide the dough in each bowl (use a sharp knife to easily slice through the dough) into 24. I find the best way to ensure even-sized doughnuts is to weigh the portions out on scales.

Once you have 48 bits of dough, roll them into balls by turning the dough in on itself and tucking the excess under.

Pop the balls into a greased 24 capacity mini cupcake tin, then let them sit for a further 15 minutes.

While they’re cooking, melt the chocolate, sieve the rhubarb pulp into the melted chocolate and mix in the cream. Sift the icing sugar into the mixture, then mix until smooth. If they icing isn’t looking pink enough, add a few drops of pink food colouring.

unicedPreheat your oven to 180C°.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they sound hollow when tapped. (If you choose to make 12 regular cupcake sized doughnuts, bake for 15-18 minutes.)

drip (1280x853)When the doughnuts are cooled, use a squeezy bottle to put a small amount of jam or runny custard at the centre, then spoon the glaze over the top. Top with sprinkles for an extra doughnut-y feel.