I am writing to you from the sluggish, self-wallowing position of a lowly college student that must go back to school. I realize that almost all other students have been back in classes for a good week or two by now and that I am very fortunate to have had a little more than a full month for Christmas break, but still, it doesn't ease that looming weight of what will soon be my bag filled with textbooks and essays.
I’m getting Older or My Gooey Banana Nutella Brownies packed with Toasted Hazelnuts and topped with Luscious Mascarpone Nutella Frosting/ J’ai encore vieilli ou Mes Brownies Nutella Banane aux noisettes torréfiées et glaçage Nutella Mascarpone.13 Mar
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I spent two days in Paris this week. The weather was awful. So me and my Bff had only one thing left to do : Starbucks two afternoons in a row. Sometimes I think that the fact that there is no Starbucks where I live is a good and bad thing …
I went to Paris for a Major Event : The 3 Doors Down Concert.
For a few months now, I have been unable to get Cadbury dark chocolate chips at my local supermarket. I am beginning to suspect they have gone out of production. Oh, sure, there are inferior home-brand imitations, but some of those taste like wood shavings. In place of chocolate chips, Cadbury now sells these:
Oh, what am I saying? There’s no such thing as too much chocolate!
On that note, at the weekend I made my recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Cake, which I hadn’t made for a while and got eaten so quickly I didn’t even have time to take a photo!
This is very easy and moist. I don’t ice my cake, because I think the chocolate makes it sweet enough, but I will include the icing with the recipe here.
Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
50g very soft butter
1 cup white (granulated) sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1-1/2 cups self-raising white flour
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Mix butter, sugar and egg together in a bowl. Stir in mashed bananas. Add sifted flour and cinnamon, then milk. Stir through chocolate chips. Pour into a 20cm square cake tin.
Bake in oven preheated to 180degC for 40-45 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely.
60g cream cheese
30g soft butter
1-1/2 cups icing (confectioners or powdered) sugar
Beat cheese and butter together in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sifted icing sugar. Spread over cold cake.
Agh! Time has flown by and I haven’t posted anything on here for over a month, for which I am very sorry.
I have a new job – a second job, actually – and it is taking up a lot of my time at the moment. I hope I can catch up on here really soon.
In the meantime, I saw this great recipe today that I will definitely be trying out:
Oh, yes! These look yummy!
I’ve neglected the recipes for a while – sorry! – but now that it’s autumn I thought it was time for a nice warm pudding. This recipe was given to me years ago by my sister-in-law, and it never fails. It’s very quick and easy to whip up. I usually make it while the dinner’s cooking and pop it in the hot oven so it cooks while we eat our main course. Then it’s just a matter of whipping some cream and voila!
Sue’s Chocolate Saucy Pud
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together in a bowl, then add milk, sugar and melted butter. Mix, then add vanilla and egg. Pour into a greased pie dish.
Make a sauce by mixing the brown sugar, boiling water and additional cocoa powder together in a separate jug. Pour gently over pudding mixture in pie dish.
Bake at 180 degrees Celcius for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm, with whipped (chantilly) cream.
Apologies for being a bit absent recently. My computer crashed and I lost some of my files, but I’ve also been absorbed in watching television coverage of the disasterous Christchurch earthquake last week.
I have family in the city, who thankfully are all safe, so the tragedy has really hit home for me.
The latest news on the tragedy can be found here or here. As I write, the death toll stands at 148, with many more still missing. Aftershocks continue, and power and water supply is still off to many homes. It is horrendous. I cannot send enough love and positive thoughts to the people of that beautiful city.
The Red Cross has so far collected more than $NZ5 million in donations to help the people of Christchurch. Donations are being accepted here.
Tomorrow is March 1, Purple Cake Day, and the organisers have announced it will now also support Christchurch children affected by the earthquakes.
Purple Cake Day was conceived by Nelson woman Emily Sanson-Rejouis to celebrate the spirit of her daughters, Kofie-Jade (5) and Zenzie (3), who were lost with their father, Emily’s husband Emmanuel, in the Haiti earthquake in January 2010.
Zenzie wanted two purple cakes for her 4th birthday.
Emily established the Kenbe La Foundation (‘Kenbe La’ means “Never Give Up” in Haitian Creole), a registered charitable trust, to provide educational opportunities for children in need. The foundation has since established Purple Cake Day as a specific day to celebrate and connect children from around the world.
Funds raised by the Foundation in 2010 and 2011, including those raised by Purple Cake Day, are going towards building a school in Leogane Province, Haiti, one of the regions most severely affected by the earthquake.
For more information go to the Purple Cake Day website.
Normal transmission of my book reviews and recipes will resume soon. I’m very behind!
Trying to find things to do in the summer school holidays is often a challenge, but baking is one thing my kids are keen to help me with.
Yesterday we decided to make homemade icecream, and I have to say it was a total triumph. I had made a different recipe once before which was similar to this but went all icy when frozen. Yesterday’s effort, though, turned out lovely and creamy after a night in the freezer.
We made a simple vanilla chocolate chip version, but almost anything goes as far as flavours are concerned. My friend Diana, whose receipe this is, said the only variation she has not had success with is kiwifruit.
Easy homemade icecream
3/4 of a 395g tin of sweetened condensed milk
4 tsps instant coffee or coffee essence
125g melted chocolate
2 or 3 scraped out vanilla pods or 1-2 tsps vanilla essence
crushed berries or other pureed fruit
(We used 1 tsp vanilla essence and 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips.)
Beat cream until thick but not buttery, adding condensed milk toward the end.
Mix in your choice of flavour. Freeze until set, preferably overnight but four hours or so can sometimes be enough.
My family all agrees this tastes better than bought icecream (and might even be cheaper)!
I love Nigella, and was lucky enough to get her latest book, Kitchen, for Christmas. DH was really taken with this recipe and encouraged me to make it… Oh, it was rich! But, not surprisingly, it disappeared pretty quickly! Next time (she says, feeling the kilos pile on her hips just thinking about it!) I might try it with all milk chocolate, as Nigella herself says she prefers.
200g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
125g unsalted butter
1 x 15ml tbsp golden syrup
250g salted peanuts
2 x 80g Crunchie bars
Line a spongeroll tin with cooking paper. Nigella suggests disposable foil tins as an option too.
Melt the butter and golden syrup on a low heat in a heavy based pan. Break up the chocolate and add to the golden sludge.
Put the peanuts into a mixing bowl and crumble in the Crunchie bars.
When the chocolate mixture has just melted, pour it over the nuts and honeycomb and stir together.
Pour into prepared tin, and spread out and flatten as much as you can using a silicon spatula.
Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before cutting into chunks or wedges – depending on your tin of choice.
Makes about 20 pieces.