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.
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.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Publisher: Kensington (April 1, 2000)
Back cover blurb:
Discover the delicious mystery that started it all!
No one cooks up a delectable, suspense-filled mystery quite like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke’s dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes—one delicious clue at a time—has made her a bestselling favorite. And it all began on these pages, with a bakery, a murder, and some suddenly scandalous chocolate-chip crunchies. Featuring a bonus short story and brand new, mouthwatering recipes, this limited edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds…
Hannah Swenson already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother’s attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden, Minnesota’s most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah’s famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can’t get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer.
Who would have the sheer audacity—and the motive—to kill the most punctual delivery man Hannah ever had? Topping the list is the high school football coach. What exactly was his wife doing, making the rounds with the milkman? Could Max Turner, owner of Cozy Cow Dairy, have had a secret he didn’t want to share with his top employee? The more Hannah snoops, the more suspects turn up. Why has Lake Eden’s most prominent prodigal son, Benton Woodley, just resurfaced? And what about the mysterious Mr. Harris who seemed interested in buying the property next to the dairy, but then disappeared? This is one murder that’s starting to leave a very bad taste in Hannah’s mouth. And if she doesn’t watch her back, Hannah’s sweet life may get burned to a crisp.
Filled with a healthy sprinkling of humor and a delightful assortment of nuts, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE MURDER serves up a great new mystery series and introduces a delicious, down-home sleuth that mystery readers will surely savor for years to come.
I chose this book from the Kindle bestsellers’ list for three reasons: 1) the yummy title; 2) the accompanying recipes; and 3) it was cheap – $US2.99.
It was an easy read with a very basic plotline, but there were numerous characters to keep track of and by about halfway through I realised I was keen to find out whodunnit. Prior to that I had been mostly annoyed at the ineptitude of the police – why give a rookie detective sole charge of the biggest crime in town, which ended up being a double homicide? No wonder he had to rope in the local baker (LOL)- and at the heroine’s treatment of her young offsider, who seemed to do more than her fair share of the baking and catering duties while Hannah ran off solving the murder(s).
In the end, though, I enjoyed this book and will probably read the others in the series. While reading, I kept thinking of Murder She Wrote, and now I discover the author’s website is called “Murder She Baked”. Angela Lansbury would probably approve.
I may also try some of the yummy sounding cookie recipes.
My rating: 3/5
This book is the first completed as part of my Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge for 2011.
With so many bring-a-plate functions to go to at this time of year, it was a Godsend when I discovered the website of lovely foodie and fellow Wellingtonian Mrs Cake. In particular, she seems to share my sweet tooth, so when she posted her super-easy recipe for Tim Tam Truffles I knew I had to give them a try. Now I can’t stop making them!
Tim Tam Truffles (makes about 15 decent-sized ones)
1 packet plain Tim Tams
100g cream cheese
300g compound chocolate, for dipping
(optional) Additional chocolate for decorating
Pulse the Tim Tams in a food processor (or put in a bag and hit with a rolling pin) until reduced to crumbs. Use your fingers to combine with the cream cheese – the mixture should stick together. Roll into balls and chill for several hours (or freeze for 30 minutes-1 hour).
Melt the chocolate – put in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then put it back in for 10-20 second bursts until mostly melted. Stir until smooth. Dip the truffles one by one, using a fork to gently turn them in the chocolate then lift them onto baking paper. If desired spatter with different chocolate to decorate.
Note: White Tim Tams could also be used to make white truffles, and you could dip them in melted milk or dark chocolate. I may try them next time!