Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nutella French Rolls with Cinnamon Sugar

It's been a little quiet around here. I'm always suspicious of silence. I find myself floating, floating, feeling relaxed, and then I think "what the heck is happening? It's actually quiet. Something's up!" Well that's the way you have to think when you have kids. You go and check what they're up to and nine out of ten times they're doing something they shouldn't be doing, like stuffing crayons up each other's noses.
It's a crazy time of the year and nothing should be this quiet. So today I am sharing with you a total gem of a recipe. I'm almost loathed to share it. It's sort of one of those wow recipes that requires absolutely no effort or skill in anyway, and has people wondering how you made it. Once the secret is out however it's a no-brainer. It's so easy and so delicious, you wont be able to stop at one. And the sky's the limit when it comes to filling choices. Here we have nutella filled french toast rolls coated in a delicious golden layer of cinnamon sugar. Imagine them oozing with caramel or strawberry jam? Talk about the perfect breakfast in bed!

(Adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice)

10 slices soft white bread
10 tsp nutella
1 large egg
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 heaped tbsp ground cinnamon

Remove the crusts from the slices of bread. Discard the crusts.
Take each piece of bread and roll flat with a rolling pin.Spread each piece of flattened bread with one teaspoon of nutella, in a portion measuring about one inch wide and the length of the bread, one inch from the edge of the bread. Roll the bread up tightly.
In a shallow dish, combine the egg and the milk and whisk to combine the two and break down the egg. In another shallow dish, combine and the sugar and cinnamon.
Heat a little butter (or oil) in a frying pan. Dip each roll briefly in the egg mixture until well coated, and then place in the hot frypan. Lightly fry until golden-brown all over, then roll in the cinnamoned sugar. Serve immediately.

Makes 10

Friday, March 22, 2013

Glazed Raspberry Swirl Scrolls

Oh dear...there is no turning back now.  For one, you've stumbled across this page. For another, if you're anything like me, this is enough to make you baking crazy. I can't stop making bread!
This is a really fun recipe and a total crowd pleaser. Well, I would have been a bit happier if I had taken these easy raspberry scrolls from the oven a little earlier, they would have been less dry, but that was my fault and not the recipe. My house smelled like a bakery and I swooned around in it for several hours and wished it to always smell that good. Where was my husband to see these new found baking skills and smell his house when he should have? At work. And that's where these beauties got shipped off in the morning, after a wee taste test. Okay, I stashed a few away in the freezer, because this recipe's great like that. Got to love things that freeze well! But of course there's nothing quite like a fresh raspberry swirl roll, warm from the oven, drizzled in a little bit of delicious glaze...

GLAZED RASPBERRY SWIRL SCROLLS (Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction)

1 cup milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup butter, room tempeature
2 large eggs
pinch salt
4 1/2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting

2 cups frozen raspberries (not thawed)
1/4 cup heaped granulated sugar
1 tsp corn flour

1 cup icing sugar
3 tbsp cream

To make the dough, warm the milk in a bowl in the microwave until lukewarm (about 35C to be precise).
Add the sugar and the yeast and stir to combine. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture has become puffy or foamy.
When the yeast mixture reaches foaminess, add the softened butter, eggs and salt to this mixture. Using a flat bladed knife gradually stir the flour into this mixture until well combined, and it forms a soft dough. Use your hands to combined the dough more thoroughly until it forms a ball.
Turn onto a well floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes. Lightly grease a glass bowl, and place the dough in a ball shape inside. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

With baking paper, line a 9x13 inch baking tray, with longer edges on the sides.
With a measuring tape, mark out a 10x 24 inch rectangle on the work bench, and cover this area in flour.
Turn the risen dough onto the floured surface. Evenly roll the dough in this area until it fills the floured space. Trim any uneven edges, so you have straight, even rectangular rolled dough.

In a medium bowl, combine frozen raspberries, sugar and corn flour.
Evenly sprinkle this mixture over the entire surface of the dough until covered. Take the long side of the dough and tightly roll the dough to form a 24 inch log. Cut this log into 16 even portions, about 1.5 inches wide each. Neatly arrange these rolls in the prepared tray, cut side up. Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and place in a warm area for 2 hours until puffy and well risen. (You can also cover the scrolls at this stage and leave them at room temperature overnight, and bake in the morning.)

Half an hour before the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 200C.
When the two hours has passed since covering the cut rolls, bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the berries are bubbling and the dough begins to turn golden.
Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes before serving with a drizzling of glaze.

To make the glaze, combine the icing sugar and cream in a small bowl and combine thoroughly, until it forms a smooth paste. You can add more icing sugar to thicken it, or more cream to thin it, depending upon your preferences. Drizzle over your cooked scrolls, and enjoy!

NOTES: Baked and unglazed rolls can be frozen for up to 1 month, and warmed to enjoy later stage.
Makes 16

Foamy Yeast, Mixing dough with knife, and kneaded dough in oiled bowl
Dough risen after two hours and placed on floured surface. Dough being rolled flat. Raspberry mixture being made and spread evenly over dough surface. Dough being rolled with filling inside.
Rolled and filled dough being cut. Portions being arranged on tray. Scrolls during rising, and then when risen enough. Scrolls just out of oven.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chocolate Custard Strawberry Cream Tart

Here's a really quick and easy dessert if you're in a hurry. I've been testing out all these instant pudding/mousse/jelly products from the stores, because I see so many recipes in America depend on them. While I find the flavour generally lacking in intensity, these sorts of instant mixes can be just perfect and you're time poor and need to whip something up in a flash. And it's always very popular with the kids. I for one would prefer to make my own mousse or custard from scratch, as I find it tastes better and you can up the flavour to your taste-bud's desire. So feel free to replace the store bought filling with your own chocolate custard or chocolate mousse, and then I believe this would really be one delicious dessert. Someone recently commented that every second recipe on here incorporates strawberries...can't you tell I'm addicted?


300g plain chocolate biscuits, crushed
5-6 tbsp butter, melted
1 packet Airoplane Brand Chocolate Wobble (or chocolate pudding or setting custard. Homemade recipe for chocolate custard here)
400g fresh strawberries
1 cup thickened cream, whipped

Combine the crushed biscuits with enough melted butter to get a damp mouldable base mixture. (you may not need all of the melted butter depending how absorbent your biscuits are.) Firmly press this mixture into a paper lined 20cm round spring form tin and up the sides a few inches. Refrigerate.
In a medium bowl, prepare the Airoplane Chocolate jelly mixture according to the directions on the back of the packet. When this mixture is unset at room temperature, remove the tart base from the refrigerator.
Cut the leaves off the strawberries along with a slither of the top of the berries, so that each berry stands flat with the pointed end upwards. Arrange the strawberries on the tart base so that they cover the surface with the ends pointing upwards. Pour the room temperate jelly mixture on top of the berries. Cover with cling-wrap and refrigerate until the chocolate mixture is set, approximately 2-4 hours.
Whip the cream and pipe on the top of the chocolate to decorate. Sprinkle with a little cocoa powder if desired. Serve chilled.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Indian Roti Bread

 You know that feeling, when you start cutting out sugar? It feels like you won't live another day without it, and if you do, you'll be pining for it all of the next day. Well, I haven't been cutting out sugar, but I've been reducing it, and I'm not craving it so much any more. Don't worry, once Easter hits, my body with thaw from this sugar-free stupor and need chocolate again. And all those gooey, gory delightfully chocolate dripping desserts and sweets will be flowing freely again on the blog. But in the mean time, I've been entertaining my more savory side. I don't think I really have a flare for the savories.  When I see my husband in the kitchen cooking up a storm, it makes me feel inadequate when it comes to savories. He has a creative eye for savories and I have a creative eye for sweets I suppose. Here he was the other night cooking up Bajis and Rogan Josh like a pro, and I just knew I had to add my two cents. So I made Roti bread, and it was most satisfying. There are several different types of Indian bread that can be served with curries and the likes--naan bread, roti and chapati. Roti is flatter and less bready than naan bread, and chapati I believe are a flatbread much like roti (I'm not sure what the difference is). What I do know is roti is a lovely in-between sort of bread, and can be used like wraps as well, filled with curry or whatever you may desire.

INDIAN ROTI BREAD (Adapted from Cooking Curries, Murdoch Books)

1 1/2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp softened ghee or oil (I even used butter)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water

Sift the flour in a large bowl and add the salt. Rub in the ghee or oil with your fingers. Add half of the beaten egg to the bowl, reserving the rest of the egg for later. Add the warm water and mix together with a flat bladed knife, such as a butter knife, until you form a moist dough.
Turn out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until you have a nice soft dough, adding flour as needed to keep from sticking to your work surface.
Form this dough into a smooth ball and brush with oil. Place this dough in the bowl and cover with a clean tea towel for 2 hours to rest.
Lightly flour the work surface again, and turn out the rested dough. Form into a log and divide into 6 even pieces. Roll into even sized balls. Take each ball, and working with a little oil on your hands, hold the dough up and stretch the edges out evenly until a 2mm x 15cm round is formed. Lay on a lightly floured surface and cover with plastic wrap so that it doesn't dry out, and proceed to do the same with the rest of the pieces of dough. 
Heat a large frying pan on high and brush with some oil or ghee. When hot, gently lower one of the stretched rounds onto the fry pan. Brush teh top side with remaining beaten egg. Cook for approximately 1 minute on each side until slightly golden. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm, then proceed to cook the other rotis in the same way.

Makes 6

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lemon Curd Stuffed Doughnuts

I've been dreaming of home made bread. Casseroles and stews cooking all day in the slow cooker, issuing a pungent, herby smell. Puddings. Risottos. Soups with hot garlic bread. All those things which feel so good on a cool Autumn or Winter night. Did I mention home made, custard filled doughnuts in that reverie? Or better yet, warm, fresh out of the oven homemade doughnuts filled with lemon curd.
Okay, I waaaay overdid it on the sugar coating part, and mine didn't come out as pretty and professional looking as Annie's from Annie's Noms from the Secret Recipe Club did. But it was fun and seriously, it was on a par with (what I imagine) dying and going straight to heaven (is like), sinking my teeth into the first hot doughnut out of the oil. I admit, there was a little trial and error involved. First of all I made a large doughnut and didn't wait long enough for it to cook through. It looked so perfectly golden so I took it out of the oil (too early) and the centre was still doughy. I figured my oil was too hot. After some trialing and lowering the oil temperature, I came up with some super yummy, cooked through doughnuts and filled the centres with lemon curd. I used my own lemon curd recipe because I knew that would make too much, and I'm such a sucker for lemon curd on croissants. Listen up! Croissant tutorial coming next week! Keep your eyes peeled!

LEMON CURD STUFFED DOUGHNUTS (adapted from Annie's Noms)


7g packet dry yeast
2 tbsp warm water
3 1/4 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 egg yolks
2 tbs caster sugar, plus extra for rolling
oil for frying

In a small glass, add the yeast and water together and combine. Sit aside for 5 minutes until it becomes foamy. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift the flour, then add the milk and butter, sugar and yeast mixture. Mix for 2 or 3 minutes until a soft dough forms and the ingredients are well incorporated. Form into a ball. Lightly flour the bowl and the top of the dough and place it back in the bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. The dough should double in size.

Meanwhile make the lemon curd. (recipe below)

Once the dough has risen, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a 2-2 1/2 inch diameter log. Cut the dough into ten 2 inch pieces. Shape each piece into even rounds and place on a lined tray. Set aside to proof for 1/2 an hour.
Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a small saucepan to about 180C. (you may have to adjust the temperature over time to a lower setting depending on the thickness of your doughnuts. If they are nice and golden on the outside and still doughy inside, reduce the oil heat).
In a small bowl, place about 1/2 a cup of caster sugar. You may have to top this up over time, as the dipping of the doughnuts can cause some clumping after a while.
Set up a wire cooling rack topped with paper towel just beyond the bowl of sugar for placing the hot sugar coated doughnuts.
When the dough has proofed, it should feel slightly wobbly. Drop the first doughnut into the oil and cook at a low heat until nicely golden. Turn the doughnut and cook the other side in like manner. Each side should take from 1-2 minutes. The cooked through doughnuts should sound light and slightly hollow when tapped.
Remove the cooked doughnut from the oil with a slotted spoon and immediately roll in the sugar bowl until coated. Place on the cooling rack.
Repeat this process with the remaining uncooked doughnuts.
When cool enough to handle, take a knife and poke a hole into the side of the doughnut and twist a little to make a hole.
Fill a piping bag with the lemon curd, set with a long nozzle that will fit into the hole. Fill the doughnuts until the curd appears on the outside of the doughnut. Serve and enjoy!
Store any remaining doughnuts in an airtight container.

Best Lemon Curd:

(This recipe makes twice as much curd as is needed to fill the doughnuts. However, it is difficult to halve the recipe due to it requiring three egg yolks. But if you're like me, you'll use the rest on toast, croissants and through other desserts! YUM!)

1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
1 1/4 cups water
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
3 egg yolks
60g butter or margarine

Combine the sugar and cornflour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add the lemon juice and water while stirring continuously until mixture is smooth. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add the lemon rind, egg yolks and butter. Continue stirring until the butter has melted and mixture is well combined. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Anything that leaves a trail of sugar has to be good!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spiced Mango Lassi

Life's been a little lumpy in the last month and a bit. I'm talking surgery, bloody messes, hospitals, screaming babies. On the up side, I got to see the 20 week ultrasound of my latest little angel, and it's a beauty. Fat and rounded and big for it's estimated age, with a straight little nose and sweetly sucking his or her tiny thumb.
So that wasn't so lumpy. Neither was the Spiced Mango Lassi I made, that went down a treat. Smooth, creamy, cold and refreshing, you could serve this tropical Lassi as a dessert, a afternoon snack or a meal. It's super easy to make as well, and only requires a few minutes of your time, some delicious ingredients and a food blender.

SPICED MANGO LASSI (A Lick The Spoon Original)

1 large mango, peeled and seeded
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp honey
1 flat tsp ground cinnamon
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a food blender. Process until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon on top and a mint leaf garnish if desired.
Serves 2 (as a snack or meal) or 4 (as a dessert.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mini Boston Cream Pies

It's Lent and I'm not eating sweet things.
Sundays are an exception though, we indulge a little and eat a little thing or two that's fancy. Something like these gorgeous little mini Boston Cream Pies. I've never had a Boston Cream Pie but I'm guessing it's sublime, because these were too. They reminded me of profiteroles--obviously the cake part was a different texture, but it's all the same mouthwatering flavours and explosions in one bite. Flavours I cannot resist!
There's the lovely, giving cake-iness of the cupcake, then that divine vanilla cream custard filling that oozes and slides down in perfect harmony with the bitter sweet fudgy chocolate ganache. They're rich, they're decadent and they're just glorious. Got to have another one.

MINI BOSTON CREAM PIES (adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup thickened cream

In a medium microwave proof bowl, combine the chocolate and cream. Microwave for one minute on high, then remove and stir until well incorporated. Refrigerate for an hour or two to thicken.

6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 24 hole mini muffin tray.
In a medium, microwave proof  bowl, place the butter and milk. Microwave on high for a minute or two, until the butter has melted. Remove from microwave and add the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl. Whisk until well combined, then beat in the eggs and vanilla essence. Spoon this batter into the cupcake tins so that each is about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside on a cooling rack to cool.

1 cup milk
2 large egg yolks
3 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. cornflour
20g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence

Place milk in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, combine yolks, sugar and cornflour and whisk over a low heat. When the milk has boiled, add a few tablespoons into the yolk mixture and whisk. Gradually add the remaining milk and whisk vigorously on a medium heat. Custard will thicken. Continue to whisk until boils, and remove from heat. Scrape into a small bowl and sit in a few inches of cold water or ice, to cease the cooking process. When cooler, add the butter in two installments, stirring until combined. Add essence, mix and refrigerate until cool

When the cupcakes are cool, take a knife and hollow out part of the centre of each (don't remove the cake too closely to the bottom of the cake, as this makes them more difficult to handle when completed.) Spoon custard into each hollow, then pair with another cupcake so that the custard sides merge. Spoon the thickened ganache over the top of each doubled up cupcake. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 12

NOTES: You could also make these in a regular 12 hole muffin tray. Instead of placing one cupcake on top of another, simply cut the top off with a serrated knife, hollow out a little of the bottom and fill with custard, then replace the "lid".
Custard stores for 2-3 days when refrigerated.