Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday I'm in Love: This moment.

[I realise that this post is a day late, but just pretend it's on time.]

[image from 365 lucky days]

Right at this moment, my life is pretty nice. I'm almost on holidays from uni, and the weather finally realised that it's supposed to be Spring, and has shown us some sunny love. So here's a list of things that I'm loving right now, and things that I'm obsessed with:
  • I love the feeling of hot sun on my shoulders
  • I'm really looking forward to seeing Gotye in December. I can't wait!
  • Pinterest helps me procrastinate when I should be studying
  • I can't stop listening to this album
  • Adding juice to wine that isn't very good and calling it punch
  • This website makes me want to delete my facebook
  • I really need to make this printed canvas
  • This lady inspires me so much
  • I would really like to try embroidery (see point above)
I hope you're having a good weekend! And I hope it's sunny where you are. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chocolate & peanut butter sandwich cookies.


Even though I've got this blog to keep track of the all the recipes I've made, I still hand write them all into a recipe book. Just in case.
I like the idea of having this hard copy of recipes. I like the idea of being able to hand this recipe book down to my children, or children's children. I have this somewhat romantic idea because my dad has a recipe book just like that. An old, hand written, taped-together at the seams recipe book that must have been handed down to him through the generations.

Stuffed into my recipe book are torn-out pages from cooking magazines. I haven't even cooked anything from most of these torn-out pages, but I keep them there for future reference. I don't think this 'future' will  ever come, though, because when I want to cook something I usually look on the net, rather than sifting through these neglected sheets of paper.


But the other day, I was looking for something specific - a chocolate and peanut butter biscuit that didn't have any eggs in it - and the internet couldn't give me what I wanted. So for once, I rifled through these loose pages and found what I was looking for: Bitter chocolate and espresso sandwich cookies from an old Gourmet Traveller magazine. I changed the espresso filling to a peanut butter filling, but the recipe is basically the same.

I'm gonna go right ahead and say that these biscuits are kinda like peanut butter oreos. The chocolate biscuits are crunchy and not too sweet and almost a little bit salty (because I used salted butter). The peanut butter filling is sticky and peanut-y and delicious.
It's a good combination. When you bite into them, the peanut icing squishes out the sides. I like that.
I didn't bake my chocolate biscuits for long enough, so they were still a bit soft in the middle, but it wasn't a problem. They were still much too easy to eat. In fact, I think I'll have another one right now...

choc peanut butter cookies

Chocolate & peanut butter sandwich cookies:
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller magazine (date unknown).
Makes 12 filled biscuits

85g softened butter
110g caster sugar

100g plain flour
37g cocoa powder
3 tbsp milk (you may not need any or all of this)

Preheat oven to 190C, and line two baking trays.
Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Stir in the flour and cocoa until combined. If it doesn't quite come together, or looks like breadcrumbs, add a teaspoon of milk at a time until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a flour board and knead until smooth.
Roll the dough out until 2-3 mm thick, and cut out with a round cookie cutter. 
Place the dough circles onto the lined trays. 

Repeat this process with the dough scraps. 

Prick the dough circles with a fork, and crimp the edges.
Bake for 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on trays for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

Peanut butter filling:
200g icing sugar
6-7 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt

Beat all ingredients until smooth. Taste and add more peanut butter/salt until you reach the right consistency and taste.
Ice on biscuit and sandwich together with an un-iced biscuit. Repeat until all biscuits are sandwiched together

Monday, October 10, 2011

A long time.


Brent and I have lived in our tiny apartment for over a year now, and we've only just got it looking nice.

It's taken a long time.

I finally put all my nice prints into frames, rather than having them blue-tacked onto the wall like some poor uni student (which, lets face it, I kinda am).

I've wanted a picture wall in the lounge room for a long time, and I finally took some initiative and did it. It only took me a couple of hours to buy the frames, clean them up, put the prints in, and hang them up.

I feel like a real adult now!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chocolate & coffee cake


It seems I have created my own tradition. I've never created a tradition before, so I don't know if it actually counts...
My friend Steph and I have breakfast together on our birthdays. Breakfast with just us, because everybody else works and can't have breakfast during the week.
This started last year, when I wanted to do something for my birthday, but everyone in my family was busy, and so Steph took care of me and we went out for breakfast together.
This year, Steph's family were all busy, so I took care of her and we went out for breakfast.


Does this count as a tradition? If it happens two years in a row, that's a tradition, right?
I guess we'll have to wait until next year to see if it sticks, but I hope it does.
Another good birthday tradition that I did obviously not come up with, is cake.

Cake and presents. That's a good tradition that everyone should get in on, if you're not already.
Cake and presents and candles. I know I said that when you turn 23 you don't get candles, but 22 is different. You still get candles when you turn 22. Didn't you know?

It was hard deciding what cake to make for Steph. She doesn't like cheesecake, or carrot cake. She does like coffee though, so that's the direction I went in.
Coffee and chocolate, what a good combination! Perfect for a girl with a coffee addiction.
I actually baked this cake in a vintage jelly mold, because I didn't have a decorative bundt pan, which is what I originally wanted to use. The jelly mold wasn't very big, so I made 6 cupcakes as well.
If you wanted to make all cupcakes, I think this recipe would make 12. Just raise the temperature of the oven and shorten the baking time by about 5-10 mins.


Chocolate and coffee cake:
From Sweetapolita

225g butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved into 3/4 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream (1 x 220mL tub)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour a 10 cup bundt tin.
Melt butter in a large saucepan. 
Add cocoa, stirring until smooth. 
Whisk in coffee water. Remove pan from heat.
Stir in sugar, sour cream, vanilla and eggs.
Add remaining ingredients, stirring until well blended.
Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool in tin for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Cool completely before icing.

Chocolate and coffee glaze:
Adapted from Sweetapolita

100g dark chocolate
75g unsalted butter
1 tbsp instant coffee powder dissolved in 2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp glucose syrup

Melt all ingredients in a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
When mostly melted, stir until smooth.
Pour over cooled cake.
Optional: Shave dark chocolate over iced cake using a vegetable peeler.

Monday, October 3, 2011



Yoghurt can be fancy if you want it to be.
Eat your yoghurt from a martini glass, rather than a bowl.
It will definitely make your morning more fancy (and put your unloved martini glasses to good use).

I like my yoghurt topped with rolled oats and chopped, roasted almonds.
Think of it as breakfast trifle! (it's a real thing...)


This idea was stolen from Shutterbean and Joy The Baker's idea of serving sundae toppings in martini glasses. Now there's a good idea!