12.30.2011

Keep Calm and Have A Cupcake Mug

Baked White Chocolate, Mascarpone & Passion Fruit Cheesecake from Giraffe


We went out to dinner last night with some friends visiting from the states! Since we had our Mini-Bakers with us I choose a family style restaurant: Giraffe. Maybe not exactly authentic British cuisine but it was good. This cheesecake was good! My husband decided on the Chocolate Chunk Brownie, the little ones had a scoop of ice cream (strawberry of course), and our friends shared the Toffee Apple Crumble!
Where have you had a good dessert from recently??

12.29.2011

Chocolate Brownie Bowls!!

We had these for Christmas dinner dessert! 

They were soooo good! 

Great chocolate flavour without being too chocolaty allowing the opportunity to choose a variety of toppings!

We decided on ice cream.

After a big roast dinner we didn't want anything too heavy and over whelming! These were perfect!

It is a special tin for these chocolate bowls, but my mind is already thinking of all sorts of cakes and toppings that these would be great for!! 

Fresh fruit and cream ... or jam and cream like a scone? What would you fill yours with?

Chocolate Brownie Bowls with Ice Cream: 

125g soft unsalted butter
125g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
15g malted milk powder (Horlicks)
15g cocoa powder
125ml boiling water, easiest from a kettle
125ml buttermilk or runny plain yogurt
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
1/2tsp bicarb of soda
Plus whatever you want to fill them with! I used ice cream this time around!!
  1. Pre-heat oven 200C/gas mark 6 and lightly grease your dessert shell tin
  2. Melt the butter over a low heat and add the sugar, stirring to help it dissolve. Turn off the heat.
  3. Whisk the malted milk powder, cocoa, and boiling water until smooth.
  4. Combine with the butter/sugar mixture. Mix it up!
  5. Whisk the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla together before adding to the pan.
  6. Whisk in the flour and bicarb.
  7. You should have enough mixture to fill all 6 cavities three-quarters the way up.
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes. They should feel slightly bouncy if you press on the surface.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning them out.
  10. Then fill as desired!

turned out and cooling for another minute before filling

the 6-cavity dessert shell tin; dirty

Mini-Bakers strawberry ice cream with strawberry topping!

My brownie bowl with coffee ice cream!

note: from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson; for my American readers who want American measurements here you are! With all tins and pans that have a different textured surface, you want to make sure that you cool them for the time recommended. If the cakes are too warm they will stick to your pan or tin no matter how well you greased them.

12.28.2011

Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story (a book review)

Hop on the Sugar bus!! The Sugar Mommas, Kimberly Reiner and Jenna Sanz-Agero, have written a book titled Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story. Both ladies had made different career choices, but came together to write this book that follows handed down classic recipes from all over the USA.
This is one of the baking books I recieved for Christmas. I have yet to bake anything from it but a few of the recipes I can't wait to try are:

Shoo-Fly Cake
Lucinda Bell's $100 Peacan Pie
Buffalo Chip Cookies (cover picture)
Peach Queen Cobbler bars
Seaside Toffee

I don't just skim bakery books, I read them cover to cover. This is a perfect book for reading as each 'recipe has a story' attached to it. I hope that with all my baking I someday perfect a dish to be able to call it mine! One that my grand kids will talk about to their grand kids and then give them the recipe of my infamous dish! I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to share a recipe or two with all of you!

resources: Sugar Momma's website, amazon.com, amazon.co.uk

12.27.2011

Butter Rum Cake!!

taken from All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray
I'm using my bundt pan again! :0)

2 sticks (1 cup/225g) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup of sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs (4 medium eggs for UK bakers)
1 tbsp Bacardi rum or other light run
3 cups cake flour (sponge flour for UK bakers)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

  1. Pre-heat oven 325F or 170C, prepare your bundt pan or whatever dish you choose to use!
  2. Cream butter on a medium speed and gradually add both sugars, beat well.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beat well after each egg.
  4. Add rum.
  5. While those are mixing in a separate bowl dry whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together.
  6. Slow the mixer down to low and add 1 cup of flour, beat. Add 1/3 cup of the buttermilk, beat. When it’s all added in increase speed to medium-high and beat until well incorporated.
  7. Pour batter into pan. Remember if you’re using a bundt pan it’s recommended to pour the batter into one side and let it slowly fill the pan up.
  8. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer of your choice comes out clean.
batter all ready to go
for the glaze:
1/3 cup unsalted butter
¾ cups sugar
3 tbsp water
2 tsp Bacardi rum

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan
  2. Add sugar, water, and rum and stir until smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat.
before removing from the pan poke holes in the top (will be the bottom) and pour 3 quarters of the glaze over cake it should seep into all the holes you just poked in it. Which is the whole point!

turned out bundt cake; be sure to grease pan then leave upside down on a towel to drain I then sprinkle a little dusting of flour. these pans should be non-stick, but every little helps. also make sure to wait for the full 10 minutes or more cooling time before turning it out!

pour the rest of the glaze over the top! done!
to finish:
  1. As soon as the cake is out of the oven poke holes in it.
  2. Then pour a little less then half the glaze over the cake.
  3. Let cool in bundt pan for 10-15 minutes
  4. Unmold the cake on a cake rack
  5. Cool for 10 more minutes.
  6. Drizzle the rest of the glaze over the cake.
  7. Once the cake has cooled transfer to a cake stand/plate/whatever you want to transfer it to. Who am I to tell you what to do? ;0) Enjoy!!

On my other bundt cake post someone wrote that it looks like a pine cone and they are so right!!

12.26.2011

Christmas Cookie/Biscuits!!

Just like the Halloween cookie pan, we bought a Christmas one!! For these you could use any cookie dough really as you're molding them into pan cavity. We used the sugar/butter cookie recipe provided by Wilton!




I didn't buy new cookie decorations in red and green, we just used the same ones from Halloween! It worked for some and for others it would have been nice to have Christmas colors! It really didn't matter as we had a lot of fun decorating cookies for Santa!

note: To see a picture of the pan follow the links below. I could go take a picture of the pan as I didn't when I was making cookies, but I'm sitting comfortably and can't be bothered at the moment! ;0)

Resource: for UK buyers I got my cookie pan at Hobby Craft, but you can get it on amazon.co.uk. For USA buyers I'm sure you could find it at any store that sells baking things or the Wilton brand, but it is available on amazon.com.

12.25.2011

Happy Holidays!!


I apologise for being absent the last week. My family and I have been sick! The day of my last post we were all very ill! It took us all weekend and a day or two to recover. As it was so close to Christmas I had lots to catch up on and didn't bake again until this weekend!! So, I have a few things to post in the next few days! I received a few new books for Christmas and will be telling you all about those too!!
Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!! What was the most exciting thing you got for Christmas this year??

12.17.2011

Candy Cane Brownies!!

taken from Fat Witch Brownies by Patricia Helding

14 tbsp (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter, about 200g
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
3 large eggs or medium if your in the UK
1 cup granulated sugar
½ tsp peppermint extract
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup unbleached flour or plain flour
pinch of salt
½  cup white chocolate chips

Grease your baking pan; I’m using a 9x9inch silicone one, with butter. Dust with flour and tap out excess. Preheat your oven to 350*F
Melt the butter and chocolate chips together. There are a couple of different ways. Microwave safe bowl 30secs to 1 minute stirring in-between and over a pan of water either way just watch it! Set aside to cool.
Beat the eggs, sugar, peppermint and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until well blended.
Sift the flour and salt into the batter. Mix gently until well combined and no trace of dry ingredients are left. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
Pour into you prepared pan and bake for 27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with crumbs but no batter!!
Let cool for 30-60 minutes.

straight out of the oven

for the icing:
¾ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar
1-2 candy canes crushed- depends on size but about enough to fill 1/3-1/4 cup

Melt the white chocolate chips, using your preferred method, and sift in confectioners’ sugar, whisking until smooth.
Poor over cooled brownies and sprinkle on candy canes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Cut just before serving!
what I ended up doing: for the icing I tried melting my white chocolate, but once again my icing has gone wrong. I might have to resort to Betty Crocker's Icing, although have you seen the ingredients list? It's got all sorts of random things in it! I had my glass bowl sitting on a simmering pot of water and as I was stirring it started seizing up. It just went hard and wouldn't turn into a nice smooth melted chocolate. So, I added the icing sugar/confectioners' sugar in hopes that it would help. It didn't. So, I melted a handful of chocolate chips and spread over the brownies then sprinkled the bread like crumbs, of white chocolate and icing sugar over the chocolate spread. Finishing it off by sprinkling the crushed candy canes! Might be a little more messy, but still tastes good. On a last note I used UK large eggs in this and it didn't seem to make much of a difference.



picture of the book, showing the smooth white chocolate frosting
These are good, not as good as the Chocolate Orange Brownies, but good in it's own way! The mint flavor is good. Again I think I should have just melted some mint chocolate and make the other recipe! ;0) They are very cool! Pun intended! I think I'll be done with brownies for a while! I have a few other things I'll be making this week!! Then I have a very excessive Christmas dessert list!!

12.15.2011

Puppy Chow!!

Puppy Chow goes by many names suchas dog food, Muddy Buddies, Monkey Munch, People Chow, and Doo-Doo Butter Bites

I haven't ever heard of anyone in the UK talk about Puppy Chow so I'm making it a personal mission to enlighten everyone! 

These were a big hit at Mini-Baker's birthday lunch! I found these nifity little snack bags at my grocery store and lucked out as several of them had a puppy on them!! Then I added pink Smarties (UK MnM's) to the bags. Perfect for party bags!! Enjoy!

Any questions or suggests on how to help me get the word out about Puppy Chow please leave a comment or email me!!

Puppy Chow adapted for the UK:

250g chocolate chips (dark or milk)
1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter (if you don't have US measuring cups just use 2-3 heaped spoonfuls or more if you like peanut butter!)
knob of butter
1 box of Shreddies (500g box)
icing sugar

Melt the chocolate, peanut butter and butter together in your preferred method.
Dump your box of Shreddies into a large bowl.
Pour the chocolate, peanut butter, and butter mixture over the Shreddies.
Stir with a big spoon until all covered.
Pour in some icing sugar and cover the bowl with cling film and shake! If they aren't completely covered add more icing sugar until they are completely coated!

what you need

note: The ingredients list may seem a bit vague, but really it's one of those things you don't need to be precise about.  If you have a bowl big enough with a lid use that instead as the cling film can be a bit tricky. Mine wasn't wanting to stick so I held it shut and close to my body and jumped up and down with it! Fun times.

12.14.2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes!

taken from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes and can be found on her website
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Stir in chocolate chunks with a rubber spatula.
  3. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake until pale golden and a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks; let cool completely.


Today was Mini-Baker's 4th Birthday! So, of course I baked! I changed my mind about her birthday cake a couple of days ago. I originally was going to do a rainbow marble cake to go with Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Then because more recently has become obsessed with Cookie Monster (who can't love a monster who eats cookies?) I decided on Martha Stewart's Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes from her Cupcake book.
However they didn't turn out right. I knew the batter looked funny, but since I had followed instructions I went ahead and baked them. The chips sank to the bottom and they had a weird top similar to the Irn Bru cupcakes. The bottoms were greasy and although the skewer came out clean they looked a little under done. I served them up anyway (they were edible) but I felt the cookie cupcake with Cookie Monster was a bit lost.
weird top

greasy bottom

chips stuck to the wrapper and cake looking soggy

what they should have looked like: took a picture of the book
I was annoyed; this is the second time Martha's recipes from the Cupcake book didn't work out for me. At first I thought I might have converted the butter wrong, but didn’t see how? Then it hit me. Egg sizes. I swore I remembered reading somewhere that UK and US egg sizes weren't the same.
After an online search I found this on Nigella's website: it says that a UK large egg is a US x-large egg. So, for my cupcake recipe that calls for 3 large eggs I used 3 x-large eggs. That explains it! Well, the problem was solved just not in time for Mini-Baker’s birthday. Now I know when using US recipes to be more aware. However not all was lost! See my next following post on Puppy Chow!

note: I found this image of Cookie Monster online and just printed it out. Cut circles out of blue paper and taped them on to colored craft sticks. Then glued Cookie Monster's image on top!

12.13.2011

Chocolate Orange Brownies

In America I remember only getting a Chocolate Orange at Christmas time. You couldn't get one any other time of year. When I moved to Great Britain and saw they had chocolate oranges out in the middle of summer I was appalled!! It was pure blasphemy! They were for Christmas like Cadbury Creme Eggs are for Easter. I was not impressed, obviously. Even though I have resisted buying them out of season, occasionally I will be given one for my birthday.

How better to honour the chocolate orange at Christmas then with Chocolate Orange Brownies!! If you Google them, there are plenty of recipes to test out, but here is the one I used and it was a great hit!

185g (6 ½ oz) unsalted butter
185 (6 ½ oz) Dark Chocolate Orange (1 Terry’s orange is 175g)
85g (3oz) plain flour
40g (1 ¼ oz) pure cocoa powder
50g (2oz) white chocolate
50g (2oz) Milk Chocolate Orange
3 large eggs
275g (9 ½ oz) golden caster sugar

note: I added 50g of white chocolate chips but really you could add 100g milk chocolate orange. For a while Terry’s did a white chocolate orange, but I didn’t see one anywhere.


chopped chocolate and butter ready to melt

the eggy mousse

  1. Pre-heat oven 170C/325F/gas mark 3
  2. Grease a brownie pan or regular square tin (22cm/81/2in) with butter and line with baking paper.
  3. Cut the butter into cubes and melt with dark chocolate. Again there are different ways to do this. I use a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water. You can use the microwave just set it for 30 seconds then stir and repeat until melted.
  4. Measure out your flour and cocoa into a bowl. Sieve if you must or whisk gently together.
  5. Chop up your chocolate if you need to or if you bought buttons/chips/morsels/chunks then you’re already set!
  6. Beat the eggs and sugar together at max speed until the mixture becomes really pale and almost doubled in size.
  7. Poor the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, and gently fold in.
  8. Add the flour/cocoa mixture and fold in with a large metal spoon.
  9. Last but not least stir in your chopped chocolate.
  10. Pour into prepared tin
  11. Bake for 25 minutes. You can tell they are done when the top is cracked and crunchy but the middle is fudgy.
  12. Leave in tin until completely cooled. Then cut ‘em up! I used a fancy Wilton cookie/bar cutter that makes hearts!
out of the oven

profile
 These were super smushy and delicious. My husband took a tin to work with him and they were gone quick as you like. Then I gave a few to friends and they all text to say how good they were! This recipe is so adaptable. So, many different chocolates you could put in it to make your own flavor. I might have to use Green & Blacks burnt toffee with smashed toffee pieces….I think I may be on to something good here! 




My friend Cathy, Berkshire Baker, text me a while ago and asked if I had any recipes for chocolate orange cake. After a look through my books I discovered at least 3 recipes for chocolate orange cake or cupcakes. So, I relayed my discoveries and she text back saying that what she really wanted was chocolate orange brownies. I suggested just taking any brownie recipe and replacing the chocolate with orange chocolate or buying a Betty Crocker box mix for fudge brownies* and add chopped chocolate orange. I choose to do the former. This recipe is based off of Eric Lanlard’s Double Chocolate Pecan Brownies recipe from Home Bake.

*I have tried making brownies from scratch on several occasions and I still would make Betty Crocker’s as they are better then some from scratch recipes. If you have an amazing brownie recipe you’d like to share with me I’d love to have it!
fun reindeer sticker off my orange

12.08.2011

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Bundt

1 cup sour cream (can substitute fat free sour cream or plain yogurt)
3/4  cup butter
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white or brown sugar

for the icing:
2 cup powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
4 tbsp milk (more or less to get desired consistency)
1 tsp vanilla

- Pre-heat oven to 350 deg.
- Grease bundt pan.  If desired, dust with flour or cinnamon and sugar blend.
- Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.  Add vanilla.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder.
- Add flour mixture and sour cream alternatively starting and ending with the flour mixture.
- mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
- pour 1/3 batter into pan, cover with 1/2 cinn/sugar mixture, add 1/3 batter, cinn/sugar, top with remaining batter.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 15 min before flipping out of pan.  Combine ingredients for icing and drizzle icing over cake.

mini baker with bundt!!

the first attempt: broken bundt :0(

 ~Janet aka Indiana Baker

12.07.2011

Kisses Peanut Butter Blossoms!!

taken from Hershey's website but, can also be found on packages of Kisses and in magazines!
  • 48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE'S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each
    cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
    About 4 dozen cookies.

    Nutritional Information per serving (1 cookie):
    Calories: 90, Total Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 75mg,
    Total Carbohydrate: 10g, Dietary Fiber: less than 1g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 2g, Vitamin A: 0%DV*,
    Vitamin C: 0%DV*, Calcium: 0%DV*, Iron: 2%DV*
    *%DV= %Daily Values are calculated based on a 2000 calorie diet
    
    cute cookies for everyone
    ~Janet aka Indiana Baker

12.06.2011

Nothing says 'winter' like Creme Brulee lip-gloss!!

Here my Creme Brulee lip therapy is wearing a sporting Innocent Smoothie hat!
Winter is here!! My lips and hands always are dry and cracked in the winter. So, every year I buy a new lip gloss and hand cream. Usually because the one from the year before is lost or had a spin through the clothes washer! When I was a kid I had a weird obsession with lip glosses. I had a whole caboodle full of them!!
If you don't know what a caboodle is I feel sorry for your missed childhood. Kidding, but this blogger has said it all about what a caboodle stood for! Most of my collection were Lip Smacker's, I remember being about 4-5 years old and getting my first candy cane tube of Lip Smackers for Christmas. I also remember my little sister eating one of them. That was so not cool.
It's doesn't really have a distinct creme brulee smell, but it protects my lips and makes them shiny!
Anyhow...this little tin caught my eye immediately! (I'm like a mackerel) How could I resist when it's named after one of my all time favourite desserts? So, here it is keeping my lips shiny and smooth!! The hand cream I ended up picking up this year Soap & Glory: Hand Food!

other links: Vaseline Lip Therapy, Selfridges, Youtube, Lip Smacker Orginals,
note: I'm a little behind the times as this ltd edition came out in October! And yes I am a child of the 80's! And no I am not getting paid to write or try these products. Just my opinion and random thoughts! Thanks for reading my somewhat random post!! ;0)

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