Tag Archives: butter

Quick Passionfruit and Macadamia Cheesecake Cup

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With two small children, our family goes through a lot of fruit. A few weeks ago, it was late on a Sunday and we were facing the prospect of starting the week sans fruit. Mr Firehouse volunteered to go to the shops as the grocery shopping was often a task that fell to me. As he headed out the door, he quickly called out to me to confirm what I had  “mandarins and apples” I called out. He returned some time later and emptied the shopping diligently into the fridge. It was only at dinner time that I opened the fruit and vegetable tray to rummage for a post-dinner mandarin. Instead I found twenty. I called to Mr Firehouse who sheepishly confirmed that he had heard “apples and mandarins” as what we needed, not what we already had an abundance of.

Now we have a running joke in the family, we have to double and triple check every item on the shopping list whenever Mr Firehouse ventures to the shops. So, when I sent Mr Firehouse to the shops multiple times over consecutive days, he was understandably nervous.

“You’ve put 3 packets of cream cheese on the list, are you sure?”

“Yes!” I’d have to say, and reinstate multiple times.

Now in all fairness, I did feed this dessert to him multiple times over a week. I was fixated on getting it perfect and perhaps his apprehension at returning home with the wrong thing was probably not misplaced.

 

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Ingredients

  • 12 ginger nut biscuits
  • 2 tbsp. butter melted
  • 50 g macadamias (toasted)
  • 1 tsp. seal salt
  • 1 package cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup thickened cream
  • 4 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup passionfruit curd (recipe below)

Preparation

In the bowl of a small food processor crush the biscuits and nuts. I like to do the nuts first, tip out and then do the biscuits. That way I can crush the biscuits till finely ground and the chop the nuts into larger pieces for more texture. Add crushed nuts and biscuits to the melted butter and set aside. You can easily do this step with zip loc bag and a rolling pin, or mortar and pestle. Choose your poison.

In a medium bowl, place the cream cheese, cream, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk until smooth and no chunks of cheese remain. This can be done with a hand mixer too.

I used drinking glasses to serve these but mason jars, stemless wineglasses will all work. In your glasses, start by placing the biscuit crumb mixture down the bottom. Place some curd on top and then divide the cream cheese mixture evenly between the glasses. Place the remaining the biscuit mixture on top and finish with the remaining passionfruit curd.  Chill the finished cheesecakes for a  couple of hours before serving.

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Passionfruit Curd

  • 25g butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, 1 egg yolk
  • Juice of 2 passionfruit
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

Combine all the above ingredients in a heat proof bowl. Place over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk continuously until thick and glossy. Place in the fridge to cool .

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Peach Friands

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I love the magic that is the stone-fruit of the Pacific North-West. As summer dawns upon us and the markets become laden with summer peaches I’m determined to use them in every way I can think of. Pudding, cakes, and even salads.

I bought a rather large quantity of almond meal from Costco some weeks ago and in an attempt to utilise both the peaches and the almond meal I settled on making friands for some friends that were dropped by for a lazy afternoon tea. On the day of, the temperatures in Bellevue was predicted to hit the 30s. After a late night, we rose at 8am to find sun streaming in and the temperature already rising. I was loathe to sit around separating eggs while the oven made the temperature inside climb even higher, so I went for a different version of these tasty treats, the whole egg version. It provides for a slightly different texture, but delicious nonetheless.

These are just as delicious with peaches, plums or berries. If you’re not feeling the fruit, a sprinkle of almonds and pistacio would work just as well.

Yield: 12 Friands (or 24 mini muffin size)

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Ingredients 

  • 195g (1 1/2 cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 75g (1/2 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • 155g (1 1/2 cups) almond meal
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla paste or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 180g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1-2 peaches sliced
  • icing sugar to dust

Preparation

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 12 friand moulds or mini muffin tins with melted butter to grease. Dust with plain flour. Combine the sugar, flour and almond meal in a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add egg and butter. Stir until well combined.

Divide among the prepared pans. Divide the peach slices and place on top of the friands.

Bake for 20-25 mins (for the friands) 15-20 mins (for the mini muffins) or until light golden. Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Dust the friands with icing sugar to serve.

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Easy Chocolate Cake

A simple but slighty indulgent chocolate cake to celebrate 1500 facebook fans. A super exciting milestone for little ole me! HP1B9017 Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 200 g soft brown sugar sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 50g cocoa powder sifted
  • 50ml milk/sour cream
  • 50 g chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence

HP1B9020 Preparation Preheat the oven to 350F /180C and line an 8 inch round tin with baking paper ( I used a loaf tin) . In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. In the bowl of a mixer cream together butter and sugar and salt until nice and fluffy. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape the bottom and sides of the mixer bowl. Butter_Cake-1 Add the eggs to the creamed mixture one at a time. If you rush it, the mixture might separate so take your time. Remember to scrape your bowl.   Butter_Cake-5When all the eggs are in, add 1/2 the flour and half the milk or sour cream and gently fold them into the mixture. Then add the other half of the flour and milk, folding that in gently too. Finally fold in the chocolate chip, being careful not to overmix. Pour the mix into the prepared baking tin and place in the oven until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. I start at about 45 minutes baking time. HP1B9019

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Brown Butter and Berry Tea Cake

HP1B0177A couple of months ago we were at another baby’s birthday party at a park. Mr C was in his element, running around, terrorising adults and children, and being the centre of attention. Come cake time, he was nowhere to be found. I was getting a little worried when I spied a curly head peering out from under the massive cake table. There he was, staring intently at the baby’s mother cutting the cake. Mouth open and agape.When I approached him he looked me in the eye and said “cake”. I think he might just be his mother’s son. Of course, there was no denying him cake after that.

Nowadays he can identify the difference between a muffin “mussin” and cake. A muffin comes in a wrapper and a cake needs to be sliced. At afternoon tea-time when he sees me opening the freezer to grab a muffin, many an excited squeal can be heard.

The long and short of this is that I need to make sure that the baking I do is Mr C  friendly and generally on the healthier side of things. This means recipes with lots of fruit and veg, as little sugar as I can get away with and added bonuses like oats and nuts. Mr C is also very into helping at the moments so unless I bake during nap time, the recipe has to be simple enough that he can help with “missing”. Admittedly this results in about  three times the mess, but the kids loves it!

This recipe originally called for 1 cup of sugar, but I decided to halve it and substitute it with apple sauce, following the guidelines here.

I also added some nuts to the crumble topping for some extra crunch.

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Crumble topping

  • 1/4 cup butter cubed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries

Preparation

Inspired by the Brown Butter Blueberry Coffee Cake by Ambitious Kitchen

In small bowl mix together the crumble ingredients, except the pecans, gently with your finger tips until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the pecans and refrigerate while you make the cake.

Preheat your oven to 350F or 180C and line an 8 X 8 tray with baking paper.

In a small saucepan place the stick of butter and slowly melt over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and watch the butter foam. After a few minutes you’ll notice some brown appearing at the bottom, remove from the heat at this point and leave to cool. The butter should be lovely and nutty in flavour at this point.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the frozen berries and coat well with the flour mixture.

In a second bowl mix together the egg, egg yolk, apple sauce, milk and cooled butter.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together before pouring into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top and bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

This recipe is suitable to freeze!

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Healthier Oat & Raisin Cookies

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Raisins are one of Mister C’s current favourite foods. They are the bane of my existence, I find the little black shrivelled masses everywhere. They’re especially hard to clean out off the black leather seats in my car. Having said that they usually keep him calm for extended car trips, relieve the sudden onset of tantrums and generally make my life more pleasant, so I’ll deal.

A week or so after we returned from Sri Lanka Mister C and I headed to Green Lake Park in Seattle for a walk with some friends. It wasn’t raining, which is all that can be said for the weather. Now Green Lake was one of those places that sounded amazing, the kind of “hip” place that the radio station I listen to (admittedly it’s NPR) refers to all the time. It’s full of joggers and mums with strollers. I was excited to get out and get some exercise in after being struck down with jet lag.

Now something I forgot in all my excitement was that Green Lake is 2.8 miles around. That’s a long way. That’s 4.5 km long way. Callum started complaining a mile in. Whinging turned to crying and crying turned to full blown hysteria. I threw everything I had at him, spoons, forks, phones….and even raisins. Nada. When the raisins didn’t work, I knew the jig was up. I scooped him up and proceeded to walk while pushing the stroller. He may be a featherweight but even lifting feathers will get to you after 4.5km. I felt terrible that my friends had to stop and start with us. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before the other two babies raised their objections to the long,cold walk. Unfortunately there was only one thing to do, keep walking around! That’s the beauty of walking around a body of water.

Lessons learned, walking 4.5 kms around a lake with a baby, even with raisins, is probably a bridge too far… to start with.

I made these for Callum for a special treat. They’ve got a bit of sugar but also have goodness like oats, raisins and wheat germ. Callum will happily munch on a small, Callum hand-sized one of these on our walk home from the park. Maybe Green Lake would have been less disastrous if there had been some cookie surrounding the raisins. These are not “healthy” but I’ve made them healthier by adding whole meal flour, some wheat germ (leave this out if you don’t have it) and cutting down the sugar. But oats and raisins, which this recipe has oodles of, do have their own goodness so don’t despair if you can’t stop at one!

These are based on a recipe I found here at the Beantown Baker.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 oz, or 115 grams) butter, at room temp
  • 1/3 cup (125 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup (95 grams) wholemeal flour
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (120 grams) rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup (120 grams) raisins

Preparation

Cream together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in the bowl of your mixer. In a second bowl combine, the flours, wheat germ, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir. Finally add the raisins and rolled oats. Pop in the fridge for an hour to chill.

When ready to bake, preheat the over to 350F/180C and line 2 tray with baking paper. I use an ice cream scoop to portion out the dough. I give the dough a slight roll and flatten with my fingers.

Bake for 13-15 minutes until the edges are just golden. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then gobble these babies up!

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