Saturday, 14 April 2012

Pina Colada Cupcakes

We decided to make some Piña Colada Cupcakes today for Caitie's grandma and aunt who are both Piña Colada fans. :) Obviously these ones weren't for Caitie to eat!! The recipe is from Bake It With Booze.

So first we preheated the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Then in a small bowl, Caitie mixed a third of a cup of rum, half a cup of coconut milk, quarter of a cup of coconut cream, quarter of a cup of pineapple juice and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. We used light coconut milk and light coconut cream so it did the least damage to Grandma and Aunty Andrea's diets!

Then in a large bowl, Caitie mixed one and a half cups of flour, one and a half teaspoons of baking powder, and half a cup of butter, creating a breadcrumb-like mixture. Then she added 3 eggs,a cup of white sugar, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, a cup of dessicated coconut and a cup of crushed pineapple.

We used mini muffin cases (again, to help with the diet!!) and the mixture was very runny. We baked them for about 17 minutes. The mix ended up not rising, but actually coming out slightly smaller than when it went in. They were very tiny mouthfuls! Never mind, I tasted one and they tasted pretty good. So then we made some icing...

We creamed a cup of butter and then added a tablespoon of rum, a tablespoon of coconut milk (light), a tablespoon of coconut cream (light), a teaspoon of vanilla and about 4 cups of icing sugar. I know, that's a lot of icing sugar by anyone's standards. Don't panic though, we didn't even use half the icing!

After piping the icing on, we coloured some coconut with some red food colouring, mixed it with a fork, and then Caitie sprinkled it over the cupcakes.

Don't they look amazing????

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Amish Friendship Muffins

Last weekend we were given some Amish Friendship Muffin mix by Caitie's grandmother, so we used it today to make some muffins. It's quite a sweet base, so not so suited for savoury muffins. We decided to make apple & cinammon ones as we had some apples to use up.

So we preheated the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, then combined 1 cup of the muffin mix, 2 cups flour, ¾ cup oil, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, 1½ teaspoons cinammon and 2 teaspoons vanilla essence.

Caitie was thrilled when she cracked an egg to find a double yolker! :)

Then we added a cup of diced apples, mixed it all together and put in the muffin cases. We baked them for about 20 minutes.

They were just a touch bland, so we decided that they needed a bit of a flavour boost.... So we added a dollop of custard to the inside. Ha ha! Yummmmm!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Pizza dough

Today we decided to make pizza for lunch. We used a pizza dough recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly Cooking School for Kids book.

So first we activated the yeast, by putting 2 teaspoons of dried yeast, 1 teaspoon caster sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and a cup of warm water in to a bowl, covering it with gladwrap (plastic wrap) and then putting it in the hot water cupboard for 20 minutes.

When the yeast was ready, we put it with 2½ cups flour and 2 tablespoons olive oil in to a bowl and mixed them in to a dough. Then it was time to knead the dough. Caitie's dad was showing her how she could tell when the dough had been kneaded enough - it should be smooth and elastic, so it can be easily stretched thin without tearing.

Then the dough was placed in a greased bowl. Caitie's dad told us the bowl needed to be greased so that the rising dough didn't stick to the sides of the bowl.

Then it was covered with a clean tea towel and put back in the hot water cupboard for an hour. You need a lot of patience for pizza!

When the dough was nearly ready to come back out, we turned the oven on to preheat to 240 degrees Celsius and placed the pizza stone in the oven to heat.

The dough needed kneading again, then was divided in to two portions. We used a rolling pin to roll it out in to a circle. Caitie found rolling it was easy, but making it round wasn't!

Then it was placed on the hot pizza stone (Caitie's dad did that part, so she didn't burn herself) and covered with toppings. I think Caitie used tomato paste, cheese, tomato, capsicum (bell pepper), onion and bacon. :)

The pizza was baked for about 20 minutes and then eaten. Worth the wait!!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Vanilla Bean Scones

We've made scones before, but they've always been savoury ones - with cheese and herbs. Caitie's dad had bought some vanilla beans for the wedding cake he'd made, and I decided that Caitie and I would try making some vanilla bean scones. This recipe is from the Australian Women's Weekly Cooking School for Kids book.

So first, as always, we preheated the oven - in this case to 220 degrees Celsius. Caitie sifted 2½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 tablespooon caster sugar into a bowl. Then Caitie rubbed 30g butter in to the flour/sugar mixture. She's rubbed butter before, but not for a while, so this was a good reminder of that particular technique.

In a seperate bowl, Caitie mixed ¾ cup milk and ½ cup water. Then, it was time for the vanilla bean. Neither Caitie nor I had ever used a vanilla bean before, so we were careful to follow the instructions in the recipe book. It had good illustrations, so we were fairly okay with what we had to do. So we split the vanilla bean open lengthways using a sharp knife (I did that bit), then Caitie scraped the seeds out of the pod in to the milk mixture. It smelled divine but didn't look particular appetising.

Then Caitie made a well in the flour mixture and poured in the milk mixture. She used a butter knife to cut through the flour, mixing it all together.

We sprinkled some flour on the bench and then Caitie kneaded the dough. She quite enjoys the kneading part of it - she's a tactile person and so she likes to get her hands in there. :) Then we cut the dough in to 16 fairly even squares and put them on a greased tray and brushed the top with just a little milk.

After about 20 minutes in the oven, the scones came out smelling divine. We ate them with some strawberry jam and cream. YUM!!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Red Velvet Cake

Caitie's dad had been asked to make a red velvet cake for his cousin's wedding, so of course the first step was to find the ideal recipe. Caitie helped her dad test this particular version.
A bit of a search on Google told us that red velvet cake got its name from the reddish brown colour that came from the reaction between the buttermilk and the cocoa, but in modern times, the cocoa is quite different and the resulting cake doesn't tend to be red enough to satisfy consumers. So these days, red food colouring is added.
We found this particular recipe on the NZ Girl website and figured it was worth a try.

The oven was preheated to 175 degrees Celsius and Caitie sifted 1½ cups flour, 1½ cups sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon dutch cocoa powder.

In a seperate bowl, she mixed together 1½ cups oil, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon red food colouring, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence.

Then the wet and dry ingredients were combined.

The cake was baked in a greased pan for 30 minutes.

The verdict was that this version was too light to use as a wedding cake - it wasn't capable of supporting two tiers on top. But we enjoyed eating it. :)

Tuesday, 27 December 2011


We joined Caitie's nana and poppa for the traditional Boxing Day BBQ and decided that it was only right to have pavlova for dessert. This lovely light dessert is a New Zealand tradition (or Australian, depending on who you talk to!) for summer, as it is especially nice with fresh fruit and cream.

We used the recipe from Caitie's great-grandmother's 1955 edition of the Edmonds cookbook.

First Caitie and Poppa beat 3 egg whites in the beater until stiff, adding a little cold water and beating again.

Then they added 1 cup of caster sugar very slowly.

Once all the sugar was added, they slowed the beater (but kept it going) and added 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and 3 teaspoons cornflour.

They poured it on a greased tray. Doesn't look much like a pavlova yet, does it?

Then it was put in a 150 degree oven for 45 minutes, then they turned the oven off and left the pavlova to cool in the oven.

Unfortunately the pavlova sank, and so it wasn't as impressive-looking as we had hoped. Personally, I've only ever made two pavlovas (not that I really made this one, this was Caitie and Poppa!) and both have sunk. They are tricky things!

It tasted good though with cream, fresh fruit and some chocolate shavings. :)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Any chance to cook....

Today we went on a special family trip - a day out on the R Tucker Thompson. The R Tucker Thompson is an 85 foot 'gaff rigged, square tops'l schooner'. Very cool. Caitie climbed the rigging and swung off a rope to go for a swim in the sea... But what she was most excited about was..........helping the cook make lunch in the galley. :)

She really DOES love to cook!