Scones

A cup of tea is never the same without scones – served with freshly whipped cream, grated cheese and jam, of course.

Last year I had a challenge to bake perfect scones for my sister’s birthday. I tried 3 different recipes and was still not really 100% satisfied with the results.. So  this is yet another recipe I had to try!! 🙂

scones

Scones

2½ cups all-purpose flour

10 ml castor sugar

20 ml baking powder

2 ml salt

200 ml (180 g) butter, cut into small pieces

100 ml milk, plus extra for brushing

1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with     parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter. Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl, and stir into flour mixture until moistened.

Turn out onto a lightly floured  work  surface to complete bringing it together with your  hands. Roll the dough out into a rectangle.

Cut into rounds and place on the prepared baking           sheet. Bake for minutes in the preheated oven, or  until golden brown.IMG_2757

Muffins

1.

2 cups (500ml)  flour

1tsp (5 ml) bi-carb

1 tsp ( 5ml ) baking powder

pinch of salt

1tsp (5ml) mixed spice

3/4 cup (180ml) brown sugar

2.
1/2 slab of dates

1 cup raisins

1tbl (15ml) butter

1 beaten egg

1 cup boiling water

muffins add any of these:
coconut
grated carrots
nuts
bananas
cherries
cranberries
cake mix (fruit)
Mix 1
Mix 2
Combine 1 and 2

muffins2
Bake in preheated oven (180 degree C) for 15 – 20 mins.

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Cupcakes

My husband loves cake and asked me to bake a butter cake.  I decided to use my trusted recipe and make some cupcakes instead.

IMG_1903Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) Sifted Cake Flour
  • 3 teaspoon(s) Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Salt
  • 45 ml Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup(s )whole Milk

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease a muffin pan with butter and dust with all-purpose flour. ( I did not use paper cups) Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2.  Beat  eggs and sugar till light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla  beat on medium-high, just until blended.  Add the dry ingredients to this mixture. Mix well.
  3. Bring butter and milk to the boil and add it the the mixture. Mix well.
  4. Pour into the prepared muffin pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean —15 minutes. Cool cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  5. Un-mold and cool completely. Ice with any icing you like.

Savoury Mince Spiral Scone Roll

Scones

2½ cups all-purpose flour

10 ml castor sugar

20 ml baking powder

2 ml salt

200 ml (180 g) butter, cut into small pieces

100 ml milk, plus extra for brushing

1 large egg

1. Reheat the oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with      parchment paper.

2.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a             large bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is                 rough and crumbly.

3. In a separate bowl, milk and egg together.IMG_1483

Add this to the flour mixture and stir to just bring the dough  together, turning out onto a lightly floured work  surface to complete bringing it together with your hands. Roll the dough out into a rectangle.IMG_1484

 

Savoury Mince

15 ml olive oil

1  onion, finely chopped

500 g  lean beef mince

10 ml dried Italian herb mixture

salt and freshly-milled black pepper  to taste

45 ml parsley, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce

Hint: This is subjective cooking at its best! You can add (or omit) any seasoning, herb or spice. You can add chili, garlic, curry and even vegetables such as diced potato and/or diced carrot, sliced mushrooms or peas. Enjoy being inventive!

Heat the oil and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the mince and brown lightly. Add the rest of the ingredients. Lower the heat and simmer with a lid on for  about 20 to 30 minutes.

Beat 2 eggs and add it to the mixture whilst stirring. Stir fry until it becomes thick.  Cool down .

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Spread the cooled mince on the dough.IMG_1486

Roll the dough up and form a circle.

Use a pair of kitchen scissors and cut into slices.

Brush the dough with some milk and bake for 20 to 30 minutes  until lightly browned.

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Home-Style Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni with chunks of Cheddar cheese is baked until bubbling for a soothing and satisfying supper.

200 g  uncooked elbow macaroni
50 g butter or margarine
45 ml plain flour
500 ml milk

225 g  softened cream cheese

2 ml salt

2 ml pepper

10 ml country -sty le Dijon mustard

225 g  cubed 1 cm Cheddar cheese

125 g  fresh breadcrumbs

30 g   butter or margarine, melted

30 ml chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 200°C . Cook macaroni according to directions; drain.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan melt 50 g butter; stir in flour. Cook over med. heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and bubbly (l min.). Stir in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper and mustard. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened (3 to 4 min.). Stir in macaroni and cheese. Pour into casserole dish.

In small bowl stir together remaining ingredients; sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.
Bake for 15 to 20 min. or until golden brown and heated through.

Microwave Directions:

Cook macaroni according to  directions; drain. Meanwhile, in casserole dish melt 50 g butter on HIGH (50 to 60 sec.). Stir in flour.

(I used a packet of creamy mushroom soup to make the sauce and did not use salt or pepper .)

Microwave on HIGH until bubbly ( about 1 min.). Stir in milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper and mustard. Microwave on HIGH, stirring after half the time, until thickened (4 to 5 min.). Stir in macaroni and cheese. ( I added  pieces of bacon too!)Macen cheese

In small bowl stir together remaining ingredients; sprinkle over macaroni and cheese.

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Microwave on HIGH until heated through (8 to 10 min.).

Home-style macaroni and cheese
Home-style macaroni and cheese

Fruit squares

Fruit squares 
145 grams butter/margarine
145 grams sugar
1 tablespoon syrup or marmalade
Melt the above in a pot over a very low heat. Allow to cool.
Beat 1 egg and add slowly to the above — stirring vigorously.
Add the following to the mixture:
250 grams flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup currants, or raisins or sultanas
Fruit squaresSpread in a well greased Swiss roll tin and bake at 190 °C for 15 mins.
Cut into squares while still hot and dribble the following icing over them.
Icing:
1 cup icing sugar
1 dessert spoon vanilla essence
Boiling water to mix to desired consistency—thick but slightly runny. 

 

fruit squares1

Parmesan Butter Tin Biscuits for Cheese please!

Parmesan and basil make the difference in these country-style tin biscuits.

75 g butter or margarine

350 g plain flour

30 ml of grated Parmesan  cheese

15 ml sugar

20 ml baking powder

5 ml basil leaves

15 ml chopped fresh parsley

250 ml milk

Heat oven to 200 degrees C. In a square cake tin melt butter in oven. (3 to 5 min.) Meanwhile, in  a medium bowl combine all ingredients except milk. Stir in milk until moistened. Turn dough onto slightly floured surface: knead 10 times or until smooth. Roll dough into 30 x 10 cm rectangle. Cut into about 12 strips.IMG_1144

Dip each strip into melted butter.IMG_1147

Place in same tin. bake for 20 to 25 min. or until lightly browned.

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I had mine with more cheese! Grated cheddar and some with creamed cheese. Delicious!

I decided to enter this recipe for the Cheese Please! challenge of

http://fromagehomage.co.uk/

 

Fromage Homage

Peach cobbler

A Cobbler refers to a variety of dishes, particularly in the United States and United Kingdom, consisting of a fruit or savoury filling poured into a large baking dish and covered with a batter, biscuit, or pie crust before being baked. Wikipedia

8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges

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Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.

In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a pie dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon  baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend in 6 tablespoons butter (chilled and cut into small pieces) with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in 1/4 cup boiling water until just combined.

MIX TOGETHER:

3 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. I grated it over the mixture. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.IMG_0980

Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

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Serve it with a custard.

Not so traditional Christmas Cake

As I said in a previous post I personally prefer a dark richer Fruitcake. I have searched to find one that I liked and here is my rendition of a not so traditional Dark fruit cake.

Dark Christmas Cake

500 g mixed dried fruits

250 g dates, cut up

125 g butter

200 ml soft brown sugar

250 ml strong coffee

200 g cherries

Put all the ingredients in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 mins. ( I boiled mine in the microwave for 8 min on high.)

IMG_0999Add 5 ml Bicarb of soda and 100 g chopped pecan nuts into the hot mixture and stir well. Leave to cool for  about 30 mins.  IMG_1005Pre-heat the oven to 130 C.                                            
Then add :
500 ml plain flour
5 ml baking powder
2 ml mixed nutmeg
2 ml ground cinnamon
2 ml ground cloves
2 ml salt
2 large beaten eggs                                                          
Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.  and tip it into  prepared tins, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes.IMG_1006Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 15 ml of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.IMG_1015To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film or tin foil.chritmas 

Chocolate coated Shortbread cookies

Shortbread

Shortbread is a type of biscuit which is traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour.

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”
― Molière

Once again I was given a challenge to bake shortbread biscuits  that were intended as Christmas gifts for clients of a local business.  

It sounded easy enough and of course I cannot resist a challenge!!

I got the recipe from a friend.

When I started to mix the batch of biscuits I realised that this was going to be a much bigger task than what I have anticipated!

shortbread1

 

Ingredients

1 kg butter

1 and a half kg flour

500 g Icing sugar 

Preparation method

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C
  2. Beat the butter and the icing sugar together until smooth – it will look like  whipped cream
  3. Stir in the flour to get a smooth dough.  Let it rest for about 20 minutes in the fridge.
  4. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1 cm thick (it was a little tricky to get it even so  I used 2 flat wooden spoons on either side of the dough to get it even).shortbread2
  5. Cut into rounds or fingers and place onto a baking tray.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.  Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

So far so good!

Then I dipped half of each biscuit in melted chocolate.  That sounded easy enough, but I soon realised that I did not have enough hands and had  to come up with a plan  on how to let the chocolate set without touching and leaving  streaks.  So I used my oven roasting pan and rack and it worked like a charm!

shortbread3I then put about 10 of the coated biscuits into individual little gift bags and presented it in  a pretty box.

shortbread4

For more photo’s go to http://flippenblog.com/2013/12/07/cookies-and-gift-ideas/