Archive of ‘Sweet’ category

Caramelised apple upside-down cake

Here’s the story, my in-laws were coming over and I had approximately 30 minutes before they arrived. Usually my mind goes “Ahh, we have nothing to give them”. But I was on a roll that day, we had just had pumpkin pizza for lunch, the oven was still hot so I had this crazy idea. I had apples and a super easy cupcake recipe, so here’s what I did.

I sliced up some apples, threw on some caramel and used my easy no mixer cupcake recipe for a cake to top it off. In the oven it went. and 30 minutes later, there was this cake on the table.

Apple Upside Down Cake

1 x Quick and Easy cupcake recipe

The only change I made to this recipe was I used all baking powder instead of the mix of baking and bicarb soda, and the reason, honestly, was because I didn’t have the time to take out and use an extra ingredient. And if you’re wondering how I had softened butter on hand, I didn’t, I just have an amazing LG microwave that has a ‘soften butter’ setting.

2 apples

Core and slice apples and lay them in the bottom of a cake pan. I shouldn’t have spent so much time layering this in, it didn’t show up like I thought it would once baked.


4 tblsp sugar

In a small pan, cook sugar until it turns an even amber colour, pour onto apple slices

Mix up the cupcake recipe and spoon it over the apples and caramel. Gently smooth it over with the back of a spoon. Place in a pre heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean.

Slice up and enjoy this caramelised Apple Upside Down Cake on it’s own or with a dollop of cream.

Peanut Butter Banana Pastries

I don’t usually keep a lot of junk food in the house, so when I need a treat I have to be creative. If you’re in need of a simple, easy treat, with ingredients you’d already have in your fridge or pantry, give this a go.

Peanut butter banana pastry

I made a very small batch, this made 4 pastries, feel free to double or quadruple if you need more.

1/2 a sheet of puff pastry (you could just use slices of bread)
1 banana
2 tblsp peanut butter
1/2 cup cream
1 tblsp icing sugar

Pre heat oven to 190C. Cut pastry into 4 rectangles. Cut 2 pieces of baking paper and place your pasty inbetween them on the tray. Place something heavy on top of the pastry to keep them flat (I sandwiched the pastry between 2 baking sheets and also used ramekins for some weight). Put in the oven for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden, mine were more like golden brown, oh well, still tasted good.

Slice bananas. And whip cream with icing sugar. Once pastry is cooked and cooled split the pieces in half, this can be tricky, so you can skip this step. And just have an open pastry instead.

Spread a layer of peanut butter on each of the pastries, fill with banana slices and cream, top with remaining pastry slice and decorate how you wish!

This has got to be considered a healthy dessert right? It’s got nuts, fruit and dairy, must be good for you! Enjoy these little peanut butter, banana pastries, they’re a tasty treat for any time of the day!

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

A few weeks ago, I made these Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies from Picky Palate. They were delicious. My little man, Muhammad Uzayr loved them too, he even learned how to say “cookie”, I now call him my little cookie monster, for a little kid, he can devour a cookie in minutes!

Since he is so into cookies lately I decided I would whip some up for him (secretly, they were for me too). I didn’t have chocolate chips, so I had to come up with something else. I decided on peanut butter and white chocolate. I always have peanut butter in the house and I also had half a bag of white chocolate chips in the pantry. These white chocolate, peanut butter cookies were amazing, the flavours make a great combo. Especially when the cookies are still slightly warm, and the white chocolate is still gooey inside.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

80g Butter

50 g peanut butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 3/4 cup plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup roughly chopped white chocolate melts/buttons

Pre heat oven to 180C. Cream butters and brown sugar on a high speed till light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla and mix well. On a very low speed, tip in flour, salt and baking powder until combined. Lastly throw in chocolate chips and ensure they are mixed through well, you may need to do this part by hand. Roll dough into balls and place an inch apart on a baking sheet. I made fairly small balls.

Tip: I only baked 10 balls. The rest I left to freeze on the baking sheet, then packed them into ziplock bags once they were frozen. Here’s another secret, I would pop 1 or 2 out of the bag and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Who knew microwaves could cook cookies? Best thing I ever did! I had little peanut butter white chocolate treats when ever I wanted (I wanted them everyday, sometimes twice a day. Shhh!)

These white chocolate, peanut butter cookies are a must to try out! Let me know if you give it a go!


Salted Brown Sugar Buttercream Macarons and a Confession

Confession time:
Is there such a thing as a salted brown sugar macaron? Probably not. It was something I had to come up with because I made a big booboo. I was meant to make salted caramel buttercream to sandwich my macarons, but it all went horribly wrong when I decided to go with the flow off the caramel instead of following the recipe. My caramel turned rock hard! What a disaster. Here’s some advice, if you’re making caramel FOLLOW THE RECIPE! Having to think quickly, I decided that since the brown sugar was out (used it in the caramel) I may as well use it in the macarons. Brown sugar is sweet and moist and has a toffee like flavour. Closest substitute I was going to get for caramel at that moment. And to my surprise they turned out quite well.

This was a new macaron recipe that I tried. I must warn you: TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK.  This batch turned out well, but the 3 batches I tried after this flopped miserably. It was really disheartening for me, I haven’t flopped macarons since I started making them and I’ve made so many batches since then. I’ll admit my macarons are never 100% perfect, but I’ve never had them completely fail on me like those 3 batches did. Here you go, hope they work better for you, if you do try them, please let me know how they turn out. (EDIT: It wasn’t the recipe, it was my oven (they can be so temperamental), I’ve now learnt how to best use my oven for macarons, so please give this recipe a go) Or you could try my pistachio macarons.

makes 10-12 sandwiched macarons

35 g egg white (the whites from 1 large egg)

60 g icing sugar

35 almond meal

20 g sugar

Ideally you want to age your egg whites for a few days, but if you don’t have the time, try to use eggs that have been lying around for a while instead of fresh and make sure they are at room temperature. Measure out your almond meal and icing sugar, grind these to a fine powder and sift into a bowl. Measure out your sugar and keep aside. Weigh your egg white and whip with a stand or hand mixer. Once the egg white becomes frothy, begin to add your sugar in a slow stream until the egg whites turn stiff and glossy.

Gently fold 1/3 of your egg whipped egg whites into your almond meal and icing sugar mixture. Fold until nearly combined, fold in the rest of the egg whites until it’s just combined, once combined there’e no need to mix/fold any more, this can cause the batter to be over mixed and this may cause issues for the final product.

Fill mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto baking paper lined baking trays. You want the mixture to be piped into 2/2.5cm diameter rounds. Gently but firmly knock the tray against the table to remove any air bubbles. Leave the macarons for half an hour or more on the counter to form a skin.You know the skin is formed,  when you are able to touch the macaron without it sticking to your finger. Pre heat oven to 150C and bake for 15 mins.

Salted Brown Sugar Buttercream

1/4 cup salted butter

1 cup sifted icing sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp fine salt (be careful with the salt, taste as you go, you really don’t want to end up with an over salty macaron filling)

Cream butter, icing sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add salt and brown sugar and beat until combined. I didn’t over beat the mixture at this point as I liked the speckled brown sugar effect. But if you prefer you can continue to beat the mixture which will cause the brown sugar to dissolve into the buttercream.

Enjoy my brown sugar macarons, I guess good things can come out of kitchen disasters after all!

Red Velvet ‘no-mixer’ cupcakes

A few weeks ago I posted the recipe for my quick and easy no mixer cupcakes. I mentioned it works well with flavours, have a look at these mocha cupcakes, to make these I diluted 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of instant coffee into 1 tablespoon of boiling water and added it to the mixture. (excuse my iPhone photo)

I wanted to see how far I could take the recipe. There seems to be this craze at the moment for everything red velvet and I was wondering if I could transform my measly no mixer cupcake recipe into the fad that is red velvet. Before I start, let me be honest with you, I’m not really into red velvet. It does taste good, but I don’t get the craze, maybe that’s just me. I must admit though, this recipe is a winner, it’s had rave reviews from red velvet lovers as well as some who just like me don’t get it. I’ve been asked and even begged for the recipe (you know who you are). The recipe development process was fairly easy, I knew the added ingredients to red velvet’s are buttermilk, cocoa powder, red colouring, vinegar and bicarb. So I just fitted those things into my original recipe and there you go! A red velvet no mixer recipe! Who knew it could be so easy.

Red velvet no mixer cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes

125 g plain flour

125 g softened butter

125 g sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp baking powder

1 tblsp cocoa powder

1/4 tsp bicarb soda

1/2 tsp vinegar

1 tsp or more of liquid red food colouring (1/4 tsp of gel colouring) *(please see note at the end)

3 – 4 tblsp of buttermilk**

** here’s a tip, if you don’t have buttermilk lying around (I never do) mix equal parts of yoghurt and milk, for this recipe I mixed 2 tblsp yoghurt with 2 tblsp milk and used all of it.

Place all ingredients up until cocoa powder into a processor and blend well. Mix together vinegar and bicarb, and add to mixture. Mix buttermilk and colouring until you achieve a bright red colour, add into processor and mix by hand. Fill cupcake liners with 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean. Once cool, top with cream cheese glaze (recipe below), and decorate as you wish.

Cream cheese icing

125 g softened cream cheese

1 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 tblsp milk (may need more to achieve desired consistency)

Mix together cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence. Add milk until desired consistency is reached, the icing should have the consistency of pancake batter.

*Many people aren’t aware, but some red colouring is derived from beetles(cochineal, listed as 120/E120). It is therefore not considered vegetarian, nor is it halaal (insects are not halaal). This form of dye is banned in the USA, but not in Australia. The queen red colouring I use is safe, just in case anyone was wondering.

Quick and easy cupcakes

This is a super easy, no mixer required recipe! It is so quick and easy I’ve used it so many times I’ve lost count. It’s also a great base recipe for different flavours, in fact I think it works better with others flavours, especially chocolate and coffee. I found it online somewhere, I really can’t remember, but I know they’re a Nigella recipe. I used her exact recipe the first time, then I made a few adjustments. Here it is!

Super easy cupcake recipe

125g softener butter
125g sugar
125g plain flour
1 level tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tblsp milk

Pre heat oven to 180c and get your cupcake liners ready in a pan. Combine all ingredients (except milk) in a food processor and blits. Once combined, pull out the paddle/blade add your milk and give it a mix with a spoon. Fill the cupcake liners to 2/3. They do rise a lot. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

This recipe makes 12 full sized cupcakes or 30 minis. Top with some simple buttercream for an easy treat anyone would be happy with!

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