Earl Grey Sandwich Cookies with Apricot Frosting

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I do love a sandwich cookie πŸ™‚ It’s twice the cookie goodness plus a delicious filling. And all the more flavour possibilities!

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The Earl Grey is quite subtle but compliments the apricot really well. You can always leave it out, or try vanilla seeds instead. These were gifts, packaged in cellophane πŸ˜€

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More recipes to come, so please enjoy.

Earl Grey Sandwich Cookies with Apricot Frosting
Ingredients:
Cookies:
175g butter
125g sugar
1 egg
Zest of one lemon
350g flour
Β½ tsp baking powder
3 Earl Grey teabags
To fill:
75g butter
175g icing sugar
2 Tbsp apricot conserve/jam
Extra jam to fill

Instructions:
Soften the butter and beat with the sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in gently the egg and lemon zest. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and contents of the teabags. Now mix into the butter mixture bit by bit until all combined. If you are using an electric mixer, then you may have to finish it off by hand. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Chill from an hour to a few days.
When ready to bake, turn the oven on to preheat to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays (if you have more than two, go ahead and use them! I had to do two batches of two trays). On a floured surface, roll out the dough (if it’s too hard, pop in into the microwave for a bit, but don’t overdo it!) to about 3-4mm thick. Cut out with your desired cutter and transfer, well-spaced, onto the trays. Bake about 15 minutes until slightly golden on top and the cookies move when lightly nudged. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To fill, make the frosting. Soften the butter and beat with the icing sugar and conserve until light and fluffy. It should also be thick enough to be piped, but not so thick that it won’t come out of a small tip. Pair up the cookies and pipe a ring of about 6 dots on the underside of one of each pair. Go with a little less icing so that if you have too much, you can just go over some of the dots with more later. Otherwise you risk running out! Spoon a wee dot of conserve into the hole made by the dots and sandwich the other cookie in the pair on top. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 30 cookie sandwiches.

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Brown Sugar and Passion Fruit Cheesecakes

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Easter calls for brunch πŸ™‚ Which includes whipped cream to have on your hot cross buns…..

 

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This is an adaptation of a cheesecake from the Le Cordon Bleu course my friends are taking. Originally it is more indulgent, with a chocolate layer and a biscuit crumb base.Β 

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We decided to make it more sunny-morning appropriate, although dessert for breakfast should be an anytime thing πŸ™‚

 

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Enjoy this goodness!

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Brown Sugar and Passion Fruit Cheesecakes
Ingredients:
Base:
1.5 cups corn flakes
2 Tbsp brown sugar
35g butter, melted
Filling:
190g cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
100mls cream
Β½ tsp vanilla essence
To top:
Β½ cup passionfruit pulp

Instructions:
Crush the cornflakes well and mix in the sugar and melted butter. Divide between 4x10cm cake rings and press down. Chill while you make the filling.

Beat together the cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth and slightly fluffy. In another bowl, beat the cream and vanilla essence until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream into the cream cheese until combined and spoon into the cake rings. Chill for a few hours or overnight.

To make the topping, microwave the passionfruit pulp in 20 second bursts, mixing in between bursts, until thickened. Cool.

To serve, gently push the cheesecakes out of the molds (can use a heated cloth to loosen the edges) and spoon some of the delicious passionfruit goodness on top of the cheesecakes.

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Banana-Blueberry Cakes with Avocado Frosting

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Avocado is a superfood. Blueberries are a superfood. Banana and apple have always been drilled into us as part of a healthy diet. The result? Not so guilty pleasure! And it looks pretty too πŸ™‚

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If you haven’t made many mini cakes, I would recommend you try it! It’s quite easy to get hooked, I already made some carrot and boysenberry ones previously. All you need to so is bake one sheet cake and cut afterwards. You end up with some off cuts but they never seem to go to waste πŸ˜‰

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For once I went to town on the picture-taking. I hope they give a good idea of how I piped the frosting etc.

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Some of you may have worked with stevia before and be quite familiar with it. If you haven’t, and don’t have any in your wonderful kitchen haven, then you can use some honey and/or icing sugar to sweeten the avocado frosting.

 

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Aren’t edible flowers amazing, may I add……? Thumbs up nature. I also made some smaller ones without the flowers:

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They were just as delicious but they just have another look.

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Now that I have spammed you, I shall get onto the recipe!

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Blueberry-Banana Mini Cakes with Avocado Frosting
Ingredients:
Banana-Apple Cake:
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 small banana, mashed
1 apple, grated finely
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
Avocado frosting:
1 avocado
Dash lemon juice
1 tsp stevia (ground leaf), or to taste
To decorate:
1 small punnet blueberries (only a handful really)
Edible flowers
Desiccated coconut

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20cm square cake tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, mix the egg, banana, apple and vegetable oil. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and add the water a bit at a time until you have a thick but pourable batter. Pour into the tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out pretty much clean when inserted into the middle. Leave the cake to cool.

Take out of the tin and cut into the desired shapes you have in mind. As you can see, I make three larger cakes (about 10cm diameter and four little ones (about 4cm diameter).

Make the frosting; either use a little blender to blend the avocado, lemon juice and stevia or pass the avocado through a sieve until there are no lumps, and then add the lemon juice and stevia. Mix until combined. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag or plastic bag and snip the corner (Note: I found it best to have all the pieces of cake arranged on a tray and to ice each one, then decorate and decide which to put as the top/bottom after).

Now arrange the blueberries as the filling (on the larger cakes) and on top, followed by the edible flowers and sprinkle with the coconut. Place the top layers on the bottom layers and plate up if you are serving to a group. Or maybe you just want to impress yourself, go ahead!

Enjoy. Please. The frosting isn’t as good the next day, but the cake lasts amazingly, it’s just as good on the 3rd day as the 1st. I blame the fruity goodness.


H
ave a good week everyone πŸ™‚

 

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Nana’s Ginger Shortbreads

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A quick recipe courtesy of my wonderful grandmother, who would never want the biscuit tins to run dry.

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Have a good week everyone, I’ll be sure to post some more recipes soon!

Ginger Shortbreads
Ingredients:
300g flour
50g cornflour
250g butter
125g caster sugar
100g crystallized ginger (or dried apricots), chopped well
Zest of an orange and a lemon
Extra castor sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays.
Mix together the flour and cornflour. Soften the butter and rub into the flour mixture. Add the sugar, ginger and zests then mix well. Bring together into a dough.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 7mm to 10mm thick. Cut into rounds using any cutter you like.
Transfer onto a tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden and the cookies move when lightly touched. Put onto wire racks to cool and sprinkle with sugar (if using) when warm. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 30

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Mmmmm shortbread πŸ™‚

Fresh Strawberry Loaf

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If only strawberries were in season all year….

Thankfully there is room and time for cake no matter what time of the year it is.

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This is the final result of a punnet of almost-mushy strawberries. Enjoyed with Greek yogurt and peach compote!
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Plus this was all done in a mini-blender. Only measuring involved, no manual mixing!


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Enjoy everyone πŸ™‚

Strawberry Loaf Cake
Ingredients:
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
2 eggs
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour

Instructions:
Grease a 10x20cm loaf tin. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

In a mini blender, whizz up the strawberries to a pulp. Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until JUST combined. Pour into the tin and bake for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool for about 10 minutes then take out of the tin and enjoy warm or cold. Or even toasted!

Lemon Zucchini Bread

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This delicious and quick snack bread is sweetened with powdered stevia, and will 100% satisfy your afternoon tea cravings πŸ™‚

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If you don’t have any powdered stevia, you could add more sugar and sweeten to taste. I can’t tell you if it’s as good toasted the next day because it didn’t last more than 24 hours before being eaten… one of those recipes πŸ˜€

You could omit the glaze and serve with sweetened yogurt or cream.

Lemon Zucchini BreadΒ 
Ingredients:
Bread:
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp powdered stevia leaf
3/4 cup grated zucchini
Maybe a dash of water
Glaze:
3 Tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp butter, melted
Lemon juice
To decorate:
Lemon zest

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 10cm by 20cm loaf tin (this is quite a weeny loaf πŸ™‚ ).

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil and lemon juice and zest until combined. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and stevia. Gently fold half of the dry ingredients and half of the zucchini into the wet ingredients, followed by the rest of the dry ingredients and the rest of the zucchini. The aim is not to over mix; the batter will be quite thick, but add a dash of water if you think the dry ingredients aren’t mixing in well enough.

Pour into the tin and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then un-mold and leave to cool slightly.

When the cake is cooled, mix together the glaze ingredients and pour over the top of the cake. Top with some lemon zest if desired. Enjoy while it’s still warm and the glaze is runny or when cooled completely. Lasts well, and is just as delicious the next day if kept in an airtight container.

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Orange-Kumara Mini-Cakes

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Let me introduce you to kumara, the Maori sweet potato. Aka divine, as fries, in cakes, roasted….

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And it makes the most gloriously orange cake batter!

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I was inspired by these beautiful edible flowers πŸ™‚ The cakes are simply muffins that I turned upside down….!

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Orange-Kumara Mini-Cakes
Ingredients:
Cakes:
1+1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
4 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup mashed kumara
Zest of an orange
Juice of 3 oranges
Icing:
25g butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
Juice of an orange
Orange zest
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
Orange food colouring if you feel the need

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a 12-hole cupcake/muffin tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, mix together the egg, butter, kumara, zest and orange juice. Tip the wet ingredients into the dry and fold very gently until JUST combined. You can add a little dash of milk or water if you feel it’s too dry. Spoon into about 10 of the cupcake/muffin holes. Bake for 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Leave for a few minutes and then unmold and cool on a wire rack.

When cool, make the frosting by softening the butter and mixing in the rest of the frosting ingredients until smooth and lightened slightly. It should be a pipe-able buttercream-y frosting so add some more icing sugar or orange juice if necessary. Spread a little bit of frosting onto the bottoms of the kumara cakes then pipe the rest of the frosting on top as a wee halo (you could get creative here if you like). Annnnd done! They last very well for two days, as they are moist cake.

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Vegan Chocolate Orange Donuts

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Is it just me or are donuts becoming ever more accessible in the kitchen these days? I admit, these were made with a kitchen top donut-maker but even baked donuts are everywhere. Are they the latest cupcake….? Maybe!

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Either way, they are delicious, deep-fried or not. With butter and eggs or without!

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If any of you reading this are following me, I apologise for the lack of posts recently πŸ™‚ I’ll be more onto it when uni starts again!

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Vegan Orange and Chocolate Donuts
Ingredients:
Donuts:
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp plain oil
3 tsp vinegar
Juice of one orange
Roughly 120mls water
Icing:
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tsp margerine
Juice of half an orange
Orange zest
Maybe a little extra water
Orange food colouring (optional)
To decorate: Chocolate sprinkles
Instructions: If you are using the oven to bake these babies, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease your donut tin.

Mix together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, vinegar and orange juice. Pour in most of the water and mix well. If the mixture is still too thick to pour, add a little more water and mix again. Preheat your donut maker and pour the batter in, filling to the top. Alternately, fill up your donut tin holes and cook for about 10 minutes, until they spring back when touched lightly. Cool on a rack and make the icing: Chuck all the icing ingredients in a bowl except the food colouring and heat in the microwave for ten seconds. Mix, and if the butter isn’t melted, repeat. When smooth and spreadable, ice the top of the donuts and sprinkle with the chocolate hail/jimmies/sprinkles. Devour!

Makes about 12x5cm diameter donuts

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All the drips and drops of orange icing and sprinkles that managed to miss the donuts themselves…..!

5 Ingredient Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Cardamom Fudge (Two Ways)

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Just a quick and easy recipe for the end of a crazy week and the start of another! The few ingredients in this make the end result that much more satisfactory, we all have those recipes in our repertoire πŸ™‚

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You can make these into truffle-sized fudge bites and top them with an almond, or you can simply skip all the dilly-dallying and make straight fudge. Both are delicious.

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Recipe follows!

5 Ingredient Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Cardamom Fudge
Ingredients:
400g (1 tin-ish) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups roughly of brown sugar
50-ish grams butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
Also:
Few almonds (if you choose)

Instructions:
Line a 20 by 15cm baking tin with baking paper.

Heat together the condensed milk, sugar and butter until dissolved. Turn up the heat slightly and while stirring, cook for 20 minutes, until the colour has darkened.

Take off the heat, cool a few minutes and pour into a bowl. Cool for 5 more minutes then beat either by hand or with a mixer until the fudge is thick. Not too thick to spread though, you should still be able to pour it!

At this stage, if you want to marble the fudge, tip half into the pan and add the spices to the rest, mixing until just combined, then pouring on top and swirling a bit. If not, just mix in the spices to the whole thing!

Chill for 30 mins at least, and devour. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge!

If you want to make truffles, keep the fudge out of the fridge and cool until cold enough to handle. Then roll scoops of it into balls and top with an almond.

Heaven!

Mini Carrot Cakes with Quark Frosting

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Hello and welcome to what is yet another post about mini layer cakes (more to come) featuring poor quality photos that don’t seem to want to enlarge very well 😦

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But at least there is cake. Or mini cakes at that πŸ™‚
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I’ve been meaning to try a frosting using quark (strained yogurt) for a while now, as to avoid the delicious but typical butter and icing sugar affair. Don’t get me wrong though, buttercream is one of the most heavenly creations on this planet!
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You could easily use a raspberry jam, or even apricot would go well, just as long as you strain it for the frosting part. These cakes are quite petite, so they make a good afternoon tea treats πŸ˜€

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Mini Carrot Cakes
Cake:
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp ground stevia leaf
7 Tbsp oil
Zest and juice of one lemon
Dash of vanilla
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1&1/2 cups plain flour
4-5 carrots, finely grated
About 1/2 cup water
Boysenberry Quark Frosting:
2/3 cup quark (you can strain about 1 cup plain yogurt overnight)
2 tsp seedless boysenberry jam
1 tsp honey
To fill and decorate:
Boysenberry jam
Crystallised flower petals
Small patio roses
Extra jam

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two 20x20cm cake tins with baking paper.

Beat the eggs and sugar until light, pale and fluffy. Gently mix in the stevia, oil, lemon zest and juice and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the ground almonds, baking powder and flour. Fold into the wet mixture alternatively with the carrot and water. When JUST combined, pour the golden, delicious batter into the cake tins and bake for 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tins.

Now, to assemble. Using a 4cm diameter cutter (I used a cup actually!), cut out lots of little rounds. Make the frosting by mixing the quark, jam and honey together.

Spread some frosting onto the top of each round, and onΒ halfΒ of them, spoon a wee bit of jam. Place another layer on top and decorate with the flowers or swirled jam.

The frosting tastes best on the day it’s made, so you could bake the cakes the day before and assemble on the day. Makes 9 πŸ™‚

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