Category Archives: Cakes

Malted Chocolate Muffins

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I think the last time I ate Maltezers I was probably 12 years old out at the movies with a bunch of friends.  We thought it was hilarious tossing them down the old wooden steps, much to the irritation of all the adults in the theatre.  So with such silly memories awakened when I came upon this recipe I just had to give it a go.

These muffins are rich in flavour and moist and light in texture. Very more-ish!

  • 150g malted chocolate balls (such as Maltesers)
  • 225g plain flour
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 1 T baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 120g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 90g melted butter, cooled

Preheat oven to 200c.  Grease or line a 12 hole muffin tin.

Roughly crush chocolate balls, reserving 12 whole ones for decoration.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Mix in sugar and crushed chocolate balls.

I a smaller bowl, lightly beat eggs, add buttermilk and butter. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Stir with a metal spoon until just combined.  Do not overmix.

Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch.

Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once fully cooled, spread with icing and top each muffin with a reserved chocolate ball.

Icing

  • 60g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 110g softened butter

220g icing sugar

To make icing, melt chocolate.  Add butter and icing sugar and beat well until smooth, light and creamy.

Adapted from Muffins: Simple and Delicious.  Paragon Books, c2010, p56.

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Cashew Honey Squares

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Cashew Honey Squares Today’s recipe is adapted from one in one of my newer cookbooks: The Baking Collection from The Australian Women’s Weekly.  Like so many Women’s Weekly cookbooks this one is a winner – sweet treats of every description from simple cakes and cookies to decadent pastries and fancy holiday delights.  An excellent collection of old fashioned Aussie favourites with some modern interpretations. These squares are soft and moist – more like mini cakes than a slice.  The honey works so beautifully with the cashews.  To top it all off they are SO easy.

Recipe

  • 1 c (150g) SR wholemeal flour
  • 1 c (220g) caster sugar
  • 1 c (90g) rolled oats
  • 1 c (80g) desiccated coconut
  • 2/3 c (70g) cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 g butter melted, cooled slightly
  • 1 T honey
  • ½ c chopped cashews, extra

Honey Icing

  • 1 ½   c (160g) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 60 g butter, melted
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T hot water, approximately

Preheat oven to 160C. Line 23cm x 32cm (9” x 13”) swiss roll pan with baking paper. Combine dry ingredients and mix. Add eggs, butter and honey and mix well. Press firmly into pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool slice in pan. Meanwhile, make honey icing. Mix sugar, butter and honey well. Add enough water to make runny enough to pour. Spread over the slice, and top with remaining cashews. Adapted from Honey Walnut and Oat Squares, in The Baking Collection / The Australian Womens’ Weekly, 2013.

Book - TheBakingCollection

A holiday followed by an Apricot Cranberry Slice

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I’m back after another long absence from my blog. My time away has been a mixture of tedium – taxes, taxes and more taxes – and fun – a fabulous holiday to New Zealand’s South Island.

People rave about New Zealand’s beauty.  It has a reputation I thought might be hard to live up to. But New Zealand actually is as stunningly beautiful as people say it is.  The land is raw and untamed and magnificent.

 Queenstown

And it was the whole place.  Everywhere we traveled (and we covered a good deal of the island) was just lovely.

 Milford Sound

After Australia’s hot dry flat landscape, those steep snow capped hills are wondrous.

 Wanaka

And all those lakes, rivers, streams and waterfalls are glorious!

 sheep

And – it’s true – there really are sheep EVERYWHERE!

It was hard work coming home and getting back into routine. But it was nice to get back into my own kitchen, after a few weeks of cooking in a motor home!

After weeks without homemade sweet treats, the kids were keen for me to get straight back into baking.  This slice has a wonderfully soft moist cake-like texture and a lovely fruity flavour.

Apricot Cranberry Slice

  • ½ c chopped dried apricots
  • ½ c chopped dried cranberries
  • ½ c hot black tea
  • 125 g butter, softened
  • ½ c raw caster sugar
  • 1 lg egg
  • 110 g flour
  • 1 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C. Line loaf pan with baking paper.

Soak apricots and cranberries in hot tea until fruit softens and absorbs tea.

In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add egg and beat in well. Add flour and beat in again.

Stir in fruit mixture and mix until well combined. Pour into pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan before gently removing.

 Apricot Cranberry Slice

Easy Mixed Berry Muffins

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After some time offline, I am back with news of my new website, and a new muffin recipe.

I am finally taking the plunge to my own domain, now live on www.bakingbohemian.com.  I’ll be discontinuing this wordpress site in the next couple of weeks and  I look forward to seeing you at my new place!

This muffin recipe is fantastic for those times you have to come up with something but you don’t have the time or the energy to fuss.

Mixed Berry Muffins

Recipe

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T dried corn powder or custard powder
  • 1 c raw caster sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 c frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 3/4 c light olive oil
  • 3/4 c milk

Preheat oven to 185C.  Line a standard 1/3 c muffin tin with muffin cases.

In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients well. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, vanilla, oil and milk until well blended.

Add berries to flour mixture and mix gently to cover well with flour.  Pour in egg mixture and stir gently with a metal spoon until just combined.

Distribute evenly into the muffin cases.  Bake for 22-25 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre of one of the centre muffins comes out clean.

Banana Pecan Slice

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Banana Pecan Slice

We eat a lot of bananas in our house. They are a shopping basket staple, but no matter how many are chomped up in smoothies, lunches and pre-sport snacks, inevitably we end up with a few sad and soggy bananas going brown on the bottom of the fruit bowl.

Thankfully that is just the way they need to be for cooking a whole host of banana-based sweets.

This slice is moist while the topping is wonderfully crunchy and buttery.

Recipe

• 1 c self raising flour
• ½ t ground cinnamon
• ½ t ground nutmeg or cloves
• 60 g butter, softened
• ½ c sugar
• 1 banana, mashed
• 1 large egg
• ¼ c milk
• ¼ c pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 15 x 25 cm slice pan.
Beat butter and sugar until pale and cream. Add mashed banana and beat well. Add the egg and beat for 2 minutes. Add milk and flour alternately. Stir pecans in and pour into prepared tin.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until spongy to the touch.

 Topping

• ¾ c butter, very soft
• ¾ c brown sugar
• ¾ c desiccated coconut

Mix all ingredients together until well combined. While slice is still warm, gently spread the topping evenly over the top. Place the slice under a hot griller until it has melted and started sizzling. Remove from heat and leave to cool completely before cutting.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

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  • Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

As we all know, blueberries are a super food.  I take this to mean that this is a health food cake!

• 1/3 c brown sugar
• 300 g blueberries, plus extra to serve
• 1 ¾ c plain flour
• 1 c caster sugar
• 2 ½ t baking powder
• ½ t cinnamon
• 1 egg
• ¾ c milk
• 1/3 c vegetable oil
• Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 20cm round cake pan with baking paper. Sprinkle base of cake pan with brown sugar and then spread 150 g of blueberries evenly over the sugar.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Add remaining blueberries and mix to coat.

Whisk together egg, milk, oil and lemon rind. Add to dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Stand for 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with extra blueberries and thickened cream.

Brown Sugar Pecan Muffins

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Brown Sugar Pecan Muffins

My grandparents lived for a time in San Antonio, Texas.  It was a place that they loved, and the friendships they made lasted forever. For many years, until my Grandfather’s passing, they made an annual trip back to visit their friends and to play golf.

My Grandmother would always bring back 2 or 3 enormous jars (they were SO big I’ve always wondered where she got them) of freshly picked pecans.  They were her favourite nut to bake with and she had a stack of recipes for them.

Her muffin recipe here dates back to the 1960s.

Usually I believe that muffins are best fresh out of the oven, but I think these muffins are best the next day.  They are moist and chewy, and the nutty flavours enhance once cooled.

Recipe

  • 1 c pecans
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • ½ c macadamia or canola oil
  • 1 lg egg
  • 1 T maple syrup

Topping

  • ¾ c dark brown sugar, packed
  • 4 ½ T butter, melted
  • ½ c crushed pecans

Grind pecans into fine crumbs (my Grandmother had the coolest hand-grinder that screwed onto a jar – I wish I could buy one) and set aside. You need to grind enough for the muffin batter and the topping.

Make the topping by mixing all ingredients together and set aside until needed.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 1 hold muffin pan with paper baking cups.

Sift dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, oil, egg and syrup in a small bowl. Add egg mixture to dry indgredients and mix until just combined.

Divide batter evenly into the prepared cups.  Sprinkle topping over the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into a muffin comes out clean.