Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Winter warmer: Apple pie

Went to a BBQ last month and was in charge of bringing a dessert! It was in Autumn but you could DEFINITELY feel the winter cold in Melbourne!! I decided to bake an APPLE PIE! It's been a while since I made my last pie!! Here's what it looked like...
my first apple pie... awww.. haha
My presentation and pastry work wasn't too good bad then.... I hope I have improved ^^

Apple Pie
Recipe adapted from taste.com.au

1 3/4 cups (260g) plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
185g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tbs milk

4 large Granny Smith apples
Juice of 1 lemon
45g unsalted butter
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 180oC.Sift flours and pinch of salt into large mixing bowl. Add butter and rub into flour with fingertips till resembles fine breadcrumbs.
This takes a little bit of time but it's worth all the love and care :)
2. Add 1 of the eggs, lightly beaten, with 1 tbs chilled water and drizzle over flour mixture. Bring dough together by cutting liquid into dough with blunt knife and then using hands to make a smooth ball. (Add more water if needed). 
3. Divide dough into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other.Wrap in cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
4. For the filling, peel and core apples. Cut each into 8 pieces. Immediately toss with lemon juice.
5. Place butter and sugar in large frypan over medium-low heat. Add apples and cinnamon when butter has melted. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes or until apples have softened. Set aside to cool.
6. Roll pastry on a lightly floured work bench to a 30cm circle. Roll pastry around rolling pin, then unroll over pie dish. Gently press into dish allowing excess to overhang.
7. Place cooled filling in base. Roll small pastry out and cut into strips (~2cm width). Weave into pattern (over and under... over and under....). Cut excess pastry from edges and crimp edges with your fingers. Beat remaining egg with milk, brush over pastry. Refrigerate for 30 minutes - I'm pretty sure this is to prevent shrinkage of pastry.. I skipped this step and that's probably why mine shrunk a bit...>.<
8. Place pie dish on baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Best eaten warm with a scoop of vanilla icecream ;p..

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Work catering #23: Nutella + Cream Cheese = HEAVENLY NUTELLA CHEESECAKE!

Last week I was asked to cater for two sessions (yay! so happy they asked me ^_^) so did a lot of baking! One was for a morning tea so I made Orange and Poppy Seed cake and Blackforest cheesecake, both recipes that I have tried before.

Fanned out~~~

Close up of cake - u can see the poppy seed and orange rind
So now to the next exciting recipe!!! As promised, it is another Nutella recipe =D Remember last week how I made Apple crumble cheesecake and Nutella cookies? Well a colleague at work misheard and thought I made Nutella cheesecake! XD and I thought what a great idea~ so after some blog research I found this recipe for NUTELLA CHEESECAKE! It's super easy (as the original recipe title stated xP)
Nutella Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from ChocolateSuze
250g Nice biscuits
100g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 x 250g cream cheese
100g icing sugar
1/2 cup thickened cream
400g Nutella

1. Process/Crush biscuits until fine. Add melted butter and combine. Press into base of lined baking tray (20 x 30cm) and chill in fridge for ~ 30 minutes.
2. Beat cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence with electric mixer until smooth mixture formed. 
3. Beat in Nutella until smooth. Beat in cream until mixture looks shiny and mousse-like.
4. Dollop mixture onto biscuit base and smooth the surface. Place in fridge for a couple of hours or best overnight.
Bite size squares of Nutella Cheesecake
As there was no gelatin added I thought they might turn to mush but they actually held their shape after being in the fridge overnight. It was quite rich so you can't eat too much... but oh so good ;p....

Next up is something a little fun! Colour M&M cookies ^_^

M&M Cookies
Recipe adapted from Mad cooking fusions

2 cups plain flour
225g butter, softened at room temp
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
a pinch of salt
1 cup M&Ms

1. Preheat oven to 180oC and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Cream butter and sugars with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
3. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix with wooden spoon until combined. 
4. Roll teaspoons of cookie dough into small balls and place on lined baking tray. Gently press to flatten with the palm on your hand. Decorate with M&Ms and bake for approx. 15-20 minutes or until edges turn light brown.
so many COOKIES :D :D :D
Sometimes if it's too hot the M&M's will crack >.<"
These cookies are a lovely snack! and not just for kids =p Big kids too!!! ^______^

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Work catering #22: Crumble in my tummy

This week's catering has got to be one of my favourites!!! =D =D =D!!! I could just sit and scoff down the whole lot of the apple crumble cheesecake and a jarful nutella cookies, but of course I can't because then I wouldn't have anything to bring to work ><"

Anyways this cheesecake is a baked one, unlike my other no-bake cheesecakes and I'm really happy with how it turned out!

Apple Crumble Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from taste.com.au

250g Nice biscuits
125g butter, melted

500g cream cheese, chopped, softened at room temperature
2/3 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
400g canned apple slices, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
50g butter, chilled, chopped

1. Grease and line 20x30cm baking pan. Preheat oven to 160oC/140oC fan-forced. 
2. Process biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add melted butter and process until combined. Press mixture over base of baking pan. Refrigerate.
3. Make filling by beating cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until smooth. 
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold apple and cinnamon through mixture. Pour into prepared pan.
5. Make crumble topping by placing oats, flour and sugar in a bowl. Rub in butter until combined and sprinkle over filling.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until just set (will wobble slightly in centre). Turn off oven. Cool cheesecake in oven for 3 hours with door ajar. Refrigerate overnight.
Delicious crumble on top!
Ready to be served!
Nutella Cookies
Recipe adapted from taste.com.au

125g butter, softened at room temp
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup Nutella spread
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 180oC/160oC fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and Nutella and beat until just combined.
3. Sift flour and baking powder over butter mixture. Add chocolate chips and stir until combined. 
4. Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls. Place on prepared tray ~3cm apart to allow room for spreading. Flatten slightly with fork. 
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden in colour. Cool on trays before tranferring to wire rack to cool completely.
Trayful of cookies! yum yum!
Ready to be served!

Can't really go wrong with this recipe hey? I mean who doesn't love Nutella and cookies!? Stay tuned for another delicious recipe using NUTELLA! :D