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28 Sep 2010

AWOL

Ola everyone!

Just a quick note to letcha all know that I'm off on my holidays as from tomorrow so please excuse my lack of blogging.  I promise I'll do a huge update upon my return.

Until then, Florida here I come!

Toodles!

26 Sep 2010

Peanut Butter & Bacon Cookies, yes bacon!

I don't think a week has gone by in the last few months where Kris hasn't begged me to bake something sweet containing bacon. It started off with maple and bacon muffins then it was chocolate chip bacon cookies, but he finally wore me down with these peanut butter and bacon cookies from Joy the Baker.

I have to admit, I wasn't struck on the idea of bacon in a sweet format.  Somewhere inside me, I knew it would work and work well, but I just couldn't bring myself to try it.


I'm so glad I gave this combo a try, they were so delicious that I ate three in one go! Next time I make these amazing cookies, and there will be a next time, I'll be adding some chocolate chips.  Chocolate chips would take these man cookies to the next level. For sure!

Oddly enough, this recipe doesn't actually contain any flour making it perfect for you coeliacs out there! Just don't offer them to any vegetarians ;)

Peanut Butter and Bacon Cookies
(Recipe from Joy the Baker)


1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
about 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced

First of all, whack your grill to high and pop some bacon right on in there.  Grill the bacon till cooked through then allow to cool.  Dice up and set aside.

Preheat oven to 175C, 160C fan and grease a baking sheet with butter and set aside. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes.  Fold in cooked bacon.   Roll into large walnut sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork. If you’d like, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before making the cris-cross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

20 Sep 2010

Baileys Cheesecake Brownies

I think Baileys is one of those drinks you either love or hate, much like Marmite spread (which I love love love).  I, for one, am in the hate party for Baileys.  I just can't get away with creamy drinks, white russians, pina coladas and slippery nipples are all dreaful in my eyes.  But, I am alone in my hatred of this drink, at least within my circle of friends, they could all drink the stuff from a shoe if it was offered to them.  So, it is with love and adoration of those friends that I decided to try out these delicious (or so I am told) brownies!


Just perfect for the Baileys drinker in your life, these brownies are so rich and delicious that they will pledge their heart to you forever!

Recipe taken from the lovely Jules of the late Domestic Goddess in Training.  Jules has since moved her blog over to Butcher, Baker which also includes some awesome posts from her husbands hands on approach to food gadgets.  If you ever thought of building your own tandoori oven in the back garden or pressing your own cheese in the shed this is the blog for you!

Baileys Cheesecake Brownies
Makes 16 small but undeniably rich brownies

Brownie mixture
110 g good quality dark chocolate
110 g butter
120 g golden caster sugar
60 g plain flour
2 free range eggs
glug of Baileys Irish Cream

Cheesecake mixture
225 g cream cheese (Philadelphia is best)
40 g caster sugar
1 egg
another generous glug of Baileys

1) Preheat the oven to 150oc then Line a 23 cm/8 inch square cake tin with baking parchment. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bain marie. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and stir then leave to cool slightly.

2) Beat the eggs one at a time into the brownie mixture, beating until it is glossy. Stir in the Baileys until well combined then gradually fold in the flour then pour into the cake tin .

3) For the cheesecake mixture beat the cream cheese and sugar together. Add the egg and mix then stir in the Baileys until all is well combined. Top the levelled brownie mixture with the cheesecake mixture and using a knife, gently swirl it into the chocolate mixture.

4) Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Leave to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

19 Sep 2010

National Cupcake Week: Big Ass Cupcake!

I did it!  I made it to the end without forgetting to post once! That is a major achievement for me, I'm verrry forgetful!

Now, for our final cupcake for the week.  This is my giant, megacake!  Giant cupcakes are such a show stopper and there's hardly a week goes by when we don't receive at least one order for these bad boys!  The bowed variety is our most requested, and its hard to be surprised when you see how bonny they are.  If I do say so myself ;)


I hope you've enjoyed your seven days of cupcakes and have been inspired to whip some up yourself.   Now, I'm off to brave the Great North Run traffic in order to score myself some delicious Pearl Lowe dresses.  Caio!

18 Sep 2010

National Cupcake Week: Strawberry Cupcakes

Cupcake week is drawing to a close and today is my penultimate cupcake post.... for now anyway ;)

Today I'm bringing the sunshine back with these delicious Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes!  Another Pet Lamb best seller these cupcakes have a strawberry studded sponge with a filling of finest quality strawberry jam!  They really are the bees knees for strawberry lovers!  Top with a ripe and juicy strawberry and lashings of edible glitter for a jaw dropping effect!


No recipe today as I'm at work (booo) but this recipe, and tonnes more, is from the Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery book.  My personal favorite :)

17 Sep 2010

National Cupcake Week: White Russian Cupcakes

It's day five of National Cupcake Week and Katie is in the kitchen making cupcakes.....still ;) 

I think my friends and family are getting a wee bit sick of cupcakes, I think now is the time to start palming them off on neighbors, co-workers and general passers by.  Or maybe throwing them at people I don't like!

Today marks the final day of alcohol laced cupcakes.  Back to good old wholesome, family friendly cakes as of tomorrow. My final cocktail cupcake is a cocktail I am not very fond of but is a firm favorite amongst my friends, the white russian.  Made with milk, vodka and kaluah it was just begging to be transformed into a delicious cupcake!



White Russian Cupcakes

110g butter
125g plain flour
150g self raising flour
225g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
50ml milk

30ml vodka
30ml kaluah 
2 free range eggs

Frosting:
110g butter
350g icing sugar

1tsb milk 
2tsp kaluah
 


First preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan assisted and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Cream together the sugar and butter till light and creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Sift together the two flours into a bowl and add the vanilla extract to the milk.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter alternating with the milk mixture then the vodka and kaluah, beginning and ending with the flour.  Fill each case 3/4 full of the batter and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Once cool make the frosting by combining the butter with the icing sugar.  Add the milk and kaluah, spoon by spoon until you achieve the correct piping consistency.

Pipe your cakes into a pretty swirl before decorating with grated chocolate.


16 Sep 2010

National Cupcake Week: Amaretto Cupcakes

Morning world! It's Thursday and time for the fourth installment of my week of cupcakes!  Four down three to go :D

Todays cupcake is one of my very favorites, amaretto!  Isn't amaretto delicious? I just love ordering a saucy amaretto and coke in a fancy pub and delicately sipping upon the wee straw.  So, when I saw these cupcakes in the Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery book I just had to make them!


As it is a little bit dangerous for me to have a bottle of amaretto lying around the house I subbed the sweet liqueur for a tsp of almond extract and a squirt of amaretto syrup.  I also topped the unfrosted cakes with syrup as a little treat, lord I'm such a lush!

Amaretto Cupcakes:
(Recipe adapted from Primrose Cupcakes)

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g caster sugar
2 large eggs, free-range or organic
125g self-raising flour, sifted
120g plain flour, sifted
125ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1 tsp amaretto liqueur or almond extract
1 good handful toasted slivered almonds or other decorations or flowers, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan) / 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and 180g sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.

Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Put the milk in a jug and add ½ tsp amaretto or almond extract. Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and the milk have been added. 

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of the one of the cakes - it should come out clean.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining caster sugar, 125ml water and the remaining amaretto liqueur or almond extract in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until the sugar melts completely (about 1 ½ minutes); stir to combine. Alternatively heat over a low heat in a saucepan.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave in their tins for about 10 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack. While they are still warm, dip the tops of the cupcakes into the syrup for a couple of seconds. Return to the wire rack to cool completely.

15 Sep 2010

National Cupcake Week: Pina Colada Cupcakes

Day three of national cupcake week and I'm still here, still baking and still doing the bloody washing up ;)  I decided on these pina colada cupcakes as tonight is Pet Lambs first outing at Dixies Dollhouse Burlesque Night, and as a fun theme we chose to have a cocktail cupcake bar.  Neat idea huh?  Everything on offer tonight is going to be laced with booze and sugar, the perfect combination.  Tune in for the rest of the week to see what other cocktail concoctions I came up with ;)




Pina Colada Cupcakes

110g butter
125g plain flour
150g self raising flour
225g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
120ml coconut milk 

Small tin of pineapple chunks, chopped finely
2 free range eggs

Frosting:
110g butter
350g icing sugar
2/3 tsp coconut milk
 


First preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan assisted and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Cream together the sugar and butter till light and creamy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Sift together the two flours into a bowl and add the vanilla extract to the coconut milk.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter alternating with 1/2 of the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  Fill each case 3/4 full of the batter and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Once cool make the frosting by combining the butter with the icing sugar.  Add the milk, spoon by spoon until you achieve the correct piping consistency.

Pipe your cakes into a pretty swirl before decorating with weeny straws and cocktail umbrellas.



14 Sep 2010

National Cupcake Week: Elvis Cupcakes

Here we are again, day two of National Cupcake Week.  Today I'll be introducing you to Pet Lambs best seller and most requested cupcake, The Elvis!  The Elvis is a delicious combination of a chocolate chip & banana sponge topped off with a creamy peanut butter butter cream.  I mean, who could possibly resist!


I based this recipe on the banana and chocolate cupcake from The Primrose Bakery Cupcake Book.

Original Recipe:


125g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
2 large eggs (free range)
1tsp vanilla
250g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
4 over ripe bananas mashed with a fork
175g plain chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 160C (fan) and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.


In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract and briefly beat again.  Add the flour and baking powder and beat until well combined.  Stir in the mashed banana and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon..


Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes.


Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.  Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

13 Sep 2010

National Cupcake Week: Cookies & Cream

Hi there cupcake fans!  Seeing as it's National Cupcake Week I thought how better to celebrate than to treat you all to a whole week of cupcake related posts.  Seems I'm not the only Northerner to have this idea, two of my favourite Newcastle bloggers and some of the sweetest girls I've ever met have also decided to spend the week chained to the stove!  Check out Messy Carla and Little Miss Delicious for more delicious cupcakey treats!

So, what treasure does Monday bring? Why, cookies and cream my dear readers, cookies and cream transformed into a darling little cupcake!  Fans of Pet Lamb will recognise these bad boys, they're are frequent stars of our show and always brings smiles to the faces of passers by.


Now, I'm off to the kitchen to whip up some extra special cakes, check back tomorrow to find out what I've been up to :)

Recipe adapted from The Good Mood Food Blog.

9 Sep 2010

Stop, it's Choi Time!

My oh my, odd weather we're having up north, isn't it?  One day I find myself stood at my bedroom window frowning angrily at the sun belting into my house (I'm not a summery person you see), the next I'm pulling out my winter coat and 120 denier tights in a gleeful panic while watching the trees sway madly in the wind.  Much to my disappointment, Today is the former of the two.  This morning my other half left me to embark on a journey to Aberdeen to collect our new car (hurrah!).  Motivated by the recent downpours and gale force winds, I was looking forward to a day of baking from my new Nigella Kitchen book and drinking some delicious Choi Time tea while listening to the comforting sound of rain hitting my window.  Well, I might not have the weather I've wished for but I can damn well sit here with a cup of tea, close my eyes and wish for rain.


I'm in love with this tea, it's like drinking a little pot of magic.  The flower slowly unfurls from the bud as you pour hot water into your cup resulting in a delicious and beneficial cup of tea.  This particular brew is Thousand Year Red which is known to aid digestion, strengthens the immune system, helps lower cholesterol and gives your skin a healthy glow.



I'm itching to try out the Rose, Chrysanthemum and Jasmine Pearl teas I was sent.  Now, I'm off for a cup of tea and a scary book.  Chin chin.

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