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Food, general thoughts, food…


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Vanilla Slice

I am not a huge fan of Vanilla Slice from the bakery, not because it isn’t nice, indeed it is very nice. It is also difficult to eat, that is what makes me choose something else every time. I have never met a vanilla slice that is easy to eat, it always squishes its custard filling out all over the place making you look like you have been eating by yourself for about 9 minutes…unsuccessfully. This one is no exception, its saving grace was that I could eat it at home and not worry about the impression I was making on those around me. I was happy that it tasted as good as its bakery counterparts although I would use less icing in future, I will make it again as long as I can eat it quietly at home without others.

I let mine sit for a good 24 hours prior to consuming. I thought this might make the pastry a little easier to deal with but not really…

Enjoy!

Vanilla Slice

2 sheets puff pastry
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup custard powder
1½ cups cream
2-2½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Icing
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Hot water

Place puff pastry on lined oven tray. Prick with a fork and bake for 10-15 minutes at 220°C.
Put sugar, custard powder and cream into a saucepan and stir over a medium heat until it starts to thicken.
Add milk ½ a cup at a time and whisk continuously until the custard is thick.
Let everything cool slightly.
Place in a 22 cm square tin, pastry, custard, pastry then icing.
Icing: Place icing sugar, butter and vanilla in a bowl and add enough hot water to make
thin to medium textured icing.

Recipe notes
Best after 12-24 hours in the refrigerator but can be eaten in as little as 3 hours.

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Coffee & Date Slice

I enjoy nerdy jokes, science, philosophy, physics jokes (I don’t get maths ones, I am not geared right for those). Unfortunately I am the only one in my household that does. I also really enjoy absurdly silly kids jokes. Like my taste in music, my taste in jokes is very eclectic and, seemingly, a bit out of the ordinary. This both amuses and irritates the people around me as they are either peppered with utter nonsense or having jokes lengthily explained to them. As we all know, once you have to explain a joke it isn’t really that funny anymore but I am compelled to share my amusement even at the cost of said amusement.

Anyway, there you have it, a small snippet of my personality duly doled out and shared. Lucky you 🙂

The below recipe, by the way, really really really good! The coffee icing brings it to a whole new level.

Coffee & Date Slice
Makes 24 pieces

2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
175g melted butter
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped dates

Coffee Icing
2 cups icing sugar
2 Tbls hot coffee
1 Tbls softened butter

Preheat oven to 150C.
Grease and line a lamington pan.
Mix together all slice ingredients, stir until well combined.
Transfer to pan and bake for 35-40 mins.
Cool on wire rack, top with coffee icing when cool.

Mix all icing ingredients together. Top cooled slice. Cut slice when icing is set.


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Cupcakes or Muffins?

What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? Some muffins are obviously not cupcakes but some pretty much fall into the same category of sweet cakey things and make it hard to tell. I am guessing that cupcakes are usually a lighter mix, whereas, muffins can be quite dense.

In any case, however you call it these muffins are iced with butter icing and that makes them cupcakes as far as I am concerned.

My daughter made these today in her quest to keep me tubby and try every taste combination that pops into her mind. I have an inkling that marshmallows and peanut butter and chocolate may feature in the not so distant future. I look forward to it.

Enjoy!

 

Mint Iced Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mint icing
125g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar mixture
1 tablespoon milk
a few drops of peppermint essence
a few drops green food colouring (if desired)

Preheat the oven to 180C.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips and stir just until well blended.
Fill muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until domed and springy to the touch.
Set aside to cool.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a bowl until pale.
Gradually add icing sugar mixture and milk, beating constantly until combined.
Add desired amount of peppermint essence and green food colouring.
Pipe icing onto cool muffins.


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Honey Iced Coffee Cake

This is my favourite cake ever. This one was kindly made by my daughter while the whole of the rest of the household suffered from one malady or another. This was a very bright moment in an otherwise dull and miserable day.

This is one of those tried and true recipes that I have used for years. It’s easy and quick and probably the best tasting cake I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. I often decorate it with whole coffee beans, the crunch and bitterness of the beans is complimented by the sweet and creamy honey icing.

Honey Iced Coffee Cake

3 tsps dry instant coffee
1 Tbls hot water
125g butter
2 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup custard powder
1/3 cup milk

Honey Icing
30g butter
1 tsp instant dry coffee
1 Tbls hot water
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup icing sugar, approx

Grease a 20cm ring pan. Dissolve coffee in water, combine in a large bowl with butter, essence, sugar, eggs, flour, custard powder and milk.
Beat on low speed with electric mixer until combined and increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 mins, or until it is smooth and changes colour.
Spread mix into pan and bake in moderate oven for about 40mins.
Stand 5 for 5mins before turning on to a wire rack to cool.
Spread cold cake with icing.

Melt butter in a saucepan and remove from heat. Stir in combined coffee and water.
Add honey, essence and half the sifted icing sugar.
Gradually add more icing sugar to make a spreadable mix.