Who doesn’t love a scone?

We had a catch up today with our Mother’s Group, we have been meeting for nearly 5 years and are still going strong. A very dear friend & colleague gave me her scone recipe (The English Scone) it is without question the easiest and least time consuming recipe ever!

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I am sure my darling Jeanma (Dad’s Mum) would be none to impressed that there is no butter in this recipe, but I tell you even the purists would go for these. So thanks Paulina, You ROCK!

You will need

3 cups of self raising flour

3 tsp sugar

a pinch of salt

1/2 cup cream

1.5 cups milk.

METHOD:

PREHEAT oven to 220 degrees. Put all dry ingredients into bowl, whisk for a few seconds using a hand whisk. Add cream and milk, stir LIGHTLY using a thin spatula or knife ( the less you mix, the lighter and fluffier the scone) Pour sticky dough onto a floured board. Sprinkle some flour on top to prevent your hands sticking. Pat dough lightly to even it out. Dip your scone cutter into flour and cut out scones. Repeat to prevent dough sticking to cutter.

Put them together on a baking sheet if you want ‘pullaparts’ or place them separately if you want individual, crusty topped scones.

Cook for about 11 mins until hollow sounding when tapped. Take out of oven, cover with a clean tea towel until ready to serve with whipped cream and good quality jam.

Note: This mix is really really sticky, have faith it does work, I have played around with it just a little and because it’s so wet I get two dessert or soup spoons and make rough quenelles and spoon the mix onto a lined tray and end up with pull a parts.

Sensational is an understatement!

A Christmas Spin on the Chelsea Bun

Yellow Cherry & Sultana ScrollsMerry Christmas and a VERY Happy new year to you all. I have to apologise again for my lack of posting – I have struggled to find time to write with working etc I must say I have missed it and I am looking forward to more regular postings. That said Christmas is always my chance to get creative in the kitchen. We don’t do traditional in our house and we haven’t for a long time, but now we don’t as we’re a pork free house so no Ham’s etc and Turkey is well and truly overrated in my opinion.

So this year we went with Steak – Angus Scotch Fillet – Jamie Oliver’s Lamb Lollipops which are just gorgeous, this year we didn’t make all the trimmings, but had salads etc on the side. Prawns of course, paprika potatoes & delicious desserts which I will share in another post.

The above scrolls were made for our Mother’s Group Christmas party which ended up being a breakfast as all the kids are early risers and it just made sense. So I brought a fruit salad dressed up Christmas style and these scrolls.

Christmas Fruit Salad

We have had copious amounts of Yellow Cherries and I have made jam and stewed the remaining which I used to make these scrolls.

You will need:

2 tsp dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

2 ½ cups plain flour, sifted

½ cup warm milk

185g softened butter

1 Tbsp sugar, extra

1 tsp mixed spice

1 egg

¼ cup soft brown sugar

good handful of sultanas

about 1 cup of stewed fruit – I used Yellow Cherries.

1 Tbsp milk, extra for glazing

2 Tbsp Sugar, extra for glazing

Glace icing

½ cup icing sugar

1-2 Tbsp milk

What to do:

Combine the yeast, sugar & a couple of tablespoons of the flour in a large bowl, add the milk and mix well. Set aside in a warm place until it’s frothy and thick. This should take about 10 minutes.  While you’re waiting for the yeast to activate sift the remaining flour into another bowl and rub in the softened butter with your fingertips until it resembles coarse sand or breadcrumbs. Stir in the extra sugar & the mixed spice. Add this to the yeast mixture with the egg and mix well using the dough hook on your mix master. Work the dough until it comes together to form a smooth ball.

Lightly oil your mixing bowl put the dough in and cover with cling film and place in a warm place to allow to prove for an hour or until it’s at least doubled in size.

Pre heat your oven to 210°C 415°F or gas 6-7. Ensure your mixed fruit is finely chopped if you’re making your own. Beat an extra 50g of butter with the brown sugar & mixed spice until it’s light & creamy. When your dough is ready, knock it back and roll out to approx 40 x 25cm (16 x 10 inches) rectangle, Spread the butter mixture all over the dough to within 2cm of the edge of one of the longer sides, spread the stewed fruit all over the dough and then sprinkle the sultanas all over it.

Roll the dough from the long side, firmly and evenly to enclose the fruit. Using a sharp knife cut the roll into evenly sized pieces about 2 ½ cm thick. Arrange the slices onto a well greased oven tray with the seams facing inwards. Flatten slightly, cover with cling film and set aside to rise for 30 mins or until they’re well risen again. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown & cooked. When they’re almost ready stir the milk & sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved, brush this mix over the hot buns. Cool & mix the icing sugar, drizzle over the buns. You should get about 12 – 15 smallish buns.

Enjoy! I am also thinking they’d work wonderfully with stewed apricots or any other stewed fruit!

THE best Banana Loaf Recipe!

Yes I am aware that’s puffery but I have tried banana loaf/bread in lots of places and this one rocks it big time, it’s an oldie & a goodie and that’s why I think it’s so good, the old recipes are tried and true. Made by all the wonderful home cooks our world is made up of!

This recipe comes from a book of Mum’s which I think she got either from her mum (my Grandma) or from their local church, it’s the Hamilton Lutheran Women’s association and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

This recipe will make 2 loaves.

You will need:

125g butter

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

3 cups of plain flour

6 bananas, mashed

3 1/2 tsp bicarb soda

Grease & line 2 loaf tins and preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the eggs beating after each addition and then add the bananas & flour, mix well until combined and divide between the two tins. Bake for 1 hour or until golden and cooked.

This is wonderful served cold and buttered. I have never toasted it, but I love to hear how it goes if you do.

Aunty Amy’s Apricot Loaf

I recently made a banana loaf and took a photo of it and posted it on Facebook, a very dear family friend who I have known all my life asked me about my Mum’s apricot loaf recipe, so  with a bit of investigating this was forwarded to me from Mum, Aunty Amy is my Grandmother’s cousin & Grandma is 93 this year so this is a classic, well tried recipe and I have to say that initially I was a bit disappointed – the next day how ever, this loaf ROCKED!! So much so, that it didn’t last too long at all!

We were over at Mum & Dad’s on Anzac Day and we were going to make banana loaf, but thought we’d give this a go, apparently this recipe is old – slow combustion oven old – it was all in imperial measurements and we think that the temperature & cooking times were possibly for a slow combustion oven as it said to cook in a moderate oven for 2 hours – it only took an hour to cook in a fan forced oven at 150°C. For me now a moderate oven is about 180°C and I think it would have cooked it too quickly at that temp, obviously you know your oven so play it by ear and see how you go.

The consistency is quite runny once you add the fruit/juice mix and becomes quite sloppy – don’t lose heart, that’s exactly what is supposed to happen. I think if you decided to bake it as a cake then it may need a little longer, but really I do think it works best as a loaf, but that’s just me.

Now it turns out we found another Apricot loaf recipe so I am going to trial that too and post it over the next few days/week. For this recipe however you will need:

3 cups SR Flour

250g or ½ lb butter

2 eggs

1 cup milk

460g or 1 lb raisins

2 tsp treacle or golden syrup

60g or 2-3oz Almonds – chopped

180g or 6oz dried apricots

1 cup raw sugar

Zest  of 2 oranges

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 heaped Tbsp coffee

1 cup orange juice

Method.

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, coffee & cinnamon, in the meantime boil the raisins and apricots in orange juice for about 5 mins and allow to cool slightly. Add the flour to the butter mix and mix gently, slowly add the milk and when it’s all combined add the apricot mix.

I divided the mix between two greased and lined loaf tins & baked at 150°C for an hour. When you take it out of the oven, let it sit for 5 or so minutes before you remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

100’s & 1000’s Cupcakes aka Funfetti Cupcakes

I have seen a few images of these cakes or cupcakes around since joining Pinterest a while ago and thought they look amazing and delicious and would be great for birthday parties – bit of frivolous fun.

Zachie’s birthday was earlier in the week and when I was thinking about what we’d have at the party I asked him what he’d like and he went through a list of his favourite foods, cheese & chutney sandwiches, cucumber, carrots etc and cakes, red, blue, yellow, green and so on. Now while I am a bit of a whizz in the kitchen I wasn’t about to make a cake in every colour of the rainbow which is where the 100’s & 1000’s cupcakes came into play. I’d already decided on the chocolate cake for his actual birthday cake and thought I need to find a recipe for cup cakes.

The hunt began – Google has lots of ideas, but they all seem to use a packet mix and that is so far from my style it’s not funny! I then found Sweet Peony Blog who had a recipe for home made cup cakes – which looked like it would for the most part work, so we had a trial run and Voila! They’re delicious, I doubled the quantity for the party as I wanted 24 cakes and when I tried it intially I got 12 fairly perfect little cakes, I topped them with Vanilla Buttercream Icing as she suggests, but it was way too sickly sweet even for my taste buds. I have iced my cupcakes with a Lemon cream cheese icing which was perfect with just the right amount of sweetness without going over the top. Below is the recipe which I doubled to make 24 cupcakes you can halve it if you only want 12.

You will need:

450g or 3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
210g or 1 cup butter
450 g or 2 cup sugar
4 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
175ml or 2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup 100’s & 1000’s

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius or 350 farenheit & line a 12 cupcake tin with patty pans or cupcake liners.

Cream the butter, sugar & vanilla until it’s light & fluffy and the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the eggs one at a time ensuring that you beat well after each addition, Sift the flour & baking powder over the butter mixture and as you start to mix this slowly pour the milk in and beat well to combine, remove the beaters, scrap off the excess and very gently fold in the 100’s & 1000’s – you need to do this carefully as you don’t want the dye from the sprinkles to come off, if this happens they will taste great, but you will end up with the cupcakes being a funny colour.

Divide the mixture evenly between each cupcake in the tins & bake until golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cook for 5 mins in the tin before moving to a cooling rack.

For the Icing you will need:

125 g Butter softened

125g Cream Cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups of pure icing sugar, sifted

Juice of 1 lemon

100’s & 1000’s for the tops.

Cream the butter, cream cheese and sifted icing sugar together, add 1/2 the lemon juice and check the consistency, if it’s really thick still you can add some more lemon juice, if you feel that you have added a bit too much lemon juice and the icing is too runny, you can add another 1/2 a cup of icing sugar. You can also refrigerate the icing for 20 mins or so so it thickens up again.

Spread the icing over the cupcakes with a pallet knife and decorate with the 100’s & 1000’s.

Chocolate Cake

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So tomorrow is our son Zachie’s 4th birthday, we had a party for him today at Hays Paddock, a fantastic park in Kew East, there is an enclosed section which has an adventure playground and loads of room to run around, there are a couple of ovals as well just to make sure there is enough space for just about everyone!

It’s autumn here in Melbourne and we had a glorious day of sunshine & cool breezes without a cloud in the sky. I saw a cake similar to the design I made and always thought it’d be great for our boy who loves everything to do with trucks and construction.

You will need

250g Butter

400g Sugar

250g Self Raising Flour

50g Cocoa

1 tsp Vanilla

200ml Milk

4 Eggs

Pre heat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

Cream the butter & sugar until it’s light and fluffy, add the eggs one by one beating well in between. Sift the flour & cocoa and add to the mix, while slowly beating pour in the milk, mix well for about a minute and ensure it’s all combined.

Grease & line a 26 cm spring form or round tin, pour the batter into prepared tin and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for approx 40 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.  Allow to stand in the tin for 5 mins or so and then remove and allow to cool completely.

You could leave it at that, but I made some chocolate butter icing, for which you’ll need 250g butter softened, 3 cups pure icing sugar and a tablespoon of cocoa, make sure you sift the icing sugar to remove all the lumps and add to the butter after you have creamed it and it’s light and fluffy, also add the cocoa.

I used violet crumbles & small snickers bars as the rocks, violet crumble is chocolate covered honeycomb.

Enjoy & happy happy birthday my darling boy – I love you right up to the moon and back and up again and back! xxx Mumma