Savoury Muffins

Adapted from Kat Carter's Kitchen
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Makes 8-10 medium sized muffins

…A celebration of cheese!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tbsp cumin
  • 1.5 cups of grated cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped feta
  • 1 egg
  • .75 cups milk
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • .75 cups of any of the following: roast vegetables, sundried tomatoes, red capsicum, parsley, pesto (today I used sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and green chillies)
  • black pepper
  • topping: relish of choice (i like to use anathoth tomato relish), sliced tomato, sesame seeds

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C and grease muffin trays.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, cumin and pepper in a large bowl.

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3. Toss through grated cheese and feta.

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4. In another bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk together.

5. Add to dry ingredients along with 1.5 cups of vegetables.

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6. Divide between muffin tins and top each one with a spoonful of relish, some sliced tomato and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

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7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

IMG_20150608_192522043IMG_20150608_193020988IMG_20150608_1931232668. Enjoy!

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Flourless Chocolate Cookies

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Adapted from OverTimeCook

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2-4 egg whites (I used 3)
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 Tablespoon boiling water
  • 10 oz chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups) OR chocolate bits of your choice

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F/177C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the confectioners sugar and cocoa.

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3. Add two egg whites and the coffee.

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4. Stir until combined. Batter should be like a very thick brownie batter.*

*If batter is too thick, add another 1 (or if needed 2) egg whites to achieve the correct consistency.

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5. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. (I used Sublime Gelato’s Hokey Pokey Butter Balls instead. This made my cookies turn out more like toffee – which was a *slight* mistake, but okay.)

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6. Place 1 inch mounds (or balls) of dough about two inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.

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7. Bake at 350 for 13-14 minutes, until tops are crackly.

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8. Leave cookies on parchment paper to cool completely, then gently peel off the parchment and serve.

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Enjoy!

Lamb Vindaloo

Ingredients:

  • 1 x sachet of Zest Vindaloo Blend
  • 500g diced lamb
  • 1 large onion
  • Olive oil

Directions:

1. Marinate diced lamb in vindaloo blend for 1 hour (if you have the time. I only waited 20 minutes – impatient ==’!).

 

2.  Stir-fry some diced onions in some olive oil.

 

3. Add the marinated lamb + sauce to the diced onions.

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4. Add water and let simmer, stirring  occasionally, until cooked through.


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5. Serve hot with plain (preferably Basmati) rice or naan.

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Bananarama [Cake]

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Adapted from Butter Yum’s recipe

Makes one 8×8-inch pan (double recipe for a 9×13 pan)

Ingredients [Cake]:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I substituted this with 1 x 200g tub Jalna Greek yogurt + juice 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup mashed super ripe banana (about 2 regular ones – I used 3 lady fingers).
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients [Frosting]:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste* (I used vanilla essence because I had none :()
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions [cake (easily mixed by hand)]:

1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190.5C) (see note below).

2. Mash bananas and set aside.

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3. Cream together sugar, sour cream, egg, and 2 tablespoons softened butter.

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4. Add mashed bananas and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

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5. Add flour, salt, and baking soda; mix well.

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6. Pour into pan or cupcake/muffin tray that is greased/lined with baking paper.

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7. Bake at 375F (190.5C) for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

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8. Cool completely before frosting.

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Directions [frosting]:

1. Cream butter and confectioner’s sugar together until smooth.

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2. Slowly add the heavy cream; stir until smooth.

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3. Stir in the vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated. (I used vanilla essence.)

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4. Spread on cooled cake or serve with warm cake.

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Note – Bake at 350F if using a glass pan.  Recipe doubles well to fit in a 9×13 pan.

*Here’s the general rule for substituting vanilla: 1 vanilla bean = 1 tablespoon vanilla powder = 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste = 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract.


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IMG_20150606_183552308_HDR*Everyone* had seconds!

 

씬라면 Shin-Ramen Arancini

 

IMG_20150605_183504368Preparation + Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • Shin Ramen soup base
  • Cooked rice
  • Hot n’ Spicy Spam
  • Buffalo mozzarella
  • Olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Coconut oil spray (can use canola oil or olive oil if desired)

Method:

1. Empty Shin Ramen soup base into a microwaveable bowl. Add rice into the same bowl. Add hot water and stir.

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2. Microwave, stirring occasionally and adding hot water as necessary until the mixture becomes slightly soft.

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3. Dice some Hot n’ Spicy Spam and add to mixture. Stir to combine.

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4. Put on disposable gloves and spray oil over them so they are non-stick.

5. Cut some buffalo mozzarella into small cubes and set aside.

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6. Scoop some risotto into one hand, place one square of buffalo mozzarella on top, and cover with more risotto so it forms a ball. Repeat until all the risotto is gone.

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7. Crack the egg, whip and then roll your risotto balls in the egg wash.

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8. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on a tray and roll your now-sticky, egg wash-covered risotto balls to coat them.

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9. Spray your now crumbed risotto balls (which can now be called ‘arancini’) in ample olive oil.

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10. Preheat the air-fryer and then air-fry your arancini, checking mid-way and spraying with oil as necessary, until golden brown.

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9. Serve hot/warm and enjoy! Bet you can’t stop at just one! 🙂

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Arancini – Something Fried from Heaven

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Preparation + Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • Leftover carbonara sauce
  • Cooked rice
  • Milk

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  • Buffalo mozzarella
  • Olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • Breadcrumbs (I didn’t have these so I used tempura batter)

Method:

1. Scoop rice and carbonara sauce into a microwaveable bowl. Add milk.

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2. Microwave, stirring occasionally and adding milk as necessary until the mixture becomes a soft risotto.

 

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3. Put on disposable gloves and rub oil over them so they are non-stick.

4. Cut some buffalo mozzarella into small cubes and set aside.

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5. Scoop some risotto into one hand, place one square of buffalo mozzarella on top, and cover with more risotto so it forms a ball. Repeat until all the risotto is gone.

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6. Crack the egg, whip and then roll your risotto balls in the egg wash.

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7. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on a tray and roll your now-sticky, egg wash-covered risotto balls to coat them.

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8. Roll your now crumbed risotto balls (which can now be called ‘arancini’) in some olive oil.

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9. Preheat the air-fryer and then air-fry your arancini until golden brown.

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10. Serve hot/warm and enjoy! Bet you can’t stop at just one! 🙂

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The Best Carrot Cake

Adapted from http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/best-carrot-cake/.

INGREDIENTS:

CARROT CAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 lb. finely-grated fresh carrots
  • (optional: 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts and/or 1/2 cup raisins)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 (8 oz.) bricks cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (or more if needed to thicken)

DIRECTIONS:

HOW TO MAKE THE CARROT CAKE:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. G

Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Or alternately, you can use two 9-inch round baking pans. (Just be sure that every square inch of the pans greased and coated in flour so that the cake does not stick!)

In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves) until combined. Add the dry ingredient mixture to the mixing bowl, and beat on medium-speed until just combined, scraping down the pan at least once to be sure that everything is well mixed. Then fold in the grated carrots by hand, and stir until combined. If you would like to add nuts and/or raisins, stir them in at this time as well.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove pans and let them cool on a wire rack until the cakes reach room temperature.

I then like to pop them in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to cool off slightly. Then remove them and use a large knife or a cake leveler to level off the domed tops of the cakes so that they are level and even.

Layer the cakes with the cream cheese frosting, and then frost the outside of the cake as you desire. Serve that day or store, covered, for up to 4 days.

HOW TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

Using an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 1 minute or until smooth with no lumps remaining. Add in vanilla extract and salt, and continue mixing until combined. Lower speed to medium-low and gradually add in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until combined.

If frosting is too thick, you can add in a teaspoon or two of water. If it is too thin, you can add in more powdered sugar.