Aug 30, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #4 Banana

This is the last (but certainly not least) addition to my Microwave Mug Cake series – banana! First we had dark chocolate, then salted caramel, followed by S’mores. I like to refer to this mug cake as “breakfast in a cup” as it combines two of my favourite breakfast items – banana bread and coffee! But I guarantee you will want to eat this any time of day.

The banana ensures this cake is super moist and dense, and it’s literally like eating a hybrid banana bread-pudding in a mug! I was about to say it’s a healthier version than cafe-bought banana bread due to the relatively low amounts of butter/sugar/flour, but then I remembered I covered it in ice cream. Sorry.

**Make sure you use a large mug or the mixture can overflow!**

Microwave Mug Cakes – #3 Banana
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 ripe banana (mashed)
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 scoop of coffee ice cream to serve

Instructions
  1. Put butter into mug and microwave for 10 seconds to melt.
  2. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  3. Add mashed banana into the mug and continue stirring with you fork until mixed through.
  4. Finally, add dry ingredients into the mug and beat with your fork until combined.
  5. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  6. The pudding should be risen and still slightly gooey in the middle. If still undercooked for your liking, cook it further in 10 second bursts in the microwave.
  7. Serve with a generous scoop of coffee ice cream.
  8. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed my Microwave Mug Cakes series! Are there any other series of baked treats you would like me to trial?

Aug 19, 2013

Coconut Cookies with Caramelised White Chocolate

I was very excited to hear this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme was COOKIE MONSTER and hosted by Sophie from The Sticky and Sweet. I love cookies (or biscuits as they’re more often referred to in Australia) and I knew I wanted to make a cookie sandwich – what’s better than 1 cookie? 2 cookies sandwiched together!

Ever since I saw David Lebovitz’s recipe for Caramelised White Chocolate I knew I had to attempt it myself. I ended up adding some heavy cream to make it into a spreadable ganache and it was the perfect accompaniment to my coconut cookies.

Coconut Cookies with Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 12 filled cookies

Ingredients
Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
  • 250g white chocolate
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
Coconut Cookies
  • 115g butter, room temp
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1⅓ cups flaked coconut

Instructions
Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 120ºC.
  2. Put white chocolate in an oven-proof dish (I used a pyrex bowl) and heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove dish with oven mitt and stir. Return dish to oven for another 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat this process for approximately 30-40 mins, or until your white chocolate is the colour of peanut butter.
  5. Allow to cool and add in your salt. When the chocolate cools down to room temperature, beat in the heavy cream until smooth and spreadable and set aside.
Coconut Cookies
  1. Turn up oven to 180ºC and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda and salt mixture, then the coconut and mix until just combined.
  4. Dollop dessert spoons full of dough onto the baking tray, you should fit approx 12 per tray.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the oven, or until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.
  6. When cookies are cooled, spread caramelised white chocolate mixture onto half and sandwich the cookies together with the remainders.
  7. Enjoy!

This was my caramelised white chocolate after 40 minutes in the oven – it had reached a gorgeous golden brown colour.

Once room temperature and blended with the heavy cream, it reaches the perfect spreadable consistency for your cookies. If the ganache starts to harden up, pop it in the microwave in 10 second bursts on medium and stir until spreadable again.

Whenever I bake cookies, I always feel compelled to make a cookie mountain – exhibit A, B and C.

The chewy coconutty cookies pair perfectly with the caramelised white chocolate and I must admit I have eaten more than my share this weekend. Enjoy!

Aug 15, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #3 S’mores

I’m stepping up my game in my Microwave Mug Cake series. First we had dark chocolate, then salted caramel… and now S’MORES! For those who don’t know what a S’more is, it consists of marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker and roasted over a camp fire into a gooey mess. Heaven.

I am yet to find graham crackers in Australia so feel free to use any sweet biscuit (I used Arrowroot biscuits). I stumbled across a tub of Marshmallow Fluff in a city convenience store a while back and have been waiting to use it in a recipe! If you can’t find it, feel free to stick a few marshmallows on top.

Microwave Mug Cakes – #3 S’mores
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 2-3 tbsp cookie crumbs (if you can’t find graham crackers use any sweet biscuit)
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff OR a few marsmallows

Instructions
  1. Crush cookies and add 1 tablespoon butter. Microwave for 10 seconds to melt, stir and press into the bottom of your mug.
  2. In a separate bowl, microwave 3 tablespoons of butter for 10 seconds to melt.
  3. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir with a fork until mixed through.
  5. Pour chocolate batter into mug on top of the cookie base.
  6. Top with marshmallow fluff or marshmallows.
  7. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  8. Finish off the mug cake by toasting the marshmallow topping under the grill or use a blow torch.
  9. Enjoy!

I made a mess trying to ensure I had a bit of cookie, chocolate cake and marshmallow in each mouthful but boy was it tasty! (And isn’t making a mess half the fun?!)

Aug 13, 2013

New Shanghai, Chatswood

I’ve been living in a Surry Hills bubble for a few years now and there are now only 2 things that will make me go over the bridge – family and good food! Fortunately, New Shanghai in Chatswood has come highly recommended and I look forward to sampling their menu.

Located on the ground floor of Chatswood Chase in a rather bland looking food court, the queue snaking out the front was a good sign. I immediately fell in love with the black and red colour theme of the decor, with red bunting hanging from the ceiling, wooden stools and the odd umbrella to give you that old school Shanghai vibe.

I can never go past pork dumplings when I eat Chinese and immediately laid eyes on these pan fried pork buns. I loved the soft pastry contrasted with the crispy pan fried bottom. The buns contained a tasty pork and soup filling which squirted delicious pain if you weren’t careful!

Pan fried pork buns

I am not a huge seafood fan but I wanted to give the steamed prawn and pork dumplings a go. They were light and very tasty and I actually liked them! Yes I liked something with prawn in it!

Prawn and pork dumplings

One of the first things that caught my eye on the menu was the Deep Fried Chicken with Special Garlic & Chilli Sauce. And it did not disappoint! The skin was super crispy whilst the meat still tender and juicy and the special sauce was amazing, so good I wished I could take a bottle of it home with me.

Deep Fried Chicken with Special Garlic & Chilli Sauce

I know the description “steamed plain bread” doesn’t sound particularly inviting, but please give this dish a go! I love a bit of DIY at the table, and piling huge helpings of succulent duck, cucumber, spring onions and sauce into a freshly steamed bun was fun, delicious and messy.

Crispy salted and spiced duck served with steamed plain bread

By this stage we were bursting at the seams and unfortunately couldn’t finish the rest of our dishes – however the staff were more than happy to package them up in a takeaway container for later. Woohoo!

New Shanghai was delicious and with such a huge menu there were many more things I wanted to try. Looks like a trip back over the bridge might be on the cards sooner than expected!

Love Swah dined as a guest of Wasamedia and New Shanghai

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Aug 5, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #2 Salted Caramel

This is the second recipe in my Microwave Mug Cake series (you can find #1 Dark Chocolate here) and of course I had to chose my favourite flavour of the moment, salted caramel! The brown sugar in this mug cake gives it a rich and caramelised flavour and you are treated to a delicious surprise of salted caramel in the middle. I have provided options for caramel fillings including salted caramel sauce, dulce de leche and Nestle caramel baking bits.

Microwave Mug Cakes – #2 Salted Caramel
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp salted caramel/dulce de leche (see below for recipes)

Instructions
  1. Put butter into mug and microwave for 10 seconds to melt.
  2. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients into mug and beat with your fork until mixed through.
  4. Add a tablespoon of salted caramel/dulce de leche to the top of the mixture, this will sink as it cooks giving you a gooey caramel surprise.
  5. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  6. The pudding should be risen and still slightly gooey in the middle. If still undercooked for your liking, cook it further in 10 second bursts in the microwave.
  7. Drizzle the top with the second tablespoon of salted caramel/dulce de leche.
  8. Enjoy!

Here is my recipe to make your own Dulce de Leche or see here for my recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce. For a super quick option, throw in a tablespoon of Nestle caramel chips before you microwave for an instant caramel hit.

This mug cake is a super easy solution for a quick sugar hit, with the right balance of salty and sweet. Feel free to add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top but I love it just the way it is!

Aug 2, 2013

Food Typography by Danielle Evans

Food and typography are 2 of my greatest loves in life (after cats) and when a friend showed me the work of designer and illustrator Danielle Evans I was smitten. Using ingredients such as curry powder, chili, coffee and flour to create her designs, she sculpts the products by hand into unique typographic designs.

My favourite quote from her “There is something really exciting about working really hard on something and just obliterating it at the end, it’s so much fun.” I often get that same feeling after slaving over an elegantly decorated cake for hours and then watching someone jam a knife in it and demolish it. Ok, sometimes it’s a little upsetting ;D

Jul 31, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Win a double pass to Bagels, Beers & Beats at Helm Bar

Do you like bagels, beers and beats? Who doesn’t?! Brooklyn Boy Bagels are teaming up with Helm Bar to bring a little slice of New York to Darling Harbour. Your ticket guarantees you 2 delicious Brooklyn Boy Bagels (I’ve eaten them, they’re amazing), 2 beers (or a cocktail if that’s more your thing!) plus a huge array of entertainment including DJs and live street art.

 

The kind folks at Wasamedia have given me a double pass worth $50 to give away to my readers to attend this awesome event at Helm Bar in Sydney! Please note this competition is only available to readers who can attend an event in Sydney on September 7th October 5th! (rescheduled due to the election).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! And now I am wishing I had a bagel…

Jul 29, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #1 Dark Chocolate

I love the concept of a microwave mug cake – stir a few pantry ingredients in a mug, zap in the microwave for a minute and then ta da! (Nearly) instant pudding for one! It was a lot of fun thinking of different flavours of mug cakes and of course, taste testing each of them.

Just quickly, how cute are these mugs?! I picked them up from Woolworths the other day, down from $4 to $2 each – bargain!

The first mug cake in this series is the classic dark chocolate mug cake. I regularly make a giant dark chocolate pudding in the cooler months, and there is nothing more comforting on a wintery night. But it’s 8 servings and let’s be honest I don’t need ALL those calories. So a single serving basic choc pudding is perfect! I also love this recipe as I can get my chocolate fix even when I don’t have chocolate in the house – cocoa powder solves that problem!

Microwave Mug Cakes – #1 Dark Chocolate
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
  1. Put butter into mug and microwave for 10 seconds to melt.
  2. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients into mug and beat with your fork until mixed through.
  4. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  5. The pudding should be risen and still slightly gooey in the middle. If still undercooked for your liking, cook it further in 10 second bursts in the microwave.
  6. Serve with lightly whipped cream or icecream.
  7. Enjoy! See below for some flavour options.

***VARIATIONS***

♥ Choc Peanut Butter Mug Cake – drop a tablespoon of peanut butter into the middle of the mug before cooking for a delicious peanutty surprise.

♥ Double Choc Mug Cake – if you have cooking chocolate buttons lying around, put a few on top of your pudding mixture. They will sink as it cooks, giving you a wonderful molten chocolate filling.

♥ Vegan Mug Cake – Substitute butter for vegetable oil, milk for soy or almond milk and omit the egg. Serve with vegan icecream or it’s delicious with just a dusting of icing sugar!

♥ Bounty Coconut Mug Cake – Add in a tablespoon of shredded or desiccated coconut and mix into the batter. Stick a fun size Bounty, or 2 squares of Lindt Coconut, into the middle of the batter for an extra coconut filling!

Enjoy and stay tuned for flavour #2 next week!

Jul 22, 2013

Giveaway: Win 1 of 10 digital magazine subscriptions!

The lovely guys at Zinio recently contacted me and offered Love Swah readers the chance to win one of 10 one-year digital magazine subscriptions!

So who are Zinio? They are a digital magazine company with literally thousands of top magazines from around the world.  You can browse and purchase subscriptions or single issues instantly from your computer or mobile device to read wherever and whenever you like – on your iPad, iPhone, Android mobile phones and tablets, laptop or desktop. This is perfect for travelling or when you want to read on-the-go, plus it’s good for the environment so everyone wins really.

They have some of my top magazine titles available including Donna Hay, Vogue and Frankie, with a huge array of food and travel magazines (always my favourite!). Enter now for your chance to win and let me know which title you would love if you won from Zinio
If you want to try Zinio out for yourself, they currently have a special on 5 Issues for $5! This deal ends July 26.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 15, 2013

Rosewater and Pistachio Cupcakes… with a surprise inside!

This is my first time hosting the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop and I wanted to set a challenge that was both fun and encouraged your imagination to run wild. I’ve always been a bit ambivalent towards surprises, but have to admit they always make life a little bit more exciting – especially when dessert is involved! From an unexpected cupcake filling or texture, to a surprise baked into a cake, I know this Sweet Surprises challenge will bring a huge amount of exciting desserts!

I’ve been wanting to experiment with the flavours of the Middle East for a while and knew a rosewater and pistachio cupcake would be a match made in heaven. The sweetly scented rosewater teamed up with the crunchy, savoury pistachios is a moreish flavour and a gorgeous colour combination.

I love hearts, you may have noticed. And when I set the challenge to create a dessert with a surprise in the middle, I knew I had to finally master the art of baking a heart into a cupcake! My initial problem with the concept is that you are essentially baking an already cooked piece of cake into the cupcake… it sounded dry and not overly tasty. My idea was to flavour this heart well with rosewater and it ended up being a welcome tasty burst inside the vanilla cupcake. Here is a brief pictorial guide to making the hearts:

Step 1: Make my standard vanilla cupcake recipe and put 1/3 of the mixture into a separate bowl. Tint this mixture pink and add 1 teaspoon of rosewater. Put the pink mixture into a greased square 20cm baking tin and cook at 180°C for 15 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely before cutting out small heart shapes with a cookie cutter.

Step 2: Once you have 12 hearts cut out we need to start arranging them into their cupcake liners (feel free to make the scraps into cake balls or just eat it!)

Step 3: Put a dab of vanilla cake mix in the middle of each liner and then stand a heart up in each one. Make sure they are all facing the same way, otherwise you’ll end up cutting them in the wrong direction and lose the heart effect.

Step 4: Once all the hearts are standing, spoon the remaining mixture around the hearts until the cupcake liners are 3/4 full before baking for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Now that we have the technique covered…. Ta Da!

Rosewater and Pistachio Cupcakes… with a surprise inside!
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 12

Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 115g butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk, room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp rosewater (for the heart)
  • Pink food colouring (for the heart)
Rosewater Buttercream
  • 115g butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • ¼ cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp rosewater
  • Pink food colouring
  • ¼ cup Pistachios, chopped finely (to decorate)

Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake papers and grease a 20cm baking pan.
  2. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth in a large bowl.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the 2 flours and salt into a separate bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Do not overmix!
  7. Separate ⅓ of mixture to a small bowl. Add rosewater and drops of pink food colour and mix well.
  8. Pour mixture into greased baking tin and cook for 15 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Once completely cool, cut hearts out of the cake with a cookie cutter.
  10. Put a dab of vanilla mixture into each liner and stand the hearts up facing one direction.
  11. Spoon the remaining vanilla mixture around each heart until the cupcake liners are about ¾ full with mixture.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  13. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  14. Make sure you keep them facing all the same way!
Rosewater Buttercream
  1. Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Gradually add in 2 cups of sugar, then the milk and rosewater.
  3. Beat for around 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  4. Gradually add the remaining sugar until it is thick enough to ice the cupcakes (you may not need all the sugar).
  5. Add a few drops of food colouring and beat until the colour is well distributed.
  6. Spoon the mixture into an icing bag with a nozzle attached and ice the cupcakes.
  7. Sprinkle chopped pistachios over the top to garnish.

Sweet Adventures Blog Hop – Link-up Instructions

Sweet Adventures Blog Hop - July 2013The Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, or SABH, is brought to you by 84th & 3rd, Dining With a Stud, The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader and occasional Guest Hostesses.

July 2013 hop is open for linkup from:

9am, Monday 15 July – 11:59 pm, Friday 19 July [AEST Sydney time].

IMPORTANT – The instructions below cover how to link up but if you aren’t sure of something don’t hesitate to ask! Remember, SABH is open to all food bloggers but only new posts published after the hop goes live can be linked up.

  1. Add a link to THIS POST somewhere in your post.
    * You can create a text link or add the blog hop tile to your post and link that.
    * Providing a link to this post means others can view the instructions and join in!
  2. Click here for the Thumbnail List code – Copy the code and add it to the bottom of your post, you will need to do this in HTML view.
    * Adding the code will create the thumbnail link list on your post so people can hop from one entry to the next.
  3. Click here to Enter the Hop – Make sure to do this step so you appear in the list too!
    * On the entry screen, add the link to your SABH post (NOT your homepage).
    * Your entry will be submitted when you click ‘crop’ on your photo.

If you are on Twitter use the #SABH hashtag to tell the world about your post! You can follow us on Twitter: @SweetAdvBlogHop and on Facebook /SweetAdventuresBlogHop for new hop announcements and general deliciousness. Thanks for joining!


Pages:«12345678...26»

Hello!

Find me

Random Posts

Choc Raspberry Vegan Mousse

Choc Raspberry Vegan Mousse

Those of you who are familiar with my baking know I am pretty heavy handed with the butter, sugar, eggs and flour. But I LOVE getting creative in the kitchen, [...]

Chocolate Joys – A Chocolate Crackle x Honey Joy Hybrid

Chocolate Joys – A Chocolate Crackle x Honey Joy Hybrid

I love reminiscing about the childhood treats from my youth – fairy bread, chocolate crackles, Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cakes, honey joys and more. This month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop is [...]

Kitty Couture – Feline fashion for the discerning crazy cat lady

Kitty Couture – Feline fashion for the discerning crazy cat lady

The other day I went for a wander to the shops to find the perfect birthday dress. I wanted something 50s styled, preferably in mint green. Then I passed a [...]

Facebook Feed

Latest Tweets

  • loveswahCelebrating Good Friday with steak - posted on 18/04/2014 20:19:31
  • loveswahUgh my blog is down AGAIN and I need to reference a recipe from it. Thank god I have a copy of my… http://t.co/QqErVIiaOd - posted on 17/04/2014 18:42:17
  • loveswahMy walk to work this morning was pretty amazing. Loving these sunny, crisp mornings - posted on 17/04/2014 18:24:00
Top Food Blogs