Best Ever Blueberry Muffins!

13 Oct

These muffins are really good.  For some reason they always turn out better than I would expect??? I always buy blueberries when they are on special and keep them in the freezer so I can whip up a batch of these muffins whenever I want.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain flour (or 1 plain flour and 1 wholemeal flour)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½  tsp salt
  • ¾  cup sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½  cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Cinnamon sugar:

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Oven: preheat to 220.C

Method:

In a large bowl place the first 5 ingredients.  In another bowl warm the butter until just melted, then add the milk and egg.  Then quickly beat together.   (the reason that you do not want to have the butter too hot is that you do not want to scramble the egg when you add it in)

Place the dry mixture and the blueberries into the bowl with the liquids.  Gently mix until just combined.  Do not over mix!!  Place mixture into muffin tray and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the muffins before you place them in the oven.  I am usually very generous with my sprinkling as I like the texture the sugar gives to the top of the muffin.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.  If you use frozen berries they make take a few minutes longer.

Comments:

I usually do not like ‘white’ muffins so I usually use wholemeal flour in my muffins recipes.  However for some reason these are really nice, it may be because of the cinnamon. When I did put wholemeal flour in this recipe it was a disaster.  All of the blueberries sunk to the bottom of the muffin tin and they where hard as rocks.  I think that the wholemeal flour that I got here in Singapore is a lot denser than the type I have used back in NZ.  So I am on the lookout for some good quality wholemeal flour, I may go and look at the organic shops.

Adapted from:  My Cookbook which I think came from my Mums cookbook which probably came from some great Kiwi Cook in NZ.

Chocolate Guinness Cake

1 Oct

Don’t worry about any other chocolate cake recipes.  This is the only one you will ever need.  It is definitely the cake they serve up in Heaven. Convinced? Good, now go and make it!

Ingredients:

  • 250ml Guinness
  • 250g Butter
  • 80g Cocoa
  • 400g Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • ¾  Cup Buttermilk
  • 280g Plain Flour
  • 2tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Baking powder

Icing:

  • 50g Softened Butter
  • 300g Icing sugar
  • 125g Cream cheese

Oven: preheat to 1.70.C  Then line a 23cm round cake tin with baking paper.  I just line the base of the tin by cutting a circle out of baking paper.

Method:

Place the Guinness and the butter into a saucepan and gently heat until the butter is melted.  Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cocoa and sugar in to the warm liquid. In a small bowl mix together the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk, then add to the mixture in the pan.

Sift together the remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Get you hand held electric beaters ready. (or if you are lucky enough to have a cake mixer use that with the paddle attachment.)  Pour in the contents of the pan and beat on the lowest speed and only until the mixture is all combined and has no lumpy bits.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Icing:

Using your electric beaters, mix the softened butter and icing sugar together until it forms a crumbly type mixture.  Then on  a low speed add in the cream cheese and then increase the speed to make a light and fluffy icing.

When the cake is cool spread on the icing.  You should have enough icing to cover the whole cake, top and sides.  I like a thick icing so I just dumped it on the top of the cake.  You can even dust the icing with cocoa to give it a nice touch.  If you do this, make sure you use a sieve as you do not want large lumps of cocoa, just a light dusting.

Comments:

This cake was AMAZING!!!!  So moist, rich and chocolatey.  My Husband thinks that it would be even better cut through the middle and filled with raspberries and fresh cream or cherries, much like a black forest Gateaux.   This cake is a big cake and it would be easy to turn it into a layercake and fill it with all sorts of creamy goodness.  The cream cheese icing goes well with this cake.

Adapted from: Cake Days Recipes to make everyday special by The Hummingbird Bakery.  It is their second book and it is a must buy book!

Louise Slice

4 Sep

This is a very traditional kiwi treat.  You will find this slice in any good cafe in New Zealand.  I am always surprised how easy it is to make when it looks so complicated.  A guy at my work reminded me of this slice when he was reminiscing about his granny’s baking back in New Zealand.  I think he will be surprised when I bring him some of mine to try.  I hope it is good as he remembers.

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 100g softened butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup plain flour

filling:

  • ½ cup berry jam

Topping:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut

Oven: Preheat to 160.C

Method:

Line a large loose bottom slice tin with baking paper.

Place the softened butter and the sugar into a food processor and mix.  Separate the eggs and add the yolks and vanilla to the mixture in the food processor.  Then add all the flour and mix until crumbly.  Tip the crumbly mixture into the slice tin and press down till you get a flat surface.  Bake the base for 15 minutes.

While the base is cooking, beat the egg whites and vanilla until frothy with an electric hand beater.  Then add the sugar and beat until the tips of the peaks turn over when the hand beater is lifted from them.  Gently fold the coconut through the meringue being careful not to remove any air from the mixture.

Remove the base from the oven and spread the jam evenly over the hot partially cooked base.

Dollop the meringue over the jam and then lightly spread out using a flat knife.

Place back into the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the meringue is slightly brown and looks crisp.

Comments:

I had just sourced from my local supermarket some yummy NZ jam and it was rhubarb and red berry.  Sounds delicious doesn’t it.  Well it sure is, so I used it in this recipe.  In New Zealand I used to use the coconut shreds but unfortunately I am unable to find them here in Singapore.  They just give a bit more bite and texture to the slice but it is still good with the normal desiccated coconut.

Adapted from: Every good New Zealand cookbook that I have read.

Tropical Banana Cake

4 Sep

This is a very dense cake that is moist and full of fruit.  In fact this cake started the morning tea cake club at QMC (my husbands old work place) All the woman raved about how great a cake it was and how wonderful it was that my husband could bake so well.  Yes, well, I seem to remember that I baked that cake for him, but he was quite happy taking all of the credit for it. Hmmm.  I also served this recently at a brunch at our place on a lazy public holiday.  A large number of people went for a slice of cake ahead of bacon and pancakes. This is unheard of! So it must be good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 230g crushed pineapple pieces
  • 2 cups over ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)

Oven: preheat to 180.C

Method:

Place all of the ingredients into a large bowl.  Mix until just combined.

Pour mixture into a greased cake tin.

Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.

Cream cheese Icing:

100g cream cheese

2 cups icing sugar

grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Soften cream cheese slightly in the microwave, add in icing sugar and lemon rind.  Slowly add in just enough lemon juice until the icing is smooth and a spreadable consistency.

Comments:

I am usually too lazy to sift dry ingredients but I do sift baking soda.  I just hate it when you bite into a bit of cake and you get a lump of baking soda. Yuck! So make sure you do so in this recipe.  This is just a really nice change from your normal banana cake.  It is also a great way to use up bananas and pineappleEspecially as in Singapore we buy pineapple very cheaply.  I must say that canned crushed pineapple is probably best in this recipe but it you can chop the fresh pineapple up really fine it will be just as good. I hate to go on but I have to let you know that the sultanas go really plump and juicy in this cake.  Yum!

Adapted from: Lesley Turner of Queenstown in Sugar and Spice with Jo Seagar.

Whole Orange Muffins

27 Aug

Tasty tasty tasty!  It seems a bit strange but you use the whole orange in this recipe but the flavour is divine, they are so moist and yum yum yummy.  You really do need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Orange
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk or orange juice
  • 100g melted butter
  • 1 ½ plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries
  • ½ cup walnuts (optional)

Oven: preheat to 200.C

Method:

Cut up the whole orange into small chunks and place into the food processor with the sugar. Blitz until the orange is finely chopped.  Add the melted butter, milk and egg and process until combined.

Place the dry ingredients into the food processor and sprinkle in the dried cranberries. Pulse mixture carefully until just combined.

Spoon mixture into muffin tin and cook for 12-15 mins or until slightly browned and they spring back when you touch the centre.

Comments: 

These are great straight from the tin still warm.  They are also great to freeze and use as a lunchbox filler. (they will be defrosted by morning tea time).  If you don’t have any dried cranberries you can use sultanas, I love the big juicy golden ones.  You can also add walnuts to give a bit of texture but I tend to double the amount of dried fruit instead.  Also, make sure you take out any pips from the oranges they may be a bit bitter.

Adapted from: My cookbook, It has taken me a lot of attempts to get this recipe just the way I like it. Originally I got the ideas from a couple of NZ bakers, Jo Seagar and Alison Holst and from a recipe on a sheet of newspaper that I found when I unwrapped some glasses when we moved from NZ to Singapore.

Pizza Scrolls

27 Aug

I know, these don’t look pretty.  However they are very easy to whip up for a quick lunch and are of course extremely tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½  tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Topping:
  • ½ cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ cups grated cheese
  • (any other bits that you may like to add eg pineapple, salami, capsicum)

Oven: Preheat to 200.C

Method:

Place the dry ingredients into a bowl.  Make a well in the centre and pour the buttermilk into it.  Mix together with a butter knife to form a soft dough.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.  Roll out to a 30cm square.

Spread over the tomato puree and then sprinkle with the dried oregano and then the cheese.  (If you want, you can now put on anything else that you think may be yummy.  I always add a few chunks of pineapple. Just don’t over do it, as it is difficult to roll up.)

Roll up and slice into 10 pieces and place into a greased muffin tin.  Bake for 25-30mins or until golden on top.

Comments:

You don’t have to place them in a muffin tin to cook.  You can just place them closely together in a baking dish. I just like they way they look in a muffin tin.  When I say I grease the tin, I actually just spray it with non-stick oil from a can. Easy!  You can use this dough for pizza. oh and this dough is a bit sticky but don’t worry it is meant to be like that.  To make these scrolls that little bit special try brushing some sweet thai chilli sauce over the top. To make it easier to brush over I just warm the sauce gently first.

Adapted from: Donna Hay Kid’s magazine -special party issue

Vanilla Biscuits

20 Aug

These are a family favourite and another one pot wonder.   My brother used to make these when we were teenagers.  To further illustrate how good these are:  I once made a batch and set them out on my coffee table for afternoon tea.  A family member (who will remain nameless) ‘popped in’ and ate the whole plateful.  She just couldn’t help herself they are just so moreish.

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp golden syrup
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sultanas
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Oven: preheat to 1.80.C

Method:

Place the first 5 ingredients into a saucepan until all melted. When cool, add flour sultanas and vanilla.  Roll into small balls and flatten with a fork.

Bake for about 10 mins or until slightly brown.

Comments:

Don’t worry if this mixture seems really greasy, it is mean’t to be like that.

You can of course be creative with this mixture try adding chocolate, cornflakes or any other dried fruit.

Adapted from: My Mum’s Cookbook, thanks again Mum!