chocolate peanut butter caves

January 30, 2007 at 9:17 pm | Posted in Chocolate, Cookies | 17 Comments

last week i made these cookies because i was really craving for something peanut buttery. it has been a very long time since i used peanut butter in anything, because some people around me do not favour it that much. i figured that it was time i used up the jar of peanut butter that has been sitting in the cupboard for more than four months, i think.

i wanted something that both contained chocolate and peanut butter. i thought of making peanut butter cookies (that appealed to the purist in me) but then the recipes which i had required refrigeration, and i didn’t have that much patience. then i googled and found a recipe that i thought was wonderful. the “original” name of this recipe is “peanut butter filled chocolate cookies” – but that didn’t justify the greatness of the cookie, so i decided to rename it: chocolate peanut butter caves.

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dough:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter (i used chunky)
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

filling:

3/4 cup sifted icing sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.

2. in a large bowl, cream butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter until well combined. add egg, milk and vanilla. mix well. gently mix in the flour mixture about 1/3 at a time until incorporated. form the chocolate dough balls.

3. combine icing sugar and peanut butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. form into 32 balls.

4. working on greaseproof paper, gently flatten each chocolate ball. top with peanut butter ball. carefully fold chocolate dough over the peanut butter ball and seal the edges. roll dough into a ball.

5. place balls on a lined baking sheet. lightly flatten with the bottom of a spoon dipped in granulated sugar. (i think you can omit this step if you want to)

6. bake cookies for about 10 minutes (if you want it chewy, and up to 15 if you want it to be more crispy) until the surface begins to slightly crack. let cool for 1 minute on the sheet. transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

this is something i’ll make again if i need a peanut butter fix. i thought it tasted like the peanut butter oreos, and it’s excellent with a cold glass of milk. 🙂

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melting moments

January 23, 2007 at 6:27 pm | Posted in Cookies | 7 Comments

apparently i couldn’t stop at just one.

i knew this recipe ran the risk of being very makcik-makcik (malay-aunty-like) because i usually see them during the festive season. however, i was in the mood for a buttery and crisp cookie, and the addition of the cornflour somewhat told me it would not go wrong.

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from many more kitchen secrets; betty saw

175g butter, softened
90g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla essence

sifted together:

225g plain flour
30g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder

decoration:

glace cherries, chopped

1. cream butter with icing sugar and vanilla essence until light and creamy.

2. stir in sifted dry ingredients and beat well for 20 seconds or until mixture is light and smooth.

3. line cookie trays with greaseproof paper. spoon batter mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. pipe mixture into rosettes 4-cm in diameter onto a prepared tray.

4. top each rosette with a piece of cherry.

5. bake in preheated oven at 160 degrees celsius for 15-20 minutes or until light golden in colour.

the only problem i faced was the piping because the consistency of the dough was rather stiff. i had no difficulty with the first tray but subsequently, it got a little stiffer and i ended up rolling the dough into balls and pressing them lightly with a fork. taste-wise, they were great.

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nutella cheese bars

January 23, 2007 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Cheese, Chocolate, Slices | 8 Comments

i didn’t have classes today, so i decided to balance out my plan of completing a couple of readings with some baking. the boy bought me this book called crave: cheese desserts to die for nearly four months ago but i haven’t had the chance to try out any recipes as yet. i decided to make a nutella cheesecake.

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i baked the cake in a shallow square tin because personally, i think it’s more “eating-friendly” (you can just pick them up with your fingers) and there’s always an excuse to have more than one slice because they are smaller compared to their whole-slice counterpart. hence, the reason why i call them “nutella cheese bars.”

adapted from crave: cheese desserts to die for; mac woo and june lee

crust:

160g digestive biscuits, pounded
90g butter, melted

1. pound or blend biscuits and place in a large bowl. melt butter in microwave, pour over biscuits and mix well.

2. transfer mixture into a shallow 8 inch square tin lined with aluminium foil and press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of pan. refrigerate for at least one hour.

filling:

450g cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 ½ tbsp cornflour, sifted
150g nutella
2 eggs
75ml whipping cream
75ml milk

1. preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius. with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and light brown sugar at medium speed until creamy. beat in vanilla essence, sifted corn flour and nutella until smooth.

2. lower speed and add eggs, one at a time, mixing until just incorporated. gradually add whipping cream and milk until just well mixed.

3. pour filling onto prepared crust. bake in a water bath for 50 minutes to an hour, or until edge of filling is set and centre is slightly wobbly.

4. turn off oven and leave cheesecake inside for 30 minutes with oven door closed. prop oven door open and leave for another 30 minutes. remove cheesecake from oven and cool on a wire rack.

5. refrigerate for at least 6 hours before unmoulding. decorate as desired before serving.

the taste of the nutella didn’t quite come through, but it left a pleasant mild chocolate aftertaste. it wasn’t rich at all, so it’s quite easy to pop a few slices in one sitting. 🙂 if i make this again, i might consider using the whole jar of nutella. 😀

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chocolate eclairs

January 22, 2007 at 10:54 pm | Posted in Chocolate | 10 Comments

i made these for the boy in lieu of our 6th anniversary last week. they were filled with chocolate pastry cream.

recipe for the choux pastry: (adapted from donna hay’s modern classics 2)

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1 cup water
100g butter, chopped
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
4 eggs
melted compound chocolate for topping

1. preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. place the water and butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook until the butter is melted and the mixture starts to simmer. add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. cook, stirring, over low heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan. remove from the heat and gradually beat in the eggs.

2. place the mixture into a piping bag. pipe or drop mounds of the mixture onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. bake for 30 minutes or until light golden. turn off oven, keep the door slightly open and leave them in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped. cool on wire racks.

3. place a creamy filling of your choice, such as whipped cream, custard, creme patissiere or chocolate mousse in a piping bag. push the nozzle through the side of the eclair and squeeze in enough mixture to fill it.

4. to finish, spread the melted chocolate on top of each eclair and allow to set.

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choux pastry is known to be very delicate, but this mixture was a breeze to work with. you could also turn them into savoury bites by filling them with tuna, egg mayo, or anything at all.

haagsche wind (Wind of the hague)

January 15, 2007 at 8:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

i was surfing through foodblogs when i chanced upon this interesting one. i adored the way she described food – you could almost taste it yourself. i’ve always put off making meringues because i have this deep-rooted fear of working with egg whites. but i guess curiosity got the better of me (oh yes, and the name of the sweet little thing too!) and i decided to whip up a batch. it’s just a simple meringue with a fancy name. 🙂

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i adapted the recipe a little, reducing a bit of the sugar and lessened the amount of almonds.

3 egg whites
120g caster sugar
100g icing sugar, sifted
50g chopped almonds, lightly roasted

1. preheat oven to 120 degrees celsius and line three baking sheets with greaseproof paper.

2. beat, with an electric mixer, egg whites until frothy. gradually add caster sugar and mix until well blended. beat in the icing sugar carefully until the mixture is white and glossy.

3. using a teaspoon, drop dollops of mixture on the baking sheet. sprinkle with the roasted almonds and bake for 205minutes until set. let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

raspberry cheese muffins

January 13, 2007 at 12:31 am | Posted in Muffins | Leave a comment

muffins are incredibly easy to make. i don’t have to bring out the huge kenwood major, i don’t have to wash up electric beaters and i don’t even have to weigh out butter most of the time. i like one-bowl cakes because of the minimal hassle. these muffins are quite unique because they have a filling. it’s not too sweet either, because the cream cheese and raspberry jam adds a sourish tang to the muffin.

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adapted from fabulous fast cakes, periplus mini cookbooks.

2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp raspberry jam (or any jam that you like)
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yoghurt
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
100g cream cheese (or if you’re lazy like me, just cut into small rectangles)
1/4 – 1/2 cup raspberry jam, extra

1. preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. line muffin tin with 8-10 paper cases.

2. place eggs, oil, jam, sour cream/yoghurt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. using a wooden spoon, beat mixture until well combined. add flour and stir until just combined; do not overbeat.

3. place 2-3 tbsps of mixture into each case. put a small piece of cream cheese in centre of each muffin. top each piece with 1 tsp of jam.

4. divide remaining mixture evenly among muffins. bake for 30 minutes or until muffins are puffed and lightly golden. stand 5 minutes in tin before turning onto wire rack to cool. if desired, dust muffins lightly with sifted icing sugar before serving.

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cupcakey

January 13, 2007 at 12:20 am | Posted in Cupcakes, Orders | 7 Comments

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Continue Reading cupcakey…

nutella biscotti

January 8, 2007 at 9:33 pm | Posted in Cookies | 7 Comments

i read somewhere on the net that biscotti is italian for any type of cookie or biscuit, but i believe we are more inclined to associate it with a drier and crunchier cookie. it’s perfect for dunking. i had a couple of sticks with cold milk yesterday.

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recipe from here. the cookie turned out to be very crisp and had a nutty aroma. the only thing i’ll bear in mind next time is to cut the logs into thinner slices, so it won’t be too hard (pun intended!) to bite off.

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dark cherry muffins

January 4, 2007 at 12:16 am | Posted in Muffins | 1 Comment

yesterday i made a batch of cherry muffins, to use up the leftover cherries i had from my dad’s and cousin’s birthday cake. the recipe is taken off here, and i did some modifications to the recipe. as i did not have sour cream, i increased the amount of oil by 1 tablespoon. i also omitted the lemon zest. and i added in a whole load of cherries.

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the picture below does not do justice to the muffin, because the colour looks a bit off and yucky, probably due to the cherry juice, but it tasted good. it was sufficiently moist and the top was somewhat crispy due to the sugar sprinkling. muffins are so easy to make, probably should try more variations soon. 🙂

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semolina pudding

January 2, 2007 at 11:53 pm | Posted in No-Bakes | 7 Comments

last week when the boy and i were at changi village for lunch, my mutton briyani set came with a small serving of semolina pudding. personally i don’t really fancy it, unless it’s really good. the one that i had was rather well-done, and i got to know that the boy likes it (we learn something new everyday, don’t we?), so i thought i’d give it a shot. furthermore, i have a whole big packet of semolina flour that i bought from mustafa centre months ago.

i used this recipe, and i guess i experienced problems getting the mixture to the right consistency. the pudding turned out to be very firm, akueh sort of texture, where you can actually cut it. i think that the indian version (halwa/halva) tends to be firmer than the adapted malay version, am i right? but it tasted pleasant, and it’s my first try, so it’s forgiveable. :p

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