Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

You can make these with any chocolate cupcake recipe, and add peanut butter frosting on top. This recipe uses my favourite cupcake base, but check out my cupcake page for other chocolate cupcake options.

Gluten-free vegan option: Make these GF/V by combining the basic GF/V chocolate cupcake recipe with the vegan peanut butter frosting listed on my buttercream post. 

Ingredients – cupcakes:

• 3 eggs
• 180g sugar
• 250g peeled and finely grated carrot
• 2 tablespoons strong coffee
• 120g rice flour
• 50g almond flour
• 40g cocoa
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 100g chocolate chips

Ingredients – icing:

• 100g butter, softened
• 65g smooth peanut butter
• 3 cups / 360g icing sugar
• 3 tablespoons 45ml milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 100g dark chocolate, melted

Method – cupcakes:

• In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for five minutes until the mixture is quadrupled in volume and extremely fluffy.
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
• Whisk the carrot and coffee into the mixture.
• When they are fully incorporated, add the flour, ground almonds, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Beat with an electric whisk or fold with a wooden spoon until well combined.
• Fold in the chocolate chips.
• Spoon into prepared muffin trays lined with paper cases, so the mixture reaches four fifths of the way up the sides.
• Bake for 25 minutes.
• Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then at room temperature for at least half an hour before icing. Make the icing while you wait.

Method – icing:

• Using an electric beater, whisk the butter until pale and softened.
• Add the icing sugar, milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth.

• Pipe melted chocolate into shapes onto a tray lined with baking paper. Leave to set, then garnish the cupcakes. Alternative options include drizzling melted chocolate over the icing, or sprinkling with dark chocolate chips.

Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

Original recipe from http://chinese.food.com

Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon dry sherry
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 3lb / 1.5 kg boneless chicken breast

• 2 large eggs, beaten
• ¼ cup cornstarch
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• Vegetable oil

• 1 cup chicken broth
• ⅓ cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 lemon, sliced

Method:

• Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. Cut chicken into finger-sized pieces, add to bowl and marinate for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
• Combine eggs, cornstarch and baking powder in a large bowl; stir well. Dip chicken into batter, coating well.
• Heat oil in a large heavy skillet. Fry chicken over medium-high heat until golden, turning occasionally. Arrange on a serving platter.
• Fry lemon slices in oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir-fry for three minutes or until the sauce is thickened and clear. Pour over chicken.
• Serve with fried rice.

Pita Croutons

Pita Croutons

Make or buy pita pockets (GF vegan recipe here). Cut in half horizontally, then cut each half into six triangles. Brush with olive oil, and bake for ten minutes at 200°/400°F. Flip over and bake for another five minutes.

Let cool, then serve with your favourite dip (I like hummus!) and veggie sticks.

Millefeuille

Millefeuille

From Bake, a neat recipe book divided by various regions of the world. This is obviously from the (very substantial) French section. The name means “thousand leaves”, and consists of layers of puff pastry between vanilla cream. Prep time is 1 ¾ hours, with 45 minutes cooking time.

INGREDIENTS:

• 1kg / 2lb 4 oz puff-pastry
• Flour, for dusting

• Crème pâtissière:

– 2 tablespoons cornflour
– 125g / 4 ½ oz caster sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 500ml / 18 fl oz milk
– 2 egg yolks

• Icing:

– 2 egg whites
– 350g / 12oz icing sugar
– 100g / 3 ½ plain chocolate, broken into pieces

METHOD:

• Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Divide the pastry into 3 pieces on a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Roll out a piece to 5mm / ¼ in thick square. Transfer to the prepared tray, prick all over with a fork, then place another try on top to prevent the pastry rising.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the top tray, then return to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining pastry. Leave to cool, then cut each pastry square in half to make 2 rectangles.
• To make the crème pâtissière, put the cornflour, caster sugar and vanilla extract into a saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and egg yolks and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to the boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
• Place a piece of pastry on a wire rack, spread with one fifth of the crème pâtissière, then place another piece of pastry on top. Spread with another fifth of the crème pâtissière and top with another piece of pastry; repeat until you have used all of the crème pâtissière, then top with the final piece of pastry.
• To make the icing, put the egg whites and icing sugar into a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and beat with an electric whisk for 5 minutes until thick. Pour over the top piece of pastry.
• Melt the chocolate and pour into a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle, and use it to draw wavy lines on the icing.
• Using the tip of a knife, draw perpendicular lines through the chocolate, from top to bottom then alternating bottom to top. Use a sharp knife to trim the edges of the millefeuille.
• Cut the millefeuille into 12 rectangles, chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Slow-Cooked Thai Kumara and Pork Curry

Thai Pork Curry

From Allyson Gofton’s Slow.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg lean pork for casseroling
  • 2 large kumara, peeled
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • Fish sauce (optional)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 250g sugar snap or snow peas, blanched
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • Rice to serve

Method:

  • Turn the slow cooker on to low to pre-warm while gathering and preparing the ingredients.
  • Cut the pork, kumara and carrots into chunky 3-cm/1-inch pieces.
  • Optional: Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan and brown the pork pieces over high heat. Brown the onion lightly.
  • Into the pre-warmed slow cooker put the pork, kumara, carrots, onion, curry paste, tomato paste, kaffir lime leaves and coconut cream. Stir to mix and cover with the lid.
  • Cook on low for 5-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Season with pepper and a dash of fish sauce if desired. Add the tomatoes, sugar snap or snow peas, basil and coriander and cover with the lid. Cook on high for 15 minutes before serving with boiled jasmine rice.

Ambrosia

Ambrosia

 

 

 

 

 

An easy and delicious dessert, I recently brought ambrosia to a shared morning tea by putting spoonfuls into little plastic shot-cups, with a small plastic spoon. Who knew ambrosia could make such good finger-food?

I make ambrosia using a ratio of 300ml whipped cream to 1 litre of flavoured yoghurt, and whatever additions you like. The ones in the photo have cut up pineapple lumps, marshmallows (I used mini marshmallows to fit into the shot-cups), white chocolate chips, and blueberries.

Ambrosia 2

Slow-Cooked Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

From Allyson Gofton’s Slow. I love slow-cooked meals; I usually prepare everything in the pot the night before and turn it on the next morning (or use an electric plug with a timer). Then you just need to prepare the rice or other sides before serving. Slow-cooking, especially on a low setting, cooks extremely tender meat, so it’s ideal for poorer cuts or defrosted meat.

Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
• ¼ cup water
• 1.5kg lean beef for casseroling
• 2 stems lemon grass
• 2 onions, peeled and diced
• 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon minced ginger
• 8 dried chillies or 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek
• 6 whole cardamom pods or 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups coconut milk
• 1 teaspoon ground laos (optional)

Method:

• Turn the slow cooker on to low to pre-warm while gathering and preparing the ingredients.
• Knead the tamarind pulp into the water until murky and thick. Scoop or strain out the seeds and fibre and reserve the thick liquid.
• Cut the beef into index finger-sized pieces. Trim the lemon grass where the white bulbous end changes colour to green. Finely slice the white part. Discard the green stem (or or put aside for use in soups or stocks).
• Traditionally, the meat is not browned; however if you prefer the taste then you may want to brown the meat at this stage, on high in a dash of oil. This is best done in batches to avoid stewing the meat.
• Place all ingredients into the pre-warmed cooker. Stir to mix then cover with the lid.
• Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
• Taste and season with additional salt if required before serving with boiled rice.