Tag Archives: food

Thursday Me Time : Ever Wonder How Animals Eat Their Food?

It’s not secret that I spend a good portion of my free time on YouTube, whether it’s catching up with the latest watercooler moments or rewatching my favourite episodes of ‘Supersizers Go…’ (seriously, watch the 80’s one), so it seems appropriate to share my new favourite: How Animals Eat Their Food.
WARNING: Do not try to act this out to your friends in a crowded pub, it may lead to chaos and soggy socks. Trust me.

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Sunday Cook Off : Oreos

In my current job I have taken to baking something for my colleagues every week, I get to try out new recipes and they get to stuff their faces with sugary goodness. I’ve done this at pretty much every job I’ve ever had, and needless to say it’s always gone down pretty well.

This week I went back to an old favourite, Oreos. The genius behind My Kitchen Addiction has perfected the filling so that it has just the right consistency that reminds you of the real thing.

I would recommend UK guys buy some cup measurements, as a committed internet baker I’ve found them incredibly useful! Still have no idea about ‘sticks’ of butter though.

Find the recipe here, or below: http://www.mykitchenaddiction.com/2012/02/homemade-oreos/

(Makes approximately 3 dozen)

For the cookies:

  • 230g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 – 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, whisked to remove any lumps

Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well incorporated.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, beating on the lowest speed. Continue to mix on the lowest setting until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Divide the dough in half, and shape into two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

When the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 180°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Set aside.

Taking only one portion of dough out of the refrigerator at a time, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough to 1/8 – 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter (approximately 2 inches in diameter) to cut out cookies and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I baked mine for about 8 minutes but my oven is mental, and it depends on whether you prefer your cookies soft or crunchy.

Once the cookies are cooled, prepare the filling. Combine the softened butter, double cream, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined. The mixture may be a bit lumpy, but will come together. Add the powdered sugar gradually, approximately 1/2 cup at a time, until the filling comes together. It will be slightly stiffer than a cupcake frosting.

Transfer the filling to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe the filling onto half of the cookies, and top with the remaining cookies to form cookie sandwiches.

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Enjoy!

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Sunday Cook Off: Ferrero Rocher Torte

This week’s Sunday Cook Off is slightly different, as I haven’t actually made the recipe below yet. But it is the closest approximation that I can find to a heavenly dessert that I tried this week, it’s a bit complicated but hopefully delicious in the end. This slice of amazingness is a Waitrose own brand concoction that I happened upon when faced with an array of unappealing fruity desserts. In my book, if it’s not chocolate, it’s not dessert.

The inspiration for this week can be found here (and wait until it’s on offer like I did, because no supermarket should charge £10 for a mass-produced cake, no matter how good it is): http://www.waitrose.com/shop/ProductView-10317-10001-154693-Waitrose+S%2Fchoc+chocolate+%26+hazelnut+tort

If you fancy making your own, and I will be once I’ve finished chomping my way through the one above, then look below for the recipe, or go here: http://www.fabulousfoods.com/articles/952429/chocolate-hazelnut-torte-recipe

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 cup caster sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon bicarb

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup boiling water

Nutty syrup:

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nut extract or flavoring

Hazelnut Praline:

  • 1/4 pound shelled and skinned hazelnuts
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups icing sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180*C and prepare a 9 inch cake tin

2. To make the cake portion, mix sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla and beat until well combined.
3. Stir in the boiling water and pour the batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake for 30-35 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool in tin for 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack. Once cooled completely, put it into the freezer until stiff, then slice it in half horizontally.
6. To make the syrup, combine sugar and water in a saucepan, bringing it to the boil until the sugar has dissolved.
7. Simmer for 5 mins, remove from heat, and add extract. Stir, then allow to cool.

8. To make the praline, liberally coat a baking pan with vegetable oil, place the hazelnuts on it in a single layer, and set it aside.
9. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat and cook until the mixture turns amber.
10. Immediately pour the syrup over the hazelnuts, let it cool completely, and break it into small pieces. Then put them into ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin. Transfer them to a food processor and mix until finely ground.

11. To make the frosting, in a saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer and then pour it over the chocolate chips and let it sit for a few minutes. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
12. Place the pan in a bowl of ice water, stirring constantly until cooled. Then gradually beat in the powdered sugar and whip until smooth, thick and fluffy.

13. To assemble everything, brush half of the syrup evenly over one half of the cake. Then spread about a third of the frosting onto the top of that half and sprinkle it with half of the praline.
14. Place the other half of the cake layer on top, brush it with the rest of the syrup, and spread the remaining frosting along the top and sides. Press the remaining praline into the frosting on the sides and sprinkle some on top if you’re feeling fanciful. Chill for a bit before serving.

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