Banana Pumpkin Caramel Cake {GF}

I have a friend, she’s crazy, super awesome and I probably spend way too much time with her. We laugh in the same way, we talk in the same way, and our inside joke list goes on for literally a whole wall:
She laughs at my pronunciation of words and my ‘disappointed face’ which I make when she fails at general knowledge or understanding (she once texted me asking how to make the ‘big brownie’ into ‘little brownies’ i.e. that you need to cut the baked batter into separate portions – I never replied), and I supply her with many, many cakes, hugs and opportunities to laugh at my fails too. I’ve also spent pretty much 6 years teaching her how to bake.
Therefore, I thought she pretty much knew about putting vegetables in cake, seeming as carrot cake is something I’m sure she had eaten, mainly because it has cinnamon in it (oh yeah,she loves cinnamon too – maybe even more than me). But apparently, not only had she never eaten it (how could this even be possible for anyone!?), but she was completely grossed out by the idea of putting vegetables in cake.
Normally, she’s quite reasonable about this kind of stuff, but when she has a serious opinion about something, there is actually no way of changing her mind at all.
Not even with cinnamony bribery,
The only way I would be able to get her to eat a vegetable infused cake (is that a thing? can it be a thing now?) was to just not tell her about the vegetable part until after she had eaten 2 slices and said that she liked it. Me telling her went something like this:
Me: Hey, Sarah, so you liked that cake yeah?
Sarah: Mmhmm
Me: Do you want to know what was in it?
Sarah: Oh God, what the heck did you put in it!? Some kind of voodoo magic or something?
Me: Er, not quite. ……it was pumpkin
Sarah: NO! vegetables and sweet things DO NOT MIX. EVER.
Me: But you liked it yeah?
Sarah: …eh, no, it was gro-
(cue my disappointed face)
Sarah: okay fine it was quite nice

So the result of my experiment?

She took half of the cake home.
I win. Mix with the victory!

* Super random side note: Ever wondered what my actual voice sounds like? last week I was exploited as a brownie judge by my friends on YouTube! You can watch the awesomeness unravel here with the benefit of actually hearing my voice (complete with English accent) and awkward laugh – for realsies!

**Super cool side note: spell check didn’t even red underline ‘awesomeness’. Spell check, I have trained ye well.

Read More »

Super Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do I need another chocolate chip cookie recipe? Probably not. But do I need another chocolate chip cookie method? maybe! (Off to an obviously extremely optimistic start, right? Just bear with)
I only realised the other day that I pretty much forget about adapting the method when it comes to changing recipes, I’d never really thought about how it might affect the finished product, but after food tech revision (interspersed with many a tea break) making simple chocolate chip cookie dough turned into more of a science experiment – with chocolatey results!
I was planning on making pretty normal cookie dough at 10 pm-ish, but I got super distracted by my favourite comedian, Simon Amstell,  on tv. Thus, it was 11 pm when I actually made the cookie dough (in the semi-dark because I could only be bothered to turn on the tiny light on the extractor) which may have been the reason that I randomly decided to try slightly pre cooking some of the ingredients. The darkness factor meant that I also added milk chocolate chips to the cookie dough, so in the morning when I went to get the cookie dough, I was all like “What the what?” – I simply resolved this issue by adding semi-sweet chocolate chips too…
Anyway, I had the butter browned and mixed with the sugars, syrup, cornstarch and egg, when it occurred to me that the reason that people put instant pudding mixture into their cookies, is because it contains modified starch, which doesn’t need to be heated in order to thicken (yeah, food tech knowledge bombs for ya ), so when it’s mixed into the cookie dough, it makes it thick and stops it from spreading as much.
However, I didn’t have modified cornstarch, or instant pudding, so I just heated the mixture on the stove for a little bit whilst stirring, like when you make a sauce. This thickened the mixture slightly, and also gave it a slightly caramelised aroma.
The other thing that made the cookies chewy was the use of pure almond butter in place of some butter – it has more solids in it than butter so adds fat, but also adds bulk. *However, if you don’t have almond butter or are allergic to nuts, just leave it out and increase the butter to 3/4 cup.

Read More »

Lemon Swan Cupcakes

Yes, really, more lemon, it is such a bright flavour, perfect for this time of year where it’s only starting to get dark at 6 pm. It’s the Easters holidays, full of more revision – made a little more bearable by the (now half empty) bag of Easter themed Hershey’s kisses on my desk. But also, time for shopping in Whole Foods, watching The Hunger Games, pedalos in Hyde park, and pinterest. (A pinterest ramble is about to come btw)

Am I the only one who accidentally clicks ‘follow’ on a board when they’re just trying to look at it – it’s happened to me one too many times, I feel really awkward a few seconds later, wondering whether I should ‘unfollow’ or not. I know that if I ever loose followers on pinterest, it makes me feel just a little depressed.

And on another note, it seems like everyone who uses pinterest who I’ve talked to is just as confused as me as to how it works! I get that you pin stuff to your board, you can repin and follow and everything; but why, out of your whole board which in your opinion is as awesome as 563 kittens, does one random pin get repinned 100 times? I would like to think that it’s because my pinning skills are so mighty, that it is inevitable, but I actually have no idea – can anyone enlighten me?

Anyways, after that ramble, back to the cupcakes: I created the design for my food technology coursework – 20 A3 pages, 15,000 words, the bane of my life, which I literally finished with 5 minutes to spare – I had to run to registration, I do not enjoy running.
That was an intense 1 1/2 hours before the deadline, I don’t think I have ever been more angry with Microsoft Word in my life – whenever you move one little picture – everything goes wrong. You’d think it was like you had just tickled someone playing jenga with text boxes, everything gets randomly moved around the pages or even completely disappears! (why? why does it happen?)

Okay, I really will talk about the cupcakes now – I had made them for my project as a coffee and walnut sponge, filled with coconut and cinnamon caramel, topped with 7-minute fluffy coffee frosting, and the swan head was made out of choux pastry. Did I mention that we only had two hours to make all of this, including washing and taking pictures at every stage? Stressful timed cooking is not my forté, I think I probably looked verrryyy angry during that time, I prefer a more sloth like approach.

Making theses cupcakes was a lot less stressful, I had plenty of time and I didn’t even have to make choux pastry, or the filling! It may look like its long/ difficult, but really, it doesn’t actually take long at all, and you can use the swan decoration method for any flavour cupcake/frosting/cookie you want!

In the production of this post:

number of swans hurt – 0
amount of lemon frosting eaten – probably too much
number of Mad Men episodes watched – 1 (and the new Grey’s Anatomy, omg)
number of Hershey’s kisses consumed – 2

Read More »

Momofuku Mash-Up Cookies

Mmmmm, Chocolaty chunky cookie goodness. That’s what we want.

Chocolate cake crumbs?

Caramelised cornflake crumbs?

Chocolate chips?

Check, check, check! Christina Tosi is a total sugar wizard!

You must not over bake these cookies.

You must serve them warm:
Microwave, oven or on top of the toaster for a bit = Good idea
But don’t skewer them and try to warm them over a fire; smoky cookies – does that sound nice? Well I’ll tell you now, it’s not, just stick to toasting marshmallows over the fire for now (then sandwich warm cookies around them).

Can’t type more, too many cookies eaten, chocolatey hands don’t mix well with keyboards.

Read More »