Category Archives: Baking

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns

It’s Easter time! And at work, I’ve been looking through Hot Cross Bun sale data for the past couple of weeks. So why not make some!

INGREDIENTS

2 teaspoons dried yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup margarine
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup raisins

For the crosses:
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons water

METHOD

Whack all the ingredients in a breadmaker and set it to make a dough. If you don’t have a breadmaker, go buy one!
Once the dough is ready, cut into 8 – 10 equal sized sections, and shape into buns. Place them on a baking tray and sit in a warm spot to rise.
Mix the flour and water to make a paste – put in a piping bag and add your crosses. You don’t need to do crosses though, I did grumpy faces, cause, you know, hot CROSS buns… ha haha….
Bake at 190ºC for 15-20 minutes.
While they’re still warm, paint over the top with a bit of maple syrup or agave to glaze.

I also added a shot of coffee and half a cup of chocolate chips to one batch. That turned out pretty yum too.

Then cut one in half, slather both halves in marg, and microwave for 30 seconds. Usually if you did this to something I made, I would have you crucified. But it’s Easter, so crucifixion is part of the theme, right!?

Caramel Slice

This was yet another pregnancy craving, and a somewhat (I feel) epic undertaking of food-creation. I refused to drive across town and buy expensive vegan caramel sauce (or condensed milk), nor do I feel you should have to do this either. The flip side being that I had absolutely no idea how to make caramel sauce – of course, I didn’t dare tell the pregnant person this, and with utmost confidence declared that I could make caramel sauce easy-peasy.

If you do have an easy, delicious, cheap caramel sauce recipe you use, please do send it to me 🙂

INGREDIENTS

Base

50g Margarine
1/4 C Sugar
1 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 C Water

Caramel

150g Margarine
1 1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 C Soy Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Chocolate Icing

100g Chocolate
1 1/2 C Icing Sugar
2 Tblsp Soy Milk

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend (or mush it all together with your hands) together the marg, sugar, flour and baking powder to form crumbs (or mush it all together with your hands). Stir in the water to produce a thick dough. Push this into a lined, greased tin and bake at 180ºC for 25 minutes, or until the top is just starting to brown. Leave the base to cool completely (feel free to accept the fridges help, but make sure the tin has cooled down first!). Keep the slice in the tray, as it will stop the caramel and chocolate going everywhere when you add it.

Melt the caramel ingredients in a pot over medium heat, and then turn the heat up until it starts to boil. Reduce the heat again and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and give it a good mix (you really want to try whipping it with a wooden spoon) – it should start to thicken. If it doesn’t start to thicken, boil it for a few more minutes then try again. Don’t worry about over boiling, it will take a long time for this; you may have to boil/whip a few times before it behaves right. Pour the sauce over the base, and again leave to cool completely.

Over a low heat, melt the chocolate. Remove from the heat and mix in the icing sugar and milk. Spread this on top of the caramel, and again leave to cool. Once it has cooled completely you can remove it from the tin and cut it up.

Banana Cake

For once, I have made something healthy! This cake uses 3 whole bananas, and 3 bananas is probably quite good for you. Eat a whole cake every day and you’re bound to be healthier than everyone you know!

<DISCLAIMER: There is also 2 cups of sugar in the cake, and the above is just a joke. I take no responsibility if you eat one of these every day and die.>

INGREDIENTS

125g Margarine
2 C Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
3 Large Bananas
2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder

INSTRUCTIONS

Soften the marg, then beat in the sugar and vanilla essence. In a separate bowl, mash up the bananas, and then stir into the marg/sugar mixture. Sift in the flour and baking powder, mix, and pour into a lined cake tin.

Bake at 180ºC for about an hour. Leave to cool, then cover in chocolate icing.

Ginger nuts

I could say something funny here, like; ‘Kids will go nuts for these Ginger nuts!’ – but that probably wouldn’t be very funny. Pregnant women on the other hand… well, sugar (tick) plus (possible) anti-nausea properties of ginger (tick)… they go down a treat.

These are probably the easiest/quickest biscuits I know how to make. You can whip up the batter before the oven’s even preheated. So again, great for those pregnant women who want things NOW.

INGREDIENTS

125g Margarine
1 C Sugar
2 Tblsp Golden Syrup
2 Tblsp Water
2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 tsp Ginger Powder

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large pot, melt the marg over low heat. Remove from the heat, then mix in the sugar, golden syrup and water. Finally, sift in the flour, baking powder and ginger powder.

Roll into balls, place onto a greased oven tray, flatten, and bake at 180ºC for ~ 15 minutes. They should start turning golden brown, but still be slightly soft to the touch. Don’t cook them till they’re firm (like my mother used to), as they harden when they’re cool.

I advise dunking them in coffee as the best way to eat them. Enjoy!

Rich Mud Cake

I made this cake for Jess’ birthday. She wanted a plain chocolate cake with chocolate icing and coconut sprinkled on top; but that wasn’t what I wanted to make. Personally, I love mud cakes for birthdays and so (perhaps somewhat selfishly) I made Jess a mud cake instead. Fortunately, it was amazing and she liked it so much I don’t think she minded.

INGREDIENTS

125g Margarine
1/2 C Sugar
2 Tblsp Golden Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
80g Chocolate
2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 C Cocoa
3/4 C Water

METHOD

Soften the Margarine, then beat in the sugar and finally the golden syrup and vanilla essence. In a pot over low heat, melt the chocolate. Mix this into the marge mixture. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix until combined. Add in the water and mix one more time.

Pour into a lined/greased tin, and bake at 180°C for 1 hour.

The icing for this cake was plain chocolate icing (cocoa, icing sugar and water) with dessicated coconut sprinkled on top.

If you aren’t bound by a sugar sensitive person like I am, you may want to make the cake even richer. Add more melted chocolate to the batter, and think about putting chocolate in the icing as well (melt some chocolate, mix in a bit of coconut milk then stir in icing sugar).

A Berry (and Apple) Delicious Cake

I wanted Cake. I think Jess wanted cake too. So I made up a recipe, straight out of the blue, with only a vague idea of where it would be headed. Turns out I’m a GENIUS – the cake was AMAZING.

INGREDIENTS

150g margarine
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons golden syrup
1/2 cup raspberries
3/4 cup of water
2 apples, sliced

METHOD

Soften the margarine, then beat in the sugar and finally the vanilla essence. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Add the golden syrup, raspberries and water and mix to form the cake batter. Taste some (for science).

Line a cake tin with some baking paper, and then layer the base with one of the sliced apples. Pour the batter over the apples (have another taste). Use the second apple to add a top layer of apples on the batter.

Bake at 180°C for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

You probably want to add some caramel sauce to this (we still haven’t told you how to make it, have we?), or some other sugary drizzly thing.

Sticky Date Pudding

Did you know, that sticky date pudding dates back to a time… a time when Jess sat upon the couch in the lounge, and pondered out-loud about sticky date pudding. But “alas!” She cried, “our dates are too firm to make sticky date pudding!”

Having absolutely no idea how to make sticky date pudding, I kindly corrected her, and set out to prove her wrong. It turns out, our firm dates are fine!

I guess the moral of this story, is that those lacking in faith should not proceed. You must have a strong will, a determination to succeed, in the face of imperfect ingredients. If you have what it takes, scroll down. But be warned, even after successfully baking this slice of heaven, your will shall be tested – You must not consume them all in one go!

I just looked at that pic as it uploaded, and I’ll be back in a minute – gotta go eat another!

INGREDIENTS

250g pitted dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 & 1/2 cups boiling water
125g margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

INSTRUCTIONS

Chop the dates up, then place them in a bowl with the baking soda, and add the boiling water. Leave to sit for about 15 minutes. (I have a hunch this is what made our dates soft enough).

Soften the margarine, beat in the sugar, then beat in the vanilla essence and golden syrup. Add this to the date/water mixture. Then sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix all these to make a delicious, delicious batter.

Now, you have a choice, to make one large or several small cakes. I prefer small ones myself, there’s just something about having a whole desert (or 2) to yourself. So either pour the mixture into muffin trays, or into a single large tin. Chuck them in the oven at 180°C ~15 minutes for small ones ~45 minutes for a large one. Like most cakes, if they spring back up after poking them, they’re done.

While they’re still warm, drizzle them in caramel sauce and custard. Eat.

Unfortunately, I can’t disclose the specific recipe for caramel sauce here; but it’s roughly margarine, golden syrup, sugar with a dash of soy milk, blended and heated in quantities until it becomes saucy.

To make custard simply follow the ingredients on the package; 2 tablespoons custard powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 cups soy milk, blended, heated and beaten in a pot until thick.