Thursday, May 26, 2011

Almond Biscotti

Biscotti always reminds me of my Momma. Whenever the coffee aroma would permeate the house, you would always find my Momma dipping Biscotti into her coffee! She's Italian, afterall!

I miss her. She lives in America, I live in England. I baked these to remind me of her, but I won't be dipping them into coffee!

So here's to you, Momma!! <3

Almond Biscotti
From Teresa Giudice's Skinny Italian

  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup/200g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 3/4/330g cups all-purpose/plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup/100g almonds...I used mushed up almonds, but you can use sliced ones! 
  • 1/4 cup confectioners'/icing sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F/180°C

2. Using an electric mixer, mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond extract for 3 minutes, until the batter is thick and yellowish-whitish. You will want to lick the bowl because it smells so good! But then you remember there's that whole "salmonella" issue. Salmonella Shlamonella. I'll risk it!
3. In another bowl, stir the flour, baking powder and salt together. 

4. Stir the flour into that delicious smelling salmonella-filled mixture. The dough will be super sticky.

5. Add the almonds into the dough. The dough will be super sticky and you'll think you can't do it, but you can!

Try not to eat the dough either, because I wanted to...
6. you will need A LOT of confectioners'/icing sugar! Put some in a bowl and sprinkle a lot of it over your counter and all over your hands.

7. Knead the very sticky dough that will stick to your fingers and you will think that it will never stop being so sticky...for a few minutes until it is no longer as sticky! 

8. Roll the dough into an 8 inch log and put it on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll it out to about 12 inches, or until it reaches the end of the baking sheet. It should be 2 inches wide.

9. Bake for about 30 minutes. It will brown on top! 

10. Let it cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes

11. Heat the oven to 325°F/160°C

12. On a chopping board, cut 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices using a serrated knife

13. Place the slices on 1 or 2 baking trays. Bake for 10 minutes, flip them over, then bake for another 10 minutes! 

14. Let them cool for 30 minutes and they will be nice and biscotti-like!! Oh, and bonus! Your house will smell amazing the rest of the night!! 

I've already eaten 5 pieces. Tsk tsk. They were too good! 

Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, or just on its own!

Smooches! Thanks, Teresa Giudice from The Real Housewives of New Jersey!! xoxo

Monday, May 16, 2011

Simnel Cake

This cake was a request from Mr. Sweets' Dad, so I decided to surprise him with it when he came to visit this past weekend! Although I was hesitant because it is a fruit cake, I tailored it to what I like from this recipe.

By the way. It's an Easter cake, and I'm a little late! But who cares? A cake is a cake! And I love cake. Especially with marzipan. Mmmmm

So I am writing this to you as I catch up on Britain's Got Talent! Go The Hoff! Yes, The Hoff is really a judge in the show. Sigh...

 Simnel Cake

You will need:
  • 1 cup/13.5T/225g Butter
  • 1 cup/225g White Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup/225g All-Purpose (Plain) Flour...I'm noticing a pattern here...
  • It's supposed to be 225g Sultanas, but I used 100g! 
  • It's also 110g Currants but I used 100g! Can you tell I'm not a fan of fruit cake?
  • 110g Glace Cherries, quartered...we bought them but never put them in our shopping bag! So they weren't in the cake! We're winners...
  • Grated Zest of 2 Oranges...I officially hate zesting oranges!
  • Grated Zest of 2 Lemons
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 450g Almond Paste/Marzipan
  • 2T Apricot Jam

Preheat your oven to 300 F/150 C
In a large mixing bowl, beat together all of the ingredients except for the Almond Paste/Marzipan and Apricot Jam

Voila! All of your ingredients mixed up...except the Almond Paste/Marzipan and Apricot Jam

Brush a 20cm cake tin with Butter! Do you like my nails? I matched them to the pastry brush! So clever I am...

Line the cake tin with parchment/greaseproof paper and pour in half of the cake mixture

Cut 1/3 of the Almond Paste/Marzipan and try not to eat bits of it like I did...

Roll out that 1/3 Almond Paste/Marzipan into a circle that will fit into your cake tin! Like my pearls? I enjoy baking in them so I can pretend I'm classy!

Ummm...that's my circle. I was never very good at Geometry.

Bunch your perfect circle on top of the cake mixture! 

Fill the cake pan with the rest of the mixture

Bake for 2.5 hours! If it is browning too quickly, cover the top with foil after the 1st hour

Let it cool for about 30 minutes

Melt the Apricot Jam for about 10-20 seconds

Brush the Apricot Jam on top of the I wasn't wearing green nail polish to match!

 Cut out half of the Almond Paste/Marzipan

And um, roll it into a perfect circle like I clearly did! Hey, I improved!

Place your perfect circle on top of the cake and use a knife to make criss-crosses on top! Then get ready to jump! Get it? Kriss Kross? Just me? Crickets, eh?

Roll the rest of the Almond Paste/Marzipan into 11 balls to represent the Apostles

Place the cake under the grill/broiler for just a few minutes so it can brown! Keep an eye on it because it browns very quickly!! Oops!

Beautimous!! Yes, my cakes are always lopsided. They still taste good!!

This was my first fruit cake and it was definitely a hit!! I think Marzipan makes everything better!

Smooches!! xoxo

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

As I was putting away another bag of flour yesterday, I saw that I had bought Self-Rising flour! I was so excited and so inspired, that I grabbed my Perfect Cupcakes book and looked for a recipe that used that flour.

Well, I came across these cupcakes that I really wanted to bake now! I had the raspberries and the cream cheese-it was meant to be. It just didn't use self-rising flour. Oops.

So voila! A delicious mixture of raspberry and cream cheese in a cupcake! Enjoy! 

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes 

 You will need: 
  • 2/3 cup (105g) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour 
  • 1.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) 
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons firmly packed Light Brown Sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons Cream Cheese
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons melted Butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (Essence) 
  • 1/3 (45g) Raspberries 
  • Confectioners' (Icing) Sugar for serving 

Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C 

  Whisk together the Flour, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, and Baking Soda in a medium sized bowl 

Stir in the Brown Sugar! If you don't know me by now, I love all sugar.

I was supposed to use a pastry blender to cut in the Cream Cheese, but instead I used a fork since I don't have one! The book says that the mixture will look like pea-sized crumbs. This is as good as I got it. It still tasted great! 

In a small bowl, combine the Egg, Milk, Melted Butter (mmm), and Vanilla.

Stir that deliciousness together!! 

Add the Egg mixture to the Flour mixture

Stir until the mixture is just moistened. It is a lumpy one! 

Add in the Raspberries! I think a way to make these even better would be to crush the raspberries and stir into the mixture! 

Divide the batter into 6 cupcake liners or whatever you have! 

Bake for 20-25 minutes! Mine took 20 minutes!

Don't be tempted to eat them once they are done...let them cool for at least 10 minutes!

Sprinkle some Confectioners' Sugar to make it even more delish!! Or, as the book suggests, mix some pureed raspberries and confectioners' sugar to make a delicious raspberry glaze! Yummm it was tempting!

Voila! Yummy cupcakes! Now I'm going to go eat one. Thanks blog for forcing me into that. ;) 

Smooches!! xoxo

Friday, May 13, 2011

This is what we had for dinner tonight...

Oooh this is my 13th post on Friday the 13th! Creeeepy! 

Okay, so it's blurry. I was in a rush to eat it because it looked so amazing!! 

We ate: 
  • Vegetable Kebabs with onions and peppers! The others had chicken on theirs
  • Spinach, artichoke, and cheddar cheese puff pastry thingies that I made up! I looove these so expect a recipe soonish! 
  • Cous cous
  • Cold pasta salad!
The meal was amazing! 

I hope you all have a kissable weekend!! 

Smooches!! xoxo