Bake: Energy Bars

I am thoroughly enjoying researching, making and eating foods that are filled with good ingredients that are filling and will fuel the fire for longer, rather than sugary snacks that will leave me hungry an hour after eating them. I went searching and found this recipe: Ellie Krieger Energy Bars – from Food Network.

I added some craisins and some coconut and they were deeee-lish-ous! And super-filling.

- They were lovely with a cup of peppermint tea -

– They were lovely with a cup of peppermint tea –

- You can see they were quite dense, so you only needed to eat a small square -

– You can see they were quite dense, so you only needed to eat a small square –

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DSC_0279Do you have any snacks that are tasty and filling?

Name for SewBakeLove

Bake It: Vegetable Soup with Risoni

Once again, not technically a bake item, but yummy and healthy, so it’s ok. It’s also more of a winter meal, but who says you can’t eat it in the Summer?

- Shaved parmesan to bring the flavours up to the next level -

– Veggie soup with risoni pasta –

I visited a cafe a few week’s ago and happily ordered the vegetable soup with Risoni. I was delighted when it came out and it tasted oh so yummy. I was then inspired to make my own and have since made it twice. Here’s how I did it.

Vegetable Soup with Risoni

4 pieces of bacon

1 onion

2 sticks of celery

2 carrots

1 parsnip

2 zucchini

handful of green beans

tin of chopped tomatoes

4 cups of beef stock (I use the one already made up, in packet, as it has a far superior flavour)

2 potatoes – cut into small cubes

1/2 cup risoni pasta

Fresh parsley

Salt and pepper (to taste right at end)

Shaved parmesan & bread  – to serve.

- Frying off onion, then celery and carrot to start -

– Frying off onion, then bacon, celery and carrot to start –

- Chop bacon into tiny pieces -

– Chop bacon into tiny pieces –

- Cut veggies into manageable-sized pieces -

– Cut veggies into manageable-sized pieces –

I wanted to make  all the veggies very fine in texture, except for the potato, which I cut this into small cubes and added near the end.

- My super mini-blender that I LOVE -

– My super mini-blender that I LOVE –

- Then all ingredients go into pot and simmer for half an hour -

– Then all veggies, stock and tinned tomatoes go into the pot, and simmer for half an hour –

The small cubes of potatoes were added ten minutes before the risoni pasta, which was added ten minutes before serving. I added fresh chopped parsley right at the end, and salt and pepper to taste.

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- Shaved parmesan to bring the flavours up to the next level -

– Shaved parmesan to bring the flavours up to the next level –

Do you make veggie soup in the Summer? Do you have certain ingredients you ALWAYS put into a veggie soup?

Name for SewBakeLove

Bake: Bill Granger’s Gooey Chocolate Cake with Raspberries

The title of this post actually speaks for itself. The photos to come will also speak for themselves. I made this for my gorgeous friend, Holly’s birthday recently, as the occasion called for something super yummy and super decadent…and this certainly delivered. I thank Bill Granger, once again, for his spectacular recipe.

- The recipe -

– The recipe –

- Ingredients -

– Ingredients –

- The Process -

– The Process –

 

- Bill's version -

– Bill’s final version –

- The first part is to melt the dark chocolate, raspberry jam and cream -

– The first part is to melt the dark chocolate, raspberry jam and cream –

- This is then poured into the greased caked tin to form the base..and then the gooey top when turned out -

– This is then poured into the greased caked tin to form the base..and then the gooey top when turned out –

- The cake mix is then layered on top of this -

– The cake mix is then layered on top of this –

 

- ...baked -

– …baked –

- Then cooled (a little) and turned out to create a gooey chocolate cake -

– Then cooled (a little) and turned out to create a gooey chocolate cake –

 

- Decorate with raspberries (I used defrosted frozen, and they were fine) -

– Decorate with raspberries (I used defrosted frozen, and they were fine) –

- We served it with whipped cream, which turned out to be a little OTT, but still YUM! -

– We served it with whipped cream, which turned out to be a little OTT, but still YUM! –

Do you have a yummy, gooey cake recipe? Do you prefer a dry chocolate cake, or a gooey one?

Name for SewBakeLove

Bake It: Carrot and Walnut Cake

Quite a while ago (before I was feeling ultra over-indulgent and overweight, with child) I made a carrot and walnut cake. There’s something about a carrot cake – with a yummy, thick icing – that is so, so yummy. And it must be healthy if it’s carrot….right?

I simply got onto Taste.com and found this recipe, which seemed easy enough to make. I also scrolled down the bottom of the recipe page to read the reviews (which I often do now as I find them very helpful) and made a little change to the recipe.

- All ingredients in the bowl...too easy! -

– All ingredients in the bowl…too easy! –

As recommended by Reviewer 4, I added a grated apple and cut the cup of oil back to a quarter of a cup of oil – such a better option.
- All mixed in doesn't look great, but I assure you it will be -

– All mixed in doesn’t look great, but I assure you it will be –

- Into greased, lined tin and flatten out -

– Into greased, lined tin and flatten out –

- After one hour and fifteen minutes in the moderate oven -

– After one hour and fifteen minutes in the moderate oven –

- I think the icing makes a carrot cake -

– I think the icing makes a carrot cake –

- A view from the side -

– A view from the side –

- Oh so moist -

– Oh so moist –

I was really happy with how this turned out and one day (when I’m able to run 10kms the day before so I know I can get away with it) I’ll definitely make this recipe again.

Do you have a carrot cake recipe? What are your thoughts on the old carrot cake? Do you have good or bad carrot cake memories? Do you read the reviews of recipes to see whether they work or not? And whether there are additional steps that will make the recipe better?

Name for SewBakeLove

Bake It: Easy Peppermint Chocolate Log

Technically not a baking post, but still a yummy sweet treat all the same. Sorry to all those who are trying to lose weight, but I made these just before Christmas and I just love this easy peasy recipe, so I wanted to share.

Ingredients

1 packet Marie Biscuits

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 Peppermint Crisps (add another for a more intense minty flavour)

3 tbs Cocoa Powder

- FOUR simple ingredients -

– FOUR simple ingredients –

Method

1. Put the Marie Biscuits and Peppermint Crisp bars into a food processor and process until very fine.

2. Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl.

- All ingredients in...too easy -

– All ingredients in…too easy –

- If it's not moist enough, you can add a little milk -

– If it’s not moist enough, you can add a little milk –

3. Place the mixture onto a large piece of Glad Wrap and roll into a long, thin log-shape.

- You'll need a large piece of Glad Wrap...the bigger, the better -

– You’ll need a large piece of Glad Wrap…the bigger, the better –

- Roll it to your desired thickness -

– Roll it to your desired thickness –

4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until the log is firm.

5. Cut into discs.

As you can see, this slice is SO easy and SO yummy. I took it to a pre-Christmas picnic lately, and it was a real WINNER!

Have you got a classic Marie Biscuit/ Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe? Or just an EASY recipe you love to make?

Name for SewBakeLove

Bake It: Nectarine Cupcakes

This time of year always brings our house an abundance of stone fruit thanks to Husband’s regular visits to the wholesale markets as part of his job. As we had many nectarines and I also had my new cupcake stand, I decided to do what I love most and bake some nectarine cupcakes. Something different. Something out of the ordinary. I did a web search and discovered the amazing Martha Stewart website had a reasonably simple and straightforward recipe for nectarine cupcakes. And by the way, if you love baking, interior design, arts and crafts and the like, you have to check out the Martha Stewart website – it’s a whole world of amazing!

Back to my cupcakes.

They are really simple cupcake recipe, with the point of difference being that you spoon some batter in each cupcake pan, then a layer of chopped, fresh nectarines, and then another scoop of batter. It was actually a really lovely vanilla cupcake recipe and I’ll be using this one in future (minus the nectarines, of course).

- A simple cupcake with a layer of chopped nectarine in the middle -

– A simple cupcake with a layer of chopped nectarine in the middle –

The next phase was the fun part, as I really wanted to make my cupcakes look great and taste great. So I made a simple butter cream icing – I got the recipe here. Instead of adding the moisture of the milk, I slowly added some strained nectarine puree. This added that extra nectarine flavour that into the entire cupcake tasting experience. YUM!

- There's a lot of butter in buttercream icing....funny about that huh? -

– There’s a lot of butter in buttercream icing….funny about that huh? –

- After a good puree, I passed it through a sieve to ensure it was very smooth -

– After a good puree, I passed it through a sieve to ensure it was very smooth –

- The buttercream should be a lovely, light and fluffy consistency -

– The buttercream should be a lovely, light and fluffy consistency –

- Best and least-messiest way to fill your piping bag is to fold it over a tall, skinny tub -

– Best and least-messiest way to fill your piping bag is to fold it over a tall, skinny tub –

- A classic pipe pattern...I couldn't resist -

– A classic pipe pattern…I couldn’t resist –

- On the new stand they look impressive -

– On the new stand they look impressive –

- An arty shot...couldn't help myself -

– An arty shot…couldn’t help myself –

I had so much fun making these and I’ve been told (by my dad) that they are the best cakes he’s ever tasted. Husband, on the other hand, was far more brutal and reassured me that I’ve made better. This didn’t stop him from devouring two at a time for the days following.

Have you made cupcakes that are both beautiful and delicious? What cup cake flavour ideas do you have to share?

Name for SewBakeLove

 

Bake: Sicilian Apple Cake

When we were on our beautiful holiday (which feels like a distant memory now) we often treated ourselves to a morning or afternoon tea. When in Kiama – on NSW South coast, we discovered a lovely little cafe that served this yummy, scrumptious, delicious cake. We loved it so much that we even went back the following day and ordered the same cake. So, being the baker that I am, I attempted to make it….with GREAT success.

I googled the recipe, and found it here. This website seems to be affiliated with a store on QLD’s Sunshine Coast and has heaps of yummy recipes – bonus!

So, here’s the photo gallery to tempt you all to challenge yourselves in the baking arena.

– It’s basically a simple cake batter as the base –

– Peeling and slicing the apples is the most annoying part of this recipe…which is why I got Mumma to do it –

– Soaking the apple in the lemon juice –

– Cake batter and layered apples into the springform cake pan, then top with the sultanas, nuts… –

– …and sugar and cinnamon mix –

– Fresh out of the oven –

– Yum, almost too good to eat –

– Serving with whipped cream is a MUST! –

As stated earlier, this was super yummy and as I type this I’m thinking I may just have to make this again soon.

Have you ever had anything like this cake?