Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coconut Cake with Lemon Syrup

Wow, it's be ages since I've posted on blogger!  The user account has changed-but I like it!  I have no excuse for not posting on blogger.  I'm still baking but unfortunately I've gotten lazy in posting them.

The reason why I've suddenly resurfaced is that this next recipe is for a little assignment I have to do in my of my classes.  Many of us get stressed from the daily grind within our lives, and it's important to give ourselves a little bit of love in the form of self care.  Self care is doing something for you, whether it's physical like bike riding; relaxing like meditating; or in my case baking, which can be messy, but fun, you just have to take some "me time" once in a while.

With that being said, I decided to make a Coconut Cake with Lemon Syrup, taken from Donna Hay's book Modern Classics, Book 2.  I have to admit that my motivation in baking this particular cake was the photo in the book.  The cake looked beautiful drizzled with lemon syrup, garnished with what looked to be crystallized lemon peels on top.  Unfortunately my cake didn't look nearly as good as Donna Hey's version, but coconut and lemon is a great combination.  Happy Baking! 


Coconut Cake with Lemon Syrup

125g (4oz) butter, softened
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar (I used granulated sugar)
4 eggs
2 cups desiccated coconut
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

Lemon Syrup
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (2 fl oz) lemon juice
3/4 cup (6 fl oz) water
1/2 cup shredded lemon rind


1) Preheat the oven to 160C (325F)
2) Place the butter, lemon rind and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs gradually and beat well.
3) Fold through the coconut, flour and baking powder.
4) Pour the mixture into a 20cm (8 in) round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Lemon syrup

1) Place the sugar, lemon juice, water and melon rind in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
2) Allow to boil for 5-7 minutes or until syrupy.
3) Pour half of the hot syrup over the hot cake in the tin.  Remove the cake from the tin, slice and serve with the remaining syrup and think (double) cream.  Serves 8-10.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

(Salted) Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Hi, there. Long time no see, eh? Sorry for neglecting the blog for so long. I swear it wasn't on purpose, things just were pre~tty crazy at this side of the world. But before you forget about me, I bring you this sweet treat.  It's pretty darn delicious - not to mention addicting! The original recipe calls for fleur de sel, but I didn't have it on hand so I just ommited it. And it turned out delicious all the same. I added some nuts to give it some crunch. Yum! Next time I'd add more caramel sauce, though 'cause I thought my layer was too thin and I couldn't taste the caramel. These bars are a-ma-zing, I'm salivating just thinking about it. Do me a favor and try it as soon as possible, please! All the changes I've made are in italics.

Hope to see you soon!


Cookie Bars
2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
170g (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar - used refined sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract - used 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
6 tablespoons salted caramel sauce*
fleur de sel, for sprinkling - didn't use
1/4 cup cashew nuts, chopped

*Caramel sauce
Tracey used a home made caramel sauce but I was lazy and melted 140g of caramel candy with 2 tablespoons heavy cream using the microwave.

To make the cookie bars: Preheat oven to 325 F/160ºC with a rack in the lower third. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides to allow you to lift the bars out after baking. Spray the aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. In a second bowl, combine the butter and both sugars, whisking until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and whisk to completely incorporate. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry into the wet just until combined. (The batter will be quite thick.) Use the rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Transfer half of the batter to the prepared pan, pressing it into an even layer in the bottom. Pour the caramel sauce over the cookie dough, leaving just a little space around the edges. Use a small cookie scoop to dollop the remaining cookie dough over the salted caramel. Press down gently with your fingertips to distribute. It's fine if the caramel layer isn't completely covered - it will spread to cover as it bakes. Sprinkle the top with fleur de sel. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the bars are golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. The bars will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan when they're done.

Remove the pan to a wire rack. Let the bars cool completely before lifting them out of the pan and cutting into squares to serve.

From here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Simple Cupcakes

For months my friend V and I have been planning to get together and do some baking. A couple of week ago I suggested that we make cupcakes and she got really excited. She was so enthusiastic about the idea she bought the book 75 Best-Ever Cupcakes by Carol Pastor. As much as we would have liked to make cupcakes decorated with sugar paste and marzipan we wanted to do something simple. So we made Simple Cupcakes, which were pretty simple to decorate. They should have been called Simple Lemon Cupcakes because the icing has a lemony taste to it. V preferred these cupcakes between the two sets that we made (see the Chunky Chocolate and Banana Cupcake entry) because they were fluffy and light. These cupcakes yield 12 but we did 24 mini ones instead.


Simple Cupcakes

1 cup self-raising flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar (we used regular granulated sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
For the lemon icing
1 1/2 cups icing (confectioners') sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp hot water


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a 12-cup bin tin (muffin tin) with paper cases.
2. Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Gently fold in the sifted flour using a metal spoon. Add the lemon juice and stir to blend.
5. Fill the prepared cups half full. Bake for 13-15 minutes until the cakes look golden and the tops spring back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and gradually mix in the lemon juice and water until the mixture is smooth. Spoon a little icing on to each cake and smooth it with a metal spatula.

Chunky Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes

I've got a confession to make: I've never watched the entire movie of The Notebook. It's suppose to be really romantic, and I like romantic movies, but I've just never got around to watching it. My friend V wanted to put an end to this, and came to my place earlier this week for an evening of baking cupcakes and watching The Notebook. We didn't get around to watching the movie but we made a ton of cupcakes. We made two kinds from V's new book 75 Best-Ever Cupcakes by Carol Pastor. The first set we made were Chunky Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes. They were more like Chocolate Chip and Banana Cupcakes, but I thought they came out pretty good. My friend preferred the second set of cupcakes we did, Simple Cupcakes. I'll post that recipe on the next entry. Happy Baking!

Chunky Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes

6 tbsp semi-skimmed (low-fat) milk
2 eggs
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup golden caster (superfine) sugar (we used regular granulated sugar)
5oz plain (semisweet) chocolate, cut into chunks (semisweet chocolate chips are fine too)
2 small bananas, mashed


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Arrange 12 paper cases in a muffin tin.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, eggs and melted butter together until combined.
3. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. Add the sugar, chocolate and bananas to the flour mixture.
4. Stir gently to combine, gradually stirring in the milk and egg mixture, but do not beat it. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Bake for about 20 minutes until the cakes are risen and golden. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
-Makes 12 cupcakes

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Carrot Cake

I've been craving carrot cake for some time now, but I've never gotten around to making it simply because I've been too lazy to actually grate the carrots. I know I'm awful but this week I stopped procrastinating, dug through my cupboards, grabbed my grater and grated those carrots for this cake, and the end results were quite satisfying. I got the recipe from one of my books, Cooking: A Commonsense Guide, edited by Jane Price and Justine Upex. I guess this is the North American/European version of carrot cake because in Brazil it's made differently, where the carrots are pureed rather than grated. The carrot cake turned out pretty good. Changes that I made are in italics. Happy Baking!


Carrot Cake

3 Eggs

1 cup (250ml) oil

1 1/4 cups (230g) soft brown sugar (I did not have any brown sugar...well I did but it was completely hard so I used white sugar instead.)

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 cup chopped pecans (I used 3/4 cup of raisins instead)

1 2/3 cups grated carrot (I don't know how many carrots this yields, but I would advise you to start with two big carrots. I grated three and it was way too much.)

125 g (4 oz) cream cheese, softened

30 g (1 oz) butter

1 cup icing sugar

2 teaspoons orange juice


1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a deep 23 cm (9 inch) square cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.

2. Combine the eggs, oil and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the sifted flour, soda, salt and cinnamon, and beat with electric beaters until the mixture is smooth. Add the nuts (or raisins) and carrot and stir well.

3. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Leave for at least 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

4. To make a cream cheese topping, put the cream cheese, butter, sugar and orange juice in a bowl and beat together until the mixture is spreadable. Spread over the cake and if you would like sprinkle some extra pecans on top.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ovaltine Brownies

Hi, hey, hello, hi there! Remember me? After a looooong vacation from the blog, I'm back. And with a super-duper delicious recipe. =9
Do you like brownies? Do you like Ovaltine? Oh great, than you are going to LOVE today's recipe.
Let's get to business!

Ovaltine Brownies
Slightly adapted from here .

125g dark chocolate, chopped
150g unsalted butter
130g brown sugar
2 eggs
125g all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
75g Ovaltine - the original recipe calls for Horlicks

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350°F. Line a square 8in (20cm) baking pan with foil, leaving a 1in (2.5cm) overhang.
2. Melt butter and chocolate and let it cool a bit.
3. Add sugar and eggs, mixing well.
4. Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture, add the Ovaltine and stir until smooth.
5. Pour over the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until just set - be careful to not overbake.
6. Let it cool before cutting it - if you can resist that long. ;)

Serves 16.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I know, I know, it's been forever since I've posted here. Things have been pretty busy on my side of the world, but I haven't forgotten about OSSD. A couple of weeks ago my mom asked me when I was going to make a ginger cake. I told her I would make one soon, and instead I ended up making snickerdoodles. I have no idea why, but I wanted to bake these instead. So for those who don't know snickerdooles are like butter cookies covered with cinnamon and sugar.
The recipe is taken from Betty It's a pretty standard recipe. The only change I made is using only butter instead of butter and shortening. Changes and comments are in italics.
The only comments I can make about these cookies, are that they are very sweet. I thought that I had a sweet tooth, but these are way too sweet for me. I would have loved these when I was a kid, when I used to actually eat granulated sugar *shudder*. Another thing is the serving size. On it's states that it serves four-I think the author meant 4 dozen because the batter was so much, I froze some to use for another time. With that said, it's great being back, and I hope I can post more in the future. Happy Baking!
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening (I used 1 cup of butter instead)
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
2 teaspoon cream of tartar (Back in the day, cream of tartar was used as a leavened agent. If you can't find cream of tartar, then use baking powder instead)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 400F
2. Mix 1 1/2 cups sugar, the butter, shortening and eggs large bowl. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
3. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Rolls balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.