Sunday, April 24, 2011

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

I remember this conversation I had with John recently

John: What's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?? *with a bewildered look*

Sharin: Muffins are uglyyyyyyy

Well, I proved myself wrong this time. Muffins don't have to be ugly! They do become quite unhealthy with all the colouring, sugar, cream cheese and peanut butter though! But but but they are so prettyyyyyy! =)
Below is the recipe which is translated from Bulgarian (with the help of google translate of course!):

120g flour 120g fine oatmeal
1 and 1 / 2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 / 2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 / 2 teaspoon mix of cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger
2 eggs
100g sugar
50g brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
125g butter, melted
350g unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and spice in a bowl.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, both sugars and lemon rind until a fluffy cream. Add the cooled melted butter in parts and then the applesauce.
Pour into flour with spices and stir gently, just enough to combine ingredients.
Finally, add the oats and mix again.Line muffin tray covered with muffin liners.
Fill each liner to 3/4 full.
Bake 30 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before spreading cream on top.

For the cream:

175g Philadelphia Light

3 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons icing sugar

Cream the cheese and peanut butter then add icing sugar until it is fluffy.

Coat muffins then decorate with coloured sugar.

For the decoration:

4-5 tablespoons sugar

few drops red colouring



Put sugar and red colouring in a ziplock bag and shake it until it turns red. Pour it into a bowl.

Roll the piece of marzipan and cut leaves into suitable shapes. Would give the edge with a knife.

Place the muffin in the bowl of red sugar. Then place two marzipan leaves in the middle and push a piece of pretzel in between them.

I found the recipe here. Although the recipe said red colouring I did use green as well to make green and red 'apples' =)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes

While doing some grocery shopping the other day, I walked past this cute little chocolate store and caught sight of some Reese's peanut butter cups from outside. Man, you should have seen how fast I ran into the store to get them!

I had been wanting to make peanut butter cupcakes for a while, so I bought the mini ones. It was so hard to resist stuffing them into my face before I finished baking =P

As it turns out there was a charity bake sale going on at my uni to raise funds for Japan and Christchurch so I happily gave 12 of these away =)

Below is the recipe which I sourced from Sweet Pea's Kitchen. I found the icing a little bit hard to work with.. I think it's because of the peanut butter, which gets dry really quickly!

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 eggs

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Ingredients for Peanut Butter Frosting:

  • 1 cup icing sugar

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with baking cup liners.

  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, combine butter, chocolate, and cocoa. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted and whisk until smooth and combined. Set aside and cool until just warm to the touch.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs; add sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined. Sift remaining flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until batter is combined.

  5. Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean.

  6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing.

  7. To make frosting, place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl as you work. Add the heavy cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. Place frosting into decorating bag fitted with the 1M decorating tip and approximately 1/4″ above cupcake top at a 90° angle to cupcake surface, pipe a spiral of icing, beginning at the outer edge and working inward. Place halved peanut butter cup on top of frosting.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spinach Pancakes!

To celebrate our awesome new purchase - a Kenwood food processor - I decided to make Spinach pancakes for brunch (because you need a food processor for the whole recipe?)! Served them with a sunny side up and a slice of cheddar. Delicious! This is a great way to eat healthier and enjoy your food at the same time. The colours are so striking too!
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup rice flour ( I used normal flour because I didn't have any)

Pulse spinach and eggs in food processor until blended. Add flour and pulse until completely blended. Pour some oil into a pan and put on medium heat. Cook the batter just like normal pancakes. Flip them when they start to bubble at the sides and let cook for another minute or two.

Recipe sourced from spabettie. Green pancakes... She's a genius!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Riverstone Kitchen @ Oamaru

Havoc Pork + Organic Chicken Rillette w Salad Greens + Roasted Ciabatta (NZD18)
Okay, I'm not really used to eating cold mains but this was very delicious. The ciabatta was a little too hard for my liking (hate it when that happens!) but on the whole the main dish gave me the impression that their food is very simple and wholesome. It made me want dessert which rarely happens!
Happy face! Affogato w Vanilla Bean Ice Cream + Lustau px Sherry (NZD12)

Let me just clarify, for those that don't know me.

Coffee + Alcohol + Ice Cream = HEAVEN! =D

Delicious, rich, creamy... Needless to say, I ignored Cherlyn and Nick for the next 20 minutes =P

Look at the amount of people here! My heart really fell when we walked in without a booking at there were 'reserved' placards all over the tables. However, this amazing waitress, didn't get her name but I shall call her Angel, whispered "Shhhh don't tell anyone but I just got a free table, follow me!". =D I feel special. But not in a retarded kind of way.

I would recommend making a booking if you would like to eat here, especially during weekends and especially if you'll be driving from Dunedin or somewhere equally far away!
I ain't gonna lie. When we were driving past Riverstone, I didn't think it looked like a restaurant, let alone one that was voted New Zealand's Restaurant of The Year in 2010 by Cuisine. From the front it looks like a warehouse in the middle of nowhere, which I guess it's a good thing now that they're kind of famous and need to fend off the hoards of people who want to come to their restaurant =P

This is the view if you walk around the back and it is magnificent. From this you can guess that they grow their own produce! They even have chickens and peacocks okay! (I'm pretty sure they don't eat peacocks but I just had to add that part =P) Nick took one look at those glorious pumpkins and said "They look like they're on steroids!!" =) Lol.. They also have a little playground for the kids. And being giant kids that we are, we ran around in it =P Quality food at affordable prices, friendly staff and a comfortable dining atmosphere, my experience at Riverstone Kitchen was an enjoyable one. I would definitely brave the 2 hour drive just to eat there again! =)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Baked Portobello w Spinach Salad

Kept it simple today because I was feeling lazy. Basically I just took a portobello mushroom, scraped out the gills with a spoon very very carefully. Placed a little tomato sauce in there, then stuffed the hell out of it with mozarella and parmesan on top to seal it, baked it at 175 C for about 12 minutes (roughly). Ate it with a light spinach salad. Simple and delicious =)