UPDATE – I’ve moved

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Katie

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pretzels

Warning – you won’t be able to stop at one. Hubby says they are way too good to be called pretzels. Soft, chewy, sweet and salty. Yes, they will make you thirsty, but they wouldn’t be pretzels if they didn’t. This is an easy recipe, using pantry staples. Don’t be deterred by having to wait for the dough to rise; you only need to do it once, unlike in most yeast-based recipes.

Pretzels
Recipe adapted from Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, by Yammie’s Noshery

Ingredients

2 cups skim milk
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar 
60g butter, melted 
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
coarse salt

100g butter, melted in a shallow dish

Directions

Warm milk on stove or in microwave until lukewarm.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast and warm milk, stir then let sit for three minutes.

Add melted butter, sugar and salt to milk mixture. Using a dough hook on low speed, add flour, one cup at a time. Let the mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel until dough has doubled in size. (Approximately one hour).

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Shape pieces of dough into pretzel knots, long straight pieces or small bite-sized buns.

Combine water and baking powder in a medium bowl. Dip shaped pieces of dough in baking powder mixture.

Place on lined baking tray, sprinkle with coarse salt and then bake for 7 to 11 minutes.

Dip freshly baked pretzels in melted butter, serve.

Published in: on May 2, 2012 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Update

Do you use Pinterest? If you do you can follow me here. I’d love to see what you are pinning. You can see what others have pinned from Katie’s Kitchen here. And hello! to those who have found Katie’s Kitchen via Pinterest.

A snapshot of my Pinterest boards. Click to enlarge image.

For those unfamiliar with Pinterest, it is -

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.

Each image you pin, if pinned correctly, links back to the original source. If you don’t want your own images to be pinned, there is html “no pin” code you can add to your site. It’s found on the Pinterest site.

Published in: on May 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wish List

Baking? Retro? Nostalgia? I’m there! Yesterday the postman brought me a cookbook that was on my wish list – The Retro Cookbook: Then and Now by The Australian Women’s Weekly. I love the design and layout, the colour, the mix of old and new recipes and the vintage ads and illustrations. Do you have this cookbook? Have you made any of the recipes?

Take a sneak peek at the rest of the book on the site of the book’s designer Hannah Blackmore. Check out her other books while you are there, now I have my eye on High Tea.

Published in: on May 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm  Comments (2)  
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Chocolate Cake

Happy birthday Elise!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Ingredients

For the classic chocolate cake

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract

For the chocolate frosting 

180g dark chocolate, chopped
180g milk chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tbs light corn syrup or golden syrup

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, chopped into 1 inch pieces

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.

In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 1/4 cups hot water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl.

Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture.

Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the chocolate frosting

Place the chopped chocolate and milk chocolate in the bowl of am electric mixer. In a small saucepan bring cream and syrup to the boil, remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

With the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed, gradually add the butter and mix until well combined and smooth. Chill frosting for a few minutes until it can hold its shape.

To assemble the cake

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups frosting on top.

Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as the crumb coating and will help you keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.)

Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm it up.

The cake can be stored, covered in a cake dome or cake saver, at room temperature for up to 3 days

Published in: on April 29, 2012 at 9:32 pm  Comments (3)  
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Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream


Happy birthday Jess! Good food, good company and cake. Not a bad Friday night at all.

Sweetapolita is an expert on Swiss meringue buttercream frosting – I highly recommend you visit her site before making it. And visit YouTube for sweetandsaucyshop’s video on making frosting ruffles. They are easier to make than they look! This was my first attempt but I’d love to try them again.

Chocolate Cake
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Ingredients

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.

In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 1/4 cups hot water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl.
Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture.
Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter.
Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes.
Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Sweetapolita’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Because it does take some time to make and freezes well, I make a larger batch. You can divide this recipe in 2 or even 3.

Yield: 15 cups (enough to frost and fill approximately three 8″ round cakes)

Ingredients

16 large egg whites (30g each–total 450g, or 2 cups)
4 cups granulated sugar (800g)
5 cups (2.5 lbs, 10 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
30 ml (2 tablespoons) pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk attachment, small bowl, and whisk with paper towel and lemon juice (or vinegar), to remove any trace of grease.
Add egg whites and sugar,  and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot (you can feel a drop in between your fingers to ensure no granules.).

Take off of stove, and place bowl back on electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and neutral (you can feel outside of the bowl to test temperature).
Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on low-speed continuously, add butter one cube at a time until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).  Add vanilla and salt, mix well. You can also add a wide variety of flavourings, extracts, and more. If buttercream is too runny, the butter was possibly too soft–place into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, then beat again.
If still too runny, add a few more cubes of butter and keep beating until it reaches Use immediately, or refrigerate/freeze.

Notes:

Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.

Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks. To thaw, place on counter overnight, and rewhip for 5 minutes with paddle attachment in an electric mixer.

If buttercream still doesn’t have its satiny finish after rewhipping, microwave 1/3 of the buttercream for approximately 10 seconds and add to remaining buttercream in mixer bowl, beating for a few moments to incorporate.

Published in: on April 28, 2012 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Snapshot

The antidote to worrying about colour choice? Start a project with random scraps of yarn. It can’t go wrong!

Published in: on April 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm  Comments (2)  
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Work in Progress

Fourteen squares completed, I think I’ll need about 40 or so to make this blanket. And, like usual, I’m having what I call craft anxiety. I’ve mentioned it before and it happens at some point during most major projects, whether its crochet or painting or an extravagant six-layer rainbow cake.  The I did love it, but now I’m not sure I like it at all thoughts usually pass and I keep working on the project. Sometimes though, I deliberate for a while before continuing and sometimes I don’t finish the project. When I do keep going I always end up happy with the result. Fingers crossed that happens with this granny square blanket.

 

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm  Comments (6)  
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Update

Now you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Published in: on April 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Anzac Biscuits

April 25 is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand, a day of remembrance for those who served our countries. These sweet, oaty, crispy biscuits were said to have been sent to Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) soldiers during World War I by their wives and families.

Recipes for Anzac biscuits don’t vary too much, just remember they never contain egg and are never to be called cookies. Golden syrup is a pale-coloured treacle, similar in colour and consistency to honey. It is widely available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. I’ve also read a version of golden syrup is popular and locally produced in Louisiana, so US bakers may have luck finding it in that area. Light corn syrup is a suggested alternative, but true Anzac biscuits always contain golden syrup.

Anzac Biscuits
Recipe from Woman’s Day magazine

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter, chopped
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
 
Directions

Preheat oven to moderately low, 160°C. Line baking trays with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut.

In a small pan, combine butter and golden syrup. Stir over low heat for 2-3 minutes until melted.

In a small jug, combine water and bicarbonate of soda. Stir into butter mixture. Pour into dry ingredients. Mix well.

Roll pieces of mixture into walnut-sized balls. Arrange on prepared trays, leaving a 4cm space between each biscuit to allow for spreading. Press lightly to flatten.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Biscuits will harden on cooling.

Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm  Comments (4)  
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