Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rhubarb cupcakes

A lady at work has rhubarb growing in her garden and she often brings some in for me.
 I have been thinking about making rhubarb cupcackes for a while as the only other thing I make with rhubarb is crumble.
Rhubarb isn't for everyone, but if you end up making these yourself I think you might convert some of the haters.
When I was thinking about making these, I contemplated about what icing would match the sour taste of the rhubarb. I ended up using a cream cheese icing that I have used before on red velvet cupcakes, I thought the cream cheese would compliment the tang of the rhubarb.

Add sugar to the rhubarb to sweeten it up and draw out the moisture
Put the rhubarb covered in sugar into a colander to drain the moisture

Fill the cupcake liners a 1/4 of the way up and place some rhubarb in the middle.

Add the rest of the cupcake mixture.
 I usually fill them up to 3/4 but I had mixture left so I decided to make big cupcakes

You can cook up some of the leftover rhubarb to use as a topping


Makes 12 cupcakes

125g butter
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla essence
11/2 cups flour
1tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
2 stalks of rhubarb
1/4 cup of white sugar for rhubarb

Pre-heat oven to 180ºc

Wash rhubarb and cut into small pieces, cover in the white sugar and place into a colander so the water drains out of the rhubarb, the sugar will also get rid of some of the tanginess. Leave the colander in the sink until you have finished your cupcake mixture.

In a bowl combine caster sugar and softened butter, mix until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mix until the first egg is combined then add the second etc.

Add the vanilla essence and mix

Add baking powder, half the milk and half the flour, mix until combined. Add the remaining flour and milk mix until combined.

Line your muffin tray with the cupcake liners, spoon in the mixture until 1/4 of the way full.
Place a few pieces of rhubarb in the centre (I used 3-4 pieces, when I make these again I will use 5-6 pieces so it is entirely up to you)
Spoon the remaining mixture on top

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, use a skewer to check if cupcakes are cooked if skewer comes out clean they are ready.

Leave to cool

Cream cheese icing

21/3 cups of icing sugar
45grams butter
115grams cream cheese
1/4tsp cinnamon

Add the sugar, butter and cinnamon into a bowl and mix until combined. Mix in the cream cheese until light and fluffy.

Use a piping bag to decorate cupcakes, if you don't have a piping bag you can use a plastic bag and snip a hole in the corner at the bottom of the bag. I used a spatula to roughly spread the icing on top for a rustic look.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Banana Bread

Do you have bananas in your fruit bowl that need to be eaten?  You should make a loaf of banana bread it's easy and your mum will love it with a cuppa.
 Happy Mothers day to all you mothers out there!

I adapted the recipe from kiwiwise 


4 ripe bananas
80 grams of melted butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg beaten
1tsp of baking soda
1tsp of vanilla essence
1tsp of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of flour
A sprinkle of brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 180ºc
In a bowl mash the banana with a fork (I always squeeze the banana in the skin before peeling it.)
Mix in the melted butter
Add in the egg, sugar and vanilla
Mix in the salt and the baking soda 
Add the flour and mix through
Butter a loaf tin and pour in the mixture
Sprinkle the brown sugar on top
Bake for 40-50mins

Check the loaf after 30 minutes with a skewer, once the skewer comes out clean take the loaf out of the oven, serve and enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lamb chop gravy creation

I wanted to make French Onion Soup the other day but I didn't have all of the ingredients in the cupboard, I had some lamb chops in the freezer and below is the outcome from a craving of french onion soup.

It doesn't look appetizing but trust me, it is very tasty

Serves 4

4 medium onions sliced
3 medium potatoes cut into small pieces
1tsp salt
1 cup of Bisto gravy
2tsp of garlic
4 lamb chops

2 cups of cous cous
2 cups of hot water

Brown onions and potatoes on a low heat for half an hour
Add 1 cup of gravy
Put lamb chops in a casserole dish and add onions, potatoes and gravy
Bake at 180ºc for 1 hour and a half
When the lamb is almost ready to serve, add 2 cups of hot water to 2 cups of cous cous cover and let stand for 2 minutes
When the water has been absorbed add the butter and fluff with a fork
Serve the lamb on top of the cous cous and enjoy

This is a really simple meal to cook on a cold night, tonight I am cooking a different variation with beef.
Instead of browning the onions I put onions, beef and gravy into a casserole dish and baked for 2 hours at 150ºc. I am serving the beef on mashed potatoes, yummy!