Home Made Brioche

I have never been good at working with yeast. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I’m a pretty impatient person so I keep thinking it’s working/not working, it’s too warm/not warm enough and in the end the yeast just decides that it can’t please me and dies.

Anyway, after much perseverance and with lots of help from this video, I have successfully made a batch of brioche!! Have never been prouder of myself in the realm of bread baking.

Things That Make Me Smile

  1. Labels. I love seeing labels on jars, shelves, bottles, cables – anything!
  2. Uniform Containers. Currently I have a set of glass canisters as well as a set of Tupperware and I love them to bits. Every time I open my pantry I get a rush of happiness from how neat everything looks.
  3. The Color Spectrum. All my clothes and stationery are organized by color. It gives me great joy to look at them.
  4. An Empty Shelf. Or tabletop. Or fridge. Just blank spaces in general.
  5. Cotton Roll Dispenser. It’s a rectangular box that has a drawer at the bottom. When you want cotton roll, you open the drawer and cotton rolls roll out. Probably one of the few things that keep me happy in dentistry.
  6. Monograms. Can’t get enough of them! Nothing gives me a bigger kick than seeing my things monogrammed with my initials. Makes them feel way more personal.
  7. A perfectly made bed

 

Chocolate Discs

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I had a look into my pantry and realized that I had lots of different kinds of chocolate biscuits around and nobody was really interested in them. After much thought I came up with the idea of just crushing them up and mashing them together to make them into something else and this was the result!

Ingredients

  • 20g butter, melted
  • 40g scotch fingers, crushed
  • A variety of chocolate bars/biscuits, crushed up. I used Butterfingers, Hersheys Kisses
Method
  1. Mix together all the ingredients and heat in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds until the chocolate is partially melted.
  2. Press into a silicon mould of choice. I used a flat circular mold for mine.
  3. Put into fridge to set.
I topped mine off with strawberries and a white chocolate button but you can eat them as is or with any other topping/decoration that you like.

My Gingerbread House

Seeing that Christmas is in summertime down here in Australia, it is my custom to build a gingerbread house during the long winter months. Here is this year’s edition:I’ve been using this design for years from BBC Good Food because I love the steep roof.

The roof is marzipan and I melted candy to form the windows. The rest is royal icing, biscuits and some silver cachous.

Til next year.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberries

I love this photo of my dog, Milton. Look at him eyeing the cupcake from afar!This is a very simple chocolate cupcake recipe that comes out very moist and not too rich. As a result, one could single handedly eat the entire batch without needing any assistance!

Ingredients (Makes 6 cupcakes)

  • 40g butter
  • 80g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 30g dark chocolate
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 80ml boiling hot water
Method
  1. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and the rest of the ingredients in and mix together.
  3. Bake in 180 Celcius oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
Decorate as you wish – I chose whipped cream and a strawberry.

These were dressed with chocolate ganache instead.

Lemon Tart

I love the tangy flavour of a lemon tart. There’s just something about the sweet and sour combination that really hits the spot. Here’s an extremely simple recipe that I use to whip a batch up quickly.Makes 2 4 inch tarts

Lemon curd

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Juice of 3/4 of a lemon
  • 40g butter
Biscuit base
4 scotch fingers
30g butter, melted
Method
  1. Beat egg, sugar and lemon juice together and put into a microwavable container. Put in microwave for 20 seconds, remove and stir. Repeat until a creamy lemon curd is formed. Strain to remove lumpy bits if present. Put butter into mixture while warm and stir through.
  2. Crush scotch fingers and combine with butter to form a malleable pasta. Press into 2 4-inch tart tins.
  3. Pour lemon curd into biscuit bases and refrigerate until set.
  4. Garnish with remainder of lemon.

Avanti Stockholm Canisters

We all have our fantasy kitchens. For me, all I ever wanted (fine, one of the many things that I ever wanted) was matching glass canisters filled with various different types of pasta. Because they looked pretty.I saw these and fell in love with them right away and had to have them. I’ve bought them in various sizes since and have an entire family of these jars. They weren’t cheap but hey – you only buy pasta canisters once… right?

Gingerbread Men

I love the look of gingerbread men. There’s something so appealing about a large cookie in the shape of a stylized person, don’t you think? I whipped this small batch up a while back and they were just adorable.

Makes 5-6 gingerbread men

Gingerbread Recipe

60g butter
50g sugar
2 tsbp golden syrup
160g self raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger

  1. Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup together. Add flour and ground ginger and mix until it forms a dough.
  2. Cut cookies out and bake in a 180 Celcius oven until slightly brown around the edges.
Decorate
If you are really lazy, you can choose to just buy some decorating icing pens and just use that. However, royal icing is always the gold standard. I usually make a tiny batch by just taking part of an egg white and slowly mixing in some icing sugar until it’s the right consistency.
Getting the right consistency takes practice, but with a few tries you’ll get the hang of it. I usually use a disposable piping bag – it’s the quickest, even if it’s not the most economical.
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