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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Banana Muffins

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

If you buy bananas, there’s a chance your fruit bowl will have some of these occasionally:

And possibly if you’re anything like me… they might be even a little browner. Ok a lot. But you get the idea. Now I do two things with ripe bananas. One is I chop them up and freeze in a zip lock bag to use in smoothies. Two is I bake with them.

Now this recipe has to be the easiest banana muffin recipe in the world. No exaggeration. The other thing about this recipe is that it is extremely kid friendly. It’s one of those dump and mix recipes.

Banana Muffins


1 1/2 C SR Flour
1 C Sugar
3 Ripe Bananas
4 Tbs Butter/Spread/Marg
4 Tbs Milk
1 Egg


Preheat the oven to 180C. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and using a stand mixer or handheld mixer combine on a low setting. I don’t even chop up the banana I just break it into pieces and let the mixer do all the work. Once all the ingredients are combined (you can still have a few lumps of banana) divide amongst 12 muffin holes or if you want to make mini muffins you can make about 30 – 40 depending how generous you are with the mix. I use a large ice cream scoop for the regular muffin size and a truffle sized ice cream scoop for the mini muffins. You can also add chocolate chips for a variation. Cook for 18 minutes in a 180C oven for regular muffins or about 10 minutes for mini muffins.

And you should end up with something like this…

Deep Dark Brownies

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Who doesn’t love a good brownie?

I’m absolutely convinced that the way to a man’s heart is a good steak sandwich and an amazing chocolate brownie. Well that’s the way to Mr Neurotic’s heart anway.

So this recipe is a tried and true favourite in our house. It is recipe that was adapted by the Baked boys for the Martha Stewart Show. Their original recipe can be found in their cookbook, named after their Bakery in NYC, Baked – New Frontiers in Baking.

Now in my opinion Ina Garten is the queen of Brownies, and I have a few friends who feel the same way but unfortunately her recipes make a lot of brownies. I also find this recipe is no fail. I’ve made it a lot and never once have I had a problem. It’s fudgey and cakey all at the same time and it can be adapted with blobs of peanut butter swirled in, the addition of nuts or even different types of choc chips (I’ve even done this with butterscotch chips). The other thing I love about brownies is that it’s a stove top recipe which means less mess and no mixing required. Now don’t get me wrong I love my stand mixer but sometimes you just want quick and easy.

So here it is. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

Deep Dark Brownies as seen on The Martha Stewart Show


¾ cup plain flour
1 tablespoon best-quality cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (125gms) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder
140 gms dark chocolate
¾ cup castor sugar
¼ cup light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup chocolate chips (milk or dark or whatever you would like), optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a a 18 x 25 cm slice pan with baking parchment.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. (or you can whisk…)
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine butter and espresso. Place over low heat and stir until butter has melted. Don’t fret if the coffee powder doesn’t combine completely. Add chocolate, and stir constantly until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in both sugars until well combined.
Add eggs and vanilla and continue stirring until well incorporated and mixture no longer appears grainy. Sift flour mixture over batter (or just pour in the whisked flour mixture), and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if using. I like to add a tablespoon of the flour mix to the chocolate chips to coat them. This stops the chocolate from sinking to the bottom.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan; smooth top with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 28 to 30 minutes. A tip from Ms Garten herself is when cooking brownies half way through open the door and lift up the pan on one edge and drop it down on the shelf this apparently settles any bubbles and ensures an awesome brownie. I do it, not sure if it works, but I do it. She was a nuclear policy maker for the White House after all. Surely she knows about these things. Be sure not to over bake. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 9 brownies.

Now my last tip is PLEASE let them cool in the pan. Mr Neurotic is extremely impatient so unless I bake these during the day they end up being hacked up whilst hot and you do not get the perfectly sliced brownie this way. Yes yes they still taste the same but who doesn’t like a bit of symmetry. I also love a brownie that has been left out to cool and the sides go all crunchy. Yum.

Yoghurt Lemon Syrup Cakes

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Ok, so I wagged yesterday. But I had the lovely Sarah (and family) visiting for the weekend and they left yesterday, so I’ll blame that. [Miss you guys already!] So, to make up for the fact that there was no confession yesterday I thought I’d post up something super awesome.

Miss Pepper (8) is having a friend come today to play so I decided to make something yummy for the mums. And I desperately wanted to play with my new toy.

These little cakes are absolutely gorgeous. I decided to make them in friand pans as I don’t have a bundt pan which is what the original recipe calls for. I have altered it slightly to suit and it turned out perfectly. You can thank me later.

Firstly you’ll want to preheat your oven to 180C. Then, make sure you have chopped up your butter so it can soften. I often cheat by zapping it on a really low setting (cubed) for about 20 seconds. Works perfectly every time. Then, once you have all your ingredients measured and ready to go, cream the sugar and butter. Then add the eggs one at a time, making sure you mix the egg and butter well before adding the next egg. It may curdle a little, but don’t panic!

Once you have the eggs incorporated into the butter mixture, add lemon rind and yoghurt. You’ll notice I added 1/3 of a cup more yoghurt than the original recipe. The reason I did this is that the comments from the original recipe said it was not moist enough.

Next fold in the dry ingredients… Now I’m not sure if I mentioned this trick before but when I “sift” the dry ingredients I always whisk rather than making a snowy white mess with a sifter. I HATE sifters. Unless I’m doing a sponge, any recipe that calls for sifting always gets whisking instead!

Another trick is to use an ice cream scoop to measure out the mix when doing pans or muffins. This recipe came to 12 perfect ice cream scoops, or 12 yummy cakes.

Once you’re done pop them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

I was worried mine were a bit overcooked, damn facebook distractions. However they are actually perfect. You might want to achieve a lighter look but these turned out great.

Once you’ve baked your little cakes turn them onto a cake cooler whilst you get on with the syrup.

I did double the syrup because that’s how I roll.

Don’t they look so pretty? I spooned the syrup over then rolled them around a bit in the syrup so they were completely covered. I also left them to completely cool on the tray with the syrup. Once cooled, you can store in an air tight container. Serve with some sweetened vanilla whipped cream and go to heaven.

Yoghurt Lemon Syrup Cakes – Adapted from a Taste recipe


For Cakes

Melted butter or margarine

Rind of 1 lemon, Juice reserved.

100g butter or margarine

150g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 cup yoghurt

175g self-raising flour, sifted

For Syrup:

4 Tbs Lemon Juice

100gms Caster Sugar


Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 12 friand pan holes.

Finely grate the lemon rind, then juice the fruit. Reserve the Juice for the Syrup Use electric beaters to beat butter and 150g of the sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add yoghurt and reserved rind. Beat until combined.

Gently fold in the sifted flour with a large metal spoon until combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface. Bake in pre- heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out dean. Remove from oven and place cakes on a wire rack. Meanwhile, to make the syrup, combine the reserved 4 tbs of lemon juice and remaining 100g caster sugar in a small saucepan.

Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer over medium to low heat for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Place cakes on a tray covered in baking parchment. Pour the hot lemon syrup over warm cakes and then cool the cake on the tray. Serve with sweetened vanilla whipped cream.

Emergency Brownie

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Ok so everyone has heard about the infamous 5 minute (or 3 minute in some circles) Chocolate Mug Cake… Now I did try it and well I wasn’t overly impressed. That is until I found this recipe. Not only does this recipe taste like a perfectly fudge like brownie, but it is also Dairy Free (if you decide to use chocolate chips you can substitute) and egg free.

I found this recipe online, and am unsure who to give credit to as there are so many copies of this recipe out there so to whoever you are THANK YOU!

Ok this is the recipe and the method that I have adapted to give the best results:

1 Minute Mug Brownie


4 tablespoons Plain Flour

4 tablespoons Caster Sugar

2 tablespoons Cocoa (unsweetened)

2 tablespoons Water

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

A dash of salt

A pinch of Bicarb Soda

a handful of Chocolate Chips (optional)


In a mixing bowl or jug whisk together dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients and combine to make sure there are no lumps. If you are going to add chocolate chips now is the time to do so. At this point it should look almost like playdough.

Get yourself a really wide teacup style mug or a wide ramekin. Try not to use a regular mug, you can but you will find it will be a bit more gooey at the bottom. And please whatever you do make sure your mug/ramekin is Microwave safe!

Pop the Mug/Ramekin Brownie into the microwave and cook for 1 minute on high.

Allow the Brownie to rest for at least 10 minutes maybe more. This allows the cake to cook more and densify (in a good way ;)).

Then top with either a scoop of ice cream or a nice pouring of cream. And this is the final result…

This recipe is my saviour. For those moments when you need a bit of comfort baking, but you’re either too sick, too tired or too emotional to contemplate baking. The other awesome thing about this recipe is that most people have these ingredients on hand all the time (well those of us that like to bake anyway). And one brownie shares perfectly between two hungry children for a warm afternoon snack.

***My apologies for the poor quality photography, unfortunately I only have my iPhone to work with at the moment.

Let them eat Tres Leches Cake…

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Every sunday at our house is godparents day. This is when the kids godparents come over, spend some time with the kids, have a scrumptious meal and then when the kids are in bed the adults spend some time playing console games (yes now is the time to confess we do live in a geek household) or board games etc.

I started off the meal with Pumpkin risotto with crumbed eggplant, napoli sauce & cheese. It was divine but I still had some flavour tweaking I want to do when I next make it. So once I’ve done that I’ll post the recipe :) For dessert I decided to make Tres Leches Cake. And OMG I never realised the calorie content of this dish… its insane! I think its something to make for a tea party or big gathering as such a small recipe goes a long way! We still have too much sitting in our fridge and I daresay it won’t get eaten.

Ok Recipe time…

I used a butter cake recipe as a base.


These quantities make one standard cake (this is slightly more than a normal sized butter cake).

3/4 cup of softened butter
1 cup of caster sugar
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
1.5 tsp Vanilla Essence
3 cups SR Flour
1 cup milk
1 395 ml tin condensed milk (low fat can be used)
1 375 ml tin evaporated milk (low fat can be used)
600mls whipping cream (low fat can be used)
3 Heaped Tablespoons icing sugar
Desired Fruit for decoration (I used blueberries/mango/crushed pineapple)


Cream butter & Sugar. Add eggs one at a time once combined add the next egg till all combined. Add vanilla and mix well. Add small amounts of flour and milk until well combined. Put mix into a 9 x 13 inch/22 x 33 cm baking dish (pyrex is good) Bake in a 160 C/320F oven for about 30-45 minutes or when skewer comes our clean and top is lightly browned. Allow cake to cool for 5 to 10 minutes then using a skewer poke holes all over the warm cake. Then combine condensed Milk & evaporated milk, pour milk mixture over the cake and allow to rest. Once cake is cool to touch cover in cling film and refridgerate for at least 1 hour. After an hour whisk 600mls cream and 3 large tablespoons icing sugar until peaks form. Cover cake in whipped cream then refridgerate till almost ready to serve. Before serving top with fruit of your choice, we used crushed pinapple, mango & blueberries and it was delish!

I think at this rate I’m going to be asking for a Wii fit for mothers day, as all this cooking isn’t going to do much for my already goddessly shaped figure!

Oh well till next G-Day…

Mrs Neurotic’s Apple Crumble Muffins

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

Who doesn’t like muffins? And who doesn’t like Apple Crumble? Well I got a craving for apple muffins one Sunday morning and a craving for that yummy crumble topping and that is how this recipe was born. I couldn’t find a recipe I liked (it can’t be possible for me to be the only person with this secret desire!) so I tweaked a muffin recipe I had and added my own crumble topping.

1 1/2 cups Self Raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter softened (or salted butter but minus the salt from the recipe)
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped tinned pie apples apples

Crumble Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-4 Tablespoons plain flour

Method for Crumble Topping:
In a small bowl mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add butter and rub together till crumble forms (should be a cross between crumbs and biscuit dough), set aside and make batter.

Method for Muffin Batter:
Sift together dry ingredients into mixing bowl (I just whisk them all together, a nice trick I learnt from Martha). Rub butter into dry ingredients until fine crumbs form. Lightly whisk egg and milk. Add to dry ingredients all at once, stir together just until all combined (don’t worry if there are any lumps as over mixing can create tough muffins).

Gently fold in apples. Spoon batter into muffin tins (I use my clicky ice cream scoop), filling each about 2/3 full. Sprinkle with crumble topping. Bake in 375° F, 190° C or 170° C fan forced, oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown (takes me about 20).

Makes about 12 muffins.

We have these for Breakfast As on weekends we have one sweet cooked breaky day and one savoury… Every time I make these they disappear and there are no leftovers. So I assure you they will be a hit!

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