Saturday, 28 January 2017

Baking- Cookies + Cake

I've been doing some baking recently so thought I would do a baking post. :)


Oatmeal Cookies

The other week I made oatmeal cookies. The recipe is from my new book Magical Housekeeping by Tess Whitehurst. It's actually an oatmeal cookie ritual for abundance and luck but you can make them without doing the ritual. :)

The recipe is adapted from a book called The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer. I'm not vegan, so I made some substitutions. I can't actually copy the recipe on here but here are a couple of other vegan cookie recipes:

http://minimalistbaker.com/5-ingredient-vegan-gluten-free-cookies/

http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/2016/09/08/vegan-oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies/


The cookies have tofu in them. I'd never cooked with tofu before. I used the Toofoo brands which I bought from Tesco. I used white flour and ordinary white sugar and vegetable oil instead of canola oil. The recipe has agave nectar or maple syrup in it but I decided to use golden syrup with a bit of maple.

I wasn't sure what they would be like but they came out quite nice. The only thing was I think they could have done with being baked a bit longer, because some of them were a bit soft in the middle and the tofu was a bit chewy. But I was worried about burning them! They taste different to ordinary cookies but still yummy. Here's a pic:




Monday, 9 January 2017

Hot Chocolate

I'm into hot chocolate and cocoa at the moment! It's especially good to have during winter evenings. My favourite at the moment is Bournville cocoa but I also recently got some Cadbury's drinking chocolate. The other night I made crock pot hot chocolate, using a recipe from the blog Nashville Wife: http://www.nashvillewife.com/2017/01/crock-pot-hot-chocolate-recipe.html

I don't have a crock pot or a slow cooker but my mum suggested I use a Pyrex dish on top of a saucepan of water (I put the chocolate mix in the dish and covered it with foil, then put it on top of the pan) and it worked. A couple years or so ago I made white hot chocolate which was meant to be done in a slow cooker but I just did it in the pan with no covering and I think it could have come our better. Maybe I should try it again using the method I used for this hot chocolate.

This one came out nice. It uses whipping cream and condensed milk, so had a rich, creamier taste and was thicker than ordinary hot chocolate. Here's a pic:



It takes a couple of hours but it's worth it. :)

If you're into a hot chocolate here's a post I did in 2014 about Sam's Stern's hot chocolate (I also made his chocolate milkshake but that didn't come out so well!): http://livingseasonal.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/chocolate-drinks.html



Hope you're keeping warm if it's cold where you are! :)

Monday, 2 January 2017

Christmas and New Year 2016/2017

For Christmas this year I made a frosted vanilla cookie cake. It was adapted from this recipe: http://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/2015/11/19/baileys-frosted-vanilla-cookie-layer-cake/

The original recipe uses Bailey's coffee creamer (Frosted Vanilla Cookie flavour). While I do like Bailey's (although I haven't had it for ages) I wasn't keen on having it in a cake and I'm also not sure if we can get that flavour coffee creamer in the UK. In the end I used some creamer from Sainsbury's. I don't have creamer often but I used it the other year when I made an iced coffee. I realised afterwards that the Bailey's creamer seems to be a powder whereas the one I got was liquid, but it worked out ok. :)

The original cake has 3 layers but I cut it down to 2 so it was less complicated! lol. The recipe uses shortening which is vegetable fat, I think. My mum suggested I use lard but the only one we had was pork fat and we decided I shouldn't use it because she made a birthday cake for my 7th birthday with lard in the icing which was horrible! lol. In the end I used Stork which I had already in the house and that worked. Shortening is sold under Trex, Flora White and Cooken here, so maybe another time I'll try one of those. Probably Flora White.

The filling is made of sugar cookie crumbs.  For Oestara 2015 made my own sugar cookie bars but I couldn't be bothered to make them on top of the cake! lol. The nearest I could find in the shops were Sainsbury's shortbread rounds (I wanted something soft and sweet). The creamer goes in the filling as well as the cake and it's also in the frosting.

I wasn't sure how the cake would come out because I substituted ingredients but it was nice. Because it only used egg whites (I think this type of cake is called a "white cake" in America, although maybe not exactly because it had all purpose flour aka plain flour, not cake flour in), it made a fluffier, lighter sponge. I cut up some biscuits and put them on top of the cake with sprinkles.


Here are a couple of pictures:

Outside of the cake