Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American followers. We don’t celebrate it out here in Australia, but it was a perfect excuse to make apple pie for dessert (after having the equally American dish of meatloaf for dinner).Yum yum.

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And all that baking was just too much for Pip!
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Banana slice

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I thought it was about time to try out my new camera on some food pics, and, with the weather being so unseasonally cold, this spiced banana slice were a perfect choice (plus we had one over-ripe banana – perfect!).

The recipe and orginal post can be found here.

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Orange and choc-chip muffins

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These muffins are a Nigella recipe which I found in a back-issue of Delicious Magazine that we have lying around (but the recipe can also be found here, among other places).

I replaced the white choc-chips for dark, as that was all we had, but they’re just as delicious either way.

Makes 12

250g plain flour
50g fine cornmeal/polenta (not instant)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150g caster sugar
150g white chocolate chips
90ml vegetable or groundnut oil
1 large organic egg
200ml full-fat milK
1 orange, zest and juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Line a muffin tin with papers.
  2. Measure the flour, cornmeal, raising agents and sugar into a bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. In a measuring jug, mix together the vegetable oil, egg, milk and zest and juice of the orange.
  4. Pour the mixed liquid ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon. A lumpy batter makes for a lighter muffin; in other words, do not overwork.
  5. Divide among the paper cases and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked, when a cake tester should come out dry.
  6. Let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes, before removing the muffins, in their papers, and eat warm.

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Caramel Walnut Slice

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This slice isn’t far off being the perfect sweet, chewy, old-fashioned-style slice. The recipe is also highly convenient, as while the base is part-cooking, you can make the topping.

Recipe from The Australian Woman’s Weekly cookbook The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits.
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Base:

1/2 cupself-raising flour
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup castor sugar
60g (2 oz) butter

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Topping:

2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup coconut
90g (3 oz) walnut pieces
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Base:

Sift the flour into a bowl, add sugar and coconut, mix well. Melt the butter, add to the dry ingredients, mix well. Pressed the mixture into a greased/lined tin (28cm x 18cm according to the recipe, I used a 23cm x 23cm tin). Bake in the oven at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes.

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Topping:

Lightly beat the eggs and vanilla with a fork. Add coconut, chopped walnuts, brown sugar and baking powder, mix well. Spread the mixture over the partly-cooked base, return to moderate oven and bake for a further 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is cooked. Cool in the tin; cut into squares or slices.

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Banana White Choc Muffins

 

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These muffins are the Banana Butterscotch Muffins from Nigella Express, but I’ve substituted the butterscotch chips for white choc. These muffins are incredibly easy to make and so very delicious, not to mention a great way to use up some over-ripe bananas.

Orginal recipe found here.

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3 very ripe bananas
125 ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
250 grams plain flour
100 grams caster sugar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
150 grams  white chocolate chips

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  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400°F and line a 12-bun muffin tin with muffin papers.
  2. Mash the bananas and set aside for a moment.
  3. Pour the oil into a jug and beat in the eggs.
  4. Put the flour, sugar, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl and mix in the beaten-egg-and-oil mixture, followed by the mashed bananas.
  5. Fold in the white choc chips, then place equal quantities in the prepared muffin tin – I use an ice cream scoop and a spatula – and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

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Peanut Butter and Choc-Chip Biscuits

 

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These biscuits are so moorish, it’s almost criminal. The recipe comes from the Australia Women’s Weekly Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits, the version of it we have was published around the time I was a baby (vis: over 20 years ago). The only alteration I’ve made to this recipe is adding in choc-chips. I had originally wanted to make normal choc-chip cookies, but since we didn’t have all the ingredients, I ended up making these beauties instead.

Makes about 30.

125g butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 castor sugar
1/3 peanut butter (I used smooth, I assume crunchy would work just as well)
1 1/4 cups plain flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dark, but milk would work too)

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Cream butter, vanilla, lemon rind, sugars and peanut butter. With a wooden spoon work in the flour, soda and salt, making a stiff dough.

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Roll heaped teaspoonfuls into small balls and place on a lined/greased oven tray. Press the buscuits down with a fork, first crosswise and the lengthwise, for a crinkled effect.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on a rack until cool enough to pick up without burning fingers and mouths. Eat.

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Rainbow Jam Tarts

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These beautiful little tarts just make you smile, epsecially when you use a couple of different fillings, as the colours are gorgeous. I’ve used raspberry jam, and lemon curd.  The recipe for these tarts is from my favourite cookbook (if you’re a regular on my blog, you can probably guess which one!) Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain. The recipe can also be found here, on the Jamie Magazine website. For convience, I’ve copied it below.

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For the pastry, put the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor with a pinch of salt and pulse until you have a mixture that looks like breadcrumbs. Crack in the egg, add the zest from your orange or lemon and pulse again, adding a little milk to bring everything together, if needed. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/   gas 4. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out the pastry so it’s 5mm thick. Get yourself a few 12-hole jam-tart trays (or cook the tarts in batches) and a fluted pastry cutter just a little bigger than the holes of the tray (normally around 6cm). Cut out rounds of pastry and gently push them into the wells so they come up the sides. Any leftover pastry can be gently pushed back into a ball and rolled out to make a few more tarts. Put 1 heaped teaspoon of filling into each jam tart, interspersing and alternating the flavours of jams, curds or jellies.

Pop the trays on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 12–15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling. Remove from the oven, leave in the tray to firm slightly, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.
PS I know this might sound a bit girly, but if you can track down a lovely old tart tin from an antique shop, then serve these straight out of the tin – it looks really good, as the old tins are really cute. See, I told you it was girly!

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