Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vanilla Latte

Upon finishing assignments, one of the first things I did with the abundance of time I suddenly had was some baking.

Baking is like a stress release for me. Putting the ingredients in a bowl, then onto a tray or in a muffin pan, and finally into a hot hot oven where it sits for a period of time and becomes delicious. The intoxicating smell of baking fills the room. It might be the rich moistness of bananas in a banana cake. It might be a sweet syrupy caramel odour from caramel cookies. Whatever it is, it makes you just want to rip open the oven door and either inhale the contents of the oven, or shove it all in your gob, piping hot. Whatever happens, there is something extra-delicious about just-baked goods. Soft and warm, with a nice cup of coffee. The best way to cheer anyone up.

Anyway, I made these cookies. It was fun. Full stop.

Although, the icing part wasn't so fun. I ruined one batch of chocolate (completely) and then I broke my bowl... But apart from that, good times ^^;

Vanilla latte cookies
Makes 15

1 vanilla latte sachet
1/2 tsp coffee
1/2 Tbsp hot water
110g butter, softened
70g sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
140g flour
pinch of salt

White chocolate, for icing

1. Mix first 3 ingredients to make a coffee paste.
2. Mix butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon in a large bowl. Beat in milk, vanilla and coffee paste. Sift in flour and salt and stir well until thoroughly combined. Wrap the dough in glad wrap and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 190C and line a baking tray with paper.
4. Unwrap the dough and roll out between two sheets of baking paper. Stamp out cookies with a 6cm round cutter and put them on baking trays, well apart.
5. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.
6. When cooled, ice with melted white chocolate.

Eat them with a hot cup of coffee.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Home-made falafel

Cooking is very enjoyable for me at the moment. With the sudden influx of fruit fresh of the tree (or not so fresh any more..) from home, there has been a lot of stewing going on in this household. My first mission was stewed apples, which was a success and I've still got a few more to do. Second was stewing feijoas which I've never done before so I just made it up. The feijoas were a little bitter so I added a bit more sugar than I normally would, and they came out really well. I think I prefer them to fresh ones actually. Ryan likes them too, which is a bonus.

Ryan and I sometimes eat vegetarian. not because we don't want meat, mainly just because we don't mind a lack of meat every now and then. It also slightly lowers our weekly shopping bill... Anyway, this week we had falafel burgers, and rather than buying a falafel mix, I decided to go crazy and try making it myself. I had two recipes, one from an edmonds cooking book and another from an australian woman's weekly book and both had some difficult ingredients so I kind of combined them.

If you every fancy some home-made falafel, give this a go. It's easy and really tasty.

Makes 3 big or 6 small patties - serves 2
300g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
salt and pepper

Put it all in a blender and blend.
Cool for about an hour, then shape into patties. Fry each side in hot oil until golden brown.