Sunday, 27 November 2011

Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Brownies

Hello again.

Well, this weekend was an incredibly busy one. Full of rowing and rain and heat and sunburn. I had a great time at the regatta we travelled down to Sydney for, even though the weather was being crazy as hell. First it was foggy and cold and absolutely bucketing down with rain, then it cleared up and got super, super hot. To prove how hot it was, I put sunscreen on three times, and I still got burnt! My poor ears are all red now, it looks like I'm embarrassed all the time. Oh dear.

The school year is finally rounding up, and I am excited for the holidays. Year 12 is, to say the least, quite intense. I'm not sure what I'm meant to do in the summer holidays - twiddle my thumbs and wait for my schooling to return next year, or do some work? Maybe I should just bake for the whole holidays. Yes. That would be good.

Ooh! Christmas is coming too! By this time next week, I assure you that I'll have my Christmas tree up and decorated, the twinkle lights draped over the front of the house, and I'll be spreading some Chrissy cheer to the people around me - whether they like it or not!
Have you guessed that Christmas is my favourite time of year?

Anyway... I'm sure you want me to divulge the amazingness that is these Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Brownies. The other week, my friends baked some brownies. I bit into one, and a little red splotch gleamed up at me. I thought I had bit into my lip or something, but no, they had baked brownies with raspberries in them! I had never heard of such a thing. Are they a well-known brownie ingredient? I was simultaneously confused and delighted.

So I just HAD to make them. I adapted a simple brownie recipe from a book called 'Chocolate Magic' by Kate Shirazi, and added the raspberries and some good ol' white chocolate chips (for a more traditional spin).
Raspberries and white chocolate = red and white = Christmas!
... I'm sorry, I'll stop now.

The result is an intense, soft and fudgy treat, that marries together distinct flavours perfectly. The raspberries kind of melt into the brownie, which gives the brownie a lovely texture and a fantastic 'zing'.

Please do me a favour, and don't overcook the brownies! There is nothing worse than a dry brownie. Much appreciated. Thank you very much.

Go on! Get baking!

Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Brownies

 Makes about 12


110g unsalted butter
75g dark chocolate, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
225g caster sugar
50g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
100g white chocolate chips
100g fresh (or frozen) raspberries


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease a square/rectangular tin and line it with baking paper (making sure that it hangs slightly over the sides, as the brownies do rise before falling back down again).
Melt the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl that sits perfectly on top of some boiling water in a small saucepan on the stove (make sure that the bowl doesn't touch the water!). Stir with a wooden spoon to get rid of any lumps. Once smooth, remopve from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, sugar, flour and baking powder and mix well with a wooden spoon until smooth. GENTLY mix in the white chocolate chips and raspberries (raspberries are very soft and easily squished!) Pour batter into the tin, making sure it's spread easily.
Bake for 30 minutes, until top is crusty, but inside is still moist. Leave the brownies in the tin to cool for 10 minutes (the middle will harden as it cools). Cut  into about 16 squares, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Fairy Bread and Fairy Bread Pizza

Hullo again!

Gah! The end of the year has rolled around again, right under my nose! End of year assessments are nigh, stress is moderately high, and thoughts of Christmas are oh-so tantalising. Christmas is my favourite time of year - and my favourite time for baking!

Sigh. So many goodies to be made, so little time.

On another note: you knew it was coming. Don't pretend to be surprised. The name of my blog is 'the fairy bread chronicles', so obviously I just had to make fairy bread (and a twist on the original too).

Fairy bread is the ultimate symbol of nostalgia for me. I do not know how many pieces of fairy bread I consumed in my childhood, but I know it was (and still is) my absolute favourite party treat. It's just so pretty and colourful! And dead simple to make too.


End of story. Thank you very much.

On yet another note: Fairy bread is so simple that it pretty much doesn't count as a recipe, so I had a little epiphany that I'm pretty proud of - Fairy Bread Pizza.

I love sweet pizzas. They're playful and fun to eat. So combined with the concept of fairy bread?
Wow. It's the kind of food that I imagine magical creatures like unicorns and gnomes would eat.

First I'll do a little "mini-recipe" for the fairy bread, just in case you have been hiding under a rock and for some reason have no idea what this delicious food is and/or how to make it.

Fairy Bread

Makes as much as you want!

White bread, sliced
Butter or margarine
Hundreds and Thousands


Pour as many Hundreds and Thousands out onto a baking tray or large plate of some description., evenly covering the whole surface.

Butter a slice of white bread, spreading right out to the crusts.

Place the slice of bread buttered side down onto the Hundreds and Thousands, and lightly press down to coat the entire buttered surface. Shake off any excess and cut into mini triangles.


Now for the Fairy Bread Pizza.
(Dough adapted from 'Pizza Modo Mio' by John Lanzafame)
Overall recipe product of Angela's brain.

Fairy Bread Pizza

Serves 6 (makes one pizza)


1 tsp dried yeast
A pinch of salt
100ml warm water
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
160g plain flour, sifted
1 tbsp brown sugar
300ml good-quality vanilla ice cream
Hundreds and Thousands


Whisk together the yeast, salt and warm water in a small bowl until just combined. Whisk in the olive oil and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes, until the mixture starts to bubble slightly.
In a large bowl (ideally of a standing electric mixer) place the sifted flour and the mixture, and knead (with a dough hook attachment) for 15 minutes. Alternatively you could knead by hand. The dough should be smooth, not sticky, and elastic.

Rub the inside of a large bowl with a little olive oil, and roll the ball of dough around in it to coat. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave in a calm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Punch down the dough to get any air bubbles out. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top and knead the dough briefly, so the sugar is evenly spread. Shape and flatten the dough, and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover with a tea towel again, and leave for 15 minutes, or until risen slightly again.

Remove the tea towel and place dough in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let cool until nicely warm, then spread with slightly softened vanilla ice cream and sprinkle with Hundreds and Thousands.
Cut into slices and serve immediately.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding with Baked Apricots


It's because... today I got a brand spanking new Canon EOS 550D Camera! A mouthful to say out loud, but hey, who cares, because I have it in my hot little hands right this very minute! I am just so damn obsessed about how much I am obsessed with my new camera!

So, as you can imagine, I was jumping up and down the whole of this morning, and I knew that I had to test my new camera-crush out. And I had also been thinking of creating a rice pudding for quite a while, since I had never made one before.

I actually fell in love with what is deemed to be a "nanna" dish back in New York, the most amazing and not-at-all-nanna-ish city in the world! Down in Soho, there was a shop entirely devoted to this delicious, ricy treat. There was every type of rice pudding you could imagine! Rocky road rice pudding, panna cotta rice pudding, applie pie rice pudding - you name it! So I sort of had a rice-pudding epiphany that day.

And here I am, having made my own scrumptiously simple, yet all round awe-striking version (adapted from a 'Joy the Baker' recipe). Hope you have a rice pudding epiphany like me!
(P.S The little NYC taxi and playing cards are just two of the cutesy little things that I bought in my favourite city and future-home, the Big Apple.)

(P.P.S. Apricots are back in season, yippee! I had a big bag and decided to bake them, Bill Granger style.)

Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding with Baked Apricots

Serves 6-8
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups short-grain (I used Arborio) rice
A pinch of salt
5 cups whole milk
2/3 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 whole vanilla pod, if you want to be fancy)
6 fresh apricots

Bring the two cups of water to the boil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and, once bubbling violently, pour in the rice and salt. Bring back to the boil, and then reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed by the rice. Make sure you stir the rice occassionally, as it can tend to stick to the bottom!

Once the rice is cooked, place in a large bowl. Rinse the pan that the rice was in.

Cut apricots in half and get rid of the stone. Place in a large baking dish and sprinkle with a little brown sugar. Place in the oven at 170 degrees celsius for 20 minutes.

Add the milk, caster sugar and vanilla bean paste to the clean pan. Bring to a low boil, so the milk doesn't burn. Once the milk is slowly boiling, add the rice and cook down to a creamy pudding-y mixture (about 20 minutes). Stir often, as, yes, the rice has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan!

Place pudding in a large serving bowl or cute glasses/dishes to serve, and place the apricots atop! The wonder of rice pudding - it can be eaten steaming hot, nice and chilled, or at room temperature! Yay for rice pudding!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Coconut Cupcakes


Yay! My friend Sian and I are now in the 'market business' - last weekend we sold our handpainted plates at the Blackbutt Rotary Markets, and made a humble profit! But more importantly, we had fun sitting around, having chats to the lovely people, old and young, that passed us.

This sets us up for markets in the near future, which is very exciting as it's Christmas coming up! Now we'll actually have some level of understanding of how the Arts and Crafts game works, so we won't be so petrified/ unnaturally happy-looking to the point where it's kind of creepy when potential customers approach our table!

Aside from that, I'm pretty busy, but happy at school. However I suspect I won't be so happy when our big and scary assessment period looms closer and closer!

But for now, I can relax and show you guys the deliciously light and fluffy coconut cupcakes I made on the weekend! {Adapted from 'Cupcakes' - Juliet Rogers}

These are what I imagine biting into a tasty, coconut-flavoured pillow would be like. Need I say more?

Coconut Cupcakes

Makes 12

2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g unsalted butter, melted

Coconut icing:
2 1/4 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 cups dessicated cocnut
75g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp coconut essence
2 tbsp hot water
Shredded coconut, lightly toasted, to sprinkle on top!


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 12 cupcake holes with cute little cupcake cases!

Combine flour, coconut and sugar in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, coconut essence and melted butter, using a wooden spoon. Pour the mixture into the well and mix until combined (but don't mix too much - the 'less is more' approach works best when it comes to fluffy cupcakes!)

Divide the mixture evenly among the cupcakes cases and bake for 16 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing:

Combine the sifted icing sugar and coconut in a mixing bowl.

Add the butter, coconut essence and 1 tbsp of the hot water to the dry ingredients. If, when mixed, the icing does not loosen up to become spreadable, add the other tablespoon of hot water.

Using a spoon, spread a layer of icing over each cooled cupcake, and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.