Saturday, 26 May 2012

Nutella Muffins

Hello once again :)

Sigh. It's cold. Winter is coming...

And also: yay! Winter's coming! I can wear Ugg boots all day and drink hot drinks all the time and supremely enjoy turning my electric blanket on at night!

I'm not sure what the weather's like at your house, but here at mine, it's blustery and chilly and the air is so clear and fresh. Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. I just feel so alive! When you breathe in, you appreciate the oxygen filling your lungs, and when you go outside, you can just SMELL THE NATURE! It's so invigorating! It makes me feel like I can run off into the forest and brefriend some big-eyed woodland animals and sing and dance with them while they braid my hair.

...Or maybe, I could just make some muffins?

Ooh! It was my birthday this week. Wednesday the 23rd. I had a lovely birthday, made extremely special by my family and good friends. And my mum made me a cake! All by herself! Made with love, and chocolate! It was amazing, better than any store-bought cake. Maybe you should bake more often, Mum. (Hint.)

Speaking of baking... Muffins! Nutella! Strawberries! More Nutella! To me, it sounds like a recipe for success.
Do I really need to explain these? I think they speak for themselves, loud and clear. To be enjoyed any time, anywhere. Anything with Nutella is bound to be good - but these are friggin' amazing!

I don't usually make muffins, but I saw these in the Nutella cookbook I bought when in Noumea last month. And yes, before you ask, I HAVE A NUTELLA COOKBOOK.
It's in French, but luckily for me, je parle le francais!

So I used these muffins as an excuse to say I was studying French. Which I was. Sort of.

S'il vous plait, faites ces muffins. Vous ne regretterez rien!

P.S. I translated the recipe for you, because I'm really nice.

Nutella Muffins

{Recipe adapted from 'Les Petits Plats' Nutella Cookbook, by Sandra Mahut}

Makes 12

200g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
100g melted butter
100ml pouring cream
1 tbsp milk
100g milk chocolate
75g Nutella


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, and mix in sugar and salt.

In another bowl, beat the eggs with the cream until well combined, then add the melted butter and again, mix well.

In a bain-marie (heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, making sure water doesn't touch bottom of bowl), melt together the chocolate and milk, stirring until smooth and glossy.

Add the melted chocolate and Nutella to the egg-cream-butter mixture, stirring until combined. Fold into the dry ingredients, incorporating until just combined.

In 12 muffin cases sitting in muffin tins, divide the mixture, filling until cases are 3/4 full.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.


Once completely cool, scoop out a little divet in the top of the muffins. Fill with a little nutella, and place a little strawberry in there, as if it were enjoying a realxing, nutella-y bath!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Chocolate Chip - Oat Cookies

Hello again.

Guess what? 11 DAYS TILL MY BIRTHDAY! :D :D :D

... but yeah, life's pretty good.

After a time full of new recipes that didn't quite work out, I am back with a simple, yet reliable and amazingly good, chocolate chip cookie recipe.
It's so good to bake something that you could do in your sleep. It's so relaxing. Baking in general is a good hobby, but with fiddly things that require unwanted thinking and carefulness (pfft!), sometimes you get really tired and stressed - NOT GOOD!

But with these little dandies, not so. I have been making these since I was about 11, and they have never failed me. It's from Bill Granger - you should know by now my worship of him. They're just like plain chocolate chip cookies, but with oats! That means that they're wholesome! (Just tell yourself that).

*I know that these look like ANZAC biscuits in the photos, but trust me, there are LOTS of chocolate chips in those little things! And the light when I took the photos wasn't too crash-hot, so I brightened them up on the computer, and they turned a sort of sepia colour! Forgive me, peoples of the internet!
Anyway, I kind of like the warm tone of the photos. Sue me why don't you!

I joke, I joke, but really, folks, for a nice afternoon bikkie to be enjoyed with a cup of tea and a bowl full of strawberries, you really can't go past these. They're humble and kind and simple and they love it when you eat them! So do these cookies a favour (or two) and have a munch on them!

Chocolate Chip - Oat Cookies
{Recipe from Bill Granger's "Bill's Food" - I didn't adapt, why take away from perfection?}
Makes 30 (I got away with 33!)

150g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
I tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, or chopped up milk chocolate


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 3 large baking trays with baking paper.

Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until fluffy and smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until smooth. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into bowl and mix liightly with a wooden spoon. Fold in oats and chocolate chips.

Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place, evenly spaced, on the baking trays. Flatten the balls slightly with a fork dipped in flour. Bake cookies for 20 min, or until light golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 min, then transfer to a wire rack.

P.S. If you're wondering about the photos with a shaft of light through them (hint: above this sentence), I went all experimental and postmodern by seeing what the biscuits would look like in the harsh light. Not sure of the outcome... some might call it weird. I think I'm going to call it... ART.