Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Breadmaking Revolution!!

Well on Thurs night I was happily sitting back thinking I had a free and easy weekend ahead of me....wasn't that a stupid thing to do! On Thurs night I received 3 orders for cupcakes so my quiet weekend was starting to disappear but that puts my total fundraising over $200 for the RSPCA so far and we haven't even had the actual Cupcake Day yet!

Anyway, on Friday Mum called into work and gave me a huge pile of her old recipe books, seafood, chicken, vegetarian, crackles, slices, biscuits, christmas, you name it, it was there, so as soon as I am finished writing this I am going to make a cup of tea and start flicking through them.

She also brought me these fantastic lil tomatoes that are red and ripe...but don't leak so you can make your sandwiches without them going all soggy - what will they think of next! Mum also dropped off her breadmaker as OH and I had mentioned we had a craving for fresh bread and Mum thought that would be easier so we could wake up to fresh bread in the morning (she does look after me!). So after work I went and brought some bread flour and some fresh strawberry jam....mmmmm....and went home to get baking!

First on the list though was some Cookies and Cream Cupcakes...and seeing as the person who ordered them wanted them decorated with Carlton AFL flags I decided to put the oreos in the cupcake mix rather then in the icing. I had no idea how they were going to turn out, but I made a simple Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcake recipe and then added some crushed oreos and when they came out of the oven they looked spectacular! I had some mix left over so I made some super lil baby ones for OH and he had eaten most of them before they had cooled down! So here are the before and after decoration shots!

Now onto the bread, I know bread makers have been around for years and years but this was the first time OH and I had made bread and we had big plans for it! So before going to bed on Fri night we chucked everything in and set the timer for 7am Sat morning. At 5am we both woke up to the smell of baking bread and even though it was a Saturday, by 7am we were both wide awake and hovering around the kitchen waiting for that magical beeping noise that meant we could dive right in. And when it was ready it was perfect, a gorgeous white loaf of crusty bread, that very top slice nice and soft and doughy and we sat there eating it smothered in butter and strawberry jam still piping hot. It was just mind numbingly we sat there plotting and scheming and came up with even bigger plans for the remainder of the loaf!

It was a miserable day and so we decided to laze around in our pjs and play twister and monopoly for the morning. There were several twister related injuries and a few monopoly inspired tantrums, but then all of a sudden it was 2pm and that fresh bread was calling us again. We made ourselves up a huge platter of shaved ham, season shaved chicken, tomatoes - and yes they really were non-juicy! - cucumber, brie, vintage cheddar, cream cheese and normal cheese and the rest of the bread warmed up in the microwave. An hour later we had demolished the lot and even though our bellies were at bursting point we were very very happy and satisfied. Coming to the conclusion that there is nothing like fresh bread and we may just need to invest in a bread maker of our own! Even now it is Sunday afternoon and the house still smells like fresh bread. Sorry there are no photos of the bread...we were too busy drooling over it and really that does not make for an attractive picture!

Last night we went out for dinner with some friends and we both ordered the pan-friend barramundi with a mango salsa and some winter vegetables which was delicious (although neither of us ate much after all that bread!). Then we all went bowling and it was a great night. It was nice to have a night out with great company and do something different. OH and I used to go bowling all the time when I worked at the bowling alley but we haven't been for ages, I had forgotten how much fun it was!

I spent most of today baking red velvet cupcakes to be delivered tomorrow and making Lattice Slice for OH's lunches so this afternoon we went up into the back paddock with our new football (purchased yesterday) and had a kick around. I can't believe how much fun it was! I was exhausted and worn out and we were only out there for half hour but it was great, doing something fun together, out in the fresh air and being active, we even thought we might do some stuff like kick the footy or the soccer ball or have a game of basketball instead of going for a walk some evenings and I'm really looking forward to it : )

So what recipes do I have for you today?

I'm going with this dead easy Lattice Slice:

1 pkt lattice biscuits
250g philadelphia cream cheese
250g cooking butter
1/2 c caster sugar
1 tbspn vanilla essence
2 tbspn lemon juice
1 tspn gelatine

Line a slice tin with baking paper and lay 8 lattice biscuits, shiny side down in the tray.
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and gelatine dissolved in 1/4 c boiling water.
Spread over biscuits in tray and then top with 8 more.
Refrigerate overnight and once set you can cut into squares (as per the biscuits) and serve.

Ok and one more!

Cookies and Cream Buttermilk Cupcakes - Makes 12

80g Butter
1 cup Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tbspn Vanilla Essence
1.5 cups Plain Flour
2 tspn Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
1 cup Buttermilk
8 Oreo biscuits crushed

Cream butter and sugar
Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla
Combine flour and baking powder. Add to butter mix
Add salt, buttermilk and crushed biscuits.

Bake at 160C (fan forced) for 20 mins or until they spring back when touched.
You could top these with any flavour frosting and either mix some oreos through that or simply sprinkle them over the top, delicious!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend

Em xx

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