Anzacs and Afghans

Before we went camping for Easter, I did a whole lot of baking to take with us.  I’ve had the cookbook Ladies, a Plate for a while now, but haven’t cook much out of it.  For camping, I baked two New Zealand classics – Anzacs, and Afghans.  I have to say that these are the best recipes for these biscuits I have used.

These are my Afghans:

And from another angle:

So close up you can see my fingerprints on the chocolate icing – I’m an advocate of using hands for cooking!  They are not too sweet, nice and have heaps of cornflakes in them for crispiness (if you don’t know what Afghans are, they are a cocoa-y chocolaty biscuit, with crunchy cornflakes in them, chocolate icing and always a walnut to top it off!).  Yum.

I have always had problems with ANZAC biscuit recipes, but this one is great.  I have made them several times before from recipes which end up as one big pool of golden-syrupy buttery oats, but these ones spread out nicely – not too much!  They melt in your mouth too.  ANZAC biscuits are made from mainly oats and coconut, and are flavoured with Golden Syrup.  For the first lot I made, I used some walnuts as the recipes suggested – apparently they are one of the traditional ingredients, but not used so much these days because they are quite expensive…  Are you ready for the photo?

Absolutely delicious – they just melt in your mouth!  I was so impressed with these recipes, I’ve now bought the second Ladies, a Plate book so I can do some more yummy baking!

Family Baking

Last week I volunteered to do the food for a small “family reunion” that my Dad and Mum were hosting at our house in Tauranga.  I love having an excuse to bake, and especially to present things lovely-ly and bring out the fancy plates.  Here is what I made:

Some delicious macadamia nut and dried apricot biscuits.  These are similar to the ones I have made previously, but these ones don’t have the maple flavouring, and the dough is shortbread.  I got this idea from my mum, and it makes deliciously light biscuits which melt in your mouth!  Yum!  They are quite crumbly though, so not ideal for carrying around in your handbag.  I find Gingernuts to be best for that…

 

Also, what’s that in front of those melt in your mouth macadamia biscuits?

 

Yes!  My favourite lemon cake, with lemon and honey drizzle!  The recipe is in the Edmond’s cookbook, although as I’ve said earlier, I replace the sour cream with thick, plain yoghurt, since the sour cream has gelatin in it…

 

I love this lemon cake recipe, it’s perfect with a cup of tea!  This time though, it’s dressed up in it’s finery – a lovely glass cake stand of my Mum’s, and a dusting of icing sugar – yum yum…

 

Bet you wish you were related to me…

Chocolate Cake

Dear Emily, I know I’ve been naughty and not updating my blog.  Here is a chocolate cake to ease your pain:

I made it yesterday.  I wouldn’t usually make a chocolate cake, but that’s the flavour that was requested 🙂  This one though is soooooo yummy – it’s got so much cocoa in it, and lots of sugar (brown and white) too!  I used the recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog.  I just didn’t have any buttermilk, so I used soymilk with the juice of half a lemon in it, and two small eggs instead of one large one (haha).

 

Maple Macadamia Biscuits

Last Sunday was a beautiful sunny day.  I had a friend coming around for a cup of tea in the sun, so I thought I’d make some biscuits to go with the tea and the sun.  I had a bottle of maple syrup (a vestige of some beautiful blueberry pancakes) in my cupboard.  But what else to put with the maple flavour?  Chocolate?  Banana?  Tamarillos?  Nothing quite worked in my head, until I found a bag of macadamia nuts in my cupboard, which were grown by my lovely Mum and Dad in Tauranga, and have been in my cupboard for aaaaaages.  Probably because they are SO hard to get into!  But on a sunny day, I took a hammer to the macadamias in the sunny back…  concrete yard?

I used the “Basic Biscuit” recipe from the Edmonds, but replaced half of the sugar with about 1/4 of a cup of maple syrup.  For the macadamia nuts, I toasted them a little in my cast iron pan (a birthday present a few years ago from my Great Aunty June).

You can do this with any nuts and seeds – with pumpkin seeds it makes them go all poppy!   When I make this biscuit recipe (with various variations) I usually bake half of it, and freeze the other half – now I have one frozen lot of chocolate apricot biscuits, and one lot of maple macadamia biscuits.  I’m going to unfreeze them and cook them up for my picnic this weekend!

Finally, what your hungry eyes have been waiting for… The final product(s)!  They were very yummy, not overly sweet and with those lovely oily macadamia nuts hiding in them.  Absolutely perfect companions to a cup of tea in the sun!

Legendary Lemon Cheese Pudding

Last Friday night, my friend Sarah and I had a baking date.  Our baking dates are always wild nights, full of soup, bread, and desert!  Last time we met up, we made an amazing Lemon Cheese Pudding, which my Mum has been making ever since it was made for us by some friends of the family.  In fact, I’m pretty sure Sarah’s boyfriend only proposed to her to get access to this pudding.  Or because she’s an awesome girl, and an amazing baker!   Anyway, this Lemon “Cheese” Pudding is worth a try – it’s so simple and incredibly delicious.  Is is a recipe from the Edmond’s Cookbook, but doesn’t seem to be included in the later version.  It’s in my Mum’s cookbook, but not mine.  I don’t know why they wouldn’t include it!  I think it’s called “Cheese” pudding, because the lemon juice curdles the milk and butter a little, meaning that they puddingy bit looks a little like ricotta cheese or something.  That’s my theory anyway!

– 1 tablespoon of butter (or marg)

– 1/2 cup of sugar

– Juice and rind of one lemon

– Pinch of salt

– 1 cup of milk (usually I use soy milk, and it works fine)

– 2 eggs

– 1 tablespoon of flour

Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  In another bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add flour, lemon juice and rind, milk and a pinch of salt to the butter and sugar.  Gently fold your egg whites into the lemony mixture, trying not to pop too many bubbles!

Spoon or pour the mixture into ramekins, and place the ramekins in a dish.  Pour boiling water into the dish so that it comes to about half way up the ramekins – Sarah tells me this is so it cooks evenly..  Bake for about 20 mins at 170C.

Here are some happy snaps from our baking date:

Sarah making the lemony mixture.

My wonderfully whipped egg whites.

Sarah mixing the wonderfully whipped whites into the lovely lemon mixture.

Check out Sarah’s blog too, she has some lovely pictures of our baking date (including one of the insides of the pudding – I was in too much of a hurry to eat it to take a photo)..