Hedgehog Slice - Recipe 29 of the Women's Weekly Challenge

The last few months since moving into my new flat have been a bit mental and my blogging has gone by the wayside; however that doesn't mean I have not been baking and I am happy to report I have settles into my kitchen now and the baking orders have been quite frequent lately which has also kept me busy.

This blog entry really shows how far behind I am, I made this back in August.. oops! And since then I have not had a chance to continue with my baking challenge, however I have some egg whites waiting to be used in my freezer so let the macaroon baking begin. 

To keep my spirits up with this baking challenge, I skipped to the back to the slice section and made this very simple recipe which went down a treat at work and disappeared before midday. 

makes about 20 pieces

395g canned sweetened condensed milk 
90g chopped butter 
185g chopped dark eating (semi-sweet) chocolate
250g plain sweet biscuits
2/3 cups roasted hazelnuts (how to roast hazelnuts)
2/3 cup sultanas

 Grease 20cm x 30cm rectangular pan and then line base and along the sides with baking paper, extending the paper 5cm over sides. 

Mix the condensed milk and butter in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until smooth. 

Remove from heat and add the and stir until smooth. 

Next break  up the biscuits into small pieces and place in large bowl with the hazelnuts and sultanas.

Stir in chocolate mixture and Press mixture firmly into pan.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Happy Baking x

"Easy as Pie"

I have to admit I had not heard of Key Lime Pie until about 18 months ago and I have no idea how I missed that boat as I love limes. However it wasn't through reading baking websites, it was this guy.

For those of you who haven't seen Dexter, it all happened in Season 3 Episode 7, aptly named "Easy as Pie". The episode name makes reference to one of Dexter's old friend's who asks for help in ending her life when she is dying from terminal lung cancer. Not to give to much away for those who have not watched it, but the pie has a lot to do with it. Also who wouldn't want Michael C. Hall feeding you pie... 

Ever since then I've wanted to bake one, but a pie is such an occasion dish that I never got around to it until last night, which also coincidentally coincides with the air date of Season 7. EXCITED!

The Hummingbird Bakery Key Lime Pie

Makes 10 - 12 slices

8 egg yolks
2 x 397g tins condensed milk
5 limes, zested and juiced, plus extra zest to decorate
450ml whipping cream

500g digestive biscuits
200g unsalted butter, melted

23cm pie dish, greased

Tip: While I was baking, I was also talking to my younger Sister Aimee who is a amazing chef in Brisbane. I asked her for something inventive I could do with 8 left over egg whites as it seemed a waste to throw them out and I have never thought of this, but she said just to freeze them. My mum later informed me you can also buy frozen egg whites from the supermarket. Amazing! So I measured out the egg whites and put them in individual containers for another day.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius

To make the crust, roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them in a food processor (since I don't have a food processor, I released my angry by bashing them with a rolling pin in a tea towel). Process until finely ground. Slowly pour the melted butter into the processor while the motor is running (or mix well in a bowl). Press the mixture into the base and neatly up the side of the pie dish, using the ball of your hand or a tablespoon to flatten and compress it.

Bake the crust in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until deep golden and firm. Set aside to cool completely.
Turn the oven down to 150 degrees Celsius.

Put the egg yolks, condensed milk and lime juice and zest in a glass bowl and mix gently with a balloon whisk until all the ingredients are very well incorporated. The mixture will thicken naturally.

When you are ready to serve the pie, whip the cream with a hand-held electric whisk in a large bowl until soft peaks form, then spread over the pie and decorate with a little lime zest. As we weren't going to eat the pie in one sitting, I just served the cream on each slice.

Happy Baking x

Hummingbird Bakery Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Things have finally started to settle down in the new flat and I've started to bake again using my new oven - okay its not new, just a lot better than my last flat, so it feels new. There also appears to be an abundance of photos for editing and blogging which I am catching up on from pre and post moving, which is now over a month ago. MENTAL! If you have been reading my blog over the last few weeks you can see I have been quite busy and its nice to have a bit of calm in October. Well I say that, but it is only the 1st of the month.

Before I moved house, I was trying to bake my way through my baking cupboard which in theory meant less stuff to move. To be honest, I'm not really sure we noticed the difference as moving any number of boxes down 2 flights of stairs and then back up 4 flights (with no lift) on the hottest day in London is the worst! Yes 31 degrees Celsius in London is hot...

Last year I really wanted to make all things pumpkin around November/December time, however the Libby's Pumpkin Puree I like to bake with was quite hard to come by as its an American product and so when I saw it on sale at Waitrose I couldn't resist buying 3-4 tins. In hindsight this was crazy as a whole pumpkin pie only needs one tin. Regardless I love this stuff and I decided to give the Hummingbird Bakery Pumpkin Cupcakes a go; especially as these one are topped with my favourite cream cheese icing.

Hummingbird Bakery Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

120 g plain flour
140 g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
40 g unsalted butter, at room temp
120 ml whole milk
2 eggs200 g tinned pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting

300 g icing sugar
50 g unsalted butter, at room temp
125 g cream cheese, cold

Heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

With an electric mixer beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and butter until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

While the mixer is still running on a slow speed, gradually pour in the milk and mix well. Next add the eggs and mix well, scraping down the sides to ensure an even mix.

Stir in pumpkin puree by hand until evenly dispersed and spoon mixture into paper cases until 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes. I always check mine after 16-28 minutes, just in case.

While the cakes are cooling making the icing by beating the icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer until well mixed. Next add cream cheese (to ensure this is completely chilled before adding, only take it out of the fridge when you are ready to add it - I always measure mine out prior to making the cupcake and then stick it back in the fridge). Continue mixing until frosting is light and fluffy, but do not over beat as the cream cheese warms up the mixture becomes runnier and not fluffier.

Frost the cupcakes when they have cooled, using either a simple round piping tube or just use a pallet knife. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

I still have one more tin to use up... and luckily Halloween is just around the corner!

Happy Baking x