mum’s chocolate chip cookies

I remember my mum making these when I was a little kid and I always used to love sneaking one from the cooling tray as they were still warm and gooey in the middle. This recipe makes HEAPS of cookies which is a good thing as they are often eaten by the handful.
I like to make these with milk or dark chocolate chips but you can do half a cup of dark, milk and white chips for a triple chocolate chip biscuit. I also like to keep my cookies a bit soft in the middle but you can make yours nice and crunchy 🙂

Nicole Fuge's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
175g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup self raising flour
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Place sugars and butter into a mixing bowl and mix until creamy. Add vanilla and egg and mix again until well combined.
Sift the flours into the mix and stir using a wooden spoon. Stir in chocolate chips using the wooden spoon and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
Place teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes. Cool on the tray for five minutes before putting them on a wire cooling rack.

carrot cakecups with coconut cream cheese frosting

IMG_1825[1]No the title isn’t a mistake, it’s not meant to read cupcakes. These are cakecups.
So looking at these little pretties, it doesn’t look like I had a disaster in the kitchen – but this was meant to be a big carrot cake with lashings of cream cheese frosting.
The cake went to plan, lovely and golden with a little spring its step. But the frosting… I’ve made this many times before and never has this happened to me. It went runny and I mean so runny there was more on my kitchen bench than the cake when I iced it.
In hindsight perhaps I over mixed it, I’m not sure. I tried to remedy by popping it in the fridge for a while, that’ll thicken it up I thought. Wrong. How about I try adding something to the mixture? Coconut might work and it’ll enhance the flavour. Okay let’s try that. A little better but still looks like my seven-year-old cousin let loose in the kitchen.
Looking through my pantry for a final solution I saw the pile of cupcake cups. Perhaps I could cut the cake and present it in there, like a deconstructed cake (I’ve been watching too much Masterchef!)
So I started hacking at this cake and creating mini cake mountains in the cups. This was starting to not only look decent and worthy of giving to people, it was looking pretty damn good – maybe even better than my original cake plan.
I sprinkled with coconut, edible gold glitter and a few dried rose petals just to make this look like the best cakecup ever.
The best thing, they tasted pretty darn good too. Now I’m obsessed with cakecups and am thinking of more flavour combinations as we speak. Stay tuned.

IMG_1775[1]Ingredients
Carrot cake
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium carrots, grated
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups almond meal
Handful of walnuts
Coconut cream cheese frosting
500g cream cheese
400g icing sugar
1/2 cup shaved coconut

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease the base and sides of a cake tin with olive oil or baking paper.
Grate the carrots (I find it’s easier to pop them into a food processor) and put them in between a couple of sheets of paper towels to absorb the juices. Set aside
Whisk the sugar and oil, until mixed together. Whisk in the vanilla, cinnamon and eggs in a large bowl. Fold in the almond meal, grated carrots and walnuts.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle).
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.
To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth, you can use either a food processor or an electric mixer. Then stir through the coconut.
Once the cake is cooled, roughly spread the frosting over the cake. Get out some cupcake cups and have them all out ready to fill with cake.
Cut pieces of the cake and put into the cups, gently press the cake so there’s plenty in there and make sure you get a good combination of cake and frosting. When you’re happy with how they look, sprinkle with a bit more coconut. I then sprinkled with some rose petals for extra decoration.
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black forest cupcakes with rose petal decoration

IMG_1031[1]I bought rose petals the other day and have been absolutely itching to use them. They’re so pretty and add another element to cupcake decoration.
It was funny though, then I was buying them from the shop (which sells mainly kitchen supplies) the first thing the lady asked me was whether I was using them for in the bath. That made me think for a second – are these meant to be eaten. Then I told her I would use them for cooking and she smiled and nodded. Phew, they’re edible.
It was amazing when I opened the box, this incredible smell reminiscent of Turkish delight wafted out and I wanted to shower my kitchen in these little pretties. In fact while I was decorating the cupcakes, my kitchen quickly started smelling like Turkish delight. Lucky it’s one of my absolute favourite smells/tastes.
The trick with using them is restraint as they’re kind of expensive and I just wanted to pile the cupcakes high with them.
I made these cupcakes for my grandfather’s birthday, I made Black Forest and iced them, sprinkled with shaved chocolate but they still looked bare. That’s when I remembered the petals and I knew it would finish them off perfectly. I was a bit unsure though as they are so feminine, but I’m thrilled with the end result and I hope he likes them too.
I made three dozen of the cupcakes (the recipe below is for about 14) and gave one dozen to my grandad and the other two dozen I took to work to celebrate a wonderful collection we’d done at work. We’ve been collecting food and clothing for the local homeless community and we had some of the local organisations who work with the homeless, into the office to collect their goods and to enjoy a morning tea to say thank you for everything you do.
The ones that weren’t eaten were sold to my colleagues for a donation of their choosing, they money then went into a collection to purchase some Street Swags for the homeless.
So this is a pretty lovely recipe 🙂

 

Ingredients
Mudcakes
200g butter
200g dark chocolate buttons
1 cup raw caster sugar
3/4 cup hot water
3 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1 jar pitted cherries
1 block chocolate shaved with a peeler.
Buttercream
200g vegetable shortening
500g icing sugar
40ml water (may need more)
Cherry essence

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a 12 cup cupcake tray with cases.
Place butter, chocolate, sugar, water and vanilla essence in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the ingredients have melted and mixture is silky smooth. Set aside to cool.
Stir in the flours using a whisk, then whisk in the eggs. You can use a wooden spoon but I find a whisk makes a smoother mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and press in the pitted cherries. Bake for about 25 minutes. Stand in the tin for about 5 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
To make the buttercream frosting, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. You may need a touch more water to get the consistency you want.

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