Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Carrot, Apple & Coconut Muffins and Cakes

Ok, I'm worst food blogger ever! There's a good way to start!  Hopefully I can redeem myself with this ridiculously easy but delicious recipe!





I think I keep putting off posting recipes because I don't have photos of all of the steps in the process of the recipes. I LOVE recipes with photos of every step. But with 3 kids under foot, the days of me having the opportunity to take step by step photos of everything I make are few and far between.  So, rather than putting off sharing recipes any further, I now will endeavour to post a recipe even if I only have one photo of the finished product *gasps in horror!!!!*.  I also don't have that much to say, so the future posts may be short and sweet but will be documenting recipes I've made and loved. Keep it simple stupid! And as my friend Claire says - you're not building a piano!!!!  This little blog can be a recipe journal with a photo here and there. Onwards and upwards!

So, here's a recipe that I've made about a dozen times in the past year. A firm lunchbox favourite. Extremely adaptable!  You can make it as muffins or as larger cakes.  I made it as for my little Lady Babycake's first birthday cake. It's delicious! When I'm just making it for lunchboxes, I lower the maple syrup amount but for birthday cakes, I use the full amount. You don't have to use spelt flour or any wholemeal if you don't want to, but I tried it with spelt flour (regular and wholemeal combination) and it's my fave!!!! I'm converted!!!  For any info on the health benefits of spelt, I suggest you google and look for your own evidence. I'm happy that it's a healthier option and even happier that it's also tastier!  I just bought it from Woolworths - the Macro brand (not sponsored, just saw it and bought it!).

Next time I'm going to try it with coconut flour.  Not because I'm gluten free or in to fad food, but I love experimenting with different products and wheat free baking is good for a change. I've been using coconut flour lots lately and love it. Makes for super tasty and non dry cakes and muffins.

Whilst I'm on the topic, here are a couple of further thoughts on fad foods and wholefoods. I, clearly, love to cook. I also love to bake sweet things. But with 3 kids 5 and under, I'm getting more and more mindful of what foods are better choices for them and for me.  There are lots of fad foods out there at the moment. Some are awesome, some are gross! Um, maca powder - ewwwwww!!!!  I know it's supposed to be awesome but I can't stand it!  The approach I am taking with 80-90% of the food in our house is wholefoods. Fruit, vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, nuts, legumes, dairy, grains etc. The best quality and freshest we can afford, grow and/or find. No food groups are excluded, but different choices are being experimented with. For example, I no longer use vegetable oil, instead I use proper butter, extra virgin olive oil and cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil. It's not about fat, it's about how wholesome it is.  Less processed sugar is also happening. But I can assure you that I have not jumped on the "I quit sugar" bandwagon! Fruit is awesome. Maple syrup is delicious! And sometimes, you just NEED to make salted caramel brownies jam packed full of refined sugar!!!! ;-) I could continue to ramble on about this, but I won't. Instead, I will introduce you to these 3 awesome ladies:

- No nonsense nutrition guru Katie180. Visit her blog or follow her on Facebook for some little pearls of wisdom.  No extremes and loads of interesting information.  Plus she likes cake :-)

- The fabulous Heidi at Apples Under My Bed is a dietitian who loves to eat and cooks the most delicious food. I've made lots of her recipes and I'm inspired daily by her instgram feed.  A fellow Melbournian and an awesome chick.

- Bianca at Wholefood Simply has so many straight forward but gorgeous recipes- particularly baked goods with healthier ingredients.  I made her coconut bread in muffin form yesterday and they were awesome!

All 3 blogs are full of really ace recipes that are delicious, simple and mostly wholesome without any deprivation!

Ok, what was I saying earlier about having nothing to say?!?! See why I don't blog very often?! I start rambling.

Here's the recipe! Finally!

Carrot, Apple & Coconut Muffins and Cakes

Ingredients:
150 grams of spelt flour
100 grams of spelt wholemeal flour
80 grams (1 cup) of coconut
3 teaspoons of baking powder
80grams of cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil, melted
3 eggs, lightly whisked
75-125ml of pure maple syrup (not the imitation stuff!) depending on your preference.
3 carrots, grated (squeeze some of the juice out and discard or drink it!)
2 apples, grated (same as with the carrot juice!)



Method:
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees
- Mix all of the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.  That's how easy this recipe is!




- pour in to patty pan cases or lined and greased (with coconut oil) cake tins







For muffins/cupcakes - bake for approximately 15 minutes depending on the size you use - I make about 36 medium muffins from this recipe usually but have also made larger ones and mini ones.  Once the muffins are golden and cooked all the way through, they're done.  Here's some photos of the muffin version that are a regular lunchbox item for my kiddos.




For larger cakes - bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. I made 3 small, flat cakes with this recipe ready to be stacked with maple cream cheese frosting - yummo!!!!  Here's some pics of the cake as seen at Lady Babycakes First Birthday.











I hope you try these and love them as much as we do!

I shall endeavour to post another recipe soon….I have about 20 waiting in the wings...

Love Amy xoxo

Monday, 7 October 2013

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Hello lovely readers!

Apologies again for the sporadic and neglectful manner I have been updating this blog! I have about 20 posts drafted and half finished so I hope to eventually get them all completed and published soon...maybe when my youngest goes to school in about 5 years?!?!?! Anyway, here's one I had to type up urgently before I forgot how I made it!

For those of you who are on Instagram, you might have seen this little beauty being created on the weekend. It was goooooooooooooooooood!!!



I served it with warm vanilla custard – I used this recipe as a base but used milk instead of cream, raw caster sugar instead of white (caramel flavour!), doubled the cornflour and used vanilla paste instead of extract. Worked a treat!



Ingredients:
- 100g butter, softened
- 50g  brown sugar
- 50g raw caster sugar (regular caster sugar is fine)
- 150g plain flour
- 50g cornflour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla paste
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 6 sticks of rhubarb (it was a bit less than a full bunch – I saved some to stew to go with my porridge for breakfast!)
- 2 granny smith apples
- ½ lemon



For the crumble:
- 125g plain flour
- 125g butter, cubed and keep cold in the fridge
- 50g brown sugar
- 50 g raw caster sugar
- 25 demerara sugar (you can use 125g of just one type of sugar if you like! I just used the combination of what I had and what I like.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Method:

Preheat oven to 160-170 degrees Celsius.

Grease and line a 25cm spring form tin. You could use a smaller one but adjust the cooking time as it will be a higher cake.



For the crumble:
Mix together all of the ingredients aside from the demerara sugar in a food processor until it’s like chunky bread crumbs. Don’t over mix – it’s good to have little chunks of butter. You could do this by hand if you don’t want to use a food processor. Then add the demerara sugar and give one last quick mix. Set the crumble mix aside in the fridge to stay cold.



For the cake:

Cut the rhubarb into 1-2cm pieces and peel, core and cut the apples in to 2cm cubes. Toss the fruit together with 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar and a big squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside.



Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric beater for several minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs – do this very slowly so the mixture doesn't split! I usually add some of the flour in if it’s looking like it’s going to split. Add both flours and the lemon zest and beat until smooth. Finally add the baking powder and gently incorporate.

Poor the cake mixture in to the lined pan and spread out evenly.



Remove most of the liquid from the fruit and then add the fruit on top of the cake mixture.



Add the crumble mixture on top in a reasonably even manner.



Bake for 1-1 ¼ hours depending on your oven. You want the top to be nice and brown with a crunch, the centre to be cooked through and the base to be lovely and cooked. I cooked my cake for 1 and  ¼  hours at 160 degrees fan forced. Test with a skewer to be sure and keep an eye on it as you don't want it to burn if you have a super hot oven!  Leave to cool in tin. Then remove from tin, peel off the baking paper and serve at room temperature with warm custard or on it’s own.







Let me know if you try this one and if you enjoy it!!! It’s a large cake – we served 12 people and even froze two slices for another day.

Love Amy xoxo

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Nut Free Chocolate Protein Balls

Hello lovely folks!

Apologies for the radio silence around here. Head over to Instagram if you'd like to see my misadventures on a more regular basis!

Just a quickie today.  Mostly because they were a hit and I don't want to forget what I chucked in!!!



I've been seeing LOADS of chocolate protein balls (also called Bliss Balls or Amaze Balls) on Instagram over the past 6 months or so. I decided I needed another high protein snack for my kinder boy's lunch boxes and for my preschooler who doesn't love healthy food yet so I like to add some super charged foods in to the mix. And I wanted it to be nut free for kinder.

I consulted my gorgeous friend Amelia (you can find her recipe here) and from there I concocted this version based on the ingredients I had on hand and my boys favourite seeds.

My 4.5 and 2.5 year olds made these with me. Mr 4.5 rolled them out really quite well. Mr 2.5 chose to eat the mixture with a spoon instead ;-)  They had a great time making them and they both loved the taste!  We have 3 little ones packed for kinder tomorrow and the rest are in the freezer for quick snacks in the future.


Nut free chocolate protein balls

Ingredients:
- 1.5 cups of dates (Medjool if available)
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup Quinoa flakes
- 1/2 cup coconut
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (this is different to cocoa!)
- 3 Tablespoons Chia seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Linseed
- 4 Tablespoons Tahini
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons of 100% pure Maple syrup (you can omit this if you like, I decided to add it this time for extra sweetness but I will try it without too and see.  I wanted to ensure Mr 2.5 ate these and I'm ok with him having maple syrup.)



Method:
Blitz all together in food processor. The consistency should be like wet, grainy sand so that it can come together in to a ball. Not runny and not dry. Add a touch of liquid (tahini, maple syrup or water) if you need more moisture or some more Quinoa flakes if you need it to be drier.

Roll in to balls.

Keep in the fridge or freezer in air tight container.

Mr 4.5 rolling amongst the pencils and Mr 2.5 eating the mixture with a spoon!


Mr 4.5's good work.



Done! Yum!!! 


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I'll try to post my recipes more regularly on here! I have a quinoa, oat, apple & raspberry muffin recipe and my home made muesli bar recipes that I've been wanting to post, not to mention Mr 4's birthday party post from last October!!!  I'll get them up over the next few weeks now that I'm in the swing of this 3 kids business!!!


Love Amy xoxo

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Hello!

Hello lovely blog readers!
Apologies for the neglect of this blog as I've been baking Babycakes #3!!!! Lady Babycakes arrived a couple of weeks ago is divine!!!
Also, apologies for the accidental posting of a half finished draft post yesterday! Can I blame sleep deprivation??? I shall publish the Mama Meals On Wheels Post properly very soon and I shall also resume regular posting as soon as I come out of the baby bubble!
In the meantime, I'm still on Instagram regularly so pop over there to see what's coming out of my kitchen!
Love Amy xoxo

Friday, 21 December 2012

Ice Cream Care Package Over at Fat Mum Slim

Hello lovely folk,

For those of you who missed it yesterday, the lovely Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim did a post about my Ice Cream Care Package.  She is the bees knees!!! I'm rather excited!!!!



You can check out Chantelle's post here and my post from a few months ago about the ice cream party and care package is here.  I took new photos for Chantelle's post and made some sweet little labels that you can download and print from there.

Hope you enjoy it!!!

Love Amy xoxo

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Pretty Picnic Packs & Christmas Gifts

Hello there,

My little blog has been greatly neglected of late. I have a couple of long and detailed posts to put together for Mr 4's big bash, but just can't seem to gather the energy to tackle it!  I've been busy baking for Christmas gifts, I've had my first (and maybe last!!!) market stall, and most importantly, I'm busy baking another babycakes.  :-)

I will do Mr 4's birthday post eventually, but in the meantime, here's a quickie.

I have an overflowing cupboard (ok, it's multiple cupboards!!!) filled with gorgeous party and baking supplies. It's an addiction!  I decided to use some of these goodies to put together a pretty picnic pack for my Secret Santa gift through the gift exchange Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim organised (thank you Chantelle - it's so much fun!!!!)

I had already bought a big collection of crafty and card making bits and pieces for my recipient but wanted another little pack of loveliness to go with it.

I loved the picnic packs so much that I decided to make more for other friends as little gifts to go along with the usual home baked goods I give.

I went with two colour schemes - one Christmassy and the other pink and yellow and grey based on my penchant for those colours.

I raided my supplies and then made a little purchase from Lark for some extra cute bits, cracked open my dot stickers and voila - little boxes of loveliness!!! :-)













I hope the recipients have lovely little picnics with their families and friends over the summer.

Here are some of the other things I've been making and the wrapping I'm going with for this year. I LOVE Christmas!!!

The gorgeous Kate from Our Little Sins has become a great friend this year and when we caught up last week she mentioned she was making almond butter for her son's kinder teachers. She explained how so I jumped on the bandwagon but decided to use cashews instead. Homemade cashew nut butter is AWESOME!!! And so easy! Just toast the nuts and blitz in a food processor. I added a touch of salt and oil just to get a smooth texture, but you don't have to.  Thank you Kate!!! I'm going to make another batch next week for us to eat.


I put the cashew nut butter together with some of my Pecan, Coconut & Cranberry Granola, Dulce De Leche Shortbread Sandwiches and some lemon cordial for my son's AMAZING kinder teachers. I can't fully express how brilliant this year at kinder has been for him, but his teacher and the assistants are absolute gems. Many tears were shed (by the mums!!!) on the last day yesterday!


Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String!!! :-)


Sticker dots pretty the simplest things up!



I may return next week with the belated birthday post, but in the meantime, I hope your days are merry and bright.

Love Amy xoxoxo

Friday, 2 November 2012

Happy Birthday Mr 2!xoxo

Apologies for the vast number of weeks between posts!!!

If you'd like to keep up with my regular goings on, follow me on Instagram {The Misadventurous Maker} or on Facebook - see the link over to the right.  I'm brand new on Facebook so come and say hello so it's not so quiet over there!x

It's been party central around here with both of my boys having birthdays and little parties.  I'm sure you can imagine I've been having fun!!!! :-)



Mr 2 was first.  My little Babycakes.  What a funny little person he is! Just adorable and cheeky and adventurous and extremely entertaining. And he LOVES cake!!! Which we only discovered when he turned 2.  There's been a lot of cake around here over the past few weeks!

I decided to reuse the pom poms and bunting decorations from his 1st birthday party.  I'm still obsessed with yellow and grey and I'm happy to reuse the decorations after putting a lot of time in to making them. This batch has now done 3 birthday parties and the play room *may* have had the decorations up for an entire year!!!!




It was only a small party but I knew I had a bigger party only a few weeks later for Mr 4, so I decided to make a lot of the food ahead and in bulk and freeze it. This turned out to be extremely handy as the day before Mr 2's party, he fell sick and we had to reschedule for the following week. I was very happy to not have any wasted food as it was all still safe and sound in the freezer and the fresh food hadn't yet been prepared!

Menu:


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Mini pizzas - margarita and roasted pumpkin.

Pizza dough recipe from here.  I LOVE semolina in my pizza bases.  The sugo was basically pureed tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.  The pumpkin was simply sliced and roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper.

They freeze wonderfully and I made about 100 mini pizzas to cater for both parties as well as some other sizes for our dinner and some individual ones for Mr 4's lunchboxes.



Green cheese rolls.
Basically using up an abundance of silverbeet from our garden!!! Mr 2's favourite form of vegetable.  It's similar to the recipe in this post, but without the ricotta. Recipe to follow next week hopefully!!!  These also freeze really well and make for fab lunchbox food. I made a huge batch of teeny tiny ones to cater for both parties.



Zucchini pancakes/fritters.
I made these the day before but you can definitely make them ahead and freeze them.  I used the recipe from this post for the kids and for the adults I added lemon zest, salt, pepper and mint and served them hot with some sour cream and chives on top.



Watermelon star pops.
My friend Claire put me on to these a couple of years ago and I make them regularly! There could not be an easier or cuter way of serving fruit!! I love that you can make it ahead. Mr 4 had fun helping me make them.  Served on a piece of foam wrapped in tissue paper.  I forgot to put these out on the food table but they ended up being a great palate cleanser for the kids after cake!!!




Strawberry cups.



Puffed corn cups.



Lemon water bottles.




Thank you gifts.
A simple balloon on a stick and some jelly play dough. The recipe for play dough was adapted from the the lovely Cat's recipe which you will find here (I swapped out the vinegar for cream of tartar.)  Jars were recycled ones I already had.









Cake.
I LOVE this cake. It was really simple to make and the kids loved it.  The design is from the Donna Hay Kids Magazine from this year. I actually used my mum's trusty chocolate cake recipe and instead of the chocolate ganache for the icing, I used Donna's amazing butter cream frosting.  But the concept was the same.





And the most important part of the day - Mr 2 had a ball!!!! He was such a funny birthday boy and ended up with a chocolate butter cream beard from blowing his candles out.  It was a very small gathering, but a lovely little celebration for my amazing boy.  I love you babycakes!!!!



Love Amy xoxo