Sunbeam Baking Sunday – Chocolate Velvet Cake

Good morning bakers!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I recently WON a brand spanking new Sunbeam Mixmaster. Apparently it can mix planets, but I haven’t been able to find my slices of Jupiter in the back of the pantry.

Ta-daaaah, my lovely prize and my winning pun!

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So after a few teething problems (which I’ve diagnosed as Nervous Operator Syndrome), I have baked my first cake using a mixmaster.

I chose Chocolate Velvet Cake, because – chocolate.

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The recipe isn’t mine, so I won’t anger the gods of copyright by reproducing it, but the internet being what it is, a quick Google of Chocolate Velvet Cake and you’ll be ready to make your own version, in plenty of time for afternoon tea today!

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What is your go-to cake?

Do you have a mixmaster?

How do you fit planets in the bowl?

I love seeing what you’ve been up to in your kitchens, so if you’re on Instagram,  Twitter, or Facebook, snap a shot of your cake, slice, tower of choux pastry, savoury muffins or pies and tag it #sundaybakingsunday. It’s great to see what other people are up to, don’t you think?

Until next Sunday, or the urge strikes again, I wish you happy baking, and a second slice of chocolate cake!

Go on, you know you want to.

 

Annette xx

 

 

Baking our blues away

Hello! It’s Sunday, which means it’s time to bake. At the moment, there’s a chocolate cake in the oven and I’m really looking forward to sharing a slice or two with my friend Sharon, who is just back from her honeymoon. Wedding photos – yay!

Baking is somehow more satisfying when the results are shared, don’t you think?

Rather than just rave about my own baking prowess today – mighty as it is *cough*, I wanted to let you know about a great event that’s happening this week called Baking Our Blues Away.

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This event is the brainchild of Michelle Symes, wife and mother of two, who has had her own experience with dealing with anxiety and illness in her family.

You can read about her experience here on the BOBA website.

Please pop over to the site for all the info about this great volunteer run initiative.

Based on her experiences of life backing up the lemon truck on her doorstep, Michelle is calling on bakers (and non bakers) everywhere to create something home-made (or bought from a local bakery, we won’t tell) and share it with someone in your life on Tuesday 15 July.

You could bake a lemon slice and take it to work, and encourage people to down tools for a cuppa and a chat.

You could whip up a batch of apple and cinnamon muffins and pop around to your mum’s house, or call in on your bestie, your brother or sister. Pop the kettle on, enjoy a treat and connect over a cuppa.

The idea is just to bake, share and connect. Pretty simple stuff really, but easily put in the ‘I’m too busy’ basket.

With 1 in 4 Australians suffering anxiety, something as simple as sharing a cake and a cuppa can be a really powerful thing. I know there have been times when a chance to just chat over a cuppa and cake have been really important. Even though cake is awesome, we know it can’t really help anyone. But conversation can, looking someone in the eyes and asking them how they are can. Caring can.

You can join the Baking Our Blues Away Facebook event here and find out more about this great initiative. Even if you can’t bake on the nominated day, why not make a time to bake, share and care with someone this week? It could be just the tonic someone needs.

Oh, there goes the alarm on my cake….

It needs another five or ten minutes.

Being a big fan of social media (who me? The sun was up when I logged into Instragram, I swear!) Baking Our Blues Away is hashtag ready for all eventualities.

You can share using #bakesharecare or #bobacakefail if you have a bit of a kitchen disaster. My tip – icing covers a multitude of sins!

So, maybe double batch whatever you’re baking today and find a time to sit down and enjoy the fruits of your flan tin with a workmate, neighbour, relative, a new mum, someone just out of hospital, someone grieving… you get the idea.

Let there be baking, and sharing, and caring.

Now, do you think Sharon will mind if I have a slither of chocolate cake before she gets here?

I look forward to seeing what you create to #bakesharecare and hearing your stories about the power of a meaningful chat and a slice of cake.

Bake on, friends!

Annette xx BOBALogo

Allen’s date, carrot & honey loaf

This week’s recipe for #sundaybakingsunday comes from Ella, who I ‘know’ via Instagram.

It’s her grandpa Allen’s recipe – isn’t that lovely?!

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I saw a photo of this loaf on Instagram a while ago, liked it and really wanted to try making it myself.

Ella was kind enough to email me the recipe, which I found super easy to follow.

ALLEN’S DATE, CARROT & HONEY LOAF

1 1/2 cups chopped dates*
1 cup honey
1 cup water
60g butter, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup carrot, grated

Grease and line a 10 x 20 cm loaf pan.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Place chopped dates, honey and water in a small saucepan.
Stir over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, until dates soften.
Add the chopped butter to the saucepan, then remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla.
Transfer the saucepan contents to a medium sized mixing bowl and fold in the flour and carrot.
Pour the mixture into the lined loaf pan and smooth out the top.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes – test with skewer (when skewer comes out clean, your loaf is ready).
Cool in pan for 5 minutes then cool on wire rack.

* You could substitute figs or raisins for dates. This loaf can be frozen, if it lasts more than the day. If you’ve ‘quit sugar’ I imagine this recipe could be modified by switching out the honey.

Put the kettle on, cut a few slices and you’ve created a perfect morning or afternoon tea. Thanks for sharing this great recipe Ella, it’s one that the kids could easily help you with and it only takes a few minutes to get in the oven. That’s my kind of baking.

What’s baking in your kitchen this weekend?

I’d love to see your efforts on Instagram – just follow @igiveyoutheverbs and tag your baking photos with #sundaybakingsunday.

There are some great bakers getting on board. Are you one of them?

And if you have a simple recipe you’d like to share, I’d love to try it.

Happy baking!

 

Annette

Sunday means baking – apple & raspberry slake!

Another Sunday has come around and I’ve made a breakthrough – I’ve admitted that I am addicted to raspberries!

This week’s #sundaybakingsunday recipe is a double fruiter (that may not be a word) and super easy to put together.

I’ve called it Apple & Raspberry Slake – because it’s kind of cake-y but I baked it in a slice tray – slice + cake = slake.

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I used

2 cups of self raising flour

2 eggs

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of milk (adjust a little more or less depending on size of eggs and wetness of mix)

A splash of vanilla extract

A shake of cinnamon or cinnamon sugar – I think it needed about 5 shakes

1/2 tin of pie apple (don’t judge. I’m working through things in my pantry!)

As many frozen raspberries as you like (for me that’s quite a few!)

Demerara sugar for a nice crunch – a few spoonfuls, to taste.

Mix everything, bar the berries and demerara sugar, in a large bowl.

Pour mix into a lamington tray.

Push raspberries in all over the slake.

Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at around 180 for about 30 minutes. My oven is quite slow, so keep an eye on it from the 20 minute mark.

I love the burst of berry goodness in this slake. I’ll amp up the cinnamon next time, and maybe try it with pears.

What’s baking at your place today? I’d love it if you’d like or follow me on a Facebook and Instagram and share your baking triumphs. Don’t forget the #sundaybakingsunday tag.

Happy baking everyone! 

Annette

Sunday Baking Sunday – the savoury edition

This week I decided to change tack where #sundaybakingsunday was concerned. I’ve gone off sweet, and on to savoury.

I’m still working my way through the delicious brownies I made last weekend, then I baked a loaf of banana bread mid-week, so I really had no need of anything else sweet tempting me.

As some of you may know, I’m currently looking for a job, which means I have to watch my budget carefully. I decided to whip up a vegetarian pasta bake, which will last me three or four meals, and is tasty, healthy and affordable.

The stars of the show are sweet potato, broccoli, and cannellini beans. With the bean police chorus of ‘eat more legumes’ ringing loudly in my ears, I decided to chuck a tin of cannellini beans into my bake and see if I liked it. I really did, and reckon this is a great, simple way to to get more beans in your belly, aside from via ye olde baked beans on toast.

The pasta bake is really easy to put together.
Peel and chop a sweet potato, douse it with garlic olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 20 minutes in a moderate oven.
I’m a big fan of frozen broccoli, as it prevents wastage. About 1/3 of a pack of broccoli (just use as much as you like) goes into this dish, and here’s my tip on prepping it – once the pasta water is almost boiling, I grab a trusty sieve (there’s a great word) and throw the broccoli into that and sit in in the water for about 2 minutes. I don’t want to cook it all the way through, just get it to an easily choppable state.

So, once the sweet potato is baked, the broccoli is chopped, and the beans are rinsed, it’s just a matter of cooking up your favourite shape of pasta. I’m loving ‘little ears’ orecchiette at the moment. Once the prep is done, just combine those delicious things in a lasagna or other suitably ovenproof dish, pour over a jar of pasta bake sauce (I rocked Leggo’s creamy tomato and mozzarella), combine it well, season it – I chose chilli flakes, basil, salt and pepper, then sprinkle the dish with some cheese, bung in in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes and Giuseppe’s your uncle.

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You’ll need:
1 sweet potato – peeled, diced and baked
1 head broccoli – chopped
1 can cannellini beans – rinsed well
200g dried pasta – cooked to just under al dente
1 jar pasta bake sauce (you could always make your own if you’ve got the time)
seasonings of your choice – chilli flakes, basil etc
a handful of Parmesan cheese or whatever takes your fancy

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Following the method outlined above, I reckon it’s no more than 10-15 minutes of prep, plus 20 minutes baking time, to give you get a great, family friendly meal – or half a week’s worth of single lady dinners!

Pour yourself a glass of wine, watch 1/2 an episode of House Of Cards and dinner will be ready.

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What’s your go-to baked savoury dish?

I’d love you to share it, post a picture of it and join the #sundaybakingsunday brigade on Instagram or the I Give You The Verbs Facebook page.

Now, where’s my fork?

Baking with Jane

Today has been a combination of job hunting and domestic duties – don’t be misled, I didn’t actually clean anything – but I did buy some broccoli, a few bottles of soda water and a cheeky food magazine, which has a very relevant ‘budget bonanza’ section.

Then I bumped into Jude Law… on the telly, settle down ladies. It was a very young Jude, in a naughty cameo in Midnight In The Garden of Good & Evil starring Kevin Spacey, ‘our’ Jack Thompson working a great southern drawl, John Cusack (swoon) and was your basic y’all come back now story of ‘staches, small town murder, a dash of voodoo and drag queens……….*crickets*….. never mind.

After my matinee, I spied a couple of bananas heading towards mush in their skins, so I have benevolently reincarnated them into a delicious loaf of banana bread. Their souls are now free and will soon be in my belly, along with a slather of butter, and an afternoon latte.

While I was baking, I missed Jane’s call. I gave her a call back and Jiminy Crickets I’ve landed my first job interview for 2014!

Job hunting is a weird science, for me anyway. You have a general idea of what you’d like , your skills and strengths and then you bash some keywords into seek or career1 or any of the multitude of niche employment sites out there and what you really want to know after the blah blah of the job description is, is the boss a nutter, is there good coffee close by, are the people nice, even clever, and will they think you’re funny? Invent that employment search engine and you’ll be Zuckerberg-ing it up in no time!

Anyhoo, I’m all for interviews – and not in a shaking in my boots, I really hope they like me kinda way. These days I’m more than comfortable with asking my own questions of potential employers, and really making it a two-way process. After all, if I’ve got to spend more time with the folks at work than I do with anyone else, I want to know that I’ll be happy to work for them, that I can respect the boss and that what I’m doing actually matters. I know, I know, I’m a girl with lofty goals, but I just can’t do the drudgery for a dope thing.

I’ll keep you posted about Jane, and if you’re very good I might even post a photo of my afternoon tea on Instagram!

What’s happening in your world this Wednesday? Seen Jude Law out and about? Who do you spend most of your time with? Colleagues, tiny humans, yourself? Do tell.

 

 

 

 

How to make brownies

I’m enjoying the rhythm of baking on Sundays. I’m tagging my masterpieces with #sundaybakingsunday on Instagram, and hoping people might find a little inspiration to get into their kitchens and make something a bit more fun that school lunches or a weeknight dinner. 

One of my fellow Blog With Pip students, Carolyn of www.carolynwritesitdown.com, suggested I bake something chocolate-y this week, and Donna Hay’s standby brownies came immediately to mind. They’re quick, simple and delicious – every single time!

The thing I really enjoy about baking is how simple ingredients, just six in this case, combine to make something so different from what they are when they’re just flour, sugar, eggs, cocoa, butter and vanilla extract.

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Here’s Donna talking about this recipe – watching her show really opened my eyes to what a great cook she is. Just goes to show that food that looks fantastic, can actually be quite simple to prepare. I like Donna’s food philosophy – fast, fresh and simple (she even encourages store-bought ‘cheats’ which is great when you’ve got other places, aside from slaving away over a hot stove, to be).

http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/15140/standby-brownies

So, another Sunday is almost done, which means there’s a sink full of dishes to do – but before that, I think I’ll enjoy another brownie and a cup of coffee.

How’s your kitchen looking? Let me know if you’ve got any great recipes you’d like to share.

Cheers,

Annette