South Dunedin Librarian Dianne Mears has been going stir crazy in lockdown.
I'm sure everyone has been a bit like me and filling in some spare time between other jobs by doing some baking. I seem to have spent a lot of time in the kitchen doing some form of cooking or baking (luckily for me I love spending time in my new kitchen). I've had to do extra walking to counteract the effects of the extra baking.
It all started for me when I had to make a lockdown birthday cake. I thought the request would be for the usual chocolate cake, the one that never fails, but no it was a carrot cake that was requested. After looking in my cupboards and seeing no wholemeal flour the panic set it, my recipe needs that and funny enough, none on the supermarket shelves. So then the journey began to find a recipe with white flour, after the SOS went out, a friend sent me a recipe that was in the ODT - she saved the day. The cake was a hit and I'm allowed to make it again.
But if you are after a chocolate cake that is nice and easy to make, here's my fail-safe go-to recipe.
3 tsp Butter - melted
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Flour
1 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp Cocoa powder
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together; beat for 3 minutes.
Put the mixture into a lined 20 cm tin and put it into the oven for about 40 minutes.
When cooked, put onto a rack to cool. You can ice this cake if you want to, or serve it with yoghurt or cream.
The best thing about this cake is that if it doesn't decide to co-operate, you can make it into a yummy desert with ice cream and fruit (I'm sure I've only had to do this once!).
And here's an idea for a delicious morning tea.
I found this recipe online the other day and it is so easy to make. It just uses 2 ingredients and then you get to choose what fillings you want.
1 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour + more for dusting
1 cup of Greek Yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mix the two ingredients together gently until they combine.
Turn onto a floured surface and kneed the dough together, if it is sticky add more flour as needed.
Use a floured rolling pin until you have your dough roughly in a rectangle shape, about 1 cm thick or so.
Add whatever toppings on you like. I used marmite and tasty cheese.
Roll the faraway edges towards you until you make it to the edge closet to you. Using a knife cut the roll into slices and put them onto a tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for between 16 - 22 minutes until golden.
Put on a cooling rack when done. But if you are like me you don't really give them a chance to cool down, you just have to get stuck in and try one or two. By the end of the night half of these were gone and the hubby decided they were a good breakfast snack. Think I might try cinnamon scrolls for my next batch.
Those cookies though!
One of the things that I love about working in the library is looking at all the cook books that go past me, I can't resist having a look and seeing if there is a recipe that catches my eye. I love going through the shelves at our libraries and finding some new gems, I admit it I love the pretty pictures. For me a recipe needs to have a picture, how else am I going see what it should look like, so that I can judge if what I make turns out right?
So for these past weeks I have been in withdrawal, I've exhausted all the books I've got at home (recipes that I hadn't made before).
But then something amazing happened, The Star paper started up again and I saw this amazing recipe on page 11 "Super-duper chocolate cookie". If you have put your paper in the recycling bin, never fear, you can go online and look up the 7 May 2020 issue.
For Mother's Day I decided to make myself a treat. I followed the recipe and even portioned up the mixture into 80g pieces as stated in the recipe. And yes they do spread, so I only put 6 portions on a tray. This made 18 cookies. I left them cooling on the racks on the bench and went outside to do a few things, and when I came back inside hubby had already taste tested them. That wasn't very fair so I had to try one as well. They were a winner in this household and will definitely be made again. So if you after a super yummy cookie recipe check out The Star.
If this little lot has inspired you to get baking, here are some of the latest gorgeous baking books in our collection for you to try.
Leon: Happy Baking. Henry Dimbleby, Claire Ptak
More than 100 sweet and savoury bakes
Magnolia Kitchen: Inspired Baking with Personality. Bernadette Gee
Step-by-step instructions for cake decorating and making macarons, and a full range of allergy-friendly recipes.
The Baker's Companion. Alyson Gofton
More than 100 recipes with how-tos and hints and tips throughout.
The Tivoli Road Baker. Michael James, Pippa James
The knowledge that goes into creating standout bread and pastries.
Gluten-Free Baking at Home: 102 Foolproof Recipes for Delicious Breads, Cakes, Cookies, and More. Jeffrey Larsen