Monday, 2 March 2015

Crumb Cake Muffins

This is a recipe inspired by a Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake my Mom used to bake when we were kids.  It was the first bundt cake I ever ate and was HUGE! It must have weighed five pounds and would have easily fed 12 people.  

Well, I could eat enough cake for twelve people but I certainly don't need to. That's why I've edited this recipe down to make only six delicious little muffins.

Yes, one is missing... let's not mention it... here's the recipe:

Muffin Batter
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons milk*
3 Tablespoons sour cream*
3 Tablespoons canola oil 
1 egg

Crumb Topping
3 Tablespoons (caster) sugar
3 Tablespoons soft brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup plain flour

3 Tablespoons Icing sugar
Milk -  just enough to make a simple icing that will drizzle from a spoon

Heat the oven to 350F/180C.  Line a six hole muffin tin with paper liners.  

Prepare the topping first.  In a small bowl, stir together the sugars, flour, and cinnamon.  Pour in the melted butter and mix well.  Set to one side while you make the muffin batter.

In a large mixing bowl, place the sugars, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine the ingredients and break up any lumps of brown sugar.  

In a jug or large measuring cup, place the oil, egg, milk and sour cream. Using a fork, whisk these ingredient together.  Pour the liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until the wet and dry ingredient are just combined.  DO NOT over beat the batter or you will have tough muffins.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Place the crumb mixture on top of the batter.  I know, it looks like a mountain of topping but use it all.  Gently press down on the crumb topping to make it adhere to the batter.  

Bake the muffins for 15 to 20 minutes or until there is no wet batter when you test the centre of a muffin.  When the muffins are done, leave them to cool for about 10 minutes before drizzling over the simple icing sugar glaze.  

Be sure to store your muffins in an airtight container to keep them moist and soft. Of course, there a only six so there may not be any left.  

* Remember this* in the recipe.  You can substitute milk or plain yogurt for the sour cream in the recipe if you are in a pinch.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cat and Mouse

Every morning there is a mad moment when the Dust Bunny has a wild burst of activity, usually it involves one of the dining chairs and his favourite mouse.

It only lasts for a minute or two but it sounds like he is pulling down the house. I know it's about to begin when I see this face, the 'I am temporarily possessed by a wild demon' face.

Poor mouse is always oblivious to imminent attack even though it happens nearly every day.  I suppose it's the result of having a brain filled with cotton wool.

The attack is vicious; kicking, biting, sharp teeth gnashing and gnawing mousie's tail. 

Suddenly it stops.  A sort of truce breaks out.  Cat and mouse share a cuddle and a snooze, all aggression is forgotten.

But I can't help but think someone is making strategic plans for the next game of cat and mouse. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Zeppelin on Xylophones!

When I saw this I knew I had to share it with you.  Remember these kids are only 7-14 years old!   I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Rock On!  

Monday, 23 February 2015

Vanilla Cake with Cooked Cream Cheese Frosting

I've been doing some research on cake recipes that don't use butter.  I mean, what if one day you find you need emergency cake and don't have enough butter?  We must have a contingency plan, or in this case, contingency cake.

Fear not, I've got a special Vanilla Cake recipe for just such an emergency. 

VANILLA CAKE made with canola oil

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 cup (caster) sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
two eggs - room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola oil (sunflower or corn oil will work, too)

Heat the oven to 350F/180C.  Grease and flour a 9 inch round cake pan. Place a circle of baking paper in the bottom of the tin so the cake comes out easily.

Place the sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl and beat until they are well combined.  Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Beat in the salt, baking powder, and vanilla.  Mix in the milk and gradually add the flour mixing until all the ingredients are combined.  Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is a light golden colour and well risen.   Remove the cake from the tin, take off the baking paper circle, and place the cake on a wire rack to cool COMPLETELY before frosting.

So, if you don't have enough butter to make the cake, you probably are running low on icing sugar, too.   We can cope with that.  Here is a delicious frosting recipe that doesn't use icing sugar at all!  


2 Tablespoons plain flour
1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup (caster or granulated) sugar
4 ounces cream cheese*
4 ounces butter or margarine - slightly softened*
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Place the flour and sugar in a small saucepan and stir well to combine. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to make sure there are no lumps of flour.  Place the saucepan over a low heat and bring up to the boil.  Stir this mixture continuously until it is cooked and very thick.  Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.

When the flour mixture is completely cooled, place it in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer for a minute or two.  Gradually add the cream cheese and soft butter a spoonful at a time.  Add the vanilla essence and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.  

Chill the frosting while you prepare the cake.  I sliced my cake in half to make two layers because I was taking the cake to my Mum-n-Law's house for afternoon tea.  A filled cake is much easier to transport so I used the frosting to make a 'cake sandwich' and didn't frost the top of the cake.  

I like to store all cakes made with cream cheese frosting in the refrigerator. Be sure to place your cake in an airtight container to keep it moist and fresh.  I even wrap mine in plastic wrap before putting it in a plastic cake box. 

*If you prefer, you can omit the butter in the frosting recipe and use 8 ounces of cream cheese. 

Fat-Free Creamy Soup

As you know, I don't do 'DIET' but sometimes, after a particularly naughty weekend, I find I don't want anymore rich food.  This is a quick soup I made for my lunch today that doesn't contain any fat, cream, or butter but it still has a rich creamy texture.  

The magic ingredient is potato.... here's how I make it:

Peel and cut into smallish pieces:

2 carrots
1 large potato
1 onion

Place the vegetables into a sauce pan with 1 good quality stock cube and enough water to cover the vegetables.  

Add any herbs you like.  I used...

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of dried thyme

Cover the pan and cook over a low heat until the vegetables are very tender.  If you like to add a little heat to your soup, add 1 teaspoon HOME MADE CHILI SEASONING

Remove the saucepan from the heat and puree the vegetables and stock together until smooth and creamy.  I use a stick blender for this but you can always use a food processor.  Return the soup to the heat and bring it back up to a simmer before serving.  That's it, creamy, fat free and not naughty at all!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Volcano Cake

They always say never drive drunk.  My new motto is 'Never bake when distracted'.   I have no idea what I was thinking about when I made this cake.  I did everything wrong!

I put the flour in the batter at the wrong time.  I used the wrong size pan.  I am not sure if I pre-heated the oven so it had to be baked for ages. And this is what happened.

I baked a volcano!  I feel very lucky it turned into a cake at all.

I've done some serious trimming, made some decadent frosting, and crossed my fingers hoping that it will all be fine in the end.  I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Pancake Day - Part 2

I know a lot of my readers prefer to weigh ingredients rather than use American cup measurements so here is the recipe for Fluffy Pancakes in grams and litres.


200 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons caster sugar
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
pinch salt
1 egg
200 ml milk
30 grams melted butter 

I've got an idea...
CLICK HERE to see the original recipe from Baking Bar.

Have a delicious Pancake Day!