All posts filed under “baking

A Light Rye Restart

I have been neglecting this project all summer because really, who wants to stay inside and blog when there’s ample sunshine, tennis, travels and other glorious non-work things to indulge in for a good 2 or so months? So even though I planned to take more food photos and try some more recipes during my very long production break from my day job; other than one giant post-xmas lunch splurge I have done absolutely no creative cooking since December. I wish I could say I’m apologetic but then it’s been pretty easy once other priorities took hold as is the way with life I guess.  I envy those who can be incredibly consistent with their hobbies, I guess with me I’m incredibly consistent on how inconsistent my passions lie at any one time. I have a long string of hobbies and any or a lot of them can take up my mind at any point in time. If you think that was a tricky sentence to read, try living it out.

Anyway this all sounds like an incredibly lame non-apology on why I haven’t posted in the last couple of months but let’s just leave it at I was “BUSY” and move on to restarting Not So Lazy Sundays with a little bit of rye?

Sometimes some recipes come about because of a huge oversight. I had one of these when I was trying to start a fresh no-knead loaf for a get-together, and instead of putting the required white flour, I added rye, and ONLY rye instead. It was late, the light was dim and I may have needed glasses. Usually you always add rye flour together with white/brown because rye flour doesn’t have much leavening properties, but somehow this turned the recipe into a dense and moreish fruit and nut loaf. Not as sweet as raisin toast but sliced thin, toasted and spread with butter, it’s a perfect breakfast or snack.

Cranberry & Macadamia Rye Loaf

Cranberry & Macadamia Rye Loaf

No Knead Bread Base (makes 2 loaves)
6 cups rye flour
1.5 tablespoons yeast
1.5 tablespoons salt
3 cups lukewarm water

Filling (Per Loaf)
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup chopped macadamias

Dissolve the salt and yeast in the water then add to the flour in a big plastic container with a lid with a least  2/3 room for mixture to rise. Mix roughly, attach lid and leave in a dark place for at least 24 hours. If the temperature is too warm then leave in the fridge for 36+ hours.

Preheat the oven to 220C/428F.

Once dough has proofed, divide the mixture in 2. With wet hands pat out the mixture, sprinkle the cranberries and nuts over the top, fold the mixture in and knead a few times so the fruit and nut is mixed in. Transfer mixture to a rectangular loaf tin. Bake at 220C/428F  for 20min and then at 200C/390F for a further 15min or until brown and hollow when tapped.

Cranberry & Macadamia Rye Loaf
Cranberry & Macadamia Rye Loaf

Bourke St Bakery Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins

Bourke St Bakery Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins

This is another recipe from the Weekend at Han Hans. I came back from a short sojourn outside the house to come back to the wonderful smell of muffins baking. Seriously, is there anything more glorious than a concoction of eggs, flour, milk, butter and sugar bubbling away inside a hot furnace? No…yeah didn’t think so either!

The Bourke St Bakery is a name synonymous in Sydney for AWESOME BAKED GOODS.  It’s original Surry Hills establishment continues to chaperone lines out the door on weekends. But luckily there are more offshoots in 4 other Sydney suburbs. So you’re never far away from baked goodness. Although your waistline may never forgive you in the future, it’s definitely not a place for the low-carbers.

Well it’s no surprise with the success of the physical establishment that the Bourke St Bakery cookbook has now also become a best seller. And boy were my friends and I glad that Hannah possessed this doorstopper of a work.
Supposedly the following muffin is one of their best sellers. Which again not very surprising considering the moreish and rich nature of the dark chocolate compliments perfectly with the tartness of the raspberries. Warm from the oven they’re absolutely irresistible, just try to not drip melted chocolate and raspberry juice on your shirt.

Bourke St Bakery Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins
Bourke St Bakery Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins
Bourke St Bakery Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins

Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins

(makes 12 large muffins)

400g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
300g caster sugar
310g unsalted butter
480ml buttermilk
3 eggs
225g dark chocolate (at least 55% cocoa), roughly chopped
225g raspberries, washed
55g raw sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Lightly grease two large 6-hole muffin tins and line with paper cases.

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, add sugar and combine well.

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat (or use microwave in bursts). Remove from heat and stir in buttermilk. Whisk in eggs to combine.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together, the butter mixture with the dry ingredients. Using a spoon gently fold in the raspberries and chocolate.

Spoon the final mixture into the muffin tins, sprinkle the tops with raw sugar. Reduce the over temperature to 180C (350F) and bake the muffins for 25-30min.

If the muffins start to brown too fast, drop the oven temp a little bit. To test if muffins are done, the top should be firm and bottom coloured.

Bourke St Bakery Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins
Bourke St Bakery Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Muffins

Breaking Bad Blue Ice Cookies

Jesse Pinkman: Wait wait hold on. Tell me why you are doing this… seriously.
Walter White: Why do you do it?
Jesse Pinkman: Money… mainly.
Walter White: There you go.
Jesse Pinkman: Nah come on… man, some straight like you giant stick up his ass all of a sudden at age what 60 he’s just going to break bad.
Walter White: Fifty.
Jesse Pinkman: It’s weird is all okay it… it doesn’t compute. Listen if you’ve gone crazy or something. I mean if you’ve if-if-if you’ve gone crazy or depressed I’m… I’m just saying that that’s something I need to know about. Okay, I mean that that affects me.
Walter White: I am… awake.
Jesse Pinkman: What?
Walter White: Buy the RV. We start tomorrow.

Breaking Bad Blue Ice Cookies

Breaking Bad has been one of the most original and exciting TV series to grace the worlds stage. I’ve never experienced drama which filled me with so much tension from ep to ep that I could hardly breathe. Vince Gilligan and his fellow collaborators have created a cultural phenomenon and sadly today marks the premiere of it’s last ever season. I dread the tears and pain yet to come, but I know that ultimately it will blow me away and leave a gaping Albuquerque sized hole in my heart when it all finishes in around 8 weeks time.

I can wax lyrical about Breaking Bad forever but  instead of celebrating with verbose waffle, I decided to break bad myself.

Breaking Bad Blue Ice Cookies

Breaking Bad Blue Ice Cookies

Blue Ice

(Yields 3 large handfuls)

1 cup granulated sugar (I used caster)
1/3 cup of glucose syrup (or corn syrup)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon coconut essence (you can use whatever flavour essence you like, but I used coconut to complement the cookies below)
1/2-1 drop blue food dye (depending on strength of the dye)

Prepare a large shallow baking tray with a sheet of baking paper (you’ll be pouring your mixture onto this).

Add sugar, glucose and water together in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir and make sure sugar is dissolved. Use a wet pastry brush to brush down any remaining sugar crystals from the side of the pan.

Once sugar has dissolved, crank the heat to high. The mixture should reach a bubbly boil. Use a candy/fryer thermometer to keep track of the temp and once the mixture has reached 145C/293F take the pan off heat. This step may take awhile. For me there was a stage where the temperature stayed the same for around 5min. Be patient, the mixture needs to reach that temperature. And watch out, this shizz is liquid napalm, you’d want to keep your face out of it and wear gloves if necessary (truely BB style).

Once off the heat, wait until all the bubbles have popped from the mixture, then add the essence and food dye. Mix well and pour onto the pre-prepared tray. Hold the pan and tilt the mixture until it sets into a thin layer. Work fast, you’ll be surprised how fast rock candy sets.

Once cooled and solidified, smash it into small crystal chunks

Breaking Bad Blue Ice Cookies

Cookies (with Coconut & Almond)

(Makes around 24)

160g butter (softened)
90g granulated sugar (I used caster)
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
210g self raising flour
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup Blue ice crystals from above recipe

Preheat Oven to 180C/356F, line a baking try with baking paper.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until paste forms. Then add egg, salt, vanilla, honey and mix well.

Then add half the flour, mix well, then add the almonds, coconut and blue ice. Mix well again, then incorporate the rest of the flour.

Once the mixture forms a thick malleable paste form into small truffle size balls and add to the baking tray. Bake for 10-12min.

Once out of the oven, sprinkle more blue ice chips on top and push them ever so slightly into the soft centre of the cookie to set.

Leave the cookies to cool completely on a rack.

Breaking Bad Blue Ice Cookies


N.B Although the blue ice rock candy looks awesome, this is just a homage to a TV show. I don’t in any way condone the making, dealing or use of real drugs. Drugs are bad Mmmmkay?

Breaking Bad Blue Ice Cookies