Muffins: The Versatile Pastry

24 Apr

The Versatile Muffin Recipe

Piping hot, moist and dangerously moreish, few come close to beating freshly baked homemade muffins.

Truly the greatest thing since sliced bread (though which came first is poised for debate), the meek little muffin is incredibly conversant and can be adapted, modified and jazzed with a multitude of ingredients. You can keep it traditional with cinnamon apple or kick it up kinky with a crushed Mars bar, though many simply keep it wholesome with seasonal fruit/veg. Imagination is the only limitation in the magical sphere of muffins. Have some leftover pieces of overripe fruit? – make muffins! Bread gone moldy and no breakfast for tomorrow? – make muffins! Bored and needing a little boost of self-accomplishment? – Just.Make.Muffins.!

Numerous muffin recipes float the cyber realm, and I often hop from one recipe to the next in a restless bid to experiment with different mixing methods. This recipe is my present favourite as it consists of only a handful (and mostly “guilt-free”) ingredients and is a simple ‘one-bowl-wonder’. Honestly, it is so easy it almost seems unfair.

*The original recipe came out of a dated newpaper clipping and I’ve modified some of the ingredients. The fruit and choc chip can be substituted for 2 cups of any other fruit/toppings of a similar volume.

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THE VERSATILE MUFFIN RECIPE

2 cups plain flour (I substituted half of this with wholemeal flour, feel free to do the same with other flours)

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup Greek-style yoghurt (You can substitute with lite sour cream, full cream or creme fraiche or 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk)

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup vegetable oil (or any other tasteless oil)

1 banana (sliced)

1/2 cup choc chips

1/3 cup rolled oats (*optional, for topping)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170C fan forced (180C standard).

2. Place flour, sugar & baking powder in a mixing bowl and mix to distribute.

3. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients and place yogurt, eggs, vanilla and oil in the centre.

4. Using a whisk, start from the centre and gently whisk the wet ingredients together. When this has combined, change over to a spatula and fold all ingredients together until partly combined.

5. Add in the fruits/topping and continue folding until combined (no more clumps of flour). DO NOT mix until completely smooth as is it easy to OVERMIX muffins leading to dryness. Simply mix till combined and floury bits disappear.

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6. Fill greased (non-stick) muffin tins till just over half full. Sprinkle on the oats and bake for approx 20-30 minutes. Test with a skewer to ensure it comes out dry (do not overbake).

7. Leave to cool and turn out of muffin tin using a prod of a paring knife. (I pop them out whilst still warm as I find it sticks less to the tin. Alternatively, use patti pans). Makes 12 small-medium muffins.

*Store in the fridge to increase shelf life. Warm up in a toaster oven or microwave just before serving.

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Have a stupendously memorable long weekend making muffins :)

xoxo Amanda

Exclusive Mother’s Day Cupcake Giftbox

16 Apr

Spoil Mum this Mother’s Day with a Designer Cupcake Giftbox from ‘Sugar Sugar Cakes’!

 

 

Mother's Day Giftbox

 

Hello Dear Readers! Easter break is upon us, woohoo* And Mother’s Day will creep up shortly after that. As most of you would know, I run a boutique home business called Sugar Sugar Cakes, specialising in bespoke Cake Centrepieces & Dessert Buffets. This Mother’s Day, I have designed a gorgeous Rosette Cupcake Giftbox that will be the perfect present for Mum! Each beautifully packaged box holds 4 large cupcakes (2 Vanilla Bean & 2 Dark Chocolate) adorned with handmade sugar roses & blooms. Yum* Chocolates & flowers are a thing of the past, so why not get Mum something unique and special this Mother’s Day?

Rosette Cupcakes

Mother’s  Day is a day to show love and appreciation to the ladies who have nurtured and raised us. So whether it’s your mum, grandmother (or great-grandmother?), sister or wife, every woman who has played a role in nurturing a life deserves a huge “cuddle” and gift of appreciation :’)

Mother's Day Giftbox

A sweet Gift Card is provided for you to personalise a message along with this gift. For just $18.50 AUD a Giftbox, there is no better way to say “I love you Mum”. Delivery service is also available on the afternoons of Mother’s Day weekend, so you may even request a surprise drop-off to make it a day your mum will never forget!

There are only limited numbers available, so book early to avoid disappointment. Closing date for orders is 30 April 2014 (Wednesday). Email amanda@sugarsugarcakes.com.au for bookings & enquiries.

*Giftboxes will be available for pick up on 9th May 2014 (Friday 10am-6pm) from Clearview 5085 SA, and there will be delivery service available on the afternoons of Saturday (10 May 2014) and Sunday (11 May 2014) [minimal surcharge applies]. 

 

It’s about time Mr Black

5 Apr

 

Koko Black Adelaide Shopfront

Finally…finalllyyy… FINALLY…Koko Black has dragged its feet all across Australia, through (almost) every major Australian city and finally arrived in lil’ ol Adelaide.!

 

A sharp intake of breath as I coincidentally sauntered pass this chocolate nirvana on a weekend stroll down Rundle Mall. The realisation…no longer will I have to lug packets of Koko Black’s much celebrated hot chocolate flakes from various counterparts interstate. No more ‘hot chocolate rationing’ in my household, a wee drive/bus trip to town will fix my sweet cravings just fine; and what perfect timing with cool seasons knocking at out door. Huzzah*

 Koko Black Chocolate Display

Today marks the first day Koko Black begins trading in Radelaide, and already this cozy loft on the corner of Adelaide Arcade is abuzz with delicious activity. Chocolate truffles, eggs, beverages and desserts abound. So much to get stuck into. But me? I’m perfectly satisfied with a cuppa hot choc. Unassuming, but in my opinion, the best around..

photo (16)

Pasta Deli – Italian Concept Store

6 Mar
Pasta Deli Interiors

Pasta Deli Interiors

Glossy surfaces, bright lights – enter through the gleaming glass doors into Italian deli Mecca. Just 2 weeks into service, ‘Pasta Deli’ stands tall and proud where the old Glynde fire station once was, demanding the attention of all.

Is it a cafe? A pasta shop? An Italian gourmet supplier? Well, it’s everything you want it to be; call it – an Italian SUPERSTORE. Pasta Deli is a gelateria, cheese shop, deli, gourmet store, pasticceria and coffee bar all housed under one roof. Neat! Now, you can pick up dinner whilst enjoying a cuppa, silence the kids with gelati and browse for gourmet gifts all in one enjoyable sweep of the store.

Food Display

Food Display

My dad and I sauntered in for a late afternoon drink and were immediately impressed with the sheer size of the facility. The venue has a large production kitchen which churns out ready-to-go meals (mostly pasta dishes) which can be stored in the freezer for a rainy day, eaten on site or bought as takeaway. Fresh pasta is on offer for purchase (it IS called Pasta Deli..) and a bounty of salads and antipasto sit deliciously on display. The counters heave with imported Italian cheeses whilst cured, cold meats abound. Gourmet condiments and tidbits temp patrons from every corner. So much to eat, so little time.. (and belly space). Service is friendly and helpful, with many offering tastings (score!). However, one does get the sense that the staff are pretty new and there are still a few kinks to work out. Hopefully, efficiency can be polished and the smiley service maintained when business picks up and busy-ness sets in.

Bounty of Cured Cold Meats

Bounty of Cured Cold Meats

We were pleased with our coffee (Segafredo beans the staple here) and at $3 for a regular cappuccino, I’ll say many would be happy to make this their regular coffee stop. I also had a nibble on a petite cannoli – light, crisp pastry though the filling was a little dense. This, with the coffee however, made for a fairly gratifying afternoon pick-me-up.

So if you’re in the area, I’ll definitely recommend checking ‘Pasta Deli’ out.  Pop in, take a breather and grab a bite (or two). Mangia bene, vivi felice! [go on, google it*]

xo Amanda

Cheesy Business

Cheesy Business

Pasta Deli
31-33 Glynburn Rd
Glynde South Australia 5070

Who’s Hungry for Cupcakes?

19 Feb

Cupcake Giveaway!Hi Readers!

Heatwaves are finally behind us! Cool, crisp air is on the horizon – hear the angels sing…*

I for one feel like celebrating and decided to hold a ‘Sugar Sugar Cupcake Giveaway’! One sweet-toothed Adelaide resident will have the opportunity to taste Sugar Sugar Cake‘s fare by winning a DOZEN DELICIOUS CUPCAKES DELIVERED TO HIS/HER DOOR! To enter, all you have to do is drop in on Sugar Sugar Cake’s Facebook page and show your support by clicking the ‘LIKE’ tab. Easy peasy!

For a shortcut to the competition page, go to THIS LINK and follow the prompts.

Remember to share the competition round to those near and dear, as the more ‘Likes’ clocked up, the quicker someone wins!* whoop-dee-doop! So let’s spread the word!

Can’t wait to see who the fortunate-fellow will be!

Much Love,

Amanda

Cake Highlights of 2013

5 Jan

The year that was… – a year of experimentation in the world of sugar art.

I’ve been a pastry chef most of my professional life & about a year and a half ago, life pushed me into the wonderfully sweet world of fondant cakes. It all started when a friend at church approached me to make a birthday cake for his wife. I’d dabbled with sugar molding a wee bit in the past and wanted to have another crack at it. “Sure” I said to the enquiry. With that, many other opportunities and cake projects sprung up keeping me elbow deep in buttercream & plastic icing in the days following.

Here, are just a few of my favourite cakes in the past year….

Tea-Party Glam

Tea-Party Glam

Workin’ da Soundboard

Sheepy Pops

Sheepy Pops

Classic Sweet Rose

Classic Sweet Rose

Furry Forest Friends

Furry Forest Friends

Topsy Turvy Mad Hatters Wedding

Topsy Turvy Mad Hatters Wedding

Red Carpet Oscar Glitz

Red Carpet Oscar Glitz

Stargate Cake

Stargate Cake

Wreck-It-Ralph 'Sugar Rush' Candyland

Wreck-It-Ralph ‘Sugar Rush’ Candyland

Vintage Blooms - the cake I made for my own wedding

Vintage Blooms – the cake I made for my own wedding

I feel incredibly proud to share some of my work with you, dear reader. Apart from being someone who enjoys eating good grub, I also take great pleasure in creating beautiful edibles. Yes, 2013 was a fantastic chapter. I celebrate in gratitude the many highs & learn in reflection from the periodic lows. Ultimately, looking ahead towards greater & bigger things in 2014! Over-the-moon to have you along for the ride.

PS: Want me to customize a one-of-a-kind cake for your special event? 

Connect with me via my Facebook Page whilst construction of SugarSugar’s Website is underway (coming in 2014!).

xoxo  Amanda

Sugar Sugar Cakes

Who’s Yo Mama?

1 Dec

Mamachau Exterior

Chalkboard paint slathered on walls, steamers and boilers on the go, throw in a couple of colourful Ikea-hacked stools and you have yourselves a quirky mod-Asian takeout joint. October threw open the curtains to Mamachau, a hole-in-wall daytime feeding spot in the semi-bustling hub of Adelaide’s CBD.

If you’re on Facebook enough, chances are you would have at some point been stricken with a bout of food envy. Happy snaps of fluffy white buns jammed with glistening slivers of pork belly (Mamachau’s Asian Tacos) were enough to send me traipsing  across town for a feed (yeah, like I HAD to go all the way into town to post a letter..).

Masterstock Pork Belly Asian Taco

Masterstock Pork Belly Asian Taco

Straight up, this place is intentionally a “takeaway” institution (less staff, less overheads..a sensible move on the owners part) but kindly provides some seating to a fortunate few. Mamachau’s mantra is to bring a “fresh, healthy take on Asian takeaway” and they certainly do so with cool salad combos, deliciously hearty “Feed Me RiceBowls”, hand-made cold rolls & their pièce de résistance – Asian tacos (or better described as ‘steamed Chinese baos’). This modish take on steamed baos was made famous by the brilliant David Chang of Momofuku fame. I for one, am certainly glad that the “21st-century contemporary bao” has made its way to Adelaide shores.

My little snack of master-stock pork belly Asian taco ($3.50) & a side of spiced lotus root chips ($3) certainly did not disappoint in the flavour department. A squishy white bun gave way to soft & gelatinous hunks of pork belly, intermingling with the crunch of toasted nuts & pickled mustard greens. The lotus chips definitively more-ish; “television snack” material. Certainly up your alley if you’re a chippy type.

With every flavour & textural facet satisfied – yes, I’ll have five more rounds of each please.

Spiced Lotus Chips

Spiced Lotus Chips

Quite literally, although these tasty morsels are bang-on delicious, they are exactly that… – morsels. Each ‘bao’ is akin to the size of a chicken wing, and bearing in mind that you can get a three-piece pack of KFC Wicked Wings for the same price, product value is certainly up for contention (oh dear, I know the price by memory.. Wicked Wing Junkie much?).

There are combos up for offer; for instance the Asian taco combos which yields 2 ‘baos’, one side and a drink. This will set you back $11.50, and my guess is you’ll probably be reaching for the cookies & nuts by 3pm. So if you’re famished, my advice is to opt instead for one of their rice bowls and add an onsen egg.

Mamachau's Menu

Mamachau’s Menu

As a whole, Mamachau is a vibrant addition to the CBD lunch scene. Be prepared to fork out a few more dollars than your average takeaway. That said, it’s perfect if you’re after a light, healthy-esque & likably left-field lunch.

Mamachau on Urbanspoon

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