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

Off the Radar and On Again

16 Nov

This blog has lain lifeless under dust and dew for days, weeks, months, short of 2 years to be exact. Much hasn’t been said about the writer apart from her love affair with the food industry. Well, dim the lights and pull up your seats – it’s time for a little storytelling.  

Hi Readers.

Talkingwithyourmouthfull has been sitting idle for a painfully long time..And I’ve got some explaining to do. Thus, I’ve decided to share a little of the adventures/misadventures of the past 2 years or so – and explain why this blog grinded to a halt rather abruptly. It’s quite a story, I must admit.

A brief background: I’m a pastry chef by trade and shortly after starting this blog, was launched into the grit of full-time, pre-dawn shifts at a local production kitchen. Things went pretty swell amidst the hectic flurry of work, eating sprees, activities etc.

Until one fine day, I called in sick to work.

I never get ill, I’m pretty fit & strong; so when I went down with a high fever for 2 solid weeks – there was reason for concern and was admitted into hospo. Diagnosed with a funny-sounding autoimmune thingamajig, things unpredictably spun out of control when I caught a lethal secondary infection. I was moved to the ICU.

Things got pretty serious pretty fast, but it was in this time that God came to the rescue. As friends and family joined hearts in intense prayer – quite remarkably, very unexpectedly, I took a turn for the better. Miracle? Absolutely.

*~Lord be praised~*

I recovered rather quickly from then on and after 2 months of living within the blue walls of the hospital, I walked out happy, alive and free.

Upon recovery I started baking again at home and this garnered some interest from friends. Orders started rolling in and positive feedback followed. And so, with a little pluck and a truckload of fondant – I launched SugarSugar Cakes, an online business specializing in novelty & wedding cakes. Check it out HERE (*and drop in a ‘Like’ on the way!). 

There was also the added joy of getting married early this Spring. A simple, blessed union amid blooms and bunting.

And yes – I made the cake.

Thence dear readers, now that the ebbs & rises of life have seemingly settled, I say – let’s start blogging again shall we?

xo Amanda

P/S: My sincere apologies for not responding to emails/invites etc. during my lengthy hiatus. I’ll do my best not to disappear again!

Kefi – A Greek Wonderthing

6 Aug

I might anger a few. I might even cause a minor riot. But one simply struggles to sleep at night without  hooting the horn on the sensation that is Kefi. No doubt Kefi’s loyal following would be a tad miffed that with more people in the know, snagging a table at the already “packed-to-the-brim-busting-at-the-seams” mecca of deliciousness would be that much harder.

Oh, turmoil.

Truly, the tables in this buzzing eatery are so close together that one can literally reach over and swipe at a neighbor’s juicy saganaki (and indeed, I want to). The back of our chairs were constantly bumped by waiters bearing towering platters, and there were plenty of laughter and happy chatter in the air – a hub of jolly mayhem. My kind of dining.

Old black and white pictures dot the shady walls, a prologue of the meal to come.  And what a meal it was. Kefi is the sort of place where one craves to order everything on the menu. Ah, the annoyance of practicality.

Dips and pitas were quickly ordered – fluffy flatbread with the bubbly aeration resembled in good focaccia, sourced from a specialist producer in Melbourne – great to have on the table for a large party. Char-y octopus tentacles were tender yet meaty to the bite and served atop a fresh tomato and cucumber salsa-like salad. The Mixed Skaras included juicy Greek sausages, smoky lamb cutlets, grilled pork cutlets, and lamb and chicken skewers with potatoes, tzatziki, salad and more of those pillow-y pitas thrown into the works. The fulfillment of every individual’s meat fantasy.

Other dishes that had us salivating at the edge of our tables were the saucy meatballs, salmon spanakopitas and Herculean platters of hot, golden crisp calamari and prawns. Be warned that the gargantuan sizes of Kefi’s dishes stretch to obscenity – no doubt you will receive your fill and roll away a very satisfied (and albeit garlicky) blimp.

Service is prompt though a touch hectic, yet genuine and personable. Such a pleasure to find sincerity in the front-of-house, a dying trait in the service industry.

There is only one word to sum up Kefi, and that’s generous. In a world that’s rather cold and sometimes grey, it is lovely to find a small gem where fun, food and laughter runs abundant. So leave your troubles at the door, and be prepared for a true feast (in every sense of the word).

Kefi Greek Cuisine

61 Tapleys Hill Road, Glenelg North

Tel: 08 8350 9199

Kefi on Urbanspoon

Market Square Adelaide

26 Jun

The recent disappearance of the Rundle Street Markets has left a few Adelaide folk in a fuddle. Well, market-hunters – if the news has somehow escaped you, you’d be pleased to know that three months back, the bazaar on Rundle Street was reincarnated into what is now known as Market Square Adelaide.

Located a stone’s throw away from its original location (if you’re fairly optimistic about your athletic ability), the same vendors from Rundle Street have now settled themselves onto the calm green of Hindmarsh Square. A small handful of food fanatics have set up stall alongside vendors selling jewellery, clothes, body care products and other “market-y”  thingamabobs.

Laden with baskets and wooden urns of exotic spices, flavoured sea salt and condiments, is the fragrant Beach Organics stall. This pit-stop for all things certified organic sells a variety of hard-to-find ingredients such as White Muntok Pepper, cold-pressed coconut oil, raw cacao butter and traditionally ground coconut palm sugar, among all others – perfect for “Masterchefs-in-training” or for those having a crack at ethnic recipes. If you’re hard-pressed to find good quality vanilla, then look no further as Beach Organics carries sustainable vanilla pods and other vanilla-based products to settle your pastry woes (e.g. extract, paste, powder, vanilla palm sugar etc.). Boasting a four-hectare property in the Fleurieu Peninsula and farms in Indonesia, this SA-based charge is led by the very cordial Mr Barry Beach, and has a loyal following both locally and Australia-wide.

New to the markets is A Delicious Design, a perky, sugar-laced stand of pretty pastel treats such as cupcakes, macaron pops, marshmallow pops and the current American-craze: cake pops. I must say, it is queer how food becomes that much more enjoyable when jammed onto one end of a stick. Well, as satay has had its moment of glory, it’s now time for pastry to have its turn on the skewer, as this new stall is set to have kids (and a few adults I believe) bouncing off the walls in a sugar-high frenzy.

Reigning ‘pet favourite’ at the markets is Jonny’s Kettle Corn. Bright as sunshine, this yellow-red stand churns out schrummy yummy popcorn of three delish flavours – cheese, sweet n’ salty and caramel. Those of you who find salty popcorn at the movies too one-dimensional, get your paws on a pack of Jonny’s and you’ll be the envy of all your movie mates (you could share..but…). If you miss out on Sundays, they also supply to Carousel Nut Bar (Stall 76 at Central Markets), several Foodland outlets and a smattering of other retail joints around SA (refer to site if experiencing popcorn emergency). Led by the cheeriest couple in the popcorn-biz, Jonny’s Kettle Corn gets my personal “gold-star” at Market Square.

Some other food-spots at the bazaar include SA Nuts & Confectionery, The Cake Charmer (for a quickie cupcake fix), The Hot Dog Hut, Wild Fox Wines and the much-loved Poffertjes (dime-sized Dutch pancakes) stand.

Since its trip down the south end of Pulteney Street, the market has fallen slightly quiet, away from activity of Rundle Street. So good people, why not show our support and pay a visit to our friendly vendors over at Market Square? Pass the word, or simply pass by. On the flipside, the market is also a opportune launching pad for those toying with the idea of starting up their own venture. There’s plenty of room on the green.

So brave the cold this winter, and seize the day – head out and enjoy your local offerings. All in the name of good food.

Market Square Adelaide
Hindmarsh Square
Adelaide City
5000

Sundays 9am-4pm
www.marketsquareadelaide.com.au

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