Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I haven't made a swiss roll since I was in school doing a class in Home Economics. Unfortunately, that said swiss roll didn't roll very well and I ended up with swiss 'fingers' instead.
This swiss roll however, turned out much, much better. Very easy to roll and the matcha flavour was set off nicely with the whipped cream and anko (Japanese sweet bean paste) inside. I got the recipe from a book by Junko, a clever lady who came up with the idea of making patterns on swiss rolls.
I have to say, though, that you have to be rather organized to make the different batters for the different parts of the pattern. Other than that, it was quite straight forward to do. The only thing I would do differently is pour the batter more carefully over the pattern to eliminate all the little air bubbles around it.
Happy Birthday, Diane! I hope you enjoyed your cake. :)
Friday, February 7, 2014
Can you believe it's February already?! Where did January go? Gosh, the year is getting off to a quick start and we've only just finished our Christmas cake! Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I thought these cookies would be perfect as a gift for someone you love or just for yourself. They are YUMMY! I made the cookies using a puppy cutter (isn't it cute?!). It's part of the Red Puppy Appeal which is for the Guide Dogs here in New Zealand. I got it at Bayleys for a $5 donation. Look at how cute the puppies are... and of course you can always decorate them with royal icing. But they taste just as good as they are. :)
The basic recipe for shortbread is very easy. It is a 1-2-3 ratio of sugar-butter-flour. The flour is a mix of plain and corn flour. Cornflour makes for a crisper cookie. Then you can get creative and add other things if you like. I added some chocolate chips to half the batch. You can add nuts or dried fruit too if you prefer. You can also leave them plain and dip them in melted chocolate. Mmmm!
Recipe for shortbread cookies
100g caster sugar
200g unsalted butter, softened
260g plain flour
40g corn flour
pinch of salt
- Beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat again until mixture is light and fluffy.
- Sift the flour, cornflour and salt together and add into butter mixture. Add chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruit, if using. Combine gently together using your hands to form a dough. Roll into a ball, flatten and wrap in cling film. Chill for about 20 minutes or until firm. Alternatively, if you want to cut them into rounds, you can roll the dough into a log, wrap in cling wrap and chill.
- Preheat oven to 170 degree C. Roll out the chilled dough to about 1 cm. Cut shapes and place on lined baking sheet. I like to chill the shapes for about 5 minutes before baking them to make sure they keep their shape. Alternatively, if you have rolled the dough into a log, slice to form rounds.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm.
- Cool for a few minutes to firm up on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool down. You can dip them in melted chocolate at this point or eat them as they are.