Chinese Almond Cookies

I admire so many things about the Asian cultures, people and their food. I especially love that I get to share in a bit of the culture by living in multicultural Western Sydney. The hustle and bustle of the marketplace, people calling out for you to try their fresh produce, families enjoying freshly made meals, teaching their children about their roots, just fills me with joy!

I wanted to try making something traditional to celebrate Chinese New Year 2019. If you frequent Asian grocery stores like I do, there’s a good chance that you will have seen these cookies before. Some of you may have even had these as treats growing up. The soft, crumbly, almond flavoured delicacies are truly amazing, especially paired with a cup of tea! The great thing about them is, you can have them any time of the year…

Give them a go, with my version of the traditional recipe, below.

Ingredients:

1 cup Almond Meal

2 cups Plain flour

1 cup cubed Butter

1 cup caster sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract

Method:

1) Cream together the butter and sugar.

2) Add in the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and almond extract and combine to form a dough.

3) Chill the dough in the fridge for an hour at least.

4) Roll the dough into balls, place them on a greased and lined baking tray, and flatten them slightly with your palm.

5) Give each cookie a slight egg wash, and place one piece of sliced almond in the centre of each.

6) Bake the cookies in a pre- heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius until golden brown.

** the cookies will be soft, but will harden slightly as they cool. Don’t be impatient, leave them on the tray to cool completely before packaging the cookies.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and that you have a go at making these cookies for your loved ones! If you would like to collaborate with me, or, if you would like to make any suggestions or even provide some feedback, please feel free to contact me.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @nazzybaker and like and share this post with your friends.

Until next time…. happy baking!

xxx Nazzy Baker xxx

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Nazzy’s Vanilla Cake Recipe

Happy New Year everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and I apologise for my lack of content. While I have not taken a break from baking and sharing on Instagram and Facebook, I did need a bit of a break from blogging. After a lot of reflection, I am back, and I hope to make nazzybaker.com bigger and better this year.

With so much to look forward to, I thought I would share my first bake of 2019 with you all.

This cake was made for my dad, who is a massive fan of a cuppa tea and a slice of plain vanilla cake in the afternoon after work. On my recent trip to Queensland, Dad asked if I would bake a plain cake for for him.

I found a few recipe ideas, rummaging through a few ancient cook books. With so many great recipes, I took notes on ingredients I liked. How often do you see a recipe that calls for butter and oil?? I added that to my list of things to try, and at the end of this exercise, let’s just say that I was on a mission in mums kitchen, to make the best tasting cake ever.

This is the recipe I used:

Ingredients:

370g Plain Flour

370g Caster Sugar

4 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

230g Butter softened

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

295 ml Whole Milk

90 ml Vegetable Oil

3 Large Eggs

Method:

1) Cream the butter and caster sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

2) Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

3) Add the whisked wet ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar slowly while mixing on medium speed until combined. Note: adding the wet ingredients too quickly may result in curdling.

4) Sift the dry ingredients into the mixture, and continue to mix until a batter forms and all the ingredients are well mixed. Try not to over mix your cake batter.

5) Pour the batter into a cake pan and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degrees Celsius, till cooked and golden brown. The low temperature of the oven will allow the cake to cook slower, and rise more evenly.

*** Nazzy Baker’s top tip:

Lining the outside of your cake pan with damp paper towels and clean damp tea towels, and then baking your cake, will result in a more even and moist cake due to the slowed cooking process and the steam generated from the damp towels.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and that you have a go at making this cake for your loved ones! If you would like to collaborate with me, or, if you would like to make any suggestions or even provide some feedback, please feel free to contact me.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @nazzybaker and like and share this post with your friends.

Until next time…. happy baking!

xxx Nazzy Baker xxx

Nazzy Baker’s blood orange and turmeric cake

Tumeric powder (Haldi), is a spice that has been a staple in many Indian homes for hundreds of years. While I can’t speak for all, I know that my family definitely takes its health benefits for granted. We’re more concerned about the colour and flavour it brings to our curries. Had I known that turmeric lattes would be a ‘thing’ when I was in primary school, maybe I wouldn’t have tried so hard to hide my curried potato sandwiches from my friends. Yes, carb on carb… absolutely heavenly!

The idea of adding turmeric to a cake or dessert toyed with my mind for days. I wondered how much I could add to a recipe to bring out the colour, but not to overpower the cake. I wasn’t sure which form of turmeric to use, powdered or fresh? A colleague of mine told me of a delicious Lebanese turmeric cake her mum often makes. Seeing someone talk so fondly about their mums cooking sparks all sorts of emotions in me. I only hope that one day, my girls will speak of the food I prepare for them the same way. Upon hearing of her mums delicacy, I decided I would take the risk and experiment with the versatile spice.

I was visiting my mother in law one afternoon, and as I do every time I go over, I raided her pantry and fruit bowl. She is one woman that has a knack for picking up the most unique ingredients and just giving them a try. Shopping in her pantry is bliss for an experimental baker like myself. I happened to find a tray of fresh turmeric, and some ripe blood oranges in her fruit bowl. Not sure how the flavour combination would go, I decided to take a gamble, and boy am I happy that I did!

My house smelt wonderfully citrusy as the cake was baking, and the cake…. well lets just say, that it was most certainly a winner! Try making it yourself, and let me know how you go! Here’s how I did it:

Nazzy Bakers blood orange and turmeric bundt cake:

Ingredients: (you can half the recipe for a smaller cake tin)

2 cups softened butter (not margarine)

3 cups caster sugar

8 eggs lightly beaten

2 cups plain flour

2 cups self raising flour

Juice of 1 blood orange

1 blood orange cut into small pieces

2 blood oranges cut into thin slices

1 tsp of grated fresh tumeric

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

1/2 cup blood orange juice

Method:

  1. Warm the milk, and add the grated turmeric to it. Let it soak.
  2. Line the greased baking tin with thinly sliced oranges.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale.
  4. Add the eggs in slowly, mixing between additions.
  5. Add the blood orange juice and mix well until combined.
  6. Fold the sifted flours through the wet ingredients until combined.
  7. Next, add in the turmeric infused milk, and the grated turmeric pieces and mix them in to the batter.
  8. Pour the batter over the lined baking tin, scattering the orange pieces through the mixture haphazardly.
  9. Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius, until the cake is browned and cooked through.
  10. Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar and the orange juice.
  11. Once the cake is cooled, drizzle over the glaze, and serve with a cup of tea.

A massive shout out to the man behind the lens, for his time and patience! You’re the best ❤️

I hope you have enjoyed this post, and that you have a go at making this cake for your loved ones! If you would like to collaborate with me, or, if you would like me to test other flavour combinations, feel free to contact me. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @nazzybaker and like and share this post with your friends.

Until next time…. happy baking!

xxx Nazzy Baker xxx

Nazzy Bakers honey and cinnamon almond Baklava

A long title for this version of a sweet that is believed to have originated in the Ottoman Empire.

A walk through Paddy’s markets in Sydney, saw me purchasing a variety of dried fruit, nuts and an array of trinkets that I thought would be a good idea at the time, until I came home and had nowhere to store them. The fruits and nuts on the other hand, well they have certainly come in handy in my experimental baking sessions. The nuts I chose for this recipe, were honey and cinnamon coated almonds.

I was also lucky enough to get my hands on some freshly farmed honey from my Mother in law (with her permission). These two beautiful fresh ingredients screamed Baklava to me, and I would suggest that the reason why would be that Ramadan is coming up in the next few months. I know tonnes of people that would enjoy a piece of Baklava and a cup of tea after a long day of fasting, and for my friends that don’t fast, well, you could enjoy them anytime you like.

So, without further ado, herewith my recipe:

Nazzy Bakers Honey and Cinnamon Almond Baklava:

Ingredients:

375g Fillo Pastry

500g crushed honey and cinnamon coated almonds

2 tblsp fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup of honey

3/4 cups water

2 tblsp Cinnamon powder

1 cup of softened butter

Method:

1) Prepare the syrup by boiling together the honey, sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon powder for approximately 8 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool off the heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2) Grease and line a loaf tin, and layer the Fillo pastry, one sheet at a time into the tin, brushing each sheet well with butter before adding the next sheet. Once you have layered 8-10 sheets of pastry, add your crushed almonds, and continue to layer 5 sheets of pastry (brushing each sheet with butter before adding the next). Add another layer of the nuts, and continue to layer another 5 sheets of pastry, again brushing each sheet with butter. Repeat this process until your nuts are finished, but remember to leave about 10 sheets of pastry to brush with butter and create the flaky top layer of the Baklava.

* Fillo pastry dries out quickly. To prevent this, cover the pastry when not in use with a damp tea towel.

3) Brush the top layer with butter, and sprinkle over some cinnamon sugar. Cut the Baklava diamond shapes at this stage (before baking)

4) Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius until the pastry is golden brown and cooked.

5) Remove the tin from the oven and pour over the cooled syrup straight away so that the Baklava remains crisp and not soggy. (You May hear a slight sizzle – don’t be alarmed)

* I got a bit worried at this point, as the syrup was taking a while to penetrate the layers. This is normal!

6) Allow yourself to walk away, and let the magic happen for approximately 3 to 6 hours (depending on your level of patience). My breaking point was 3 hours the bare minimum!

7) Break apart the diamond shapes and plate up your gorgeous Baklava. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week! *You probably won’t need to*

Here it is:

I hope you have enjoyed this post:) If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on Facebook messenger, or by email : nazzybaker@gmail.com

Don’t forget to like and share this idea with anyone that you think would enjoy it!

xx NaZzYbAkEr xx

Nazzy Bakers Easy Gulab Jamun Recipe!

This is a recipe that I fall back on time and time again. It’s such an easy recipe, and they don’t take long to make at all.

Ingredients:

(Dough)
1 cup plain flour

1 cup self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tin condensed milk
Vegetable oil to deep fry

(Sugar Syrup)
2 cups sugar + 2 cups water boiled to form sugar syrup.

Method:
1) Sift the dry ingredients together (flours, baking powder and spices)
2) Pour in the tin of condensed milk and mix until the dry ingredients are combined. The mixture should be sticky, and it does get messy.
3) Once combined, roll bits of the dough into oblong finger like shapes, and leave to rest while the oil is heating.
4) Once the oil is hot, fry the dough fingers until they are cooked through and brown.
5) When fried, place the fingers into the warm sugar syrup and allow them to soak up the syrup.
6) Roll the Gulab Jamuns into desiccated coconut (optional)
7) Serve 😊

I hope you have enjoyed this post:) If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on Facebook messenger, or by email : nazzybaker@gmail.com
Don’t forget to like and share this idea with anyone that you think would enjoy it!
xx NaZzYbAkEr xx