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 Bakers White Chocolate Mango and Coconut Mud Cake

A few weeks ago, I was asked to create a show stopper cake for an event I was to attend.  I needed a cake recipe that would give me a WOW factor result. Of all my experimental cake flavors, one of the most loved has got to be my mango drizzle cupcakes. Coming close in second place is my white chocolate mud cake. I decided to combine these flavors, and add a bit of coconut, and came up with the following recipe.

I cannot begin to tell you how delicious this cake tasted. Its just something you will have to try making and tasting yourself 🙂

Nazzy Bakers White Chocolate, Mango and Coconut Mud Cake:

Ingredients:

Cake:

300g White Chocolate buttons

200g salted butter

1 cup of milk

¾ cup caster sugar

2 large eggs lightly beaten

2/3 cup self-raising flour

1 cup plain flour

½ cup of desiccated coconut / 1tsp coconut essence

Filling:

1 kg Frozen Mango cubes

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

Ganache:

675g white chocolate buttons

225g cream

 

Method:

  • Ganache: Heat the cream in the microwave for 1 minute, add the chocolate buttons and heat in short bursts until the chocolate and cream are well combined. Leave the ganache to cool.
  • Filling: Add Mango, sugar and water to a saucepan, and cook until the water evaporates. Blitz the mango mixture to a smooth thick mixture.
  • Cake: Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Grease and line cake pan with cake release spray and baking paper. Place chocolate, butter, milk and sugar into a saucepan and stir on low heat continuously until well combined and smooth. Allow the mixture to cool. When cooled, add the coconut essence and eggs and stir until combined.  Sift the flours into a large bowl, and then add the chocolate mixture in, one cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Once all the ingredients are combined and mixed well, pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until cooked.  Allow the cake to cool.
  • Assembly: Slice the cake in half, and pipe a border around the edge of the cake with ganache. Fill the center with the mango filling. Stack the next layer of cake on top. Cover the sides and top of the cake with a layer of ganache, and smooth it with a palette knife if you wish to cover the cake with fondant.

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 – “Patches” a gift for my niece!

So as not to waste a four day weekend, I decided to teach Lulu and LaiLai how to bake my favourite chocolate cake recipe. It was my nieces birthday a few weeks ago, and I hadn’t seen her to wish her happy birthday in person. Lulu, LaiLai and I decided that we would make an edible gift for Miss Mischa out of the chocolate cake!

I got to drawing a design for a teddy bear cake. I’ve always loved the “Me to You” Tatty Teddies, and especially one I had when I was a child, called Patches.

I thought that this bear would be a perfect edible gift for A little girl. Perhaps a little too perfect, as LaiLai decided that she wanted him for herself when I had finished decorating him!! That’s where bribery has its perks! 😂 I told her of my next baking project, and she was more than happy to let Patches go. 👏🏽 1 point to me!! 

Here’s #howididit:

1) I started out with the chocolate cakes that Lulu and LaiLai had baked. I will share their recipe and video in my next post.

*the cake shapes we used for the bear were: 

– 6 inch round chocolate cake

– 3 rounded cupcakes ( 2 for the feet and 1 for the nose) – this is where we improvised! I used a basketball cupcake pan to make these shapes.

– trimming from the cake mixed with icing and shaped into the bears arms. (Made in the same way as cake pops)

*tip : before dirty icing my cakes, I always drizzle sugar syrup over them to help the cake retain moisture.

2) Once shaped, dirty ice the cakes as per the pictures below:

BODY:

HEAD:

3) I then Secured the bears head to its body with a thick drinking straw. ( these can be found at your local discount variety store)

4) I  Secured the other body parts to the bear with icing and straws – another improvisation. ( the body parts will only stick if you use ganache. I used butter cream for this cake, and therefore needed to Secure the feet and nose with another straw)

5) I iced the whole body with grey buttercream, and then rolled out some grey and black fondant to make the eyes, ears, nose and the all important patches!

6) Using a Wilton piping tip (number 233 to be exact) I piped the bears fur 😍

7) Now it wouldn’t be a Nazzy Baker cake, without some bling! I had find a place to add some sparkle to Patches… and then… 💡I had an idea! I would make a balloon and bow tie out of fondant and add gold leaf to the cake! 

8) with the left over blue fondant I made a button nose to finish him off 💕

This bear is a little out of shape. I did not carve his neck enough, and I did not give his arms and legs the structure that they needed. Having said that, this cake was done in 3 hours with my two helpers. It wasn’t planned, and we had to improvise ALOT! What I’m trying to get at, is that you don’t always need fancy tools and ingredients to make a meaningful or pretty cake for a special someone… you just need the will power, a little imagination, and a recipe to follow! A lot of love for the special someone might help too 💕

On that note, keep following my blog posts as I will be posting the chocolate cake recipe shortly, as well as a video on how Lulu and LaiLai baked this cake ❤️

I leave you now with: Mischa’s Patches!!! 

I hope you have enjoyed this post:)

For behind the scenes baking stories, follow me on Instagram and Facebook ✌🏽

Don’t forget to like and share this idea with anyone that you think would enjoy it!
If you do happen to try this recipe, please share your thoughts with me 😊

Happy Baking!!!

xx NaZzYbAkEr xx

Nazzy Bakers Raspberry, Lime and Coconut Delight Cake

Yes it’s true. I’m officially obsessed with coconut! I literally sprinkle it into 90% of my recipes. This cake is no exception.
Here’s #howididit:

1) Start by making the Raspberry flavouring. I usually make this in bulk and freeze it for other recipes.

  • Place a 1kg bag of frozen raspberries into a saucepan with 1 cup sugar and 3tblsp water.
  • Simmer on low till the sugar is dissolved.
  • Let the mixture boil till the water evaporates and the raspberries start to break apart and make a thick sauce.
  • Using a handheld blitzer, blitz the mixture to the consistency that you prefer. I like my fruit sauces a bit chunky for texture. Here’s a picture of the one I used in this recipe:

2) Using a grater, zest 2 limes.

3) Prepare a classic vanilla cake recipe, replacing the vanilla essence with an equal quantity of coconut essence. (You can also use a coconut cake mix)

4) Add 1tblsp of the lime zest and 3tblsp of the Raspberry flavouring to the mixture, and gently fold through. Be careful not to overmix, otherwise the colour of the raspberries will bleed through the mixture. It won’t change the taste, however you will not get the beautiful marbled effect.

5) Bake the cake at 180 degrees Celsius until cooked through.

6) Prepare a cream cheese frosting while the cake is cooling. I made a quick icing with 200g cream cheese and 500g sifted pure icing sugar.

7) cut the cake in half as in the picture below, and spread some of the raspberry sauce on each surface. Once soaked into the cake, spread some of the cream cheese frosting onto the bottom half. Then sprinkle a bit of lime zest and coconut over the cream cheese layer and sandwich the two halves together.

8) Frost the sides and the top of the cake with the rest of the cream cheese frosting and then decorate as you wish.

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