Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peachy Keen Baking Queen

These past few weeks I have been OBSESSED with baking. I used to love baking, but I went off it for a couple of months, occasionally baking the odd birthday cake etc. Now I have gone from one extreme to the other and perhaps things have gotten a little out of hand - It started with the bagels, delicious, chewy bagels! I made about a dozen of them - 6 plain and 6 caramelized onion (yum!).


The week after that I decided to make my own bread. I made a small wholemeal loaf, with wattle seed, nutmeg and poppy seed. It was my first attempt at bread making, and I was surprised at how easy it was. Don't get me wrong, all the kneading was tough work and you do have to wait a long time for it to rise, but it’s worth the wait. The bread was so tasty! So tasty that I accidentally ate it all in 2 days, then made another!


I decided to cool it down for a week with the baking (still managing to squeeze in a killer roast vegetable frittata and a breakfast bread pudding).


But then I found myself right back at it this weekend, luckily I was baking for someone else, so my waistline wasn't jeopardized once again.


I recently made a purchase from HeyYoYo of some cupcake liners and these adorable cupcake boxes that are in the shape of a French patisserie! I have been dying to use them, so when my friend’s birthday rolled around, I jumped at the opportunity. And really, who wouldn’t love cupcakes out of this box? HeyYoYo is such an awesome shop, particuarly if you like kitsch baking accessories, as I do. The shop is jam packed with crazy, cute knick knacks! I’m not even sure what to do with half the stuff they sell, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to buy it all.



I made vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese frosting to go in the box. I used the recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Honestly, this is the best cupcake recipe I’ve ever worked with. Its fail safe! They turn out light, fluffy and flavorsome ever time, and I have tried hundreds of different recipes/techniques. I think the trick is making them similar to the way you would make a muffin, combining the butter and the dry ingredients then slowly adding the wet.


I also made individual caramelized peach pies – or peach cup-pies!- to take with me to my friend’s birthday. They taste so much better than they look, I swear! (thats a little pastry bird on top by the way.... looks a bit like a fish?)


As always, I went to the markets on Saturday morning and bought a whole bunch of peaches. They were selling for $10 a bag, and that’s a big bag! Soon peaches will be out of season, so I loaded up my bag and found as many ripe ones as possible.
Sweet fruit pies are so easy to make, and for some reason unknown to me, uncommon in Australia. In America, you just have to walk down the street and your bound to find a diner or restaurant that sells dessert pies (like Marie Calenders!). They know what they’re doing! In Australia, you mention that you’re making/bringing pies and everyone assumed they will be of the meat variety.

The pies, although fruit, were a hit. I made some for my family also – those ones I served hot with a big scoop of ice cream! Mmm!
I’m not sure if I mentioned that I am also a fit model for one of the labels the company I work for owns – and my measurements have to stay exactly the same. Last Friday, I got measured and I’m over 2cm on my hips….. I can't imagine why??  Maybe I should lay of the baked good for a week or two!

What are your favorite things to bake/make?

6 comments:

  1. Oh, your bread looks delicious! As you might know I am from Germany. The land of bread! ;) And I can definitely tell from a photo whether a bread is good or not! ;) hihi
    My heart beats for nutrolls filled with hazelnuts. I once even made a post about it. Maybe you are interested. It is super easy and looks and tastes delicious! :)

    http://nettevivante.blogspot.com/2010/12/nut-roll-my-favorite-winter-recipe.html

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  2. Yum! I love baking bread too - the smell is wonderful, and it tastes so much better than the bought stuff! I make muffins all the time. Wholemeal apple muffins are the best thing to eat for breakfast :)

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  3. I have been wanting to make bread for a while. I love fresh bread so much. I think that you may just have inspired me enough to work up the courage to try it out :)

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  4. Hello! Lovely blog! A lady after my own heart: I cook and sew vintage too. I love love love baking bread too - in fact, I do it almost every week now and rarely buy a loaf. Thanks for the tip on HeyYoYo: what a great store! I've got a ladies afternoon tea at my house in a few weeks, so I may need to put in an order!

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  5. Hi, Would love a bagel recipe, can you point me in the direction of a good one?
    I am also a keen baker.

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  6. @Sky Thanks Sky!
    I used 17 and baking's bagel recipes for these bagels.

    Check it out, she has some seriously amazing recipes!

    http://17andbaking.com/2009/08/22/in-the-kitchen-with-dad/

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