Unfortunately, for me, Cooking usually turns into a gambling experience, especially if I have never used the recipe before. However, my biggest problem is not burning food or worse inconsistent heat transference, or even accidentally mangling my digits with electronic cooking utensils (once I nearly hacked off my thumb tip with a hand-held electric mixer, fun times). My biggest problem is leftover ingredients that just end up going to waste.
I know I should be buying local produce, and as I live in a predominately fruit-growing area, I should be taking advantage of that, however I have had to chuck out two punnets of strawberries with the space of a week. I figured, knowing my luck, I had just picked up a couple of bad bunches, but apparently people chuck out about 40% of their fridge contents. Either people need to start buying less and plan their meals better or cook in bulk to make sure they are completely using up their ingredients. Or both, that would probably be the better choice.
Regardless, the following recipes are “Raspberry & Almond Blondies” (by Lurpak) and “Chocolate-chip Biscuit” (from Grandma’s Quick & Thrifty Cookbook by Reader’s Digest). I’ve used these recipes multiple times and they definitely need to be doubled.
Raspberry & Almond Blondies
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-35 minutes
Serves: 16 bites
Ingredients and Materials:
125gms unsalted butter
200gms of white chocolate, chopped
110gms of caster sugar
130gms of plain flour
120gms of fresh raspberries
100gms of almonds, chopped
1. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan-forced and line your brownie tin with baking paper.
2. In a pan, heat the unsalted butter on low heat until it’s melted and starts to turn golden. Pour into a cold bowl, adding half the chocolate, and stir until melted.
3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in separate bowl until they are thick and golden. Sieve in the flour, add the chocolatey butter and fold in with a spatula until smooth.
4. Add the raspberries, almonds and remaining chocolate. Delicately pour into the brownie tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
5. Blondies will be ready when a light golden crust appears. They should remain squidgy inside. Allow to cool in the tin, cut into 16 squares and eat within 2 days.
Now standard issue of butter in Australia is packaged into blocks of 250gms, so 125gms half a block. In my experience, you’re much better off doubling the ingredients rather than having half a block of butter float around in your fridge. In addition, I have found the cooking time of this recipe to be problematic, my oven is a fan-forced oven and cooks things very quickly. I tried cooking them for 25 minutes, but while the top had a golden crust, half of the brownies were not cooked. So I tend to cook them for 30 minutes, which makes the blondies a biscuit-brown colour instead of golden. Regardless, they still get eaten though it’s taken me a few goes to get the hang of this recipe.
125gms of butter
⅓ cup (80gms) caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of condensed milk
1 cup (150gms) of self-raising flour
125gms of dark cooking chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease or line two baking trays with baking paper
2. Using electric beaters, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light creamy. Add the condensed milk and mix well. Fold the flour and chocolate into the butter mixture
3. Drop half-tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking trays, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool on trays for 3 minutes, then carefully transfer to wire rack to cool completely, store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Now that’s a 3 litre container, and even though I doubled the ingredients, I still have half a can of condensed milk lurking about in my fridge. The problem with ingredients like condensed milk or rice flour is that unless you have a few recipes that require them, those ingredients tend to go to waste. I recommend trying for multiple recipes/uses and airtight containers for storage (nobody wants weevils).