Mint Aero Squares

Yup, it’s the day of the one year anniversary we did not wish to celebrate.

So I distracted myself by baking sweet treats to take to work.

This is a recipe that a lovely lovely friend of mine hand wrote and gave to me years ago. Just the other day I was sorting out my bookshelves and I found it folded away tucked between two books. I decided that now was as good a time as any to make this. The only problem was that I did not convert the original weights from imperial to metric so I was short on chocolate. This meant that I ended up halving all the recipe ingredients. The other adaption that I made, was converting the topping to dark chocolate and crushed aero mint balls. I found that I couldn’t melt the white chocolate that the recipe specified (neither microwave nor double boiler helped – I ended up with a scorched lumpy mess) so I made quick adaptation.

It’s a really simple recipe to make, crush, melt and mix. While the mixture was ‘setting’ in the fridge, Ignacio and I took a short walk in the park behind our flat. It was nice to be in the sunshine, even though it was cold. Nice to feel the breeze and at least feel alive.

The final product came out nice. It is very thin because it is half of what is should be but it is sweet, chocolatey and minty and very comforting on a day like this.

These will keep for a few days in the fridge and will make for a nice little snack between MS Teams meetings when I go back to work.

Torta de aceite

I woke up this morning with a craving…

Seems I start most days this way. Today I wanted to make and eat some torta de aceite. They are a spanish sweet biscuit made of flour, water, yeast and olive oil. They are thin, flaky and crispy and sprinkled with sugar. They are thought to originate from Andalucia (Sevilla). They seem have a number of interesting non-Spanish names – oil cakes, spanish olive oil crackers, vegan spanish pancakes

I have made these before, quite a few years ago. They were very nice.

These ones I made today, were different. Not quite as crispy or flaky but nice enough, I think the key is rolling them out really thin. I also did not have any 00 flour so I ended up using malthouse bread flour that has been sitting around in the cupboard for some time. That did make these a little browner and provide a slightly different taste and of course is quite the wrong texture for this recipe! But you know me, ever the experimenter…

I made 12 of these in total. They’ll go nicely with a cup of tea.

References: https://leitesculinaria.com/94627/recipes-spanish-olive-oil-tortas-de-aceite.html


Vegan carrot cake

Another Birthday and another cake. This time my youngest brother.

I am trying to be resourceful in my baking now, using what I have in the cupboards rather than specifically going out to buy new things. So the bag of carrots in the fridge just screamed ‘carrot cake’. I had made a carrot cake sometime last year. I’d found a vegan recipe but I had used eggs – so, not so vegan! However this time I only had one egg left so I finally got to use my milled flax seeds as the vegan egg substitute.

The cake turned out fine. It cooked well. Nice springy texture. I covered it in butter icing (sunflower based) and chopped walnuts.

For the Carrot Cake:

Buttercream icing

200g icing sugar

100g butter

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Applesauce and walnut cake

Mother’s Day today.

I made a loaf cake for my mother applesauce and walnut cake

I found that I needed to cook this for a further 15 minutes (covered with foil to protect the topping) before it was ready. When it was finally done the texture was perfect – soft and spongy. It’s not overly sweet and the walnut add just about the right level of crunchiness and interest.

INGREDIENTS  

  • ½ cup room temperature butter (113 grams)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • ½ cup dates chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • Powdered sugar for serving if desired

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Spray a 7 inch x 11 inch pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl cream together the brown sugar and butter until combined well using an electric mixer, or a whisk or fork if by hand.
  • Add the eggs, applesauce and lemon juice and continue stirring with a mixer or spatula until well mixed.
  • Next add your dry ingredients including flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt. Gently mix in an electric mixer or with a spatula until a batter forms.
  • Now stir in the nuts, dates and raisins until just combined to give your cake a delicious texture.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Test to make sure your cake is done by inserting a toothpick into the cake. It should come out clean with no batter clinging to it. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to decorate if desired.