Tuesday, 12 April 2011


With Easter looming closer I have decided once again to stick with my yearly tradition and bake some scrumptious easter treats for friends and family. My usual easter fare includes a batch of vanilla or ginger biscuits shaped into eastery things like easter eggs and bunnies. I often struggle however when it comes to the decorating part. Unfortunately I don't quite have the delicate touch required to precisely create eyes and ears and pretty little things. I'm a little clumsy when it comes to finicky detailing and my polka dots and stripes end up merging into each other and my bunnies eyes and nose tend to amalgamate into one big blob!!! The fine art of icing biscuits and decorating them with cute and precise details is a skill I am yet to master. This is some of what I consider to be my better work from a few years ago.

If only I could get them to look a little more like these!!

I am an avid lover of the humble hot cross bun but when it comes to this sweet spiced treat I am a bit of a stickler for tradition. I'm not really a fan of the chocolate chip, mocha and orange varieties which seem to be popping up all over the show! I mean really an orange flavoured hot cross bun???...come on!!! Don't get me wrong I'm all for embracing change and adopting new ideas and concepts but in this instance I really don't think it's necessary ..... I can't quite come to terms with the chocolate chip version. I see it as a bit of an impostor!! I guess I'm a little old fashioned when it comes to the hot cross bun. The traditional fruit buns will do just fine thank you very much! They are especially good toasted and smeared with lashings of butter!!

However today was not the day for me to master the art of hot cross bun making or even give it a go (though I will do so closer to easter....I might have to do a trial run before) Today was the day for me to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies ..... also known as comfort food! This came about as a result of there being nothing in the house to pair with my afternoon cup of tea. I have a bad habit of craving something sweet to go with my afternoon or evening cup of tea. So today I baked some chocolate chip cookies. One of the best recipes I've found for these delicious delights comes from Bill Granger . Bill is another one of my favourite Australian chefs. I love the way he is a self-taught chef whose experience comes from the acts of experiencing and enjoying food. He has a real easygoing approach to food and likes the idea of using fresh ingredients and seasonal produce. His food is so simple to prepare and that is why I have 8/10 of Bills cookbooks. The fantastic photography also helps make the book rather aesthetically pleasing! Bill has 3 amazing cafes in Sydney (Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Woollahra). I popped into bills in Woollahra when I was in Sydney in February and had a delightful afternoon tea of earl grey and scones with my dad. I especially love the ricotta hotcakes which come with the most amazing honeycomb butter!! and the scrambled eggs are equally sensational-they are so light and fluffy and made with cream .... mmmm!!! If your in Sydney it's definitely worth popping in for breakfast.

This recipe (from bills sydney food-his first cookbook) is so simple and creates delicious cookies which are rich and chewy ...... what more would you want from the perfect choc chip cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

125 g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups tightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate bits

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and creamy.
Add vanilla and egg and stir to combine.
Stir in the sifted flour, baking powder and salt until just combined.
Fold through chocolate chips.
Place spoonfuls of the cookie mixture on a greased and lined baking tray, allowing room for spreading.
Cook for 15-20 minutes, until they turn pale gold.
Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before placing biscuits on a wire rack to cool further.
Makes 16 cookies.

Enjoy Simran xx

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