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Muffin Mondays

Check out all the yummy Muffin Monday recipes.

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I am taking the challenge and going to Live Below The Line from May 7th - 11th. Join me!


Check out the yummy cake recipes!


Check out all the yummy cupcakes!

Halloween Pie

I decided to make a Halloween version of one of my most popular posts, Grasshopper Pie. This recipe is pretty much the same just changed the color, flavor, and added a chocolate spiderweb. Everyone loved the grasshopper pie, so I was hoping that this would go down just as well. I was thinking that most people like chocolate oranges, and those flavors work well together. We made so much food for our Halloween get together last night that this pie didn't get a chance to make its debut. Luckily, we had a few friends stay over and ate this for an afternoon dessert. This pie is so simple to make and everyone loved it! Make this one for your Halloween party. Now I need to think of a Christmas version!

Happy Halloween Everyone!
Adapted from Hummingbird Bakery
250g chocolate flavored biscuits
175g unsalted butter, melted
180g white marshmallows
180ml whole milk
1tsp orange extract
3/4tsp orange food coloring
600ml double cream
100g plain chocolate, to decorate

  1. In a food processor, blitz the chocolate biscuits until into a fine crumb. Pour the crumbs into a 9 inch pie dish and add the melted butter, mixing until all the crumbs are coated and can be squeezed together. Press the crumb mixture into the base and sides to form a crust. Place in the fridge for 30-40 minutes to set completely.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a saucepan over a low heat, melt the marshmallows in the milk. Remove from the heat, then add the orange extract and food coloring and stir in the marshmallow mixture until it is evenly orange in color. Set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Pour 300ml cream into a bowl and whip into soft peaks, then fold into the marshmallow mixture. Pour the filling into the chilled biscuit base and leave in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set completely.
  4. Once set, whip the remaining cream and spoon on top of the pie. Melt the chocolate and decorate the pie with a spiderweb design.


Creepy Finger Cookies

So, the power of twitter has helped me again. I asked if anyone could recommend a great Halloween recipe. @Kathryncake came to the rescue and tweeted me a recipe for Halloween Dead Finger Cookies. Check out the link for a great tutorial on how to make these creepy fingers. Shane helped me out with making these cookies and they turned out great! These yummy creepy cookies make a great addition to any Halloween party! Follow me on twitter, @mikesbaking, if you haven't already!

Happy Halloween!

Jack-O-Lantern Tip

Carving your pumpkins today for Halloween? Try this tip out if you will be leaving your pumpkins inside. It turns your pumpkin into a lovely air freshener. Using the lid of the pumpkin, cut some slits and sprinkle with ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and poke some whole cloves in. Rub everything into the pumpkin lid so it sticks. Now replace it onto your carved pumpkin and light the tea light candle. Enjoy the spiced pumpkin aroma coming out of your jack-o-lantern!

Hope everyone is having a great Halloween weekend!

Slow Cooker Sunday: Chilli Con Carne

I love Chilli Con Carne and making it in the slow cooker is so easy and creates great results. I haven't made this for a long time but thought it would be nice to make for a little get together we were having. I never follow a recipe and have no idea how much of each ingredient I put in, just start chucking stuff in. I do however always put in a pint of dark ale, chocolate, chipotle paste, vegetable stock cube and lots of ground cumin! There are so many chilli recipes out there, maybe next time I will write the recipe out so I can share it with you. How do you make your chilli? What are your special additions? Share them with me in the comment section below.

Muffin Monday: Citrus Coconut Muffins

I love muffins, Mondays... not so much. Combine the two and it makes Muffin Monday, a much better way to start the week! These muffins are simple to make and the smell while baking was AMAZING! I couldn't wait to bite into one of these. The flavour was just as good as the smell. Try making these muffins to brighten up your morning and awaken your senses.

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.
Courtesy of BakerStreet 
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
90 grams butter
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 180C 
2. In a measuring jar or medium bowl, combine the orange zest, lemon zest, egg and milk. Set aside 
3. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar, rub in the butter. 
4. Add the milk mixture to the flour and gently mix until its just combined. 
5. Spoon into a prepared muffin tray and sprinkle with shredded coconut. 
6. Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven. 
7. Let it cool on the wire rack for 5-10 minutes. Serve warm.

Happy Muffin Monday!

Slow Cooker Sunday: Spiced Cider Pulled Pork

We bought a pork shoulder joint yesterday to use in the slow cooker today but had no idea what I was going to make. I was searching for recipes but couldn't find one that I really wanted to make. I like BBQ pulled pork but I didn't really want the BBQ sauce flavour. So I thought I would take aspects of that recipe and figure something out. I went downstairs looked through the pantry and grabbed a few things. Then started chopping onions at 9am, I was actually surprised with myself as I started making this before having the normal cup of coffee needed to function. A little of this and a little of that, you will see in the recipe below. 9 hours later and it turned out great! So, I wanted to share this simple recipe with you. It is great on it's own or use as a base recipe for pulled pork and add in your favourite sauce. This will make your house smell lovely and you will be hungry all day waiting for it, but very worth the wait! Enjoy!

1.5kg Pork Shoulder Joint, off the bone
1 pint of your choice of Cider
2 White Onions
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Chicken Stock Cube
Worcestershire Sauce, few splashes
Cider Vinegar, few splashes
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

  1. Spread the vegetable oil on the base of the slow cooker and turn the heat on low. Roughly chop up the onions and garlic cloves. Place in the slow cooker.
  2. Remove netting from pork shoulder joint and place in slow cooker, skin side down on top of the onion and garlic layer.
  3. Crumble up the chicken stock cube and sprinkle the brown sugar over the meat then pour cider over. Add in the splashes of Worcestershire sauce and cider vinegar
  4. Turn the heat on high, cover and set timer for 8 hours. 
  5. After 8 hours of cooking, remove meat from slow cooker and place in a large bowl. Remove the skin and discard. Using 2 forks shred the meat up and place back in the slow cooker with the meat juices, mix and set for 1 hour on high. 

Cappuccino Cake

So, it was my birthday this past week and Shane told me he found a great recipe to make for me but wouldn't tell me what it was. I had no idea what he was going to make, the only clue I had was that it had brown sugar in it. Now, Shane doesn't really do recipes, when he does cook he likes to throw things together but he said he was going to follow this one exactly. I could see he wanted to ask me questions but he wanted to still keep it a surprise. On the day of my birthday, I was locked out of the kitchen and he got busy baking. It smelled great and I couldn't wait to find out what it was! He came out to grab the camera to take some pictures and then he came out with my cake, candles lit and sang happy birthday to me. It was very sweet and I finally got to see this lovely cake, a CAPPUCCINO CAKE! I couldn't wait to get a slice of it and it was so good!! It was perfect for me! I'm not a huge cake fan but this one was just right, lovely flavors. I have had a slice everyday since my birthday! I'm so proud of Shane because I think he was a bit scared of how this would turn out but he did great and it was a great treat for my birthday. I'm glad he took pictures so I can share this lovely recipe with you. Give this one a try, you won't be disappointed!

courtesy of BBC GoodFood
  • 250g pack butter, softened
  • 250g light soft brown sugar plus 2-3 tbsp
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 50g walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (a food processor is easiest), optional
  • 200ml very strong coffee (made fresh or with instant), cooled 
  • 500g tub mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • cocoa powder or drinking chocolate to decorate
  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper. Beat butter and sugar together with electric beaters until pale and creamy. Add the flour and eggs in one go and keep beating until evenly mixed. Fold in the walnuts (if using) and half of the coffee. Spoon the mix into the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 mins or until golden and well risen.
  2. Leave the cakes in their tins for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack. Sweeten the remaining coffee with the extra sugar and sprinkle 4 tbsp over the sponges. Leave to cool completely.
  3. While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Tip the mascarpone into a large bowl and beat in the sugar and remaining coffee until smooth and creamy. Use about half of the frosting to sandwich the sponges together then, using a palette or cutlery knife, spread the rest of the frosting over the top of the cake. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa powder or drinking chocolate. If you're making this cake to eat at home, it will keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days. 

San Francisco Pork Chops

This recipe is a flashback to my childhood, I loved when my parents made it and I always requested it. I haven't made this one in awhile but it popped into my head and making it always makes me think of home. It has one clove of garlic in it but as you can see in the picture on the right there is a lot more. In fact, I used 3 cloves of garlic because I LOVE GARLIC and it goes perfectly with this sauce.  I also like to double the sauce because it is that good, but it's up to you if you want to double it. You can also use chicken instead of pork, it taste great either way. I like to serve on pasta with a side salad and some garlic bread. It is super easy to make, so try this one out and let me know what you think!

4 pork chops. 
1 Tbs oil 
1 garlic clove,sliced 
2 Tbs. sesame oil 
4 Tbs. dry sherry 
4 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. brown sugar 
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes 
2 tsp. cornstarch 
2 Tbs. water 

  1. Trim pork chops of fat. 
  2. Heat oil in skillet. Brown chops on both sides. 
  3. Remove and add a little more oil if needed.
  4. Saute garlic for a minute, being careful not to burn it. 
  5. Combine sesame oil, sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. 
  6. Place chops in skillet. Pour sauce over them. Cover tightly. 
  7. Simmer over low heat until chops are tender and cooked through, 25 minutes. Turn once halfway through cooking time. 
  8. Remove chops to platter. Stir in cornstarch dissolved in water. Cook until thickened. 
  9. Pour over chops and serve on a bed of pasta. 

Thank Fudge It's Friday!

So, I was watching Lorraine Pascale's show 'Home Cooking Made Easy' and she was making some fudge. I have been wanting to make fudge after seeing some other blogger's post about it but thought it might be too hard. After watching Lorraine make it, I knew I could do it as she made it look so easy. Well, it was incredibly easy to make and so delicious and creamy chocolatey goodness. Everyone loved it!! I will be making this one again and maybe try out different flavours! Happy Friday!

Recipe:Chocolate Marshmallow Brown Sugar Fudge
Courtesy of Lorraine Pascale
vegetable oil, for greasing
70g butter
300g soft light brown sugar
125g evaporated milk
225g marshmallows
300g milk chocolate, chopped
75g dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids), chopped

  1. GREASE a 8in square cake tin with vegetable oil, then line with greaseproof paper.
  2. PUT the butter, sugar and milk in a pan over a low heat and melt gently. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the marshmallows and turn up the heat. Boil the fudge for 5 minutes.
  3. TAKE the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Leave for one minute, then stir the mixture together until everything is melted.
  4. POUR the mixture into the prepared tin and leave to set for a couple of hours. Once set, remove from the tin and cut into bite size squares.


Blog Button Swap

I decided to make a button for my blog. And from today I am offering a button swap to my readers! Here's how it works. We swap each others buttons and put them up on our blog's sidebars. Free advertising for you and for me.
So the rules are:
1. You must be a follower of Mike's Baking, either on here, facebook, or twitter.  
2. You must post my button on your blog, and I'll post yours on mine. 
Mike's Baking

Please leave a comment letting me know if you put my button on your blog! I'll try to post your button as soon as possible.

Slow Cooker Sunday: Thai Chicken

Now that the weather has turned cold, we have brought the slow cooker back out. I recently bought a new slow cooker recipe book and am now getting around to using it. We had some friends coming around so I thought I would try out a new recipe from the book, Thai Chicken. Such a simple recipe to make, chop everything up and throw into the slow cooker for 4.5 hours, sit back and relax, then finish it off with the sauce for another 30 minutes. It produced great results and everyone loved it. Try out the recipe below! This is my first post for Slow Cooker Sunday and hope to do it every week. Email me if you want to join in, we can share our favorite recipes and link our posts up.

1kg Chicken Breasts, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 large Red Pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Ground Cumin
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 tbsps cornstarch
2/3 cup Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Lime Juice
3 Spring Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Fresh Coriander, chopped
1/2 cup Roasted Peanuts, chopped

  1. PLACE the chicken breast strips, red pepper, onion into the slow cooker. Pour in the chicken stock and soy sauce, then season with cumin, garlic, and red pepper flakes.Stir to blend, then cover and cook on high for 4 1/2 hours.
  2. REMOVE 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker, and mix this with the cornstarch, peanut butter, and lime juice. This will blend into a fairly thick sauce. Stir the sauce back into the slow cooker and place the lid back on the pot.
  3. COOK on high for 30 minutes. Garnish with spring onions, coriander and peanuts. Serve with rice.

Apple BlogHop: Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Custard Glaze and Butterscotch Pieces

Now that you have seen Shane's post for this month's BlogHop, it's my turn to show some love for Apples. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of apples in the raw form but like them most other ways! I had so many ideas for what I wanted to make but thought I would make these cookies as I haven't posted any cookies on my blog yet. Maybe I will do the other recipes later in month. I got the recipe for the Apple Oatmeal cookies from the Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days book, and added in the decorating glaze. These cookies are lovely, soft, and moist, but my only complaint is that the apple flavour is not very strong. Other then that these cookies are great and we can't stop eating them! They go great with Shane's Hot Cider, or a cup of coffee.

Courtesy of Hummingbird Bakery
135g softened butter
80g caster sugar
80g soft light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
190g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 Apples
60g rolled oats

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Cream together softened butter, caster sugar and soft light brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla essence and mix thoroughly. Add plain flour in two batches, adding salt, ground cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda with the second batch. Mix until a dough forms.
  2. Peel and finely grate apples (preferably Granny Smith) and squeeze all of the liquid out of them, discarding the liquid. Add rolled oats and 60g of the grated apples to the cookie dough and stir by hand. Break off pieces of the dough (size 2 Tablespoons), roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment (leave 3inches between each cookie as they will spread while baking).
  3. Place into the oven and bake for 15-20 min or until the cookies are a light golden brown. Leave to cool and set for about 10 min before transferring them to a wire rack.
Custard Glaze Recipe
4 Tbs icing sugar
2 Tbs custard powder
2 Tbs milk

  1. Mix all ingredients together until a smooth consistency is achieved.
  2. Decorate the cookies! I also sprinkled them with butterscotch pieces before the glaze hardened.

October is #applelove month!  

Please join in on the #applelove fun by linking up any apple recipe from the month of October 2011.  Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #applelove event. The twitter hashtag is #applelove.

Apple BlogHop: Shane's Hot Apple Cider

It's BlogHop time again, this time Apples, and Shane wanted to help me. This simple hot apple cider is a great drink for this time of the year. For those cold autumn nights, add a splash of Brandy to your cup to warm you up even more. Enjoy!

Shane's Recipe
2.5L Apple Juice
2 Apples, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
5 Cloves
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cinnamon
Cinnamon Sticks
Star Anise
Orange Zest, grated (optional)
1. Put all ingredients into your slowe cooker, set on low for a few hours until nice and hot.
2. Serve your drinks with a cinnamon stick and star anise.
3. Refrigerate any left overs and reheat before serving.