Baking Tips: No Buttermilk? No Problems!

Buttermilk isn’t one of those baking ingredients we tend to just have lying around.  But don’t be put off making that yummy sounding recipe just because you don’t have any buttermilk (or are too lazy to go to the shop to buy some… just me?).  You actually most probably have everything you need already without knowing it.

All you need is some normal milk and some white vinegar.  I have white vinegar in the cupboard because I use it for cleaning.  It really is very handy for all kinds of stuff, I recommend having a bottle there at all times.

If you don’t have any white vinegar, you can also use lemon juice.

Put one tablespoon of the vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup that can hold a cup of liquid.

Add milk to make up the rest of the cup.

Leave stand for 5 minutes.  Then use as much as you need in your recipe.  Or just double it if you need more.

Done in 5 minutes and it’s cheaper than buying buttermilk too!

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Dips/Snacks Recipe: Creamy Blue Cheese Dip

I made this blue cheese dip for Christmas day nibbles and it was a blue cheese lover’s dream!  If you don’t like blue cheese – you won’t like this dip!  But if you do… well, this is an incredibly versatile creamy creation, the uses of which are limited only by your imagination.

It is based on this recipe from the Closet Cooking blog.  While writing out the recipe, I forgot to transcribe the bit about the lemon juice… so the dip I made has no lemon juice and it was very tasty!  I look forward to trying it with lemon juice sometime to see if it’s better with or without.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
fresh chopped herb of choice (optional)

Method:

Crumble that creamy tasty moldy piece of goodness that is your blue cheese.

Add the sour cream and mayonnaise.

Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste.  Mix.

At this point, you can add in your herb of choice if desired – the original recipe calls for dill, but as I didn’t have any, I just sprinkled some chopped fresh chives over the top for that zing of green colour.

As easy as that!

You can make this dip as chunky or smooth as you like, and have it with crackers, veggie sticks, onion rings, or whatever else your taste buds desire.

God I love cheese!

Sweet Treats Recipe: Easy Chocolate Truffles

Given that these truffles are one of the things that inspired me to start up this blog, I thought it only fitting that I kick it off with them!  I made these for my partner and I to enjoy on our baby’s first Christmas day.  Having never attempted truffles before, I was delighted at how easy and yummy these were – impossible to just stop at one!  And the potential for extra creativeness is limitless – I look forward to playing around with this recipe someday.

In the meantime, here is the basic recipe for delicious, smooth, silky truffles (based on this recipe from allrecipes.com.au)

Colourful chocolate deliciousness!

Ingredients (makes 60):

250 g cream cheese, softened (e.g. Philadelphia cream cheese)
500 g (3 cups) icing sugar, sifted
375 g dark chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Toppings of choice (e.g. sprinkles, nuts, melted chocolate for dipping)

Method:

1. Beat cream cheese until smooth in a large bowl.  Beat in icing sugar until well blended.  Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until no streaks remain.

2. Refrigerate for an hour.  Shape into balls.  Roll in your toppings of choice.

Done!  Easy!

 

I rolled mine in hundreds and thousands, chocolate sprinkles and dipped some in melted Toblerone – yum!!  I think some chopped nuts would also be a great topping.  Cocoa or icing sugar would also be worth a try.  I think you could also experiment with putting things in the middle to make a centre.

I think one of the keys to making these delicious is your choice of chocolate.  I used dark Lindt chocolate, and I’m sure using good quality chocolate made these extra yummy.

I found it was best to keep these in the fridge for a nice fudgy texture.

Enjoy!  And let me know if you discover any successful and yummy variations 🙂