Small Cakes

Olive Oil Blondies w' Chocolate Frosting

in the two months since my last post here, i've started med school. it is insanely busy and crazy and i love it.  i can now give injections and have a rudimentary understanding of why these here olive oil blondies might be a tad bad for us. but oh well they're delicious let's eat them anyway. 

starting this new chapter of my life ( i say started, but i'm halfway through the semester) has made me consider what kind of stuff might be featured here on this little internet corner. i figure that i might like to look back on all aspects of my life, not just my baking and cooking adventures. so expect some med school life content! in other news, between lectures, tutorials and traffic jams (i am beginning to feel like i'm spending my life in the cars somewhat), i have been slowly rekindling my love with the gym. slowly.  it's a fragile and tentative relationship, not unlike the one between tom and jerry from old saturday morning cartoons. speaking of cats, the cat lady life is approaching me. when i once thought that uni life would be staying out late and partying on, it really is hanging out with my bestie's new kitten (so! cute!), and wondering if 8:30 is too early to go to bed on a saturday night. #grandmalife

the importance of routine is setting in too. even though all my days start at different times, and my timetable is slightly different every week, i'm starting to get used to a routine of uni, study, sleep, gym (ish), working and hanging out. hopefully i get better at incorporating more of these posts into that routine! the shock of feeling lost, confused and not understanding most of what is happening is wearing off, and slowly but surely uni is becoming more like a good friend rather than a weird kooky cousin. the more i hear about the importance of looking after yourself as a medical student, the more i realise the importance of keeping it simple when it comes to wellbeing. personally, i don't feel the need for special powders in my smoothies (but hey! if that's what floats your boat keep on rolling!) or complicated workouts and wellbeing apps. just simple things like drinking water, going for a run, lifting some weight, having naps, switching my phone off and taking time to check in with my brain about how i'm feeling works for me. essentially, the content i'm studying is complicated enough - so i figure keeping the rest of my life as simple as possible is the way to go! 

so, in the theme of keeping it simple, here's a delicous recipe that is no fuss. no thousand glossy photos or complicated instructions. just a treat that may not be excellent for your body, but is fabulous for the soul. it's all about balance hey?

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even though the easter period is a time for chocolate, this recipe is perfect to share with those who perhaps aren't chocolate fanatics. these blondies are sweet, moist, dense, caramelly and delicious. i threw a chocolate buttercream frosting on top (with sprinkles ofc) to jazz them up a bit because i live by the rule that everything is better with buttercream and sprinkles. this recipe belongs to molly of mynameisyeh, and i made them for a bake stall at my old high school earlier in the year, they were a hit!! my frosting was slightly different to the original recipe, just because of my own personal preference and for dietary reasons. 10/10 would recommend, an excellent alternative to a brownie for the dairy-free amongst us! 


Olive Oil Blondies w' Chocolate Frosting

makes 16 large blondies

ingredients

for the blondies

2 c flour
2 c lightly packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 c olive oil
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

for the frosting

200g vegan butter (room temp)

350g icing sugar

50g caco powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp unsweetened almond milk

sprinkles

method

to make the blondies

preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease and line a square baking tin with baking paper, about 20x20 cm. 

in one large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder. in another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs and vanilla. making a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the wet mix and whisk to combine. 

pour the batter into the lined baking tin and use a spatula or palette knife to spread an even surface on the mixture. bake for 35 minutes, then check for done-ness by sticking a skewer into the centre, on a slight angle. if it comes out clean, the blondies are ready. if not, bake for another 2 minutes, then check again.

leave to cool in the pan while making the frosting. 

to make the  frosting

cream the butter, icing sugar and cacao powder in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. beat for 3 minutes until pale and smooth. add the vanilla and almond milk and beat again for another minute. 

remove the blondies from the pan and frost. decorate with sprinkles as desired. 

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happy belated easter, enjoy the choccies!! 

jess x

  

Chocolate Bauble Cupcakes

hello! today i've a recipe for some awesome chocolate cupcakes that i've been using for years, but never actually got around to sharing on ALA. they're super moist, light and extra chocolaty! topped with my fool-proof classic buttercream, it's a match made in heaven - especially for the festive season! i've decorated these as little green baubles (ish?) to celebrate the decorating and setting up of my christmas tree!! yay!! 

after starting the week with sweltering temperatures, melbourne is officially having a temper tantrum. one minute we're freezing cold, and the next minute we're waaaaay too warm. it's more indecisive than me in a ceramics store. but where is are my warm summer nights? where the crisp mornings fading into sunny afternoons??? if i'm going to live in a climate that's not going to give me white christmases, i at least want a solid summer to preempt the holiday season. where's the solid summer??

i've officially been on holidays for two weeks now and my days have been filled with baking, writing, watching gilmore girls on marathon (i'm halfway through season three!) and wrapping christmas presents. here's a checklist of all the people i've got gifts for mum βœ”οΈ dad βœ”οΈ tom βœ”οΈcards for friends βœ”οΈ , but i still need to figure out what to get for more extended family members that isn't a christmas decoration or chocolate, because i think i've used those too many times. 

anyway, after taking a couple of days off #littlealiceblogmas i'm back with cupcakes! stay tuned for tomorrow's recipe, where we're back to regular programming :D 


chocolate cupcakes

{makes 12}

ingredients

1 1/3 c + 2 tbsp plain flour

 1 tsp bicarb soda

 1/3 c cacao powder

 1 c caster sugar

 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

 2 eggs

 130g vegan butter, melted, cooled

 1 tsp vanilla extract

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for the buttercream

220g vegan butter

530g icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

yellow, blue and red food colouring optional

method

preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases. 

in the bowl of an electric mixer, sift the flour, bicarb soda and cacao powder together. whisk through the caster sugar. 

in a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, eggs, vegan butter and vanilla. make a well in the dry mix and pour in the wet mix. on a low setting beat the mixture, turning the setting to high once all the dry mix has been incorporated. mix on high for 5 minutes or until pale and creamy. 

divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 

leave the cupcakes to cool, before frosting them with the buttercream. store at room temperature in a sealed container. 

to make the buttercream

cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. add the vanilla and beat for another 4 minutes on high. divide the frosting into smaller bowls and colour them as desired. chill the frosting in the fridge for 20 minutes before icing the cakes. 

Banana Muffins

hello! welcome to december! (ho ho ho!) how exciting! my summer holidays began two whole days ago and boy oh boy am i enjoying the sleeping, the snacking and the streaming. the streaming of netflix that is, because since my exams have finished, somehow i zoomed my way through this, this and now i'm three episodes deep into gilmore girls. amazingly my internet hasn't suffered...yet. 

another thing that this december brings with it, other than the re-construction of our back/front/side -yards (we are living in a dustbowl atm) is blogmas! it's like when youtubers do vlogmas, except on the interwebs and with words and photos. basically instead of getting the *usual* one-post-a-week, you'll be getting one post a day* (!!!) until christmas! i'm excited. are you excited? 

i've swapped my tight jeans for my stretchy ones in preparation and have googled extensive lists of podcasts to listen to while i cook and edit in preparation. i also drew a guide for the recipes and posts for the month and scheduled some extra gym sessions into my calendar to combat the extra cake i plan to be eating in the next 25 days. not to mention that i've told friends to be ready to receive baked goods as gifts this year because there are only so many christmas cookies one person can eat ok??!!?!?

*ok so i can't promise they'll all  be uploaded daily (because ya know... life happens), but the plan is to have 25 pieces of content during the month of december. 

anyway, here are some delicious banana muffins that lasted approximately 0.25 seconds in my house and i'll see you tomorrow! 

notes: this recipe is based off one of our family favourites from Stephanie Alexander. If you don't know who that is, look the woman up, she's practically an australian legend. the key to these muffins is to mix gently. very. gently. if you don't, you'll knock the air out of the muffins, and they'll become rock cakes. the best thing about these muffins, is that they're super quick to whip up, and within the hour, you're scoffing down banana muffiny goodness. anyway, enjoy! 


banana & chia muffins

{makes 12 muffins}

ingredients

220g self-raising flour (i used gluten free flour, but  it shouldn't make a difference either way)

60g castor sugar

2 tbsp chia seeds

3 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg 

1 egg

3/4 c unsweetened almond milk

1/4 c vegetable oil

2 medium sized ripe bananas, mashed

method

preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a muffin tray with 12 patty pans.

in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and chia seeds. mix together with a fork or a whisk, until an even colour is distributed in the mix. 

in a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg, almond milk, oil and bananas together until well combined. make a well in the centre of the dry mix. gently fold the wet and dry mixes together until just combined.

spoon the mixture into the patty pans until they're just over half full. bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. 

the muffins are best eaten on the day they're made, but they'll keep for a couple of days.


- jess