Chocolate mint brownies

18 Jul

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I am very much in the minority but I am not a fan of chocolate peppermint. I know – I can hear the outrage from here. When I do feel like something sweet chocolate orange is my go to. It is the most heavenly chocolate flavour in the galaxy. Continue reading

Nutella bread and butter pudding

12 Jul

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Here in Sydney it is winter school holidays, a welcome respite from the crazy, hectic days that are jam-packed with school/band/dance/Guides/soccer/choir/piano…

As I type Misses 9 & 11 are hosting friends, eating pizza they made for lunch and watching Moana. We are totally Disney tragics, BTW.

Everyone is happy, and the gals have another reason for loving school holidays: I buy white bread. For the rest of the year they have wholemeal or whole grain bread but come holidays it is white bread all the way. I have to admit, a Vegemite sandwich on fresh white bread really is one of life’s simple pleasures.

On the other hand, Nutella can be taken or leaven in Casa Hungry. Miss 11 is not a fan, Miss 9 is but it usually doesn’t occur to her to eat it. As nuts aren’t allowed at school she can’t have it there and for the same reason she is reluctant to eat nut-based spreads on toast before school.

So it is that the Nutella jar was sitting unloved in the pantry, I had a loaf of white bread and… well, we don’t really need an excuse to make a pudding in winter, do we?

This Nutella bread and butter pudding is such a breeze and make and even easier to eat.

GATHER:

8 slices of thick white bread, crusts removed

3 eggs

300 mL pouring cream

2 cups of milk

¼ cup caster sugar PLUS 1 tablespoon extra

Nutella

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LET’S GET TO IT:

Preheat oven to 180 and grease a 2L baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

Generously slather one side of each piece of bread with Nutella, then sandwich two slices together. Cut each sandwich into quarters. Continue until all the bread is used up, then arrange the sandwiches in the baking dish.

In a jug whisk together the eggs, cream, milk and ¼ cup caster sugar, then carefully pour all over the Nutella sandwiches. Scatter over the remaining sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 160C and bake for another 8 minutes.

Serve warm.

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Gingerbread doughnuts

9 Jul

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On a recent girls weekend away to the Blue Mountains my friends and I discovered an amazing shop dedicated to all things gingerbread. Continue reading

Banana coconut bundt cake

30 Jun

 

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Bananas. I feel they should come with a warning – in three days this green, unripe piece of fruit will be a bruised, brown banana that no-one will want to eat.

At least, that’s how it is in my house.

Miss6, the fussy one, will actually eat bananas without complaint. So I buy them. Then her BFF at school will have apples at fruit break & she too insists on apples. Le sigh.

Hence today’s bake is a banana coconut bundt – thankfully I love baking with bananas. Both Miss6 & 8 had a hand in making this cake which gives you some impression of the degree of difficulty [ie – none. Super easy].

I found the recipe for this lovely, moist cake in my well-thumbed copy of AWW’S Quick Mix Cakes bake. The original used wholemeal flour but I used plain self-raising. I also reduced the sugar – this recipe uses the reduced amount.

 GATHER:

125g butter at room temperature, diced

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

½ cup brown sugar

3 eggs

two large, over-ripe bananas, mashed with a fork

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1 teaspoon bicarb soda

1 cup icing sugar

hot water

shredded coconut, extra, to serve

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LET’S GET TO IT:

Preheat oven to 180C and spray a bundt tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Place all ingredients except banana into bowl of electric mixer and beat on low until combined. Increase speed to medium until mix changes colour. Scrape down sides, add banana and mix briefly on low until incorporated.

Scrape into tin, place in oven and bake for 35 minutes / until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool completely.

When cold make a simple icing by sifting icing sugar into a bowl an adding just enough hot water until you have a thick paste. Drizzle over the top of cake and sprinkle with the extra coconut. Serve.

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Easy one bowl orange cake with Cointreau

26 Jun

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I love baking, I love citrus cakes and I love boozy cakes so imagine my satisfaction when I created this delicious one bowl orange cake with Cointreau. Continue reading

Marsala chocolate coffee biscuits

18 Jun

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My all time favorite dessert is tiramisu. Having said that I am loathe to make it as 1) it generally makes a shedload and 2) I would eat the entire shedload due to point 1)

Oh, what a luscious desert it is – mascarpone, coffee, alcohol, crunchy, sweetness, creaminess… it is everything you could ever want in a dessert.

I wanted to take my favourite aspects of this dessert – namely, coffee, chocolate and alcohol – and use them as a base for a small little biscuit, or cookie.

I was so happy with the way these Marsala chocolate coffee biscuits turned out. They were so easy to make and even easier to eat. Ensure you allow resting time for the dough before baking.

These little bickies – I made them petite but if you want to make them bigger just adjust the baking time – are so fudgy and delicious. I don’t have a sweet tooth but found myself constantly reaching for another biscuit, especially when I was having a coffee.

I am a coffee snob and only drink real coffee ie espresso-based. If you don’t have access to espresso you could substitute instant coffee but it won’t carry the same richness of flavour.

 

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GATHER:

120g butter, chopped and softened

¾ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup golden syrup

1 egg

3 tablespoon cooled espresso

2 tablespoons marsala

2 cups plain flour

¼ teaspoon cocoa

Icing sugar to serve

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Let’s get to it:

Line two large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

In bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment beat butter, sugar and golden syrup until pale and fluffy – around four minutes.

Turn off beaters, scrape down bowl with a spatula, then with beaters on low speed beat in egg, espresso and marsala until combined. Add flour and cocoa and mix until combined.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place mixture in fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C and then roll small balls of the dough into walnut-size balls and place trays.

Bake for 8 minutes then sit on tray for five minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

When cold dust with icing sugar and serve.

 

 

 

Apple cinnamon mini bundt cakes

13 Jun

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How cute are mini Bundt cakes? They look so fancy and don’t require anything more than a light dusting of sugar to set them off. Whenever I see a recipe that requires baking in a mini Bundt pan I am all over it.

I saw this recipe in a back issue of my most fav magazine in the world, Donna Hay. Ms Hay called these lovelies cinnamon sugar-coated maple apple cakes, which sounds very poetic.

This is an easy cake recipe to make and would be perfect for a morning tea or dessert.

These mini bundt cakes are similar to a baked cinnamon doughnut – without the shocking amount of calories.

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GATHER:

2½ cups self-raising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

250g butter, melted

¾ brown sugar

½ cup maple syrup

4 eggs

6 red apples, peeled and grated

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, extra

1/2 cup caster sugar

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LET’S GET TO IT

Preheat oven to 180°C and thoroughly grease the insides of a 1 cup-capacity mini Bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray.

Sift flour and cinnamon in a large bowl then stir in butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs and apple and mix well to combine.

Spoon or pipe batter into the Bundt tins and bake for 18 minutes.

Remove from oven and straight away turn out onto wire rack.

Stir the extra cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl then dredge each cakes in the sugar mix and return to wire rack to cool.

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