Vegetarian kale and two cheese ravioli AND #win a Kitchen Kart for your school!

21 Aug

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Friends often ask me, how did I get my kids to eat such a wide variety of foods? I think the answer is part luck, part genetics, and partly because I am a mean mum who makes them try foods that they THINK they despise until one day they actually request it. Continue reading

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Easy chocolate cream cheese cupcakes

1 Aug

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If like me, you are a baking addict, you are usually called upon to bring baked goods when attending barbeques, parties and picnics.

That suits me just fine. Ask me to make a salad, and if I can’t outsource it to Miss 11 – who makes THE best Greek salad – I will, albeit reluctantly. Request a fruit platter from me and I will groan internally while asking the Hungry Dad to chop up the many kilos of fruit required.

However, ask me to bring something sweet and I am your gal! In fact, ask me to bring A cake – as in one – and chances are I will bring you a cake, plus cupcakes, plus a slice and maybe a tart recipe I am working on.

These easy chocolate cream cheese cupcakes are on high rotation when I am on dessert duty at BBQS as they taste amazing, are easy to make, and require no cutting or plating up. They are a more sophisticated take on cupcakes and require no icing – score!

Use the best quality dark chocolate you can get your paws on as the taste of the finished product will depend on your choc of choice. And make sure you leave the chocolate in decent size chunks!

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GATHER:

1 package cream cheese, softened, diced
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
100 grams dark chocolate cut into chunks
¾ cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil

 

LET’S GET TO IT:

Preheat oven to 180C and line 20 cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of an electric mixer use paddle attachment to beat cream cheese, egg and sugar until combined.

Stir in choc chunks and set aside.

In another bowl stir together remaining ingredients to make the cake mixture, then fill cupcake wrappers ¾ full with this cake mix.

Drop large spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture on top and use a butter knife to gently swirl through the cake.

Bake for between 20-25 minutes.

Cool in pans until completely cool.

 

 

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