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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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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

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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Double caramel self-saucing pudding

8 Jun

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I can only speak for my family but caramel is the queen of flavours when it comes to desserts, milkshakes, sauces, macarons… anything sweet really. So when I was thinking of making a dessert for the Hungry Family it was obvious that caramel would figure in there somewhere. Then I hit on an idea: instead of one lot of caramel, why not double it? Continue reading

Mixed berry and apple crumble

6 May

 

Mixed berry & apple crumble.jpgYou know the cold weather has arrived when I start making apple crumble for dessert. Sydney has FINALLY got some cold weather and I couldn’t be happier. I know I am alone in my feelings about cold weather – everyone I know is absolutely Team Summer. Continue reading

Easy sticky date pudding with salted caramel sauce

28 Apr

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In another lifetime I worked as a waiter in an olde-worlde, ancient English pub. This gorgeous pub was in a teeny tiny country village and people travelled the skinny, windy roads from villages all around to eat there.

It was here that I first tried one of the most popular deserts on the menu – sticky toffee pudding. Now it is a household name of a dessert but back then it was just getting its name out there, at least in Australia. Many was the time that I would just have this delicious, warming dessert for dinner after a busy waitressing shift at the pub. Ahhh, youth…

This most English of desserts gets its caramel-y taste from the addition of pitted dates and brown sugar. When baked it creates a moist, golden, melt-in-the-mouth pudding that is the perfect way to end a wintry night.

Back at the pub they served the pudding with its traditional caramel sauce, which I have updated by making it salted caramel sauce. The salt cuts through the sweetness and provides a nice contrast to the sugar.

Whenever I make this dessert even the non-sweet eaters cannot resist a wedge. Served warm, drizzled with the salted caramel sauce, and maybe a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side, it is such a luxurious cold weather dessert that couldn’t be easier to make.

It is a great dessert for feeding a crowd – as it is quite rich a small square goes a long way.

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GATHER:

250g pitted dates, snipped with scissors into chunks

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 cups boiling water

125g butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups self-raising flour

 

Salted caramel sauce

50g brown sugar

50g caster sugar

50mL golden syrup

125mL double cream

75g  unsalted butter, cubed

half to one-and-a-half teaspoons best quality salt [I use pink Murray River salt]

Let`s get to it:

Put dates and bicarbonate of soda in a small bowl then pour over boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C and spray a 20cm square cake tin with non-stick spray and line base with baking paper.

In bowl of electric stand mixer with paddle attachment beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale then beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat until incorporated before adding the next egg.

Fold in the flour and date mixture with a silver spoon and stir until incorporated.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes. Set aside while you make the sauce.

Salted caramel sauce:

Melt butter, sugars and syrup in a small heavy pan and simmer for two to three minutes. Swirl, don’t stir, occasionally.

Slowly pour in cream and half a teaspoon of the salt and stir before tasting. Add a little more salt at a time if you desire.

To serve: Cut pudding into squares, place in serving bowl, then drown in salted caramel sauce. Best eaten warm.

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