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Chocolate peppermint squares

1 Dec

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I admit: chocolate peppermint is my least favourite flavour combo. I know, I know – I can hear your howls of protests from here. This unorthodox position has lead to at least two people questioning the fact that we could possibly be friends. On the plus side, I am the best person to share a box of choc with, as I will insist that you have the peppermint filling. No really – it is all yours…

These squares, or slice as we Antipodeans call it, are chock full of pepperminty pleasure. You can, of course, adjust the mintiness by adding more or less flavouring. Continue reading

Passionfruit bars

1 Oct

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Nothing says fresh and zingy like passionfruit. Those who know me know that I have a dislike of fruit bordering on the pathological but for some reason I do enjoy passionfruit in baked goods. Misses 6 and 8 are my opposite – they adore fresh fruit, but actively dislike passionfruit in baked goods. Sigh. Continue reading

Orange madeleines with Cointreau

27 Sep

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Does anything spell afternoon tea more than a madeleine? These pretty little delicacies never fail to impress, although they are embarrassingly easy to make. I’ve got a few madeleine recipes on my site as I love making them and they are always well received. To make the real McCoy you will need a traditional pan, readily available from home ware stores. Continue reading

Baked chocolate donuts with chocolate glaze

22 Sep

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I am utterly enamoured with my mini donut baking pan. The holes are teeny tiny, resulting in a fairy-sized morsel that it irresistible. Whenever the baking urge strikes I often start with the pan and work backwards, searching for a worthy recipe. I have now found my ‘go to’ recipe for mini chocolate donuts, thanks to the lovely blog mysanfranciscokitchen.com

Continue reading

Vegan popcorn fudge: The Sweet Swap 2014

8 Sep

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I recently took part in the second annual The Sweet Swap, run by the lovely Belly Rumbles and Chewtown. This is an Australia-wide even where bloggers create a batch of something, are matched with three other food bloggers, and send their parcels of yumminess to those three bloggers. In return you receive three lots of sweet teats form three different food bloggers.

Imagine all the behind the scenes work done by Sara (Belly Rumbles) and Amanda (Chewtown) in putting it all together! Continue reading

Rum baked donuts / doughnuts with booze

20 Aug

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How to bake lemon bars

8 Aug

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I was unaware of the tarty deliciousness of lemon bars until about a week ago. I had seen umpteen recipes on international blogs but it wasn’t until my mother-in-law presented me with a bucket filled to the brim with lemons from her tree that I decided to make them.

Hello, tastebuds. Continue reading

Chocolate raspberry bread & butter pudding

3 Aug

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Despite being Sydney born and bred I am a winter gal through and through. The cool air, the fabulous clothes and the amazing winter fare is my kind of lifestyle. Forget frolicking at the beach or being burnt to a crisp – give me the great indoors, a fire and some cookbooks and I’m in hog heaven.
Of all the winter foods my favourite to cook and eat must be puddings. Despite not having an overly sweet tooth I am always drawn to puddings: self-saucing, gooey, oozy numbers are what the cold weather is all about. Wand when it comes to a hearty dessert to make you happy to be alive it is hard to go past a bread and butter pud.

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Australian blogger and writer Kate Gibbs’ recipe for choc raspberry bread and butter pudding, from her book After Toast, had my name on it: I had a stale loaf of chunky white bread and due to shopping miscommunication about 8 litres of milk in the fridge.
I made a few tweaks including the amount of eggs and milk and omitting jam that was used on the bread slices.

GATHER:
8 thick slices of good quality white bread
Enough butter to generously butter bread with
150g fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup dark choc bits / buttons/ roughly chopped chocolate
3 eggs
2 cups milk
Good splash best quality vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar plus extra for sprinkling

LET’S GET TO IT:
Preheat oven to 180C .
Cut bread into small rectangles or triangles then butter each piece on one side.
Arrange in shallow ovenproof dish and scatter with half the raspberries and all of the chocolate. Cover with remaining bread.
In a large jug whisk eggs until frothy then beat in milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
Pour over bread and scatter over remaining berries.
Stand for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle over the extra sugar, cover with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes. Remove paper and bake for another 15.
Serve warm.

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Easy raspberry and almond squares recipe

25 Jul

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It is so cold in Sydney at the moment that I’m spending most of my time in the kitchen baking. Standing in front of a lovely warm oven is the best way to while a way a bit of time. The downside is I’m burning through flour, milk, eggs and butter at a rate of knots! Oh well…
Recently I flicked through some of my so-huge-it-needs-to-be-culled cookbook collection and landed on a recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly book, The Baking Collection. This marvellous book is, as they say in certain circles, all thriller – no filler. Page after page of tempting bakes to make and I could think of no happier way to spend a day than creating some of these treats.
I chose the recipe for raspberry and walnut slice, though I used ground almonds instead of ground walnuts. I think any ground nut [or nut meal] would work here so feel free to experiment. The recipe called for ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon but I am such a lover of this scented spice that I just freehanded a massive amount.

 

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GATHER:
150g butter, diced and softened
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 ¾ cup plain flour
at least one teaspoon ground cinnamon [more if you prefer]
½ cup ground almonds
300g frozen raspberries

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LET’S GET TO IT:
Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm x 30cm rectangular slice pan.
In bowl of electric mixer beat butter and icing sugar until pale [you may need to scrape down sides of bowl a few times]
Stir in sifted flour, cinnamon and nut meal until mixture is crumble [do not over-mix].
Set aside one cup of crumble mix, then place the rest of the crumble mix in the pan and use the base of a glass to firmly pat down. Sprinkle over raspberries, then sprinkle over remaining mix.
Bake for around 20 minutes or until golden.
Inhale – the smell is amazing.
Allow to cool in tin before slicing into squares.

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Mini berry pies on a stick, or heart pastry pops.

3 Jun

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How much squee can one dessert hold? While scientists furiously debate the matter I’ll make a punt on saying – lots. I made these oh-so-adorable desserts at a recent family gathering, where I did my usual over-the-top baking trick.

I just couldn’t resist this treat – it was so fun and as it was quick to make [using my pastry cheat] I could dedicate my time to the [many] other bakes I was presenting.

Anything on sticks has instant appeal but these little pies would be perfect presented sans stick. They are the perfect little size for a high tea or even a lunch box treat.

I bought mini paddle pop sticks for this as I had my doubts about putting plastic lollypop sticks in the oven.

I was inspired by this recipe from http://www.cookingchanneltv.com but I cheated all the way. I used frozen shortcrust pastry (home-made pastry would inevitably taste better but to quote that hilarious meme, ain’t nobody got time for that) and shop-bought jam instead of all the from scratch options.

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Gather:

2 sheets thawed sweet-crust pastry sheets

Favourite jam / preserves [I used berry]

Caster sugar

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Let’s get to it:

Preheat oven to 180C and line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

Use a hear-shaped biscuit / cookie cutter to cut out small hearts. Place half on the baking tray.

Place a small dollop of jam into the centre of each half – do not overfill if they will explode during baking.

Place a stick into each pop then place another heart on top. Use fork to firmly press done edges, then sprinkle with caster sugar.

Bake for 11-18 minutes, depending on the size of your hearts. Allow cooling before serving.

PS – these kept for quite a few days in a sealed contained in a dark, cool place.