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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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Double caramel self-saucing pudding

8 Jun

double caramel self-saucing pudding recipe.jpg

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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5 ingredient instant chocolate mousse – no eggs!

6 Aug

egg-free chocolate mousse recipe

Regular readers will know how precious I am about my eggs and when Sydney’s free range egg availability ground to a halt recently due to new labelling laws I was in panic mode. When you bake as often as I do eggs are essential. Continue reading

Apple strudel dessert recipe

16 Jul

Apple strudel recipe

I have always loved apple strudel, making and eating it. I remember making this apple strudel for my late, great nana – who Miss 10 is named after – and I recall her saying to me her to just give me a slice to take home, rather than the whole thing, as she would just eat the lot. Despite her protestations I gave her the entire thing, she ate the entire strudel – presumably over a few nights – and told me later that she thought it was ‘bloody beautiful.’ That made me happy. Continue reading

Chocolate macadamia self-saucing pudding

27 Jun

chocolate self saucing macadamia pudding

Winter is here! I think I am the only person in Sydney celebrating the cold snap – most of my friends look at me aghast when I tell them how much I adore the cooler weather.

Boots. Scarves. Coats – fashion is so much more chic when the temperature falls. Another thing that it is better in winter than summer – desserts. In the heat you are really limited to ice-cream, fruit or anything else that requires minimal time in the hot kitchen. Come winter and the kitchen is exactly where I want to be, making cakes, baking brownies and stirring home-made custard. And self-saucing puddings.

Self-saucing puddings are just magic – a simple pudding is topped with a sprinkle of sugar and cocoa then doused with boiling water, which results in a deep, rich sauce.

Growing up we used to make self-saucing puddings in winter all the time and we would all be adamant that we wanted equal quantities pudding and sauce.

My friends from Australian Macadamias recently sent me a massive bag of their delicious macadamias to bake with and I have been going nuts in the kitchen #heHeHe

These delicious nuts are indigenous to Australia and are full of flavour and go perfectly with chocolate. I have loved creating recipes to show off their freshness and taste.

This chocolate macadamia self-saucing pudding is full of flavour. The crunch of the nuts are a perfect foil to the soft, squishy filling of the pudding.

 

Just a warning – you will want seconds…

Serve with double cream or vanilla ice-cream.

 

macadamia chocolate self-saucing pudding

GATHER:

1 cup self-raising flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

80g butter, melted, cooled

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

50 grams unsalted macadamias

Sauce:

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

1 1/4 cups boiling water

self-saucing chocolate macadamia pudding

LET’S GET TO IT:

Spray a two litre size glass or ceramic dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 180C and fill the kettle.

In a large bowl stir together the flour, cocoa and sugar.

In a small jug whisk together the egg, butter and milk then whisk into the dry mix. Use a silver spoon to stir together until combined then sprinkle in the macadamias.

Pour batter into dish. Boil the kettle.

Combine the susauce sugar and cocoa together then sprinkle evenly over the top of the pudding. Carefully pour the boiling water evenly over the top then place in oven.

Bake for 30-35 minutes – the top will spring back when it is cooked. Don’t use the inserted skewer trick to test this recipe as the pudding will be wet from the sauce.

Serve immediately.