Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas Madeleines – an easy chocolate peppermint recipe

30 Nov

 

Christmas Madeleines

In Australia it is unbelievably hot in the lead-up to Christmas but we still borrow traditions from the Northern hemisphere in terms of food we serve. Even people who love baking need a break from standing in front of a hot oven. A quick Christmas recipe is a great Christmas recipe, which is why these Christmas Madeleines are perfect. Continue reading

Easy chocolate lavender fudge recipe

5 Oct

Chocolate lavender fudge - The Hungry Mum

My mum can grow lavender like nobody else can. While I buy and plant pot after pot that slowly withers and dies hers flourishes through little more than neglect and the occasional picking of a few stems.

I adore lavender, not lest because it is so bee-friendly. And as we (should) all know by now, no bees = no me.

It is also wonderful to cook with. I have posted recipes previously for lavender and honey cupcakes https://thehungrymum.com/2015/05/26/lavender-and-honey-cupcakes/

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and lavender and lemon cake https://thehungrymum.com/2014/07/18/how-to-make-lavender-and-lemon-cake/

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I wondered how it would pair with chocolate – the answer, in case you’re curious, is very well indeed. I am somewhat of a novice fudge-maker but I was very happy with these results.

I think a batch of chocolate lavender fudge in a tin would make a lovely ‘thinking of you’ or ‘welcome to the neighbourhood’ gift. At Christmas it would also make a pretty addition to the dessert table.

I tweaked a recipe from Boulder Locavore, here’s the original: http://boulderlocavore.com/chocolate-lavender-fudge-with-salted-caramel-top/

If you need to buy lavender for this recipe ensure it is food-grade. You may have to seek it out at specialist food shops – don’t grab a bunch from your florist or garden centre as it is important to only use blooms that haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals.

GATHER:

2 ½ cups dark chocolate, chopped

1 can sweetened condensed milk

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon lavender, finely snipped with scissors

sprinkle best quality salt – I used vanilla salt

The Hungry Mum Chocolate lavender fudge

LET’S GET TO IT:

Spray a 20cm x 20cm slice pan with non-stick spray then line with non-stick baking paper, allowing overhang.

In a medium glass or ceramic bowl place the chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter. Chose a pan on which the bowl will snugly fit, then fill the pan about a third of the ay with water. Place bowl on top, heat to a simmer, then stir the mix until melted and smooth.

Remove from heat then scrape into pan. Carefully tap on bench a few times to remove air bubbles, then sprinkle over the lavender and salt.

Cool in the fridge overnight, then slice into small squares to serve.

Chocolate lavender fudge

Donna Hay rum & raisin Christmas cookies

19 Dec

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These are the cookies Santa is waiting for each Christmas Eve as he frantically makes his journey across the planet on his sleigh.

Rich, chunky, chocolatey and with a hint of rum they will give Mr Claus a much needed energy fix to help him keep on keeping on. The oats will help his cholesterol levels after all those other treats he has snacked on during his journey and the rum will soothe his weary bones. Continue reading

The best custard from scratch

14 Dec

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At Christmas you NEED this recipe in your repertoire. At Easter you need it. Heck, I doubt you’ll ever regret learning how to make the easiest, most luscious vanilla-speckled custard from scratch (unless you are a custard fan and this recipe pushes you into full blown addiction).

I have tried many, many custard recipes over the years and I can say, hand on heart, that this is the easiest and best. It is true and real and the sort of finishing touch that desserts such as apple pie, crumble or even just ice-cream benefits from.

As well as tasting incredible it is faff-free and easy as 1 2 3. Continue reading

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

Donna Hay Christmas cinnamon sugar cookies / biscuits

24 Nov

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Ho ho ho – it is getting very close to all that is festive… the ‘where has the year gone?’ conversations, the ‘what am I going to buy Aunty Carol?’ questions, the musings on when to bake to avoid the heat of the day…

Here in Sydney December is always a bazillion degrees. Often humid, too. And very often followed by a thunderstorm late in the day. As I type we are experiencing a house-shaking, sky-piercing, ear-throbbing thunder and lightening spectacular.

I used a snowflake cutter to make these cookies / biscuits as it is the newest member of my constantly expanding cookie cutter collection. We don’t get snow, so I don’t understand the fascination with all things frozen. Having said that, I’m not sure what a Southern Hemisphere festive-season cutter would be shaped like – a sun? A huge fly? A sunburnt tourist on Bondi Beach?

Maybe we’ll stick with tradition then…

Continue reading

How to make Donna Hay chocolate candy cane cookies

3 Dec

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To me Christmas is all about the baking. Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s also the spirit of the season, the wonderment of the day as seen through children’s eyes etc etc but what really gets me excited, and flicking through cookbooks in anticipation, is the bounty of baking that awaits.

Like lots of people have a plethora of Chrissy events to attend, which means finding new recipes to road test.

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I had looked at this recipe for a few years after it appeared in issue 42 [Jan 2009] and decided this was going to be the year I made Donna Hay’s chocolate candy cane cookies. Candy canes, in my books, are ghastly – sticky and fragile and far too sweet. Even my kids’ school has banned them yet here I was, buying and bringing these sugar-packed morsels into my home.

Getting to smash them into smithereens was quite satisfying, though…

If, like me, candy canes aren’t your thing, feel free to omit them and enjoy these chunky, chocky cookies unadorned.

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GATHER:

110g softened butter, diced

¾ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon best quality vanilla

1 cup plain flour

¼ cup cocoa, sifted

½ teaspoon bicarb soda

120g dark chocolate, melted

250g dark chocolate, extra, roughly chopped

About 5 candy canes, smashed into little pieces

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LET’S GET TO IT:

Preheat oven to 160C and line two baking trays with non-stick paper.

Beat sugar and butter in bowl of electric mixer for 8-10 minutes, until creamy and light.

Add egg, vanilla and beat until combined.

Scrap down sides then add flour, bicarb, and melted chocolate until just combined.

Fold through extra chopped chocolate.

Roll tablespoons [I used heaped teaspoons] into rounds, place on tray and gently flatten. Sprinkle over the chopped candy canes.

Bake 10-15 minutes, depending on size of bickie.

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Easy ice cream Christmas pudding [and simple home made Christmas chocolates]

17 Dec

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Firstly – an apology for the lack of photos with this post. I’ve been baking like a mad woman in the last few weeks for various Christmas-related events and even though I intend to photograph as I go for my blog it hasn’t turned out this way.

Sigh.

First up, a super easy Christmas ice cream pudding that I’ve been making for many, many years. I have no idea where the original recipe comes from but it is embarrassingly easy.

This is so simple and a perfect dessert for Christmas Day in Sydney, which is, without fail, a squillion degrees. I made nine desserts for my mother-in-law’s Christmas lunch on the weekend and this was the first thing to vanish.

GATHER:

2 litres best quality vanilla ice cream, softened

1 cup mixture of sultanas, currants and raisins

Good splash of rum

¼ cup glace cherries, chopped

2 tablespoons cinnamon

LET’S GET TO IT:

Soak the dried fruit [but not the glace cherries] in rum and leave overnight.

Line a 2-litre pudding basin with cling wrap, leaving overhang.

Working quickly tip the softened ice cream into a large bowl and stir in rum-soaked fruit, cinnamon and cherries.

If desired place some home-made chocolates [see below] in the base of the pudding basin, then add ice cream. Smooth the top then fold over the overhanging cling wrap. Wrap in foil and freeze overnight.

Home made Christmas chocolates

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I found a similar idea for these little chocs online and Christmas-afied them using red and green Christmas sprinkles from a baking store. Simply line two mini muffin pans with mini liners. Place 150g your choice of chocolate with a splash of canola oil in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and glossy. Pour chocolate into mini pans until bottom is covered and then a bit more. Sprinkle over Christmas sprinkles and place in fridge for a few hours until firm. Remove and discard wrappers.

Miss 7 and I made these for her to hand out to her class. We bundled a few up in cellophane bags for all of her classmates. I should have taken a photo…