Tag Archives: food

Vegetarian Mexican lentil loaf

27 May

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Trying to find a meal that my whole family eats is a thankless task yet I have struck gold with this simple recipe. 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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Cheat`s mini Easter cheesecakes

13 Apr

 

IMG_1535.jpgI am hosting Easter brunch for the family this year and as usual, most of my effort is going on desserts.

Oh sure, there will be savoury dishes – and mimosas, hurrah! – but all the fun stuff is always sweet stuff.

Miss 11 is helping and has already baked three chocolate cakes to be transformed into an Easter-themed showstopper cake.

And Miss 9 will be helping to make waffles for the hordes in my fancy new-ish waffle maker.

But the part of the meal I am looking forward to the most – aside from aforementioned Mimosas – are these delicious individual Easter-themed cheescakes.

I love baked cheesecake and was thinking of making one large cheesecake but instead went for mini cheesecakes.

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I decorated these cheat`s mini Easter cheesecakes with candy Easter eggs. Mine are M&Ms and I have to say I don`t love all the colours in the pack (I`m looking at you, orange) but I could not find the Cadbury version with the pastel version. That`s probably coz I bought them weeks and weeks ago, before all the good Easter stuff was out.

May the bunny be kind and may your Mimosa be never-ending.

 

GATHER:

12 Granita / plain sweet biscuits

2 x 250 g cream cheese brought to room temperature, diced

2 eggs at room temperature

3/4 cup caster sugar

Rind of one large lemon finely grated

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

36 candy-covered Easter eggs

100 grams white chocolate.

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LET`S GET TO IT:

Preheat oven to 150C.

Get 12 cupcake wrappers and line them up on the bench, then carefully place a biscuit in the bottom of each wrapper. Then place each wrapper into a hole of a muffin pan.

Beat cream cheese in electric mixer until smooth, scrape down sides of bowl with spatula, then beat in sugar in three lots until combined.

With mixer on low beat in eggs, lemon rind, juice and vanilla until smooth.

Use an ice-cream scoop to dollop batter on top of each biscuit – leave a 1cm gap at the top.

Bake for 17 minutes until the cheesecake no longer has a wobble and is beginning to turn lightly golden around the edges.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

When cold melt white chocolate in microwave on low setting in 15 seconds increments until melted – depending on the brand of chocolate you may need to add ½ teaspoon of canola oil to help it melt evenly.

Place a small amount of melted chocolate in the centre of eacg cheesecake then place three eggs into the melted chocolate, using it as a glue to set the eggs.

Place in fridge until serving.

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Irish coffee cupcakes for St Patrick`s Day

17 Mar

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Those of you who know me IRL know that my surname is as Irish as it gets. I have never been to Ireland but am told that my surname is plastered across stores and businesses throughout the land. Visiting Ireland is on the to do list. I assume I will love it as I love England, the cold, history… Continue reading

Chocolate Chambord ricotta cake with raspberries.

23 Feb

 

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Call me late to the party but I have just discovered two ingredients that are rocking my cake baking world. Continue reading

Chocolate whiskey cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

3 Jan

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Happy 2017! If you have come to my site looking for a healthy way to start off the new year I am afraid you are out of luck. My first recipe for the new year is full of fat, sugar and alcohol, or as I like to think of it, the holy trinity of baking. Continue reading