Tag Archives: baking

Mint Slice & Choc Oreo Brownie Ice Cream Cake

2 Apr

This was ridiculously, stupidly, crazily sweet and rich. Like, sickeningly so. But, with every mouthful I was saying, “Next time I’ll… and also next time I’ll…” The point is, you know you’re on to something good when you’re planning that there will *be* a next time before you’ve even finished *this* time. Oh yes, my pretty… there will be a next time. 20140402-104845.jpg

It is not very often that I cook from recipes on the Internet. Of course there is nothing wrong with a lot of them, and it is an amazing resource, but I like to check my cook books I have in the house first, and then if they don’t cover what I need, then I will “Google it”. I recently stumbled upon this amazing looking food blog and have decided to try out a few of her recipes. Stand by for my post about this dessert in future… I have my eye square on it. 🙂 But for now, I was looking for a nut free dessert option, so I made this one. I’ve linked to the original content, because Lindsay deserves the credit for her work. However, it is an American site, and all the units needed to be converted (which I’ve done for you below), the sweetness needed to be eased back for the Aussie palate (which I now know for next time) and also some of the key products were unavailable in Australia.  The mint oreos for this mint oreo based dessert, for example, I couldn’t find. Alas, this was not going to slow me down! 🙂 I’ve done some experimenting with substitutions for you and they are detailed below. 🙂 The original instructions are well written, so feel free to have a read of her post in its entirely if you want more details and if you find something else on her site that you’d like me to try out (it’s quite likely, they look delicious!), let me know in the comments below. 🙂 Ok – so what follows is my (hopefully not too bastardised) version of Lindsay’s Mint Oreo Brownie Ice Cream Cake. It would be great for large groups who appreciate a very rich dessert. It fed 11 adults (to the brim), and there was still half left over. We simply couldn’t stomach it… 🙂 in a good way.

What’s in it?

  • A batch of my usual brownies recipe, leaving out the choc chips
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 250grams cream cheese – softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp mint extract (I had essence rather than extract, so that’s what I used, and that was fine.)
  • Very small amount of green food coloring or icing color (I used too much!)
  • One cup of cream, to whip.*
  • chocolate ice cream topping (I didn’t use as much as the original recipe wanted. I think our sauce is much thicker, so I just drizzled straight from the bottle each time it was needed. This worked well.)
  • 1 packet Mint Slice chocolate biscuits, chopped
  • 1 packet chocolate cream Oreo biscuits, chopped (“Normal” Oreos would work fine, there is plenty of chocolate elsewhere here)

* I tried her recipe for homemade whipped cream and that was really tasty, but I think adding the extra sugar and vanilla here is unnecessary for our Aussie palates Note – I have since discovered that we have mint Tim Tams available sometimes. If I could find these, I would use these next time instead of the two different biscuits above. I think that would work well… What ever you use, divide your biscuits in two larger groups for layering and one smaller, for decorating the top.

What do I do now?
Lindsay says: “An 8-inch springform pan is best for this recipe so that you can easily remove the cake once it’s been assembled. If you do not have a springform pan, line your pan with clear wrap before adding your parchment paper and cake board. You can use the clear wrap to lift your cake out of the pan once it’s assembled and frozen.”
Ok – firstly, take the cream cheese out of the fridge now. I had all sorts of issues, because I forgot to, and it wasn’t softened when I tried to mix it. Whoops.
Then, using the 2 springform pans, make and bake the brownies as per my previous recipe (omit the choc chips and shorten the cooking time –  try 20 mins and go from there). I say “brownies”, because you will devide the ONE batch between the TWO pans. (I made a double batch, and it was WAY too much, as you can see in the photo… and on my hips now. Haha!) Let the cooked brownies cool down, then remove from pans.
After the brownies are cool: using a mix master mix the milk, cream cheese, sugar, mint extract and food colouring. Mix these until completely combined. Remember that the green colouring will be washed out by the cream later on, but don’t go crazy. I used too much. Lindsay says you can hand whip here… Lindsay must be buff-as-bro. 😉  After this, fold in the whipped cream.
Putting it all together: 
  • Line the sides of one of your original springform pans with baking paper. The paper needs to stick up above the top edge of the pan, as the cake will  be higher than your pan.
  • Put the first brownie layer in the bottom of your pan and spread over it a mixture of both Mint Slice and choc cream Oreo biscuits. Drizzle chocolate sauce over the biscuits.
  • Pour half of the mint ice cream in on top of that and flatten out. (Next time I will choose to pipe the icecream on with a very large nozzle, right up against the paper, rather than spreading it. Hopefully this would give a cleaner look around the edges when the paper is removed later. If you are not a “piping” kind of person, the spreading worked fine.)
  • Repeat with the second brownie, more biscuits, more drizzled chocolate sauce and then the rest of the mint ice cream.
  • Pop it all in the freezer (best of luck creating the space for it first…) and let the cake freeze completely (I left mine overnight, but I checked on it after only a few hours and it was good to go.)
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When its good and frozen, take it out of the pan, put it on your serving plate and then take off the paper from the sides. Top it all off with a handful of biscuit and drizzle chocolate sauce, allowing it to run down the sides of the cake. (I actually didn’t read the recipe properly here and did this step before I put it in the freezer. It was fine, but then I re-drizzled to decorate the sides once it was on the serving plate.)
Note: It will need to thaw for a bit, in order to be able to be cut… as we discovered at the table… and then had to sit staring at it… waiting… 😉

Ummm… was it YUMMMM?     Why yes… yes it was indeed.

Was is ridiculously, stupidly rich, and something you couldn’t eat every day?    Sure.

Would I make it again?     Gosh darn, yes I would!

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Well done, Lindsay. 🙂 Here, have a piece of ice cream cake. This version was not perfect I admit that, but it was well enjoyed, and there will be a next time! 🙂

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Mixed Berry Muffins

31 Jan

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You know those moments when you feel like baking (or, let’s be honest, eating) something sweet, but you REALLY can’t be bothered making (and cleaning up) a mess? A one bowl wonder is the way to go.

I like these muffins because they are quick, easy and a “one bowl wonder”. They freeze well too and can be brought back to warm-and-tasty-life in a microwave without problems. So they are great to bake when you are just in the mood to do so, and then freeze for later on, say for when people are popping over and there is nothing in the house to offer them.

These muffins work great with whatever berries you have handy. I used blueberries and raspberries this time because that’s what was in the freezer. I add frozen berries to my regular shop for these moments.

This recipe is from Australian Woman’s Weekly: BAKE

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Gingerbread Goodness

24 Dec

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Recently at a family Christmas lunch I stumbled upon a NEW delicious Gingerbread Recipe! It is heaps better than my other one; It is soft and not as spicy. Thanks to Aunty Linda for a new recipe to try out! =) I’m still learning about flooding cookies with royal icing (this is only my 2nd attempt, here is my first attempt) but am getting better and learning techniques as I go – Which is the point, right? 🙂

 

Here is the recipe… 🙂 Enjoy!

Gingerbread Recipe courtesy of Aunty Linda

Gingerbread Recipe courtesy of Aunty Linda, from “Woman’s Weekly” (she thinks… :D)

Mocha Madness Cupcakes

12 Dec

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I have made these a few times now, and they are always popular. They are a chocolate/coffee flavoured cupcake with coffee flavoured buttercream.  Now, I don’t drink coffee, but I really love these. They are delightfully delicious, without being rich or heavy. They really are one of those things you bite into and think, “WWWWwwhhhattt?!” Yeah, you should try them. 🙂

The recipe is from a book called Love Bakery. Here it is direct from the source. If you click on the picture it should open up big enough to read. If not, please do let me know.

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Here is another option for the “love” as they say in this particular book, or the decorations, as the rest of us say. In the top photo the chocolate shavings were created by running a knife along the flat back of a block of chocolate. These ones below were made with a vegetable  peeler along the side of the block. In both cases I dusted the cupcakes with cocoa powder (through a fine sieve) first.

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Cupcakes, anyone?

24 Nov

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Now, I know that every man and his dog has jumped on board the “homemade cupcake” train. Sadly I am one of those peeps too. I really get enjoyment out of decorating these pretty little cakes though. They give me satisfaction and usually the process is quite relaxing.

Lately I’ve been working on my fondant work, sugar flowers and butter cream piping. I’m happier with where my skill set is at now.

The problem is that quite often there are too many sweet goods in my house. Too many! Oh, my life is so hard! 😉

So, I’m looking for opportunities to practice my cupcake skills at the moment; opportunities whereby the cupcakes would then leave my house. 🙂

If you would like some cupcakes and you know that you live local-ish to me, let me know when you next have an event and I’ll give it a red-hot go for you! 🙂 It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Go here to see some examples of my work. 🙂

Here are some of my pieces from a recent farewell lunch at my work. Vanilla cupcakes – some with vanilla bean buttercream, some with fresh raspberry buttercream and some with buttercream and then fondant covered.

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Pete’s Potato Wedges

20 Nov

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Looking for something new to do to spice up your roast potatoes?

What’s in it?

  • Potatoes cut into wedge shaped pieces

PLUS

  • Fresh Rosemary from your garden 😉 – chopped finely
  • A clove of garlic – chopped finely
  • Cumin (whole seeds or ground is fine. We use either, depending on what is in the house.)
  • Tonight we also added Cajun Pepper too, just to spice it up a bit. You can left this out if you prefer.
  • Sweet Paprika – one teaspoon
  • Olive oil (more than you want to admit to… glug glug glug)
  • salt
  • pepper

Par-boil the cut potatoes in boiling water. We cooked for two people tonight and 8 minutes on the stove did the job. You can of course skip this par-boiling and go ahead and whack them straight in the oven, it just takes longer.

While the potatoes are par-boiling, prepare and mix all the rest of the ingredient in a small bowl. It should be a sloshy liquid, not a paste. See my note about using fresh rosemary here.

Drain the potatoes and let them sit for a bit. All the water needs to evaporate. I like to spread them out over the oven tray to let off some steam in their own space. I’m about to use it (get it dirty) for the baking anyway, so no loss.

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Here is another tip. You already dirtied the saucepan par-boiling the potatoes, so why not use it again now, instead of another mixing bowl. Can you tell I’m not a fan of washing up? 🙂
SO – pop the now “dry” par-boiled potatoes back in the saucepan and pour the liquid spice mixture over the top. Mix together. You can use a spoon, but I find getting in there with your hands gets a better result.

Lay the spiced potatoes out on the same oven tray as before, spreading them out as much as possible. Pour any extra spice mix over the potatoes on the tray.

Cook in the oven until crispy as, bro. 🙂 Yum!

Seasonal Note: There are many varieties of potato that grow throughout the year in Australia. So that’s good news! 🙂 Eat up!

Lemon Meringue Pie

3 Nov

I found a real cracker by chance tonight. Friends came over for dinner, and on a whim I decided to make a Lemon Meringue Pie. I’ve never done it before, but they are close friends, and they were happy to be my guinea pigs. The pie, it turns out, was pretty gosh darn tasty, if I do say so myself… which I do. AND it wasn’t half bad looking either 🙂

The recipe is from Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbooks: BAKE. Give it a spin, you won’t regret it. 🙂

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End of STEP 4: “Blind baked” pastry, (a little too browned in some places).

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A TIP FOR STEP 5: When you are stirring the mixture over the stove, small glutinous lumps will appear. Don’t freak out (I did a little bit). It wants to turn into an almost glue like texture, so when this happens you know it is on it’s way to achieving its dream! It will be ok. 🙂 It comes together super fast after this, changing from a milk like consistency to glue-like, in about 2 seconds! 🙂 It was impressive to see.

Watch the magic happen on my video here.

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STEP 6: The recipe says to “spread” the meringue, but I choose to pipe it. I think it looks pretty when it browns up. Each to their own. 🙂 Also because piping takes up more of the meringue mixture, I suggest using the forth egg white (from the pastry), and a little extra caster sugar, to make up extra meringue. Besides, all good intensions aside, what do most of us do with one left over egg white, in a glass in the fridge? We ignore it, until we can justify throwing it out. Instead: beat it up with sugar, and eat it. 🙂

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We loved this pie. I will definitely be making it again soon. Next time I will be brave and leave it in the oven just a tad longer (a few minutes only) to further “crunch-ify” the browned tips on the meringue.

Seasonal Note: In Australia lemons are in season in Autumn, Winter and Spring. Just something for us all to keep in mind. 😉

Pepper the Fairy vs The Evil Mixing Bowl.

28 Oct

My four year old niece said that these biscuits tasted like “pepper and fairies”. 🙂 Haha. I, of course, instantly conjured up a story in my mind about a sweet little fairy named Pepper, who one day flew too close to the mixing bowl and was never seen again, but of course I resisted telling her that.

She is too young to read this… yet. 🙂

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This was my first attempt at many of the processes involved. I know I’ll look back at them soon and cringe that I put them up here, but for today I am happy with them. I can see plenty of faults to fix up, but that just makes me more keen to try it again! They tasted pretty good, and they are not so ugly that I wouldn’t share them around family and friends.

Last christmas my sister and I both, as many people do, made gingerbread houses. You can check that blog out here. It was the first time I had built a candy house. My mother in-law had bought us a “kit house” and my husband and I had fun decorating and assembling it. I’m not a naturally competitive person, but somehow the suggestion of a competition (for this coming xmas) arose between my sister and I, and I am full on excited about it.

This year I want to do it properly; make the gingerbread and icing myself, from scratch. This year I want to use my new piping skills. This year I’m in it to win it. Haha 🙂 The point is, that this christmas IT-IS-ON!… in the land of building gingerbread houses.

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SO yesterday, mostly in an effort to NOT do my actual work I desperately needed to do, I set out to do three things. ONE to use some of the 99 cookie cutters (not exaggerating)  that were given to us as an AWESOME wedding gift from friends, TWO to make my very first actual gingerbread biscuits (as practice) and THREE to teach myself how to “flood” biscuits with royal icing. I’ve been wanting to learn how to do that for a little while anyway.

Flooding is pretty easy, once you get into the flow of it. (Nice pun, Sam! Why thank you!) 😉 I just watched a few You Tube clips, and then gave it a go. Here is one to get you started.

I let my edges dry before flooding, which is ok, but a different “look” to what this video shows you. It is the same principle. I have a few cookies left over, so I’ll try the quick, “wet on wet” method next.

I’m also going to try this one next too! 🙂 Eeee! Super excited. (I know, Mum I’m a sadcase. :))

These videos are by Sweetambs.

There are a lot of recipes for gingerbread out there. I’m not saying I know anything about them, except that this recipe worked for me. This is a recipe for a WHOLE house. I’m an idiot and didn’t halve it for the cookies yesterday. There are currently A LOT of cookies in our house. Please come and visit soon.

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Feel free to comment and let us all know any other tips or tricks you have. 🙂 Except my sister. Don’t tell her. 😛

Tee Hee (and I had fun with the letter cookie cutters too…)

Once a moosha, always a moosha. 🙂
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Sam’s Double Choc Raspberry Brownie Cups

14 Oct

These are made with the usual Double Choc Brownie recipe I use, however, in this case I substitute the plain flour with self raising flour. (You can make the normal recipe, if you want more of a “cupcake” rounded look. They still taste great.) If you DO substitute the self raising flour, for whatever reason, they rise, and then collapse in the middle. I suspect they are torn between the will to rise, and their insanely rich density, and it all gets too much for them. Happy accident for us, because it makes the perfect little cup to fill with raspberry buttercream, and then pop a sweet little raspberry on top. If they don’t want to sink in the middle I find calling them horrid names while banging the tray on a chopping board (while they are still hot) helps. 🙂

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For me, in this case, the raspberry buttercream, and even more so the raspberry on top is, as they say on the Telly, the real “hero” here. For me, it cuts through the heaviness of the chocolate brownie.

What’s in the buttercream?

Based on the basic recipe in The Australian Woman’s Weekly Cookbooks: BAKE

  • 125 grams unsalted butter
  • 240 grams pure icing sugar (You might need to adjust this and add more, depending on your raspberries. Keep it handy.)
  • a few raspberries, keep adding until you are happy with the taste/colour (I use frozen, because that’s what I usually have around.)

Beat the butter, until it is as white as possible. Sift the icing sugar. Push the raspberries through a sieve (I usually use both the juice and the pulp, because I like the raspberry seeds in the buttercream, but pushing it through the sieve breaks the fruit down.) Beat the icing sugar and the raspberry “puree” into the butter in two batches. Use a piping bag and nozzle to pipe into the brownies. (If you do not have a piping bag, Google how to make them out of a plastic bag, or greaseproof paper, it’s pretty easy.)

These brownies are full on rich, like for reals people. Rich as, bro. Enjoy!

A note, but not a lecture: When buying the choc chips and the cocoa powder, I strictly avoid the Nestlé brand. I initially came across the international boycott of this brand at my first University. They had a campus wide ban, and I was cranky because I couldn’t buy a certain chocolate bar I liked. It was an effective way of getting the message out there, and it certainly changed my view of things.
There is plenty of information about this boycott on the internet, and I’ll allow you to do your own research. 2 minutes of Googling and you’ll know enough to inform your choice.

Brownies you would sell your first born for

7 Oct

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My husband came across this recipe at a site cutely named “cook like your grandmother”. I suppose I judged a book by its cover at that point, and we gave it a go. I have been making it for years now, and has become one of my most requested baked goods.

It is seriously rich, you only need a small piece. You may eat 4 of those small pieces, and no one is judging, you have been warned. 🙂

What’s in it?

  • 1½ cups Caster Sugar
  • ¾ cup Plain Flour
  • ¾ cup Cocoa Powder (the best quality you can get your hands on)
  • 3 free range eggs
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (the best quality you can get your hands on)

Stir everything, except the choc chips, together in a bowl until they are JUST COMBINED. Add the choc chips and stir in. Pour/scrape into a square tin, lined with baking paper. Use a spatula, or a spoon, to spread the mixture out evenly. Bake at 160 degrees for 20-30mins. The website gives the great advice that when checking to see if it is cooked through (with a skewer), remember that the choc chips will stay wet.

A note, but not a lecture: When buying the choc chips and the cocoa powder, I strictly avoid the Nestlé brand. I initially came across the international boycott of this brand at my first University. They had a campus wide ban, and I was cranky because I couldn’t buy a certain chocolate bar I liked. It was an effective way of getting the message out there, and it certainly changed my view of things.
There is plenty of information about this boycott on the internet, and I’ll allow you to do your own research. 2 minutes of Googling and you’ll know enough to inform your choice.

Classic Choc Chip Cookies

7 Oct

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These choc chip cookies are one of my “go to” recipes for when we are craving something sweet. It is pretty much fool proof. The recipe is from The Australian Woman’s Weekly Cookbooks: COOK.
The raw dough keeps happily in the fridge, (it’s awesome to eat raw too) and these cookies are definitely more delicious baked fresh when you want them, and eaten hot when the chocolate is all melty. Yum!

It is not possible to pretend that these are good for you, so I’m not going to even try. Enjoy. 🙂

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A note, but not a lecture: When buying the choc chips, I strictly avoid the Nestlé brand. I initially came across the international boycott of this brand at my first University. They had a campus wide ban, and I was cranky because I couldn’t buy a certain chocolate bar I liked. It was an effective way of getting the message out there, and it certainly changed my view of things.
There is plenty of information about this boycott on the internet, and I’ll allow you to do your own research. 2 minutes of Googling and you’ll know enough to inform your choice.

Quiche: If I can do it, you can

7 Oct


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This was my very first attempt at making quiche. I read several different recipes and in the end, I sort of used a combination of them. I went with a Feta and Spinach combo, because let’s be honest, I’m such a fan of those two hanging out together. And I have to say, it was pretty tasty. I will definitely try making quiche again. I have heard that people use a lot more eggs than most recipes I saw called for. Thoughts? Opinions? Helpful quiche based tips?

Really I guess I’m asking you guys if you have a tried and tested quiche recipe you could share in the comments below? I’m yet to have one to recommend.

Apple Streusel Muffins

7 Oct

These are one of my favourite muffins, and they look and taste fancy, without a lot of work.

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Some notes on this recipe:

  • I have made these with tinned apple, and it was fine, but I have always used fresh green apples since, and you can really tell the difference. If I have them in the house, I use fresh.
  • I also often substitute some of the apple weight for berries (apples and fresh blueberries has been our latest fav combo).
  • Usually there is more streusel mix than you can use. I freeze the rest for next time. There is always a next time with these. 🙂

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I don’t claim to be making these recipes up. Simply enjoying the fruits (pun intended) of the labours of people who actually know what they are doing.

This is one from The Australian Woman’s Weekly Cookbooks: BAKE.

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Seasonal Note: In Australia apples are in season in Autumn. That’s March, April, May, while blueberries are in season in Summer. That’s December, January, February. Just something for us all to keep in mind. 😉

Museli should be toasted – got that?

7 Oct

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My fav way to start the day (or finish the day, or spend the day) is in the sun, with a pot of tea and a bowl of this – my homemade toasted muesli. I like it with natural yoghurt, honey and fruit. It’s really filling and really good for you. I have tried really hard to like the soggy so called “trendy” bircher muesli that circulates in cafes, but I just can’t enjoy it. I like my muesli to go *crunch munch munch crunch mmmmm* True story.

This one sorta actually kind of IS my recipe. It is a combination of various other toasted muesli and “granola” recipes that I have read, and it’s also inspired by a Low GI muesli recipe that a friend gave me. Over the years it really has become a “whatever is in the cupboard becomes that week’s muesli” situation.

What’s in it?

You can use a combination of any of the below. The apple juice and the oats are kind of the backbone though. Obviously if you add ALL the fruit options it is much sweeter than just one or two of them. Each to their own though, you might really like dried fruit.

  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of oat bran (I have also used “bran” cereal plenty of times too)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (100 grams each) of any of the following nuts: hazelnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup (each) of any of the following seeds: flax seed (or linseed), pumpkin seeds, sunflower kernels, sesame seeds, pepitas
  • 1/2 cup of apple juice
  • 1 cup (each) of any of the following dried fruits: apple, cranberries, mulberries, sultanas… any fruit you want really. 🙂

Mix all the dry ingredients, except the fruit, together in a bowl. Spread out over a baking tray. Pour the juice over the entire tray and stir through. Bake for 40 mins at 160 degrees. Every 10 minutes take the tray out and stir through to get rid of the lumps. Don’t let it burn. There is no saving it once it tastes like burnt grossness.

You can add the fruit in at the very end while the muesli is cooling, or you can add it in for the last “10 minute baking block” if you prefer them a little toasted.

Serve with natural yoghurt, honey and fresh (or thawed, frozen) fruit. You could use milk instead of the yogurt, if that is your sort of thing.

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Better Banana Bread than you can buy

7 Oct

One of the things I love about Banana Bread is that we, as a society, have come to a socially constructed agreement that we will all ignore the obvious fact that essentially it is cake. It is CAKE, people! 🙂 We shall ignore it, and continue to uphold the delicious assumption that Banana “Bread” is the ok-breakfast-afternoon-anytime cake, for which we SHALL NOT BE JUDGED too heavily for enjoying. 🙂 Enjoy.

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This is how I used to make banana bread:

1. Buy bananas
2. Leave them in my fruit bowl until they are no longer recognizable as bananas
3. Feel sad and/or guilty about it for a day or so, regretfully throw out the bananas, while pouting sadly at them
4. Go to the shops and buy banana bread. (It’s not as nice as your homemade woulda been, Sam, but at least it actually exists. Unlike your planned banana bread, Sam, that never happened because you are a wasteful fool, SAM!)

Funnily enough, this wasn’t working for me. I finally learned to listen to the “Mums” around me who were convinced that you could freeze blackened bananas (at step 2 or even 3 above), and they were of course right. Thanks Mums of the world! How do you guys know this stuff? 🙂

SO – this is how I NOW make banana bread, and like, *flicks hair* omg, it is so much better than store bought bread. 🙂

Banana Bread is one of my favourite “pretend healthy” things to make. One by one, I freeze the poor neglected fruit bowl rejected bananas until I have 4 ugly horrible gooey black (delicious) ‘nanas frozen and ready to go for when the cooking mood strikes.

Here is the recipe I use. It is from the October 2009 edition of Australian Good Food Magazine. I always skip the nuts (personal preference), but NOT the lemon. Trust me, the lemon MAKES this recipe. It says use four bananas, but I find three works better. Four (“normal” sized) bananas tends to make the mixture too wet, and its hard to get it to cook just right.

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Tip: There is no escaping the fact that it is really, really icky peeling thawed, frozen, blackened bananas. It’s just so gross. I try to go to my happy place while doing it. If you are grossed out too, I find it helps, if while peeling off their skin – you smile and think to yourself, “It is just a banana. Just a banana. Come on, harden up!” I don’t know why, but it helps me, anyway.

Seasonal Note: In Australia bananas are pretty much in season all year. So that’s good news for homemade, sustainable banana bread. 🙂

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Sugar Rush Wedding Cupcakes

7 Oct

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I recently have taken quite a serious interest in cake decorating. I received a “Wedding Cup Cake Decorating Course” for my birthday this year, and this is my completed box of beautiful cupcakes. 🙂 I was more than a little chuffed with my (first time) efforts. Gosh darn it, I made those! 🙂 Sugar Rush ran a fantastic class, and I will definitely be back for more!

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Ombré ruffles, sugar flowers and piped hearts. Had so much fun learning these new skills!

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Holy Pink Ganache, Batman!

14 Jul

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Its my niece’s first birthday, and I’m trying to make her cupcakes a little bit spesh. I was having a play with using pink (white) chocolate ganache, but I found it too hard to pipe. Suggestions? Tips?

These are the super tiny cupcakes I’m making. They do not leave much room for piping error, that’s for sure. And yes, they are super tiny, it’s not just that perhaps I have giant man hands. Hopefully. 🙂

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I ended up piping with buttercream instead. They turned out quite cute, but I’m still very much a beginner and have LOTS to learn. This was just another excuse to “play” really. 🙂

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Look out! Sam’s discovered buttercream.

20 Apr

Look out! Sam’s discovered buttercream.

This week I am learning how to work with butter cream. After a recent class in Sydney, I have been keen to begin developing some piping skills.

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So sweet and tasty, and so easy to make. There have been way too many cupcakes in our house lately. And some, not so pretty. Haha. But I’m getting better!

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Xmas Gingerbread McMansion

28 Dec

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So, this was our first attempt at a gingerbread house, and we were pretty pleased with the result.

Note the musk stick pile of wood by the side of the house, the raspberry mushrooms growing around the back, and the smarty ducks (as in ducks made of Smarties, not ducks who need to learn when to button their bills) who are swimming happily in their pond nearby.

My husband and I had such a great day constructing it. It was a real return to childhood for us. So much love went into this house! … And then I ate most of it. 🙂

My sister has decided that next year we are having an official family gingerbread house competition. I’m already looking forward to that.

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