Monthly Archives: June 2013

Double chocolate chunk cookies

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CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE and more CHOCOLATE these cookies are chocolate heaven.

They really are to die for especially if your a chocolate lover , firm on the outside and just a little bit soft in the middle with big chunks of dark and white chocolate to bite into Mmmmmmmm…..

Perfect with a cup of coffee, tea or glass of milk. Or why not to make it a real treat and  sandwich two around some vanilla bean ice-cream for a yummy dessert.

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RECIPE:

  • 110g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (130g) caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extact
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted (I used dutch cocoa)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 125g dark chocolate melted
  • 140g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 140g white chocolate, roughly chopped

METHOD;

  1. pre heat oven to 160ºC
  2. place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and creamy
  3. add egg and vanilla and beat for a further 3-4 minutes
  4. stir through sifted flour, cocoa, bicarbonate soda and melted chocolate
  5. add chopped dark and white chocolate and stir to combine
  6. roll tablespoons of mixture into rounds, place on baking trays lined with non stick paper , allowing room to spread, flatten slightly
  7. bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned,cool on trays

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This recipe is adapted from the cookbook ‘Donna Hay simple chocolate essentials’

Fettuccini with roasted capsicum and baby spinach & pea salad

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I have been making this pasta for years. As a family we love it and it is one of my fall back recipes, if I’m in a hurry, stumped for idea of what to make for dinner or just don’t really feel like spending to much time in the kitchen this is the dish.

This pasta is full of flavour the sauce is simple but delicious the roasted capsicum is a hit all on its own, but with the addition of the spinach and pea salad you have a complete meal and the flavours complement each other beautifully.

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I always make extra when serving this dish, because everyone wants to take the left overs for lunch the next day, mind you they almost always go back for seconds so sometimes my best intentions for lunches don’t come to be :-).

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RECIPE:

  • 4 red capsicums
  • 3 Tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1packet fettuccini (or any pasta of your choice)
  • 250g soft feta cheese (I use Danish feta)
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh peas cooked and refreshed under cold water

DRESSING

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 Tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

METHOD:

  1. heat a griddle pan over high heat
  2. rub capsicums with a little olive oil, place on griddle pan turning occasionally until skin is blistered and black
  3. place charred capsicums in a bowl covered with cling wrap and leave until cool enough to peel and deseed
  4. place capsicum flesh and any left of juices, vinegar and basil leaves in a food processor, process until smooth, season with salt to taste
  5. Add capsicum puree and olive oil, (depending on the size of your capsicums you may need to add more or less olive oil, what you are looking for is a smooth sauce consistency) to a medium size pan over low heat and keep warm
  6. cook pasta as per packet instructions
  7. meanwhile combine baby spinach, peas and 150g of the feta in a medium bowl
  8. for the dressing combine olive oil, lemon juice and salt , pour over salad and toss to combine

To plate up I like to put the salad on the bottom of the plate, then top with pasta and sauce, then garnish with remaining feta. ENJOY

This recipe is inspired by a recipe in the Marie Claire cook book ‘Kitchen’ by Michele Cranston.

Caramel mud cupcakes and exciting news

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I am going to start this post by saying WooHoo!!!!!!!! I have enrolled into a patisserie cert III course at tafe starting on the 22nd of July. I am both excited and nervous ( bloody scared actually) about this as I have been a full time mum now for the past fourteen years, so very much a big step out of my comfort zone………But the time has come for me to take the next step in this journey we call life.

It was a no brainer really in deciding what I was going to do, as I adore food, cooking and creating in the kitchen. In my past life (pre-children) I was an Office Administrator which was a good job but not really a passion, and having such a supportive and encouraging  husband I now have the opportunity to do something I love, and well who knows maybe one day I might own my coffee shop/patisserie :-).

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So in celebration of my enrolment and the beginning of a new journey I am sharing with you one of my favourite cupcakes. These little babies are delicious and the caramel cream cheese icing YUM!, let me just say I could easily sit down to a bowl of this icing all on its own.

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RECIPE:

CARAMEL MUD CAKE:

  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 100g white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (90g) golden syrup
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) milk
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (50g) self-raising-flour
  • 1 egg

METHOD:

  1. preheat oven to 170ºC
  2. combine butter, chocolate, sugar, golden syrup and milk in a small saucepan, stir over low heat until smooth and melted
  3. transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes
  4. whisk sifted flours into chocolate mixture, then egg
  5. divide mixture into cupcake papers and bake 30-40 minutes, cool on a wire rack

CARAMEL CREAM CHEESE ICING:

  • 1kg cream cheese, softened
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 Tsp cream
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  1. in a medium saucepan combine sugar, water and vanilla, cook over high heat until sugar is dissolved
  2. reduce heat and cook for about 9 minutes or until a medium dark amber caramel forms
  3. immediately stir in butter and cream
  4. transfer caramel to mixer with whisk attachement fitted, whisk at low speed until caramel cools slightly, and comes together
  5. with machine on beat in cream cheese adding one cube at a time, beating well between each addition
  6. add sifted icing sugar and beat to combine
  7. refrigerate mix until to firm enough to pipe or spread.

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caramel icing recipe adapted from http://www.foodandwine.com

caramel mud cake recipe from cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies recipe book ( Australian Women’s Weekly)

Rainbow layered birthday cake

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This week it was my beautiful daughter Kiara’s 12th birthday, my how time flies. Every year on my kids birthdays I always think back to the day that they were born, I regularly look at the time and think now I was going to the hospital, or now I was in heavy labour, or now I was holding you for the very first time.

That very first time, the moment you never forgot, meeting your baby seeing their tiny little hands, touching their soft skin, breathing in their sweet smell, you fall in love in an instant a love that lasts forever that unconditional love where you will do anything to protect them. I love being a mother hands down it’s the greatest thing I have ever done. Now there are tough days, sometimes I feel like I’m in a boat without any paddles, but with all the difficulties and hard decisions that come along with motherhood it’s all worth it. They are a joy and as I said before my greatest accomplishment.

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So cake, what birthday would be complete without a birthday cake. This year for Kiara I went for bright fun colours in a rainbow layered cake. I have seen a few of these cakes floating around on the internet and face book and thought one would be perfect for Kiara’s birthday, those bright colours certainly match her bright happy personality…

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  • To make cake I just used my favourite trusted butter cake recipe (handed down to me from my mum) and adding food colouring for each of the layers.
  • The icing is a vanilla cream cheese icing I used cream cheese icing as it’s Kiaras favourite, butter cream would also been fine
  • To decorate I brought Satin Ice coloured fondant, I have tried a few different brands of fondant and Satin Ice is my favourite it is so easy to work with and comes in a great range of colours. Using a small flower cutter I cut out flowers then using a small plain nozzle piping tip I pushed a hole through the centre of each flower, then used my decorating tool to add definition to the flowers.
  • I randomly  placed onto cake leaving the heart shapes plain. I then added couhons to the centre of each flower and around the heart to define.

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Lemon and raspberry madeleines

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The other night I was channel surfing and I came across this great cooking show, Little Paris Kitchen.  In this show Rachel Khoo cooks classic but simple French dishes in her tiny kitchen. On this particular episode  Rachel was making Madeleines.

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I have seen madeleines on many occasions at many different cafes and coffee shops but I have to be honest they never really appealed to me. Well I must say that all changed after watching Rachel cook them, hers looked delicious especially with the addition of a raspberry in each one.

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So off to the shops I headed the next day and brought myself a madeleine tin. These dainty shell shaped cakes are so easy to make and are delicious, so soft and light in texture. I love the zestyness of the lemon in them and the delicious raspberry when you get to the middle. I am usually very controlled when I eat cake and sweets and just have a small serve, but with these  dainty little gems I just couldn’t stop at one, my only regret is that it has taken me so many years to make these sweet little cakes.

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RECIPE:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • zest 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 12 raspberries
  • icing sugar, to dust

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC and grease a madeleine tin
  2. Place eggs, sugar, lemon zest into a bowl using electric mixer, mix until pale, thick and doubled in volume
  3. Gently fold in flour, baking powder and butter using a metal spoon
  4. Place tablespoons of mixture into prepared madeleine moulds, pressing a raspberry into the centre
  5. Bake in oven 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden and cake springs back when pushed in centre
  6. Cool slightly before removing from moulds, cool on wire rack and lightly dust with icing sugar

Apple blackberry and port crumble

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There is not much to say really about this dessert except that it is absolutely, no doubts about it ‘delicious’. The port in this recipe brings the humble crumble to a whole new level. I used a beautiful port from our gorgeous South Australian Barossa Valley, that I collected on my last wine visit.

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This crumble has a deep richness to it, it’s sweet but not too sweet, the apple is cooked so it still holds its shape, the berries are soft and a little tart and the port is reduced down to a sweet syrup which brings it all together. Then of course there is the crumble topping that brings texture and crunch and a little bit of earthiness with the walnuts.

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A perfect winter dessert that warms the soul and makes you feel good inside, like comfort food should.

RECIPE:

  • 6 large green apples
  • 300g blackberries
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 250ml port
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tsp caster sugar

Topping

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 3 Tsp plain flour
  • 2 Tsp coconut
  • 3 Tsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tsp rolled oats
  • 3 Tsp roughly chopped walnuts

METHOD:

  1. preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. peel, core and slice apples in 1cm slices
  3. melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat add apples and stir occasionally until apples begin to soften
  4. add blackberries, sugar, cinnamon and port, cook gently until juices start to come out of the fruit
  5. using a slotted spoon scoop fruit into either individual dishes or a large casserole dish
  6. leave the port and fruit juices on medium heat and reduce until you have a syrupy liquid about 10-15 minutes
  7. spoon liquid over the fruit

Topping

  1. combine all ingredients into a bowl and using finger tips gently rub butter through mixture
  2. spoon crumble mix over fruit
  3. bake in oven for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown
  4. serve with ice cream or custard

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Mango and white chocolate muffins

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I mentioned in my post yesterday, chocolate slice that I also made mango and white chocolate muffins, so I thought I should give you the recipe as they are really yummy 🙂

The white chocolate and mango combination works really well together, and it’s also not a combination I see around regularly.

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Fresh mango would be ideal for this recipe, but its not mango season here at the moment so I used frozen which worked perfectly. I opted for frozen mango over tin mango as the tin mango has lots of added sugar whereas the frozen is just snap-frozen mango flesh.

I have also added quinoa to this recipe and I really like the texture it imparts. When you bite into the muffin you get a taste of soft fruit, sweet from the white chocolate and  little flakes of quinoa, it really is very yummy ( even if I do say so myself :-).

RECIPE:

  • 195g plain flour
  • 30g quinoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g melted butter
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 125ml butter milk
  • 110g mango flesh ( I used frozen)
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped into chunks

 

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 190ºC
  2. Combine sifted flour, quinoa, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, salt and sugar in a bowl
  3. Add mango and chocolate, stir to combine, make a well in the centre
  4. in a separate bowl whisk together egg, butter milk and butter
  5. pour milk mixture in the centre of the flour mix and stir until just combined
  6. spoon into your  prepared muffin tins
  7. bake for 15-50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted in centre

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