Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mini Fruit Meringues

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These are a great idea as favours or little treats for dessert tables. I definitely recommend the Fresh As (http://fresh-as.com/) fruit powders as they add a beautiful natural flavour. Alternatively you could use different flavoured essence.

Ingredients
3 large egg whites
pinch of salt
100 gms caster sugar
100gms of icing sugar
3 flavours of fruit powder (I used Raspberry, Strawberry and Passionfruit as this is what I had a home), and 3 colours of gel food colouring.
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Method
Preheat the oven to 100 degrees
Ensure your mixing bowl is clean from dirt or grease (whip it out with vinegar to be sure) Place the egg whites in the blender with a pinch of salt and whisk until soft peaks form, slowly add the caster sugar until smooth stiff peaks form. Fold in the icing sugar, and split the mixture into 3 bowls. Sift in 1/4 cup of fruit flavouring into each bowl (one bowl for each flavour) and add a little gel colour. Fold until the fruit powder is mixed, and the desired colour is reached.
Pour each into a separate piping bag, and use different nozzles (or the same if you like) Pipe onto a lined baking tray
Bake the meringues in the preheated oven until dry (around 2-3 hours, or until you can take one off the tray without leaving a footprint)
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Banoffee Tartlets

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I cheated with these and used store bought pastry cases. Definitely easy (and still cost affective) if you only need a few. If you are making several, perhaps use your own sweet or chocolate short crust recipe.
Makes 12 (just double the ingredients if you need more)
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Ingredients
12 premade pastry cases
30 gms butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
20 gms of dark chocolate
1 tsp golden syrup
1 medium banana
Whipped cream to top

Method
Stir the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat until melted. Pour in condensed milk and continue to cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until it boils and thickens. Remove from heat stir in chocolate and syrup and mix until smooth.
Thinly slice the banana into 24 slices. Put one slice in each pastry case and then pour over the toffee mixture. Place in the fridge to cool. Top each case with another banana slice and pipe over whipped cream.
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Flourless Chocolate Cake

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This cake is great for anyone who requires a gluten free option. It is rich, fudgy and could be served warm with icecream or yogurt or the next day with a little whipped cream.
It does sink once it comes out of the oven but don’t panic, it just adds to the charm. You could always use the natural crust to fill with berries in summer or dust with icing sugar like I have.
Adapted from NZ House and Garden – Sweet

Ingredients
270 gms dark chocolate chips
150 gms butter
2 tsp of instant coffee (mixed with 1/4 cup hot water) or use 1/4 of your favourite Nespresso like I did.
3/4 caster sugar
1/4 dutch cocoa (ensure it is gluten free as not all cocoa is)
150 gms ground almond
5 eggs, separated
Icing sugar and/or powdered raspberries for dusting
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Method
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, grease and lin a springform tin.

Microwave the chocolate, butter, coffee and 1/2 cup of the sugar in the microwave on 30 sec intervals, stirring between each interval until melted. Mix in almonds and stir until smooth. Leave to cool.
Add the egg yolks to the cooled mixture and beat until mixed. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy and then slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beat until firm peaks. Mix 1/3 of the egg mixture into the batter until smooth, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Pour into the tin and bake for 45-55 minutes until a skewer comes out clean (there may be some moist crumbs, just ensure there is no wet mixture)
Cool in the tin, then place on a plate and dust with icing sugar
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Sweet and Sour Chicken

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I know this looks like a huge list of ingredients but many of the spices you will have in the pantry, and if not, just leave them out. The method is quite simple, and the chicken could always be cooked ahead of time if you wanted to make it for a larger group.
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Serves 4
Ingredients
For the chicken
500 gms boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breast) cut into cubes
½ cup of corn flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion or celery powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil for cooking

For the Rest
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 thumb size piece of ginger minced
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 tablespoon HP sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tin of pineapple chunks in natural juice (don’t drain the pineapple, you want the juice as well)
3 carrots peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery chopped
¼ quarter of a cabbage chopped (like you would for coleslaw)
2 packets of udon noodles (I use the trident twin packs)
1 bunch of coriander chopped

Method
Mix the flour and spices (all ingredients in the chicken list except the chicken) together in a bowl, then stir the chicken through the flour. Once the chicken is coated, pour into a sieve over the sink to get rid of the excess flour.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken in batches. In a large saucepan saute the onion, garlic and ginger in a small amount of canola oil. Once the onion has softened add all the ingredients up to (but not including) the cabbage, simmer and reduce until the carrots and celery have softened. Add the cabbage and noodles and stir through. Stir in the chicken then serve in bowls with coriander sprinkled over the top.

Mixed berry white chocolate Blondies

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This is a perfect combination! Berries, white chocolate and cake-e-goodness. This is more a cross between a brownie and a cake (it doesn’t have the chewiness of a normal brownie) but they are still delicious.

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Ingredients

400 gms white chocolate chips
170 gms butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup of raspberry jam

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, line a 25 x 30 cm cake tin (or any rectangular tin)
In a double boiler, melt 325gms of the white chocolate and butter together (I did it straight on the element and it split and didn’t come back together until I added eggs – I live on the wild side 😉 )
Once the two are melted together, take off the heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Once the mixture has cooled a little whisk in 4 eggs and vanilla. Sift in flour and baking powder and mix well.
Pour half the mixture into the tins then sprinkle over the berries and place spoonfuls of jam in the gaps the berries have made. Pour over the remaining mixture (it doesn’t matter if some berries show through) Sprinkle over the remaining chocolate chips (add a few more if you want to go crazy)
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Bake for 30 mins and then cover with tin foil (as white chocolate can burn) and bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan before slicing.
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Berry Brownie Bites

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I made these for a baby shower as I wanted little cakes without doing standard cupcakes. I was craving the chewy texture of brownies (and if you leave out the raspberries and add walnuts and white chocolate chips to these brownies is my standard fail-safe recipe) so I thought I would jazz it up a bit and this is what we have.

I have to apologise that I didn’t note the recipe for the chocolate buttercream. From memory it had ganache (chocolate and cream melted together) butter, cream cheese, cocoa & icing sugar but perhaps google a recipe, Sorry!
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Ingredients
250 gms unsalted butter
125 dark chocolate chopped
2 cups caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup dutch cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of frozen raspberries
chocolate buttercream frosting for piping
1 cup of raspberry jam
raspberry powder for dusting

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and lin an 18 x 28cm tin.
Heat the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan until melted. Remove from heat and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.
Sift in dry ingredients then mix thoroughly. Pour into the pan and sprinkle raspberries over the top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Once cool, remove from the pan and spread with raspberry jam. Slice into squares and pipe frosting however you wish, I did four points on each brownie. Dust with Raspberry powder

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The easiest chelsea buns ever!

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I made these up at Dad’s bach (holiday home) with minimal equipment, if I can do it with no mixer you can too. Kneading is good to the soul (and the arms muscles!)

At the Bach
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Ingredients
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon active yeast
3 1/2 cup high grade flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoon melted butter

Filling
50gms butter melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sultanas
3/4 cup chopped dried figs (or other dried fruit)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

Glaze
1/4 cup melted butter
juice of 3 lemons
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
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Method
Place the warm water and sugar in a cup and stir to dissolve the sugar, sprinkle yeast over the top and leave for 10 minutes or until frothy. Combine 3 cups of the flour, salt and second measure of sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in milk, melted butter and yeast mixture. Mix until a ball forms (add flour if needed) then tip out onto a floured bowl. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place into an oiled bowl and leave to raise until double in size.
While the dough is rising, combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Punch the dough then knead lightly and roll out to approx 30 x 25 cm. Spread with the filling and roll up along the long side.
Cut into even sections and place in a round cake tin, leave to raise to double their size.
Bake at 190 degrees for 25 mins.
Combine glaze ingredients and pour over hot buns. Serve warm.