Dulce de leche brownies

Who doesn’t love gooey, caramelly, fudgey brownies? If there is someone who doesn’t, I have yet to meet them.  My family definitely loves them.

As I make brownues quite often, I try to change it up a bit.  In this case, I added dulce de leche.  This is a caramel made from slowly boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk.  In doing this the condensed milk changes colour and flavour.

To make the dulce de leche, submerge the can in water in a pot.  Slowly simmer for 2 hours.  I put on the timer on every 30mins to check the level of water.  Do not ever let the water dry out as this will make the can explode.  So if you do not a whole in your ceiling, please keep an eye on it.

Recipe

  • 1x can  sweetened condensed milk boiled in water for 2 hours then cooled.
  • 100g butter
  • 100g dark chocolate 
  • 125g caster sugar 
  • 3 eggs
  • 75g self raising flour 
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder 
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180degC
  2. Melt the butter with the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of slightly simmering water, stir
  3. Once the chocolate has melted, add the caster sugar, salt and eggs.  Use a wooden spoon to stir
  4. Sift in the flour and cocoa.  Stir to combine
  5. Pour the mixture into a 20 cm square baking tin
  6. Drop dollops of the dulce de leche into the batter
  7. Bake for 30-35mins 
  8. It’s ready when th sides are set but the middle has a slight wobble. Let it cool a little before cutting into it.


Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

A healthy strawberry and ricotta tart


I was looking for a dessert that is a bit on the healthier and lighter side as well as a dessert that my kids will like.  I found this Woman’s weekly recipe and I as eager to give this a try.  The coconut oil in the pastry not only gave it a lovely smooth texture but gave it a wonderful flavour. I loved the aroma of tart shell while I was baking it.  The low fat filling is a combination of ricotta and yoghurt, giving it a lighter texture.  The only thing I will do differently is to serve the tart with a strawberry sauce or compote.

I do have to say the family did enjoy the tart and I would make it again.  It’s perfect for a  light summer dessert and dare I say, served with vanilla ice cream.


Recipe:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 80g chilled coconut oil
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds, lightly toasted 
  • 60ml iced water
  • 500g soft ricotta cheese
  • 95 g Greek yogurt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 500g strawberries, hulled
  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  1. In a food processor add the flour, coconut oil and sesame seeds.  Process until combined.  With the motor running, pour enough water until mixture just comes together into a ball.  Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Shape pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film then refrigerate for 30 mins.
  2. Grease a loose-based tart tin.  Grate the chilled pastry into the tin then press into the base and sides of the tin.  Prick holes with a fork then refrigerate for 30 mins again.
  3. Preheat oven to 200degC (180degC fan forced).
  4. Place the tin onto an oven tray. Line the tart shell with baking paper and baking beans or rice.  Bake for 15 mins.  Remove the paper and beans and bake for another 15mins or until lightly browned.  Leave to cool.
  5. Reduce oven to 180degC (160degC fan forced) 
  6. Meanwhile, in large bowl mix together the ricotta, yoghurt, caster sugar, eggs and lemon zest until smooth. Pour mixture into the tart shell.
  7. Bake for 30-35mins or until filling is just set.
  8. Cool. Refrigerate until cold.
  9. Just before serving top with halved strawberries and dust with icing sugar 

The tart is served on my Maxwell & Williams Lanka oblong platter (40x28cm) RRP $39.95. I was approached to have this lovely platter gifted to me by Maxwell & Williams.  It was not hard to find a recipe that went along with the lovely pattern of the platter.  It is perfect for sharing platters when I have family and friends over for summer lunches and parties.

I hope you give this healthy tart a go and I hope you have a beautiful platter to serve it on like I do🙂

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie 

Tonight’s dessert was inspired by #gbbo technical challenge dampfnudel. It’s a German bread. It is a sweet bread cooked by steaming. I served it with home made custard and macerated strawberries. I love baking bread. The motion of kneading the dough is very relaxing. You can get the recipe for Paul Hollywood’s version on the Great British bake off website. #gbbochallenge #extraslice #scpbakes #homebakingrocks #weekend #german #breakingbread #sweet #dessert #foodie #food52 #wp


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High Country Harvest

I was very lucky to have been invited along with other bloggers for a weekend away to the Victorian High country.  During the colder months there is a crispness in the air while the sun  tries to shine through to warm up the day. It’s perfect for walks along the grape vines and eating delicious meals with great friends. 

During the getaway we were treated to fantastic meals made with fresh local produce and tasted  wines at local family wineries.  

Lunch (and our first stop) was at Chrismont wines.  It is nestled in the King Valley and is an inspiring destination for all lovers of contemporary wines, authentic Italian food and breathtaking scenery.

We were treated like kings and queens by our hosts, Jo and Arnie Pizzini, the owners. After having a few glasses of wines to taste,  our table was ladened with beautifully plated food.

Chrismont wines

251 Upper King River Road, Cheshunt

03 5729 8220

http://www.chrismont.com.au



Our accomodation was at the Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway.  We stayed in a 3 bedroom town house with modern facilities.  After a long drive and lots of wines consumed, it was great to check into our comfortable accomodation to rest. Well, when I say rest, some of us took naps while others listened to loud music and sang our hearts out.

Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway

29-37 Ryley street, Wangaratta 

Tel: 03 5721 8399

http://www.Wangarattagateway.com.au

That evening we headed out to a local bonfire and drank more local wines. Nothing beats huddling around a toasty bonfire on a cold night. A bonfire is the heart and soul of many communities. Giving the chance to get together and reflect on past and future harvests.

Village Bonfire – High Country Harvest Event

Moyhu Hotel

18/16 Byrne St, Moyhu

03 5727 9333

That evening, we were also invited to The High Country Harvest Festival Grand opening dinner that was held in the stunning historic Barn at Brown Brothers Winery. The barn is the very building where the first Brown Brothers wines were first made.  Executive chef Douglous Elder created a menu using the high country’s magnificent produce.  We were also treated to matching wines to make the night unforgettable.

The dinner room was set up beautifully and elegantly decorated with produce from local farm gates and  orchards.

Brown Brothers of Milawa Vineyard

239 Milawa Bobinawarrah Road, Milawa

03 5720 5540

http://www.brownbrothers.com.au

After the gala dinner, we felt very special as were invited to the secret family cellar by owner Mr Ross Brown and his daughter Caroline. 

After a great nights sleep on our comfy beds at our accomodation, we headed out for breakfast in Wangaratta.  It’s a nice quaint cafe in the heart of his little town, with great views of the river quietly flowing by.

The menu was extensive and the coffee was great!  You can see, as usual, we ordered up a feast.

Cafe the PreVue 

66-68 Faithfull street, Wangaratta 

03 5721 2092

http://www.cafevue.com.au


With full tummies, we went off to Walkabout Apiaries. The owner Roger Whitehead began his love for bees and honey at the age of 22.  This small farm gate offers up amazing local honey, beeswax candles, honey, pear and ginger cordial and Whitehead’s mead.

Walkabout Apiaries 

1531 Snow Road, Milawa

Tel: 03 5727 3468

Walkaboutapiaries.com.au

As if we didn’t get enough food for our ever growing tummies, we headed out to Oxley to a family winery called Sam Miranda Winery.  Sam is part of the 3rd generation of a familythat’s  been making wines in Australia since the 1930’s.  Sam has been making wines on the current site since 1997.  Where possible, they source local produce within 50km of the cellar door to show case the flavours of North East Victoria on their menu.

Sam Miranda Winery

1019 Snow Road, Oxley

03 5727 3888

http://www.Sammiranda.com.au

What a bunch of good looking people🙂 Here we are with the head chef of Sam Miranda Winery, Chef Michael White.

I would to thank rural city of Wangaratta for hosting me for the weekend. Also like to make a special mention to the lovely hosts of the cellar doors, farmgates, cafes and wineries where we were treated fantastically by the owners.  It was an unforgettable experience.  It was an honour to have been introduced to the local wineries and produce.  I think the highlight for me was when Ross Brown personally invited us to his secret family cellar at Brown Brothers.  An experience I will never forget.

Cherrie