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 doūüôā

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie 

Sticky date tart with toffee sauce


Sticky Date Tart2

I love sticky date pudding. ¬†It’s my safety net dessert on a restaurant menu. ¬†When I go out for dinner, I check out the dessert menu first. ¬†I look for the sticky date or something similar first. ¬†It’s my back up plan. ¬†If I don’t see a dessert that appeals to me, I go to my back up… the sticky date.

I found a recipe that turns the sticky date pudding into a baked tart. ¬†Serving it with toffee sauce and ice cream makes it a crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love a good sticky date?!

Sticky Date Tart1

recipe:

For the pastry:

  • 150g chopped butter
  • 190g plain flour
  • 1tbs light brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp chilled water

For the filling:

  • 240g pitted dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 150ml milk
  • 1tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbs golden syrup
  • 100g brown sugar

For the toffee sauce:

  • 200g brown sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 250ml thickened cream
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour,  butter and sugar.  Pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  With the motor running, add the yolk and water until it forms a dough (add more water if needed).
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 30mins.
  3. Meanwhile, start the filling.  In a saucepan over medium heat, place the dates and milk. Bring to just below boiling point, then remove from heat.  Stir in the bicarb of soda, then stand for 30 mins or until dates have softened.
  4.  Lightly grease a 36cm x 12cm loose bottom rectangle tart tin.
  5. Roll out the dough to 5mm thickness.  Ease into the tart tin and trim the edges.  Chill for another 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180degC (160degC fan).  Blind bake the tart shell with weights for 8-10 minutes.  Remove the weights and bake for a further 3-5 minutes until golden and dry.
  7. Reduce the oven to 160degC (140degC fan)
  8. Place the dates and milk in a food processor with the vanilla and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the flour, eggs, golden syrup and brown sugar until just combined.  Set aside.
  9. For the toffee sauce, place all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  10. Pour 1/3 cup of the toffee sauce into the tart shell, then spread the date mixture on top.
  11. Bake for 20-25mins until just set. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  12. Serve warm, sliced with the remaining toffee sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Sticky Date Tart3

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

Spiced apple crumble cheesecake

Spiced Apple Crumble Cheesecake2

I love social media.¬† Everyone is on it nowdays in one form or another.¬† I use my Instagram to share what I’ve been up to in the kitchen and I use my Facebook to share family moments with my¬†family and friends.

It has helped me to make new friends and to re-connect with the old.  It allows me to share my passion for baking and food in general with everyone.

This is how this recipe came about.  A friend reached out to me on social media and asked me about how I can incorporate Twinings Teas into a recipe.  After some thought, (and a current craving for cheesecakes), I came up with my spiced apple crumble cheesecake.  This is a no bake cheesecake making it light and perfect for the warmer weather.

Spiced Apple Crumble Cheesecake4

I soaked the tea bags in cream overnight.  It flavoured the cream making the taste of the apple prominent in the cheesecake.

Recipe:

cheesecake

  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 5 teabags of Twinings Chamomile and Spiced apple
  • 3tsp gelatin powder, dissolved in 1/4 cup of boiling water
  • 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 395g can of condensed milk

caramelised apples

  • 3 medium sized granny smiths, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 60g butter
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

crumble

  • 110g plain flour
  • 90g rolled oats
  • 60g desiccated coconut
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 100g butter, melted

Butterscotch sauce

  • 75g brown sugar
  • 75ml cream
  • 50g butter, chopped
  1. Warm up the cream in a small pot.  Do not let boil.  Add the tea bags and leave to soak overnight in the fridge.
  2. Make the caramelised apples.  Melt the butter and sugar together in a small pot. Add the apples and vanilla extract.  Simmer till the apples are nice and tender and taken on a little colour from the sugar.  Set aside to cool completely.
  3. Prepare a 20cm springform tin by greasing and lining the bottom.
  4. Make the crumble.  In a bowl add the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.  Add the melted butter and stir to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Set aside 1/4 cup of the crumble then press the mixture into the tin then place in the fridge for 30mins.
  6. Make  the cheesecake.  Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth then add the condensed milk and gelatin.  Beat until well combined.
  7. Take out the tea bags out of the cream.  In a separate bowl, pour the tea infused cream and whip till soft peaks.
  8. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  9. Pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the tin then carefully spoon all but 4 tbs of the  caramelised apple. Pour the rest of the mixture on top.  Smooth out the top.  Place in the fridge to set for about 4 hours.
  10. Once set, garnish the top with the left over crumble and caramelised apple.
  11. Make the butterscotch sauce.  Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. To serve, drizzle with butterscotch sauce on slices of the cheesecake.

Spiced Apple Crumble Cheesecake1

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream (arctic roll)

Artic roll 4

July is ice cream month.

Even though it’s the middle of winter here in Melbourne, I can’t resist a large bowl of ice cream, especially if it’s Harry’s Peanut butter fudge or triple choc brownie.

After chocolate, ice cream was voted as one of Australia’s¬†top comfort foods that makes us feel better.¬† Australians like to turn to comfort food to forget about the bad day they just had or to temporarily forget the daily stresses they face.¬† For me, I like to wind down after a long day at work by sitting under a cozy blanket on the couch¬†in front of the TV while¬†eating my way through a tub of ice cream.

To celebrate ice cream month, Harry’s ice cream sent me a few tubs to create something¬†delicious.

Harry's ice cream

Firstly, the Knickerbocker Glory.

knickerbocker glory

 

This was Hubby’s idea.¬† He used to have these growing up in England.¬† I have to say, it wasn’t a thing here in Australia but it should’ve been!

It’s easy so¬†you don’t really need a recipe for it.¬† You can layer anything you like.¬† I set some jelly at the bottom of the glass and also set the remaining in a separate bowl.¬† When ready to serve, I layered a scoop of vanilla ice cream, strawberry and chocolate syrups, meringue, more jelly and of course, Harry’s ice cream triple choc icream.¬† I topped with whipped cream (from a can, I know, the horror!).¬† Garnished with a glace cherry, a wafer¬†and a Flake.

Next I created¬†the¬†peanut butter and jelly arctic roll.¬† This is another ice cream dessert that I didn’t know much about¬†until my adult years.¬† An arctic roll is a British dessert, traditionally made of vanilla ice cream wrapped in a thin layer of sponge cake, which has raspberry sauce spread onto it.¬† I chose to use Harry’s peanut butter fudge ice cream.¬† You can use any ice cream flavour you fancy, really.

Artic roll 3

Recipe: (inspired by Paul Hollywood)

  • 475ml tub of Harry’s Peanut butter fudge
  • 125g strawberry jam

Swiss roll

  • 3 medium size eggs
  • 100g caster sugar plus extra for dusting
  • 100g self raising flour
  1. Preheat the oven 200degC (180degC fan forced)  and line a Swiss roll tin (22cm x 32cm)
  2. Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften a little, enough to be able to mould.  Put on a piece of baking paper and shape into a thin sausage 25 to 30cm.  Wrap in the baking paper and put in the freezer until solid.
  3. To make the Swiss roll, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl for several minutes until pale and triple in volume.  The mixture should hold a tail when the whisk is removed.  Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold in lightly.  Fold in one tablespoon of warm water.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tin and smooth it out and make sure it reaches all the corners.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Cut a piece of baking paper a little larger than the Swiss roll tin and lay it on the bench.  Sprinkle with caster sugar.  Turn out the cooked sponge onto the baking paper, base upwards.  Carefully peel the paper from the base of the sponge.  Leave to cool completely.
  6. To assemble the roll, trim the long edges of the sponge so it’s neat.¬† Spread the jam over the sponge, leaving a 2cm gap along the edges.
  7. Unwrap the ice cream and place lengthways across the sponge. Use the baking paper to help you roll the sponge around the ice cream.  Use a bread knife to trim each end of the roll.  Place on a plate and serve straight away.

Artic roll 2

To¬†celebrate ice cream month, Harry’s ice cream co is delivering ice cream to people¬†who¬†are in need of an ice cream emergency.

DAILY PRIZE: 10 Tubs of ice cream delivered right to your doorstep!

Tell Harry’s Ice cream Co¬†why you‚Äôre screaming for ice cream and you could find an emergency supply of Harry‚Äôs Ice Cream delivered to your doorstep.

To Enter: Write on Harry’s Facebook wall or upload a photo to Harry’s wall describing your ice cream emergency and hashtag with #HarrysIceCreamCo and #IceCreamEmergency

Check out their Facebook page here for more details.

Bon Appetite,

Cherrie

A chocolate heaven cake and a giveaway to the Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show

choc heaven cake 3

It’s nearly time for the Good food and wine show in Melbourne again. ¬†I have gone almost every year. I love to get new ideas and inspirations from well renowned chefs and new produce I am introduced to.

This year Melbournians will get the chance to see popular UK chef Ainsley Harriott. ¬†He has been appointed the face of this year’s Good food and wine show in Melbourne. ¬†He will be present all 4 days during the show 5-8 June . ¬†Ainsley will share tips and handy ticks during his live cooking demonstrations.

I have followed his career for many years and have collected a lot of his cook books.  I have also managed to cook many recipes from his books.

In celebration of ¬†his appearance in this year’s show I have decided to share one of my favourite recipe of his. ¬†The chocolate heaven cake. ¬†This cake is to die for. ¬†It really is heavenly. ¬†Hubby says it’s light, fluffy and rich all at the same time.

choc heaven cake 2

Recipe:

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 150g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¬†1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder
  • 200ml sour cream , at room temperature

Frosting

  • 350g dark chocolate
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225ml milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180degC (160degC fanforced)
  2. Prepare 3x 20cm round baking tins
  3. In a heatproof bowl, break the chocolate into pieces and melt over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat, stir until smooth and cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add the eggs, mixing well after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and mix until smooth.
  5. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and cocoa.  Fold into the creamed mixture in alternate batches with the sour cream.  Mix well between each addition.
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the 3 tins and bake for about 25 minutes, until the cakes are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle of one of them comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once the cakes are completely cold, make the frosting.  In a large bowl, melt the butter with the chocolate chunks set over a pan of barely simmering water.  Melt until smooth, stirring occasionally.  In another bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk until completely smooth.  Add the melted chocolate and butter and mix until combined.  Set aside for about 30 minutes to thicken slightly.
  8. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate and spread with a little frosting.  Cover with another cake and more frosting.  Top with the remaining cake and lightly press all the cake layers together.  Use a palette knife to spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake.

choc heaven cake 1

Would you like to attend the Good Food and Wine show in Melbourne?  I have a double pass to the show to giveaway to one of my readers.

It is simple to enter.  Just leave a comment below and share this post on Facebook and twitter.  This competition is only for readers who are able to attend the show in Melbourne.  The competition does not include flights or accommodation.

Competition ends midnight 24th may 2015.  I will contact the winner via email.

For more information on the Good food and wine show click here

Good Luck,

Cherrie

My Easter 2015. Time spent with Family

Easter

Easter 2015.

Easter this year, like most years, is spent with family.  During the Easter season, I am most thankful for the family and my friends around me.  Most of my days are focused on work and duties on being a wife and a mother.  I am constantly busy planning our days and weeks ahead that sometimes it is hard to live in the present.

This year, I spent 5 days focused on what is important.  My Family.  I love to have my table laden with food that has been prepared with love.

Here is how I spent my last few daysūüôā

Good Friday is always spent at my Mother in law’s home. ¬†We are always well fed. ¬†But for some reason (mostly due to the consumption of (numerous) glasses of wine) I forgot to take photos of the delicious roasted salmon and barbecued vegetables we ate.

Easter2

For dinner I had my #luxbitefamily over for a pot luck dinner.  Nothing can go wrong with a bunch of foodies and chefs over for dinner.

Easter3

We had a feast.  It is very rare that we are all able to get together for a meal.

Easter4

I baked my Easter Hummingbird cake. ¬†It’s moist and light. ¬†I love this cake and I’m happy to say that it went down a treat with my co-workers.

On Easter Saturday, the day was warm and the sun was shinning.  A perfect day for a drive with Hubby, Kiddies and my parents.  We took a day trip along the Victorian coast to Torquay.

Easter11

Easter Sunday.

My dear friend, Hilda, whom I have known for many years, came over with her family for lunch. ¬†We used to work together back in my corporate days. We have kept in touch after I left and we are still so close. ¬†So close that she became Thomas’ God mother. ¬†Along with my parents, we enjoyed lunch together.

I was lucky to have received a pack from Murray Valley Pork.  I roasted up a pork shoulder that was boned and rolled.  The skin came out super crispy and the meat was so tender and moist.  My tip to achieve this is to pump up the heat of your oven to 220degC for the first 20 mins to get the crackling going then turn the heat down to 180 and cook for 20mins for every 500g of the pork.

 

Easter5

Easter7

 

Easter6

Dessert was meringue nests with cream and strawberries. ¬†I have to say the meringues came out really well. ¬†I used Mary Berry’s recipe this time round and I think it turned out to be the best I’ve made. ¬†Hilda also brought some of Phillippa’s hot cross buns and crepe cakes from Mille & B.

Easter8

 

Easter Monday.

easter13Family time at Nature Play at Royal Park. ¬†We discovered this park a couple weeks back. It’s a great park for all ages of children. ¬†There is also a wet area for hot days. ¬†But on this day, we kept ourselves dry.

Easter10

The¬†Simnel Cake I baked for Hubby. ¬†I don’t eat fruit cake and marzipan so it’s all for him.

Tuesday.

I had the day off so we went out for breakfast and a movie.

We try to eat locally to support great businesses in our area.  Unfortunately, there are not many in our area but when we do find a good one, supporting them is important so they survive.

Before heading off to watch a family movie, we had breaky at a local cafe, Red Beetle. Cafe.  Their food is honest and hearty.  It is affordable and will warm up your tummy.

Easter12

I am happy to have spent days with my family to create happy memories.  These days are precious.

Bon Apetite,

Cherrie