ANZAC CRUMBLE STICKY DATE CAKE

 

In my old age, I have found just how much I enjoy complaining. I love to complain about technology, I love to complain about the youth of today and the weather?? Don't get me started on the weather! But it seems everyone in Auckland has been on my vibe in the past week with the storm and sudden cold front being the talk of the town. It's as if from nowhere, winter came and no one was ready for it. Believe you me, I have been complaining about the cold but I secretly love it.

If winter is really here it means we can all stop going to the gym, we can start wearing big coats again (to hide the fact we no longer go to the gym), and soups, slow cooker meals and warm desserts are back on the dinner menu.

So when I got the opportunity to work with the wonderful team at Chelsea Sugar (hello, how perfect is this partnership!), I knew I had to do some sort of pudding. I've been meaning to turn my recipe for individual sticky date puddings into a cake for quite some time and this seemed the perfect opportunity.

This recipe is very similar to the sticky date pudding on my blog but next level. It features a bottom layer of cooked toffee and a top layer covered with a golden syrupy, oaty, buttery crumble inspired by the humble Anzac biscuit. The Anzac biscuit is one of the first things I ever learnt to make (recap: I started baking at 18 when I looked after 2 young boys with an insatiable appetite for baked goods), which will give you an indication of how easy they are. With an ingredients list of flour, oats, golden syrup, coconut, sugar, butter and baking soda and no eggs, the biscuits last an age making them perfect to bake in bulk for kids' lunch boxes, etc. Back in WWI, the biscuits were sold to raise funds for the war effort and with all fundraising amounting to 6.5 million pounds, there's no need to tell you how delicious they are too.


Make sure to drench your sticky date cake in the toffee sauce (don't be scared if it looks like too much, it's never too much) and serve it warm with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of extra golden syrup from the iconic Chelsea Sugar tin. Enjoy! X

*This is a sponsored post by Chelsea Sugar however I do actually only use Chelsea Sugar products in my baking and think they're awesome! Thanks team.
 

ANZAC CRUMBLE STICKY DATE CAKE 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a 9 inch springform cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Start by making the Anzac crumble. Cook butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes.
  3. Allow brown butter to cool in pan slightly.
  4. Whisk in raw caster sugar, golden syrup and vanilla until combined.
  5. Whisk together flour, rolled oats, cinnamon and coconut and then add to the butter and sugar mix.
  6. Put the crumble mixture in a bowl and set aside while you make the toffee sauce.
  7. To make the toffee sauce, bring the butter, cream, sugar, golden syrup and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring often to melt the sugar.
  8. Lower heat and simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Pour half the sauce into the prepared cake tin and place the dish in the freezer. Reserve the other half.
  9. Place dates in a bowl and sprinkle the baking soda on top. Pour boiling water over the dates and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  10. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy.
  11. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  12. Add the flour and mix.
  13. Fold through the date mixture until well combined.
  14. Take the prepared tin out of the freezer and pour the cake batter over the top.
  15. Crumble the Anzac crumble over the top of the cake. Be sure to spread this out evenly.
  16. Bake for 60 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  17. You can leave the cake in its tin or take it out carefully at this stage - While still hot, use the skewer to gently poke holes throughout the cake and pour the remainder of the toffee sauce over the top.
  18. Let sit for 10 minutes then serve while still warm with vanilla ice cream and extra golden syrup.

Sticky Date Cake:
300g pitted dates, chopped
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup boiling water
125g butter, softened
1 cup Chelsea Sugar Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup self raising flour

Anzac Crumble:
100g butter melted
¼ cup Chelsea Sugar Raw Caster Sugar
2 tbsp Chelsea Sugar Golden Syrup
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup shredded coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup self raising flour

Toffee Sauce:
2 cups cream
100g butter
½ cup Chelsea Sugar Brown Sugar
2.5 tbsp Chelsea Sugar Golden Syrup
Pinch of salt

 

NO BAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

 

The only cheesecake recipe I use. It's a no bake recipe and it's dead easy. No need to worry about adjusting the oven temperature or cracks on your cake or a bain-marie. 

White chocolate cheesecake

Top this with any kind of fruit coulis you want for a bit of tartness. I've tried raspberry, blueberry (pictured here), blackberry, mango, passionfruit - all work a treat. The tartness helps to cut through the richness of the cheesecake, so you can eat more without feeling sickly. 

White chocolate cheesecake
White chocolate cheesecake
White chocolate cheesecake

One of my cheesecake pet peeves is a thin or soggy base - the base is important guys! So I've made sure to include quite a thick biscuit base in the recipe. Again, the added texture and difference in flavour helps cut through the richness of the cheesecake filling. Try it, I hope you love it!

White chocolate cheesecake

NO BAKE WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

  1. In a food processor, blend the biscuits until very fine. Add the butter, sugar, salt and coconut and blend until combined.
  2. Line a cake tin with baking paper and press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of the tin.
  3. Freeze for at least an hour.
  4. For the filling, place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a pot of gently simmering water. Ensure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Once melted and smooth, set aside to cool.
  5. Using a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  6. Add the sour cream and blend until smooth. Repeat with the cream.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, pour the melted white chocolate into the mixture in a steady stream. Beat until all incorporated and smooth.
  8. Add the lemon juice and beat once more. 
  9. Pour the cheesecake filling over the set base and refrigerate overnight
  10. For the fruit compote, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan set over medium heat, making sure to stir occasionally. Allow the mixture to come to the boil and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate.
  11. Just before serving, spoon the compote over the cheesecake. Enjoy!

For the base:
200g plain biscuits, lightly crushed
½ cup desiccated coconut
160g butter, melted
3 tbsp brown sugar
Good pinch of salt

For the filling:
450g good quality white chocolate
400g cream cheese, room temp
300g sour cream
½ cup thickened cream
Juice from half a lemon

For the coulis:
1.5 cups frozen fruit (any kind)
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cornstarch

 

 

 

 

APPLE & CINNAMON SCROLLS

 

I'm a butter lover. I love butter on my toast, I love butter on my steak, I love butter on anything. I’ll admit, I’m partial to a ‘spread’ if there’s none of the real stuff around but nothing tastes better than proper butter. I won’t trust people who eat only spreads. For those of you not from New Zealand, our cows give us the best milk and cream and therefore, the best butter.

Which is why when my friends at Westgold got in touch and offered me some butter for my baking, I said yes straight away. Westgold butter is creamy and perfectly salted and so good just with some fresh bread. I promise you, I ate 150g of the block before I even got round to baking with it.

To do Westgold justice, I wanted to bake something I’ve been meaning to make for a very long time but just never had time to do. It’s laborious but so worth it – buttery cinnamon scrolls. To up the butter ante, I sautéed some apples (in butter of course) for the filling and then to really top it off, lashings of buttery cream cheese frosting.

cinnamon scroll
cinnamon scroll

These are perfect for the upcoming holiday season for breakfast with a cup of tea and an extra slather of butter!

8B15F1D4-ED91-4571-98A2-BEB51C4C451A.jpg
cinnamon scroll
cinnamon scroll

APPLE & CINNAMON SCROLLS
adapted from Little Spice Jar

To make the sautéed apples:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pan over medium heat and sautee until soft (around 10 minutes).
  2. Allow to cool.

To make the dough:

  1. n a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, water, and butter. Heat on high for 1 minute, remove and stir. Continue to heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until the butter melts and the milk is warm. If the milk is hot, allow the mixture to sit on the counter for a few minutes. You want it to be warm to the touch before you proceed.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and the yeast. Add the warm milk mixture and the egg. Beat on medium-low speed to combine. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides and form a ball.
  3. Continue running the dough in the machine for another 5 minutes on the medium-low speed setting. Remove dough from hook and cover the surface of the dough with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 10-15 minutes.

To make the cinnamon brown sugar:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined.

To make the apple & cinnamon scrolls:

  1. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 14×10 inch rectangle.
  2. Using a small spatula, spread the softened butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon brown sugar mixture.
  3. Top evenly with the sauteed apples. Avoid using the liquid (reserve this for later).
  4. Roll up the dough tightly (this will be messy), cut into 12 even pieces and place in a lightly greased rectangle pan.
  5. Loosely cover the rolls with a towel and allow to rise in a warm, dark place for 20-25 minutes. If you have the time, allow them to sit for 35 minutes, that’s even better.
  6. When ready, bake the scrolls for 15-18 minutes at 180˚C until golden golden and cooked through.
  7. While the scrolls are baking, make your icing. Whip the softened cream cheese and slowing add in the reserved liquid from the sautéed apples.
  8. Remove scrolls from oven when ready and while hot, lather with the cream cheese caramel icing.
  9. Serve warm.

Sautéed apple filling:
60g Westgold butter
4 green apples, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
200g cream cheese, softened

Dough Ingredients:
60g Westgold butter
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 1/4 – 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons milk powder
1 egg, room temperature

Cinnamon filling:
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
75g Westgold butter, softened

 

 

BROWN BUTTER APRICOT SLICE

 

I always thought apricot slices were for 90 year old nannas. I never cared for the apricot filling or the pastry and would always turn my nose at the sight of them. Well something has changed - either I've aged significantly or I've only ever had terrible apricot slices because they are now my absolute jam. 

apricot slice.JPG

These apricot slices with a brown butter and coconut crumble are outrageous. Hand on heart, I've eaten half the tray (that's 8 pieces!) on my own and about 400ml of cream, which I use to douse on top. Pants are not happy at all but you will be when you eat these. Give them a go!

apricot slice.JPG
apricot slice
apricot slice
apricot slice.JPG
 

BROWN BUTTER APRICOT SLICE
adapted from Tutti Dolci

For the base/crumble:
200g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

For the filling:
2x tins of apricot halves in syrup, keep 1/3 cup syrup
1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp corn flour

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C and line a square baking pan with baking paper (I used a 21.5cm x 21.5cm tin).
  2. Cook butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes.
  3. Allow brown butter to cool in pan slightly.
  4. Whisk in sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until combined.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and coconut and then add to the brown butter/sugar mix.
  6. Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared baking tin.
  7. For the filling, combine all the ingredients together then line the apricot halves on top of the base.
  8. Pour the leftover liquid evenly over the apricots.
  9. Crumble the remaining dough over the apricots.
  10. Bake for 1 hour.
  11. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then cut in slices and serve warm with plenty of cream. 
  12. Store leftovers in the fridge to preserve some of the crunch in the crumble.

DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES

 

Ok, so this blog post was originally about how I really wanted cookies one day but didn't want to wait overnight for the dough to rest in the fridge like lots of really good recipes call for. This blog post has since been edited and this is why - after going through my blog and tidying up some of my posts, I realised I've actually already posted this recipe. This is the same base as my M&Ms cookie that I found on Smitten Kitchen. When I posted this originally, I'd found the recipe on allrecipes.com after a quick Google search. The two recipes are exactly the same, but I'm gonna give my credit to Smitten Kitchen. 

I ain't even mad, they're just so good. 

DARK CHOCOLATE COOKIES
from All Recipes

 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
170 grams butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
Dark chocolate block, chopped (I used a 250g block)

  1. Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.
  4. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  5. Reserving a handful of the chocolate, pour the rest of the chocolate into the batter and mix by hand.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls onto prepared trays. Dot the tops with the reserved chocolate and refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  7. When ready, heat the oven to 165˚C. Bake cookies for 15 to 17 minutes or until the edges are lightly toasted.
  8. Cool completely on the baking sheets before eating.
 

THE BEST BANANA CAKE

 

Banana cake has never been on the top of my cake list. Maybe it's the fact that they're made with near rotten bananas that doesn't sit well with me. Being a fussy banana cake eater, trust me when I say, this is one of the best cakes I've ever had, and definitely the best banana cake I've ever had. 

This cake is a blend of banana, pineapple and cinnamon. More commonly known as 'Hummingbird Cake' over in the States, this cake is fluffy, moist and bloody delicious. 

What makes it even more amazing is the entire can of dulce de leche that is spread in between the two layers of cake. If you didn't already know, I love caramel.

BANANA DULCE DE LECHE CAKE
by L.H. Wiggins

 

For the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1x 227g can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups chopped bananas (about 5 bananas)

For the dulce de leche filling:
1x can condensed milk

For the icing:
1x batch of your favourite cream cheese icing

For the chocolate ganache:
150g bittersweet chocolate
100g cream
15g butter

  1. Start by making your dulce de leche first if using. Take your can of condensed milk and remove the paper label from the outside. 
  2. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the can of condensed milk and bring to a boil. Lie the can on its side and leave to simmer for 2 hours, always ensuring the tin is completely submerged under the water. 
  3. After 2 hours, remove the can from the pot and let cool completely before opening.
  4. For the cake, preheat the oven to 180°C. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
  5. Roughly whisk together the eggs and oil then add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. Add in the vanilla, pineapple and bananas and mix well.
  7. Pour batter into two greased 9 inch tins.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  9. Cool cake layers in tins for 10 minutes then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. 
  10. Once cool, lie the first layer of cake on a plate and spread the entire can of dulce de leche over the top. Carefully place the second layer over the top and cover with cream cheese icing. 
  11. To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate and butter together in a glass bowl. Heat the cream in a pot until hot and then pour over the chocolate and butter. 
  12. Allow to sit for a few minutes then whisk together until smooth. Let cool. 
  13. Once cool, pour over the top of the cake. 

Enjoy!

BEETROOT RED VELVET CAKE

 

I've only become a recent lover of beetroot. Up until a few months ago, it used to taste like dirt to me. However, after reading up on the benefits, I forced myself to eat it repeatedly, and now I love it. Persistence is key, guys. 

That doesn't mean I wasn't adverse to using it in a cake recipe though. It is a vegetable after all, and one that not too long ago, tasted like the ground to me. I never understood why people ate chocolate beetroot cake when they could just have regular chocolate cake - right? Recently however, I needed to make a red velvet birthday cake but couldn't bring myself to use a whole bottle of red food colouring. Beetroot seemed the only way to go to get that red colour in.

If you haven't tried beets in cakes, the first thing you'll need to know is you can't taste them. Promise. As well as giving this cake an awesome, natural red colour, beetroot also adds great texture. Moist, light and fluffy with a subtle chocolate flavour, this cake is right up my alley. And you'll be getting in a serving of veg too!

BEETROOT RED VELVET CAKE
adapted from Kim Severson

 

For the cake:
1x 450g can beetroot, drained
170g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
1/4 cup milk
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 tsp white vinegar
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (200g) flour
3 tablespoons (24g) cocoa powder
1 ⅛ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
3 eggs

To serve:
Cream cheese icing

  1. Dice beets and process in a food processor. This should yield about 1 cup of beetroot puree (remove excess if more).
  2. Mix the yoghurt with the milk and add to the food processor with the beets, lemon juice, vinegar and vanilla until all incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (5 minutes).
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  6. Alternate adding flour mixture and beet mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beating for 10 seconds after each addition. 
  7. Divide batter between two cake tins.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove pans from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. 
  9. To assemble, sandwich the cakes together with the cream cheese icing. Top and cover the sides with the rest of the icing.

           Enjoy!

CARAMEL SLICE

 

If you don't like caramel, I'm afraid you're not going to like anything here on my blog. 

This recipe is just an adaptation of my butterscotch slice recipe, with some chocolate spread on top. I'm lazy ok, and I wanted caramel slice. It's delicious though, which is all you need to know, so try it. 

CARAMEL SLICE

 

For the base:
125g butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 small egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1  1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

For the filling:
100g butter
2 heaping tbs of golden syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Sprinkle of salt

For the chocolate:
125 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
35 grams butter

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the base combine the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a food processor. Process until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the flours, then process until a dough forms.
  4. Take 3/4 of the mixture and press into a square baking tin lined with baking paper. Flatten the rest of the dough out on a baking tray lined with paper (to be used for crumbling on top of the chocolate - optional).
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. For the filling, melt the butter in a pot, add the golden  syrup and stir. Remove from heat and add condensed milk and salt, mixing until all the liquids are incorporated.
  7. Pour the filling over the base in the tin.
  8. Bake for another 15 minutes. 
  9. Let cool.
  10. For the chocolate, melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (making sure water does not touch the bottom of the bowl).
  11. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
  12. Pour chocolate over the cooled caramel filling and crumble the leftover dough over the top.
  13. Leave in the fridge to set for an hour before cutting into squares. 

 

 

SHAKSHUKA

 

This is my favourite ever breakfast, reserved for special occasions i.e. when I have the time to actually make breakfast. If you haven't heard of it, shakshuka is just a really cool name for eggs poached in a tomato sauce. I serve it with a heap of feta in our house with a side of toasted baguette and bacon. 

I like to use this recipe as a guide but always swap out ingredients for what I have on hand. It’s a good way to use up eggs quickly and best of all, there’s only one pan to wash up at the end!

SHAKSHUKA
recipe from Tori Avey

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder (mild)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
5-6 eggs
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.
  2. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended.
  3. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce.
  5. Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn't reduce too much, which can lead to burning.
  6. For runnier eggs, let the sauce reduce for a few minutes before cracking the eggs on top, cover the pan and cook the eggs to taste.
  7. Garnish with the chopped parsley (or feta in my case!).
 

LEMON & COCONUT SLICE

 

Do you like lemons? Do you like coconut? Are you in need of a dead-easy, deliciously moist, cakey slice that uses only one bowl? Read on, recipe straight ahead. 

LEMON & COCONUT SLICE
from A Spoonful of Sugar

250g butter
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 tbsp finely grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup frozen berries (optional)
Icing sugar, to dust

  1. Preheat oven to 180º C. 
  2. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar and add eggs, one at a time, stirring until mixture is thick and glossy.
  4. Sift in the flour and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the coconut, lemon rind and lemon juice and stir well.
  6. Spread over base of prepared pan.
  7. Dot the surface of the batter with the berries.
  8. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (turning halfway through) or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Set aside in the pan to cool completely.
  10. Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.
 

OATMEAL & RAISIN COOKIES

 

My mum has a firm belief that all children love raisins. Whenever someone comes to visit with a small child, mum hands them over a box of Sun-maid raisins. 

This is probably why I’m not averse to raisins, as almost everyone else I know seems to be. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I love them. I would probably never reach for a box of raisins to snack on now, but I do love things that have raisins in them – hot cross buns, fruit toast, apple and sultana cake, cereal, and most of all, oatmeal and raisin cookies. 

My intro to oatmeal raisin cookies started at Subway many years ago. I would pay good money for the Subway recipe but in the mean time I’ve got this one from Smitten Kitchen, which may even be better. I like to make my raisins extra juicing by plumping them up with boiling water. I could honestly eat a tray of these in one go. 

OATMEAL & RAISIN COOKIES
from Smitten Kitchen

 

115 grams butter, softened
2/3 cups brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cups raisins

  1. Optional: Place raisins in a bowl and add enough boiling water to cover all the raisins. Leave to soak for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla, mix until smooth. 
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, then add to the creamy mixture, mixing until combined.
  5. Drain the raisins and add to the cookie dough along with the oats. Mix.
  6. Scoop the dough onto a tray lined with baking paper and leave to refrigerate overnight.
  7. When ready, place cookies on a baking tray about 5cm apart and bake for 10-12 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Leave to cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

STICKY DATE PUDDINGS

 

One particularly cold night, while we were looking over the dessert menu at dinner, my boyfriend decided he wanted a sticky date pudding, which was not on the menu. Following a mad dash in the rain from the restaurant to the car, want turned to need and he went on a rampage to the supermarket in search of a ready-made sticky date pudding. Unfortunately, he went home empty handed that night with an unsatisfied tummy. 

My boyfriend never craves any kind of dessert so I took his suffering very seriously. The next night I made sure I had these little sticky date puddings with caramel sauce ready for dessert. I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I love caramel. Inevitably, I love these. 

These are the perfect single serve size. Bake these in tulip-type muffin cases to hold in the caramel sauce. This way you can just grab a couple when you're in need of a sweet, give them a quick zap in the microwave, and you're ready to go. 

STICKY DATE PUDDINGS
from taste

Sticky date puddings:
300g pitted dates, chopped
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup boiling water
125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup self raising flour 

Caramel sauce:
1 cup brown sugar
300ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla
60g butter
 

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Line muffin tray with tulip muffin liners. 
  2. Place dates in a bowl and sprinkle the baking soda on top. Pour boiling water over the dates and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time. 
  5. Add the flour and mix. 
  6. Fold through the date mixture until well combined.
  7. Fill muffin liners with the batter (fill liners near to the top, the muffins don't rise much).
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. 
  9. While the muffins are baking, make the caramel sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and cook over medium heat. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes. 
  10. Once muffins are done, take out of the oven and pierce with a skewer. Spoon as much of the caramel sauce over the muffins as you can. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating and use any remaining sauce to serve.
  11. If muffins have cooled, heat for 20 seconds in the microwave to allow the caramel to melt back down and muffin to warm. 
 

BUTTERSCOTCH SLICE

 

I love caramel slice. I think I've said that on here before. This slice is a thick layer of baked caramel/butterscotch between two layers of buttery shortbread. I mean need I say more?

Condensed milk, butter and golden syrup come together to make a butterscotch sauce that can easily be eaten on its own or spooned over ice cream. When baked though, the butterscotch caramelises and becomes dense, custardy and fudgy, making it a perfect filling for the buttery and crumbly shortbread. 

BUTTERSCOTCH SLICE
Recipe from Simon Holst

For the base:
150g butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling:
100g butter
2 heaping tablespoons of golden syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Sprinkle of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the base combine the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a food processor. Process until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the flours, then process until a dough forms.
  4. Take 3/4 of the mixture and press into a square baking tin lined with baking paper. Wrap the remaining dough in glad wrap and place in the refrigerator.
  5. For the filling, melt the butter in a pot, add the golden  syrup and stir. Remove from heat and add condensed milk, mixing until all the liquids are incorporated.
  6. Pour the filling over the dough in the tin.
  7. Coarsely grate the remaining piece of dough on top of the filling.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling has browned.
  9. Let cool completely before cutting.
 

JAM THUMBPRINT COOKIES

 

These cookies are the first things I ever learnt how to bake. For a long time it was the only thing I knew how to make and I used to make it for everyone because I was so proud of myself. The recipe actually comes from a cookbook for children, so that should give you an indication of how easy these are to make.

These cookeis are a buttery, shortbready cookie and is my go-to recipe anytime I want to make a thumbprint cookie filled with jam or chocolate. They're not too sweet which make them perfect accompaniments for sweeter fillings. The secret ingredient is sweetened condensed milk - one of the best inventions ever made.

Thumbprint cookies are so fun to make, especially with kids. Their tiny thumbs make the perfect sized holes for the fillings. They're also terribly easy to eat cause they're bite sized, so be warned.

JAM THUMBPRINT COOKIES
from The New Edmonds Junior Cookbook

150g butter
4 tbs condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup jam

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar and condensed milk in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until combined.
  4. Roll tablespoons of dough and place on a baking tray (the dough doesn't spread much and I usually fit 15 per tray).
  5. Using your thumb, press down on the dough to make a little well in the middle of each cookie.
  6. Pour the jam into a piping bag and pipe a small amount of filling inside each hole.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until golden all over. 
 

DARK CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY BROWNIES

 

These brownies are what I'm known for. I can't tell you how many times I've used this recipe. If someone asked me what the one thing is I'd recommend them make from my blog, I would say these dark choc and raspberry brownies. 

I love using raspberries in my baking whenever I can and the dark chocolate with the berries are a perfect combo. The tartness of the raspberries helps to cut through the richness of the brownie so you can eat as much as you want without feeling too sick.

Try these and thank me later. 

DARK CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY BROWNIES
adapted from bbcgoodfood

300g semi-sweet dark chocolate
250g butter, cubed
250g brown sugar
4 eggs
140g flour
50g cocoa powder
2 cups frozen raspberries 

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Place chocolate, butter and brown sugar in a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, and stir until everything is combined and smooth. 
  3. Remove from the heat and beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder.
  5. Add half the frozen berries to the batter and pour into a lined baking tin (I use a 21.5cmx21.5cm square tin).
  6. Top with the remaining berries and bake for 65 minutes for a fudgy texture, turning halfway through (adding a sheet of foil over the top of the pan at this point will stop the raspberries going brown). 
  7. Let cool completely in the tin. 
  8. Once ready, slice into squares and dust with icing sugar.
 

CHOCOLATE CHIFFON CAKE

 

I am shit and lazy at separating eggs. I'll crack all of my eggs into one bowl , knowing full well that one of the yolks will eventually burst. And then I get angry when it does. 

With that in mind, when I was searching for a chiffon cake recipe to try a wee while ago, I simply chose the recipe that required the least amount of eggs to separate. Both the rationale and the outcome were brilliant. This is the only chiffon cake recipe I've ever tried and I've never felt the need to try another.

I love light, spongey cakes and this one is incredibly airy and fluffy. Super easy to eat, not too difficult to make (as far as chiffon cakes go) and looks pretty impressive. 

CHOCOLATE CHIFFON CAKE
recipe adapted from Nigella

For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 ¼ cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
½ cup canola oil
1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
250gm dark chocolate

 

  1. Preheat oven to 160˚C. 
  2. Mix flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar together. Sift twice.
  3. Using a fork, beat together the egg yolks, water, vanilla and oil and add to dry ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Beat the egg whites until white and frothy and then add ½ teaspoon cream of tartar. Beat until white and peaky. 
  5. Pour the batter into the middle of the egg white mixture and gently fold together until just combined. Do not beat
  6. Pour into ungreased cake tin and bake for 1 hour.
  7. Once cake is baked, remove from the oven and immediately turn upside down and let it hang until cool.
  8. Meanwhile, to make the chocolate ganache, heat the cream in a pot until small bubbles appear.
  9. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate, swirling the pot to make sure all the chocolate is covered with cream. Let sit, without stirring, for a few minutes.
  10. Stir until smooth. 
  11. Let the chocolate ganache sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  12. When ready, pour the ganache over the cooled cake and use a spatula to spread it evenly across the surface. Sprinkle with some chocolate flakes and enjoy. 
 

BAKED CAMEMBERT

 

A couple of years ago I went through a low carb phase which involved a lot of peanut butter and a lot of cheese. A lot of cheese. 

Even though I ate a sickening amount of cheese, I never got sick of it. I had to quit the habit though for fear of what might be happening to my insides.

This is the ultimate cheese dish. It's the most delicious way to consume cheese, and also the fastest (I can eat this in one sitting). A super easy way to impress guests at your next dinner party. Just be sure you have enough to feed everyone cause guaranteed they'll be coming back for seconds. 

baked camembert

BAKED CAMEMBERT IN PUFF PASTRY 

1 wheel of Camembert (brie works well too)
1 sheet of puff pastry
3 tablespoons apricot or raspberry jam
Small handful of slivered almonds (optional)
Wafer crackers 

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C.
  2. Place Camembert in the middle of the puff pastry (leave skin on).
  3. Spoon jam on top of the camembert and sprinkle almonds on top.
  4. Tightly fold the puff pastry up and around the camembert and pinch together the edges to make a tight seal.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. 
  6. Leave for 5 minutes to cool down a bit and serve with wafer crackers. 
 

M&M COOKIES

 

I love mini M&Ms. Give me a bag of regular M&Ms and they'll stay uneaten in my house for weeks. Give me a bag of mini M&Ms and guaranteed they'll be devoured within the hour. As well as being delicious, they're also very cute and photogenic, so of course I needed to find a recipe to incorporate them into.

This is a great cookie base from Smitten Kitchen that you can add anything to - I've tried chocolate chips, white chocolate, apricot and chocolate, etc. Everyone needs an easy, go-to cookie recipe. I've tried many a cookie recipe in my lifetime and trust me, these are good. 

M&M COOKIES
from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
170 grams salted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup mini M&Ms or 2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

 

  1. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.
  4. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just combined.
  5. If you want to use chocolate chips, add these to the dough at this stage and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
  6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to an hour until firm.
  7. When ready, preheat oven to 165˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  8. Use a cookie dough scoop to scoop out the dough and place cookies about 7cm apart. 
  9. If using M&Ms, cover the tops of the cookies with the M&Ms and pat into place. 
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes. 
 

SOUR CREAM PEAR & RASPBERRY CAKE

 

My parents have owned their bakery for the last 30-something years. As a child growing up, this is where I spent most of my time. As one can imagine when growing up in a bakery, I ate a lot (seriously, a lot) of cake. It was awesome, but over the years, I've slowly lost my sweet tooth. Now I can't eat anything sweet without then needing something salty.

When it comes to cake I prefer light, plain cakes. Not boring, just not too rich or indulgent. This is my favourite.

I made this for Christmas dessert a few years ago and my parents loved it so much, they now make their own version in their bakery. This is the sour cream butter cake with pears and raspberries originally from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook. I've adapted the recipe to ensure there's twice as much fruit than there is cake, which means it's perfectly healthy and you'll be guaranteed a bit of pear and a bit of raspberry in each forkful. If you want to make a bigger cake, just double the ingredients. 

SOUR CREAM PEAR & RASPBERRY CAKE 
(from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook, adapted by The Bake-A-Nista

 
 

125 grams butter, room temperature
160 grams sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
100g lite sour cream (I use lite because it has a runnier consistency)
150g self-raising flour
1 small can sliced pears
1 cup frozen raspberries 

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C and line a small cake tin with baking paper (I use a 21.5cm round cake tin)
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and creamy.
  3. Add in eggs one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated into the batter. 
  4. Add in the sour cream and mix until combined. 
  5. Mix in the flour and pour batter into cake tin.
  6. Line the pear slices in a circle on the top of the cake and fill the gaps in with raspberries (you don't need to push the fruit into the cake because the batter will rise and cover it)
  7. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until the middle of the cake feels firm when touched. 
  8. Let cool in tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cake rack.
  9. When cool, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!
 

MEYER LEMON CURD

 

My boyfriend, bless him, is the type of guy that thinks multivitamins are a substitute for actually eating vegetables and that eating fruit is just as bad as eating candy. With all this talk about Junk Free June recently, it was the perfect time to evaluate our eating habits and basically force ourselves to eat more vegetables.

That's how we ended up at the farmers market on the weekend (a place we often frequent but only ever to buy burgers and donuts) where I laid eyes on a Meyer lemon for the first time ever. I'd seen so many recipes that called for these lemons but have never been able to find them.  Excitedly, I bought a few to bake with. Safe to say, we did not complete Junk Free June. 

I wanted my first time trying Meyer lemons to be special and what better way to use a lemon than with a simple lemon curd. This recipe is super easy to follow and produces what might possibly be the best lemon curd I've ever tried, all credit due to the Meyer lemons. Unless it’s peanut butter, I'm not one to eat things by the spoonful straight from the jar but this is that good.

MEYER LEMON CURD
from

250ml freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
Zest of two Meyer lemons
1/2 cup sugar
175 grams butter, cubed
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks 

 

  1. Place the zest in a medium sized bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Set aside.
  2. Warm the lemon juice, sugar and butter in a medium sized saucepan until the butter is melted.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. 
  4. Once the butter has melted, pour the mixture slowly and in a gradual stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula until thickened and starting to coat the spatula.
  6. Remove from heat and press the curd through the strainer over the bowl containing the lemon zest. 
  7. Stir the curd for a few minutes to let the heat out and let cool before refrigerating.