Sealed with a (Chocolate) Kiss

chocolate-seal-monogram-petit-four

This delectable idea popped up in my Tumblr feed this morning, and I couldn’t resist sharing! Thanks to Joy Thigpen at oncewed.com for this little gem. Decorating petit fours with a chocolate ‘wax’ seal is such a simple idea, with … Continue reading

Peppermint Creme Cuties

I know, I know, I promised you a recipe for peppermint cremes, and it has taken far too long!
Well prepare to feast your eyes (and tastebuds) on these sweetest of treats…

Peppermint cremes, J.Beck, 2013
Here’s the recipe, it’s an easy egg-free version!

Peppermint Cremes

Ingredients:
320g icing Sugar
130g condensed milk
2 tsp Peppermint extract
Chocolate for dipping

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until you can shape it into a ball. My mix was a super sticky so I added some extra icing sugar. Have a taste to make sure it has the right level of mintyness and add more peppermint essence if needed.

2. Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar. Roll our your peppermint dough so it’s 3-5mm thick.

3.Cut out your shapes! I used the flower shaped cutters that Asian restaurants use to shape vegetables. You could use cookie cutters, cups or cut them by hand depending on the size and shape you like.

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4. Allow to dry. Some recipies say to leave them in the fridge, but this made mine sticky so I just leave them on the bench with a net cover over them.

5. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of heating water. Use small tongs or a teaspoon to dip half of each peppermint creme in tasty tasty chocolate. (I forgot to take a picture of this stage!)

6. Ta Da! Eat your delicious sweets, or share them with your friends if they’ve been really nice.

Coming up next, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins…

Super Tangy Lemon Yoghurt Cake

There is no flavour that compares to a ripe lemon. Tangy and tart with a hidden sweetness, lemons are one of my favourite flavours to bake with!

This cake is my current obsession. It’s moist and summery, with a delectable balance of sour and sweet. It’s also one of the easiest cakes I’ve ever made.

I made three of these in two weeks, and ate one almost all by myself ( yes I’m ashamed. So very, very ashamed).


The recipe is from Alison Holst, but I change a few things. I’ve marked these below :)

Lemon Yoghurt Cake

a 21cm ring cake:

1 1/2 cups sugar
Rind of 2 lemons (I always use three for extra lemony-ness)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola or other light vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup yoghurt
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

oven on to 190 degrees Celsius, or 180C if using a fan oven.

The original instructions were for people with fancy schmancy food processors. I’m old school, so I used the directions below.

Grate all the coloured peel from the lemons into a large bowl.
Add the sugar, eggs and oil, then whisk together.
Add the salt, yoghurt and lemon juice and mix again.
Sift in the flour, then mix gently until just combined.

Pour into your lightly greased ring tin. bake for 30 minutes (mine always takes 40 minutes, so check it to see if a skewer comes out clean before deciding if it’s cooked!).

With this cake it’s really important to let it cool before removing it from the tin. If you’re impatient – like me – some of it will choose to remain in the tin. If this happens, don’t panic! Just keep calm and decorate! It’s amazing what icing sugar, icing, or a few daisies can disguise…

For an extra moist and lemony cake, I gently pour lemon juice over the warm cake before sprinkling it with white sugar. This creates a delicate, crunchy sweet crust!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hypnotising Chocolate Tart

I have a big family. We have big family dinners. Big family dinners require desserts. How convenient….

For a big family dinner last night I made my first no bake chocolate tart. It was easy peasy and super delicious! Sadly night time isn’t the best for taking photos, but I assure you this tart was amazing.

Hypnotising chocolate tart…Mmmm

I used a recipe from “Good Food”, but simplified it a little.

No Cook Chocolate Tart

Ingredients:
200g all-butter biscuits (I don’t know what these are, so I used superwines).
100g butter
1tbsp golden syrup
100g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 tbsp  icing sugar
200ml whipping cream

Method

  1. crush the biscuits by putting them in a strong plastic bag and bashing them with a rolling pin. This is highly therapeutic, feel free to yell at the cookies while you do so, I think it helps.
    Melt the butter and golden syrup in the microwave and stir into the biscuits. Press into the base and sides of a lightly greased flan tin.
    Chill. (The base, not you).

  2. Whip the cream until it just holds its shape. Break up the chocolate and melt. I used the microwave and it works just fine as long as you stir the chocolate once or twice. Mix in the vanilla and sifted icing sugar. Fold the cream into the chocolate.

  3. Pour the chocolate mix into the base and smooth the top. Chill for at least 2 hours, or up to two days. You’ll find it easier to remove from the tin if you leave the tart at room temperature for about half an hour first. Slide tart onto a plate, decorate, and devour.

I reckon this tart would be incredible with berries or a hint of orange added. Go wild, the recipe is so easy you can’t possibly go wrong!

Fruity Bread and Butter Pudding

Winter is setting in. The mornings are crisp, the evenings dark and rainy. While I would prefer to hibernate through the colder months, I appreciate winter for one thing – the glorious comfort food!

Apple dumplings, steamed puddings, crumbles and fruit sponges. Nothing is cozier than a hot, delicious dessert in the oven, wafting the smell of Nana’s kitchen around my house. While I’m not a big fan of traditional bread and butter pudding, I tweaked this recipe to use up some stale fruit loaf and under ripe apples (and make it less milky bland).

So here you have – Jaimee’s “just winging it” fruity bread and butter pudding. The amounts can be changed to suit the dish you’re filling, don’t worry about being too exact, I just bunged it all in and the result was more than satisfactory!

Ingredients
8-10 slices of fruit loaf
Butter
450 ml of milk
2 eggs
50g white sugar
sultanas
1 apple chopped into small pieces
Ground nutmeg
Jam (I used plum jam)

Method

  1. Butter both sides of the bread. Spread jam on one side of each slice and cut into triangles or fingers – whichever will fit better into your ovenproof dish.

  2. Grease your dish and arrange a layer of bread in the base – jam side up.

  3. Sprinkle some sultanas, apple and nutmeg on the bread. I use heaps of fruit, but you can use whatever amount you like.

  4. cover with another layer of bread, sultanas, apple and nutmeg.

  5. Finish with another layer of bread – jam side down this time.

  6. Beat the milk, eggs and sugar together and pour over the bread layers ( a whisk will do the trick, but use an electric beater if you like).

  7. Let the whole lot stand for 10-15 minutes, or while you eat dinner, then bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. You’ll know when it’s done as the pudding will puff up and be golden brown and no longer soggy looking.

This pudding is super delicious with ice cream or custard, or reheated for breakfast the next day ;) Nom nom nom…