Friday, May 31, 2013

Pink Lemonade Bars

This week while I've been off work I've been trying to do a little bit of work from home whenever I feel up to it. Initially I thought I would pretty much get five solid days of work in and knock off everything on my list plus more, but the way things have been going I've only been able to do an hour or so in the morning, have a rest and then I get this burst of energy at about 5pm when I manage to squeeze in another few hours.

All in all I have really enjoyed working from home. Even though I have only been managing a few hours a day, it's been so much more productive without the constant interruptions working in an office can bring. Plus it's just nice to be home I think. I wish I could do it all the time, you know, minus the whole surgery thing! This is where I set myself up for work each morning.

And when I needed a rest, I spent my afternoons curled up on the couch with a heat pack, a hot coffee, a brioche roll and caught up on some reading.

Yesterday I decided it was about time I did some baking. All of Mr B's supplies were running rather low and it was either that or I start sending him to work with a lunch box full of egg, flour and milk and hope it miraculously turned into something edible before morning tea time....

I found this recipe over at Smitten Kitchen and have been meaning to make it for ages now. I loved the sound of a pink lemonade bar but for some reason I always just assumed that they were going to be complex to make and just kind of kept putting them in the 'I'll make that next week...' pile.

Wouldn't you know it, they were actually really easy....I mean I am having trouble just doing the basics like having a shower and washing up this week so for me to say this is simple in my current state, it's got to be like super duper do it with your eyes closed kind of easy.

And you're reward for next to no effort (aside from having to clean your microwave out but I'm thinking that will just be me and not effect you in the slightest....) is a gorgeous soft buttery shortbread base topped with a not too tangy, not too sweet layer of raspberry lemony goodness.

To make these Pink Lemonade Bars you will need:

For the base...
1/4 cup caster sugar
115g butter, softened
1/8 tspn table salt (only necessary if you use unsalted butter)
1 cup plain flour

For the lemonade layer....
1 cup of raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup plain flour

Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a 20cm x 20cm baking pan.

Now you may as well start with the raspberries because that's the fun part.....said no one ever.
Heat the raspberries in the microwave in 40 second bursts until they are falling apart. Strain to remove the seeds. Place the syrup in the fridge until you need it. Sounds simple you say? Yes well...I left my raspberries to do their own thing in the microwave and they kind of boiled up and went close attention to your raspberries people!

Ok, back to the base. Combine the sugar, butter, salt (if using) and flour using a food processor. Process until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the base and slightly up the sides of your baking pan. It doesn't have to be pretty and it doesn't have to go all the way up the sides, just enough to form like a little lip when you pour the lemonade layer in. Place in the oven and bake for 15 mins or until the edges are starting to lightly go brown.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice. Add 3 tbspns of the raspberry puree and the flour. Mix until smooth.

Pour the lemonade mixture into the crust and place the pan back in the oven for roughly 25-30 mins or until they are set. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting.


Mrs B xx

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Homemade Feta Cheese and Feta, Ricotta and Spinach Rolls

A few weeks ago, Mr B and I made our own feta cheese using our Mad Millie Cheese Kit. It never ceases to amaze me how simple cheese making is. Yes it is a little time consuming but absolutely worth it when you taste the finished product.

That there is 1kg of feta cheese.....

We cut most of it up into 200g slices and placed it in some brine in the fridge. But when we tried it a few hours later it was super salty so we soaked it in some milk for an hour and hey-presto it was perfect.

We cut the rest of it up into small cubes and placed it in a jar full of basil infused olive oil. I can't wait to try this one later on!

As you can imagine, this week we have been going feta crazy....feta stuffed omelettes, potted eggs topped with feta and last night's instalment, Feta, Ricotta and Spinach Rolls. I was a little worried these might lack flavour and desperately wanted to add some glad Mr B stopped me because they were amazing!

To make these Feta, Ricotta and Spinach Rolls you will need:

200g feta cheese
100g ricotta cheese
250g frozen spinach
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 tbspns milk

Grease a baking tray and pre-hat oven to 180C.

De-frost the spinach in the fridge overnight. Try and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Combine the feta, ricotta and spinach in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Cut the puff pastry sheets into quarters.

Place tablespoons of the filling along one edge of each pastry square and roll up to enclose.

Combine the egg and milk and brush over the pastry.

Bake for 20-25 mins or until puffed and golden.

And look at these gorgeous pink carnations Mum and Dad brought me last night- three bunches of flowers in one week has to be a new record!

Mrs B xx

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Strawberries and Cream French Toast Roll Ups

This week whilst I am taking it easy, Mr B is stuck with doing most of the cooking and he is doing a really good job of taking care of me. I think sometimes he is not entirely sure what to do with me because the entire time we have been together I have been active, I hate sitting still and am always cooking or cleaning (ok so like 90% cooking, 3% cleaning, 7% avoiding cleaning) or doing something, but this week I am completely the opposite, and he is completely freaked out by the whole thing.

To be honest though I didn't think it would be like this.

When the Doctor said I would need a week off to recover, I literally laughed at him and begged him to let me go back to work early and when he said No, I planned a huge long list of things I wanted to do like spring clean the house, clean out the wardrobe, go on a mega shopping spree, walk 2 or 3 times a day and cook up an absolute storm.....but now I'm thinking he had a point because I have just enough energy to get out of bed sometime before lunch, make breakfast, stare at the computer for an hour or two and then I need a sleep.

Anyway, yesterday I decided I would do something nice for Mr B and I for dessert. Something easy obviously, but also something semi-french inspired to remind us that this time last year we were leaving Paris and on our way home from our honeymoon.

It does not get much easier then these let me tell you. For a fairly simple dessert, these looked fantastic when they were all dished up and we felt like we were indulging ourselves in something decadent, plus they tasted incredible! I was actually really surprised because Mr B does not do french toast, but he loved these and asked for them again tomorrow would have been tonight but then he discovered there is still Cider Jelly in the fridge....

For these Strawberries and Cream French Toast Roll Ups you will need:

6 slices of white bread, crusts removed and flattened with a rolling pin
strawberry jam
100g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup thickened cream
2 tbspns caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbspn milk
dash of vanilla
20g butter

Combine the cream cheese, cream and caster sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy.

Place a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on one half of each piece of bread. Top with a heaped teaspoon of strawberry jam. Roll the bread up to enclose the filling and place on a plate, seam side down.

In a fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. While this is happening, combine the egg, milk and vanilla and beat well with a fork.

Dip each piece of bread into the egg mixture, ensuring it is completely coated, and place seam side down into the fry pan. Repeat with remaining bread.

Increase the fry pan heat to medium-high and cook the bread for 30-40 seconds on each side or until golden.

Serve hot with whipped cream for dipping. Or I imagine they would be equally nice drizzled with chocolate (or nutella!) and a big dollop of cream on the side too.                                   


Mrs B xx

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pear Cider Jelly with Raspberry Coulis

Is Monday morning too early to talk cider?

Possibly yes.

But it is never too early to talk dessert and this one just happens to be made with cider so we are just going to have to move past that whole no alcohol before noon thing here. Plus I'm not saying you need to actually eat it like now....I'm just saying you need to seriously consider making it now so that it will be ready for you to eat tonight when it's perfectly acceptable to drink cider / eat jelly / do both.

I first heard about a jelly similar to this being available at a local market here and when I told Mr B about it he was all sorts of excited, and wouldn't you know it, the day I took him to the market to try it.....the stall wasn't there. Mr B took it all in his stride and went and purchased himself a burger and a jam donut instead but that was just not going to cut it for me. I promised my husband super awesome Cider Jelly with Raspberry Sauce and that is exactly what he was going to get.

Roughly six weeks after that fateful day at the market, I finally got around to making then Mr B had completely forgotten about the whole episode but at least in my mind it was crossed off the list and luckily he absolutely loved it.

Pear Cider Jelly

330ml bottle of cider (I used Bulmers Pear Cider)
75g caster sugar
3/4 tbspn gelatine
1/4 cup boiling water

Combine 1/2 of the cider with the caster sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Stir in the remaining cider.

Combine the gelatin and boiling water. Stir until gelatin has dissolved.

Combine gelatin mixture and cider mixture. Stir well.

Pour the mixture into two glasses and refrigerate for 3-4 hrs or overnight.

Serve topped with Raspberry Coulis

Raspberry Coulis

3/4 cup frozen raspberries
2 tbspns caster sugar

Combine the raspberries and sugar in a microwave safe jug and heat for 60 seconds. Stir the mixture and repeat until sugar has dissolved.

Gently pour the raspberry mixture through a strainer to remove seeds.

Allow to cool and store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.


Mrs B xx

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Home Made Caprese Pizza with Cheesy Garlic Bread

24 hours after day surgery and here I am, back on deck. Well technically I'm back on the couch but I'm up and about at least. Everything went well yesterday. I won't have the actual results of the surgery until I go back to my specialist next week, but the big thing for me is that it is over and done with. Spending half of the day waiting to be called to theatre and then the other half desperately trying to shake off that groggy fuzzy headed feeling is not pleasant. I was so happy and relieved to get home and just curl up with Mr B, who I have to say is taking such good care of me, always making sure my heat pack is hot and making sure I have everything I need.

It's hard to believe that this time last year we were coming towards the end of our European Honeymoon. I think right about now we would have been in Paris.....

Over the last few weeks we have been re-living our trip by reading our travel diary each night and looking at all of our photos, but we have also been trying to re-create some of our favourite meals from when we were away.

When we were in Italy I fell head over heels in love with the Caprese Salad, the combination of fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil just blew my mind and we both became more than a little partial to a thin and crispy pizza so what better way to reminisce than by making our own Thin and Crispy Caprese Pizza and serve it with a side of Cheesy Garlic Bread?

Now I know the idea of making your own pizza dough can freak alot of people out but stay with me here. This recipe is really simple and makes two large pizzas and apart from a little bit of kneading here and there, you pretty much just throw everything in a bowl!

To make the pizza dough you will need:

1.5 cups plain flour
1 tspn yeast
1 tspn caster sugar
1 tspn table salt
1 tbspn olive oil (we used a basil infused olive oil which I would absolutely recommend if you can find it!)
1/2 cup warm water

Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the oil and enough water to make a soft dough. Knead for 10 mins or until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough a in large oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until roughly doubled in size.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. I usually try and avoid covering my bench in flour so just knead it in the bowl!

Divide the dough in half and roll on a floured surface or between two sheets of lightly greased baking paper until it's roughly 30cm round. Don't worry if it's not a perfect round base, it will give it that rustic look!

Pre-heat oven to 240C and grease two oven or pizza trays. We use a pizza stone which we just lightly dust with flour.

Place the base on the prepared tray and top with your choice of toppings. Bake for 15 mins or until bases are browned and crisp.

For the Caprese toppings we used:

2/3 cup passata sauce
125g mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil.

Spread  the pizza base with passata and top with mozzarella and roughly torn basil leaves.

And seeing as we are being extra good and having a thin and crispy pizza base we deserve to splash out on the side dish right? Mr B loves this Cheese Garlic Bread and whilst it isn't for the faint hearted with all of it's butter and cheese, it was the perfect accompaniment to our pizza!

For the Cheesy Garlic Bread you will need:

1 x baguette, sliced in hallf horizontally and then in half vertically.
40g butter, softened
Crushed Garlic, to taste - I used about 3/4 tbspn because I like my garlic bread extra strong.
Salt and Pepper
Shredded Cheese

In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the cut sides of the baguette with the garlic butter and place on a baking tray. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake the garlic bread with your pizzas (240C for 15 mins) and just keep an eye on it, it might only need 7-10 mins and as soon as it's golden and toasty, it's done!


Mrs B xx

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Little Things....

A few days ago I mentioned that I'm off to hospital tomorrow for a small procedure and whilst it is classified as day surgery and doesn't even require me to be in hospital overnight, it does involve me being knocked out while someone is playing with my insides and that whole scenario just freaks me out.

So each day this week, as tomorrow draws closer, I have been becoming increasingly scatty, distant, nervous and possibly a wee bit grumpy. And to make things worse, Mr B is not a talker. He is a thinker. I mean this is something I have known since the day I met him, he just doesn't do deep and meaningful conversations. This kind of means we often end up in a situation where I'm going out of my mind and desperately want him to take me in his arms and talk through all the stuff in my head but instead he just kind of sits there and says 'mmmmmm' and pulls me in for a cuddle.....

At times like this I have been known to get slightly agitated and accuse Mr B of not listening and / or not caring about the big issues...but like I said, he is a thinker.

This morning this beautiful big bunch of bright and cheery flowers was delivered to me at work with a card from Mr B and instantly I knew that I hadn't been alone in my nervous-ness or my worrying this week. He had been just as nervous and just as worried as me, he just deals with it differently and every now and then he does something special like this that reminds me of that fact.

I absolutely adore having fresh flowers in the house, but they are a luxury we rarely treat ourselves to and even then we only get something simple. With it's red carnations, pink and yellow gerbera's, red rose buds, blue iris' and tightly closed lilly's this is one of the most stunning bunches of flowers I have ever seen. I just can't stop looking at all the vibrant colours and I'm so glad I get to enjoy them whilst I'm home relaxing and recovering for the next week. I really am a very lucky lady.

Mrs B x

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ice Cream Waffle Wafers...or Wafer Waffles?

Ahhhh I have been meaning to tell you about these Wafer Waffles....(or Waffle Wafers, I can't decide!) for ages now, but then I make something else and I write about that and this one just ends up as another lonely un-published draft. Well not any more.

A few weeks ago when it came our turn for dessert wars, Mr B had this vision in his head and was determined to make like an old fashioned banana split type sundae but with caramelised bananas served over ice cream and topped with whipped cream. In an effort to make some form of contribution to his vision, I meekly offered to try and make the wafers, which Mr B thought was an excellent idea. Ah hell I thought, I better try and track down a recipe! I found lots of different variations, but the one I settled on didn't use egg whites and sounded relatively simple. The original recipe did involve orange juice and white wine but I just plain old left them out!

To make these Ice Cream Waffle Wafers you will need

28g butter
65g sugar
1 egg
115g plain flour
65g cream

In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and sugar.

Add the flour, egg and cream and mix to form a fairly soft dought. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Drop teaspoons of the mixture onto a heated greased waffle pan and cook for 2-3 mins or until golden on each side.

Remove onto a wire rack to cool.

I found that once ours cooled they were beautiful and crispy and just like a waffle cone. To make sure they stay this way, store them in an air tight container for 2-3 weeks.....but I guarantee you they will be all eaten well before then!


Mrs B x

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cheese Crackers

Earlier in the week, I realised Mr B was out of savoury goodies for his lunch box. I wanted to try something different to the usual pizza scrolls and cheese puffs so I set about making this recipe I had seen for Cheese Crackers. The only thing I will suggest is making a double batch....or at least be prepared to make them twice, possibly three times a week, they are that good.

You see I made the first batch on Monday night thinking they would last Mr B for the remainder of the week.

When I took them out of the oven, I gave him one to try. That was my first mistake. I only just managed to salvage enough for the following day's lunch.....the rest were eaten fresh out of the oven within about 10 minutes. In between mouthfuls he told me they were super awesome and tasted just like Cheds....

On Wednesday I made the second batch and stood guard in the kitchen until they had cooled enough to be hidden right up the back of the cupboard. So far so good....

To make these Cheese Crackers you will need:

60g butter, softened
1/2 tspn salt
2 cups grated cheese
1 cup plain flour
3 tbspns water

Combine the butter, salt and cheese in a bowl.

Add the flour and mix well.

Slowly add the water, 1 tbspn at a time. Mix well after each addition. When the dough forms a soft ball, it's done. Place in the fridge for 30 mins.

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Line and grease two baking trays with baking paper.

Divide the dough into 2 portions. Roll each portion out between 2 pieces of baking paper until it is 1/8 of an inch thick (roughly 1/3 of a cm) but you don't have to be exact.

Cut the dough into squares roughly 2.5 cm in diameter. Use a toothpick or skewer to poke a hole in the centre of each square.

If you want to you can sprinkle herbs or seasoning before baking. We did one tray with smokey paprika and they were yummy!

Bake for 13-17mins or until puffed and golden. Allow to cool on trays before removing and store in an air tight container

And here is a few shots from our day out fishing last weekend. We had the Friday off work and when we woke up it was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to make the most of it. We jumped in the car and drove to Cremorne which is only probably 45mins drive from our place and found a beautiful (and desserted) jetty to set ourselves up on.

We spent the majority of the day here, fighting with the crabs and the rays, soaking up the sun and just relaxing.

Plus we caught a salmon which was lovely grilled with some lemon oil and mint from our garden for lunch the following day!

I never thought I would be much of a fishing person, but I do enjoy spending quality time with Mr B and getting outside in the fresh air. It's very peaceful and very relaxing which is what all weekends should be!

Mrs B xx

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blackberry Fool

Mr B and I arrived at Mum and Dad's for dinner on Tuesday night and as usual we were ushered out of the kitchen to our spots at the dining room table. Having a night where I don't have to cook tea is lovely so I take the opportunity to sit and read the paper and catch up with Mum and Dad whilse Mr B spends his time trying to figure out what is in the pots bubbling on the stove and how to get at the secret desserts hidden in the fridge....

This is the vegetarian butter chicken we had for dinner (with spinach, mushrooms, potatoes and soy meat in place of chicken), topped with fried paneer and served with polenta and cheese toasties! I have never thought of frying the paneer before putting it in a curry before and it just added a whole new layer of texture that I just loved. And I think the paneer toasties are a brilliant idea - think cheese sandwiched between two slices of polenta....and then grilled till it was nice and golden and toasty - to me that sounds perfect to have with a big bowl of steaming winter soup or stew...or in this case - curry!

And this is the magical creation Mum and Dad whipped up for dessert - Blackberry Fool. The tartness of the blackberries paired with the sweetness of the creamy vanilla yoghurt is a match made in heaven.

We rarely have blackberries and that is definitely something I plan to fix because they were awesome and I have so many ideas for things I'd love to bake with them!

For the Blackberry Fool you will need:

300g thawed frozen blackberries
1/4 cup caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
300 ml thickened cream
1.5 cups vanilla yoghurt
Whipped Cream and Chocolate and Vanilla Wafers to serve

In a saucepan over low heat, combine the blackberries, sugar, lemon zest and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until berries are soft. Allow to cool and then blend until smooth. Place in the fridge to chill for 30 mins.

Beat the cream using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold through the vanilla yoghurt.

Gently fold 2-3 tbspns of the blackberry puree through the yoghurt mixture to create swirls.

In a glass, layer the yoghurt mixture with the remaining blackberry puree. Top with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate wafers.

Serves 4 - and enjoy!

Next Friday I'm off to hospital for a small procedure and whilst it may be classified as 'minor day surgery,' to me it still very much involves the word surgery and is still very scary. I mean if it was so 'minor' why have they given me 7-10 days off work to recover? And yes, a week off work will be lovely and peaceful in theory, but it's the reality of it that bothers me.....will I be in pain? will I be bored? will the surgery go Ok? Is this just the beginning?

In case you didn't know, I think too much.

Because my Dad will be at a conference interstate next week and we won't be doing our weekly dinner, Mum and Dad presented me with a 'going to hospital' pack to get me through that week at home. It included 3 of my favourite magazines, some coffee, some milk and honey brioche to dunk in said coffee, my favourite lollies and a Panda Bear heat pack. I was obsessed with Pandas when I was younger and this lil guy is just adorable - perfect to keep me company while I lie on the couch, reading magazines, drinking coffee, eating brioche and eyeing off the lollies.

I never would have thought of giving someone a pack like this but it meant the world to me last night and I just think it is the loveliest idea. I am very lucky to be surrounded by such caring and thoughtful people and I think it's that that makes me think everything is going to be Ok.

Mrs B xx

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mothers Day 2013

Normally for Mothers Day Dad, Mr B and I treat Mum to a day jam packed full of surprises doing everything from movies to shopping to bowling to mini golf. This year however we decided to try something different called relaxing. It was a new concept for the day, but let's be honest, the day is all about Mum and as long as we spend the day together it really doesn't matter what we do.

In saying that however, I don't entirely know what I would do if Dad turned around one year and said we were only going to do breakfast or lunch or dinner....I'd probably still show up on their doorstep at 9am and just kind of hang out there all me that is what the day is about, getting to spend the whole day with my family and getting to spoil them.

So with the key theme of relaxation in mind, we started the day with a leisurely sleep in and a decadent breakfast of french brioche and milky coffee. I discovered dunking my brioche in my thing ever.

After breakfast we trundled into New Norfolk for a look around one of the biggest antique shops I have ever seen. Being so big there really is something for everyone....including cars, bikes, pinball machines and jukeboxes!

Mr B managed to find an old truck out in the grounds and thought it was part of the display so he went for a look....

Closer inspection revealed a coffee cup and some beer cans confirming that it was in fact currently in use....

....But that didn't stop him getting in for a look!

The antique shop is located in an old area called Willow Court and I love what they have done with it, it just makes you feel like you want to spend all day in there exploring!

Next stop, after a bit of a scenic drive through to Westerway, was lunch at The Possum Shed. This is one of Mum and Dad's favourite cafes and is set on the banks of a little creek inhabited by platypus.

This was what Mum and I had for lunch - Lentil Patties on a bed of garden salad....oh and that piece of bacon I pinched out of Dad's BLT!

Then it was home for the most important part - presents!

And last, but not least, we settled in for an afternoon of card games and board games.

After a few games of cards, we broke out a family favourite, Pictionary Man. Don't ask me why it's a favourite, in just this game alone Dad got slapped in the face and nearly lost an eye, Mr B yelled till he went red in the face and at one point I thought Mum was going to snap her texta. Even though we all cursed our partners drawing abilities, we also laughed until we couldn't breathe.....

Well....most of us laughed anyway!

After Mr B and I declared ourselves 'Ultimate Pictionary Champions' the least we could do was go out and get dinner. We drove into New Norfolk and picked up some hot chips, a loaf of bread and some pink champagne Magnums aka the ultimate relaxing and indulgent Mothers Day dinner - plus there was no washing up!


Mrs B xx

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Little Chocolate Cars

I have said it before and I find myself  in a position to say it again. Baking is good for the soul.

Last weekend I was feeling a bit flat and needed a distraction. Normally when this happens I would either go for a walk or bury myself in the kitchen and given it was a cold and rainy day I decided a walk would probably do more damage then good.

So there I am standing in front of the cupboard scouring its contents for inspiration and tapping my foot impatiently when I spot 2 king size Milky Ways peaking out at me from underneath a pile of marshmallows and chocolate melts. You see for my Dad's birthday earlier in the year I originally wanted to make him a race track cake with little cars on it, but then my Mum came up with the idea of making the Iced Vovo Tart and well the rest is history!

These little cars were so much fun to make and bring a big smile to my face every time I see them - they are just so adorable! Mr B has been taking them to work in his lunch box and everyone that's seen them has asked him for one! It's amazing how even grown men can be swayed by tiny little chocolate cars....

I even made one into a little trike.....Mr B and my Dad ended up battling it out in a card game to see who would be declared ultimate champion and get to take that one!

You will need:

2 large Milky Way Bars or Mars Bars sliced into thirds
Tiny Teddies
1/4 cup milk chocolate, melted

Start by taking your milky way and use the melted chocolate to stick your four smartie 'wheels' on.

Use the melted chocolate to stick on your smartie 'steering wheel' and your tiny teddy 'driver.

Super easy and super cute!! The hardest part is not eating all of your 'car parts' and finding 4 matching coloured 'wheels!'

And here are the cupcakes I whipped up later that same day. I love the look of these and they were also really easy.

Take a basic vanilla cupcake and cut the top off of it using a sharp knife.

Use a small cookie cutter to cut a shape out of the cupcake top. Keep both the piece you cut out and the piece you cut it out of.

Frost your cupcakes with buttercream (I divided mine up into portions and dyed each one a different colour.)

Top your cupcakes with either the cut-out shape or the outline piece.


And remember, you're never too old to make, eat or race little chocolate cars!

Mrs B xx

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Aero Bar Slice

After a long day at work on Friday I came home desperate to bury myself in the kitchen. I had been eyeing off this recipe for a long time and finally had all of the ingredients to throw it together. The only problem was that after I had combined all of the ingredients for the slice I was absolutely convinced that it was not going to set properly and leaning more towards the fact that it was going to end up a big crumbly mess.

So rather than actually putting the slice in the fridge and giving it a chance to redeem itself, I stood in the kitchen picking bits off the end of it and willing it to visually set in front of my eyes......5 mins later, nothing and I was just getting more and more frustrated.....

In case you're wondering, patience was never my strong point.......especially when it comes to waiting for things to set or waiting for things to cool before slicing.....I'm totally the girl who always cuts her brownies straight from the oven and then complains about their shape....

So right when I was considering my options for crumbling the whole thing up and starting again Mr B came along, quietly put the slice in the fridge and steered me out of the room. He gave me a big glass of Jamesons, sat me on the couch and confirmed his place as best husband ever.

Although I did sneak back into the kitchen later on to do the melted chocolate for the topping.....

Several hours later and not only was it perfectly set but it tasted just like a Mint Slice biscuit - hello deliciousness!!!

Aero Bar Slice

1 x 250g pkt chocolate ripple biscuits, crushed
150g block Aero Mint Chocolate, broken up
2 tbspn condensed milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tbspn cocoa
125g butter, melted
150g milk chocolate melts
50g butter (extra)

Combine 125g butter and caster sugar. Heat in the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir to combine.

Stir through the cocoa, condensed milk, biscuits and chocolate.

Pour into a slice tin.

Combine remaining butter and chocolate melts and heat in the microwave for 40 seconds. Stir until combined. It may need another 40 seconds to completely melt the chocolate.

Spread the chocolate mixture over the slice and place in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours before cutting.


Mrs B xx

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chocolate and Mixed Berry Trifle

We are still bunkered down in the trenches here with the dessert war not looking like it's going to end any time soon and to be honest it's getting tough. When Dad and Mr B declared 'Dessert War' on each other, I thought it would all die down within a week or two but in the meantime I had a couple of things up my sleeve......

Here we are 6 weeks down the track and Mum and Dad are still bringing out the big guns. Now I know I could take the high road and admit gracious defeat, but I do love any excuse to make a great dessert!!

This week Mum, with the help of her chief jelly slicer / chocolate grater, Dad, whipped up this Chocolate and Mixed Berry Trifle. It was awesome! The berry juice had soaked into the chocolate roll giving it an almost Black Forest feel and I loved the combination of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries as opposed to the typical fruit salad.

To make this Chocolate and Mixed Berry Trifle you will need:

1 x 250g chocolate sponge roll, sliced 2cm thick
1 x pkt of prepared strawberry jelly
500g mixed strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
2 cups of chocolate custard
300ml thickened cream, whipped
2 x 30g Cadbury Top Deck Bars, grated

Prepare the jelly as per packet directions and allow to set in the fridge overnight. Before assembling your trifle, remove the jelly from the fridge and roughly chop.

To assemble your trifle start by placing the chocolate roll slices over the base and up the sides of a glass serving bowl.

Place the berries in a microwave safe dish and heat for 3-4 mins. You want to get to a point where the berries are still holding their shape but have broken down enough to give you some syrup / juice. Pour the syrup / juice over the sponge roll and top with the fruit and jelly.

Pour over the custard and top with whipped cream. Finish off your trifle by sprinkling with the grated chocolate.

Place the trifle back in the fridge until you are ready to serve.


Mrs B xx


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