Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Mighty Barra Burger!

It's been awhile since I posted one of Mum and Dad's Tuesday night specials but last week Mum told me she had something special planned and she doesn't disappoint!!

This golden toasted delight was filled with melt in your mouth barramundi, herb and garlic feta and juicy tomatoes - so good!!!

It's Thursday morning and I'm sitting here in bed eating some stewed apples and vanilla yoghurt, thinking about getting up and going for a jog / walk / stumble around the back paddock and trying not to think about the rest of the day really. I have specialist appointments this afternoon to try and find out whats going on with my iron levels because everyone seems to be totally baffled by the fact that they keep dropping no matter what we do. I think the next step is a hospital stay and some procedures which to be honest I'm really not looking forward to, but just have to wait and see what they say I suppose.

In some lighter and brighter news I got my easter moulds in the mail last night and OH and I have been experimenting with lil eggs and bunnies and I can't wait to show you all our easter goodies! I got some lollipop moulds too and I'm gonna try making some actual lollipops which should be interesting, just need to invest in a candy thermometer first!

Oh and I promised OH I would put his steak, caramelised onion and potato spectacular up as well!! Salt and pepper steaks were heaven!!

I'm off to pipe some crosses on my hot cross cake balls!! But more on them in the easter goodies special!!

Em xx

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tomato, Basil and Bocconcini Chicken with Polenta

This one had been lurking in the recipe folder for some time, I was just unsure about the bocconcini (never tried it) and the polenta (it always blows up on me) but overall it did sound like a nice dish...just kinda hoped someone would do all the hard work for me! But seeing as I have waited and my personal chef hasn't shown up, I thought I better give it a go myself!

All you need is:

1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
2 tspn crushed garlic
2 tspn crushed basil
500g chicken breast fillets, (you could thinly slice them into 4 x thin fillets or I just sliced mine into stir fry kinda style strips)
100g bocconcini thinly sliced
2 cups skim milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup instant polenta (cornmeal)
Some spicy red sauce if you have some handy :)

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Heat tomato in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add garlic and basil simmering for a further 1 minute. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Spray a large non-stick frying pan with olive oil spray. Heat over high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Arrange the bocconcini over the chicken and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is in the oven bring the milk and stock to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. Gradually add the polenta in a thin steady stream, stirring constantly until combined. If you don't stir it constantly it tends to kinda pop and explode....Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 6-7 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Season with salt, pepper and some spicy red sauce, or even a tbspn of your tomato mixture from the chicken, just to tie the flavours in.

Divide the polenta among serving bowls. Top with the chicken mixture and serve.

This is a really delicious dish and whilst it does involve a few elements to make, it is well worth it!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Em x

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Loaf

I figured this week it was time to start baking with some of the lovely (yet cheaper) fruit available and I have never cooked with pears before so this Pear, Raspberry and Coconut Load was a perfect choice. I just had a slice fresh out of the oven with butter and it is absolutely gorgeous :) plus it has no butter in it so it's nice and low fat too!

All you need is:

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
270g light coconut milk
vanilla essence
1 cup frozen raspberries
2 pears, peeled, cored and diced.

Pre-heat oven to 180C (fan forced) and grease and line a loaf tin.

Combine the flour, coconut and caster sugar in a bowl.

Add the eggs, coconut milk and vanilla and stir well.

Stir in the raspberries and pear, but don't over stir.

Pour the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and bake for around an hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Equally good served warm with butter or as a treat in the lunch boxes!


Em x

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Low Fat Creamy Mushroom Pasta

I have avoided pastas with creamy sauces for years, living in fear of the calories and the fat, plus for some reason I really do just prefer a pasta with a good tomato sauce. But anyway, I found this recipe for a low fat version of Pasta Boscaiola, roughly translated means pasta with mushrooms, and it sounded delicious plus I had a hankering for pasta with a lovely creamy sauce that wasn't too rich so I had my fingers crossed that this might be it!

All you need is:

250g pasta
1 x onion (diced)
2 tspns crushed garlic
125g 98% fat free short crust bacon diced (rind removed)
200g button mushrooms (sliced)
1/4 cup dry white wine
250ml tub of light cooking cream (I used the Philadelphia one)

Cook the pasta as per packet directions, I used spaghetti and just chucked it in a big pot of boiling water while I made the sauce.

Spray a large fry pan with non stick oil and add the onion, garic and bacon. Cook for 3-4 mins or until onion has softened.

Add mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 mins.

Add the wine and bring to the boil. Stir in the cooking cream and make sure everything is well combined.

Allow the mix to simmer for 5-6 mins, season with salt and pepper if desired.

Check your pasta, if it's ready, then drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce into the pot and stir well to combine.

This dish serves 4 and it is spot on. It's not too rich or too creamy, but just a lovely light meal that both OH and I really enjoyed (and it's rare that a full fat meat loving man will agree with this little calorie conscious vegetarian girl!)

Hope you all enjoy as much as we did!

Em x

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Maple and Date Cake

Ohhh this is such a lovely, light, delicious and moist cake. Works for a morning / afternoon tea or for dessert drizzled with extra maple syrup and cream....oohhh yum yum yum!!

Maple and Date Cake

This made two normal sized round cakes :)

100g butter
200g pitted dried dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup extra maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200°C and grease two round cake tins or 1 loaf tin.

Place the butter, dates, maple syrup and water in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 3-4 mins (or until the butter is melted) stirring every 60 seconds.

Once the butter is melted and everything is combined, remove from the micorwave and stir in the milk.

Stir flour into the date mixture. Add eggs and stir until just combined. Don't overmix though - the mixture should be lumpy (from the dates...not from your flour!)

Spoon mixture evenly into the prepared pan(s) and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until browned and cooked through when tested with a skewer.

Turn cake(s) onto a wire rack and drizzle with the extra maple syrup while still warm so it soaks in.


Em x

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hoisin Chicken

So when I was doing the grocery list this week I handed the recipe folder over to OH and told him to pick something. He chose this Hoisin Chickenand I admit I was abit dubious about trying it because I dislike ginger but it was FAB-U-LOUS!

All you need is:
2 x chicken breast
1 tbspn Hoisin Sauce
1 tbspn Soy Sauce
1 tbspn Honey
1 tspn Garlic
1 tspn Ginger

Comgine all ingredients excpet for the chicken in a bowl. Add the chicken breast and coat well. Leave in the fridge to marinate for several hours.

When you are ready place the chicken in an oven proof dish and pour sauce over.

Bake for around 20 - 25 mins at 180C (fan forced) or until the chicken is cooked.

Baste with the sauce half way through cooking time.

Serve with steamed green beans and creamy mashed potato!

Yum yum yum!!! I also think this marinade would be delicious in stir frys as the flavour combination just works together so well. There are some strong flavours in there but in actual fact the ingredients all seem to balance each other out.


Em x

Friday, March 18, 2011

St Patrick's Day Goodies

So I searched and searched for an Irish recipe to make for St Patrick's Day and just couldn't find anything that really grabbed me, so then instead of looking for an irish recipe, I started trying to think of a green recipe and I remembered seeing a green vegie stir fry over at The Adirondack Chick and decided to put my own twist on it :)

1 x brocolli diced
1 x zucchini diced
100g baby spinach
1 x onion diced
10 x snow peas diced
1 x greeb capsicum diced
200g tin of water chestnuts
2 tbspns honey
1 tbspn soy
220g thin hokkien noodles

Pre-heat a wok over medium heat and add onion. Cook for 2-3 mins or until softened. Add all remaining vegetables except for the spinach and cook for 7-10 mins or until softened.
Pour boiling water over the noodles in a bowl and seperate with a fork. Drain and set aside.
Add honey, soy and noodles to the vegetables. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 mins.
Season with salt and pepper. Yum yum yum!!

Also for a little St Patrick's Day treat, here is my recipe for Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting! (It makes heaps, which is lucky, coz you end up eating most of it before it's time to ice the cake!!)

.5 cup of Irish Cream Liqueur (I used Feeney's, but you could also use Bailey's or Kilkenney)
200g butter
2-3 cups icing sugar
2 tbspns cocoa

Combine the butter and icing sugar in an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Add the cocoa and liqueur and beat for 3-4 mins. Now here is where your judgement comes in. Get a tspn and grab a small spoonful and try it, check it for thickness and texture and add more butter / liqueur / icing sugar / cocoa depending on how it's going or you might be happy with it as in, in which case you can frost away or hide in the wardrobe with the bowl and a spoon until it's all gone!

Happy St Patricks Day everyone!

Em x

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Did someone say self saucing pudding???

No? Ok so maybe it was just me? Or maybe it's ringing in my ears and permanently embedded on my brain seeing as we have had so much of it in the last week! Winter is definetly here in Tassie so cold winters nights means self saucing puddings.

OH is stuck on the traditional chocolate fudge....

Whilst I felt the urge to try some lemon...

Chocolate Fudge Pudding

1 cup self-raising flour
1.5 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
.5 cup milk
2 tbspn butter (melted)
2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine flour, half the sugar and half the cocoa in a medium bowl. Add the milk and butter and stir until well combined. This recipe should serve 8 and you can make it in a big dish if you want but for OH I make it in 4 individual ramekins coz I think there is just something about self saucing pudding in individual dishes - anyway pour the mixture into your preferred dish / ramekins.

Sift the remaining sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Sprinkle puddings with sugar mixture. Gently pour in boiling water.

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until a cake-like top forms and a skewer inserted halfway into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Serve immediately - this pudding is awesome, it has a thick fudgy delicious sauce that is just heaven with good dollop of cream :)

Lemon Self Saucing Pudding

.5 cup self-raising flour
.25 cup caster sugar
.25 cup milk
1 tbspn butter (melted)
.5 tspn vanilla
1/3 cup caster sugar (extra)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup boiling water

This makes 3 good sized puddings in lil ramekins :)

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Combine first two ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the butter, milk and vanilla and pour into your prepared dish / ramekins.

Sprinkle puddings with the remaining sugar.

Combine lemon juice with boiling water and gently pour over puddings.

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until a cake-like top forms and a skewer inserted halfway into the centre comes out clean.

Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Serve with cream, ice cream, whatever you want really....although personally I love digging a little hole in the middle of my pudding and filling it with cream...mmmmmmmmmm and this pudding was so yummy, it had a beautiful thick lemon sauce and was a nice change, lovely and fresh :)

With all of these puddings keep in mind that if you make them in smaller ramekins instead of one big dish, the cooking time will be less so just keep an eye on them.

And as always, enjoy!!

Em x

Monday, March 14, 2011

Super Scrolls!

I never know what to call these, are they scrolls? Scone logs? Any who they are delicious and easy! You may have seen my previous strawberry scroll? That is pretty damn good, but here are two more variations on the scone log that will have you jumping for joy (or laying on the couch loosening your belt!)

Firstly we have the Nutella and Strawberry Scrolls

These are gooey and chocolatey and would make a spectacular dessert fresh out of the oven with cream :)

All you need is

1 pkt of pastry mix prepared as directed(cheating cheating cheating)
About half a cup of nutella
About half a cup of strawberry jam
Half a cup of sliced strawberries
40g of butter
2 tbspns caster sugar

Preheat oven to 160C fan forced and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
Melt the butter and sugar together in the microwave and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
Roll your pastry mix out into a nice rectangle.
Spread the nutella evenly over the pastry, leaving a 2 cm gap around the long edges.
Spread the strawberry jam over the nutella and scatter with strawberries.
Start from the long edge closest to you and roll the pastry into a tight log. You may experience some leakage and some over flow but thats all good.
Try and bring the ends of your log together and seal to form a ring.
Carefully move to your baking tray and brush with the melted butter and sugar mix. Bake for around 20-25 mins or until golden.
I always get too excited and try and cut it up before it cools - bad idea - you end up with nutella and jam everywhere so be patient, let it cool and then cut it up!

Next we have the Apple and Cinnamon Scroll

Very similar - but not as likely to make your teeth fall out as the first one!

1 box of pastry mix prepared as directed
3/4 cup of stewed apple (I used pie apple so it was chunky but I think the stewed apple would have worked better)
80g butter
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tbspn brown sugar

Preheat oven to 160C fan forced and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
Melt the butter and sugar together in the microwave and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
Roll your pastry mix out into a nice rectangle.
Spread the apple over the pastry, leaving a 2cm gap on your long edges.
Pour about 3/4 of your butter mixture over the apple and sprinkle with the brown sugar.
Start from the long edge closest to you and roll the pastry into a tight log. You may experience some leakage and some over flow but thats all good, just try and avoid any massive splits in your pastry. (Is there an echo in here?)
Try and bring the ends of your log together and seal to form a ring.
Carefully move to your baking tray. Sprinkle some cinnamon into the remaining butter mix and stir to combine.
Brush the ring with the cinnamon butter mix and bake for around 20-25 mins or until golden.
Remember not to cut up until cool! Unless you want to have it hot out of the oven for dessert - in which case go for it, just cover it with cream and ice cream if it falls apart!!

And this week these recipes are also featured over at Sweet As Sugar Cookies!

It's been a long weekend here and I had an RDO on Friday so after 4 days off I am not keen on going back to work tomorrow at all. But apparently I need to work so I can keep baking lol and buying shoes....and clothes...I'm never ever going to be able to retire am I!?

Em x

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sultana and Oat Slice

.....what is with all this healthy baking! Although I think the healthy factor decreases quite rapidly if you eat it in copious amounts....but these are so delicious!! I dare you to only have one....go on....try them! I took them to work today alongside a plate of mocha fudge brownies and these disappeared in record time - who'd have thought!? Great for kids lunch boxes or brekkie on the run :)

Sultana and Oat Slice

125g butter
2 tbsp of honey
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup skim milk (you might need less)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 160 (fan forced)

Line a slice tin with baking paper.

Place butter and honey in a small bowl or jug (microwave proof) and heat in 45 second bursts until melted and combined. Sit aside to cool slightly.

Combine flour, coconut, caster sugar, oats and sultanas in a bowl.

Lightly beat egg and add to dry ingredients, along with the butter mixture. Stir to combine. Now if the mixture looks a touch dry, add a little bit of milk and stir until it comes together nicely.

Press the mixture into the pan using the back of a spoon.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool and then remove from pan and slice. Store in an airtight container. I keep mine in the fridge and then just get it out the night before if I'm taking it to work so it has time to soften.

You could also add some dark chocolate chips or drizzle with dark chocolate if you wanted a bit of a treat :)


Em x

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Vegie Pie

Ok so I forgot to take a photo of the chicken pie....this is how it went down - I was cooking the mix thinking gee this looks good, I should get a photo, then I thought no I'll get one when it's in the dishes. It was in the dishes and I thought gee this looks good, where's the camera...oh never mind I'll get one when it's got the gorgeous pastry on top...then we were sitting there after dinner saying how delicious it was and I thought @#$%%!! bad. But it was delicious!

Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Pie
200g chicken breast diced
2 x zucchini diced
250g button mushrooms
1 x capsicum diced
430g tin of creamed corn
1 pkt pre-made cheese sauce (around 170g)
1 x onion diced
1 x sheet puff pastry
2 sticks celery diced.

In a fry pan over medium heat cook your onion until lightly browned. Add chicken and cook for 3-4 mins until just sealed on all sides.
Add zucchini, mushrooms, capsicum and celery. Give everything a good stir and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 mins until the vegies start to soften.
Add the creamed corn and cheese sauce. Stir well and simmer for 7-10 mins.
Spoon into ramekins (we got two decent sized pies out of this, but you could get 3-4 smaller ones if you were going to serve with a salad).
Cover each ramekin with pastry put a small slit in the middle to let any steam out. Brush with a little egg wash (milk or butter works equally well).
Bake for around 20 mins until pastry is puffed and golden.

Lovely pie for a cold winter's night!

Em x

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jaffa Brownies and Apricot Oat Slice

So today started with a leisurely cup of tea and a bowl of honey toasted muesli in bed while I browsed through some recipe books and tried to figure out what OH and I would have for tea this week. Now have a look at the photo right, the cereal is in a relatively small bowl and that is what came in one of those sample packs...I mean I know they come portion sized and blah blah blah but I very nearly cried when I tipped that into my bowl...BUT I ate it slow and with a teaspoon and wouldn't you know it, it was delicious and kept me full well past lunch time!

Anyway I did my groceries and when I got home I decided to make some jaffa brownies for Allie, she gets back from Melbourne tonight and I have missed her this weekend! I haven't made Jaffa Brownies before but I made my favourite brownie recipe and added a bag of frozen jaffas before it went in the oven. I confess I tried one (can't run the risk of giving bad brownies away!) and they are awesome, if you love choc - orange flavoured stuff then you need to try these!

Jaffa Brownies

For these you need:
125g butter
180g dark chocolate melts
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
250g bag of Jaffas

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
Line a slice tin with baking paper.
Place butter and dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl in the microwave and heat in 45 second bursts (stirring in between) until smooth.
Stir in sugar.
Whisk eggs into chocolate mixture until combined.
Add sifted flour and cocoa. Whisk to combine.
Fold in jaffas.
Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until top is firm to touch.
Set aside to cool before slicing.

You may have seen my choc caramel brownies in other posts - for those you simply substitute a chopped up 220g block of frozen caramello chocolate for the jaffas!

A few weeks ago for Dad's bday you may remember I made some Cranberry, Blueberry and Honey Oat Bars, they were pretty damn good, but I wanted to see if I could make something a bit softer. I found a recipe for Apricot Oat Slice and decided to give it a go.

About half way through I got a bit worried because it has an egg and a bit of water, but no milk or butter in the recipe. I ended up adding a splash of milk just to moisten the mix a bit, but otherwise left it as it was. The end result was fantastic. A soft apricot and sultana slice that was not too cakey, yet not too solid, just lovely and soft and chewy. I will definetly be trying it again.

For this one you need:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp honey (might be easier to melt in the microwave first)
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
About 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sultanas
1 cup dried apricots diced, soaked in water for an hr then drained - reserve 2 tbspns of water to add to mixture
extra desiccated coconut for coating

Pre-heat oven to 160C fan forced.
Combine plain flour, baking powder, sugar, coconut and oats in a bowl.
Add egg, honey, milk, apricots, sultanas and water. Mix to combine. If you need to add more milk then do so.
Place the mixture in a lined slice tray and sprinkle the top with coconut.
Bake for around 15mins.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.

Now that I've gardened, vaccumed, washed and baked I'm kicking back on the couch with a cup of tea. There is even a Zucchini, Mushroom and Creamy Chicken Pie waiting to go in the oven when OH gets home (more on the pie later in the week!).

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Em x

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's All Happening!!

OH went to work at 6am this morning and it is freezing here so I cranked the electric blanket and jumped back into bed for a snooze. It's now 8am and I'm sitting in my warm snuggly bed with a bowl of toasted honey muesli and a hot cup of tea thinking I could quite easily stay here all day! And believe me I would but it's been awhile since OH has worked a full weekend and to be honest I'm quite looking forward to it. I have heaps of stuff planned for this weekend, this morning I'm going out for a coffee with Mum and Dad and my Uncle and Aunty who are visiting from interstate that we haven't seen for at least 5 years and I'm really looking forward to that. And then I'm going to have lunch with OH and we have a Liveat date (Liveat is fantabulous, like Subway but a million times better) and then *drum roll* I'm getting a new tattoo, I can't wait. This one is more of an addition on an old one, but it's going to incorporate my parent's initials and two of my favourite things - cupcakes and shoes!! I'll come back later and post photos and tell you how it all went!'

In other news, due to some boys are morons and you should spend your life living for you moments this week, my best friend Allie and I have decided to finally bite the bullet and go for our motorcycle learner's license. We are all booked in for an intro to riding course on Monday afternoon (and my Mum's even coming with us!) and once we do that we can go to a Pre Learner's Weekend where you do like a ride around and stuff and then you just have to do a written test and ta da! Allie and Emily on the road again!! We are both mega excited (and terrified!) and I think Mum is mega terrified (with a hint of excitement!) but it is something both Allie and I have always wanted to do so fingers crossed it all goes ok and we manage to stay upright!

Anyway, I have to drag my warm butt out of bed and shave my legs so the tattoo lady thinks I have soft, silky smooth legs all the time (why the hell do I care??) - I'll be back this arvo!

Ok so I'm back now! Catching up with my Aunty and Uncle was fantastic, sat in the sun with a nice cup of tea and had a great catch up, it was just like they never left :)

OH was too busy for lunch, but that's fine, he was cranky anyway.

So after a satisfying lunch of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate I have officially found my new favourite tattoo artist and possibly the woman of my dreams (if I was that way inclined)....Candice spent a good 2.5hours on my tattoo, we used 14 different colours and I was totally enthralled the whole way through, I love watching the whole thing come together and she did an amazing job, I couldn't have asked for anything better! What do you think?

I think I'm in love!!

Em x

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes with a Frangelico and White Chocolate Ganache

I thought I should make something nice to bring into work today, something with a bit of 'oomph'...after much deliberation I decided to make a recipe for top deck cupcakes I have had lying around for ages, and add some 'oomph' to it by turning them into chocolate cupcakes with a frangelico and white chocolate ganache :)

To start with you will need:

125g butter, chopped
1 cup caster sugar
100g dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup hot water
2 tablespoons Frangelico Liqueur
¾ cup plain flour
2 tablespoons self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten

White chocolate ganache
100g white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons thickened cream
3 tbspns Frangelico Liqueur

Preheat oven to moderate, 180°C. Line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper cases (When I made this I got 12 normal cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes as well)

Combine butter, sugar, water, chocolate and liqueur in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth - alternatively you can heat in the microwave, stirring regularly. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Cool 10 minutes.

Sift flours and cocoa together. Fold into chocolate mixture. Stir in egg. Spoon mixture into cupcake cases until 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean or the cupcakes bounce back when you touch them. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the ganache, melt chocolate and cream in the microwave, once it has cooled slightly stir through 2-3 tbspns of Frangelico - check for taste and add more if you want!)

Using an electric mixer, beat chocolate mixture for 3-5 minutes until thick and fluffy. Unfortunately I only had extra light cream so it wouldn't thicken but the end result was still yummy. Once your frosting is ready, spread over cooled cupcakes.

Despite eating far too much of the ganache last night and swearing never to go near it again, I have to confess it's only 8am and I have already had one of these for breakfast....


Em x

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jelly Slice

This is another one of those things I have wanted to make for years but have never been game enough to try, but during a weekend baking frenzy I thought why the hell not!

For the base you will need:

1/2 pkt of crushed biscuits (Marie, Butternut Snap, Teddy Bears, whatever you prefer)
125g melted butter
A good spoonful of frosting (I had some leftover brown sugar frosting in the fridge so I added that - but you could use around 100g melted milk chocolate too)

For the filling you will need:

1 tbspn gelatine
2 tbspn water
250g cream cheese (at room temperature)
395g tin of condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
150g white chocolate (melted)

For the jelly topping you will need:

1 x 85g pkt of jelly crystals
1 cup boiling water

Begin by lining a slice tin with baking paper.

Combine base ingredients in a bowl, if the mix looks too dry add more frosting / chocolate or butter. Press into the base of the tin and chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling and jelly topping.

Combine jelly crystals and boiling water in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place in the fridge to cool.

Combine the gelatine and water in a small bowl or jug and heat in the microwave for 10 seconds. Stir and heat again for a further 10 seconds. Stir well so that the gelatine is dissolved and allow to cool slightly.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth.

Add the lemon juice and melted white chocolate. Beat until all ingredients are combined. Now might be a good time for a quick taste test to see if you want to add a lil more lemon juice - I like mine to have a real zing.

Add the gelatine mixture and beat for 3-4 mins, scraping down the sides as you go. Spread the filling over the chilled base and allow to chill in the fridge.

After around an hour the cheesecake filling should be set and the jelly should be cool. When this occurs, gently pour the jelly over the filling and place back in the fridge to set for around 2 hours.

Try not to sit down and eat it all in one go with a big spoon....I warn you it is very very tempting...and I must confess when I got it out and cut it up, the kitchen happy dance made a come back!!

Em x

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicken Macaroni and Cheese with a Twist!

I have had a massive craving for mac and cheese lately, but not your average mac and cheese, I wanted something more, something with zing, something with vegies...but I just wasn't sure how to bring it all together. In the end it just kinda fell together and I was worried it would be a disaster, but it was delicious and a new family favourite!!

So for this Chicken Mac and Cheese with a Twist you will need:

120g macaroni
300g four cheese pasta bake sauce
300g chicken breast (diced)
1 x capsicum (diced)
2 x sticks celery (diced)
120g button mushrooms (sliced)
1/4 cup spicy red sauce
2 tbspns worcestershire
1/2 cup grated pizza cheese

Cook your pasta in the microwave or on the stove.
Meanwhile in a fry pan over medium heat cook your onion for 2-3 mins and then add chicken. Cook until just sealed.
Add capsicum, celery and mushrooms. Cook for 4-5 mins.
Drain pasta and pour into 2 small ramekins or one large baking dish.
Mix in sauces, chicken and vegetables.
Top with grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden.

So simple and easy and yummy!!

Em x


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