Food experienced by a girl who loves chocolate, peanut butter, bacon, cups of tea and all things carbs.

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Peanut Butter and Nutella Brownies


Bringing two of my favourites together. This is a very easy recipe to make.

Ingredients:



1/3 cup of Nutella
1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter (or 4 heaped tablespoons) - I use the light and crunchy woolworths select brand.
80g Unsalted softened butter
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup of plain flour (sifted)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Method:
1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 180 degrees C
2. Line a square baking pan with baking paper
3. Cream peanut butter, unsalted butter and brown sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer.
4. Add vanilla and egg, mix until lighter in colour and well combined.
5. Add flour, starting on a lower speed mix through.
6.  Put the mixture in the pan and spread out evenly.
7. Spoon dollops of Nutella on the top and swirl the Nutella into the mixture with a knife.
8. Bake for 25 minutes. It will still be quite soft, it will harden as you allow to cool. Cut into pieces to serve.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Roya's Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip cookies (+ a Snickers variation)


 

These cookies are actually my sister's recipe and are always a hit.

INGREDIENTS: 
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sr flour (more if needed)
1/2 cup choc chips
3 tablespoon peanut butter crunchy light

Makes approximately 15 cookies.

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 180℃ (fan-forced).

Put flour, sugar and peanut butter in a mixing bowl and combine with a wooden spoon until it resembles a breadcrumb consistency (you may need to work it together with your fingers). Add choc chips and mix through.

Next, add lightly beaten egg and combine. At this stage the mixture will be quite wet, depending on the size of the egg and oiliness of the peanut butter. Gradually add more flour and work mixture into a dough. Knead the mixture while adding flour until the mixture resembles a workable dough that only just sticks to your hands.
 
Roll the dough into a log and wrap in cling film. Place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. This helps make the dough more workable.

Once out of the refrigerator, place on a lightly floured chopping board and cut dough log into approximately 1cm slices. Roll into a ball and place on baking tray. Flatten the dough balls slightly with the back of a fork.
Bake at 180℃ for 8-10 minutes. I usually bake them for 8 minutes, then turn the tray around and cook for a further 2 minutes. However, depending on how much dough you use for each cookie you may need more or less time. Cookies should will be lightly golden.


Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

The cookies will be quite soft when they are just out of the oven but will harden as they cook on a cooling rack.

NOTE: The pictures for this recipe used double the ingredients. If doubling it might make it easier to divide the dough in half and roll into 2 separate logs to make it easier to refrigerate.

SNICKERS VARIATION:
If you want to make a snickers variation. Substitute the choc chips for 4 fun-sized snickers chopped up. Also use 1 less tablespoon of peanut butter.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Spaghetti with roast chicken, cashew basil pesto and cherry tomato


This is one of my favourite dishes to make, easy and can feed a family. I make it when I have people coming over for lunch or as a side at barbeques. Can be eaten hot or cooled. Unlike most pesto pastas I don't use a lot of oil or any cream. I prefer mine herby rather than oily.

Ingredients:
1 shredded roast chicken -  I usually by mine premade at Costco or Coles. Remove all the chicken off the bone, pull apart into little pieces with your hands. Discard the stuffing but keep the skin and the juices from the bag or container it comes in, it adds a lot of flavour.


1 red onion thinly sliced
1 bunch of basil - leaves only, large stems removed
1/4 cup of cashews
1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan (the powdery stuff works well)
5 cloves of garlic
Olive oil - about 3 tablespoons
Mushrooms - about 200g
Freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste
1 packet of spaghetti
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes cut in halves.

Method:
Put spaghetti on to cook as per instructions on the packet, while preparing the sauce.

In a food processor add garlic cloves, cashews and basil, blend until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Add salt and pepper, a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the parmesan cheese. Mix together.


Brown onions and mushrooms in a pan with some oil.

Add chicken to the pan, add about a 1/4 cup or boiled water or chicken stock liquid and heat until reduced. Add Cherry tomatoes. Add blended basil mixture.

Combine together. Stir into pasta.





Aunty Ruth's Rock Buns

My Great Aunty Ruth is the greatest. This is one of my favourite biscuit recipes of all time. Simple and tasty, the name makes them sound hard but they are actually melt-in-you-mouth buttery. At 89 years of age, this recipe has been around for a long time, it was passed down from her mother. No one can make them quite as good as her but we always try.
 

Ingredients:
225g Self-raising flour
110g Salted butter
1 egg
80g Sultanas
110g white Sugar plus more for dusting
Tablespoon of milk

Sift flour into a bowl, rub in butter. Mix in sugar and then sultanas. Beat eggs and a very small amount of milk (probably only about a tablespoon) together then mix into the dry ingredients. Add more milk if necessary to make a dough. Place spoonfuls on greaseproof pater on a baking tray. Sprinkle with plain white sugar. Put in the freezer for a few minutes. Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees if fan forced, 220 if conventional) for about 8 minutes. Cook until lightly golden.


Enjoy with a cup of tea.



Monday, 29 September 2014

Roasted Pumpkin, caramelised onion, marinated feta, toasted almond and baby spinach salad

So basically all of the ingredients are listed in the title. Sorry forgot to take a photo of this one.

Kent pumpkin (skin on). Cut into chunks. Coat with olive oil. Roasted on 200 degrees c for about an hour. Until outside changes to a dark caramel color.

Cut a red onion into fine slices. Put in a pan with a little olive oil, a couple of teaspoons of sugar and some water. Cook until lovely and caramel.

For the marinated feta you can make your own, or cheat like me. I buy Yarra Valley Feta marinated in olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Lovely. Use as much as you like, there is no dressing to this salad so this will form a lot of the flavour so make sure to include some of the oil to coat the salad.

Toast some almonds (whole or slivered) in a pan until brown.

Put baby spinach leaves in a salad bowl and add all the other ingredients. Toss together. It's a real crowd pleaser.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

My version of Thai Beef Salad

I've always wanted to try and make this, but I'm not Thai and I hate not doing other cultures dishes justice. I think I did pretty well with this one.


100g-200g (depending of how much meat you want) lean rump steak chargrilled  medium rare brushed with olive oil - Don't over cook! Leave to rest on a chopping board for about 5 minutes prior to thinly slicing.

Dressing:
Ginger finely chopped (about a teaspoon)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 small red chilli chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Mix together, and that's the dressing done!
Salad:
Coriander leaves  1 small bunch
Baby spinach leaves a few handfuls
Basil handful from a fresh bunch
1 carrot finely julianned
1 red onion sliced thinly
1 Lebanese cucumber cut small
1 tomato chopped

Toss the salad, add the beef and add the dressing. Done!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Martha Stewart's Salted Caramel Six-Layer Chocolate Cake


I made this cake for my Mum and Sister for their joint birthday celebration. I thought, how hard could it be to make a fancy cake that is exactly what I want? Well, it wasn't hard, time-consuming...sure, but worth it? HELLS YES!

This cake is the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever tasted in my life. No joke. Martha you are amazing. Not only was I so impressed by its moist delicious goodness, everyone that has tried it agrees.
Now, first up let me say, this is an American recipe, so understandably some of the ingredients are hard to find (but not impossible!), and obviously I had to convert everything into metric, which isn't hard thanks to Google. I had to substitute a few things, but they were so close I can't imagine that even if I had the true ingredients listed that this cake could get any better!

I'm not going to post the recipe on my blog, but here is the link: http://www.marthastewart.com/857647/salted-caramel-six-layer-chocolate-cake

I decided to make a 4 layer cake instead of 6, so I used 2/3rds of the ingredients listed in the recipe for the cake, but made the listed caramel and frosting as I couldn't be bothered working out the proportions for those.

If you live in Melbourne you can find Corn Syrup at CakeDeco in the CBD. It's about $11 for a bottle.
For help with substitutions or Australian Equivalents:

Safflower oil - Vegetable oil (substitution)
Semisweet chocolate - I've used both Cadbury Dark Block 45% Cooking Chocolate or Nestle Plaistowe Premium Dark Cooking Chocolate, both work great.
Dutch cocoa powder - you can find this at Woolworths in the baking aisle. I found the Nestle brand.

Granulated sugar - Normal White sugar
All-purpose flour - Plain flour
Baking soda - bicarb soda
Coarse salt - I made my own with a salt grinder set to the coarse setting.
Heavy Cream - Pure Cream
Confectioner's sugar - Icing sugar

Maldon sea salt flakes - These can be found a Woolworths with other types of Salt. The second time I made this cake I used this more liberally for the top of the cake, it tastes so good with the crunchiness and saltiness with the sweetness of the chocolate.

With the Salted-Caramel, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. The first batch I made I burnt so I had to throw out. If you aren't sure, take it off the heat sooner rather than later! It should not taste bitter! Use a thermometer if you have one. The extra salted caramel can be kept in little glass jars in the fridge or given as a gift. So yummy! Great for Icecream, cupcakes etc.

Happy Baking!