one-pot wonderland

SPICED APPLE CAKE.

The time has finally come to kiss winter goodbye. Cold weather and gloomy days you will not be missed. What will be missed though is the warming puddings, slow cooker meals, creamy soups, decadent desserts and all the comfort (calories) these glorious winter foods bring.

To send off winter why not cook up one last magical one bowl/dish/pan/pot wonder. For an easy dessert idea, I’d suggest using up any sad looking apples sitting in the fruit bowl and create a delicious spiced apple cake. This fruity and cinnamon spiced cake is more like a pie without the pastry making it super quick to cook and even easier to eat straight from the oven. Or the bowl/dish/pan/pot/tray. To give it that extra level of comfort top it off with a dollop of ice-cream and a good ol’ drizzle of maple syrup.

Until next year, goodbye winter xoxo0img_6599-copy0img_6647-copy-copy7IMG_6630 copy
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Recipe Source: Donna Hay Magazine (August Issue 2016)

Ingredients
¹⁄³ cup (75g) white (granulated) sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 red apples, cored and chopped
1¼ cups (185g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
¾ cup (185g) caster (superfine) sugar
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
¾ cup (180ml) milk
125g unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the white sugar and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon in a large bowl and mix to combine. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon sugar. Add chopped the apple to the large bowl and toss with the cinnamon sugar to combine. Place the flour, caster sugar, nutmeg, eggs, milk, butter, vanilla and remaining cinnamon in a separate large bowl and whisk to combine. Place half the apple mixture in the base of a lightly greased 20cm (8-cup-capacity) heavy-based ovenproof frying pan (skillet), pour over the batter and top with the remaining apple mixture. Sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar and cook for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Serves 6–8.

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sundae fundae

ICE CREAM COOKIE SANDWICH.

Sundays are reserved for fun days. It is on these days, you deserve to treat yo self to a little indulgence. Sundays are also lazy days and no one wants to spend hours prepping a homemade apple pie, pastry and all.

Create that instant treat yo self moment by whipping up a no fuss ice cream sundae or perhaps try the latest fad to brace our screens and the answer to all of our ice cream dreams, the ice cream sandwich.

Similar to a sundae an ice cream sandwich consists of ice cream sandwiched between cookies and… actually, they are quite different. But ice cream!? And cookies!? Am I right?

Right… so here we go…

Take two chocolate chip cookies, a big dollop of vanilla (or in this case, banana) ice cream, add some other toppings like sprinkles, peanuts, choc chips or coconut, then press together and voilà! In minutes you will have yourself a delicious frosty treat, perfect for those lazy sundays and just as yummy as those classic sundaes.

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dare to bare.

CHOCOLATE MERINGUE LAYER CAKE.

A few weeks ago I had the urge to bake a cake. Conveniently this urge fell on the eve of my birthday (yes, this later turned into me baking my own birthday cake). I peered into the pantry, pulled out some essentials and settled on a Chocolate Meringue CakeI’ve made this cake before, but this time I wanted to make it celebration worthy.

I jumped aboard the naked cake bandwagon (better late than never) by whipping up some cream and covering the outside, while leaving some parts exposed. It keeps it rustic, fresh and bares a little to keep you guessing what is to come and my favourite part – the inside.

Hiding at the bottom is a layer of a rich and moist chocolate cake, while the second layer is filled with dates, nuts, chocolate chunks and chewy meringue. Finish it off with some juicy blood plums, strawberries, cherries and toasted almonds. Pop on some candles, sing a song, celebrate this beauty of a cake and say cheers to getting another year older.

Don’t be scared of getting naked, after all it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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Recipe Source: Donny Hay

Chocolate meringue cake
240g dark chocolate, chopped
180g unsalted butter, chopped
2 eggs
4 eggs, extra, separated
½ cup (90g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup (50g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
⅓ cup (40g) almond meal (ground almonds)
1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
3 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
¼ cup (25g) Dutch cocoa, sifted, plus extra, for dusting

pass the salt.

SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES.

Sugar would be the more appropriate word when describing cakes, cupcakes, chocolate, muffins and brownies. But today, sugar is taking a backseat. Instead, it’s all about the salt. Salt is the ‘it’ word in the foodie scene and just popping salt in front of what is normally a sweet food, makes mouths drool and people go crazy. Salted caramel, salted chocolate, salted ganache, salted mocha nutella brownies. You name it, you can salt it.

I decided to give this salted craze a go and made these amazing SALTED Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. With ingredients such as olive oil, coffee and salt, these are certainly not your average cupcakes. But my oh my it makes for a winning combination. They are moist and decadent and a light (or generous) sprinkle of sea salt on the chocolate ganache helps cuts through the richness. I’m not sugar-coating anything here, they are simply and seriously delicious and you can most definitely go back for seconds.

There are few food combinations that can reach total culinary perfection, but salted desserts are definitely pushing the boundaries and crossing the line into perfect territory. Soon I imagine we will all be sitting around the dining table eating our chocolate cake and asking someone to please, pass the salt. No judgements will be made. #saltygoodness

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IMG_6056Recipe from Well-plated by Erin.

Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes
Makes: 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, shaken
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

For the Salted Chocolate Ganache
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee
Fleur de sel or fine sea salt, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Place rack in the upper third of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a a standard 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until combined. In a separate medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee and continue mixing, just until combined. The batter will be very thin.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups and bake 18 – 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in to the center of one cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then with a fork, gently lift them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. Prepare the ganache: Place the chocolate, heavy cream, and instant coffee in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not allow the water to boil or to touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the chocolate, stirring often, until almost completely melted. Remove bowl from the sauce pan and stir gently with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is silky smooth.
  5. While the ganache is still warm, spoon it over the top of each cupcake. While the ganache is still wet, sprinkle with fleur de sel. Let cupcakes sit a few moments to set, though ganache will not harden completely. Serve and enjoy.

Store leftover Salted Chocolate Olive Oil Cupcakes at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five days. Although coffee is included in the batter and ganache, it adds moisture and intensifies the chocolate flavor. The cake, however, does not taste like coffee.

muffin makeover

Upside-down maple & apple muffins.

These are not your average apple and cinnamon muffin. The old recipe has gone out the window, been flipped upside-down and this is the spectacular result….

The muffins are filled with cinnamon, topped with slices of golden apple and drizzled with glossy maple syrup. Simply delish! 

Just by adding a little more effort to the plane jane muffin, you can easily transform them into an impressive afternoon treat or dessert. The original recipes uses pears, but apples work just as well combined with the sweet maple. And they taste even better straight from the oven oozing with warm, sticky syrup along with a pot of tea.

Take a break, do a handstand, make some muffins and watch as your world is turned upside-down when these golden babies pop out of the oven! #muffinmakeover

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Recipe: By Donna Hay
Ingredients:
2 small (400g) apples (granny smith or pink lady)
¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup, plus extra to serve
1¼ cups (185g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (60ml) milk
¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil

give the yo-yo a go.

Passionfruit melting moments.

Yo-yos more commonly known as melting moments are another old school recipe to add to your repertoire. Resembling a toy yo-yo they are delicious, crumbly, buttery and simply melt in your mouth.

The next level up from your standard shortbread, two biscuits are sandwiched together between a layer of creamy vanilla or passionfruit icing. Yo-yos can be made into all different sizes from mini to large and perfect with a cup of tea.

Like the name implies, this classic biscuit reminds me of moments in time. From family celebrations to afternoon teas enjoying homemade treats and even the time my netball team was named the Yo-yos after the shortbread master (my Nan).

This recipe has been tried and tested by many but for some reason they never quite work out exactly the same as the pro. What is the secret!?! #patienceiskey #workingonit

If there’s one recipe worth giving a go – I highly recommend the yo-yo!

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Recipe:
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups SR Flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp icing sugar
180g melted butter (6 oz)

For the Icing: 
5 tbsp icing sugar
Butter
Water
Vanilla/Passionfruit Pulp

Combine flour, cornflour, icing sugar and (melted) butter and mix with hands. Roll into even sized balls and place onto tray with baking paper. Press fork into the balls. Cook for 15 mins at 180c.

Combine icing ingredients together. Adding a little more icing sugar if needed until you achieve a smooth, thick consistency to spread onto the biscuits. Place onto half the biscuits and press the other biscuit on top making sure the fork marks are facing the same way.

dating back.

NUT LOAF.

It’s a long weekend here in Melbourne and it’s also officially winter! (Brrrrrrrr)

As you take some time out to catch up the first half of the year, now is also the perfect chance to catch up on some home-baking, soup-making, slow-cooking and casseroling.
All the classic recipes that we never seem to have time for during our busy work days.

Here is a simple but special nut loaf recipe from my Nan. It looks a little different to the original but it tastes just as good filled with dates and walnuts. It’s even better freshly served with butter.

Dust off the apron, turn on the oven and get baking! #throwbackrecipes

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Date and Walnut Loaf Recipe:
2 Cups Plain Flour
1 Cup Sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 cup boiling water
1 cup mixed dates/walnut – chopped

Sift plain flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb soda into bowl. Add margarine and golden syrup. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir to combine. Then add the dates and walnuts. Pour into loaf tin lined with baking paper. Cook for 30-45mins at 170c.