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Archive for the ‘Desserts & Sweets’ Category

A different take on the normal rocky road, this recipe features biscuits which gives it the crunch. A great and quick dessert if you don’t feel like baking.

 

Nigella's Rocky Road Crunch Bars

Nigella's Rocky Road Crunch Bars

 

 

Nigella’s Rocky Road Crunch Bars

  • 125 grams butter (softened)
  • 300 grams best quality dark chocolate (broken into pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 200 grams biscuits (i used Oreo’s)
  • 100 grams mini marshmallows
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar (for dusting)

Method

  1. Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan
  2. Scoop out about 125ml of this melted mixture and put to one side
  3. Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin (you are aiming for both pieces and crumbs)
  4. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, and then add the marshmallows
  5. Tip onto a tray (24cm) and flatten as best as you can with a spatula
  6. Pour the reserved chocolate mixture over the marshmallow mixture and smooth the top
  7. Refridgerate for about 2 hours or overnight
  8. Cut into fingers and dust with icing sugar

This recipe was adapted from Nigella’s website

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Still on my search for the perfect the brownie….

Walnut Brownie

Walnut Brownie

Walnut Brownie

Ingredients

  • 115 grams unsalted butter
  • 115 grams bitter chocolate
  • 115 grams dark chocolate
  • 200 grams brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 grams plain flour
  • 150 grams coarsely chopped walnuts

Method

  1. pre-heat the oven to 160C
  2. Line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin and line with baking paper
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave on a low heat
  4. Once melted, stir to blend the butter and chocolate together, then add the sugar, salt and vanilla
  5. Beat the eggs one at a time, then beat in the flour and half the walnuts
  6. When the batter is smooth, pour into the tin, sprinkle over the remaining pecans and bake for 35 – 40 minutes
  7. Cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes. Lift the baking paper and transfer the brownies to a chopping board
  8. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for three to four days

If you don’t like walnuts, you can subsitute it for pecans or leave the nuts out altogether. Either way, it’s very chocolately and fudge like. Yum!

Walnut Brownie

Walnut Brownie

Recipe adapted from 500 Cookies by Phillipa Vanstone

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***STOP PRESS***

I think i have found it. An almost as good alternative to the Monaco Bar.

Alternative to the Monaco Bar - Ice Cream Sandwhich

Alternative to the Monaco Bar - Ice Cream Sandwhich

It’s made by The Authenic Ice Cream Company and it’s called the Ice Cream Sandwhich.

Ice Cream Sandwhich

Ice Cream Sandwhich

From memory, the Monaco Bar was a little bigger, but the texture is as i remember it. The chocolate “bread” is soft (not like some other Monaco wannabe’s i’ve tried in my time) and the icecream smooth. It comes in peppermint and vanilla flavour (i bought both) and i’m pleased to say i love them both. For years i’ve been craving the Monaco Bar and i’m just so glad that there is something out there to satisfy it!

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I often make cheesecakes so i’m surprised i haven’t posted a recipe yet. The best thing about most cheesecake recipes is that you can just change the main ingredient to whatever takes your fancy. As usual, i was feeling peckish for something sweet so after scouring my cupboard for some inpiration, i stumbled across a packet of Oreos i had bought last month (and subsequently forgotten about!). 

It is quite easy to put together, it’s just the waiting time that i don’t like (i am not the most patient person at the best of times – something i am working on).

Oreo cheesecake

Oreo cheesecake

Oreo Cheesecake

  • 1 packet digestive biscuits (i used Marie biscuits)
  • 80 grams butter (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons gelatine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2x 250 grams cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • 150 grams white chocolate (melted)

Method

  1. Grease and line a square or circle 9 inch pan
  2. To make the crust, place the biscuits in a food processor or blender and pulse until you have fine crumbs
  3. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the melted butter until combined
  4. Press evenly into the pan and use the back of a spoon to even and smooth out any chunks
  5. In a small saucepan, combine the gelatine and water over medium heat. Stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved
  6. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until creamy
  7. Add cream, white chocolate and gelatine and mix until well combined
  8. With a rolling pin or mallet, gently smash the Oreo’s until they are crushed (i put them in a zip lock bag to prevent mess everywhere)
  9. Place Oreos into the mix and with a wooden spoon gently fold through
  10. Pour mixture into the pan and refridgerate overnight (we waited 3 hours and it was sufficent!)

My obsession with cupcakes is growing by the day. I’m not sure why i love them so much. Maybe it’s my obsession with all things small. Lately, i’ve been searching all things cupcake. As i trawl through thousands of sites featuring cupcakes i’m finding myself totally inspired by all the amazing, creative creations out there. I’ve got hundreds of pics saved for inspiration but here just are a few of my favourite:

Lace cupcake wrappers – so perfect for a wedding

Lace cupcakes

Lace cupcakes

GO OBAMA! What better way to celebrate history in the making than with an Obama cupcake!

Obama cupcake

Obama cupcake

 Pretty cupcakes perfect for a bridal shower or afternoon tea

Pretty in pink cupcake

Pretty in pink cupcake

 These dog cupcakes are perfect for your little pooch’s birthday. They almost look too good to eat!

Dog cupcakes

Dog cupcakes

 This cupcakes reminds me of Martha Stewart. So pretty and elegant.

Chic cupcakes

Chic cupcake

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I am so surprised i haven’t blogged a Nigella recipe yet. She is my idol and why i got into baking in the first place. Ever since we subscribed to Foxtel i became hooked to the food channel and that is where i first realised how awesome she is. I had always known and heard how great Nigella is but it’s not until you actually see her at work that you realise she’s got that something extra special.

I came across this recipe on her website and decided to try it since i had a jar of morello cherries sitting in the cupboard. Unfortunately i couldn’t get hold of the morello cherry jam but i did have raspberry jam and it seemed to do the trick.

These cupcakes are deliciously yummy. The cupcake itself is soft and spongey and the dark rich icing gives it the a little oompf.

Nigella's Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Nigellas Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Nigella’s Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

  • 125 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 100 grams dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 300 grams morello cherry jam
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 150 grams self-raising flour

For the icing

  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 12 natural glace cherries (i used morello cherries)

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C
  2. Put the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan on the heat to melt. When nearly completely melted, stir in the chocolate. Leave for a moment to begin softening, then take the pan off the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted
  3. Add cherry jam, sugar, salt and eggs
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon and when all is pretty well amalgamated, stir in the flour
  5. Scrape and pour into the muffin papers in their tin and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning out
  7. When the cupcakes are cool, break the chocolate for the icing into little pieces and add them to the cream in the saucepan
  8. Bring to the boil, remove from heat and then whisk by hand or electrically till thick and smooth
  9. Ice the cupcakes, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon
  10. Stand a cherry in the centre of each

Recipe from Nigella’s website

When it comes to biscuits, nothing belts a melting moment. A good melting moment literally does, melt in your mouth. Once the biscuit melts, you’re left with the sweet and soft filling, also melting on your tongue creating dance waves across your taste buds.

When it comes to eating my own creations, i’m usually quite good at restraining myself. I get more pleasure of out making things rather than eating them (the pleasure comes from seeing others enjoy my cooking) but i have to say when it comes to melting moments, i just cannot stop at one… or two.. or five.

Melting Moments

Melting Moments

Melting Moments

Biscuits

  • 200 grams butter (softened) (not unsalted butter please)
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour

Filling

  • 1 cup icing sugar (sifted)
  • 45 grams butter (softened)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For passionfruit filling, replace lemon juice with passionfruit

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 150C
  2. Line two baking trays with baking paper
  3. Using an electric beater or electric hand mixer, beat butter, icing sugar and vanilla together until creamy and completely corporated and smooth
  4. Add cornflour and mix till well combined, then add flour and mix well
  5. Using your hands, roll mixture into balls and place on tray (make sure there are even numbers)
  6. Using a flat surface (i used bottom of a cup and floured it a little to stop it sticking), gently flatten the balls to form discs (make sure the balls are all the same size)
  7. Using a fork, press into the centre of the discs to indent them
  8. Bake for 20 minutes until they are golden and firm to the touch
  9. To ensure the biscuits are even, swap the trays half way through
  10. Cool biscuits on the tray for 10 minutes then transfer onto a wire rack for another 10 minutes
  11. Whilst waiting for the biscuits to cool, make filling
  12. Pipe or place a heaped teaspoon onto flat side of one biscuit and top with another, pressing down gently
  13. Repeat process till all biscuits are filled

Lemon Filling

  1. Using an electic mixer or a hand held beater, beat butter, icing sugar and lemon until incorporated and smooth

Biscuits will keep well in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days – if they last that long!