Coconut Chocolate Truffles

Voluptuous Dark Chocolate enrobes seductively moist Coconut

that’s sure to send your taste buds into a Mouthgasm!

DSC_0002

Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in 2 & 1/4 cups of desiccated coconut, 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil, 1/3 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 cup of maple syrup (the real stuff guys!) & 1 tablespoon of vanilla paste then give that lot a jolly good stir until it’s nice & sticky so you can form balls with it – if it’s too wet add a wee bit more desiccated coconut or if it’s too dry add a splash more coconut milk.

Form the mix into ball shapes (this requires some gentle squeeze & pushing action rather than traditional rolling) & pop those onto a baking paper lined tray & whack in the freezer for at least an hour – you can leave them in there overnight if you want to get prepared for a party or something of the sort.

When ready, break up some good quality dark chocolate into a bowl & place over a pot of simmering water, be very careful for the water NOT to touch the bottom of the bowl or your chocolate will seize, & allow that to melt before dipping the coconut balls into the chocolate to cover them completely. Let them set on another baking paper lined tray.

You could get fancy with decorating them with some shredded coconut or use a fork to impress lines in the still wet chocolate.

When all the balls are dipped, simply set them in the fridge before devouring greedily!

Classic Buttercream

Sometimes it’s the simple basic’s that are the often the best.

IMG_20160610_065921

Every baker should have a go-to Buttercream recipe that is simple, quick & easy to whip up that tastes as good as it looks!

So this is my TWO ingredient Classic Buttercream.

First beat 250g of room temperature butter (I use Lurpak) until it’s very pale. Then add 2 & 1/4 cups of pure icing sugar (not the mixture stuff!) but add it only 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until it’s nice & fluffy!

Then you can tint it with all sorts of food colours to create anything your wee heart desires.

Neapolitan Marble Cake

It’s a classic which is now rarely seen,

but the swirls of pink, chocolate & vanilla are well worth the effort.

18921698_10155616940862345_1885329681090298666_n

It has been a chaotic week! Last Wednesday was Mini-Me’s birthday so off we popped to Melbourne Zoo which lays claim to being the oldest zoo in Australia! We treated her to an exclusive behind the scenes member’s tour before exploring the zoo at our leisure until just after lunch when she got to have a close encounter with her all time favourite animal by feeding the Giraffe in it’s enclosure. She was just so deliriously happy & her delightful giggle is simply magic to my ears as well as my heart.

The rest of the week was spent in absolute panic as I madly threw together her party which we hosted at our mountain top home on Sunday. Twenty hyped up children having the time of their lives & the snow machine went down a real treat! Their limbo moves were super impressive & let me tell you, those tiny ballerinas have a mighty mean swing on a piñata! Food was plentiful but, of course, the star of the culinary show is always the birthday cake!

Mini-Me loves Neapolitan Ice-Cream so I took my inspiration from that to wow her when we cut open the cake.

Bung into your mixer bowl 125g of room temperature softened butter along with 3/4 cup of caster sugar & a teaspoon of vanilla. Cream that until it’s nice & fluffy.

Add in 2 eggs, but one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold through 2 cups of self raising flour & a pinch of salt alternating with 1/2 cup of milk.

Divide the mix into 3 bowls. Leave one plain, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa to another & a few drops of pink food colouring to the third. Give them a jolly good mix.

Layer the 3 batters into a well greased cake tin & use a sharp knife or a bamboo skewer to create swirls.

Whack in a 175c oven for an hour.

You can serve this cake plain, dusted in icing sugar, with buttercream or even covered in ganache! Let your imagination run wild!

Cheesecake Pudding

My Cheesecake Pudding is so light, hubby says it has the texture of Mousse!

Bonus is, it’s Gluten Free!

Cheesecake Pudding

Let a 250g block of cream cheese (I use good old philly!) go seriously soft before starting.

Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over a packet of lemon jelly crystals. Stir to dissolve then add in the zest & juice of a plump lemon. Set that aside to cool off.

Beat the soft cream cheese until it’s looking like cream. Add in a tin of condensed milk, a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste & the jelly mix. Combine all that until it’s thick & creamy.

Then simply pour it into individual serving glasses or ramekins & pop in the fridge to set.

Tanz Tip – I usually use a vegetable peeler to carve off some chocolate curls from the block & pop a cherry on top to serve.

Baked Cinnamon Pears

Are there many things more comforting on a bleak Melbourne day than fabuliciouzly hot Baked Cinnamon Pears?!?!

I think not!

DSC_0003.JPG

I wasn’t even aware that Mini Me had any knowledge of this nostalgic classic of the kitchen until she quite suddenly asked me, “Mum, do you know how to make cinnamon pears?”! Now I don’t know who is responsible, but my prime suspect would be Peppa Pig! Anyways, she was absolutely delighted when I replied in the affirmative & whipped up this easy treat for her afternoon tea.

Start by lining a roasting dish with baking paper & set aside.

Peel 4 juicy pears then cut into quarters, removing the core of each. Bung those into the roasting dish before spraying them with some extra virgin olive spray oil.

Combine 1 tablespoon of caster sugar with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, then sprinkle over the pears. Give that lot a jolly good shake up to coat them thoroughly.

Whack into a 180c oven for 20 minutes or until they’re gloriously tender & golden.

A scoop of ice-cream is a nice contrast plopped on top.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Finally, at long last, a Gluten Free cake that is rich, moist, fabuliciouzly tasty & above all else, not crumbly!

DSC_0004.JPG

You know, I used to be pretty darn good at making cakes before we knew about my illness with Gluten. I used to take so very much pleasure in my cake baking but since needing to be Gluten Free, I just haven’t had that same passion. I lost my cake mojo. Try as hard as I might, using Gluten Free flour just doesn’t cut it. I tried this recipe, with much trepidation, expecting yet another bitter disappointment, only to be pleasantly surprised with the results this time! This tastes like real cake! HOORAH!

Start by lining a loaf tin with baking paper, remember to use spray oil first to hold it in place.

Measure out 3/4 cup of caster sugar.

Grab a mixing bowl & bung in 280g of dark chocolate along with 160g of softened butter. Pop that over a pan of simmering water to melt gently, then stir in 6 egg yolks & half of that caster sugar. Take it off the heat & set aside to cool.

In a second mixing bowl, beat the 6 egg whites to a soft peak consistency. Now you can opt to get an arm workout if that’s what floats your boat, but I choose to use my electric beaters. Then, ever so gradually, add in the rest of that caster sugar whilst continuing to beat until it’s thick & glossy, just like meringue.

Back to the chocolate mix bowl & gently fold through 1 & 1/2 cups of Almond Meal followed by the meringue mix. Be really careful not to totally knock out all that luscious air you’ve worked so hard to beat in there!

Pour the batter into the loaf tin & bake for an hour in a 160c oven. If you choose to make cupcakes with this batter, as pictured, simply halve the cooking time.

Pineapple Cheesecake

Fabuliciouzly creamy with a tropical twist;

this Pineapple Cheesecake is definitely a hit with my fam-bam!

DSC_0002.jpg

I start by crushing 2 cups of Cornflakes (I use Gluten Free ones) with my mortar & pestle to get them nice & fine. Then I melt 150g of butter in a saucepan over a low heat before pouring that on top of the crushed Cornflakes & giving it a jolly good mix to ensure all the crumbs are nice & moist. Next, simply press that lot into a loaf tin & pop in the fridge to set.

Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in 250g of cream cheese. Beat that with a hand held mixer to get it lovely & soft. Gradually add in 1/3 cup of lemon juice, then a whole tin (397g) of sweetened condensed milk & keep beating until gloriously smooth.

Open a tin (440g) of crushed pineapple & drain it well of the juice. Gently fold the pineapple into the filling before pouring over the top of the now chilled cornflake base then whack back into the fridge overnight to set.

When ready to serve, invert the loaf tin onto a board, then back onto your serving platter, decorate with whipped cream & strawberries then It’s Chompin Time!

Old Fashioned Butter Biscuits

Light as air first bite gives way to melt to the roof of your mouth buttery smoothness,

Sometimes you just gotta go old school!

DSC_0003.jpg

Baking bikkies with my Mini Me is just one of those simple pleasures in life that are what memories are made of, you know?! I just adore it when we’ve donned our aprons, are covered in flour & her delicious wee giggle is filling the kitchen with joyous bliss.

Bung into the bowl of your mixer 125g of softened butter, 1/2 cup of caster sugar & 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste. Mix until it’s pale & creamy before cracking in an egg & continuing to mix until it’s well combined.

Next, throw in 2 cups of plain flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder & 1 tablespoon of milk. Mix until it forms a nice soft dough.

Pinch bits of the dough out with your fingers & roll into wee balls before placing on a baking paper lined tray. When all the balls are done, very gently press a fork to just flatten each top.

Whack those into a 180c oven for 15 minutes.

Allow the biscuits to cool on the trays, then dust them in icing sugar before devouring greedily!

Layered Parfait Dessert

Sensual Chocolate Caviar adorns crunchy Pistachio Parfait perched atop smooth Port Wine Jelly.

This sumptuously decadent dessert is all about the contrasting textures as you dig down through the flavour filled layers with every bite exploding in your mouth & it’s not as naughty as it looks.

DSC_0001.jpg

Start off by simply setting your Port Wine Jelly according to the packet instructions in some very pretty glasses, leaving to set in the fridge overnight.

Next, turn your attention to the scrumptious pistachio parfait. Open an 80g packet of pistachio nuts & chop them up fairly finely. Bung 500ml of Organic Vanilla Bean Yogurt into a mixing jug before throwing in the chopped nuts & blitz away with good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to get it all nicely incorporated. Pour into a container & whack into the freezer to set.

To make Chocolate Caviar, soak 1/2 cup of Tapioca Pearls in 2 cups of milk for an hour then pour into a saucepan & bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer whilst stirring continuously, watching for the pearls to turn translucent, usually takes about 10-15 minutes or so. Take it off the heat & add 1/2 cup of a good quality chocolate syrup before leaving to soak in the fridge overnight for the pearls to absorb all that chocolatey goodness.

When ready to serve, simply plop the pistachio parfait on top of the set port wine jelly & crown with the chocolate caviar.

It’s a wee bit of an impressive number, even if I do say so myself.

Basic Macaroons

They’re a fancy bakery favourite but you’ll be really surprised how easy you can make these slightly chewy, crispy crusted delicate biscuits at home.

DSC_0004.JPG

The first trick to get all of your macaroons at the same size is to grab some sort of round object that’s about 4cm in diameter. I ‘borrow’ one of Mini-Me’s toy’s, a layer of a wooden ice-cream from her timber high tea set but ssshhhhhhh don’t tell her! Then trace circles onto baking paper leaving about a 2cm gap between each one. Spray some oil on a couple of baking trays to help the baking paper stick without moving & set those prepared trays aside for later.

Next, we’re going to beat 3 egg whites in a mixer until soft peaks form before adding in 2 tablespoons of caster sugar along with whatever food colour floats your boat & beat that until the sugar dissolves, that means you can’t feel any grains of sugar between your fingers anymore.

Then, simply fold through 1 & 1/4 cups of sifted icing sugar with 1 cup of almond meal gently in two separate batches, being extra careful not to knock out all that lovely air you’ve worked so hard to beat in there!

Scoop that luscious mix into a piping bag fitted with just a plain nozzle & fill in the circles drawn on your trays. The next trick to an awesome macaroon is to gently tap the trays on the bench to spread them slightly before dusting with some more icing sugar & then leave them sit there for 15 minutes – this is what allows that signature crunchy crust to form in the air drying!

Whack those in a 150c oven for 20 minutes after which allow them to stand for an extra 5 minutes before very carefully peeling them from the paper & bunging them onto a cooling wire.

Meanwhile whip up a standard chocolate ganache by simply popping 100g of dark chocolate callets into a bowl & pouring in 2 tablespoons of thickened cream. Sit that over a pan of simmering water, make sure that the water never touches the bottom of the bowl or your chocolate will seize & be useless, then gently stir while it melts. Sit it aside to cool slightly so it thickens up a wee  bit before spooning small amounts onto the bottom of a macaroon & using another one to sandwich on top.

When you serve up these fabuliciouz wee beauties you can stand back & bask in the glory chef!