Double Chocolate Ginger Ice-Cream

Decadently creamy chocolate ice-cream that nobody can quite pick what that secret ingredient is!

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The long anticipated wait is over! Today is my day to make my offering for this years ‘Spice It Up’ Advent Calendar! HOORAH! What an incredibly exciting honour it is to be chosen to participate in this worldwide special event. I’d like to take a moment to thank Jenny from http://www.jennyisbaking.com for her tenacity in organising such an amazing project. Her organisational skills are awe-inspiring & I applaud you, Jenny, for successfully seeing this magnificent Advent Calendar into fruition. Such a wonderful way to celebrate the giving spirit of Christmas with strangers right around the world.

Here in Australia, Christmas means Summer. Our Festive Season abounds with scorching hot days & balmy nights. It’s a time for beach cricket, prawns on the Barbie, good times with mates & trying to gobble your ice-cream before it melts!

But Christmas is also a time of watching the budget closely for a lot of families. That is why, this year, I am bringing to you FIVE amazing recipes before Christmas to help keep the Festive Feast indulgent without leaving you broke!

The first in my Festive Feast on a Budget series is this fabuliciouzly sumptuous Double Chocolate Ginger Ice-Cream! It’s so incredibly rich & the secret ingredient of GINGER is just enough to leave everyone guessing what on earth makes your ice-cream so much more special than all the rest! And it only takes just 5 standard kitchen staples!

Into the bowl of you mixing machine place 600ml thickened cream along with a 395g can of sweetened condensed milk, 200g of melted dark chocolate & 1 teaspoon of ground ginger. Beat that lot until they’re incredibly thick & creamy.

Next, simply fold through 1/2 cup of white chocolate bits gently so you don’t knock all the air out of it.

Pour the mixture into a container & pop in the freezer to set BUT if you are fortunate enough to have an ice-cream machine, like me, pour the mixture into the bowl & churn for whatever amount of time your particular machine recommends before popping it into the container to set in the freezer. Trust me, the results are well worth the extra time.

Check out all the Advent Doors on the link below & check back every day as we’re only HALF way through!

http://jennyisbaking.com/2017/11/30/food-advent-calendar-spice-it-up/

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Strawberry Chips

Celebrate the arrival of Summer in Australia with these 

Sweet pops of naturally healthy goodness.

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With all the excesses of Festive Feasting, this is a lovely wee recipe to let you feel good about indulgence again. Whether you enjoy them on their own as a sweet snack or use them as garnish to punctuate your other luscious treats, they are sure to be a winner!

The beauty of these Strawberry Chips is just how EASY they are to make too! You get a lot of bang for your buck on this one.

Simply chop the tops off your strawberries before halving or quartering, whichever size floats your boat. Then lay them on baking paper lined trays & pop them into a 100c oven for 3 hours.

That’s it!

Told you this one was super easy!

Rocky Road

Is there anything more fabuliciouzly indulgent than the seductive combination of luxurious chocolate, buttery nuts, gooey marshmallow, crunchy rice puffs & scentsational Turkish Delight?!?!?!?!

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I would think not! It is quintessentially the epitome of festive food frenzy-ness but you may be surprised to discover the magical memory making experience that this Fam-Bam favourite will bring to your Christmas Traditions. It’s Kids in the Kitchen time!!!!!

This easy recipe is so good to get Mini-Me into feeling apart of the whole Festive Feast preparations, which is one of the biggest things I enjoy most about this time of the year. She can pass the components to chop up & she can stir the melted chocolate through them all. This is a recipe to empower her as it appears that she is actually doing the entire thing!

So, grab a large mixing bowl & into that goes 1 cup of Cocoa Puffs, 1 bag of marshmallows (cut in half), 1 cup of cashew nuts (roughly chopped) & some chopped up Turkish Delight bars (before we were GF, I used to use 3 of the Fry’s ones but now that I make my own Turkish Delight, I just try to recreate that same amount). Mix all of those dry ingredients together to get them well dispersed.

Meanwhile, in a separate heat-proof bowl, pop in 375g of dark chocolate along with 375g of milk chocolate, then gently melt those over a pot of simmering water.

Pour the melted chocolate over the dry ingredients & simply mix them together.

Spread the mixture into a baking paper lined cake tin or tray before drizzling with a wee bit of melted white chocolate if you want to make it look that wee bit extra special. Just melt the white chocolate over the pan of simmering water the same way as the other chocolate before.

Pop it in the fridge to set the chocolate & then slice it up into squares to devour greedily or give as pretty edible gifts.

Home-made Turkish Delight

Delicate rose scented jellies of lusciousness are easier to make at home than you might think!

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Turkish Delight is one of those exotic classics that is a real people pleaser. Check out how easy it is to make at home!

Start by ensuring you have greased & lined a slice tray with baking paper to get prepared.

Grab your medium saucepan & into that pop 3 cups of water before sprinkling 4 tablespoons of gelatine powder on top & then adding 1.5 cups of caster sugar. Place that over a medium heat & whisk with a wire whisk until it comes to the boil & everything is dissolved nicely.

Let that simmer away for 2 minutes before taking it off the heat.

Next, mix 3/4 cup of Arrowroot (Tapioca Flour) into 1/2 cup of cold water then pour it in a steady stream into the hot mixture whilst whisking constantly. This will thicken it up.

Add in 1 tablespoon of Rose Water Essence – this is what gives Turkish Delight it’s unique flavour & heavenly scent.

Now, that is the recipe done, but what colour do we all associate Turkish Delight with???? PINK! So pop a drop or two of pink food colouring into the mixture & stir it all up nicely. You could use other colours if you want to get tricky.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tray & pop that lot in the fridge overnight to set.

The next day, turn out the slab of jelly goodness onto your chopping board & slice into delicate morsels of lusciousness before dusting in icing sugar.

Triple Chocolate Fudge

I want to tell you how fabuliciouzly creamy & decadent my fudge is,

but instead,

this has turned into a post about how to survive a culinary disaster in your kitchen this Christmas to keep you calm & still triumph!

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NEVER has my fudge not set before! I am sure you can imagine my absolute horror this morning as I turned out my fudge to slice for photography to share with you all as my second offering in our Christmas Gifts From the Kitchen series, only to realise that it had not set overnight. Naturally, I felt the panic creep up inside of me as the first time this fails is NOW?!?!?! I had to take a deep breath & retrace my steps in my mind to know what had gone so dreadfully wrong. My mistake was made right at the very start yesterday when I was preparing this. If you learn nothing else from my embarrassment here today, know this ~

TEMPERATURE IS CRUCIAL!

We are having our hottest November in 155 years in Melbourne. I waited until after lunch to begin, which placed me into the hottest part of the day. I am in a new kitchen where I do not know my burners yet so discovered that my usual saucepan is going to be too small with the heat from this cooktop which resulted in my fudge overflowing only 2 degrees before reaching where it should of. I took it off the heat, immediately, as you would, thinking that it shouldn’t really matter that much – it did! I also couldn’t get the fudge to cool to the correct temperature either, the afternoon was just far too stifling!

All of this is going into my memory data file-o-fax for my next fudge making expedition. However, if this happens to you this Christmas, remember to take a deep breath & remain calm! You’ve invested a lot of your valuable time & love in creating something fabulous for people you care about. Don’t throw it all in the bin through heated tears of disappointment. Turn that disaster into a triumph! The easiest way is to always make sure you have a selection of pretty glasses on hand & make use of the popular Chef description of DECONSTRUCTED! HAHAHA you will appear ever so fancy & maintain that tiara firmly on top of your head, without any slippage.

So, here is my Triple Chocolate Fudge recipe, that when followed to the correct temperatures, will result in the most gloriously decadent confectionary worthy of your Festive Hamper!

Ensure you get the correct sized saucepan! Then into it goes 1.5 cups of caster sugar, 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar, 100g of dark chocolate buttons, 2 tablespoons of glucose syrup, 1/2 cup of thickened cream & 1/4 cup of milk.

Gently heat that lot over a low temperature until the sugars dissolve without letting it boil. Once the sugars have fully dissolved, then crank up your heat to bring it up to the boil. Do not stir from this point. Pop your thermometer in & watch it come up to 116c ~ as mentioned earlier this temperature is critical! Once that magic 116c is reached, immediately take the pan off the heat & drop in 40g of butter. Still, do not stir it!

Leave the fudge alone until the temperature drops to 40c. That’s when you can remove the thermometer & finally stir in the now melted butter. Use a wooden spoon. Continue to stir it for about 10 minutes, you’re looking for when a small amount dropped from the spoon can hold it’s shape. That is how you know it will set, unlike my double temperature mistake on this one.

During your wait time, you can prepare a bar cake pan by greasing & lining it with bakers paper so it’s ready for you to pour the fudge into then simply spread & smooth the surface before covering it with tin foil & leaving to stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Once again, my third temperature mistake with this one as it was like a sauna in my kitchen yesterday afternoon.

When the 2 hours is up, remove the tin foil to pour over 200g of melted white chocolate then drizzle over that 50g of melted milk chocolate & using a cake tester or a skewer, drag the two chocolates around to create pretty swirls for a marbled effect.

Replace the foil over the tin & pop into the fridge overnight to set.

The baking paper will allow you to easily lift the set fudge out of the tin & if you heat your very sharp knife, slicing the fudge will be a breeze. Cut the slab in half lengthways before slicing ever so thinly for decadent pieces of melt in your mouth luxury.

Cashew Butter Slice

Decadently creamy layers of nutty goodness with a luscious chocolate crown.

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How can anyone go past a gorgeous home-made chocolate topped slice?! It’s one of the simple pleasures in life & the first recipe in my 2017 Christmas Gifts From The Kitchen series.

This slice is made in 3 stages to get those 3 layers so prepare to spend some time with it.

To create the base layer, simply combine 2 tablespoons of coconut syrup with 1/3 cup of cashew butter in a mixing bowl. Next, stir in 1 tablespoon of a good quality cocoa powder. Finally, add in 1 cup of  desiccated coconut & prepare to get your hands messy! Mix all of that together really well before pressing into a cake tin or baking pan that you’ve lined with baking paper. Pop that lot in the fridge for half an hour.

Next comes the middle layer. This one is super easy! In a small, heatproof bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of coconut syrup with 6 tablespoons of cashew butter over a pan of gently simmering water until it gets nice & soft which makes it more pliable to work with. Press that gently over the base layer & get it back in the fridge to set for another hour.

Finally, the luscious crowning chocolate glory! Over a pan of gently simmering water, melt 200g of milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl then simply pour over the slice & spread. You guessed it…..back in to set in the fridge it goes.

Now, because you’ve been smart & lined the tray with baking paper at the very start, you can simply lift the set slice out onto a chopping board! A great trick when cutting this up is to have a jug of boiling water on the bench next to you & constantly dip your knife in so it heats up, making it glide through the slice easily.

Choc-Ginger Fudge Truffles

A delectable sticky treat to please sweet conoissuers.

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It’s getting to that time of year again when we start to look forward to rich delicacies seducing our taste buds!

These truffles are uber easy to whip up from just a few kitchen pantry staples! Enjoy them for Halloween to help get the festive season started.

Simply pour a 400ml tin of chocolate flavoured sweetened condensed milk into a small saucepan along with 200g of dark chocolate & melt it gently over a low heat, stirring constantly, until it’s nice & smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Crush up an entire packet (125g) of Gingernut Biscuits then stir through the chocolate fudge mixture.

Pour the fudge into a tin foil tray & pop in the fridge overnight.

The reason I use a tin foil tray is because this stuff is seriously sticky! It just helps to be able to peel the tray away as you go. Heat a sharp knife in hot water to cut off slices of the fudge, wet your hands & roll into balls. Use a teaspoon to coat the truffle balls in cocoa powder & put on a tray before placing back in the fridge to set.

This is a fabuliciouz little truffle that you can whip up a huge batch of using a few simple ingredients that most of us have easily at hand.

 

Churros

You won’t believe how easy this Spanish classic,

adored the world over,

is to whip up in your own home kitchen!

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When Mini-Me looked up at me with terribly sad eyes saying how much she misses her hot cinnamon doughnut treat since being required to maintain a Gluten Free diet, it absolutely shattered my heart. I mean, what was I supposed to do except go to my pantry, grab my Gluten Free Flour & make my wee poppet some Churros!

This is such an easy doughnut to make at home & this recipe will easily provide you a party platter worth of delectable delights.

Start simply by popping 1 cup of water along with 100g of butter into a medium saucepan & bringing that to the boil, stirring until the butter is melted, before removing from the heat.

Next, add in 1 cup of plain flour & a good pinch of salt. Stir with your wooden spoon to combine it well & when the dough starts to come away from the side of the pan then cover the top with some plastic wrap & allow to stand for at least 15 minutes or until it’s cooled.

Then it’s just a case of beating in the eggs. You’ll need 3 eggs in total, lightly whisk each separately to add in one at a time, beating the dough well after each addition to combine it.

Spoon the dough into a piping bag which is fitted with a star nozzle.

Heat up 1 litre of oil in a large saucepan to nice & hot. Squeeze lengths of the dough into the hot oil, using a sharp knife to cut the dough between each one. Fry for a couple of minutes until they turn a lovely golden colour. Remove from the oil to drain on a cooling wire set over a tray then dust with Cinnamon Sugar.

Meanwhile, break up 200g of good quality dark chocolate into a small saucepan & pour over 1 cup of milk. Pop that on the stove over a gentle heat to melt, stirring continuously, until the chocolate is melted & the dipping sauce is smooth & slightly thickened.

Serve the fabuliciouz Churros with the luscious chocolate dipping sauce & bask in the glory!

Strawberry Jam

My Fam-Bam loves my Homemade Strawberry Jam

declaring it to be sticky yumminess!

Honestly, making your own jam is dead-set simple! You’ll be amazed at how easy it really is using your slow cooker! Imagine the delight on your loved one’s faces when you give them a jar of your very own homemade jam, made with love.

So grab yourself a kilo of strawberries, give them a quick wash then chop the tops off & cut them up roughly. Bung them into the slow cooker along with a chopped up green apple, ensuring you leave the skin on (this is where the pectin is which is what sets your jam).

Pour in a kilo of caster sugar & 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Give that lot a jolly good stir & whack the setting on high for 4 hours with NO LID.

Then all you have to do is just give it a blitz with good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) & pour into sterile jars.

https://foodforage.net/2016/09/07/how-to-sterilise-jars/

Yep, that’s it! Homemade jam! YUM!

Nutella Milk Ice

Just 2 common kitchen ingredients

are all that’s needed to whip up this fabuliciouz treat!

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This is a real Kids in the Kitchen classic that Mini-Me absolutely loves to make for a tasty post ballet cool down.

Simply pour some milk in a jug & scoop in some Nutella spread (I’ve used 450ml of milk to 2 groaningly huge tablespoons of Nutella).

Next, grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to whizz it all up before filling some ice-block moulds with the mixture & popping the stick/lids on.

Whack that lot into the freezer overnight to set & enjoy the next day.