Strawberry & Cream Muffins

Delicate delights to tempt your tastebuds with over a cup of tea.

It’s nice to be just a wee bit naughty sometimes. Mini-Me joyously licked the beaters dripping with frosting & Hubby’s eyes lit up like it was Christmas when he plodded in from a hard day’s work to find these awaiting him. It’s these little moments that mean the absolute world to me. No matter what else life may be throwing my way, I am always grateful for my wee Fam-Bam & cherish these simple memories the most.

Time is my most valued luxury.

Pre-heat your oven to 200c so it can get nice & warm whilst you make the batter. Also ensure you’re prepared & ready to go by lining  a 12 cup muffin tray with pretty paper cases.

To start these gorgeous wee muffins, grab a mixing bowl & in goes 225g of plain flour along with 1 teaspoon of baking powder then stir in 140g of caster sugar with a wooden spoon.

In a mixing jug, pour in 100ml of milk before cracking in 2 eggs. Then gently melt 140g of butter over a low heat & ever so slowly trickle the melted butter into the milk & eggs. The trick to doing this without cooking those eggs is to grab a balloon whisk & get a good solid stirring action happening before you start the butter trickling in. It is imperative that you keep that whisk moving the entire time & for a wee bit after all the butter is incorporated in. In the spirit of a certain blue fishy, “Just Keep Whisking, Just Keep Whisking”.

Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients then start pouring in your wet ingredients a little at a time, stirring it in as you go. Just be mindful not to over-mix it.

Spoon a blob of batter into the bottom of each patty case then plop just a teaspoon of strawberry jam into the centre of each one before dolloping the rest of the batter on top of each to seal the surprise inside.

Pop those in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. When they’re firm to the touch, lift them out to set aside on a cooling wire.

To make the gorgeous simply must have frosting, grab another mixing bowl & in goes 50g of softened butter, 85g of icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk & a squirt of Vanilla Paste (that would be about 1/2 a teaspoon for the more accurate among us). Using your hand held electric beaters, beat that lot until it’s nice & smooth, finger dip-able lusciousness!

Spoon over a wee bit of frosting onto the top of each muffin & decorate with a half strawberry.


Toblerone Fondue

Sweet strawberries dipped seductively in Decadently rich chocolate

~ have I got your attention? 

This one goes out to all the lovers! For those who adore the simple pleasures unashamedly. Those who wish to indulge quickly, without too much build-up ahead of the main event. It’s a classic for good reason.

To keep this one Gluten Free, I use the Mountain Bars available from Aldi, but if you don’t have any dietary requirements then the original recipe calls for Toblerone Bars.

I use 4 Mountain Bars which is 400g, but I believe the Toblerone Bars may work out at 375g as the closest.

Set yourself up a Bain Marie, which is a pot of gently simmering water over which you set a heatproof bowl, being very mindful to never allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.

Break up the chocolate into the bowl & add 150ml of luscious Double Cream. Then just stir that until it melts into a glorious dark liquid.

Have chilled strawberries at the ready for dipping & you’ve got yourself some instant romance!

Tanz Tip ~ using the Toblerones or Mountain Bars, elevates this chocolate fondue to a whole new level with the nutty, nougat bits spread throughout.

Lemon Cream Pie

Lusciously Airy with a Refreshing Citrus Pop,

this is such an easy pie to whip up.


You are not going to believe just how simple this recipe is & it sure does pack the WOW factor in your mouth! Hubby & Mini-Me both go absolutely nuts over this one, declaring it to be better than Chocolate Cake, now that’s a BIG CALL from those two!

Begin by crushing up a packet of biscuits into crumb. I use a Gluten Free Arrowroot one but previously (before GF), I used the Arnott’s Nice Biscuits. Melt 1/2 cup of butter & add that into the biscuit crumb before mixing it all thoroughly. Press the bikkie base firmly into a pie dish. Pop in a 160c oven for just 5 minutes, then allow to cool.

Meanwhile, let’s make the filling.

In one bowl, decant a tin of condensed milk & add in 1/3 cup of lemon juice gradually so you can incorporate each addition properly. Then pop that aside to stand for a few minutes whilst you do the next bit.

In a second bowl, beat 2/3 cup of thickened cream to a beautifully thick consistency. This is where all the lightness comes from so make sure you beat enough air into it.

Simply fold the cream through the mixture in bowl 1, very carefully to maintain that air.

Pour the filling onto the bikkie base & pop it in the fridge overnight to set.

Sprinkle it lightly with cinnamon just before serving.

Gluten Free Mini Mushroom Pies

Fabuliciouzly creamy mushroom filling encased in a shortbread like pastry.


I love pies! I love baking pies! I love eating pies! So when I was forced to go Gluten Free for my health, naturally, I was devastated. My search for the perfect Gluten Free Pie commenced. After much trial & error, I am still no closer to finding that magic recipe, but this pastry recipe I found from The Australian Women’s Weekly is ok, although I would liken it more to a shortbread biscuit rather than pastry.

The BEST Gluten Free Pie of all time still belongs to Hayden’s Pies in Ulladulla on the New South Wales South Coast. Hayden, I beg of you, PLEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEEEEEEE, share your perfect pastry recipe with me……..

For these wee beauties, I started off by making the filling. Simply melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a frypan before adding in 250g worth of sliced mushrooms (I prefer to use Swiss Browns, but whatever floats your boat) & cook those down until they’re lovely & tender. Next, add in 1/2 cup of thickened cream & allow that to simmer gently until it’s reduced. Finally, season generously with salt & white pepper. Set the filling aside to go cold.

Now comes the ‘pastry’. Into the bowl of your food processor goes 1 & 3/4 cups of rice flour, 1/3 cup of cornflour & a 1/3 cup of soy flour along with 200g of cold chopped butter. Process that lot to make it into a fine mixture. Next add just enough cold water (about 1/4 cup worth) slowly until everything comes together in a dough ball. Wrap the dough in cling film & pop in the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Now, I don’t know if it was the fact that I was crazy enough to making these in 42c heat that day or what, but my pastry didn’t roll as per the recipe. If you can get yours to, then they say to pop it between 2 sheets of baking paper to roll it out to 5mm thick before using your cutters to cut rounds.

I did manage to roll mine out successfully, however, attempting to pick up my cut out rounds simply didn’t happen, they just tore apart. So what I then did was to re-knead it back into a dough ball & I just broke bits off by hand & flattened out into my wee home-made pie tins.

Oh yes, I couldn’t find any foil pie cases so all I did was cut out squares of my tin foil & stuff them into the holes of a cupcake baking tray – voila!

Once I had all my pie cases ready, it was an easy task to spoon my prepared mushroom filling into each one before brushing the edges with some lightly beaten egg & crowning them with more of the pastry flattened out by hand. Then I brushed the tops with more of the beaten egg & popped them in a 220c oven for 25 minutes.


Peppermint Patties

A refreshing sweet treat to enjoy with your cuppa.


Well hello & Welcome to 2018! I’m back! This year, I intend to step up the blog to the next level! Don’t worry, I will be staying true to my core identity here of Few Ingredients, Maximum Flavour BUT this year, I shall be moving beyond the basic into more fabuliciouz territory whilst maintaining SIMPLICITY as the key to my recipes. I do hope you’re as excited as I am to get cracking in the kitchen cranking out home-made goodness.

For my first recipe of 2018, I’m taking a look at what to do with all those leftover candy canes from Christmas! Why, you bake biscuits, of course!

Grab yourself a mortar & pestle to pulverise a dozen leftover candy canes. Now if you don’t have one of these wonderful kitchen tools, then pop the candy canes in a heavy duty plastic bag & whack them good with your rolling pin! Just think of all the angst you’ve just been through with any difficult times during the festive season & you’ll have those things fully crushed in no time! Then just set that aside.

Into a mixing bowl goes 1/2 cup of softened butter along with 3/4 cup of caster sugar. Cream those together before adding in 2 eggs & giving it a jolly good stir. Pop in 2 cups of self raising flour & get that incorporated into a lovely dough.

Right, back to those crushed candy canes. Scoop out 3 tablespoons & set that aside for later, then add all the remainder into the biscuit dough. Make sure you really mix it in well so that gorgeous minty-ness spreads right throughout the whole thing!

Next comes the fun part! Rolling balls! Simply break off bits of the dough & roll into balls between the palms of your hands before placing on baking paper lined trays. Make sure you leave a decent amount of room between each ball as these bikkies spread!

Pop those into a 175c oven for 15 minutes to turn a lovely golden shade.

Meanwhile, remember the reserved candy cane dust??? Mix 3 tablespoons of icing sugar through with it & keep at the ready.

When the biscuits come out of the oven, leave them on the trays for a couple of minutes to firm up & you also don’t want to burn your fingers! When they’re cooled slightly to be able to pick up, just press the top of each biscuit gently into the spiked up icing sugar mixture to coat it generously before popping onto a wire cooling rack.

Seriously, these Peppermint Patties are so absolutely fabuliciouz, you’ll be stocking up on extra candy canes just to be able to make them!

Christmas Greetings 2017

2017 has been a particularly challenging year for us. Both Hubby & Mini-Me have suffered with horrendously serious illnesses which has seen me abruptly absent from the blog many times. Whilst we now know that their conditions are permanent, Hubby’s is of greatest concern as it is degenerative, meaning he will worsen.

2017 has taken our health & our wealth but it has given us so very much wisdom for which we are grateful to move forward into 2018 with.

During this time of reflection, I have had to admit that I have always been an Artist searching desperately for my medium. I have tried an extraordinary plethora of different modalities over the years but never seemed to carry any talent for them.

It has now been pointed out to me, in no uncertain terms by my darling Hubby, that my talent lies in what I drive everyone crazy with all the time ~ taking photos.

In 2018 I shall be starting my Diploma of Professional Photography which I am so ecstatically excited about. I will also be continuing to learn Belly Dancing which I simply adore & indulging in my culinary passion in this blog. We also plan to follow through with moving back home to the fabulous Gold Coast & finally putting an end to our nomadic lifestyle.

I’m going to take my Christmas break now to spend valuable quality time with the two gorgeous loves of my life but I will return on Monday 8 January 2018 with reinvigorated gusto! I am already super excited about all the fabuliciouz recipes I’m planning on bringing you!

But for now, from my Fam-bam to yours, we’d like to wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS & a Safe New Year.

Chocolate Dacquoise

Decadently Rich Chocolate is encapsulated between Crunchy Meringue Layers,

This is not your average Christmas Pav!


When I asked my friends what they think of on the table for Christmas, the overwhelming response was the good old Pavlova! Most Aussies really look forward to the sweet punctuation mark at the end of a fabuliciouz celebration meal. But I couldn’t just do the standard pav for you, as sensational as it is & yes I will be making one for Christmas Day myself! This is my Grand Finale to my Festive Feast on a Budget series. All please applaud the magnificent Chocolate Dacquoise.

Now this recipe may seem intimidating at first, but trust me, it’s just a lot of little simple steps that all come together at the end for a Show Stopping WOW dessert that will be talked about all year long!

Start off by marking out 3 x 9 inch circles on baking paper & cutting those out, leaving a small bit around each one to be able to handle. Spray some baking trays with a wee bit of spray oil & stick them on.

Next, you’ll need to separate 6 large eggs with the whites going into one bowl & the yolks into another. Cover the yolks & set those aside for later, depending on where you are in the world you may like to pop them in the fridge.

Pop the egg whites into the bowl of your mixer with a pinch of salt & beat at medium speed until they’re nice & frothy.

Turn your mixer up to high speed & gradually add in 1.5 cups of caster sugar. Keep beating it until stiff peaks form.

Turn your mixer off & gently fold through 1.5 cups of almond meal along with 1 tablespoon of cornflour.

Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle & pipe 3 spirals onto your prepared baking paper circles.

Those go into a 150c oven for 1.5 hours to crisp them up. After you pull them out of the oven, let them sit for 10 minutes before carefully peeling off the paper & popping on a cooling rack to completely go cold.

Now, onto the Chocolate Filling!

Break 250g of dark chocolate into a heatproof bowl & melt that over a pan of gently simmering water. Set it aside to cool.

In another bowl, beat 375g of softened butter until it’s gloriously pale & creamy. Set it aside too.

Retrieve the reserved egg yolks from earlier & place them into the bowl of your mixer. At high speed, beat the yolks until they’re pale & thick.

Now grab a small saucepan. Into it place, 1 cup of caster sugar along with 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to a boil, without stirring or touching it, until it reaches 115c (soft-ball stage).

Now comes the assembly part.

Remove the sugar syrup from the heat as soon as it reaches temperature & in ever such a tiny trickle, pour it into the egg yolks whilst they are beating slowly. Keep beating it until the mixture is cooled off so you don’t scramble those eggs!

Next, gradually beat in the butter, then comes the chocolate & finally add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla paste.

When your Chocolate Filling is all combined then you’re ready to assemble the cake.

Simply put one of the meringue circles onto a serving plate, cover it with a third of the filling, then place another of the meringue circles on top of it, smother in another third of the filling & finally top it off with the remaining meringue circle & the rest of the filling.

Crown your gloriously decadent creation with fresh berries & let it snow down some icing sugar!

Party Punch

Tropically Fruity & Dangerously Drinkable!

This punch is all about Summer!


What’s a Festive Feast without a refreshing beverage?!?! In sticking with our Budget Theme, this tantalising number will leave plenty of jingle in your pockets & still keep your guests jolly.

I love Aldi Supermarkets for cheap & cheerful booze. They have a large range of award winning wines for under $5 a bottle so it’s easy to pimp them up into a knock-out punch!

Start by decanting 1 litre of pineapple juice into your bowl. Then add 3 cups of apple juice & the entire contents of a 440g tin of crushed pineapple. Stir that lot about to combine, cover & pop in the fridge to chill until you’re ready to serve!

When it’s party time, simply pour in 2 bottles of Moscato Wine, give it a swizzle & away you go!

Now you can also substitute sparkling wine instead of the sweet wine to give your punch some bubble or if you want to make this completely alcohol free, use 1 bottle of lemonade + 1 bottle of dry ginger ale.

If you’re feeling particularly Festive, why not throw in a bunch of cut up fruit as well, like apples, oranges, grapes & passionfruit, they all add to the joyousness of the occasion.

Tropicana Balls & Dip

A mild meatball just perfect for dunking into a vibrant dip!


My Tropicana Balls & Dip will liven up any party, especially when you’re making a Festive Feast on a budget! Easy to make ahead of time to serve cold or fry off quickly for a pop of hot to be washed down by some bubbles.

Into a mixing bowl goes 500g of veal & pork mixed mince, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 finely chopped red chilli, 1 teaspoon of raw sugar, a splash of fish sauce & then season generously with white pepper. Give that lot a jolly good mix about with your hands before rolling into bite sized balls.

Heat up a wee bit of peanut oil in a frypan & shallow fry the balls until cooked all the way through. Drain them on some paper towel & set aside.

To make the dip, drag out good old Mr. Buzzy (aka stick blender) & into a jug goes 100ml of natural yoghurt along with 1 sliced up banana, 1 sliced up avocado & the juice of half a lime. Blitz that lot until it’s nice & smooth.

This is a brilliantly quick & easy appetiser that keeps your Festive Feast on budget!

Spiced Roast Chicken

Bring the intoxicating flavours of the Orient to your table this Christmas.


Of course, everyone wants to bring out a show stopping main course on Christmas Day. The standard Sunday Roast Chook just won’t cut it for such a special occasion. With my easy marinade, you can tart up that old gal without breaking the budget!

Into a mixing bowl place, 1 cup of plain yoghurt, 3 tablespoons of Panaeng curry paste, 2 tablespoons of garam masala, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of raw sugar & the juice of 2 limes.

Give that lot a jolly good stir to combine well.

Smear the marinade all over a whole chicken & spoon any leftover marinade into the cavity. That way you’ll get that luscious flavour the whole way through the meat!

Pop the chicken onto a rack in a roasting dish & place into a 180c oven for half of the cooking time before cranking that heat up to 220c for the second half of the cooking time.

Cooking time for chicken is 30 minutes per 500g.

Now you will need to keep an eye on it. Check regularly to ensure the marinade isn’t burning & just cover it in tin foil if it is.

When the juices run clear when you pierce the poultry in the leg joint, the chicken is cooked.