Coconut Chocolate Truffles

Voluptuous Dark Chocolate enrobes seductively moist Coconut

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

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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!

Taco Bites

This is my spin on reinventing a classic to make it finger food friendly.

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Most people love tacos, the spiced meat, luscious sour cream, a tang of cheese & a splash of sauce usually are a crowd favourite. But it’s just a wee bit messy sometimes trying to juggle a drink whilst scoffing down even the daintiest of ‘cocktail’ tacos as you try to remain the epitome of elegance. So, I have played in my kitchen to come up with this Taco Bite to give you all the fabuliciouz flavours of a Taco in the easy to handle form of a ball. You may applaud me now & call the Nobel Prize people.

Brown off 500g of chicken mince before seasoning with a 30g packet of Taco Seasoning Mix which you’ve blended in 3/4 cup of water. Give that lot a jolly good stir then allow to simmer gently whilst you crack on.

Next, bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt & cook off 1 & 1/2 cups of rice. When done, drain & bung in with the chicken mince, stirring well.

Throw in 2 handfuls of grated cheddar cheese along with a whole tub (300g) of sour cream. Mix that lot well then allow to cool & refrigerate overnight.

The following day, crush up a bag of plain salted corn chips to crumb consistency then place in a dish.

Retrieve the meaty taco mixture & roll chunks of it into whatever sized balls float your boat, then coat them in the corn chip crumb before placing them onto a tray. When all done, put the tray of taco balls into the fridge to set for about an hour.

When your guests arrive, heat up some oil in a fry pan & shallow fry the balls to golden perfection before draining on some paper towel & serving with salsa dipping sauce.

Classic Buttercream

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

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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.

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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.

Slow Cooked Lamb Hotpot

As the days get cooler & the darkness descends quickly,

thoughts turn to hearty, slow cooked comfort food.

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Quite honestly, this Lamb Hotpot is the shizel of the manizel! It’s fall apart tenderness perfectly balances with the rich flavour & ever so soft tatties – YUM!

Start off by peeling half a dozen or so potatoes & slicing them into 2cm thick discs. Also, peel & very thinly slice up 1 big onion.

Bung 500g of diced lamb into a plastic bag along with 1 tablespoon of flour & season well with salt & white pepper then shake the absolute shizenhowzen out of it to coat all the meat.

Grab your slow cooker pot & it’s time to layer up! Pop a bed of tattie onto the bottom, then scatter some of the onion before placing a wee bit of the meat. Continue with this layering ensuring that you end with a tattie layer on top.

Pour in 1 & 1/2 litres of chicken stock, whack the lid on & turn the dial to high for 8 hours of mouth watering droolfest at the lovely aromas filling your home.

Tanz Tip – if you don’t have a slow cooker then you can still make this fabuliciouz hotpot by popping a casserole dish in a 160c oven for 3 hours.

Ring Stinger Biscuits

I don’t call these Ring Stinger bikkies for nothin’ so consider yourself warned!

Ring Stinger Biscuits

First of all, pop a baking tray inside the oven as it pre-heats to 190c.

Grab a mixing bowl & combine 200g grated parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of plain flour, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper & then salt & pepper to taste. Don’t be afraid to get messy by using your finger tips to lightly rub in the oil to make the mix nice & crumbly.

Now you’ll need to get your skates on as the trick to these bikkies actually working is speed!

Grab the hot tray out of the oven & bung on spoonfuls of the mix while pushing it gently to combine. Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Whizz the tray out again to turn the bikkies over very, very carefully! Then adorn each one with a sliced ring of jalepena chilli in the centre before crowning it all off with a generous sprinkling of chilli flakes & more parmesan cheese.

Whack the tray back in the oven to bake for a further 5 minutes.

Tanz Tip ~ the bikkies are wafers so they should be lacy in appearance so don’t stress about them being so thin.

Baked Cinnamon Pears

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

I think not!

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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.

Potato Soup

Lusciously creamy hot soup with a flavoursome crunchy surprise,

this is Hubby’s second favourite soup that I make.

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This is hands down so dead set easy to make, you’ll be sure to whip it up all Winter long!

Heat up a good glug of oil in a pot & bung in 3 large spuds, which you’ve peeled & chopped. Pop the lid on & let them do their thing over low heat for 10 minutes.

Next, pour in 1 litre of chicken stock before throwing in 2 bay leaves & bringing to a simmer. Whack the lid back on for another 10 minutes cooking time.

Meanwhile, let’s crack on with the potato chip croutons!

Peel & dice 1 large tattie, heat a good glug of oil in a deep sided frypan, throw in 2 teaspoons of minced garlic along with the diced potato & simply toss those about to cook over a high heat until they’re gorgeously golden – how easy is that?!?!?!

Back to the soup – remove the lid & take out the bay leaves, they’ve done their job, then remove from the heat before adding in 250ml of sour cream. Give that lot a jolly good stir. Now it’s time for good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to make his grand appearance! Whazz that soup up until sumptuously smooth & finally season with salt & ground black pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls & plop the potato chip croutons into the middle.

Fabuliciouz!

Oh, & in case you’re wondering, Hubby’s favourite soup is my Nan’s recipe I use for my Pea & Ham Soup!

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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

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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.