Bad News Hot Fudge Sauce

This is what I make whenever we require comfort food on short notice. It’s perfect for this for several reasons.

Firstly, it’s super delicious, and hot. Two necessities for comfort food. Secondly, it’s made from ingredients we always have in the house, meaning it can be whipped up at short notice. Because when bad news strikes the last thing you want to do is go up to the shops. It’s also super easy and quick.

Bad News Hot Fudge Sauce
(Based on this recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • 60g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Method:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a saucepan and heat until butter melts
  3. Add dry ingredients
  4. Heat and cook for 5 minutes or until thickens
  5. Serve with ice cream








What’s your favourite comfort food?🙂

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Pretty photos

This last week has been crazy and busy and I haven’t had a chance to make a proper post for you, so here’s a montage some of the pictures I’ve taken for you this week🙂

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Busy times and fresh bread

Hey there internet, it’s been some time. Life has got kind of hectic on me recently, what with Mum and Dad going away next week and it getting closer and closer to the end of the semester. The weather has also taken a turn for the worse, and so last weekend to warm up the house I decided to bake some fresh bread🙂 is there any better smell than the smell of fresh bread?

I don’t think so🙂

Simple White Bread
(Adapted from Nigella’s Essential White Loaf from How to be a Domestic Goddess)

Ingredients:

  • 500g plain flour (bread flour is better, but hard to source on my side of town after our old bread shop closed😦 )
  • 10g dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 200-300ml warm water
  • a couple of tablespoons melted butter

Method

  1. Combine yeast, sugar and 200ml warm water for a few minutes until mixture begins to bubble, while waiting combine flour and salt
  2. Add 200ml warm water while mixing to the flour, and add more water until the dough comes together
  3. Knead for about ten minutes
  4. Roll dough into a bowl greased with the butter and roll over until covered with butter, then cover with a tea towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour)
  5. Punch down, knead once or twice, then form into a loaf shape and sit it on a baking trey covered in baking paper, covered with a tea towel for half an hour or until doubled in size again. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees while waiting.
  6. Brush loaf with melted butter
  7. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until it no longer sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom



I love baking with yeast – it’s particularly useful when I’m procrastibaking because I get to spend all day in the kitchen🙂 what’s your favourite recipe that uses yeast?

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ANZAC Macarons

Today was Anzac day – and I have an ANZAC themed meeting tomorrow for my baking club. However, I did not want to make ANZAC biscuits – my mother made an amazing batch of Stephanie’s ANZAC biscuits last week and I am all ANZAC biscuit-ed out. But I still wanted to get in the spirit of things, and I also wanted to see if my macaron success was a fluke.

Turns out it wasn’t!🙂 I spent far too much time figuring out how to make these taste Anzac-biscuit-flavoured. This is what I went with, plain macarons, topped with honey-flavoured oats, coconut chocolate buttercream and with a small blob of golden syrup jelly in the middle. Yep, golden syrup jelly. And it is delicious!🙂

ANZAC Macarons
(Inspired by Cherry Coconut macarons from Zumbo)

Ingredients:

Golden Syrup Jelly

  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp gelatin powder

Coconut White Chocolate Buttercream

  • 75g coconut cream
  • 125g white chocolate
  • 40g unsalted butter, chopped and softened


  • 1 recipe Plain Macaron shells (use whatever recipe you like, I use Zumbo’s, BraveTart also has a great recipe, and a whole bunch of commandments and myths that are definitely worth checking out – whether you’ve never made macarons before or you’ve made them a hundred times.)
  • 50g butter, melted
  • instant honey-flavoured oats

Method:

Golden Syrup Jelly

  1. Combine golden syrup and water in a saucepan
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over surface
  3. Heat until bubbles just start to appear
  4. Pour into container and allow to set in fridge

Coconut White Chocolate Buttercream

  1. Combine white chocolate and coconut cream in saucepan
  2. Heat until combined
  3. Turn heat off and blitz butter until well combined
  4. Allow to cool before using

To assemble, brush macarons with melted butter and sprinkle oats over. Allow to set for 10 minutes, then  place buttercream over one half of macaron, add small blob of jelly, then sandwich together. Then omnomnomnom. 







Hint: have a better trained cat then me when trying to photograph your food.

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Baked Ricotta

Dad makes this delicious pressure cooker risotto, that is meant to be baked ricotta and mushroom, but we usually just use normal ricotta because we haven’t been able to find baked ricotta. But this time I put my foot down and decided that we had to have it with the proper stuff🙂

This was very delicious in the risotto – but we were hungry so I forgot to take a picture of it. It is also super easy to make.

Baked Ricotta
(based on this recipe from Taste) 

Ingredients:

  • 250g ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp chilly flakes
  • 20g grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Combine ingredients
  3. Bake in a ramekin for 15-20 minutes until brown on top
  4. Too easy!🙂 this was also nice on biscuits



 

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Macaron Success! Or, Salted Popcorn Macarons and Zumbo

Finally, I managed to get them to work for me:

Salted Popcorn Macarons from Zumbo!🙂 I bought the book this morning, and I absolutely had to try to make some macarons, lets not worry about that physics assignment I have due on Tuesday…

I was meant to make some other savoury food today buuuut… I didn’t. I pretty much spent my entire Sunday in my pyjamas baking. I regret nothing.





Now, I’m not so sure about posting recipes from books on the internet – where I can’t link to it and the original publisher can’t ask me to take it down if they don’t want it there, so I suppose I’ll leave it there today🙂 Not so keen on Monday tomorrow, but at least I spent my Sunday well🙂

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes

This week the theme for my baking club was “Food trends”. After my two failed attempts at macarons, and my equally fruitless attempt to buy Zumbo, I decided I would resort to an old classic.

I know what you’re thinking – but how can an “old classic” be suitable for a food trend meeting? Well, there have been those cupcake stalls with their horrible dry cupcakes (but delicious icing) popping up everywhere recently. But just to be be safe I filled them with salted caramel. And when I say filled…

I really mean covered:/

I followed the instructions perfectly too. But, while messy they were still delicious.

I used my cupcake and icing recipe, and this recipe for the salted caramel mess🙂

What’s your favourite cupcake flavour?


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Chocolate Chilli Ganache

So the macarons didn’t work again. The batter just wasn’t working for me. I think I’m going to have to go back to basics and try again from the start *shakes fist at new oven*. But I do have a recipe for you today🙂 the chocolate chilli ganache I’ve been using to fill these pathetic shells – and which transformed them from disappointing macarons to delicious meringue  sandwich biscuits.

:-( completely failures as macarons. They were still quite tasty though🙂 This ganache though:

Delicious.

Chocolate Chilli Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 100g good quality dark chocolate
  • 100g thick cream
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • a tiny tiny bit of cayenne pepper

Method:

  • Put all ingredients in saucepan
  • Heat on low heat until combined
  • Allow to cool – if coagulates then put in a mixer for a minute or two – this can make it lovely and fluffy so I usually just do it anyway🙂
Now this recipe is quite strong – it’s designed to be a filling. If you aren’t so good with chilli, or you want to use this as an icing, then I suggest using less chilli powder and omitting the cayenne entirely. But I like mine hot. It was particularly amusing when my unassuming little brother ate a big spoon of the icing without knowing it was chilli flavoured😀

 

The better quality the chocolate you use, the better quality the ganache will be.

You only need a teeny weeny bit of the cayenne. That stuff is strong.

Now, as delicious as the ganache was, I couldn’t take my failed macarons to my baking club meeting, so I whipped up a quick batch of these instead:

Stay tuned for the recipe🙂 what was your worst recipe fail?

 

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Macarons attempt part one

Now I knew that it would take me a few tries to get macarons right in my new oven. But the problem didn’t turn out to be the oven, it turned out to be me.

I could tell as soon as I piped them – I’d undermixed the batter. I’ve only ever made vanilla macarons before, and I guess that the cocoa means that it needed a little more than I’ve done previously:/

Oh well, I was too lazy to do anything about it at that point, so I figured I’d bake them anyway and see how the oven would work.

Now they cracked as expected – but the cracked evenly, and were cooked perfectly inside. So if I can get my technique right, perfect macarons await!🙂

But the delicious chocolate chilli ganache made up for the lacklustre macarons🙂 I’ll give them another shot later this week.

 

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Pear Custard Pie

We had people over for dinner this Saturday night. And so, as usual, I volunteered myself for dessert making duty.

So I decided I would have my first proper shot of making a pastry case for a pie🙂 I usually get Dad to make the pastry for me, or use biscuit bases or some other thing, but this time I decided that I would make my own🙂

(Look how messy our kitchen gets when we have people for tea!)
And it didn’t really work . It was a little too dry and crumbly. But it’s okay. Because the filling made up for it😀

Pear Custard Pie
(slightly modified from this recipe from food for my family)

Ingredients:

  • 1 quantity of your favourite pie crust recipe (the one I tried was so disappointing I’m not going to bother posting it)
  • 4 firm pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Method

  1. Prepare pie crust. Hopefully you do a better job than I did with mine.
  2. Preheat oven to 220 degrees
  3. Place pear into pie crust
  4. Combine dry ingredients, then whisk in wet
  5. Pour over pears
  6. Bake at 220 degrees for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 175 degrees and continue to cook for 50-60 minutes
  7. Allow to cool slightly before removing from tin
  8. Enjoy with ice cream or cream


 I didn’t really think before removing my flan dish

Luckily Dad saved the day

I’m not very camera-savvy, and the depth of focus did get ridiculously shallow when I was taking photos of this pie. I need to see if I can get someone to fix it for me.



But as delicious as that pie was (as evidenced by the empty plate🙂 ) I am still sad about the fail of the pie crust. Do you have any tips, tricks, or a good recipe for a pie crust?

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