SALTED CARAMEL & NUT BUNDT CAKE

Salted Caramel adapted from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com

 Yield: 1 Bundt Cake

Gorgeous cake with a wonderful crown of salted caramel and nuts

Gorgeous cake with a wonderful crown of salted caramel and nuts

You may call me crazy but I actually love caramel more than chocolate! I was introduced to salted caramel several years ago by one of my wonderful sister’s and became instantly addicted. There is something about salty and sweet that I can’t get enough of! Maple syrup and bacon, apple and cheese, watermelon and feta, chocolate and pretzels… the list goes on!

Combining the salted caramel with some toasted hazelnuts and slivered almonds onto of a tender, buttery cake just seemed like a natural step with my obsession. However, the salted caramel is amazing on a good quality vanilla ice-cream, or pancakes, or for any receipe you may have that you think could use a dollop of awesomeness!

Make sure that you don’t wait more than 5-10 minutes after you finish baking to flip the cake over to remove the pan or the caramel will set and stick to the sides of the pan and make a mess to remove. Yes, I do speak from experience… may have gotten a little distracted looking at cookbooks on Amazon… oops! No matter what this cake is a keeper!

Continue reading

WHITE CHOCOLATE & MACADAMIA COOKIES

Yield: Approx. 60 Cookies

Better be quick before my boyfriend eats them all =)

Better be quick before my boyfriend eats them all =)

These are my boyfriend’s favourite cookies! I don’t make them very often but when I do I have to stand guard over the cooling cookies so he doesn’t eat them all at once. Once cooled I like to drizzle a little white chocolate over the cookies to finish them off, however they are fantastic even without this step.

I prefer to chop my white chocolate rather than use chocolate chips. I find it makes the cookies chunky and the slivers of white chocolate that you get whilst chopping melt into the batter and make the cookies extremely more-ish. The same goes for chopping up the macadamia’s. If you’re allergic to nuts you can omit the macadamia’s, try substituting dried cherries or cranberries. They give the cookies a lovely tart note.

Feel free to also substitute milk chocolate chips and pecans for the white chocolate and macadamia, the recipe works well either way!

Continue reading

BLUEBERRY BRAN MUFFINS

Adapted From: Huckleberry from Zoe Nathan

Yield: 12 Muffins

Delicious!

Delicious!

I have spoken before about my love of all things blueberry so when I got my latest cookbook haul from Amazon I was immediately drawn to this receipe in ‘Huckleberry’. I have never tried bran in my muffins, partly because that sounded way too healthy for me and partly because it’s not something I keep readily handy in my pantry. However this receipe makes it well worth the effort!

I reduced the honey content and added more maple syrup from the original receipe as I found the honey overwhelmed the taste of the muffin. A few more tinkers with the receipe and here is a lovely muffin, very dense and moist with a great crunchy blueberry topping due to the sprinkled sugar. The texture is wonderful, not cakey at all.

Just remember, when making muffins you want to barely combine the mixture. Do not under any circumstances use a mixmaster or any type of electric appliance when mixing. A bowl and wooden spoon is your friend for any muffin receipe.

NOTE: Due to how dense the batter is the blueberries do not sink into the mixture like other muffin receipe’s. Instead they bake on top of the cupcake and release their juices creating lovely splotches of purple on the cupcake liners.

Continue reading

ALMOND, VANILLA, BROWN BUTTER CAKE

Adapted From: The Sweet Life – Desserts from Chanterelle by Kate Zuckerman

Yield: 1x 10 inch Cake

So beautiful... I almost don't want to slice it

So beautiful… I almost don’t want to slice it

I fell in love with this recipe before I even made it… Almond, Vanilla Bean and Brown Butter… You had me at hello!

I’ve made a couple of tweaks to the original receipe and the outcome is a wonderfully moist cake with a crunchy topping. The vanilla and almond flavours combine wonderfully to infuse the cake with an almost custardy taste.

Whilst there are a lot of sub-components that need to be prepped it’s not an overly hard cake to throw together. Serve warm if possible.

Continue reading

HONEY FIG SWIRLS

Yield: Approx. 40 Cookies

Gorgeous swirl!

Gorgeous swirl!

When I was a little girl we used to go and visit my Grandma several times a year during school holidays. Grams, as we affectionately called her, had the most amazing garden. There was always something in bloom, the most amazing strawberries and apricots you have ever tasted and best of all a fig tree!

Grams could always tell when I came to visit as the fruit off the fig tree would mysteriously vanish in a matter of hours. I loved my Grams and miss her every day, but every time I see, eat or bake with figs it reminds me of her and the wonderful times we had together.

These cookies are lovely and soft with the combined flavours of honey and figs balancing out beautifully. I am not one who likes honey all that much but it doesn’t overpower the other flavours in the cookie. Feel free to adjust the spices in the fig mixture to suit your own personal tastes, maybe try cardamom or black pepper if you want something slightly spicier.

NOTE: The figs I had were very dry, should you be using soft figs please only use ½ cup of water when making the fig compote.

Continue reading

RASPBERRY DATE RUGELACH

Yield: 32 Cookies

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

I have the privilege of working with an amazing NPD (New Product Development) Team at work. They are always busy in the kitchen whipping up amazing flavour combinations that continue to entice our customers and make their fellow work mates (me included) just happen to wander past for the chance of tasting their latest creation.

The other day they were tidying up the kitchen and distributing the plethora of ingredients they have extra and I managed to get my hands on around a kilo each of dried dates and dried figs – YUMMY! Once I got home though I realised that I had to actually make something with my haul so it got me thinking. This receipe is one of the outcomes.

Typically Rugelach has a thin layer or jam that you then sprinkle dried fruits, nuts or even chocolate on before rolling into bite size pastries. However, I decided I wanted to use the dates, add some raspberries and make a more ‘jammy’ version. One that makes your mouth pucker up a little bit from the raspberries but has that lovely creaminess from the dates.

Rolling these little beauties are very messy, be warned! You will end up with the raspberry date jam everywhere but the resulting cookie is worth it!

Continue reading

GLUTEN FREE MAPLE & PECAN COOKIES

Yield: 38 Cookies

Try not too eat them all =)

Try not too eat them all =)

These are amongst the easiest but yummiest cookies that I make. They are wonderfully tender and buttery with the real star of these cookies is the flavour combination of maple syrup and pecans. Call me a sucker but I love almost everything with maple syrup. Use the best quality that you can find, do not try and substitute maple flavoured syrup, it’s the real deal or nothing at all trust me!

Make sure you leave enough time to chill the mixture in the fridge before baking otherwise they will spread too much, you can even chill them again in the fridge for 20mins before baking so they don’t spread as much as the ones in the photos. No matter what though you will end up with a wonderful cookie that you will have to restrain yourself from eating all of them in one go.

Note: I used gluten free flour in the receipe to accommodate for a good friend who is gluten intolerant however it will work just as well with plain flour.

Continue reading