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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Choc Chip Biscotti

I'm sure you will enjoy these biscuits, they have the perfect combination of oats, chocolate and nuts !

(inspired from recipe book by Giulia Biviano “Dolci di Casa Nostra)

250g butter, melted (or margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 teas vanilla essence
2 cups rolled oats, crushed to a powder
2 ½ cups self raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 teas bicarb soda
1 teas baking powder
125g dark chocolate chips
125g milk chocolate chips
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
2. In a food processor cream butter and sugars.
3. In a small bowl mix the eggs and vanilla essence. Add this to the creamed butter and sugar, mix well.
4. In a large bowl mix crushed rolled oats, self raising flour, plain flour, bicarb soda and baking powder. Add to the cream mixture and mix well.
5. Stir chocolate chips and nuts through dough. Roll 24g size balls of dough and place on a lined baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Amira's Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Another chocolate cake using a seasonal vegetable - zucchini ! The zucchini makes this a real moist cake, just don't tell the kids and they'll ask for more.


¾ cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons margarine
1¼ sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla essence
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups grated zucchini (squeeze juice out with hands)
¼ cup choc chip(optional) or ¼ cup walnuts (optional)
1½ cups Self Raising flour, sifted
½ teaspoon bicarb soda, sifted
¼ cup coca, sifted


Separate all dry ingredients and liquid ingredients. Mix both well with wooden spoon until just combined. If too dry add milk till smooth. Cook about 30 – 40 minutes or till cooked. When cool, ice with chocolate sauce (see below).

Naughty Chocolate Sauce (makes approx 1 cup)
Combine 100g good quality dark chocolate, 100ml thickened cream and 1 tablespoons brown sugar in a saucepan. Stir constantly over a very low heat until melted and smooth (do not overheat). Place sauce in fridge and stir every 10 minutes until thick for pouring over cake. Yummy, yum!!!!!!

Note: this sauce can also be served over ice-cream. You can also store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. To reheat, microwave on medium-high, stirring every minute, until runny and thin.


Chocolate Ganache
75g dark chocolate buttons
75g milk chocolate buttons
¼ cup cream

Heat cream in microwave until hot and bubbly. Add all the chocolate ensuring the chocolate is well covered, let sit for 1 minute then stir to melt and incorporate chocolate with cream. Let stand at room temperature, or fridge to speed up.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

What a combination ! The beetroot in this cake makes a really moist cake and you won't even taste the beetroot. With beetroot in season at the moment a good time to give it a go.

(inspired from an article from the Herald Sun, 1 February 1995 Writer: Joanne Kiker)


4 eggs
1 ½ cups sunflower or canola oil
2 ½ cups self raising flour
½ cup cocoa
2 teas bicarb soda
2 cups sugar
2 teas vanilla essence
2 cups cooked, drained beetroot (or I used 2 x cans 425g sliced beetroot, drained)

Chocolate Sauce
¼ cup cream
75g dark chocolate (Nestle Melts chocolate buttons)
75g milk chocolate


Beat eggs and oil together with hand held electric beaters. Sift flour, add to egg mixture, then add cocoa, bicarb soda, sugar and vanilla essence.

Process drained beetroot in blender until lump-free. Add to cake mixture, mix well. Place in greased 28cm round cake tin, bake at 180oC for approx 50 mins or until cooked. Or you can place in three bar tins measuring 11cm x 21 cm, bake at 180oC for 30 mins. Cool on wire rack before spreading with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Sauce

Place cream in small jug and microwave on high for 1 minute until boiling. Add chocolate all at once and allow to sit for 20 seconds before mixing together until smooth. Allow to thicken before pouring and spreading over cake/s.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cherry Ripe Chocolate Mud Cake

This cake is so so "muddy" and delicious. It will keep for a few days and tastes even better a few days after it is baked. The coconut milk give it that distinct coconut flavour that makes this chocolate cake stand out from the rest.

(taken from AWW “Wicked Sweet Indulgences")
250g unsalted butter, chopped
1 tab instant coffee powder
1 2/3 cups (400ml) coconut milk
200g dark chocolate, chopped coarsely
2 cups (440g) caster sugar
¾ cup (110g) self raising flour
1 cup (150g) plain flour
¼ cup (25g) cocoa powder
2 eggs
2 teas vanilla essence
2 x 85g Cherry Ripe bars, chopped coarsely

Ganache Icing (Amira’s method)
¼ cup cream, extra
75 g dark chocolate, extra
75 g milk chocolate

1. Preheat oven to slow. Grease deep 22 cm round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.
2. Melt butter in large saucepan; add coffee, coconut milk, chocolate and sugar. Stir over heat until chocolate melts and sugar dissolves; cool to room temperature.
3. Whisk in sifted dry ingredients, then eggs and essence; stir in half of the Cherry Ripe. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Top with remaining Cherry Ripe; bake in slow oven about 1 ¾ hours. Stand cake 10 minutes; turn, top side up, onto wire rack to cool.
4. Place cream in a small jug and microwave on high until boiling. Add dark (extra) and milk chocolate immediately into jug and allow to sit for 20 seconds. Stir chocolate through the cream until melted. Leave to sit for 10 minutes or until thick for spreading over cake and sides.
5. Decorate cake as desired.

Jam Crostada

(adapted from “delicious” magazine September 2002)
180g unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ lemon, zested
1 egg
1 ¾ cups plain flour, sifted
2/3 cup peach jam (or any other jam, I used mixed berry)
1 egg, beaten
Icing sugar, to dust

Beat butter and sugar until pale. Add vanilla extract, lemon zest and egg, then slowly add the flour. Bring together to form a rough dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead to combine, then divide into 2 rounds. Wrap each round in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180oC. Grease a 26cm loose-bottom fluted tart pan. Remove a dough round from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to fit the tart pan, then use to line the pan. Spread with the jam, leaving a 1 cm border.

Roll out half the remaining dough round to a 26cm rectangle. Cut into 10 strips. Lay 5 strips across the jam then remaining strips the opposite way. Trim excess pastry, then roll remaining pastry into a thin sausage shape. Fit around edge of tart as a border. Brush with egg, then bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Cool and serve dusted with icing sugar.

Raspberry (or Blueberry) & Almond Slice and Pistaschio & Lemon Cake

(adapted from Donna Hay magazine Issue 20 March/April 2005)
Basic Almond Cake

180g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
2 ½ cups almond meal, sifted
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 teas baking powder, sifted

Preheat the oven to 160oC. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8 – 10 minutes or until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Fold through the almond meal, flour and baking powder. Spoon the mixture into a 20cm round cake tin lined with baking paper and bake for 10 hour 10 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. Serves 8 – 10.

Variation – Raspberry (or Blueberry) and Almond Slice
Preheat the oven to 160oC. Follow the basic almond cake recipe and spoon the mixture into a 20 x 30 cm cake tin lined with baking paper. Top with 2 ½ cups frozen raspberry or blueberry and dust with ¼ cup icing sugar. Bake for 1 hour or 15 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the tin. Dust with extra icing sugar and serve with whipped cream. Serves 8 – 10.

Variation – Lemon Syrup Almond Cake or Pistachio & Lemon Cake
Preheat oven to 160oC. Follow the basic almond cake recipe or use pistachio meal instead of almond meal and spoon the mixture into a 20cm round cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Place 1 cup sugar, ½ cup lemon juice, ½ cup water and 1/3 cup finely grated lemon rind in a small saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour half the syrup over the cake while still warm in the tin. Remove the cake from the tin, slice and serve with the remaining syrup. Serve 8 – 10.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Amira's Pancakes

Here is my pancake recipe. No need to use buttermilk, the secret is soured milk with either vinegar or lemon which will make these pancakes light and fluffy. ENJOY.

(Makes approx 12 x 10cm pancakes)
1 ¼ cups milk
2 teas vinegar
2 cups self raising flour
2 teas bi-carb soda
4 tab sugar
2 eggs
2 tab margarine (melted)
Olive oil for greasing/cooking

1. Pour milk into jug and add vinegar. Set aside for 2 minutes to sour.
2. Sift all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Add soured milk, eggs and margarine.
4. Beat with an electric handheld beater until just combined and smooth.
5. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a little oil (spread oil over the base of pan using a pastry brush).
6. When pan is hot, add a large ladle of the mixture, spreading to the sides.
7. When one side is cooked and bubbles have formed on the surface, flip over and cook for another 20 seconds.
8. Serve as you prefer. We like them with ricotta cheese, sliced strawberries and maple syrup.