Browsing articles in "Recipes"
Aug 19, 2013

Coconut Cookies with Caramelised White Chocolate

I was very excited to hear this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop theme was COOKIE MONSTER and hosted by Sophie from The Sticky and Sweet. I love cookies (or biscuits as they’re more often referred to in Australia) and I knew I wanted to make a cookie sandwich – what’s better than 1 cookie? 2 cookies sandwiched together!

Ever since I saw David Lebovitz’s recipe for Caramelised White Chocolate I knew I had to attempt it myself. I ended up adding some heavy cream to make it into a spreadable ganache and it was the perfect accompaniment to my coconut cookies.

Coconut Cookies with Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
 
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Serves: 12 filled cookies

Ingredients
Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
  • 250g white chocolate
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
Coconut Cookies
  • 115g butter, room temp
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1⅓ cups flaked coconut

Instructions
Caramelised White Chocolate Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 120ºC.
  2. Put white chocolate in an oven-proof dish (I used a pyrex bowl) and heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove dish with oven mitt and stir. Return dish to oven for another 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat this process for approximately 30-40 mins, or until your white chocolate is the colour of peanut butter.
  5. Allow to cool and add in your salt. When the chocolate cools down to room temperature, beat in the heavy cream until smooth and spreadable and set aside.
Coconut Cookies
  1. Turn up oven to 180ºC and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda and salt mixture, then the coconut and mix until just combined.
  4. Dollop dessert spoons full of dough onto the baking tray, you should fit approx 12 per tray.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the oven, or until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.
  6. When cookies are cooled, spread caramelised white chocolate mixture onto half and sandwich the cookies together with the remainders.
  7. Enjoy!

This was my caramelised white chocolate after 40 minutes in the oven – it had reached a gorgeous golden brown colour.

Once room temperature and blended with the heavy cream, it reaches the perfect spreadable consistency for your cookies. If the ganache starts to harden up, pop it in the microwave in 10 second bursts on medium and stir until spreadable again.

Whenever I bake cookies, I always feel compelled to make a cookie mountain – exhibit A, B and C.

The chewy coconutty cookies pair perfectly with the caramelised white chocolate and I must admit I have eaten more than my share this weekend. Enjoy!

Aug 15, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #3 S’mores

I’m stepping up my game in my Microwave Mug Cake series. First we had dark chocolate, then salted caramel… and now S’MORES! For those who don’t know what a S’more is, it consists of marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker and roasted over a camp fire into a gooey mess. Heaven.

I am yet to find graham crackers in Australia so feel free to use any sweet biscuit (I used Arrowroot biscuits). I stumbled across a tub of Marshmallow Fluff in a city convenience store a while back and have been waiting to use it in a recipe! If you can’t find it, feel free to stick a few marshmallows on top.

Microwave Mug Cakes – #3 S’mores
 
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Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 2-3 tbsp cookie crumbs (if you can’t find graham crackers use any sweet biscuit)
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff OR a few marsmallows

Instructions
  1. Crush cookies and add 1 tablespoon butter. Microwave for 10 seconds to melt, stir and press into the bottom of your mug.
  2. In a separate bowl, microwave 3 tablespoons of butter for 10 seconds to melt.
  3. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir with a fork until mixed through.
  5. Pour chocolate batter into mug on top of the cookie base.
  6. Top with marshmallow fluff or marshmallows.
  7. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  8. Finish off the mug cake by toasting the marshmallow topping under the grill or use a blow torch.
  9. Enjoy!

I made a mess trying to ensure I had a bit of cookie, chocolate cake and marshmallow in each mouthful but boy was it tasty! (And isn’t making a mess half the fun?!)

Aug 5, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #2 Salted Caramel

This is the second recipe in my Microwave Mug Cake series (you can find #1 Dark Chocolate here) and of course I had to chose my favourite flavour of the moment, salted caramel! The brown sugar in this mug cake gives it a rich and caramelised flavour and you are treated to a delicious surprise of salted caramel in the middle. I have provided options for caramel fillings including salted caramel sauce, dulce de leche and Nestle caramel baking bits.

Microwave Mug Cakes – #2 Salted Caramel
 
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Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp salted caramel/dulce de leche (see below for recipes)

Instructions
  1. Put butter into mug and microwave for 10 seconds to melt.
  2. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients into mug and beat with your fork until mixed through.
  4. Add a tablespoon of salted caramel/dulce de leche to the top of the mixture, this will sink as it cooks giving you a gooey caramel surprise.
  5. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  6. The pudding should be risen and still slightly gooey in the middle. If still undercooked for your liking, cook it further in 10 second bursts in the microwave.
  7. Drizzle the top with the second tablespoon of salted caramel/dulce de leche.
  8. Enjoy!

Here is my recipe to make your own Dulce de Leche or see here for my recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce. For a super quick option, throw in a tablespoon of Nestle caramel chips before you microwave for an instant caramel hit.

This mug cake is a super easy solution for a quick sugar hit, with the right balance of salty and sweet. Feel free to add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top but I love it just the way it is!

Jul 29, 2013

Microwave Mug Cakes – #1 Dark Chocolate

I love the concept of a microwave mug cake – stir a few pantry ingredients in a mug, zap in the microwave for a minute and then ta da! (Nearly) instant pudding for one! It was a lot of fun thinking of different flavours of mug cakes and of course, taste testing each of them.

Just quickly, how cute are these mugs?! I picked them up from Woolworths the other day, down from $4 to $2 each – bargain!

The first mug cake in this series is the classic dark chocolate mug cake. I regularly make a giant dark chocolate pudding in the cooler months, and there is nothing more comforting on a wintery night. But it’s 8 servings and let’s be honest I don’t need ALL those calories. So a single serving basic choc pudding is perfect! I also love this recipe as I can get my chocolate fix even when I don’t have chocolate in the house – cocoa powder solves that problem!

Microwave Mug Cakes – #1 Dark Chocolate
 
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Serves: 1

Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted (or flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
  1. Put butter into mug and microwave for 10 seconds to melt.
  2. Add in egg and milk and lightly beat with a fork until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients into mug and beat with your fork until mixed through.
  4. Place mug in the microwave and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.
  5. The pudding should be risen and still slightly gooey in the middle. If still undercooked for your liking, cook it further in 10 second bursts in the microwave.
  6. Serve with lightly whipped cream or icecream.
  7. Enjoy! See below for some flavour options.

***VARIATIONS***

♥ Choc Peanut Butter Mug Cake – drop a tablespoon of peanut butter into the middle of the mug before cooking for a delicious peanutty surprise.

♥ Double Choc Mug Cake – if you have cooking chocolate buttons lying around, put a few on top of your pudding mixture. They will sink as it cooks, giving you a wonderful molten chocolate filling.

♥ Vegan Mug Cake – Substitute butter for vegetable oil, milk for soy or almond milk and omit the egg. Serve with vegan icecream or it’s delicious with just a dusting of icing sugar!

♥ Bounty Coconut Mug Cake – Add in a tablespoon of shredded or desiccated coconut and mix into the batter. Stick a fun size Bounty, or 2 squares of Lindt Coconut, into the middle of the batter for an extra coconut filling!

Enjoy and stay tuned for flavour #2 next week!

Jul 15, 2013

Rosewater and Pistachio Cupcakes… with a surprise inside!

This is my first time hosting the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop and I wanted to set a challenge that was both fun and encouraged your imagination to run wild. I’ve always been a bit ambivalent towards surprises, but have to admit they always make life a little bit more exciting – especially when dessert is involved! From an unexpected cupcake filling or texture, to a surprise baked into a cake, I know this Sweet Surprises challenge will bring a huge amount of exciting desserts!

I’ve been wanting to experiment with the flavours of the Middle East for a while and knew a rosewater and pistachio cupcake would be a match made in heaven. The sweetly scented rosewater teamed up with the crunchy, savoury pistachios is a moreish flavour and a gorgeous colour combination.

I love hearts, you may have noticed. And when I set the challenge to create a dessert with a surprise in the middle, I knew I had to finally master the art of baking a heart into a cupcake! My initial problem with the concept is that you are essentially baking an already cooked piece of cake into the cupcake… it sounded dry and not overly tasty. My idea was to flavour this heart well with rosewater and it ended up being a welcome tasty burst inside the vanilla cupcake. Here is a brief pictorial guide to making the hearts:

Step 1: Make my standard vanilla cupcake recipe and put 1/3 of the mixture into a separate bowl. Tint this mixture pink and add 1 teaspoon of rosewater. Put the pink mixture into a greased square 20cm baking tin and cook at 180°C for 15 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely before cutting out small heart shapes with a cookie cutter.

Step 2: Once you have 12 hearts cut out we need to start arranging them into their cupcake liners (feel free to make the scraps into cake balls or just eat it!)

Step 3: Put a dab of vanilla cake mix in the middle of each liner and then stand a heart up in each one. Make sure they are all facing the same way, otherwise you’ll end up cutting them in the wrong direction and lose the heart effect.

Step 4: Once all the hearts are standing, spoon the remaining mixture around the hearts until the cupcake liners are 3/4 full before baking for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Now that we have the technique covered…. Ta Da!

Rosewater and Pistachio Cupcakes… with a surprise inside!
 
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Author:
Serves: 12

Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 115g butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk, room temperature
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp rosewater (for the heart)
  • Pink food colouring (for the heart)
Rosewater Buttercream
  • 115g butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • ¼ cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp rosewater
  • Pink food colouring
  • ¼ cup Pistachios, chopped finely (to decorate)

Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake papers and grease a 20cm baking pan.
  2. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth in a large bowl.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the 2 flours and salt into a separate bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Do not overmix!
  7. Separate ⅓ of mixture to a small bowl. Add rosewater and drops of pink food colour and mix well.
  8. Pour mixture into greased baking tin and cook for 15 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Once completely cool, cut hearts out of the cake with a cookie cutter.
  10. Put a dab of vanilla mixture into each liner and stand the hearts up facing one direction.
  11. Spoon the remaining vanilla mixture around each heart until the cupcake liners are about ¾ full with mixture.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  13. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  14. Make sure you keep them facing all the same way!
Rosewater Buttercream
  1. Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Gradually add in 2 cups of sugar, then the milk and rosewater.
  3. Beat for around 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  4. Gradually add the remaining sugar until it is thick enough to ice the cupcakes (you may not need all the sugar).
  5. Add a few drops of food colouring and beat until the colour is well distributed.
  6. Spoon the mixture into an icing bag with a nozzle attached and ice the cupcakes.
  7. Sprinkle chopped pistachios over the top to garnish.

Sweet Adventures Blog Hop – Link-up Instructions

Sweet Adventures Blog Hop - July 2013The Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, or SABH, is brought to you by 84th & 3rd, Dining With a Stud, The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader and occasional Guest Hostesses.

July 2013 hop is open for linkup from:

9am, Monday 15 July – 11:59 pm, Friday 19 July [AEST Sydney time].

IMPORTANT – The instructions below cover how to link up but if you aren’t sure of something don’t hesitate to ask! Remember, SABH is open to all food bloggers but only new posts published after the hop goes live can be linked up.

  1. Add a link to THIS POST somewhere in your post.
    * You can create a text link or add the blog hop tile to your post and link that.
    * Providing a link to this post means others can view the instructions and join in!
  2. Click here for the Thumbnail List code – Copy the code and add it to the bottom of your post, you will need to do this in HTML view.
    * Adding the code will create the thumbnail link list on your post so people can hop from one entry to the next.
  3. Click here to Enter the Hop – Make sure to do this step so you appear in the list too!
    * On the entry screen, add the link to your SABH post (NOT your homepage).
    * Your entry will be submitted when you click ‘crop’ on your photo.

If you are on Twitter use the #SABH hashtag to tell the world about your post! You can follow us on Twitter: @SweetAdvBlogHop and on Facebook /SweetAdventuresBlogHop for new hop announcements and general deliciousness. Thanks for joining!


Jul 14, 2013

Salted Butter Caramels – The Sweet Swap

When I first heard about The Sweet Swap I was both excited and nervous. Excited at the prospect of receiving 3 treats from fellow food bloggers, yet nervous about baking something worthy (and postable!) to my fellow foodies.

My Salted Butter Caramels ended up looking and tasting great, but it wasn’t smooth sailing. My first batch was too soft and ended up a squidgy and delicious mess (if only I had followed my own instructions and heated the sugar to 160 degrees!). I burnt my second batch as I was too busy playing Candy Crush (oh, the irony! But seriously guys, don’t leave your bubbling caramel mixture for a second).

Feeling stressed and time-poor, I finally nailed it (third time lucky) – simply by paying attention and following my recipe. Derr Swah…

The caramel came out darkly golden, with a liberal dousing of flaked sea salt. I lightly greased my knife with vegetable oil spray to make the cutting job easier.

Each little caramel got it’s own rectangle of waxed paper to be wrapped in.

And with a little roll and some twists, they were sealed – and would hopefully survive their voyage around New South Wales and Victoria!

Salted Butter Caramels – My submission for The Sweet Swap
 
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Author:
Serves: 60

Ingredients
  • 115g butter
  • ½ cup thickened cream
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup golden syrup
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp sea salt to garnish

Instructions
  1. Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin.
  2. Cut butter into small pieces and add cream into a microwaveable-proof bowl. Microwave on high until butter is melted. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine water and golden syrup over a medium heat.
  4. Add in sugar, being careful to not get any on the sides of the saucepan as this will burn (if you do get some, brush off with a wet pastry brush).
  5. Put a candy thermometer into the saucepan and bring the mixture up to 160°C. This needs to be PRECISE.
  6. As soon as the sugar mixture reaches 160°C, add in roughly ¼ of the butter and cream mixture and stir.
  7. Keep repeating this process until all of the butter and cream mixture is incorporated. Be careful as the mixture can spit.
  8. As the butter and cream has cooled our caramel, we are bringing it back up to 118°C. Stir in table salt before pouring into prepared baking tin.
  9. Transfer the caramel to the fridge and allow to cool for 30 minutes before sprinkling over the sea salt.
  10. Return to the fridge and let the caramel set for around 4 hours or overnight.
  11. Once set, remove the caramel from its tin and slice into bite size pieces. If it starts getting too sticky, return to the fridge to refirm (or lightly greasing your knife helps too).
  12. Wrap each caramel up in waxed paper and ENJOY!

I wanted to keep my packaging simple and elegant, and I opted for black chinese takeaway boxes with laser-cut white adhesive lace. The wrapped caramels were placed in little plastic bags and tied up with a red ribbon.

And who got to receive my treats? Nic from Nic Cooks, Gareth from Humble Crumble and Amy from Melbourne Food Snob! I hope you guys all enjoyed your salted butter caramels :)

I eagerly awaited the arrival of my sweets and unfortunately they were held hostage at the post office for some time. I finally made it there and picked up all 3 at once! It was like Christmas!

First up, macadamia toffee crisps from Apricot Tart. These were dangerously addictive!

My next package was from Fluffy Makan. These Indonesian Cassava Cheese Cookies are uniquely salty and sweet and VERY tasty!

And my final package was from Polkadots and Chopsticks, a box full of delicious ginger and dark chocolate cookies! Yay!

Apart from a few hiccups in my baking process, The Sweet Swap was great fun and I loved sending off and receiving delicious treats in the mail (plus, we raised money for charity!) I highly suggest you participate next year and join in the fun!

Jul 11, 2013

Jelly Donut Cupcakes

I was recently asked by Pigeonhole Gatherings (run by the lovely Lauren and Katie, I designed their logo and identity) to bake for their charity bake sale at the Redwater Markets in Redfern to raise money for the Sydney Story Factory. The theme? Bake Sale vs Cake Stall, a good old USA vs Australia bake off! Food bloggers are a generous lot, and over 20 of them donated delicious baked treats for us to sell.

You might be surprised to hear I chose America’s side (sorry Australia, I still love you!) and wanted to combine 2 quintessentially America desserts – cupcakes and jelly donuts. And the Jelly Donut Cupcake was born. I also baked some ever-popular Red Velvet Cupcakes and am pleased to report they both sold out quickly.

The Jelly Donut Cupcake features a vanilla cupcake filled with jam (ie what the Americans call “jelly”) and covered in a cinnamon sugar icing. Heavenly!

I’ve included a recipe to make your own jam/jelly for the filling but if you’re short on time you can ofcourse use store-bought jam.

Jelly Donut Cupcakes
 
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Author:
Serves: 24

Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 230g butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups self-raising flour
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
Jelly filling
  • 1 punnet strawberries, finely chopped (around 2 cups)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar (tailor this depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
Cinnamon Sugar Icing
  • 230g butter, softened
  • 6-8 cups icing sugar
  • ½ cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
Cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. Cream the butter with an electric mixer until smooth in a large bowl.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the 2 flours and salt into a separate bowl.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Do not overmix!
  7. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full with mixture and bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Jelly filling
  1. Finely chop strawberries and place in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add in lemon juice, cornstarch and icing sugar and let bubble over the heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool, if it’s still a bit chunky then squash with a potato masher.
  4. Make a small cross with a sharp knife in the top of each cupcake. Pour strawberry filling into a piping bag with small nozzle attached and pipe cooled strawberries into each cupcake.
Cinnamon Sugar Icing
  1. Place the softened butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Gradually add in 4 cups of sugar, then the milk, cinnamon and vanilla (adding gradually prevents the icing from going grainy).
  3. Beat for around 3-5 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  4. Gradually add the remaining sugar until it is thick enough to ice the cupcakes (you may not need all the sugar).
  5. Spoon the mixture into an icing bag with a nozzle attached and ice the cupcakes.

What is your favourite American sweet treat? 

Jun 17, 2013

The Nutella Fauxnut – A Super Easy DIY Cronut!

By now we’ve all pretty much heard of the Cronut™. The croissant/donut hybrid created in New York by chef Dominique Ansel that has seen people queuing up from before 5am in the morning just to give it a try. His version is rolled in sugar, filled with cream and then topped with glaze (in May it was Rose Vanilla, and now for June it is Lemon Maple.) Soon enough, copycats began springing up around the world (including Adrian Zumbo’s Zonut) and Ansel swiftly trademarked his Cronut™.

This month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop is “Out of the Frying Pan” and is celebrating all things fried – what a perfect excuse to give this a whirl!

I wanted to create an easy DIY version of the Cronut™ that any home baker could recreate in their kitchen. I used store-bought puffed pastry (shock horror!) and my technique was actually embarrassingly simple – the reason I ended up calling it a Fauxnut! A criticism I have heard of the Cronut™ is that it is sickly sweet, so I decided to skip the triple threat of sugar x sweet cream x glaze. I considered a cinnamon icing initially and ended up settling on a Nutella filling. Because we all know how amazing Nutella is! A light dusting of icing sugar gave the Fauxnut the right amount of sweetness.

The Nutella Fauxnut – A Super Easy DIY Cronut!
 
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Author:
Serves: 9

Ingredients
  • 3 x sheets store-bought puff pastry
  • 750ml vegetable oil or other flavourless oil
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar

Instructions
  1. Pour vegetable oil into a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, bring the oil to 170°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the temperature of the oil by dropping in one of your donut holes – if it immediately starts to bubble and rise to the surface, your oil is hot enough.
  2. While the oil is heating, cut donut shapes out of your thawed puff pastry. Use a large, round cookie cutter and a much smaller one to remove the “donut hole”. I got 6 donut shapes per sheet of puff pastry.
  3. As soon as the oil has reached the correct temperature, gently lower in your first donut. It will start to puff up and brown.
  4. Once the bottom of the donut is golden brown, turn it over with a slotted spoon and let it brown on the other side before quickly removing it from the oil and placing on paper towel to drain.
  5. Repeat this process with the remaining donuts (and donut holes!) until all are golden brown. Be careful the oil doesn’t get too hot as they may start to burn.
  6. Put the Nutella in a small piping bag and pipe a thick line of Nutella around the top of half the cooled Fauxnuts.
  7. Gently sandwich the remaining Fauxnuts on top of each one.
  8. Dust the top of each Fauxnut with icing sugar.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide!

Step 1: Cut out the donut sheets from the thawed puff pastry using a larger and smaller cookie cutter.

Step 2: Once your oil is hot enough, gently lower the donut into the hot oil. It should immediately start to bubble and puff and rise to the surface.

Step 3: When the bottom is golden brown, turn the donut over in the oil to cook the other side.

Step 4: Drain all the Fauxnuts on paper towel and allow to cool (I made a mixture of big and small Fauxnuts).

Step 5: Pipe the Nutella in a circle on top of half the Fauxnuts, before gently sandwiching the remaining ones together.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy!

What’s my verdict? Well without having the opportunity to yet try a Cronut™ (or even a Zonut) for comparison I can only go by what I made today. The slightly savoury puff pastry contrasts well with the sweet Nutella and dusting of icing sugar. Despite quickly frying and draining the Fauxnuts, they are still VERY and buttery rich. I would enforce a 1 Fauxnut per person rule if you don’t want to feel sick afterwards!

Have you tried a Cronut™ or Zonut? Do they live up to the hype?

Jun 13, 2013

Choc Chip Blondies with a Salted Caramel Drizzle

I’ve never actually tried a Blondie before I made this recipe and curiosity finally got the better of me. What is a Blondie, I hear you ask? It’s like a Brownie in shape and texture, but flavoured with brown sugar instead of cocoa powder. To be honest I actually thought it sounded a little bland. I added dark choc chips to mine and finished it off with a salted caramel drizzle and HELLO DECADENTLY AWESOME TREAT. I seriously hope this salted caramel trend never fades because damn I love it.

Look at that salted caramel ooze! Chewy and fudgey in the centre and crunchy on the outside, Brownies better watch out – they have some stiff competition!

Choc Chip Blondies with a Salted Caramel Drizzle
 
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Author:
Serves: 16

Ingredients
Blondies
  • 125g butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Salted Caramel Sauce
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsps water
  • ⅓ cup thickened cream
  • 1-2 tsps of sea salt (to taste)

Instructions
Blondies
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. Add in flour and salt, beat until just combined (do not overmix).
  5. Fold in ½ cup of the dark chocolate chips.
  6. Transfer batter to the lined baking tin, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for around 40 mins, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Set pan on a wire rack, and let cool completely.
Salted Caramel Sauce
  1. Dissolve the sugar into the water in a heavy bottomed saucepan and let it bubble away over a medium heat.
  2. The mixture should turn a golden caramel colour after around 5 minutes. DON’T stir the caramel mixture – the sugar will crystallize.
  3. Once the caramel has reached the desired colour, take it off the heat and add the salt and gradually add the cream. Stir furiously as the caramel will want to harden quickly.
  4. Pop the caramel cream mixture in a small bowl and put it in the fridge to help cool down quickly.
  5. Drizzle the caramel over the cooled Blondies before cutting into 16 squares.

Jun 4, 2013

Salted Caramel Chip Cookies

I was craving cookies over the rainy weekend and wanted to jazz up my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe. I found some Nestle caramel chips in the supermarket and thought a salted caramel cookie would be a winner!
I reduced the sugar in these cookies as the caramel chips are very sweet. You can add more salt (or even less) to taste, but I love the contrast of the sweet caramelised bits and the occasional crunch of salt. Delicious!

Salted Caramel Chip Cookies
 
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Author:
Serves: 20

Ingredients
  • 140g butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt + extra to sprinkle on top
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 250g Nestle caramel chips

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Cream the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat well.
  3. Add caramel chips, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Beat on low speed until just combined (don’t overwork the mixture or it can become tough).
  4. Dollop tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough onto lined baking trays. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit more sea salt.
  5. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, around 12-14 minutes.

Please try very hard not to eat all the cookie dough, I often end up getting only 19 cookies from this batch into the oven due to the irresistible powers of raw cookie dough :p

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