Chocolate Dipped Bagel Crisps

Chocolate Dipped Crisps

Chocolate Dipped Bagel Crisps

 

If you often face the dilemma of whether to eat chips of chocolate, your problem is solved. Introducing… Chocolate Dipped Crisps!

The salty crisp paired with the smooth, sweet chocolate makes for a totally moreish treat that’s smooth yet crunchy, sweet yet salty, and undeniably delicious. These chocolate dipped bagel crisps will soon find there way into your belly and your heart; just in time for the ultimate party night. You can thank me later.

Chocolate Dipped Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of Abe’s Bagels – Marlborough Sea Salt Bagel Crisps
  • 150g of good quality milk chocolate
  • 150g of good quality dark chocolate
  • 150g of good quality white chocolate

Method

  1. Place chocolate varieties separately in 3 heatproof, microwave safe bowls. In batches, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a metal spoon every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
  2. Dip half of each Abe’s Bagels – Marlborough Sea Salt Bagel Crisps into melted chocolate mixtures and place on a tray lined with baking paper for 15 minutes, or until set. Serve.

TIP: for a fun combination, try sprinkling chopped nuts, sprinkles or sherbet onto the crisp once dipped in the melted chocolate.

Enjoy!

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Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Salted. Caramel. Cheesecake. Need I say more?

To many, plain cheesecake is decadent enough. For me, this amazingly delicious Salted Caramel Cheesecake, is gluttonous heaven. A buttery, crunchy, salted bagel crisp crust that sits beneath a smooth and creamy caramel cheesecake filling, topped with praline shards that hold notes of caramel, salt and bagel crisp crunch. Wow.

Ingredients – cheesecake

  • 2 packets of Abe’s Bagels – Marlborough Sea Salt Bagel Crisps
  • 150g of butter – melted
  • 800g caramelised condensed milk
  • 500g block of cream cheese – at room temperature
  • ¼ cup of boiling water
  • 3 tsp of powdered gelatin
  • ½ tsp of salt – or to taste

Ingredients – praline

  • ½ packet of Abe’s Bagels – Marlborough Sea Salt Bagel Crisps
  • ½ cup of caster sugar
  • 2 tbs of cold water

Salted Caramel Cheesecake with Praline

 

Method

  1. Place 2 packets of Abe’s Bagels – Marlborough Sea Salt Bagel Crisps into the bowl of a food processor and process until it resembles a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and process until combined. Press the crumbs evenly over the base and sides of a lined, 20cm springform pan using the back of a metal spoon and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  2. Place cream cheese and caramelised condensed milk into a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat until smooth.
  3. Place boiling water in a heatproof bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Add gelatin mix and salt to the cream cheese mixture and process until well combined.
  4. Pour the cream cheese filling mixture over the bagel crumb base and refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of four hours.
  5. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
  6. Increase heat to high. Bring to the boil, and boil, without stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mixture turns golden. Remove from heat. Set aside for 2 minutes to allow bubbles to subside. Roughly break ½ a packet of Abe’s Bagels – Marlborough Sea Salt Bagel Crisps into halves and quarters and arrange on prepared tray, pour over sugar and allow to cool before breaking into praline shards.
  7. Carefully remove cheesecake from spring form pan, arrange praline shards on top and serve.

Enjoy!

Caramel Cheesecake

Passionfruit Meringue Cupcake

Passionfruit, Banana and Pineapple Meringue Cupcakes

 

Passionfruit Meringue Cupcake

Recently I was the very lucky recipient of some delicious Australian Passionfruits from the team at Impact and Passionfruit Australia. They are encouraging Australians to put the passionfruit back into the kitchen this winter and asked me to help out.

While I was pondering what to whip up, no pun intended, I was looking at the passionfruit in my fruit bowl and spied a lonely banana who was too ripe for his own good. I then got to thinking about the recipe for a hummingbird cake (banana and pineapple) and wondered how the tropical combo would work with the inclusion of my lovely passionfruits. I decided it would be delicious and set upon creating these scrumptious treats.

They say good things come in small packages and these my friend are the proof. These melt-in-the-mouth meringue cupcakes are perfect for a sweet morning tea treat, dessert or simply to snack on when you walk past them. They might look fancy, but they are VERY simple to make.

Also, meringue makes a wonderful icing and I don’t understand why it isn’t used more often. It is simple, moist, gooey and all sorts of tasty.

Ingredients – Cupcake

  • 175g butter – softened
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups of self-raising flour – sifted
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pulp and seeds of 3 passionfruit
  • 200g tin of pineapple chunks – drained
  • 1 medium overripe banana – mashed

Ingredients – Meringue

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced and line a 12-hole, 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pan with paper cases.

  2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs and vanilla for 3 minutes or until smooth and combined.

  3. Add passionfruit, banana and pineapple. Mix until just combined. Spoon mixture into paper cases. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of 1 cake comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  4. Meanwhile, make meringue: Increase oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and sugar to form stiff peaks. You will know when your egg whites are done as all sugar will be completely absorbed and you can hold the bowl over your head with none falling out. pfft gravity.

  5. NOTE: you will need to wait for your cupcakes to cool completely before you pipe on your meringue mixture. If you don’t the bottom of the meringue will commence cooking on contact with the cupcake resulting in a hard non-marshmallow meringue.

  6. Place cupcakes on a baking tray. Spoon meringue mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.Pipe meringue on top of cupcakes. Bake for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool and serve.

  7. TIP: if you don’t have a piping bag, because let’s be honest we’re not all professional chefs, you can easily make one using a plastic zip-lock bag. Simply spoon the mix into a plastic sandwich bag, push all to one bottom corner, hold tightly and snip the end. A far more detailed video on how to do this can be found here:  http://bit.ly/1oKLB7s and don’t worry if you don’t have the nozzle, I don’t!

Enjoy!

Apricot Energy Balls

Apricot, Almond and Coconut Balls

Apricot Energy Balls

These Apricot, Almond and Coconut balls are packed with all the goodness of dried apricots and almonds. They are a delicious snack that make a fabulous mid-morning or afternoon treat. They are also perfect for kids lunchbox treats. They have no added sugar, no artificial nasties and you know exactly what has gone into them!

There are so many variations of this recipe out there, with some recipes calling for condensed milk, chocolate, biscuits etc. I tried to keep this  recipe healthy and full of non-naughty ingredients. That way you can have your treat and eat it too!

To make these chewy sweet apricot balls, you can either chop the apricots into small pieces and combine, or use a food processor to chop and mix as I did. The way I see it, there’s no point in making extra work for yourself! Once you have your mixture, all you need to do is roll it into small balls, then roll them in the coconut. I recommend that you wet your hands to avoid the mixture sticking to them as much – but unfortunately if it unavoidable. There will be a mess at the end.

This recipe is simple, yummy and easy to get kids involved with! Kids love to help out, so get them to roll the balls and to roll them in coconut!

Ingredients

  • 200g dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup of desicated coconut
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of water/milk/almond milk

Method

  1. Combine all apricots, almond meal and cinnamon in a food processor and blitz until they resemble a fine crumb.
  2. Add liquid add pulse until all ingredients come together.
  3. Place coconut in a small place and use a teaspoon to portion the mixture into balls.
  4. Roll the mixture into tight balls using the palms of your hands, roll in coconut and place in a container to refrigerate.

Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Brownie

Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownie

Chocolate Brownie

Three Chocolate and Hazelnut Brownies are one of the best tasting things that has ever come from my oven – and I have cooked some mighty fine pork in that bad boy. I also like to call them the Houdini Brownie as they instantly disappear once they are made.

They are super easy to make, even easier to eat and the ingredient combination can be changed to suit your preference. Me, I think this combo is perfection so I wouldn’t recommend changing a thing.

Ingredients

  • 185g of butter – cubed
  • 185g of dark cooking chocolate – broken into squares
  • 100g milk chocolate melts (you can use dark, caramel or white if you’d prefer)
  • 50g of hazelnuts
  • 85g of plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g caster sugar

Method

  1. Preheat a fan forced oven to 160C and a line a 2ocm square baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Scatter hazelnuts evenly on another baking tray and place in the oven to roast for 5 minutes or until the skin is starting to peel away and toast.
  3. Remove hazelnuts from oven, allow to cool and place in a tea towel. Fold the edges in of the tea towel to form a sack and rub the hazelnuts to remove the skin. Discard the skin, roughly chop the hazelnuts and place into a small bowl.
  4. Combine butter and dark chocolate in a large, microwave safe mixing bowl. Place in the microwave on medium-high heat and melt, stirring at 30 second intervals.
  5. Allow the butter and chocolate mixture to cool completely to room temperature. Do not be tempted to place the mixture in the fridge or freezer as this may lead it to separate and for ice shards to appear.
  6. Break the 3 eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl, add caster sugar and whisk using electric beaters for 5-8 minutes, or until the mixture doubles in size and becomes thick and creamy like a milk shake.
  7. Ensuring the butter and chocolate mix is fully cooled to avoid the egg from scrambling, add the egg and sugar mix to the chocolate and butter mix and gently fold together using a rubber spatula. Don’t be tempted to over mix or you will knock out all the air from step 6, you want the mixture to still be streaky with the majority of the chocolate incorporated.
  8. Sieve the cocoa and flour into the milk and fold through until just mixed. All the chopped hazelnuts and milk chocolate melts, folding until they are dotted throughout.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tub and use the spatula to smooth over the top. Place in the oven to cook for 30 minutes or until the middle is set, the top is crisp and flaky and the sides are begging to come away. It will still be gooey in the centre so don’t worry about the skewer test!
  10. Allow to cool completely in the tin and remove by lifting out the baking paper, cut into squares or cubes and watch it disappear!

Enjoy!

 

Vanilla and Berry Cupcakes

Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes with Smashed Berry Cream

Buttermilk Cupcakes

 

Ingredients – Cupcakes

  • 12 patty cake liners
  • 1 ¼ cups of self raising flour – sifted
  • ½ cup of butter – cubed at room temperature
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 egg – at room temperature
  • 2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • ½ cup of buttermilk

Ingredients – Smashed Berry Cream

  • 1 packet of McCain Season’s Choice Three Berry Mix
  • 300ml of dollop cream
  • ¼ cup of icing sugar
  • Mint leave to garnish
  • Additional icing sugar to garnish

Vanilla and Berry Cupcakes

Method

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180C.
  2. Add butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix to cream until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat until just combined.
  3. Using a wooden spoon to ensure you don’t over beat and separate the mixture, add one third of the flour and mix until there are only a few steaks of flour left, add half the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Add another third of the flour and mix, followed by the remaining buttermilk and mix, finish with the final flour portion mixing until just combined.
  4. Carefully and evenly spoon the mixture into a standard 12 hole muffin tin, lined with paper liners and place into oven. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until the tops are golden and spring back into place when gently pressed.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool in tine for 5 minutes, then remove from tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, sprinkle with icing sugar.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl defrost two cups of McCain Season’s Choice Three Berry Mix, and another cup of McCain Season’s Choice Three Berry Mix in a small bowl. Once the two cups are defrosted, use the back of a fork to smash the berries. Sift ¼ cup of icing sugar into the smashed berry mix, add 300g of dollop cream and mix well to combine.
  7. Carefully spoon a tbs of the smashed berry cream onto the top of each cupcake, garnish with defrosted berries and mint leaves.

Enjoy!

No-bake Cheesecake

Snickers Cheesecake

Caramel and Chocolate Cheesecake

When life is so busy, I’m all for taking a few cooking shortcuts… and you’d need not feel guilty about it. Especially when the results are so delicious that your guests ask for the recipe!

So without further ado, may I present the recipe for one of my favourite desserts, the wickedly good, no-bake Scnickers Cheesecake. Chocolate, salty caramel and nuts – YUM! What’s not to love?

Ingredients – Base

  • 250g chocolate biscuits
  • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 100g butter – melted

Ingredients – Filling

  • 3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 500g cream cheese – softened
  • 300ml thickened cream – whipped
  • 1/2 cup of good quality caramel sauce – adjust amount according to your taste preferences
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of roasted, lightly salted peanuts – washed to remove excess salt, dried and roughly chopped
  • Melted milk chocolate – to serve

Method

  1. Grease a 20cm-round (base) springform pan and line the bottom with baking paper.
  2. Using a food processor, process biscuits and coconut to resemble a fine crumbs. Add butter. Process until combined. Press the biscuit mixture over base and side of prepared pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Note: to keep the rustic look and feel of the cheesecake, don’t make the edges of the biscuit base uniform.
  3. Sprinkle gelatine over boiling water in a small heatproof jug. Whisk with a fork until gelatine has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and caramel sauce until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in gelatine mixture until combined. Fold in whipped cream and 1/2 of the peanuts into the mixture.
  5. Scatter the remaining peanuts over the biscuit base, pour mixture into the prepared pan, levelling top with a spatula. Cover. Refrigerate overnight or until set.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from pan. Decorate top of cheesecake with melted chocolate and serve.

Enjoy!