Archive of ‘Slices’ category

Rocky road (perfect for Christmas)

Rocky road

In part two of the uh-oh-it’s-Christmas-how-the-feck-did-that-happen posts, here’s some Rocky Road.

Marshmallows, coconut, Turkish delight, nuts cherries, chocolate… all these things are easy to find in the supermarket. And it’s a forgiving recipe, just swap out what you can’t eat or don’t want. (more…)

Plum tray bake

Plum slice cut up

Australia is just reaching the end of summer and the stone fruit season, so now is the time to make the most of baking with the last of the plums. And plum slice is just the ticket. Actually, I lie. Not about the slice… it’s not the end of summer – it’s well and truly autumn (or fall, whatever you wish to call it). But there is still some nice stone fruit, and still some nice weather.

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Home made muesli bars

This week I think I’ve been channelling one of my favourite food bloggers, Frugal Feeding (worth checking out for good dinner inspiration), and finding alternatives to excessive spending.

I’m blaming the currency transition from pounds to Australia dollars, which I’ve recently done moving back to Australia, but dang food seems expensive at the moment. And $5 for a pack of five muesli bars, which I could see were mainly just oats and glucose syrup, is not cool. (more…)

World’s best brownies

If you like your brownies like one big slab of moist chocolate filled with chocolate chips and macadamias then look no further. Bookmark this page, hand across my heart I tell you this is the best recipe ever.

If you like your brownies a bit lighter and cake-like, then go google cake recipes this is no place for you and your namby pamby brownie ideas.

Thank you to my cousin Michelle, and her co-worker Katherine who penned the recipe.

Just check out the ingredients you’ll need (I doubled the recipe, so your quantities won’t be quite so much).


Place sugar and flour in a bowl, and add your beaten eggs.

Melt your butter and dark chocolate on a super low heat.


That’s real chocolate right there.

Now add that to your bowl too. Stir well.

Fold through the milk choc chips, white choc chips and optional macadamia.


The spoon-cam says it all really.

Put it in a greased tray. Bake it. Eat it. Eat some more. Stop. You will start feeling sick.

This is going to be my last post for a little while as I’m due to get on an aeroplane any day now as I am moving back to Melbourne. I have a few minor things to sort out, job, house, car, life. You know, those little pesky things.

Very excitedly, I have a couple of boxes of kitchen goods waiting for me in a storage unit. Oh the joy of it! More than one mixing bowl! Electric beaters! Different plates! I’ll be back…

Ingredients
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
125g butter chopped
200g dark chocolate
150g white chocolate chopped
100g milk chocolate chopped
Optional: 100 grams of chopped macadamia nuts

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 25cm square tin with baking paper. Tip: If you spray the tin with olive oil before the paper it makes it easier to line.
  2. Place flour, sugar and beaten eggs in a bowl, stir well.
  3. Melt dark chocolate and butter. WAIT! It’s very easy to burn chocolate while melting it. A lot of recipes tell you to use a water bath. A lot of effort. I don’t bother. As long as you keep it on a super low temperature on the stove and stir it as you go, you should be right. With that in mind, place your chopped butter and dark chocolate in a saucepan on the stove on a very low heat. Stir Stir Stir. The butter will start to melt. The melted butter will start to melt the dark chocolate. Take the saucepan off the heat before all the chocolate is melted and let the heat of the melted butter and chocolate finish it off. Better safe than sorry, you can always return to the heat.
  4. Pour the dark chocolate and butter mixture into your bowl with the flour-egg mix and stir well.
  5. Fold through your milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and optional macadamias. Eat some batter. Nom Nom.
  6. Pour in to your prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. This was my first time making brownies and I was a bit concerned about when I’d know they were done. I looked up what Jamie Oliver said on the matter which helped me hugely “You don’t want to overcook them so, unlike cakes, you don’t want a skewer to come out all clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle. Allow to cool in the tray, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares.” Thanks Jamie! When you jiggle your brownie tray the middle should move a little.
  7. Eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or serve with ice cream for dessert. Makes 15 pieces.

Healthy? There is nothing healthy about this. 300 terrible-but-totally-worth-it calories a slice if you cut them into 15 pieces.

Gluten free: Brownies are easily adapted to a gluten free flour mix. Just switch out the flour for your favourite substitute.

Storage: They keep well in an airtight container. Padlock and key are handy too.

Cherry ripe slice

Like all good stories, we should start at the beginning:

1. Cherry ripe bars (not the slice below, I’m talking about an actual chocolate bar here) are Australia’s oldest chocolate bar. It’s not hard to be the oldest thing of anything in Australia, but when something is, we respect that.

Word.

2. Cadbury, the makers of the bar, describe it as “… ripe juicy cherries and moist coconut smothered in rich Old Gold dark chocolate …”

3. What the marketing team doesn’t mention is you can’t get them in London. This is a problem for me.

This recipe was printed in the The Guardian Weekend newspaper. so armed with three packets of glace cherries, I gave it a shot. It’s delicious. So good. I took it to a BBQ and another couple of Australians there said the taste was just the same as the chocolate bars.

Next time I make it though, I’m going to half the base. I’m more about the chocolate and the cherries. But other taste testers at the above BBQ liked the base as is. I’ll post an update once I try it.

Before I launch in to the recipe I would like to issue a challenge:

You can either chop up the cherries needed for this recipe by hand or use a food processor. If you have a child under 10 (who you trust with a knife) I think you should let them chop the cherries. Then email me at  a picture of the resulting cherries/child combo at clevermuffin@gmail.com. I promise to post it. *hehe*

Ingredients: Base
1 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
100 grams butter, softened
¼ cup cold milk

Ingredients: Cherry filling
600 grams glace cherries
125 grams sweetened condensed milk
1 ¾ cups desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Ingredients: Chocolate topping
250 grams dark chocolate
4 teaspoons olive oil

Method: Base
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160C fan-assisted, 350F, gas mark 4).
2. Take a 18cm square cake tin, preferably one with a removable base, and line bottom with baking paper. Spray with cooking oil for good measure.
3. Put the flour, cocoa, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and rub in the butter until it’s worked through and all the lumps have gone.
4. Add the milk and mix to a soft, even dough.
5. Press firmly and evenly into the base of your prepared tin.
6. Set to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until set and dry on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Method: Cherry filling
1. Put 400 grams of glace cherries in a food processor to mince very finely. I did start this process by hand (see above) which is possible with a bit of patience. But very sticky. I then borrowed a food processor from my neighbour. Much quicker.
2. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk, coconut and vanilla until you have a smooth, pink paste.
3. Cut the remaining cherries in half, stir through, then spread evenly over your cooling base (doesn’t matter if it’s not completely cool).
Warning: even through the base has been cooling and the sides are cool, the bottom is still piping hot, don’t try and pick it up with your bare hands to put it back in the oven (guess how I learnt that lesson).
4. Bake at the same temperature for a further 25 minutes or until it starts to go golden on top.
5. Refrigerate until the slice is cold – about two to three hours.

Method: Chocolate topping
1. Place the chocolate and oil in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Spread over the slice.
4. Refrigerate until firm.
5. Cut with a heated knife. This will take a bit of muscle. I had two tall cups full of boiling water to assist with the process.

But it’s worth it. Oh, it’s so worth it.

Cut in to 2cm squares, this makes 30.

Healthy? It’s no fruit salad love. 200 calories per slice.

Gluten free? The base is not. The GF recipes I have seen just substitute the flour with GF flour, but I haven’t tried it. With all the butter and sugar, I think it would be fine and bind well enough. Or, you could do something like:

Gluten free alternate for base
Ingredients
170 grams digestive type GF biscuits from the supermarket, crushed
60 grams butter, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa

Method
Combine the digestive biscuits, butter and cocoa together. Press firmly into the base of the tin. No need to cook it for this method. Then just add the cheery mixture on top and keep going as above.

Storage: In an airtight container.

Source: Modified from The Guardian Weekend “How to bake: cherry ripe bars” by Dan Lepard p. 63. 18 July 2011.

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