Category: Christmas Yummies

Jelly Cake

Jelly cake feature

A few months back Zadada’s Grandfather and I were having a conversation at my kitchen bench as we do (at least once a week), we were discussing his upcoming 80th birthday and what he might like to do for it and of course cake was a topic of discussion too!!! I asked him, what is your most favourite cake? His reply……..’Jelly Cake Dannielle’, ‘mmmmmmm well there you go’ I said, ‘can’t say I’ve ever made a Jelly Cake’ (my thinking cap was already ticking away), Zadada’s Grandfather just chuckled his cheeky chuckle that always sneaks out when he’s happy (every time we see him to be exact), I think he was onto me and my ticking thinking cap!

I’d heard of Jelly Slice (but never made one) and I’d made little Jelly Cakes before (like lamingtons except you sub jelly for the chocolate bit) but I knew the jelly slice theme was most likely going to be the key player in this Jelly Cake I was about to attempt.

There was a little bit of experimenting with the middle creamy looking layer, I actually thought I might cheesecake it up a bit, but after thinking about the consistency I decided to keep things simple and just jellify the middle creamy layer.

The end result was

A few months back Zadada's Grandfather and I were having a conversation at my kitchen bench as we do (at least once a we...

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Homemade Choc Chip and Berry Swirl Ice Cream

Homemade choc chip and berry swirl ice cream feature

I’m back, school holidays and all!

Wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to get a second recipe out to you guys this week but thanks to a homeday, the 2 older kidlets standing in as extra kitchen hands and one Miss 4 co-operating and having her day nap I was able to get this little treasure made, edited and written up ready for you all to get creating with.

Last week Miss 8 bought home an Ice Cream recipe her gorgeous, thoughtful teacher photo copied for her from a book at school (just don’t ask me what book?!). I got handed the photo copy and the request was made ‘Mum can we make this while we’re on school holidays?’ And you guys know me, never one to decline any opportunity to create in the kitchen (especially something “sweet”), ‘sounds like a great plan to me’ I replied……..and so operation Homemade Choc Chip and Berry Swirl Ice Cream began to hatch, no plain vanilla ice cream in this neck of the woods!

homemade choc chip and berry swirl ice cream scoop

homemade choc chip and berry swirl icecream long

We had everything we needed right here at home, conveniently I had

I'm back, school holidays and all! Wasn't sure whether I'd be able to get a second recipe out to you guys this week but...

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Rocky Road Celebration Cake

Rocky Road celebration cake feature

I know you’re probably thinking ‘Dannielle you just had a celebration at your place, Miss 8’s Birthday’……. and I would say ‘you are completely correct BUT with all the excitement of Miss 8’s Birthday celebrations I forgot about my 2 year BLOGIVERSARY, yes that’s right I have been blogging away here now in this little piece of cyber space for 2 years now (plus a little bit!)’

A big thank you going out to all my lovely readers for travelling with me on this little journey, you guys are just the greatest, I love it when you share pictures with me of the recipes you’ve made from my blog, the messages you send me telling me how much you’ve enjoyed them and all that sharing, liking and commenting you do for me over on Facebook. We’ve got a real little community happening here and it just makes me feel so happy and grateful! Here’s to many more delicious moments!

You all know I don’t need much of an excuse to make something super scrummy and sugarfied, my ‘Blogiversary’ seemed the perfect fit. I’ve been toying with a few idea’s since building up a slight collection of confectionery (bought on sale) in my pantry (mainly marshmallows, Clinkers and Cadbury blocks of chocolate). Zadada took a peek in there the other day and commented on the abundance of chocolate, I politely informed him the bulk of it would be disappearing very soon.

‘VERY SOON’ came very soon indeed and this Rocky Road Celebration Cake was the outcome of making most of that confectionery vanish from our pantry, just like that! This cake takes next to no time to whip up, and you only need to give it around 2 hours in the fridge to set, no baking necessary with this little treasure!

Rocky Road CC 3

Next time you’re short of time for creating a birthday cake, you might like to consider this little lump of deliciousness, I guarantee the recipient won’t be disappointed. The beauty of a creation like this is that you can mix and match the mix-ins to what ever your taste buds desire, just use the marshmallow and chocolate quantities in the mix and make any substitutions you like. I couldn’t resist but to use some of our personal favs…..Clinkers, Red Frogs, Macadamia Nuts, Oreo’s, Maltesers and M&m’s, soooooo good!

http://zamamabakes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Rocky-road-CC-top-shot.jpg

This really is a fun cake to make, the kidlets eyeballs just about fell  out of their heads when they saw it taking shape. I explained there was some setting time to be had as well as some photography time (The joys of having a blogger as a mum!)

Rocky road celebration cake 1

Finally the time came for taste testing, I managed to sneak in a few shots of Mr 10,

I know you're probably thinking 'Dannielle you just had a celebration at your place, Miss 8's Birthday'....... and I wou...

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Signing Off For 2014 With White Chocolate Chewy Spiders!

White chocolate Chewy spiders Here you go lovelies, my lucky, lucky last post for 2014!

These little treasures were a last minute thought for the market stall I held last weekend, thinking little kidlets might like something to munch & chew on while walking around the market with their parents. As it turned out the kidlets did enjoy them as well as quite a few big kidlets! I had two fully grown men come back and buy an extra 4 after sampling 1 each. Kaymac gave them a big thumbs up too and of course our 3 kidlets inhaled a few too, that’s always a good sign they’re blog worthy!

Earlier this week Blake had his last night of Scouts for the year which included a little Christmas celebration and of course a take-a- plate request……guess what I made him to take along?

You may have come across standard chocolate spiders, found on the back of all good Chang’s fried noodles packets. I thought I’d try something similar with white chocolate and a little more colour & appeal for the kidlets (a few Allen’s snakes and some mini marshmallows had those bases covered!).

It’s totally up to you how you decorate them I’ve crushed M&M’s over the top and also left them whole. I used Nestle White Chocolate melts in the first batch (the market) then Cadbury Dream chocolate for the 2nd batch (at scouts). Both tasted delicious, however I did like the fact that the Cadbury Chocolate melted down a little thinner and gave a smoother finish to the end product.

Close up White Chocolate Chewy Spiders

They take all of 15 minutes to make and the end result is a delicious little mouthful of crunch and chew!

Here’s your How-To:

ingredients pic White Chocolate Chewy Spiders instructionsBirds eye view Chocolate Spiders

White Chocolate Chewy Spiders
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 300g Cadbury Dream White Chocolate broken into individual pieces
  • ⅔ cup mini marshmallows, roughly chopped
  • 8 Jelly snakes, diced.
  • 1 x 100g packet Chang's Original Fried Noodles
  • Approx 50g m&m's roughly chopped or mini's left whole
Instructions
  1. Line a mini 24 hole muffin tin with patty pans (alternatively you can just line a tray with baking paper)
  2. Melt chocolate (you can use double boiler method, I used Microwave as is so quick and easy: place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl/jug and heat on high for 30 seconds, stir and return to microwave for another 30 seconds, repeat this process until chocolate is melted and smooth. I find 2-3 rounds has it sorted).
  3. Add noodles, mini marshmallows and jelly snakes to chocolate, stir to combine.
  4. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of mixture into prepared patty pans or alternatively just place heaped teaspoonful's onto lined baking tray to create little mounds.
  5. Top with m&m's crushed or whole, the choice is yours.
  6. Place in fridge to set.
  7. Enjoy!

Now a message for you all…..thank you, thankyou, thank you for all your encouraging support again this year.

You my lovely readers are the ones who keep me blogging, your comments, likes, shares, posts and emails let me know that you’re enjoying what I’m giving you and in turn makes me want to continue giving you more of my baking, creating, mothering and lifestyle adventures. 2015 will be another fun year I’m sure.

Speaking of fun have you entered my GIVEAWAY yet? Entries close Saturday night, the perfect way to round down 2014!

As of Sunday evening I’ll be taking a little 100% break from all blogging and social media (let’s call it a good detox), my little family have been so very patient with me and all my blogging, I want to soak up every bit of this precious time of year with them, I hope you understand. Rest assured I’ll be back Mid January baking, creating and sharing with you once again.

I’d like to wish all of you a very safe, happy, merry, love filled, delicious (make and eat lots!!!) festive season. If 2014 has been unkind to you at all please know that you are in my heartfelt  thoughts and prayers xxxx.

Here’s to an amazing and kind 2015!!!

Until then……….

Zamamabakes!

Here you go lovelies, my lucky, lucky last post for 2014! These little treasures were a last minute thought for the mark...

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15 Minute Salted Caramel Cheesecakes

15 Minute Salted Caramel Cheesecakes Feature

It’s all systems go here, lots of hopping from one event to another……handmade markets, school presentation’s & treat days, birthday parties, preschool Christmas parties , work Christmas parties and somewhere in there trying to finish my Christmas shopping (nothing like leaving the finishing touches until the weekend before Christmas) please tell me I’m not the only one!

With all this dashing as I know I’m not the only one (I feel like one of Santa’s reindeers, do you?) I thought a quick and easy dessert should be shared your way! A 15 minute Salted Caramel Cheesecake to be precise 🙂

Inspiration for these little treasures came from a delicious Mousse I recently purchased from our local Blue Frog Patisserie & Café. So many delicious delights on offer from this great Patisserie, Chocolate croissants, lemon tarts, French vanilla slice, French baguettes, cheesecakes, is your mouth watering yet?

As I said most recently  it was the Mousse that captivated my tastebuds, SALTED CARAMEL MOUSSE, it was so deliciously decadent.  Those flavours got me thinking and did lead to a bit of a brainstorming session with the girls I work with who also share my love of eating sweet treats.

The short of the long is that I decided to get experimenting to try and create something similar in flavour and texture to what I had tasted and enjoyed sooooo much. Obviously I’m no French Pastry chef but I gave it my best shot and after 2 attempts I think I’ve come up with a little winner for what I refer to as a 15 minute Salted Cheesecake.

Here I was thinking it would be something more for Zadada and I to enjoy (which we certainly did) but I can also inform you that the 2 little girls of the family devoured one of these cheescakes each and the following night asked for another!

If you’re looking for a traditional cheesecake head this way. BUT if you’re like me and quite time poor this Christmas (are you working Christmas eve too?), this little treasure might be the perfect dessert to add to your Christmas day dining menu, it’s being added to ours.

Birds eye SCC

SALTED CARAMEL!!! Do I need to say more than that? Well yes I do because I’ve recently discovered that Coles supermarket sells a delicious salted caramel sauce that is almost as good as my homemade version, you’ll find that recipe here. With time being the issue the supermarket version has been put to good use in this little treasure but don’t be afraid to try making a batch (if you have the time).

Less is more sometimes and this is one of those times, this recipe consists of 4 main ingredients: biscuit crumbs, cream, mascarpone cheese &  Salted caramel sauce.

Trust me you’re going to love it and even more so because it’s only going to take you 15 minutes to make!

Let’s get to it.

How-to:

Salted caramel cheesecake instructions

Salted caramel cheecake duet

time to enjoy

5.0 from 1 reviews
15 minute Salted Caramel Cheesecakes
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 x 250g Packet Granita Biscuits (ground down to fine crumbs)
  • 40g butter melted
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 300ml Salted Caramel sauce (store bought Or you can make mine, link is above)
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes
Instructions
  1. Set out 6 x 300ml glasses
  2. Combine biscuit crumbs with butter and stir well.
  3. Press crumbs 2-3 tablespoons into the base of each glass, pop in fridge.
  4. Whip cream in a bowl with electric mixer until thick and peaking (see pictures above)
  5. Add mascarpone cheese and salted caramel to cream, fold through until well combined.
  6. Grab those glasses from the fridge and spoon or pipe caramel mixture into glasses (approx. ½- 2/3 cup per glass) will just depend on the size and shape of your glasses.
  7. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some chocolate curls over caramel mixture and sprinkle with a few salt flakes.
  8. Enjoy!
  9. I do recommend refrigerating cheesecakes for an hour or 2 but if you can't wait just dig in lovelies.

How’s life treating you this week? I hope you’re all safe and well.

Please know that my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the siege in Sydney, so so sad.

I’ve got one last post to come your way for 2014 before I take a little silly season break!

Stay tuned lovelies….

Zamamabakes

 

It's all systems go here, lots of hopping from one event to another......handmade markets, school presentation's & t...

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Mum’s Christmas Cake & A Giveaway!

This Post is in collaboration with Crazy sales.

Mum's Christmas cake feature

Christmas cake never used to be high on my list of sweet treats to enjoy on Christmas day, but opinions and tastes can change over time and that’s exactly what’s happened to me, since having my 3 kidlets (must be hormones), Christmas cake is now on the priority list of must haves for Christmas and not just any Christmas cake it has to be my Mums!

Call me fussy but I’m not a fan of excessive sultanas or glace cherries in any sort of baking, I think it’s something to do with the consistency.

Mum’s Christmas cake ticks all my boxes because there’s no overdosing the cake with sultana’s or glace cherries, they’re still in there (wouldn’t be a Christmas cake without them) but there’s other good stuff in there too like dates, walnuts and apricots ! I do love a cake with a bit of texture!

Boxing Day morning is when I really enjoy Mum’s cake. We usually start with a BBQ bacon & egg brekkie and I finish it off with a nice cup of tea and a slice or 2 of my favourite Christmas cake, it’s all about balancing the savoury with some sweet!

I told Mum about a month ago I’d really love to blog her Christmas cake recipe if that was ok with her, she smiled and said “sure, but it’s not really a ‘proper’ Christmas cake, it’s just an easy boiled fruit cake’, I told her to me it’s a Christmas cake, she does make it every Christmas and only at Christmas, it has brandy, dried fruit and spices in it so that makes it a Christmas cake in my books!

We set a date on the calendar to have our (my first) Christmas cake baking day, we had a lovely day. The best bit was  getting to spend quality time with Mum (even though we were baking) we had quite a few giggles along the way. I’m now armed with a Christmas cake recipe I love and can make every year. Love you Mum xx

Coincidently around the same time we set our date the lovely people over at Crazy sales asked me to test out an Induction cooker and see what I thought. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect I knew exactly what I was going to test it on, a boiled fruit cake!

The Induction cooker arrived and a few days later so did our Christmas cake baking day!

Before we got to the baking day I wanted to give the induction cooker a good trial run, make sure we had the heating situation down pat, there would have been nothing worse than to start boiling up that delicious fruit cake and have it burn! Turns out we had absolutely nothing to worry about, it boiled the ingredients up perfectly.

Zadada and I also put it to the test frying some eggs and making up a batch of our red and green (tomato and kale) cheesy scrambled eggs.

Induction cooker

The induction cooker has a great range of temperature settings which would accommodate any type of hot plate cooking, we didn’t burn a thing. There is a whole bunch of cooking settings you can play around with on the induction cooker, I used the stir-fry setting which gave me the largest range of temperature choices and to be quite honest I think it’s the one I’ll stick with, a bit like the microwave, it has a whole range of settings available but I just stick with the one usually, heat and eat! I like things to be straight forward when it comes to using appliances just ask Zadada he’ll tell you it’s a very rare thing for me to go reading instructions thoroughly (who has time for that?). I did make an exception for this little treasure, reading the manual from front to back (3 cheers for me!! just kidding!), I think the fact that there were only 7 pages to read made the task a little more appealing.

Now you might ask why would you want an induction cooker when you already have a stove/cooktop?

Here’s my thoughts………

  • I do love my gas cooktop but there has been the odd occasion where I’ve run out of gas midway through steaming the veggies for dinner! This would solve that problem and prevent me from having a Mummy meltdown!
  • I find the gas sometimes too hot even on the lowest setting, I’ll be using the induction cooker for my chocolate ganache and salted caramel sauce from now on.
  • Hot lunches Christmas day, lots of cooks in the kitchen, running out of room on the standard stove…..problem solved again.
  • Camping not my favourite thing to do but if I was to go camping I would definitely want to take one of these with me (I’d just have to make sure I had a powered site or generator). It’s so light in weight (approx. 1kg) making it perfect for transporting.
  • Those times when it’s too hot to cook inside and you want to be outside (I don’t like lighting the BBQ solo) so I could just cook the meat in a pan on the induction cooker, win, win!

You can check out more of Crazy sales small kitchen appliances HERE.

The great news for all of you is that the generous people from Crazy sales have given me another Induction Cooker to GIVE AWAY!

For your chance to win this handy little appliance, head over to Crazy sales, check out all their other fantastic deals and tell me in the comments below ‘What else would you add to your Christmas wish list from Crazy sales and why?……… Good luck!

PS – in case you were wondering what else I’d add to my wish list…… it would be one of the Crazy sales Robotic vacuum cleaners (I need all the help I can get!)

Now for a Christmas cake…….

We had the ever so talented 3-year-old helping us, she can make a handful of diced apricots disappear in 30 seconds!

Christmas cake helper

Christmas cake instructions

Christmas cake 2

A little moment of proudness x 2!

Our Christmas cakes

4.6 from 5 reviews
Mum's Christmas Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 25
Ingredients
  • 375g packet mixed fruit (I pick the glace cherries out and dice them up finely)
  • 1 cup diced dates
  • ½ cup diced apricots
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 250g butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • ½ cup diced walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Combine mixed fruit, diced fruit, jam, orange juice, butter and brown sugar in a large heavy based saucepan. Stir over low heat until butter melts and sugar has dissolved, increase heat, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes, let stand until cold. Add combined beaten eggs and brandy, then fold in sifted dry ingredients. Grease and line a 23cm x 23cm square cake tin (you’ll end up with a cake about 4cm thick), spread mixture evenly into tin. Bake in a moderate oven for 50 minutes until cooked when tested (a skewer should just come out clean) for me and my fan- forced oven moderate worked out at 160C.
  2. Cool in tin 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire cake rack.
  3. Mum tells me this cake keeps for a good month in an airtight container in the pantry, mine has been quartered, wrapped in foil followed by cling wrap, placed in an airtight container and is frozen in the freezer (I always like to stay on the safe side with our summer temperatures).
  4. Cake size options:
  5. cm x 20cm square tin baked in a moderate oven for approx. 1.5 hours (this will give you a thicker cake).
  6. Six 7cm x 14cm mini loaf tins for a cuter option, baked in moderate oven for 30 - 35 mins.
  7. Enjoy!!

 

Terms and Conditions:

The name of the promotion is: Crazy Sales Induction Cooker Competition. The promoter is Zamamabakes in conjunction with Crazy Sales. The conditions of entry: answer 1 question, 1 entry per person. Employees, immediate family members, retailers, suppliers, associated companies and agencies are not eligible to enter. The giveaway will close on Saturday December 20th, 2014 at 8pm. Comments submitted after this time will not be considered for the giveaway. This is a game of skill. The winner will be awarded based on the strength of their answer to the question ‘what else would you put on your Christmas wish list from crazy sales and why?’ The prize will be in the form of an induction cooker which will be sent to the winner once address details have been provided after the competition has closed. The results of the giveaway will be published on this site on Sunday December 21st 2014. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and are non-transferable. The prize is valued at $59.95. The competition is open to Australian residents only. The Promoter is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner.

Until the next time….

Zamamabakes

THE WINNER OF THE INDUCTION COOKER COMPETITION IS T. HUFSCHMID, thank you to everyone who entered! Have a beautiful Christmas.

This Post is in collaboration with Crazy sales. Christmas cake never used to be high on my list of sweet treats to enjoy...

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Chocolate Ganache Meringue Kisses

Chocolate ganache meringue kisses feature

Time just seems to be flying past at the moment more so than usual, maybe due to the fact that it’s December??? What do you think?

This week we’ve had school intensive swimming for one 7-year-old (she loves it), she’ll be pleased to know she still has another week ahead of her, I managed to spend a day with Mum making her Christmas cake recipe (which I love eating)….can you believe I’d never attempted baking one until now? (And yes you will be getting Mum’s recipe!).  We’ve also done the dentist check-ups  x 3 kidlets which went surprisingly smoothly (love that it’s out of the way for another 6 months!), there’s been a take-a-plate request, I made my Triple Choc Malteser Balls for a group of 9 & 10 year olds, which I believe were well received (the container did come home empty!). Somewhere in there are 2 days of work at the optometrist and then over the weekend we’re braving the Santa crowds (I’m actually feeling good about it this year because I’ve booked ahead at Myer, fingers crossed our wait is only about 10 minutes, I’ll keep you posted!), and in case you’re curious here’s a peek at our Santa visit from last year.

Now for the really important, yummy bit, the latest addition to the blog….. ‘Chocolate Ganache Meringue Kisses’. I’ve had Blake requesting I make a batch of these for the last 2 months.

I waitressed a wedding 2 months ago and was lucky enough to be gifted some delicious home baked treasures, including meringue kisses! Knowing how much Blake loves meringues I kept one aside to take home for him to try. The next morning when I mentioned I had a few little sweet treats from the wedding, all 3 kidlets were lined up at the bench waiting for some samples. Blake loved the meringue kiss which was joined with chocolate ganache…… that’s when the request came. It’s taken me a little while to get around to it, but we did it and they all vanished within 2 days.

I will add purchasing Donna Hay’s 2014 Christmas magazine last month and discovering a whole section dedicated to meringue was the icing on the cake for making these little treasures, Donna had a plain meringue recipe for me to run with (I’ve never failed with Donna!). It had been a while since I’d made meringue, Donna’s recipe worked a treat.

One of best things about Meringue is that you only need 3 ingredients!

We knew there was going to be some Chocolate ganache made to join our meringues together plus a few sprinkle’s to pretty them up (cue the dark chocolate, cream and sprinkles) so we used 6 ingredients all up! You can enjoy the meringues plain or do a whole lot of other variations, just check out Donna’s Christmas Magazine page 172-182!

I’m guessing I’ll be getting another request from a certain 9-year-old to make another batch of these treasures for our Christmas celebrations, they really are so pretty and delicate, they’d compliment any dessert buffet for any occasion.

Here’s how our little creations unfolded…….

Blake was chief meringue mixer, he even attempted piping a few little meringues.

Meringue instructions

Ella was chief stirrer for the chocolate ganache.

Chocolate ganache instructions

Chocolate Ganache Meringue Kisses
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 30
Ingredients
  • MERINGUES
  • 150ml eggwhites (approximately 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Sprinkles for decorating
  • DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
  • ¼ cup cream (I used thickened cream, coconut cream works well too)
  • 100g dark chocolate roughly chopped.
Instructions
  1. MERINGUES
  2. Preheat oven to 150C.
  3. Place egg whites in bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until stiff peeks form.
  4. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking for 30 seconds before adding more. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk for a further 8 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  5. Scrape down the side of bowl, add the vinegar and whisk for a further 2 minutes or until glossy and combined.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 2cm plain nozzle and pipe small circles on a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper (I traced small 4cm diameter circles onto the baking paper using the edge of a little medicine cup as a template -see picture) this helped to keep my meringues similar in size. You should end up with about 60 meringues.
  7. Sprinkle the sprinkles over the piped meringues.
  8. Reduce heat of oven to 120C and bake for 25 minutes or until crisp to touch.
  9. Turn the oven off and allow meringues to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  10. DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
  11. Place cream and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds, stir and return to microwave for another 20 seconds, continue this process until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Alternatively you can heat cream in a heavy based saucepan over low heat until just starting to steam, add chocolate, stir until chocolate is starting to melt through, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth. Set aside.
  12. Chocolate mixture will thicken as it cools, (I give it a stir about very 5 mins if I think of it, if it's a hot day pop the mixture in the fridge for a bit, but be keep an eye on it, you don't want it to set or you'll have to melt it down and start the cooling process again) once it reaches a thick enough consistency to pipe with, spoon mixture into piping bag and pipe small rounds very carefully (the meringues are very delicate to handle, I did break a couple but you'll have plenty to play with so don't worry) onto one cooled meringue base and join with another meringue.
  13. Store meringues in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 5 days.
  14. Enjoy!

Plain chocolate ganache kisses

How’s your December travelling? Is the Silly but Precious Christmas Season making your life a little busier than usual?

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend ahead and stay tuned because there’s another giveaway bubbling in the pipeline!

Until the next time…..

Zamamabakes

 

Time just seems to be flying past at the moment more so than usual, maybe due to the fact that it's December??? What do...

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Mini Caramelised Onion & Blue Cheese Tarts

Mini caramalised onion and blue cheese tarts feature

I do love a savoury recipe that sounds a bit fancy pants but doesn’t require you to be a gourmet chef! These tasty ‘Mini Caramelised Onion & Blue Cheese Tarts’ certainly fall into that category.

I first tried these little treasures when a beautiful friend of mine, Cathy made a batch and I was lucky enough to sample some (she knows I’m always on the look out for new idea’s).

I will say I’d never really enjoyed Blue Cheese until I tried it in a Cheese Ball my Uncle made one Christmas a few years ago, you’ll find that recipe HERE. Then of course Cathy recently relit the ‘Blue Cheese’ fire for me with these tasty little Tarts, I took one mouthful and I couldn’t wait to take another, delicious I tell you! I think the partnering of caramelised onions with Blue cheese is just the perfect combination to take a basic quiche to the next level of being a fancy pants tart!

With December virtually on our doorstep I thought it was a very appropriate time to share such a delightful little recipe with you all. A plate of these tarts taken to any of your upcoming social events will have people asking you for the recipe, because that’s what you do when you eat something that’s absolutely delicious and homemade.

After eating my something delicious, I asked Cathy for her recipe (I had to make myself a batch), she said “well it’s kind of just in my head”, I think sometimes our ‘in the head recipes’ are often the yummiest.

Puff pastry obviously encases each of these little treasures, my MIL (Mother-In-Law) recently shared with me her love for Butter Puff pastry when she makes a quiche, I’ve always just grabbed what ever’s on special but because I was dealing with some slightly more gourmet ingredients I thought I’d test out this Butter Puff pastry, I like it, it  has a lovely wholesome buttery flavour. If you only have standard puff pastry in the freezer it will work just fine too.

butter puff pastry

Now one of my baking/blogging sessions doesn’t seem complete without a little helper…….find my little egg whisking assistant below.

Chief Egg mixer

It takes a naked cabbage patch doll with a little bit of pen tattooed on her head and a lot of concentration to whisk eggs and cream!

I used just a standard wedge of Mainland Blue Cheese and unless you love a really strong Blue Cheese taste you will only use half this wedge.

Blue cheese

The other great thing about these little tarts is that they can be made up to 3 days ahead of time, they will also keep in the freezer for up to 3 months so they will certainly help take the stress out of having to cook on the spot if you’re stretched for time. Just reheat thawed tarts in oven at 160C for 10 minutes or until piping hot in the centre.

How to:

Caramelise the onions

caramelising the onions

Cut some rounds of pastry, press into greased patty pans, pop some caramelised onion’s and blue cheese and pour over your egg and cream mixture.

Tart assembly

Bake in the oven for 20 mins at 160 C

and………… Voila!

mini caramelised onion and blue cheese tarts feature 2tarts close up

Mini Caramelised Onion & Blue Cheese Tarts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 brown onions quartered and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 sheets puff pastry
  • 50g Blue Cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large frypan over low heat. Add the onions and a good pinch of salt, cook very slowly over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't be tempted to turn the heat up, as you don't want the onions to burn.
  2. When onions are softened and slightly golden, stir through the sugar and balsamic vinegar - this will start the caramelisation process. Cook onion over low heat for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to160C.
  4. Grease 24 patty pan holes (50ml capacity)
  5. Remove pastry from freezer and set each sheet flat on the bench to defrost a little. (l like it semi firm to cut the rounds out).
  6. Whisk eggs and cream together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.
  7. Using a 7cm scone cutter (or just the lip of a glass) cut 24 rounds of pastry and gently press into patty pans.
  8. Place a teaspoon of onion mixture onto pastry and top with a few crumbled pieces of blue cheese (you should only need half the wedge to cover 24 tarts). Repeat for remaining patty pans.
  9. Pour egg mixture over the onion and cheese so pan is ⅔ full (you don't want them to overflow during the baking process)
  10. Sprinkle some chives over the top.
  11. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until firm and lightly golden.
  12. Enjoy!
  13. If you have any leftovers, once cooled the tarts can be stored in an airtight container in fridge for 3 days or frozen for 3 months which makes them a great little finger food to make in advance and enjoy later!
  14. You can reheat thawed tarts in oven at 160C for about 10 minutes or until hot in the centre.

So tell me…. have you had any cabbage patch dolls helping you cook in the kitchen lately?

And what’s your favourite finger food to entertain with, got any ‘ just in my head’ recipes?

Until the next time……..

Zamamabakes

 

I do love a savoury recipe that sounds a bit fancy pants but doesn't require you to be a gourmet chef! These tasty 'Mini...

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Triple Choc Malteser Balls

Triple Choc Malteser Balls feature

Triple Choc had to be in the title of these tasty little Malteser balls, after all they do have milk chocolate, white chocolate chips and Maltesers as the major sponsors!

When I started planning this little baking adventure I did have the kidlets in mind, they love the basic chocolate balls I make each Christmas, you’ll fine that recipe HERE, this silly season I thought I’d try and mix things up a bit for them. They love Maltesers and just quietly so do I (you only have to say the word chocolate and my mouth waters!).

Being Triple Choc these balls are deliciously decadent to say the least, if you can stop at just one ball you’ll be doing way better than me, each time I have one I have to have a second, they really are so moreish.

Considering the mouth watering end result, I love how easy these little treasures are to make.

The kidlets have given them the thumbs up to be served up on our Christmas sweet treats plate, I think they’d also make a great gift all bundled up in a little box or packet.

I did do a little bribing with the kidlets tasting, telling them I wanted them to sit next to each other nicely (that can be a physical challenge at times!), while at the same time holding onto to their chocolate ball and not eating it straight away (another physical and mental challenge) while I got myself in position to take a picture of their tasting. They did very well.

Here’s a bit of what happened….

Collage of taste testers

Happy little customers and even happier when I told them we still had another 31 balls in the fridge to share with friends and enjoy for ourselves.

With the verdict in of a 100/10 (thanks Ella xx) I decided they were Blog worthy too!

Here’s your How-To:

Visual instructions for malteser balls

Triple Choc Malteser balls 1Triple Chocolate Malteser Balls 2

Just to give you an idea of the deliciousness……

Cross section of Triple Choc Malteser Balls

 

And yes I ate 2 during the photo shoot!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Triple Choc Malteser Balls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 34
Ingredients
  • 250g Scotch Finger biscuits
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Maltesers, roughly chopped
  • 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 185g milk chocolate
  • 60g butter
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut (for coating balls)
Instructions
  1. Crush biscuits to fine crumbs (I use my food processor but back in the day before I had one I'd pop the biscuits in a snap lock bag, air removed, cover the bag with a tea towel and rolled with a rolling pin, there's always options!). Transfer biscuit crumbs to a large bowl. Add chocolate chips and maltesers, stir to combine.
  2. Combine condensed milk, milk chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool a little and stir into biscuit mixture.
  3. Form biscuit mixture into balls, I find squeezing the mixture into balls works best (I used rough tablespoon sized portions, totally up to you), roll in coconut. (Note: if mixture seems to soft to handle pop it into fridge for 10 minutes to make it easier to work with), your hands will get sticky!
  4. Store balls in fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
  5. Enjoy!

 

These balls have endless possibilities for flavours, substitute whatever you like for the maltesers, I’m thinking a fruit and nut would be great, as would peppermint crisp  or even a Mars Bar, is your mouth watering yet?  I’d love to hear what you think another great flavour combination would be? Feel free to make any suggestions.

I’ve got a little savoury finger food treat coming your way towards the end of the week, it involves Caramelised Onions, don’t miss it lovelies.

Until then…..

Zamamabakes

Triple Choc had to be in the title of these tasty little Malteser balls, after all they do have milk chocolate, white ch...

Read More »

Christmas Gingerbread Slice

Christmas Gingerbread Slice feature

With Christmas just 5 weeks away (can you believe it?),  I thought it was time I started getting in the spirit with a bit of Season’s Greetings baking!

What better way to start than with a Christmas Gingerbread Slice!

I love having an excuse to bake (heheheh, like I need one), I will admit I’m a little addicted. Christmas is like the cream of all cakes for excuses to bake & create!

Almost everywhere I look at the moment I’m seeing Christmas cooking magazines, so much delicious inspiration. So far in my 2014 collection I have Super food idea’s & Donna Hay’s Christmas issues and I’m loving them! I’m thinking by the end of this week I may have another to add to the collection (is that bad?).

I also have a habit of pulling out some of my older Christmas magazines and book marking potential inspiration, there’s a bit of a line up to say the least and I’m sure my eyes are way too big for my time frame but one can fantasise can’t they? There will definitely be more to come!

This first Christmas treasure for 2014 is so straight forward and absolutely delicious! Donna Hay  fuelled my inspiration for this one, I’ve adapted her gingerbread pecan bar recipe, tweaking some of the ingredients a little and added some colour.

White chocolate, craisins and pistachios combined with a delicious gingerbread give you what I think is a perfect Christmas Gingerbread Slice. It will definitely go a long way towards prettying up your spread of sweet treats over the Silly season.  Wrap a few slices up to give as a gift (whoever that is will love you for it), take it as that extra something when visiting friends and family or just simply enjoy a slice or 10 at home – that’s what we did last week, I made sure I shared. As I was packaging some slice up to send into my Mum, Alani was watching and questioned why when I make cakes, slices etc I give some away? I tried to explain to her how I dearly love seeing other people enjoying my cooking and also how if we (mummy especially) ate food like this in large quantities all the time that wouldn’t be very healthy (I felt like saying “you know how you tell Mummy she looks like she is having a baby (and I’m not), well Mummy would look like she’s having 2 babies if she didn’t give away slice and cakes “, but I didn’t!)

I think Alani felt a little attached to the slice because we made it together and sampled some of the dough (a must) together too. Just check out my little Christmas Gingerbread helper!

My little gingerbread helper

Now for the really important stuff……..

How- To:

Christmas Gingerbread slice instructions

Extra Christmas gingerbread slice

5.0 from 1 reviews
Christmas Gingerbread Slice
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 125g butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup golden syrup
  • 2 ¼ cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup craisins diced (dried cranberries) NOTE: Reserve 1 tablespoon each of craisins and pistachios for pressing on top of slice.
  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped
  • Optional extra: 80g white chocolate melted to drizzle over baked slice.
Instructions
  1. Grease and line a slice tin 18cm x 28cm x 3cm.
  2. Place butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy.
  3. Add golden syrup, honey, flour, bicarb soda, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Beat until mixture just comes together forming a soft dough.
  4. Add choc chips, craisins and pistachios beat on low speed until evenly distributed through the dough (note if your electric mixer isn’t very powerful you may need to give those arms a workout, grab a wooden spoon and fold them through the old fashioned way!)
  5. Press slice mixture into prepared tin, sprinkle reserved crasins and pistachios over slice, pressing them in gently and place tin in fridge for 30 minutes or until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 160 C (150 C fan forced)
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden.
  8. Cool in tin.
  9. Drizzle melted chocolate over slice, I used a heatproof disposable piping bag, cut the tip off and drizzle away, alternatively just drizzle it from a spoon it will still look and taste delicious!
  10. Place slice in fridge for 20 minutes to firm chocolate up before slicing.
  11. Store in an airtight container, if it's summer store in fridge 5-7 days.
  12. Enjoy!

Have you started any Christmas preparations, doesn’t have to be baking it might be ballet concerts, shopping, parties or even a Santa visit with the kids, speaking of which I  learned a valuable lesson from last year, I love to take the kids to Myer Santa Land……did you know you can book in for your visit with Santa online so you don’t have to queue for as long? Well that’s exactly what I did last night, I’ve made us a reservation to see the big man in Red and you can too right HERE, I think it’s a brilliant idea so I’m spreading the word.

Stay tuned, later this week I’ve got my Part 2 coming your way for the Easy Fried Rice post, it’s a yummy dinner idea for the whole family!

Until then,

Zamamabakes

With Christmas just 5 weeks away (can you believe it?),  I thought it was time I started getting in the spirit with a bi...

Read More »