Category: Events

Edible Treats For Father’s Day

Edible Treats for Father's day feature

I think homemade food is one of the loveliest gifts you can give to someone. Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, Easter, a new baby, a sad loss, a new neighbour, Mother’s Day or for this weeks post Father’s day, you can’t go wrong with food.

Knowing your recipients’ weakness  favourite foods will always win you extra brownie points.

I’ve put together a collection of Edible Treats For Father’s Day both savoury and sweet that I know either Zadada or my Dad enjoy, hopefully you’ll find something in my mix for your Dad too.

I’m going to be really disciplined and start with the savoury suggestions…..

This Deconstructed Pumpkin Salad has been inhaled super popular each time I’ve served it at a gathering. I’m not sure what our Father’s day plans are just yet but if we end up staying home for lunch this is on my must make list for one Zadada.

DPS-with-prosecco

This Oven Baked Risotto with Chicken and Chorizo is a family favourite, another great lunch or dinner option, you could even make it in advance and reheat when you want to serve 😉

risotto

If Risotto isn’t Dad’s cup of tea than these Lamb and Rosemary Pies should be. As much as I know Zadada enjoys the Risotto I know how much he loooooooves savoury pies and my Dad is exactly the same. What is it with men and a good meat pie?

Easy-Lamb-Rosemary-Pie-Header-1024x685

I hope you weren’t expecting too many savoury options hehehe but if you were check out my list of dinner options I’ve made, you’re sure to find something there for Dad.

Let’s move on to SWEET shall we?!

I think homemade food is one of the loveliest gifts you can give to someone. Whether it's a birthday, Christmas, Easter,...

Read More »

Easter Pizza Triple Choc Bark

Easter Pizza Triple Choc Bark

With Easter being just days away I couldn’t resist but to jump on the Easter Chocolate Bark Wagon, I mean seriously what’s not to love?

I decided to Triple Choc things up with some Milk, White and Dark Chocolate and THEN added just a little bit MORE sweetness with treasure like m&m speckled Easter eggs, marshmallows and Cookies & Cream Pods. Anymore chocolate and I think it would be overdone, heheheh NEVER!!!  Overdone doesn’t exist for this little treasure, you should squish as much as you possibly can into this Easter Pizza Triple Choc Bark.

With Easter being just days away I couldn't resist but to jump on the Easter Chocolate Bark Wagon, I mean seriously what...

Read More »

Triple Delight Easter Chocolate Ripple Cake

 

Triple Delight Easter Chocolate Ripple Cake

And so the Easter treasures continue………

I’m in some serious chocolate heaven at the moment, please don’t think too badly of me hehehehe… I will confess ‘My name is Dannielle, AKA Zamamabakes and I am addicted to

  And so the Easter treasures continue......... I'm in some serious chocolate heaven at the moment, please don't think t...

Read More »

Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cookies

Salted caramel cookies feature

I hope your week is going well lovely people.

No complaints coming from this family of 5, we’re fortunate enough to be having ourselves a sneaky family holiday up at Noosa this week (accommodation is much more affordable outside school holidays). The kidlets have been swimming their little hearts out, so much so that yesterday even one 9-year-old had himself a little afternoon snooze while Alani caught up on some much needed Zzzzzzzzz’s.

I know I’m on holidays but I couldn’t resist the urge (yes I’m addicted) to share another delicious treasure with you all.

Who loves Salted Caramel…….ME! And who loves Dark chocolate……..ZADADA!

So with Valentines Day just around the corner I thought I’d be fair and bake a batch of ‘Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cookies’ to satisfy both mine and Zadada’s taste buds, I will add the kidlets taste buds were more than satisfied too!

If valentines day isn’t for you that’s ok, personally I love any day that might prompt Zadada to buy me flowers, I love them maybe even more than salted caramel? (maybe not, but don’t tell Zadada that!). The good news is you don’t need a particular day or date as an excuse to bake these mouth-watering morsels, I would happily indulge myself any day or night and now that night has been mentioned, these cookies are perfect for turning into a dessert, just try giving one a zap in the microwave for 20 seconds and serving it with a scoop of your favourite ice cream, you’ll be in sweet foodie heaven!

Three simple but delicious ingredients are the secret in these cookies…A block of dark chocolate (the higher the cocoa content the better), a packet of werthers caramel chews and some sea salt, the remaining ingredients are pantry basics.

Here’s your How-To:

Salted caramel cookie instructions

Salted caramel cookie teaser

3.0 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: baking
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain four
  • ⅓ cup self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g block dark chocolate, chopped
  • 135g pkt Werther's original caramel chews
  • Sea salt for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 170C fan forced.
  2. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.
  3. Beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. Sift in flours, cocoa and soda. Stir through dark chocolate.
  5. Using a tablespoon sized portion of cookie dough press a caramel into the centre and mould dough around caramel to completely cover and form a ball.
  6. Position balls on trays 5cm apart and flatten slightly. Sprinkle each ball with a little sea salt.
  7. Bake cookies 15 minutes.
  8. Cool on trays 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

If you had to choose between dark chocolate and salted caramel which would be your number 1?

Coming to the blog later this week is a delicious smoothie I’ve been enjoying for breakfast.

Until then…….

Zamamabakes

I hope your week is going well lovely people. No complaints coming from this family of 5, we're fortunate enough to be h...

Read More »

Nanna Mac’s Moist Chocolate Cake

Nanna Mac's Moist Chocolate Cake Feature

Last week was full of Birthday celebrations, well 2 birthdays full at least.

I love an excuse to bake, you guys know that, so with one Zadada and one Kaymac celebrating a Birthday what does one Mummy, Baking Blogger do………she volunteers to make the birthday cakes.

Zadada’s favourite cake to eat and my favourite cake to make is my Nanna Mac’s Moist Chocolate Cake, it truly is delicious, every time someone new samples a slice their face lights up like they’ve never eaten chocolate cake before.

This recipe has a very special place in my heart, being passed on to me from my sweet, kind-hearted, late Nanna Mac. I have precious memories of eating lots of the yummy food she used to bake in her combustion oven, cakes and sponges were her speciality.

I know Nanna Mac being the gorgeous soul that she was wouldn’t mind me sharing this recipe with my lovely readers, I think she would be looking over us all, tickled pink, letting out one of her cheeky little giggles.

The beauty of Nanna Mac’s Moist Chocolate Cake is that you combine all the ingredients in the one bowl, turn on the electric beaters and that’s it, so easy and delicious, you have my word!

I originally did a very basic post for this delicious cake HERE. Pretty sure it was during my first week of blogging!

How you choose to decorate this little treasure is completely up to you. A dusting of icing sugar, easy icing made with icing sugar, cocoa and water works a treat. My favourite is dark Chocolate Ganache. You can grate chocolate over the top, sprinkle with good old hundreds and thousands or go gold class like I did below for Zadada’s Birthday Cake last week (I used all his favourites).

Here’s the basic single quantity recipe, as well as the instructions to create a cake like Zadada’s (note:  Zadada’s cake requires double quantities). Chocolate cake instructions icing instructions Zadada's Birthday cake Up close Nanna Mac's Moist cake

Nanna Mac's Moist Chocolate Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1⅓ cups Self-Raising flour
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 125g butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE ICING:
  • ¼ cup cream (I used thickened cream, coconut cream works well too)
  • 100g dark chocolate roughly chopped.
  • NOTE: For Zadada's cake I doubled all the quantities above and decorated with a selection of his favourite confectionery.....
  • Approx ½ cup of each:
  • Cherry Ripe, diced
  • Maltesers
  • Skittles
  • White chocolate chips
  • Chicos
  • M&m's
  • 3 x 170g KIt Kat blocks (trimmed to 4 finger clusters)
  • 6 wafer sticks (trimmed to meet in the centre of cake as pictured)
  • 1 ferrero rocher
  • 1m length of ribbon.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160C (150C fan forced)
  2. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa and bicarb soda into bowl. Add sugar, milk, butter, essence and eggs.
  4. Beat mixture for 3-5 mins starting on low speed increasing to high, mixture will lighten slightly in colour, mixture will be quite thin and runny.
  5. Pour into prepared cake tin.
  6. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, cake is cooked when skewer inserted comes out just clean. Stand cake 5 mins before turning out onto wire rack to cool. Refrigerating cake for at least an hour, better still overnight will reduce crumbs when icing.
  7. DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE ICING:
  8. 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.
  9. Chocolate mixture will thicken as it cools, (I give it a stir about very 5 mins, 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 spreadable consistency you can ice your cake.
  10. NOTE: For Zadada's cake I greased and lined a 25cm spring form tin, making sure I had a good overhang around top about 3cm.
  11. REMEMBER TO DOUBLE ALL QUANTITIES FOR THE BIRTHDAY CAKE VERSION.
  12. Bake at 150C fan forced for 1 hour 10 minutes, than reduce temp to 140C and cook a further 30 minutes. All ovens vary slightly so just keep an eye on things.
  13. Cool cake as above.
  14. Turn (refrigerated) cake upside down on a pretty cake plate, this way you have a nice smooth flat top to ice, slide some strips of baking paper around base of cake (acts like mini drop sheets).
  15. Spread prepared ganache (see instructions above) over top of cake working it down and around the side/s.
  16. Arrange confectionary on top of cake, start with Kit Kats around the edge, followed by wafer sticks on top, position Ferrero rocher in centre of cake where stick meet.
  17. Arrange remaining confectionery into each sector.
  18. Tie ribbon carefully around cake and trim as needed.

I did mention 2 rounds of birthday cakes last week. I made Kaymac (my little sister) a batch of my surprise cupcakes, experimenting with some 2 tone disposable piping bags and some edible glitter! You’ll find the recipe and instructions here. surprise cupcakes for kaymac The birthday beholders

What’s your favourite Birthday cake to make?

Do you have treasured recipes that have been handed down in your family?

Until the next time……

Zamamabakes

Last week was full of Birthday celebrations, well 2 birthdays full at least. I love an excuse to bake, you guys know tha...

Read More »

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...

Read More »

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...

Read More »