Quick and easy licorice allsort slice

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Zagrandma loves licorice allsorts, needless to say she also loves this slice. If you know any licorice fans out there then this is a slice for them.
The best thing about this slice is how quick and easy it is to make. You don’t need to use the oven which is great when it comes to summer baking. It’s a great recipe to get the kids involved with, although you may end up a few licorice allsorts short if they are anything like Zakidlets!!!
Zagorgeous Aunty Gail gave me the inspiration for this recipe, she was the one who originally told me about the idea of a licorice allsort slice. After her telling me the basic idea and rough ingredients for the slice this is what I have come up with for the one I make.

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You will need:
250g Scotch Finger Biscuits
40g melted butter
1 Tablespoon golden syrup
1/2 tin Condensed milk
125g licorice allsorts cubed into 1cm pieces (I cube each licorice allsort into 8 pieces)

Topping:
200g Dark chocolate broken up into pieces
50g butter

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Process or crush biscuits to a fine crumb. (if you don’t have a food processor pop the biscuits in a snap lock bag and roll with a rolling-pin)

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Add wet ingredients: Syrup, melted butter and condensed milk and process or mix until you have a very wet, sticky sand like consistency. (If you think mixture is a little dry just add a little extra melted butter until you can see it will easily press into a slice tin).

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Add the licorice allsorts and fold thru with a wooden spoon.

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Line a slice tin 18 x 28cm with baking paper and press mixture into tin.
Cover with foil and place in fridge for 20 minutes.

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Mean while make up your topping. Combine chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water (the gentler heat helps the melting chocolate not to seize up) see how here. Stir until smooth, remove from heat.
Pour mixture over slice and spread out evenly with a knife.

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To pretty up the slice you can peel dark chocolate over the topping like I have above.

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I like a generous sprinkle of chocolate peels.
Place back in fridge for at least another hour before slicing into squares.

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The finished product deeeeelicious!!!!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.

If you are not a fan of licorice allsorts just substitute something else for them instead like: cherry ripe, snickers, jersey caramels, pecan nuts, choc chips or a combination would work great too.
Whatever you do just have fun with it!!!

Don’t miss my Blog Post at the end of the week ‘Zagirlie Tea Party’ an inexpensive bit of home fun for the little people.

Until then my lovelies
Zamamabakes

Butterscotch Blondies

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Zagorgeous Cheryl from Tittle + Tat brought this recipe to my attention and boy oh boy am I glad she did. Cheryl found the recipe in issue 53 of Gathered by Mollie Makes.
The recipe is by Laura Mitchell, baker, creator blogger from Kit and Nancy.
If you have a sweet tooth then this recipe is definitely for you. Cheryl’s words were ‘They are so sinful, so much sugar, but oh so good!’. Cheryl thought they would be a great idea for Christmas presents in jars and I completely agree. Last year I made my ‘oaty choc chip cookies’presenting them in the same way, they were a great hit!
Yesterday was Blondie day. I was supposed to be dusting, vacuuming and mopping but knowing I had the ingredients in the cupboard to test this treasure out was just too tempting, I couldn’t help myself, I just had to bake. The good news for me is that I did manage to get the cleaning done too, JUST!!!!
Below you’ll see my process of making these little delights. I do have to confess that in all the excitement of making them and a few distracted moments with Zatwo-year-old Alani I actually forgot to add the pecan nuts!!!! Whoops! Apparently that didn’t matter according to Zakidlets, but after sampling one myself I think the pecans would help to balance the flavours (or should I say sugars) that little bit more perfectly.

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Butterscotch Blondies

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (I prefer to use standard butter)
1 ¼ cups of light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup toffee pieces (werthers Original chewy caramels)
chopped
2 or 3 cups of white choc bits
1 cup chopped pecans

Step One:
Preheat over to 180c
Grease and line a 25cm x 35cm brownie tin with baking paper (my tin was 16.5cm x 26cm x 3cm and still worked perfectly).
Beat the softened butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy with a hand mixer

Step Two: Beat in the eggs, one at a time and gradually add in the sifter flour, baking powder and salt.

Step Three:
Add the white chocolate, chopped caramels and pecans, stirring well

Step Four:
Spoon the mixture into the brownie tin and bake in the over for 35 minutes until golden brown.

The picture below is courtesy of the Zagorgeous Cheryl from incase you forgot Tittle+Tat. Cheryl bottled her Blondies up beautifully, they would make the perfect gift for that special teacher or friendly neighbour.
I would just like to say a special Thankyou to Cheryl for taking the time to share this fantastic recipe with me.

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Zakidlets most certainly enjoyed their afternoon tea yesterday of Butterscotch Blondies and Milk. I asked them to be judges and score them a mark out of 10, I’m still trying to work out Alani’s score!
We had fun regardless.

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Persian Love Cake

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I have 2 Zanewly wed friend’s Natalie and Dom who recently sparked my interest in a Persian Love Cake.
Natalie was working away from home a few weeks ago (I was lucky enough to catch up with her) and I noticed Dom had tagged Natalie to a picture of a Persian Love Cake cake posted on his FB page, he wrote with the picture ‘One slice is never enough’. Made me think that cake must be good, also made me think ‘Oh how romantic Mr Dom’, I think he was missing his beautiful bride and rightfully so. I kind of forgot about the cake for the week until Zagorgeous MIL Fiona came out to visit and reminded me of Dom’s Cake picture. I said right that’s it I have to find out what’s in it. That’s when I put good old Google to work and sure enough I got my recipe for a ‘Persian Love cake’. The recipe is by Gerard Yaxley and it was posted on Gourmet traveller. I read through the recipe, the ingredients sounded delicious, you really only have to say ‘sugar’and I’m there!! To give you a bit of insight on the ingredients we are talking raw sugar, almond meal, brown sugar, butter, yoghurt, nutmeg and eggs. I liked that the ingredients didn’t sound complicated and had the added bonus of being gluten free (not that I am but it is always handy to have a few GF recipes up your sleeve). Needless to say I added this little treasure to my list of ‘Must Bakes’.
Yesterday was baking project day and yes you guessed it ‘Persian Love Cake’ was on the menu in Zamama’s kitchen. You can find the recipe here.

Below you will see half the mixture pressed into the springform pan and half remaining in the bowl. When pressing base mixture’s into a pan I always find a flat bottomed glass does the job really well.

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I think you could easily use a narrower diameter in your springform pan especially if you want a cake with more depth then 2cm.

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The cake cooked up really well with no complications, all you need to do is follow the instructions.
I did detour from the recipe just slightly in 2 ways. I only had dried nutmeg and I always like to use standard butter in my cooking rather then unsalted I find the regular butter balances out the flavours a little more.

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I am seriously thinking about putting it on my Christmas menu for dessert. I love baked cheesecakes and this little treasure reminds me of a cheesecake but with a bit of a spiced twist, you also get a little crunch from the raw sugar in the base but that just enhances the whole tasting experience. Give this recipe a whirl you won’t regret it.
Oh and you must serve it with the Greek Yoghurt the recipe suggests it balances the sweetness perfectly.
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Carrot Quinoa cake

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It was Zadada that provided me with the idea of seeking a carrot cake recipe that incorporated quinoa. Where does one usually look first? Well for me and I think for most it’s taste.com.
Jackpot!!! I found what I was looking for and the recipe well and truelly delivered!! Sunday was my cooking day. This cake is beautifully moist, the quinoa adds a depth of extra texture and satisfies ones appetite very well. Sadly I have to say we finished off the last slice last night!! The good news is that gives me a great excuse to move onto my next baking adventure which at this point will be some treats to donate to our School tableau cake stall this weekend!! But for now it’s back to the quinoa carrot cake.

I did 2 things different then the recipe suggests, first I added 1/2 cup finely chopped dates to the cake at the same time you add the grated carrot. The 2nd detour was for the icing. I made 1 quantity of lemon
vienna cream icing instead of the cream cheese icing but you please yourself. NOTE: instead of using 2 Tablespoons of milk work with 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice adding gradually as you may not need it all.
Click here for this amazing cake recipe.

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You can see how delicious this cake looks and it eats just as well. It’s definitely a keeper!!
If you end up with left over quinoa why not make a salad like I did here.

Hope you enjoy it as much as our family has.

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Carrot & Lime Cake

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I found this recipe while sorting through my recipes I have collected from magazines over the years. This one is from a Take 5 magazine.
It’s delicious and moist. I had to tweak the ingredients a little to suit the supplies I had at home. It was actually a carrot and orange cake but I had no oranges so that’s how it became a carrot and lime cake.

You will need:
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrot (about 2)
2 teaspoons finely grated lime rind (you can use orange)
3 x eggs lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yoghurt (I used greek)
1/3 cup lime juice (you can use orange)

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1 Grease a 22cm fluted tube pan (I used a standard non-stick ring tin).
Sift flour and bicarbonate soda into a large bowl, Stir in sugar, coconut, carrot,and lime rind. Combine eggs, oil, yoghurt and lime juice in a large jug.
Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients, add egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are well combined.

2 Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake in a 180C preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until skewer inserted into cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven, let stand in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

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3 To make icing sift 1/2 cup icing sugar into a bowl, stir in pulp of 1 passionfruit and 1 teaspoon of warmed milk, mix to form a smooth thin icing. Drizzle icing over cooled cake.
NOTE!!! I did not have passionfruit and I like extra icing so I substituted lime juice for passionfruit and I tripled icing sugar quantity. I also added a little extra milk until I got a spreadable consistency. I then garnished with some finely grated lime rind.
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This is a yummy cake, the great part is you don’t have to use an electric mixer!!

Zucchini and Walnut Cake

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Zagorgeous Jennifer shared this great cake recipe with me, she found it in a recipe book she purchased at her school fete called ‘sweet food’ -definitely sounds like my type of recipe book, just say the word sweet and I’m there!!!!
I love the idea of this cake having zucchini in it, makes you feel that little less guilty for eating it, well that’s what I tell myself!

Here is the list of ingredients you’ll require:
245g (2 1/2 cups) walnuts
500g zucchini (courgettes)
250ml (1 cup) canola oil
330g (1 1/2 cups) raw sugar
3 eggs
310g (2 1/2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Here is your how to:
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 22 x 12 cm loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.

Roughly chop 125g (1 1/4 cups) of the walnuts. Grate zucchini, then put the zucchini in a large bowl with oil, sugar, eggs and chopped walnuts and mix well. Stir in the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and arrange the remaining walnuts on top. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Leave in the tin for 20 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Dust with icing Sugar, slice and serve.
Jennifer did suggest a nice dollop of cream on the side would compliment this cake nicely!!!

Storage: wrap in foil when cooled. The cake will keep 4-5 days.

Thankyou so much for sharing this delicious recipe Jennifer, another one added to my list of baking projects!!!

If anyone has any recipes they would like to me to share please email me at zamamabakes@gmail.com

Happy baking!!!!

Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Almond Icing

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I discovered this recipe a couple of weeks ago while having a look through ZaPop’s copy of The Daily Telegraph Newspaper. It was in the “Eat well” section. There was also an article by Grant Jones called “Season to Taste”, he writes
“A little salt used at the right time in the cooking process can go a long way”.
I completely agree with the above statement as this cupcake recipe below by Marion Grasby, Masterchef combines salty and sweet in just the right proportions to tantalise one’s tastebuds.

The temptation for baking these cupcake’s had been hovering in my kitchen for a couple of weeks as I had kept the article and recipe aside from ZaPop’s newspaper when I discovered them those few weeks ago.

I found these cupcake’s didn’t bake up like a standard cupcake they were a little more crisp on top (not that, that was a bad thing) probably because the recipe does not use flour. In fact the recipe I believe is actually gluten-free provided you use pure icing sugar in the icing, so everyone gets to enjoy this delicious recipe.

Here is what you need

INGREDIENTS

200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped

150g unsalted butter, chopped

2 tbsp brandy (I only used 1 tbsp. just to be safe but I would recommend the 2)

4 eggs, separated

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup natural almonds, sliced

SALTED ALMOND ICING

125g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste instead)

1/2 tsp almond essence (I did not use almond essence)

1 tsp sea salt flakes

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 170C. Double line a 12-hole (80ml/1/3 cup) muffin pan with paper cases.  (I filled 14 paper cases)

Place chocolate, butter and brandy in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes or until combined.
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Cool for 15 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks, sugar and 2 teaspoons of water on highspeed for 3 minutes or until thick and pale. Fold in chocolate mixture, then fold in ground almonds.

In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold one-third into chocolate mixture until just combined, then fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.

Divide batter among paper cases and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool cupcakes in pan.

To make the icing, use an electric mixer to beat butter, vanilla, almond essence and salt until pale and fluffy.

Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until well-combined. Cover surface of icing with plastic wrap to prevent it drying out. Set aside.

Stir icing to a spreadable consistency, if necessary, then spread over cakes. Top with sliced almonds to serve.

Recipe: Marion Grasby, MasterChef

Below you will see how crisp my cupcake’s looked on top, infact Zadada thought they were biscuits when he first saw them come out of the oven.
I would love someone else to try this recipe and let me know the outcome of texture on top they get. Regardless of the texture these cupcake’s were a delight to eat and I will happily make another batch very soon. I think they are a delicious cupcake for adults.

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I hope you get to make and enjoy a batch of these soon.

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Chocolate Hedgehog slice

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This is an all time favourite recipe of the whole family including my extended family.
It is quick and easy to make which is what I love about it and if I take it to a morning tea I always get asked for the recipe.
So without further ado here are the instructions to create this little number!!

INGREDIENTS
175g butter (I use 150g and add extra if mixture looks to dry at the end)
2/3 cup caster sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 Tablespoons desiccated coconut
1 egg, lightly beaten
250g packet plain biscuits (I use whatever I have in cupboard ie Scotch fingers, Marie or Milk Arrowroot) broken into pieces.

I start with the biscuits in a snap lock bag. Pierce bag a few times with a fork just to let air escape.
I then fold a tea towel around bag and hit firmly with something like a meat mallet or rolling pin.

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Biscuits should end up looking as pictured above

1. In a saucepan melt butter, sugar and cocoa overa medium heat for 3 minutes. stirring to ensure sugar dissolves.
2. Remove from heat add coconut, egg, and biscuits. Press mixture into a baking paper lined
28cm x 18 cm slab pan. Chill for 1 hour.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING
250g dark chocolate, chopped coarsley
50g butter
Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water, spread over slice. Allow to set in fridge for about 1/2-1 hour. Slice with a hot knife into pieces.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy my lovelies!!!!!

Pop Cracknell’s Date cake

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A great classic the good old date cake!!!
This recipe has been handed down through generations of ZaDada’s family. I feel very honoured to be able to share it with you all. As far as I have been told it was originally baked by ZaDada’s late Great Grandfather of Picton in Sydney it was his specialty. ZaDada’s late Grandfather Fred continued the baking of this cake and in turn passed it on to his daughters which is how I came to obtain my copy.
This is an easy but delicious cake to make. It is especially amazing warm straight from the oven with a helping of butter!!!

INGREDIENTS
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
125g butter, cubed small
1 cup dates, chopped finely
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rub butter into flour,

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until mixture is of breadcrumb consistency,

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add sugar, dates, salt and stir to combine.
Mix eggs and milk together in a small bowl, add to the dry ingredients and stir.
Mixture will still appear to have fine lumps this is fine and is quite a thin mixture but that’s ok.

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Bake in an 8 inch cake tin greased and lined in an oven of 175 degrees celsius for 3/4 hour or until a knife inserted comes out just clean.
I hope you all enjoy this cake, it certainly holds lots of fond memories for ZaDada’s family.
There is nothing quite like sitting down with a good cup of tea and a delicious piece of date cake!!!

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Caramel chocolate slice

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Zakidlets and I baked this caramel chocolate slice on Tuesday afternoon. This slice is a great classic Women’s Weekly Recipe, I don’t think I have ever come across a women’s weekly recipe that has disappointed me.
It’s my little boy Blake’s favourite slice and he was the one who requested we make it.
I got lots of assistance from 3 sets of little hands.

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Blake loves the recipe so much he has even started to write the recipe out himself.

Ingredients

BASE
1 cup self-raising four
1 cup coconut (as an alternative I sometimes use rolled oats or do 1/2 cup of each)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
125g butter melted

FILLING
400g can condensed milk
30g butter
2 Tablespoons golden syrup

TOPPING
125g dark chocolate chopped
30g butter

Method
BASE
1. Lightly grease 20cm x 30cm lamington pan.
2. Combine sifted flour, coconut and sugar in bowl, add butter, stir until combined, add butter (sometimes I need a little extra), stir until combined.
3. Press mixture over base of prepared pan. Bake in moderate oven 15 minutes.
4. While base is baking combine condensed milk, butter and golden syrup in pan, stir over LOW heat, without boiling, about 15 minutes or until mixture is golden brown.
5. Pour hot filling over hot cooked base, return to oven 10 minutes, then cool.
6. Combine chocolate and butter in pan, stir over low heat until smooth (I melt all my chocolate pan over heated water style see here for further instruction). I usually use a stainless steel bowl over the pan the other tip is not to let the water in the saucepan below be touching the base of pan your chocolate is in.
7. Spread warm topping over filling, stand at room temperature until set (I put slice in fridge for about 1 hour to set then I slice it up, pop slices in an airtight container and store in fridge especially in summer!!!) keeps in fridge for a good week.
Have a go at this slice its worth the effort.
Enjoy we did. It is now all gone!!!