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

Easy, Tasty Cheese Ball Recipe

Well hello again. Hope your week is going well. We have had a great week. I am still very much enjoying the fact that it’s school holidays and we are not having to stick to a strict schedule.

I promised this recipe to everyone last year when I revealed the menu for our 2013 Christmas day feast!!
This delicious little appetiser first found my attention 3 years ago when Zaunclejim featured it on his cheese platter for Christmas day. It was a fantastic hit, everyone loved it. I believe it was one of Zaunclejims gorgeous work colleagues who originally shared it with him a few years ago. We love it so much we asked Zaunclejim to bring another one for the 2013 Christmas feast just passed. I love a great recipe that finds its way to me, so thank you Zaunclejim and Zagorgeous work colleague.

I have made the Cheese Ball a few times now, most recently I made it and took it along to a baby shower I attended last weekend.

A recipe like this should be shared over and over. So here is me sharing it with you.

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You will need:

250g cream cheese
125g triangle of Blue vein cheese
60g butter softened
1/2 cup sliced black olives (I used a combination of olives and semi sun-dried tomatoes)
3 shallots finely chopped
Approx 150g chopped walnuts, pecans or cashews (I used walnuts)

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Combine all ingredients except for nuts (keep them aside) in a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor a hand mixer will do, mix cheeses and butter first until smooth, then add the vegetables).

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Process/mix until evenly combined. It is meant to be a textured mixture so don’t over process or mix.

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To make the mixture a little easier to handle I refrigerate it for about 1/2 an hour.

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Prepare your nuts on a piece of baking paper.

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Remove chilled cheese mixture from the fridge. I moistened my hands a little which made the mixture a little easier to work with.

NOTE: Depending on the size of Cheese Ball you want for your platter, this quantity has the potential to make 2 good size balls and possibly 4 smaller ones you may just need a few extra nuts for rolling.

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Carefully place cheese mixture in a mound on top of prepared nuts. Just work the nuts up and around the mixture, then roll it over and continue to press the nuts all over until the Cheese Ball is well coated.

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Once you have your Cheese Ball prepared wrap it in cling wrap and place it back in the fridge to firm up for at least 20 minutes.

The Cheese Ball will keep in the fridge for a good 5 days so if you want to prepare it ahead of time you can.

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I made a smaller ball for Zadada and I, as well as the larger ball to take to the baby shower pictured below.

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I love colour so I served the Cheese ball with some raw veggies as well as some crackers.
I had a lovely morning at the baby shower.

You really need to put this recipe on your to-make list, you won’t regret it.

Next up in the Blog Post pipeline is an easy sweet treat involving licorice allsorts.

Until then
Zamamabakes

Roast Pumpkin Rocket Salad

This was one of the salads I made for our Christmas feast (it’s up there on my list of favourite salads). I love salads that combine a great selection of ingredients and this is one of them. It’s not the cheapest salad to make as far as the cost of ingredients goes but you pay for what you get, its delicious.
Zagorgeous Cathy a work colleague and friend from Patrick Egan Optometrist shared this recipe with me a couple of years ago and every year since I have made it for Christmas lunch as well as a lot of special occasion BBQ’s. I love it when others ask me for the recipe, to me that’s what its all about, sharing the love and great recipes!!

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Your List Of Ingredients

1kg butternut pumpkin (This week I used a 1kg combination of pumpkin and sweet potato)
4 cloves unpeeled garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 slices prosciutto
2 bunches asparagus trimmed
200g baby rocket leaves
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (I usually cheat and buy the ready roasted pine nuts)
200g snow peas, thinly sliced

DRESSING
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

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Peel pumpkin and chop into 3cm pieces (mine always seem to end up a little smaller). Place pumpkin into a baking dish with garlic. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper. I then give the pumpkin a toss around on the tray with my hands to make sure it is evenly coated with the oil.

Cook in a moderately hot oven, 190C, for about 25-30 minutes until pumpkin is tender and browned, turning the pumpkin at the 15 minute mark helps keep the process even.

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This is what you should see post roasting.

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I pop garlic out of the skin and shred it up and gently fold through the pumpkin for extra flavour.
I actually completed the pumpkin roasting step the night before I assembled the salad, I do this every Christmas too. Just pop roasted pumpkin and garlic in an airtight container in the fridge.

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This is where I prefer to purchase all my fresh fruit and veg, ‘Tweed Fruit Exchange’. You can always be sure of getting great produce and customer service. I was served by Zagorgeous Lee this week, thanks guys I’m sure I’ll be back again before the week is out!

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This is where I picked up to finish off the salad on Monday night.

Boil, Steam or microwave asparagus until just tender (I microwave in a steamer for 2 minutes on high). Rinse under cold water, drain well.

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My thinly sliced snow peas.

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Cook prosciutto in a heated greased pan (I just use a non-stick pan and no greasing) until browned all over and crisp. drain on paper towel. Roughly crumble into bite sized pieces.

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Unfortunately Toasted pine nuts were not available at the supermarket this week so I had to do my own. As you can see from the before and after shot they ended up a little toastier then I would have liked but they were fine.

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When chopping the thyme I strip the woody stalks and discard them, using just the leafier remains.

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DRESSING
Combine all ingredients in a screw top jar (I use a trusty Tupperware cup and lid), shake well.

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Assemble the salad as shown (I mix all the greens and make them the base of my salad, I then top with pumpkin followed by the prosciutto then the parmesan, scattering the pine nuts on top and lastly drizzling the dressing over the top. Alternatively you can gently toss all the ingredients together.

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I served the salad with a side of BBQ chicken. Perfect for a warm summer evening.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do, its delicious.

Stay tuned for my upcoming Blog Post this Sunday for ‘Salted Caramel Brownie Sandwich Cookies’.

Until then,
Zamamabakes

Dark Chocolate Tim Tam truffles

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If you like chocolate then you are in the right place.
It’s that time of year where lots of us are baking for School Christmas parties, neighbourhood get togethers, gifts for teachers, you name it there is usually always a good reason to be baking especially at Christmas!!
I have been wanting to make truffles at Christmas for the last couple of years but just never seem to have got around to it?
After seeing posts on Facebook and pins on Pinterest I decided to adapt my own version of a truffle. Zadada and I don’t mind a bit of dark chocolate as a little after dinner treat, that’s how I came up with the ‘Dark Chocolate Tim Tam Truffles’.

INGREDIENTS
250g block Philadelphia cream cheese softened a little (just take out of fridge 1 hour before using)
2 x 200g pkts Dark Chocolate Tim Tams
125g Arnott’s Choc Ripple Biscuits
300g Dark Chocolate
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METHOD
1 Process all biscuits in a food processor until very fine.
2 Add Philadelphia cream cheese and process until well combined. Mixture will look a little like children’s Play Dough but a little rougher in texture.
3 Roll mixture into a ball sized to your liking. Bite size worked well for me I used a heaped teaspoon as my guide. Place rolled balls onto baking paper lined trays. Pop balls into fridge for about 20 mins especially if it’s summer where you live. Once you have melted the chocolate in the next step get them out ready for dipping.

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4 Melt chocolate ( I use the good old-fashioned method for melting chocolate, see here)
5 Secure balls on a skewer or fork ready for dipping in chocolate. I found spooning the chocolate over the balls in conjunction with dipping a good way to ensure good chocolate coverage. Let excess chocolate drain as best you can and place coated ball back on baking paper lined tray.
6 Decorate truffles with whatever your heart desires. I used shredded coconut and Coles brand edible white pearls.
7 Place in refrigerator to set, then transfer to an airtight container and continue storing in the fridge until they disappear.

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Extra Options
As you can see from the picture below I did a little bit of experimenting.
When my mixture was at the Play Dough stage I halved mixture placing 2nd half into another bowl. I then added a Jaffa twist by Squeezing the juice of 1/4 of orange and adding 1 teaspoon of fine orange zest. You may need to knead it through a little. I added some shredded coconut on top. I also had a bit of fun with some white chocolate on the Jaffa flavoured truffles. It’s all pretty much up to your imagination.
You could experiment with all the different flavours of Tim tam biscuits and hey why just limit it to Tim Tams the biscuit aisle at the supermarket has lots of inspiration on offer.
What ever you choose to do just have fun with it and enjoy!!!!

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Kaileen’s Advent Calendar

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The Zamamabakes family have been very fortunate to have been gifted a fantastic handmade Advent Calendar. Zagorgeous Kaileen From Style 2484 made this for Zakidlets. Kaileen has been making these treasures since her own boys were young. Vatina, Kaileen’s friend made the first one and now every year it has become a Christmas tradition for Kaileen to make them.
Alani has been eyeing it off ever since I arrived home with it. Today she can finally start the opening process along with her Brother and Sister. Yay, so exciting!!!!!
As you can see Kaileen has tied 24 little surprise bundles with foil Christmas wrap and ribbon to a pretty star with bells.
The beauty of making your own Advent Calendar is that you can tailor it to suit your children’s likes and also make sure you have the correct number of sweets/objects in each bundle so everyone is included.

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It makes for a pretty, eye-catching contribution to the decorations for Christmas.

I love Christmas.

Thankyou Kaileen. You are a very generous, caring, kind-hearted lady. Lovely to have a friend who enjoys sharing the love and the spirit of Christmas.

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Easy Chocolate Balls

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I thought I would continue on with the Christmas theme, after all we are only 1 day out from it being December.
There are always plenty of social events we get invited to at this time of year. If you are like me you never like to arrive empty-handed when you are a guest. This recipe is one that can provide a solution to the question ‘what should I take?’. The beauty of ‘Easy Chocolate Balls’ is that they’ll keep in the fridge for a good month, so if your token gesture of kindness doesn’t get consumed straight away it doesn’t matter.
I made my first batch of ‘Easy Chocolate Balls’ last weekend (Zakidlets had their School Tableau Cake stall) and I’m quite sure they won’t be my last for the season.

You will need:
250g Arrowroot or Marie biscuits crushed
1 teaspoon of vanilla (If you want them to be Rum balls add 2 dessert spoons of rum instead)
395g tin sweetened condensed milk
3 dessert spoons cocoa sifted
1 cup desiccated coconut (reserve 1/2 cup for rolling chocolate balls in)

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Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined (you will need your muscles at this point). Alternatively if you have a food processor that will fit all ingredients just pulse and blend until all ingredients are combined.
Roll mixture into balls to a size you like, I usually use a teaspoon of mixture as a guide for my Chocolate balls.
Roll in reserved coconut and place onto a foil or baking paper lined baking tray. Once all mixture is rolled place tray of chocolate balls into fridge to firm up. I usually leave them like this for at least 4 hours and then transfer them to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 1 month if they last that long at your place!!

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For a gift idea why not make a batch of my ‘Rocky Road’ as well as the ‘Easy Chocolate balls’ and combine them in some little gift boxes. Great for teachers, kids friend’s, work colleagues, everyone loves a bit of something homemade from the heart.

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Zamama’s Rocky Road

Rocky Road making in the Zamamabakes kitchen is a good sign it's getting close to Christmas. I love Christmas and everything it represents including celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ, spending quality time with loved one's, and baking delicious treats!!!

Making Rocky Road at Christmas has become one of my traditions I think this year will be my 20th year for making it!
Zakidlets have their School Tableau this weekend so I thought I would put together some of the treats I love making at Christmas to donate to the famous cake stall.

Rocky Road (RR) is something you can adapt to your own tastes. The Zamama family are not big fans of glace cherries and other dried fruit varieties so I use mix in's that I know everyone in my family will enjoy including jelly snakes or green & red frogs (I sometimes find green frogs hard to find that's when I usually opt for the snakes as a back up), mixed nuts, crunchie bars, the all important marshmallow's and shredded coconut.
You also need to decide whether you want to use Dark, Milk or White chocolate, they will all work perfectly. I usually make a batch of Dark chocolate RR (that's Zadada's favourite) and a batch of Milk chocolate RR (that's Zakidlet's favourite).
It keeps in the fridge for a good 6 weeks if it lasts that long!

You will need:
450g Milk, Dark or White chocolate broken into individual pieces (I use Cadbury Chocolate).
120g mixed roasted nuts chopped
300g diced Allen's Snake's or red and green frogs.
2 x 250g pkts Pascall marshmallows
100g Cadbury Crunchies Chopped
1 Cup shredded coconut

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Line a pan 24cm x 30cm with baking paper.
Place Chocolate in a glass or stainless bowl over a saucepan of not quite simmering water. Stir occasionally with a metal spoon until chocolate has melted completely. Add nuts, snakes, marshmallows and crunchies to melted chocolate and gently fold through.

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Tip chocolate mixture onto prepared tray and gently press into place so tray is filled evenly.

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Sprinkle with shredded coconut, cover with foil and refrigerate 2-3 hours or until set.

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Cut up with a nice sharp knife (this will give you a good work out) into bite size portions. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.
Hope you all enjoy!!!!!

PS- A useful tip, when melting the chocolate don’t let the water in the saucepan underneath touch the bottom of the bowl containing the chocolate, this helps to keep chocolate silky and smooth while its melting.

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Carrot galette with a side of quinoa salad

When I was wading my way through my pile of recipe clippings last week this was one that caught my attention, mind you it doesn’t take much for an unattempted recipe to draw me in!
From memory the recipe was one I tore out of a free Coles supermarket food magazine (you know the one’s they giveaway at the checkout for each season), just don’t ask me which year or season!
I made sure I got the ingredients I needed during the week (well so I thought) in hope that I may just get the chance to make it for lunch sometime over the weekend. It just so happened I found a window of opportunity on Sunday and because I also made a carrot and quinoa cake resulting in leftover quinoa, I decided rather than waste it I would make a salad to go with the galette. I’m hoping to get the Carrot and Quinoa cake up on a post for tomorrow!! Anyway…..

You will need:
1 bunch Dutch Carrots
olive oil spray (I just used normal olive oil)
375g block frozen puff pastry, thawed (I used 2 sheets of ready-made puff pastry and joined them by brushing milk on first sheet then placed 2nd sheet on top).
300g ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano (I just used dry herbs, I actually used masterfoods greek seasoning)

Preheat oven to 200c or 180c fan.Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Scrub carrots and trim the leafy tops. Carefully cut each carrot in half, lengthways. Arrange in a single layer on tray and spray or drizzle lightly with oil. Roast 10-15 minutes until just tender, cool.
Prepare another baking tray lined with baking paper.
Roll out pastry to about 5mm thick (or alternatively lay 2 sheets of ready-made puff pastry on top of each other, brushing first piece of pastry with milk before adding the 2nd on top). Place prepared pastry on baking tray.
Score a line around the edge of pastry, about 2cm from edge, to create a border,and prick the area inside the line all over with a fork. Combine ricotta, zest and oregano in a bowl and season. Spread over the pastry within the line. Arrange carrots over ricotta mixture.

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Place into oven and cook for 20-25 minutes (err on the side of caution in my oven 15 minutes would have been better mine burned a little), until pastry is crisp and golden brown. Serve warm.

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As for the Quinoa Salad just use my Easy Brown Rice salad recipe here and substitute Quinoa for the rice.

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The result a delicious, reasonably healthy lunch. I finished my carrot gallette with a drizzle of Simply stirred Caramelised Balsamic Dressing from Tweed fruit exchange it was delicious.

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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!!

Nanna Loy’s Kansas Cockle Biscuits

This recipe is very near and dear to my heart and I’m sure near and dear to a lot of other family members hearts. My beautiful, late Nanna Loy shared this recipe with me quite some time ago, 18 years to be exact. I was thinking of Nanna Loy’s Kansas Cockle biscuits just the other day and I knew I had a recipe for them somewhere in my recipe cupboard that she had personally hand written for me. That thought was enough to set me into a mission of ‘Find that recipe’ and I did just that. On a piece of pretty pink paper I found the recipe she gave me all those years ago.
Nanna Loy you will forever have a special sweet place in my heart.
I look forward to sharing more of Nanna Loy’s recipes with you but today it’s her Kansas Cockles.

You will need:
125g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup cornflour

Method:
Cream butter and sugar well. Add egg, beat well then add vanilla.
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Add sifted flours, stir until smooth.
Make into small balls (I used heaped teaspoons for my sizing).
Press down with a fork.

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Cook in a moderate oven about 15 minutes (just keep an eye on them).
When cool ice together.
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Traditionally you ice Kansas Cockles together with a Jam icing but this time around I decided to use a dark chocolate ganache.
I melted 200g dark chocolate with 80ml cream over a pan of simmering water, stirring every now and then until smooth. I then placed melted mixture in fridge to firm up until it is of a spreadable consistency.

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The result a delicious little biscuit.
I feel very fortunate to have had 2 amazing Grandmothers that shared their passion for baking and crafting with me. I will be forever grateful.