Recipes

Chocolate fudge cake (quick, easy and works every time)

This is my go-to chocolate cake!! I make it often, and it doesn’t last long in the house because it is De-licious! This recipe is a version of the chocolate fudge cake which was originally from a kids cookbook I had when I was young. I lost the cookbook many years ago, but through the power of the internet I re-discovered the recipe a few years ago, and it is now one of my favourite recipes. As an added bonus it is also vegan friendly, so it’s a good one for parties when they will be vegetarian and vegan peeps attending.

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This cake also works really well as small cupcakes (which I have used for the purpose of this post). The cake is fairly light in texture, and almost always cracks on top. It’s not heaps chocolately, but it’s chocolatety enough. The only thing that this cake doesn’t do well is hold its structure well enough to layer or stack….but apart from that it’s perfect.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1 cup castor sugar (I only used 3/4 cup to cut down on sugar)

1 cup of water (I added teaspoon of coffee to help bring out the chocolate flavour)

3 tablespoons cocoa

1 tablespoon vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

optional extras:

strawberries (for strawberry surprise cupcakes, or for decoration on top of the chocolate fudge cake)

chocolate chips

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This has got to be the easiest cake, just mix all ingredients together in a bowl, until there are no lumps of flour or cocoa. If you want to add choc chips, then do so at this stage.

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Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30-35 minutes. If making cupcakes then they should be ready in about 15 minutes.

To make Strawberry Surprise chocolate cupcakes: place a spoonful of cake mixture in the bottom of each patty pan and then a small teaspoon of finely chopped strawberry, then cover with cake mixture and place in oven.

 

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Strawberry Surprise Chocolate cupcakes
These cupcakes look like little volcanoes, with strawberry lava coming out the top

 

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The finely chopped strawberry make a yummy gooey strawberry centre.

Strawberry Surprise Chocolate cupcakes
(the strawberry was a bit off-centre for this one)
Recipes

Toddler friendly sweet potato mini pancakes

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These sweet potato bites are very similar to the toddler friendly pancakes I posted last week, except sweet potato and carrot are the main ingredients with a bit of egg and flour for texture.

I over-cooked my batch, as you can probably tell….be warned they burn easily, so don’t cook them on high heat.

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

1/2 carrot (could add more if you wanted) *you could add other veggies that you’ve got in the fridge also.

1 – 2 eggs (depends how much you want to make)

Approximately 1/3 cup plain flour

 

Method:

Cook the sweet potato and carrot thoroughly, until they are very soft.

Mash sweet potato and carrot and let cool.

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Mix in egg, and then gradually add flour until you reach the consistency you desire (you may need more or less flour depending on how many vegetables used)

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Heat a fry pan, and spoon mixture into fry pan. Flip over once golden brown then cook the other side.

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Perfect size snack for little hands

Easy peasy…

Recipes

Pear and Almond Cake

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This recipe was given to me by a good friend. I’ve made it many times, and it always turns out well and looks like you’ve gone to a lot of trouble….when actually it’s pretty easy.

It has a lovely ‘rustic’, and home cooked look. The caramelisation on the pears is key to its deliciousness!

This is best served warm, with some ice cream or a big dollop of cream. I also think some cinnamon added to the mixture would give a nice flavour.

Ingredients:

3 pears (firm but not too hard) (note: you could use another fruit that is in season)

175g butter

125g castor sugar, plus 1 tablespooon

2 eggs

75g almond meal (I’m told that hazelnut meal would work just as well)

75g self raising flour

Method:

Peel and core pears, and cut into thick slices.

Place 25g butter in a saucepan, once the  butter is bubbling add 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir until dissolved.

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Place the pears in the saucepan with the butter and sugar and cook until tender and caramelised. Then take off heat and let it cool.

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Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the two eggs.

Add the almond meal and flour, and fold into the mixture.

Place mixture in prepared tin (springform pan, lined with baking paper). Arrange pears on top of the mixture, and pour the syrup from the pan over the top.

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Bake in oven at 180 degrees for 40-45 mins, or until a knife when pushed into the centre comes out clean.

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Place on a wire rack to cool. Serve immediately with cream or ice-cream.

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Party · Recipes

Paw Print Cookies

These paw print cookies were a hit at the Teddy Bears Picnic birthday party. They don’t require many ingredients, and were easy enough for my 4 year old niece to help put the choc chips in place. They also freeze well, so I made them in advance (which is always handy).

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Here’s the recipe:

250g butter

1/4 Cup castor sugar

2 1/2 Cups self raising flour

1/2 tin condensed milk

Choc melts (large ones), and choc chips (small ones)

(note: if you want to make reverse coloured ones then you can do that by adding 1 tablespoon cocoa and using white choc chips)

 

Method:

Cream butter, sugar and condensed milk.

Add flour and mix together. The mixture is very thick at this stage, but that’s Ok.

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Not the prettiest photo. But I wanted show how thick the mixture is…

(if making reverse colours then split mixture and add cocoa to half the mixture).

Roll into balls and place on a lined tray.

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Flatten slightly, and add chocolate melts and chocolate chips in the shape of paw prints.

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Bake for 10 – 12 mins in oven at 180 degrees.

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Cool on a wire rack, and then you’re good to go!

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I find these to be the perfect consistency. Soft and melt in your mouth, yet still a little crunchy…..mmmm

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Recipes

Toddler friendly pancakes

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Pancakes – perfect for little hands

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My baby (who is almost a toddler now…) can be a little fussy with food, and I’m trying to work on giving him more finger food. The one thing he loves every time is pancakes!!

However, after having a reaction to egg whites when he was young, I make these pancakes with only egg yolks, but you could most definitely keep the egg whites in if you desire.

These are super easy, can be whipped up in a flash, and you can use whatever fruit you like. I also want to try a version which has vegies in it as well…

Ingredients:

Grated apple or finely chopped pear (I used two apples). You could use whatever fruit is in season.

Milk (roughly half a cup, but will depend how much fruit you have)

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup plain flour

1/4 – 1/2 cup of self-raising flour

(Since writing this post, I’ve also made another batch with grated carrot, and grated sweet potato (1/2 a sweet potato). This time I had to adjust the quantities of flour, egg and milk, and it made a much bigger batch. Equally delicious as the original, but with hidden vegetables).

Method:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix really well. Make sure there are no lumps of flour in the mixture. Ideally you would then place mixture in the fridge for about half an hour, but who has the time for that? 

Heat a frying pan, and put a small amount of your preferred oil or butter in the pan.

Place spoonfuls of mixture in the pan and cook until golden then flip over.

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Don’t forget to let them cool a bit first, cos the insides can be very hot.

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My little one just loves these pancakes, but they work just as well for adults also.

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Recipes

The easiest, yummiest scone recipe

OK, so technically this is one big scone, because of its filling it wouldn’t work as small scones. It’s a very basic scone recipe but with more butter, and it turns out to be somewhere between a scone, a slice and a short bread….either way it’s pretty delicious.

I think this could easily be turned into a savoury recipe by adding some cheese and maybe some ham  for the filling.

This recipe is quite small, just makes enough for one sitting of afternoon tea, and is best eaten straight away (I’m not sure how well it would keep).

A friend of mine told me her mum always says: “scones should be made and out of the oven within 20 minutes”. I think this is definitely true for this recipe, really quick to whip up if visitors are popping over or if you need a quick home made treat.

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Ingredients:

1 cup of self-raising flour (I also added 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder for extra height, but probably not necessary)

Pinch of salt

About 80g butter

1/4 – 1/3 cup of milk

Filling:

Strawberry or raspberry jam (a bit less than 1/4 of a cup)

Strawberries chopped finely (could use some other fruit)

*Note: you could easily change this filling to another fruit, or even something savoury.

 

Method:

In a bowl combine the flour and butter until it makes a fine crumb (mine was quite buttery)

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Add the milk in small amounts until all combined and the dough comes together. Do not over-work the dough.

Heat the raspberry jam in the microwave.

Flatten the dough, then spread the jam over one half, sprinkle over strawberries aswell, then fold the other half of the dough over. (It looks like a calzone at this stage).

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Place on a tray and in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees), for about 12 mins.

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Let it cool for a couple of minutes, then eat immediately.

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Yummy raspberry jam filled scone

Enjoy