ANZAC Biscuits with a Twist

Here in Australia it is the ANZAC day long weekend, and for us Aussies that means 3 things. First and foremost it’s an opportunity to honour our fallen soldiers and those still serving to protect our country. Secondly it’s a public holiday which is never a bad thing, and lastly it’s the perfect time of year to make ANZAC biscuits.

To me these biccies have to be soft and chewy, golden brown and super sweet, and that’s just how this recipe turns out.

To add a little bit of a twist, and to appease the chocolate fanatics out there half of this recipe was turned into chocolate chip ANZAC biccies 🙂

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Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time- 10 mins, Makes 20

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This weekend I have been fortunate enough to spend with my Husband and his Parents who live in a little village called Paluma which sits on the top of a mountain range. During the Second World War, Paluma was established as a major radar station, being used first by the American Army and then by the Royal Australian Air Force. Throughout the war years Paluma was used as a rehabilitation hospital site, and was also used for “jungle training” as conditions were similar to those in the South Pacific.  Timber was also cut in Paluma to aid the war effort (https://palumaeec.eq.edu.au/Aboutus/Pages/History-of-Paluma.aspx).

Paluma RAAF Base, in service from approx 1943-1946

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Historical Ivy Cottage – still in use today as a tea house at the top of the Paluma Range

Left: Cottage used by Medics, still in use today    

Right: Log cabin built  by the American Army around 1943 to escape the weather

Today, looking at the village only a few remnants of the war remain. Only a few igloo style radar stations, some concrete slabs, and a few of the homes still used to this day which were built back then for use as barracks. If you didn’t know any better, the peace and quiet of this beautiful place now, would trick you into thinking it was always like this.

This time each year should be a reminder to us all that we should be kind to each other and aim to keep our beautiful country as peaceful as possible. Lest we forget.

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ANZAC Biscuits

125g butter

1 cup plain flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup desiccated coconut

¾ cup raw sugar

1 tbs golden syrup

1 tps baking powder

2 tbs hot water

Optional -1/2 cup finely smashed chocolate chips

  1. Heat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl melt the butter and golden syrup.
  3. In a cup, mix the baking powder with hot water, be sure to stir well to remove any lumps, and add to the butter mixture.
  4. In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour, coconut, baking powder sugar and oats. Once mixed, create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter mixture. Combine well until mixture will clump together and not crumble.
  5. Roll mixture into small walnut sized balls and flatten slightly. If using real butter these should spread out when baked, if you are using a butter substitute like margarine, you will need to flatten them more as they will not melt in the oven.
  6. Bake biscuits until they are golden but still soft in the centre, about 10mins. Remove from the oven and let stand until cool.

Enjoy!

~A

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Pomelo Cupcakes

The nice thing about citrus fruits is that even when they have gone a bit soft and you wouldn’t eat them fresh out of their skin, they are still perfect for baking!

A few weekends ago one of my best friends gave me a few delicious home grown pomelos. I’d never had them before so I was pretty keen to give them a try and to find something yummy to add them into. So tonight after I had finished dinner and wanted something sweet I decided to try putting these citrusy delights to the cupcake test, and oh boy oh boy am I happy with how these turned out!

Pomelos are kinda like a grapefruit in flavour, not too sweet but also not too sour. If you wanted to you could substitute the pomelo in this recipe for your favourite fruit. The basic mixture is very versatile and would even taste great with chocolate chips thrown in. So don’t feel like you have to use pomelos, but if you have them I would recommend giving this one a try 🙂

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 20/25 mins, Makes 9

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Pomelo Cupcakes

2 cups plain flour

3tsp baking powder

1/4tsp salt

3/4 cup caster sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

3tbs vegetable oil

2tsp vanilla essence

Juice of 1 pomelo

Plus 1 additional pomelo sliced for decoration

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and prepare a muffin tray, set aside. In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Making a well in the centre of the flour mix, crack in the egg and add the milk, vanilla, oil and pomelo juice.
  3. Mix well until all ingredients are combined and there are no lumps.
  4. Into your prepared muffin tray spoon about 3 table spoons of batter and top with a slice of pomelo.
  5. Bake for 20-25mins or until a skewer comes out clean. If you find your fruit browning place a sheet of aluminium foil over the top while baking.
  6. When cooked through, remove cakes from the tray and set aside to cool.  If you like them warm, I suggest serving with a sprinkle of icing sugar and a scoop of vanilla ice cream 🙂
  7. Enjoy!

~A

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Passionfruit Curd

Here’s a yummy sweet and tart Passionfruit curd recipe to get those taste buds tingling!

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Why not try the curd with this super Easy Meringue?

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Or how about this yummy Orange Poppy Seed Cake with Passionfruit Curd & Glaze?

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Passionfruit Curd

1 cup castor sugar

½ cup passionfruit pulp

5 large eggs yolks

4 tbs unsalted butter, cut into cubes.

  1. Combine sugar, passionfruit pulp, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over a medium head and whisk constantly until the curd has thickened and will coat the back of a spoon, usually about 8-10mins.
  2. Remove saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter, piece by piece, until melted. Cool completely and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  3. Serve with your favourite dessert!
  4. Enjoy 🙂

~A

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Triple Chocolate Chip Muffins

Who doesn’t like chocolate? If you find someone that doesn’t, well then there is something seriously wrong with them! These chocolate muffins are a serious indulgence. Chocolate base with two types of chocolate chips (thee if you don’t have a fussy husband who won’t let you use milk chocolate) brings all the yummy to these muffins.

Prep time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 20 mins, Makes 15

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I remember a recipe similar to this that my mum used to make all the time when I was a kid. They were the best muffins ever, alas that recipe has been lost but I’d say this one comes in at a very close second. Rich but not too rich, good in the centre and crunchy on top, you definitely won’t be disappointed with these guys.

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Triple Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 ½ cups self-raising flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted

3/4 cup dark chocolate bits

3/4 cup milk choc bits

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg – lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

Icing

1/3 cup dark chocolate bits

1/3 cup milk chocolate bits

1/3 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 tbs butter

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. In a large bowl sift the flour and cocoa powder. Mix in the chocolate bits and sugar and create a well in the centre of the bowl.
  2. In a small bowl mix the egg, milk, oil and vanilla and whisk lightly with a fork.
  3. Pour milk mix into flour mix and stir together with a wooden spoon until combined. If the mix is a little dry add a dash more milk.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins and bake for 20 mins.
  5. When cooked remove from muffin tins and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. To create the icing, place chocolate, butter and milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high in the microwave for 20 seconds. Stir well until all the ingredients have melted and make a smooth mixture. Add the icing sugar and using a whisk, stir the mixture until smooth.
  7. Let mixture chill in the fridge to thicken for about 10 mins. When muffins have reached room temperature they can be iced.
  8. Enjoy!

~A

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New York Baked Cheesecake

My favourite type of cake is a baked cheesecake. I can remember when I was little whenever I was taking into town we would always stop off at our favourite German coffee shop and without fail I would get one of two things. A jam Berliner or a slice of baked cheesecake.

Each bite of this cheesecake took me right back to those cherished childhood memories.

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New York Baked Cheesecake

250g plain sweet biscuits (Scotch fingers or arrowroot’s both work fine)

125g butter – melted

750g cream cheese – soft and at room temperature

2 tsp finely grated orange zest

1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 cup castor sugar

3 eggs

¾ cup sour cream

¼ cup lemon juice

  1. In a food processor pulse the biscuits until they are a fine crumble and add the butter pulsing again until combined.
  2. In a prepared 24cm spring form cake tin, press the biscuit mixture over the base and sides ensuring an even base well compressed base. When pressed in, refrigerate for 30mins.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, citrus rinds and sugar with electric beaters until smooth. Add in one egg at a time beating in between then add the sour cream and lemon juice beating again until smooth.
  4. Remove the biscuit base from the refrigerator and pour cheese mixture into the tin.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for about 1hr and 15mins or until the top is just golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Enjoy!

-A

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Chocolate Tart

I recently spent the Easter weekend with my Mum in Cairns. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, so this year I promised myself and her that I would make an effort to spend more time with her despite the 400 km distance between us.

So like the old days when I still lived at home, when we come together there is usually a lot of food related activities to be had! When I was little we would always be making something in the kitchen, usually baking on the weekends when we had time away from school and work.

Almost like making up for lost time, this weekend we baked up a storm, making two of these delicious chocolate tarts (one for Mum’s great neighbours and one for us) and one very yummy New York Baked Cheesecake, soon to be shared on The Strange Couple.

This tart is super easy and anyone should be able to make it. We did use a food processor but if you’re feeling strong enough you could mix the pastry dough by hand too. The chocolate filling is divine and ridiculously simple to make. You might consider this as the perfect dessert next time you’re entertaining guests (or just want something chocolaty for yourself!).

Prep time – 30 mins, Cooking time – 30 mins + 30 mins setting time, Serves 8-10

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Chocolate Tart

Base

1 ½ cups plain flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ cup icing mixture

180g cold butter – chopped

Filling

½ cup cream

30g butter – chopped

200g dark cooking chocolate – chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, and prepare a tart tin about 34 x 11.5cm with a little butter and flour.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder and icing mixture, place into a food processor with the cold chopped butter. Use the pulse setting to process the mixture until it resembles crumbs. Add about 3 table spoons of iced water and process again in pulses until the mixture comes together to form clumps. Ensure mixture is moist by pinching a bit of the mixture, if it looks too dry add a touch more iced water.
  3. When clumping, remove the dough from the processor onto a flat surface and roll out with a rolling pin to about 5mm thickness and make sure it will be long and wide enough to fit your tin. This recipe should yield more than enough dough to cover the dimensions of the tin.
  4. Lay the pastry into the prepared tin and lay some baking paper on top of the pastry and fill with dried rice or beans and bake for 15 mins, remove the rice or beans from the pastry and bake for a further 15 mins or until the pastry is dry and cooked through. Allow to cool.
  5. For the filling heat the cream, butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate begins to meld. Remove from the heat and stand, stirring often until melted and smooth.
  6. When pastry base is cool, pour in the chocolate mixture and smooth out.
  7. Place tart in the fridge until the chocolate has set.
  8. Serve with fresh cream and berries and enjoy!

~A

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Easy Meringue

This is the easiest Meringue recipe you will ever find. I decided to make a meringue after my last post Orange Poppy Seed Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Glaze. The curd required 5 egg yolks and I was left with all the egg whites. I don’t like waste, and I rather like meringue so it only made sense!

This meringue can me made into small rounds, or as large bases for toppings of cream and fruit.

With only two ingredients, why not give it a go 🙂

Prep time 5 mins, Cooking time 3 hours, Serves 8

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Easy Meringue

4 egg whites

220g caster sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. In a bowl beat egg whites on low with an electric beater until the whites start to go foamy and bubble, turn beater to high and continue until eggs form soft peaks.
  2. Begin to add the sugar, about 1 tbs at a time, over the course of 2-3 minutes the eggs should turn stiff and glossy.
  3. Line a baking try with grease proof paper and begin to spoon out your meringue mixture. It’s at this point that you can get creative, forming your meringue into shapes, or just a slab.
  4. Reduce the oven to 140 degrees C and place tray into oven. Leave to bake for 35-40 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave in place for a further 2-3 hours to dry out.
  5. When cool, top with your favourite fruits and cream and enjoy!

~A

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Orange Poppy Seed Cake with Passionfruit Curd & Glaze

This weekend I went to visit my friend today who until recently has been in hospital recovering from quite a large surgery. I didn’t want to go empty handed so I decided to make cake! Because well, you know, these situations need cake…

So to the internet I went, searching for something to make out of the ingredients I already had in the pantry. The star of the show had to be the passionfruit as I had a big tin just sitting there waiting to be eaten. I found a few recipes that I thought looked easy enough and would combine well to make something pretty special, so here it is, my Orange Poppy Seed Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Glaze.

Prep time – 20 mins, Cooking time – 30 mins, Cooling time – 2 hrs, Serves 12

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Poppy Seed Cake with Passionfruit Curd & Glaze

Cake

2 ½ cups plain flour plus more for dusting tins

2tsp baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cup caster sugar

Zest of 1 orange

225g unsalted butter room temperature, plus more greasing tins

2 large eggs lightly beaten, room temperature

1tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk, room temperature

2 tbs poppy seeds

Curd

Check out this link for our yummy Passionfruit curd!

Note: This recipe will make much more curd than needed for the cake so make sure to store and use for other goodies coming up on the blog 🙂

Glaze

1 cup icing sugar

3 tablespoons passionfruit pulp

1 tablespoon orange juice, freshly squeezed

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C; place oven rack in middle position. Prepare two 20cm round cake tins; grease and line with baking paper then grease and flour baking paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine orange zest with the sugar and mix through, it should resemble semi-wet sand when completely mixed.
  3. Add soft butter to sugar mixture and using an electric beater mix until smooth, drizzle in eggs slowly, all the while beating the mixture through. Add vanilla last and combine.
  4. Into your flour pour your sugar mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine slightly, then return the electric beater and mix thoroughly.
  5. Fold poppy seeds into cake batter until evenly distributed.
  6. Divide batter between the cake tins and bake for 20mins, then check and rotate pans from front to back, then cook for a further 10mins or until a skewer comes cleanly out of the centre of the cake.
  7. When baked transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool. When cool to touch turn out cakes, and set on racks top-side up. Cool completely.

Glaze

  1. In a medium bowl sift the sugar, add the passionfruit pulp and orange juice and whisk well to combine. The mixture should be just thick.

Assembling your cake

  1. Remove any remaining baking paper from the cakes. If your cakes are slightly rounded at the tops you will need to slice the rounded top off the bottom layer so your cakes stack well.
  2. Place bottom layer of the cake on your chosen serving platter and spread about ¼ cup of curd over the top. Carefully place the top cake over the curd layer and press lightly down to make some of the curd just start to ooze out the sides.  If you wish to have multiple layers feel free to repeat this process until your cake is the desired height.
  3. Once layering is complete chill your cake in the fridge for 1 hour. This will help later when you add the glaze.
  4. When cool, pour the glaze over the top of the cake and allow it to run down the sides. Allow glaze to set before serving – about ½ an hour.
  5. Find some friends to share with and enjoy!

~A

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Cornbread

Cornbread is a staple of Southern style cooking and is just generally yummy and can be eaten whenever you want! (That’s the rule in our house anyway!) This recipe is relatively simple and a great addition to any Southern style meal (like this Slow Cooker Honey Parmesan Pork Roast!).

Why not try it the next time you make something saucy as it’s perfect for mopping up your plate after a meal.

Prep time – 20 mins, Cooking time – 30-40 mins, Serves 12

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Cornbread

1 ¾ cups Cornmeal*

¾ cup plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp bi carbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

¼ cup sugar

2 cups buttermilk

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 cups corn kernels (canned is fine, make sure it is drained)

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  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220 degree Celsius and place a heavy based cast iron pan inside to heat up.
  2. In a bowl mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, bi carb, salt and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the buttermilk, eggs, oil and corn kernels.
  4. Make a hole in the dry ingredients mix and gently pour in the wet ingredients and mix well. Your batter should be wet. Don’t worry!
  5. Take your cast iron pan out of the oven and pour in some oil/butter/bacon fat (all of these will work, you just need enough to coat the bottom of the pan). If you don’t have a cast iron pan a baking dish that has been well buttered will also work.
  6. Into your hot pan gently pour the batter, you should hear a sizzle as the batter starts cooking. Place immediately into the oven and cook for 30-40minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.
  7. When cooked removed from oven and let sit for 10mins. Turn out onto a rack and allow to cool further.
  8. Enjoy with your favourite meal or just on its own, this cornbread will be super yummy either way!
  9. Enjoy!

~A

*If you can’t source cornmeal, polenta will also work, it’s basically the same thing, just not milled as finely as cornmeal.

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Easy Blueberry Muffins

Growing up blueberries were a constant staple in our household. I swear my mum had a slight obsession with them! Sundays nearly always consisted of super thin pancakes rolled with blue berries in the middle and dusted with icing sugar, so yummy!

I love these muffins because the flavours remind me so much of those Sunday treats but they are so much more user friendly! Perfect for morning tea snacks, or a quick breakfast option you wont regret making these muffins.

Prep time 15 mins, Cooking time 20 mins, Makes 12

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Easy Blueberry Muffins

1 cup canned blueberries – drained (can also use fresh or frozen, or any other berry of your choosing!)

1 cup self-raising flour

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

¾ cup milk

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup caster sugar

½ tsp salt

1 large egg

Cinnamon sugar

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  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Prepare your muffin tray by either placing muffin cups into the tray or by greasing the tray.
  2. In a mixing bowl beat together the egg, milk and oil until well combined.
  3. Once combined place a sieve on top of the mixing bowl and place in gently the flours, baking powder, sugar and salt. Once all in sift into the wet ingredients mixture. Using a wooden spoon mix flour and egg mixture together until smooth.
  4. Gently fold in the blueberries (or your choice of fruit).
  5. Scoop about 2 tbs worth of muffin batter into your prepared muffin tray cups. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake for about 20-25mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!

~A