Strawberry Santas

I’ve been spending a little time on Pintrest lately…. ok, maybe a LOT of time.  It’s totally justified of course, Liam’s 2nd birthday is next month and I’ve been looking for party ideas.

I’ve come across photos of these cuties a few times, both on Pintrest and Facebook, and our Mum’s group Christmas Party on the weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to give them a go.

There really isn’t much too them: Strawberries (the bigger the better), Whipped Cream (I add vanilla extract and icing sugar to mine) and dark chocolate chips.

Simply cut the strawberry in half, add a dollop of whipped cream (I used a piping bag), put the top of the strawberry back on (Santa’s hat) and add a couple of chocolate chips for his eyes.

These are super easy and yummy, and are a perfect snack on a hot day.

Too cute to eat!

Too cute to eat!

Fruit Crumble

I think I’m a pretty awesome wife – and humble I know!! Tonight I decided to surprise Scott with a midweek after dinner treat.  He is also looking after both the boys during the peak of witching hour whilst I go to the gym, so he deserves a big reward!  He has been on a bit of a health kick recently (to the point where he knocked back the pizza lunch at work for Melbourne Cup yesterday), so I knew he would want to keep things pretty healthy.  I decided to make a fruit dessert, there were a couple of apples & pears in the fruit bowl, and Liam had some leftover strawberries and peaches from his afternoon tea.  I like a crunchy top, so I added some chopped almonds to the oats.  For easy serving, I divided the mixture into four ramekins, if you prefer you could put it all into one dish.

Liam and I have shared one already, we added vanilla yoghurt to ours and we both really enjoyed it.  Scott isn’t home yet, so I haven’t gotten feedback from my toughest critic yet… if this doest cement my place as wife of the year, I don’t know what will!!

Fruity Goodness x

Fruity Goodness x

This is what I used – but you could just use any fruits you have

2 apples

2 pears

6 strawberries

1/2 tub diced peaches

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 dessertspoons malted rice syrup

2 tbsp shredded coconut

50g almonds chopped

* Preheat oven to 190 degrees

* Chop apple and pear into small pieces,add 2 tbsp water and cinnamon and cook in microwave on high for 2 minutes

* In a separate bowl, combine rolled oats, coconut, almonds & malted rice syrup and mix together.

* Drain excess water from apples & pears, add peaches and strawberries and mix together

* Divide fruit mixture amongst 4 ramekins (or one dish if preferred) and top with oat mixture

* Place in oven for approx 10 minutes, or until top begins to turn golden

* Allow to cool slightly and serve!!

Chocolate Goodness – Chocolate Marsala Cake

After a wonderful three weeks, it is finally our last day in Victoria. Tomorrow morning we are heading down to Melbourne to fly back home.  Whilst it will be great to be back home and get back into our routine (also back to the great Spring weather we have been having), our departure will also be tinged with some sadness.

The boys and I have really enjoyed our stay, and it’s been wonderful for the boys to have some much interaction with their extended family.

To mark our final day and celebrate the arrival of Flynn, we are having a family celebration lunch – and I nominated myself in charge of the dessert.

It’s a family joke that my Mum LOVES to drink Marsala with Coke.  She is by no means a big drinker – or a drinker at all!  She does however love her Marsala and Coke on special occasions, and we regularly joke that she may have had too many marsala’s if she says something a bit scatty!  She is also a HUGE chocolate lover, and can put away a block of chocolate in an afternoon and still maintain a size 8 figure (something I certainly didn’t inherit).  So when I came across a recipe for Chocolate Marsala cake in ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ by Nigella Lawson, it seemed the only logical cake to make!

The book does warn  the cake sinks a little in the middle, I thought the sinking was pretty minimal though, and the chocolate icing covered it perfectly.

It is a very rich and moist cake, we served it with cream which helped cut through some of the richness, strawberries or raspberries would also be a nice addition.

We all really enjoyed the cake, you could definitely taste the marsala throughout the cake and icing and it was a great end to a celebratory meal.

** Please note Mum has read through this post and is not offended by any of the comments!

A perfect celebration cake

A perfect celebration cake 

100g unsalted butter

100g dark chocolate – broken up

4 large eggs

175g caster sugar

50g self raising flour – sifted 3 times

3 tablespoons Marsala

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a 22cm springform tin
  • Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave (or a double boiler if you prefer) and set aside to cool slightly
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale and mixture has at least doubled in size.
  • Gently fold in the sifted flour
  • Fold in the chocolate mixture and pour into the tin and cook for 35 minutes until the top is firm.
  • Cool on rack for 5 minutes & then pour over the marsala. Let the cake cool completely before removing from tin.

 

Just letting the masala sink into the cake

Just letting the masala sink into the cake

Icing

100g dark chocolate

1 tablespoon marsala

100ml double cream

 

  • Melt the chocolate, marsala and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan over a low heat.
  • Take it off the heat and whisk until it is smooth and thick.
  • Spread over the cake – it will have sunk in the middle a little and you can use this as a pool for the icing.

 

choc masala cake 2

 

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

 

Easy Pancakes

Does anyone know why the first pancake you make NEVER turns out properly?  Or is it just me?  EVERY time I make pancakes, the first one is always a dud, whether it has a dodgy colour, doesn’t flip properly or it is a weird shape.

I decided to make pancakes for dessert last night, it was really a last minute decision and they were quickly made from memory (below is the recipe I used).

We kept the accompaniments pretty simple – strawberry jam and golden syrup and raspberries.  When I was younger (ok and I admit I still do now), I would top mine with Mum’s homemade apricot jam and whipped cream and then roll them up to eat.

They turned out well, the mixture was a bit thicker than what I normally make, but they were still quite light and very fluffy.  I’m curious to compare the below ‘memorised’ recipe to the original when I get home.

 

Pancakes

 

1 1/2 cups milk

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/3 cup caster sugar

25g butter – to add to pan when cooking

  • Whisk milk, egg and vanilla together.
  • Sift flour and bicarb soda into a bowl and stir through the sugar.
  • Making a well in the centre, pour in the milk mixture and whisk until combined
  • Heat a non stick frying pan on medium heat and brush with butter.
  • Add mixture, using 1/4 cup to measure out and cook for approx 3 minutes, or  until bubbles appear on surface.
  • Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until cooked through
  • Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Repeat, adding butter to frypan after each pancake is cooked.
I can't turn my back for a minute! At least it's the raspberries he is going for!

I can’t turn my back for a minute! At least it’s the raspberries he is going for!