Choc Pretzel and Peanut Butter Slice

Last week I came clean about my food magazine addiction, so it should come as no surprise that this recipe is from the latest edition (and only the second ever) of the taste.com.au magazine.  This recipe caught my eye for a few reasons: no baking required and it contained oreos and crunchy peanut butter (crunchy is my favourite).

It took some searching to find the chocolate coated pretzels (luckily Scott has the woolworths app on his phone), they are NOT with regular pretzels/chips etc, instead they are in the confectionary aisle as they are made by Cadbury (and they are SUPER yummy)!

I found this a good recipe to make if you’ve got kids running around.  You complete a couple of steps and then it goes in the fridge – perfect if you are making it around dinner time (it had been a busy day and I wanted to take it to a baby shower the following morning).

The end result was great.  I waited until the top chocolate layer had almost set and then cut it into pieces, as the chocolate was quite thick and I was worried it would be too hard to cut. As suggested I cut it into one pretzel sized pieces.  It is very rich though, and you could probably get away with just half a slice.

Choc Pretzel & Peanut Butter Slice

1 bag (110g) choc coated pretzels

2 cups crunchy peanut butter

165g butter softened

2 packets of Oreo Classic biscuits

1 1/3 cups icing sugar mixture

200g dark chocolate – finely chopped

1/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • Grease and line a 20cm square cake pan with baking paper
  • Melt 125g of the butter. Process the biscuits until crushed, add the melted butter to combine. Spread firmly over base of pan and put in the fridge for 30minutes
  • Using electric beaters – beat peanut butter, icing sugar, remaining 40g of butter and milk until well combined (it will look crumbly). Spread over base and use the back of a spoon to pat down firmly. Put slice back in the fridge for 2 hrs or until firm
  • Place chocolate and oil in a bowl and microwave on medium heat, stirring occasionally until chocolate has melted, spread over the slice.  Place pretzels in lines on top of slice and put back into the fridge for an hour or until set.
  • Cut slice, using pretzels as a guide into small pieces.

Throwback Thursday – Chocolate Whirl Cake

Yikes…  it’s Wednesday afternoon and I’ve just realised I haven’t baked anything for Throwback Thursday!  Luckily the McAlpins recipes are all pretty simple,  combine that with a happy baby and a big boy at kindy and the crisis is averted!

This reminds me of a much simpler version of the rainbow cakes we used to have as kids (this may be a project for the weekend).  The cake itself is quite plain, but the chocolate ‘whirl’ and butter icing provide the kick that it needs.

chocolate whirl cake copy 2

Click here for conversion table

8 oz (2 teacups) self raising flour

pinch of salt

4 oz margarine (I used unsalted butter)

6 oz castor sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

3 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon coca blended with 2 tablespoons of boiling water

  • Sift flour and salt
  • Cream margarine/butter and sugar and beat in eggs gradually
  • Mix in sifted ingredients alternately with milk and vanilla essence
  • Turn into a greased tin lined on bottom with paper (I used a 20cm round tin)
  • Pour the blended cocoa on the top and stir it around with a knife
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 50 – 60 minutes (I baked my cake for 35 minutes at 170 degrees in a fan forced oven
  • When cold, ice the top with Chocolate Butter Icing

Chocolate Butter Icing

3 oz icing sugar

1 oz butter

1 tablespoon cocoa

  • Sift sugar
  • Blend the cocoa into a thick paste with boiling water, mix in the icing sugar well
  • Soften the butter and work into the icing
  • Spread over cake or use for piping/decorating cakes

DSC_0869 copy 2

Kerry’s Continental Slice

Whenever I set out to make something new, I usually try and pick something that I’m going to enjoy – I figure, what is the point of going to all that effort and then being disappointed with the result and wasting precious calories on something you don’t really enjoy.

This recipe comes from my Mum’s old book.  I thought it looked interesting, and I had all the ingredients on hand.  Whilst it didn’t taste terrible, there are certainly a lot of other slices I would prefer to make, and I probably won’t try this one again.  I did enjoy the base, I love weet-bix and it also contained my favourite ingredient coconut. If anything, I’d be keen to try a different topping with the same base – please feel free to offer any suggestions! Others who tried it did enjoy it (and they did mean it as they ‘keep it real’ when giving feedback)!

Continental Slice

 

Please click here for conversion table

 

Base

4 oz butter

3/4 cup coconut

1/2 cup castor sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa

2 cups crushed weet-bix

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Cream butter and sugar together, add egg and vanilla essence
  • Mix in coconut, cocoa and crushed weet-bix
  • Press into a greased slice tin and bake for 15 minutes

 

Topping

2 oz butter

2 cups icing sugar

1 tablespoon custard powder

2 tablespoons hot water

1 block of milk chocolate

30g copha

 

  • Beat together butter, icing sugar, custard powder and hot water.
  • Spread mixture onto the base and put into the fridge
  • Melt chocolate and copha in microwave – use 30 second spurts and mix as you go
  • Pour over slice and pop back in the fridge until chocolate has almost set, remove then to cut into slices

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

 

Chocolate Goodness – Chocolate Cake with Orange Syrup

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I’ve got time on my hands.  Little Aiden is sound asleep and Liam is being entertained outside by his grandparents.  I stop myself from sitting down with a coffee (I’ve already had 4 today) and instead decide to do some baking.  Luckily Mum has a huge stash of fresh eggs, following a delivery from my Uncle’s chooks (will miss the fresh eggs when we head back home next week) as this cake needs 8 of them.

This is a Donna Hay recipe (from Simply Essentials – Chocolate) so it is pretty straightforward.

I found the syrup took around 20 minutes to thicken to the consistency that I wanted.  Also I only added zest from two oranges (they were super sized), as there weren’t enough to have 1/2 a cup – which seems like an excessive amount.  Unfortunately the cake had cooled quite a bit before I had the chance to pour on the syrup as it was then dinnertime and both the boys were vying for my attention (I always go to the one crying the loudest).  It still absorbed the syrup, but it would have been a lot better if it was added whilst still warm.

Mum and I loved the combination of orange and chocolate – and didn’t feel it needed the extra zest in the syrup. I also drizzled some left over syrup over our piece which made the cake super moist.

Adding extra syrup makes this cake super moist

Adding extra syrup makes this cake super moist

8 eggs

1 1/3 cups caster sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder sifted

1 cup plain flour sifted

75g butter melted

Orange syrup

1/2 cup orange zest

1 cup water

1 cup orange juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • Line a deep 20cm round cake tin with non stick baking paper
  • Place the eggs and sugar in bowl of mixer and beat for 7-8 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy
  • Add the cocoa, flour and butter, folding gently until just combined
  • Pour mixture into the cake tin, bake for 1 1/4hrs or until cooked when tested
  • While cake is cooking, make the syrup
  • Heat the zest, water, juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved
  • Allow the syrup to simmer for 8 minutes or until thick
  • Cool the cake in the tin for 5 minutes, turn out and place on serving plate.
  • Pour the syrup over the top of cake and serve warm
Yum - eat warm with ice-cream!

Yum – eat warm with ice-cream!

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

Raspberry Spiked Chocolate Brownies

Over the last few weeks I have been hooked on brownies and blondies.  Each recipe I have made, I’ve thought it to be the winner.  However I think this combination of rich dark chocolate brownie with raspberries literally takes the cake (pun intended).  These are sensational, the brownie is so rich and chocolatey, and the raspberries are such a great contrast.  The centre is quite soft, and is GREAT warm with vanilla ice cream.  My little helper enjoyed licking the bowl…. I know just award me mother of the year now.

yummy

yummy

Recipe from Donna Hay Simply Essentials – Chocolate

200g dark chocolate chopped

250g butter

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

1 1/3 cups plain flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted

1 1/2 cups raspberries – fresh or frozen

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Place chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth
  • Place in a bowl with the sugar and eggs
  • Sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix to combine
  • Pour into a 23cm greased square cake tine lined with non stick baking aper
  • Top the mixture with the raspberries and bake for 45 minutes or until set.
  • Brownies should be very fudgey in middle
You MUST try this!

You MUST try this!

Chocolate Goodness – Choc Chip Butter Cake

Continuing my journey through Donna Hay’s Simply Essentials Chocolate book, I decided to make this butter cake – with choc chips of course!  After I had made a different version of butter cake over the weekend, I was keen to try another recipe.

This cake is incredibly moist and has a great vanilla/buttery flavour.  I didn’t have any sour cream, and substituted with natural yoghurt which worked well.  I also used a whole bag of cadbury dark chocolate chips instead of chopped dark chocolate.  I love dark chocolate and thought it complemented the cake brilliantly, but others said they would have preferred milk chocolate.  After having a big weekend, I’m back on the straight and narrow and have eaten well today. However the temptation of warm cake was too much and I gave in and ate a whole piece…  it was worth it though!  I will now be setting the alarm early to go for a walk in the morning!

 

185g butter softened

1 1/4 cups caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

2 1/3 cups plain flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

 

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • Place butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl of mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes or until light and creamy
  • Add the eggs and sour cream and beat well
  • Fold through the flour, baking powder and chocolate
  • Spoon the mixture into a 20 x 30cm slab tine lined with non stick baking paper
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer
Yum!

Yum!