Ridiculously easy. Ridiculously delicious.
For some of us, it’s not the most wonderful time of the year.
Sometimes you just want to indulge.
With half the calories, you can eat twice as much.
You can keep your cake, and eat it too.
If you’re into DIY these holidays, this chocolate Easter nest recipe will brighten up any Easter basket or family gathering. They’re relatively simple to make, contain few ingredients and can be loads of fun to make with the little ones, too!
100g packet Chang’s fried noodles, roughly crushed
3/4 cup pink fairy floss
110g packet candy coated milk chocolate Easter eggs
12 miniature toy chickens to decorate
- Grease a 12-hole, 1 1/2 tablespoon-capacity round-based patty pan. Line the base and sides of each hole with a 3cm x 10cm strip of baking paper.
- Place chocolate melts in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until melted and smooth.
- Add noodles to melted chocolate. Stir to combine. Working quickly, place 1 rounded tablespoon mixture in each hole. Using a spoon, mould into a nest shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.
- Remove nests from pan by sliding a butter knife under baking paper. Remove paper and arrange on a large plate.
- Place a little fairy floss in the base of each nest. Top each nest with 1 Easter egg and a miniature chicken. Voila!
Recipe via Taste
This tasty twist on hot cross buns is a fun way to celebrate the Easter holiday and is sure to leave everyone in the family happy. Vegemite at a time of the year when we all find ourselves over indulging in chocolate and sweet foods, gives your savoury taste-buds a delicious work out.
Using an Aussie classic this recipe delivers and is a great take on an Easter favourite. These are best served warm and with a spread of butter.
10g dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1⁄4 cup vegemite
1 tbsp caster sugar
20g butter, melted
31⁄2 cups flour, sifted
3⁄4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp water
1 vegemite 145g tube, for topping
- Combine the yeast and warm water in a large bowl and mix until yeast is dissolved. Add the eggs, vegemite, sugar and butter and whisk to combine. Stir in the flour and cheese and mix until combined then knead for 5-8 minutes on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and springy.
- Place the dough into a clean bowl and cover. Set aside in a warm place to rise for approx. 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Knock back the dough then knead lightly. Divide into 12 even portions. Knead each lightly then stretch each ball out slightly and place 1⁄2 teaspoon vegemite onto each and roughly knead through.
- Roll each into a smooth bun and place on a greased baking tray with 1cm gap between them. Set aside in a warm place for 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Beat together egg and water then brush over the buns. Using the vegemite tube, squeeze crosses onto the buns.
- Bake in a hot oven 200°C for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bases are crisp and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe courtesy of Vegemite Australia
I love how creative you can be with baking, much more so than cooking. The possibilities are endless, especially when it comes to holiday-themed baking. Since Easter is only a few weeks away, anything egg or bunny shaped suits the occasion, but the following recipe is especially clever as it is not what it seems.
These delicious filled chocolate Easter eggs look like your boiled brekkie egg has been coated in chocolate, but thankfully taste much better as the egg white is creamy cheesecake filling and the yolk is fruity jam goodness. The best part about it is, it’s super easy to make!
Here’s what you need:
6-8 hollow chocolate easter eggs
150g cream cheese, softened
30g (about 1/4 cup) icing sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
125ml (about 1/2 cup) thickened/heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp orange or mango juice
- Carefully cut off the top third of the chocolate eggs with a sharp knife. It doesn’t have to be perfect and actually looks more “real” with uneven edges. Put hollow eggs in the fridge.
- Combine cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Whip cream in a separate bowl and then carefully mix with cream cheese mixture.
- Put the chilled eggs in egg cups and spoon or pipe cream cheese mixture into chocolate egg shells. Chill eggs for at least 30 minutes.
- Slowly melt butter, apricot jam, and juice on low heat and stir until smooth. Chill in fridge until slightly thickened.
- With a small spoon, carefully scoop out a hole in each egg filling and fill hole with the fruity sauce. Keep chilled until serving. Enjoy!
Recipe and image via raspberricupcakes.com
I love baking and even more so eating baked goods, especially brownies. To me, brownies are the slightly more naughty version of muffins, rich and chocolatey, and unfortunately not very good for your bikini body.
However, there is a way to make moist chocolate brownies that won’t leave you feeling guilty as they are under 50 calories a piece. Yes, that’s right, delicious low-calorie brownies. They are flourless, but made with rolled oats, making them the perfect energy-boosting breakfast snack or afternoon treat.
Not only are these brownies tasty, but also very easy to make as you don’t have to worry about weighing the ingredients, just use the same cup for measuring everything.
3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Truvia (or any natural/stevia based sweetener that pours like sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 200° Celsius. Grease a square, medium sized baking dish and put aside.
- Combine yoghurt, milk, and egg and stir thoroughly. Add cocoa powder, oats, sweetener, baking powder, and salt and stir until everything is blended and you have a smooth batter.
- Pour batter into baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes. Don’t worry if the brownies are slightly undercooked, they taste even better this way!
- Let cool and cut into 8 pieces. Enjoy!
The great thing about this recipe is that you can add ingredients like nuts, raisins, berries, or pretty much whatever you like! It will add a few calories, but it will still be a much healthier brownie than the ones you can get at a supermarket. Happy brownie baking!
Image via doctoroz.com
Starting your kitchen from scratch can be a terrifying but exciting time, especially since there is so much variety both in-store and on the internet. There is a chance to start fresh and invest in kitchen and cooking utensils which reflect your own aesthetic, but also need to work well.
We have outlined the top ten items everyone needs in their kitchen, without resorting borrowing from family and friends.
1. Mixing bowl
While this is probably self explanatory, a mixing bowl should be one of the first things you need in your kitchen. Why? It can be used for almost anything; baking, marinating, and even storing leftovers such as watermelon and other large fruit. A medium sized bowl is perfect for a growing kitchen, and will be used more than any other size.
2. Measuring cups
If you don’t want to guesstimate each serving size, then measuring cups are probably a good idea for your kitchen. They come in a variety of colours and sizes which are suited to your particular aesthetic. Make sure your measuring spoons are both microwave and dishwasher-safe before purchasing.
3. Wooden spoon
Another must-have for the modern kitchen is a wooden spoon; inexpensive and will always find its place. Not to mention how easy they are to clean and store away!
4. Silicone spatula
A good spatula is a cooking essential because it helps to scoop, scrape, and mix together almost anything. Invest in a silicone or rubber spatula if you want to use it with hot mixtures since it won’t shed, unlike wood.
5. Cooling rack
Don’t go past a cooling rack or tray if you love to bake, since your kitchen will be lost without it! A stainless steel cooling rack is the best option since they are really easy to clean (by hand, and in the dishwasher), and won’t rust over time.
6. Measuring spoons
Measure anything from spices, and other ingredients with these easy-to-wash utensils for your kitchen. Available in a number of different sizes and finishes to suit your particular aesthetic.
7. Cutting board
Get your kitchen organised by using a wooden chopping board which is so easy to maintain. Clean it regularly with olive oil to maintain it’s shine, and keep from discolouring with extended use.
8. Can opener
Have you ever tried to open a can without it? This is an absolute must-have, especially if you are constantly using canned fruit and vegetables for your meals. Better safe than sorry!
9. Springform pan
If you enjoy baking cakes, brownies or even the occasional casserole, then a springform pan should definitely be on your list. The round tin is ideal for beginners, since it creates an even looking mixture with minimal effort. The sides can also be removed from the base, so it can be easily transferred onto a cooling rack.
10. Rolling pin
Similarly, if you love to bake desserts and other sweet treats, don’t miss out on a rolling pin. Our favourites are the French which are small and compact, but also come with handles for easy grip.
Image via Domestically Speaking
Calling all domestic goddesses: Iconic Aussie brand and household staple, Tip Top, is celebrating more than 50 years of baking for Australian families and it’s time to rise to the occasion. As part of the celebrations, Tip Top is re-releasing some of its fabulous, old recipes from the 1950s, such as the sweet tooth’s paradise: Russian Bread Pancakes and Cocoa Pudding (pictured and recipe below).
Both decadent and tasty recipes are from Tip Top’s Recipes Made With Bread. But before you get cracking – to thank mums for their years of support, Tip Top has launched a nationwide initiative to give everyone the chance to say, “Good on ya mum!” The interactive microsite Mum Song Dedications allows you to create a personalised song for your mum.
Following a four-step process, you can pick your own melody, beats, effects, and lyrics to create a unique compilation. Tip Top is Australia’s number one sliced bread, baking more than one million products for families every day. Numerous Aussie celebrities have featured in past Tip Top TV advertisements including singer John Farnham, swimmer Samantha Riley and AFL star Dermott Brereton. Visit www.mumsongsdedication.com.
Russian Bread Pancakes
½ lb. (227g) stale bread
½ lb. (227g) plain flour
1 pint (0.473lt) milk
Butter or dripping
Pinch of salt
- Soak the bread for about 1 hour in milk; rub through a sieve.
- Beat the eggs, add salt, half of the bread mash and flour; beat well.
- Add the rest of the bread and again beat well. Make frying pan (with some butter or dripping) hot.
- Put small heaps of the batter and fry on both sides. Serve hot with jam.
6 oz. (6kg) breadcrumbs
1 pint (0.473lt) milk
2 oz. (2kg) butter
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
- Boil milk and pour over breadcrumbs.
- Add butter and sugar and cocoa, which has been dissolved with 1 tblsp of boiling water.
- Add beaten yolks and essence; pour into buttered pie dish and bake for one hour.
- Beat white eggs to stiff froth and add sugar and beat again; decorate on top of pudding and cook a light brown.
- Leave in slow oven for ½ hour to cook the meringue on top.
Images via flickr.com
This recipe for sugar, dairy and gluten-free chocolate cake is packed with superfoods and is a piece of cake to make (pun intended!).
This healthy chocolate cake recipe is an adaption from a Nigella recipe, but changed to suit the parameters of my diet: soy, dairy, sugar and gluten free – and organic where possible. It also has a low glycemic index.
My favourite thing about this recipe is the amount of good things in it; particularly the coconut oil, cocoa powder and almond meal.
Pure, virgin coconut oil is nature’s best source of lauric acid, high in vitamins K and E which is great for your heart and cholesterol, fights bugs to keep you healthy, and has amazing properties for your skin and hair.
Cocao powder is super high in antioxidants (flavonoids), has phenethylamine which works as a mood elevator and has the ability to reduce the risk of blood clots, boost cognitive performance and lower high blood pressure.
Almond meal is packed with protein, antioxidants, monounsaturated fats (the good ones), and vitamin E, magnesium and potassium and is great for digestion.
This makes a small cake, so double the quantities if you’re using a regular cake pan.
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons cocao powder
1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Small pinch salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
Small shake desiccated coconut
1. Preheat oven to 170°C, oil and paper a small (11cm) cake tin.
2. Sift cocoa and whisk with boiling water, add vanilla extract and leave to the side to cool (not in the fridge, if the mixture is too cold it will affect the coconut oil later).
3. Combine almond meal, salt and baking power in a small bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil and egg, and beat with an electric mixer. Make sure the coconut oil is liquid. Whisk until creamy. With the beater on a low setting, slowly add the cocoa mix and almond mix. If too runny, add a dash of desiccated coconut.
5. Pour into the cake tin and bang the tin on the tabletop to even out the mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes (or an hour for a larger cake). I find the best way to check if the cake is ready is to see if the sides of the cake have come away from the tin slightly, and to skewer the centre, it should still be slightly moist. Just try not to open to oven unless you have to – it makes the centre of the cake sink.
6. Remove from oven, leave to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes, and then remove from tin and leave to cool on wire rack.
What’s your favourite healthy dessert recipe?
Kate Jones blogs about writing and pop culture at Calvicle Capitalism.
How sweet are these lovely pear and vanilla cakes? They make a wonderful alternative to your morning muffin, or serve as an elegant afternoon tea treat. The aroma of baking pears and warm vanilla is heavenly!
2 litres water
2 2/3 cups (370g) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
12x 125g Beurre Bosc pears, peeled and cored
125 g butter, softened
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
1 1/4 cups (190g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
1. Place the water, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Add the pears, cover with a round of non-stick baking paper and a lid, and cook for 25–30 minutes or until tender.
3. Drain on absorbent paper, set aside and allow to cool.
4. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy.
5. Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition.
6. Fold in the flour and milk.
7. Line 12x 1 cup (250ml) capacity muffin tins with paper cases and spoon ¼ cup (60ml) of the mixture into each case.
8. Carefully push in the pears and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Recipe: Australian Pears
What’s your favourite morning tea treat?
This cassava cake recipe from Yasmin Newman’s beautiful Filipino cookbook 7000 Islands many sound exotic but is easy to bake and tastes incredible, flavoured with coconut milk and finished with a coconut caramel topping.
At work, my mother was affectionately known as the ‘Cassava Queen’. She made cassava cake countless times over the years for colleagues who repeatedly requested the exotic dessert for office gatherings. Also known as cassava bibingka, this Filipino classic is characterised by a springy, elastic texture. It is also very easy to make. Stock up on pre-grated frozen cassava from Asian grocery stores, then thaw when you’re ready to begin.
900g grated cassava
440g caster sugar
190 ml evaporated milk
310 ml coconut milk
60 g unsalted butter, melted
COCONUT CARAMEL TOPPING
2 tablespoons plain flour
400 g condensed milk
80 ml coconut milk
2 egg yolks
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease a 22 cm ovenproof dish about 7 cm deep.
2. To make the cassava cake, place all of the ingredients in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until well combined. Pour into the prepared dish and bake for 1 hour, or until firm in the centre.
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
4. Meanwhile, to make the coconut caramel topping, place the flour and half of the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir to combine. Add the coconut milk and the remaining condensed milk, and cook over low heat for 10–15 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened to a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl, then stir into the condensed milk mixture until well combined.
5.Pour the topping over the cake and spread evenly. Use a kitchen blowtorch to cook the topping until slightly caramelised. Alternatively, cook under a hot preheated grill for 3–5 minutes; be careful as it will caramelise quickly. Set aside at room temperature until the topping is set and the cake is completely cool, then turn out the cake to serve.
What is it?
Cassava (also kamoteng kahoy) is the edible tuberous root from the cassava plant. The hardy, carbohydrate-rich crop is a major food staple across the developing world; in the Philippines, it is predominantly eaten as a sweet. Boiled cassava topped with grated coconut and sugar is the most common form; grated for cassava bibingka is the most loved. The starch extracted from cassava, known as tapioca, is used as a flour, or balls (pearls) found in sweet merienda items, such as ginataan.
What’s your favourite Filipino recipe?
This really is the best vanilla cupcake recipe we’ve tried (and we’ve tried a lot). The cupcake has a lovely, moist crumb that tastes just as good the next day, and the vanilla buttercream recipe is really easy to make and is fluffy and packed with vanilla flavour.
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 1/4 cups plain flour, softed
250g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 175C. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Go and find some cute ones!
2. In a big bowl, combine the flours. Set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are just incorporated but do not overbeat.
3. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full.
4. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins then on a rack. When cool top with the vanilla buttercream icing.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2-3 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is lovely and thick.
What’s your favourite cupcake recipe?
My Kitchen Rules 2011 winners Sammy and Bella share their favourite banana bread recipe flavoured with fresh passionfruit, topped with creamy ricotta – it makes a delicious breakfast or morning tea treat!
Makes one loaf
265g wholemeal self-raising flour
40g plain flour
1tsp ground cinnamon
140g brown sugar
2 eggs, light beaten
50g butter, melted
1 over ripe banana
9 passion fruits
50g shredded coconut
Spray olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Spray a 11x21cm loaf pan with spray olive oil. Line the base and two opposite sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overlap.
2. Sift the flours, cinnamon, and sugar into a large bowl. Place milk, eggs, melted butter, banana in a medium mixing bowl. Pass 6-7 of the passionfruits’ pulp through a sieve to remove seeds and place into bowl with wet ingredients and stir until well combined. If you still have lumps of banana, use a hand-mixer to break up large pieces.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir, add oats and shredded coconut. Stir until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle over some left over passionfruit seeds and shredded coconut.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
5. Cut into slices and toast. Garnish with a scoop of ricotta and some fresh passionfruit pulp.
What’s your favourite banana bread recipe?