Saturday, 28 November 2015

Speclaas Cookies (Dutch Spice Cookies)

These cookies remind me of my childhood!  We had a Dutch couple who lived across the road when I grew up, Auntie Ruth and Uncle Bill.  Auntie Ruth always had treats for us and my bestie growing up Gary and I would always be over there after school eating those treats!

The best thing was the whole house smelt of these cookies coming up to Christmas!  Now i don't think Auntie Ruth actually cooked them, more she opened the packet and laid them out for us.

If she made them herself or opened the packet, I really don't mind, this to me is one of those Christmas smells that I love, right along with the fresh cut Christmas Tree!

These cookies are traditionally put into wooden molds in the shape of windmills however I A. don't have one and B. Got this fantastic 1970's swedish cookie press with a tree plate on it that I wanted to try.

250 gm plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
150 gm brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and cloves
1/4 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, ginger and cardamom
150 gm butter

Combine all ingredients in your mixer and beat slowly until combined then turn up, you may need to add a couple of tablespoons of ice water until everything comes to a soft dough.

If using a cookie press, fill the chamber and using your desired pattern, press out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Bake in 170C pre heated oven for 20 minutes.

If these last a week you have a very restrained household!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Apple and Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

The crash test dummy No 1 loves cinnamon donuts, I love them too, however I find they are mostly way to heavy, doughy and tend to sit in a lump in my stomach.

These donuts are light and full of apple and cinnamon flavour.  Apple and Cinnamon are a paring I love and could eat any time.  I do use my own Roasted Apple Sauce for this recipe which I make in batches and bottle.

1/2 cup Apple Sauce
1/4 cup Greek Yoghurt
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda

Apple Sauce.

In your mixing bowl place your apple sauce, milk, yoghurt, sugar and melted butter.

Mix together.  It won't be smooth if your using a chunky sauce.

Stir through your flour, baking powder and bicarb until just combined.

Pipe into your prepared donut tin.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a pre heated 180C oven.

In a baking dish place 1 cup caster sugar with 3 tablespoons of cinnamon.

Stir together with a folk or whisk.

Take your donuts out of the oven and while hot 

Turn out into the prepared sugar mix.  With a couple of skewers or a folk turn them over in the sugar.

You do need to do this while the donuts are hot out of the pan.

These should be served hot with a coffee.  Enjoy!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Mary Berry's Chocolate Roulade

I made something similar to this a couple of years ago and filled it with Ice Cream instead of cream.
This chocolate roulade is to die for and Gluten free!  I used the recipe from Great British Bake Off, by Mary Berry, yes I am a GBBO tragic!

You do need to be prepared with this recipe otherwise you could get caught out and have a flat roulade.  Prepare your tin first, remember to butter before you line your tray to ensure no movement of the paper.  

You can make this in the morning and fill just before you serve.  If you fill with ice cream you will need to soften the ice cream for 30 minutes in the fridge to make easier to spread it.

Both children and adults will love this dessert and with a little fruit on the side it's not bad for you at all!

175 gm dark chocolate
175 gm caster sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Separate your eggs.

Melt your chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave.  If using the microwave use 30 second bursts.

Whip your egg whites until stiff.  Set aside.

Whisk your egg yolks and sugar until thick, pale and creamy.

Add the melted chocolate and mix until just combined.  Beat through a third of the egg whites to loosen the chocolate mixture.  Stir through the cocoa powder.

Gently fold through the egg whites in 2 batches.

Pour into your prepared tray and gently tip the tray to ease into the corners.  Bake for 20 minutes in a pre heated oven 160C fan forced or 180C non fan forced.  Remove from the oven when cooked and leave to cool in the tray with a dry tea towel over the top.

When cold place a sheet of baking paper on your bench and dust with icing sugar.

Turn your cold cake onto the icing sugar and peal off the baking paper base.  Spread your whipped cream on all but one inch at the end of the cake.

Fold over the end without the cream and using the baking paper, roll the cake.  Don't worry about cracks in the cake, you should have some.

Make sure the seam is facing down.  Transfer to your desired platter or tray and decorate as you wish.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Martha's Fresh Strawberry Pie

Here in Australia it is Spring technically, however we have some very warm to extremely hot days. Today is one of those lovely warm days where I can have the house open still with a nice breeze blowing through.

Spring/Summer in the Kitchen mean fruit!  We love fresh fruit and tend to devour it!  I order lots of fruit all year round, however this time of the year allows for fantastic variety, watermelon, rockmelon, pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit and soon our faves, cherries, and the stone fruit!

I saw this recipe on the Martha Stewart site as a video a while ago and have been waiting for this time of year to try it.  I did change it up and put it in an Oreo crust and reduced the sugar a little.

Give it a try this is a great way of having a pie without heating up the house too much!  This has been given a double thumbs up from both the Crash Test Dummies and didn't last the full weekend.


200g Oreo Biscuits
5 tablespoons butter, melted


3 punnets of strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry or pomegranate juice
1/4 cup corn flour
1/2 cup caster sugar

300 ml cream, whipped

For the base blitz the oreo's in your food processor,  when a fine crumb with the motor on add the melted butter blitz until all coated.

Tip into either a pie dish or tart tin.

Gently press with a flat bottomed glass into the base and sides.  Place in pre heated 180C oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool until cold.

For the filling, place 2 cups of your sliced strawberries, juice, sugar and corn flour in a jug or blender and with a barmix or stick blender blend until smooth.

In a non stick pan place the strawberry mix and heat on medium heat, stir constantly until the mix thickens and boils.  Once cooked the mix will go from a cloudy colour to clear.  Allow to cool.

When cool, mix the rest of the sliced strawberries through the mix until coated.

Place strawberry mix in the pie base, ensure the mix is spread out across the base,  refrigerate for minimum 4 hours.

Top with whipped cream just before serving.