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    Entries in recipe (47)

    Wednesday
    Nov282012

    Gingerbread Custard Ice-Cream 

                 you'll fall for gingerbread custard ice-cream

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    If you haven't been raised with packet custard (or at least the cartons of pre made custard in the supermarket dairy case) you'll wonder what I'm waffling on about... but, but, but, even though it's not in the least bit "cheffy" there is something about the flavour that satisfies your inner child.

    And that is what I'm going for today, by using a traditional custard ice-cream technique combined with packet custard and crumbled gingerbread men.

    *custard powder; is a sweetened flavoured cornflour product that when milk is added and heated to correct temperature it becomes a custard sauce. Also used in baking, particularly shortbread type biscuits (cookies).

    custard powder

    Gingerbread Custard ice-cream

    Ingredients
    2 cup (500ml) whole milk (one cup for the packet custard, one cup for the traditional custard)
    A pinch of salt
    3/4 cup (150g) sugar
    2 tablespoons of custard powder
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
    4 large egg yolks
    1/4 to 1/3 cup of crushed up gingerbread men
    Method 
    1. Make the packet custard mixture by placing the custard powder into a small saucepan with a 1/4 cup of the milk to form a smooth paste. Gradually add 3/4 cup of milk and stirring constantly bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. It will be very thick.
    smooth paste stage; you can see from the colour why you end up with a yellow ice-cream!

    2. Make the traditional custard by heating the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan until small bubbles appear around the side of the saucepan. Remove from heat, stir through vanilla extract. 
    3. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Place the made up packet custard in the bowl and place a strainer over the bowl.
    4. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
    5. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
    6. Strain the custard into the prepared packet custard. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly.
    7. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stir through crushed gingerbread and freeze in an airtight container overnight to allow the ice-cream to 'ripen' and flavours to fully develop. 
    Homemade ice-cream is firmer than store bought and can be difficult to scoop, remove ice-cream from freezer and place in refrigerator 20 minutes before serving to aid "scoopability".
    We served it here with a warm toffee sauce, I thought it would great with fresh poached or roasted peaches... try omitting the gingerbread and pairing the custard ice-cream with your favourite dessert.
    Happy Baking :)
    You may also be interested in Mini Chocolate Cake Christmas Puddings
    Tuesday
    Nov272012

    Raspberry Custard Melting Moments recipe

                                        raspberry custard melting moments 

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    Melting moments biscuits (cookies) are popular in Australian cafes and loved by home bakers.

    Yum, melting moments today; the soft textured shortbreads sandwiched with a sweet filling are perfect to serve with a cup of tea or favourite brewed beverage (I mean coffee, not beer... but hey I'm not one to judge). 

    popular brands of custard powder

    Now I've used 'custard powder' as part of the flour component of the recipe, it gives the biscuits a golden glow and a slight custard flavour. Custard powder is a commercial product that Aussies and Brits have been raised with, you can replace with an equal amount of cornflour if desired.

    Mine have a white chocolate raspberry ganache filling, but they can also be filled with butter cream or even a simple icing. 

    Raspberry Custard Melting Moments

    adapted from Donna Hay's 'modern classics book 2'

    Preheat oven to 160C (320F)

    line two baking trays with non stick paper

    makes 36 biscuits (18 sandwiched)

    ingredients

    175g unsalted butter, cubed and softened 

    1/4 cup pure icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

    1 tsp pure vanilla extract/essence 

    1 cup plain flour, (all purpose) sifted

    1/4 cup custard powder sifted 

    pinch of salt

    filling

    90 ml (3 fluid oz) pouring cream

    2 tablespoons of raspberry puree (squashed fresh or frozen raspberries pushed through a sieve)

    2 tablespoons of homemade or best quality raspberry jam

    1 piece of lemon zest (use a potato peeler)

    180 grams (6.34 oz) white eating chocolate finely chopped 

    method

    Place the cubed softened butter, icing sugar and vanilla in the bowl of electric mixer and beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy. 

    what light and fluffy looks like

    With a spatula or metal spoon stir through the sifted flour, custard powder and salt. You're just stirring until the ingredients are just combined, excess stirring with cause the gluten to develop and toughen the resulting cookies.

    Ok, if your mixture is too soft to roll into balls pop the whole bowl in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to firm up enough to roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls.

    Divide the balls between lined trays. Use a fork to press gently on top of each ball to make a indented pattern.

    Bake biscuits 15 to 17 minutes until lightly golden. 

    Set aside to cool.

    Make the filling by heating the cream, raspberry puree, raspberry jam and lemon zest stirring gently to incorporate until the cream "just" comes to the boil. Remove from heat, remove the lemon zest and pour hot mixture over the white chocolate, stir until smooth. Allow to cool until thick enough to spread.

    pipe the filling like I have with raspberry or plop on a little like I have with the *vanilla nutmeg

    Spread or pipe filling onto 18 cookie halves and sandwich with another cookie.

    Melted moments benefit from being stored overnight before eating... if you can wait!!

    Oh, I made up gift tins using small blank tins and printed labels on A4 paper. Clip art reindeer from Microsoft clip art.

    Goodness, this story is getting longer and longer I'll go before we hear the New Year countdown.

    Happy Baking :)

    *vanilla nutmeg filling; follow instructions for raspberry filling omitting the jam, raspberry puree and lemon. Once melted add one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Allow to cool until thick enough to spread. Grate fresh nutmeg on filling before sandwiching cookie.

     

    You might also be interested in making you own raspberry jam

    Got leftover custard powder, why not give 'Mum's vanilla slices' a try?

    Monday
    Oct152012

    Butterscotch Brittle Recipe

                                  salted butterscotch brittle

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    Have you tried your hand at making your own confectionary? It would have been my Mum's birthday today, and as Mum loved all forms of caramels including hard butterscotch lollies I thought we could look at making candies/lollies starting with cooking sugar to the 'hard crack' stage. 

    'Hard crack' lollies include; candy canes, lollipops, brittles, praline, lollies categorised as "boiled lollies" like fruit/acid/sour drops and hard caramels. 'Hard crack' is reached at 150C (300F), we are taking it a little further today to produce caramel.

    Glucose syrup is another form of sugar and like fructose often added to granulated sugar when making candy. The glucose syrup helps prevent the sugar crystallising. In Australia you can buy glucose syrup in any supermarket, you might have to seek it out in other parts of the world.

    Butterscotch Brittle

    Buttery and carmelly (ok, that's not a word... but it should be!) with a touch of sea salt, today's hard lollies are meant to be sucked, add peanuts, pecans or macadamia for nut brittle. Whether packaged in cello bags complete with a small hammer to crack off pieces, or neatly moulded; butterscotch brittle makes for a lovely homemade gift. 

    lightly oil a 18cm x 28cm tin (7in by 11in sheet pan)

    Ingredients

    2 cups white sugar (granulated white) 

    1/3 cup water

    *2/3 cup glucose syrup

    2 tsp of pure vanilla extract/essence

    125g butter, cubed (4oz)

    pinch or two of salt

    flaked sea salt if desired for topping

    Method

    In a medium saucepan combine, sugar, water and glucose syrup. Stir together over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

    Bring to boil, wash down any sugar crystals around the edge of sugar mixture with a damp pastry brush.

    a damp pastry brush is used to wash down any sugar crystals

    Reduce heat to low, (mixture should still be boiling) and boil without stirring for 7 to 10 minutes or until it reaches 170C (338F) on a candy thermometer. The mixture should be an amber colour.

    a inexpensive candy thermometer is the easiest way to ensure accurate setting points. 

    Remove saucepan from heat and with a wooden spoon stir in butter, vanilla and two pinches of salt (if your using salt on top reduce pinch of salt to one pinch).

    Pour into oiled pan, make sure you do this in one pour... if you scrape the pan onto what you have poured it will leave marks/discoloration on the finished candy.

     Whilst the mixture is still fairly hot, score lines and sprinkle with sea salt. Scoring the lines allows for fairly neat breaks in the finished candy, however to get "perfect" pieces you have to score very deeply or use a candy mould with shapes of choice.

    Allow to totally cool. Pop out of tin and package as desired. 

    *glucose syrup is thick and very sticky, oil the measuring cup for ease of pouring.

    * stir in 1 to 2 cups of dry roasted peanuts when adding the butter for butterscotch peanut brittle. 

    Happy Baking :)

    you might also be interested in liquid syrups 

    you might also be interested in honey comb/sponge candy

    Thursday
    Oct112012

    Caramel Cashew White Chocolate Cookies

    caramel cashew white chocolate cookies

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    Mini cookies with a big caramel flavour today :) 

    I love the Christmas season; minimalists decide there is no such thing as too much tinsel, elegant women don flashing ruldolph pins (there might be Christmas cocktails involved in this), ditto with baking where your famous 85% chocolate fondant will be replaced with more than one can of sweetened condensed milk in some Christmassy treat.

    For me, I don't usually shop the commerical lollies isle... but at Christmas if it can be crushed, melted or thrown in whole it's included. 

    Today I utilised hard butter candies (Werther's Original) for their unmistakable caramel flavour and Nestle caramel bits, which are new to the Australian market. Oh, plus white chocolate and cashews "just because". 

    Nestle caramel bits and Werther's Original butter candies

    Caramel Cashew White Chocolate Mini Cookies 

    makes 4 to 5 dozen, plenty to pack up for Christmas gift giving

    Ingredients
    1 cup of Nestle caramel bits (caramel choc chips)
    1 cup white eating chocolate chopped into small chunks
    2 Werther's Original 50gram (1.75oz) rolls of butter candy  *ground to a fine powder
    1 cup dry roasted unsalted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
    2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    250g well-softened unsalted butter (1 cup)
    2/3 cup light brown sugar
    1/4 cup dark brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated white sugar
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract or essence
    2 tbsp water
    1 egg
    *I thought it would nice to include "bits" of candy, but as you can see from batch one... the candy melted/popped. Batch two; I ground the candies to a powder in the food processor to get the result I wanted. 

     

     Method

    Preheat the oven to 180C (360F).

    Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.·

    In a mixer, cream the butter and the three types of sugar. Add the vanilla extract, water and egg. Beat together until just incorporated.

    Beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

    Stir in the crushed/powdered candies, chocolate chunks, caramel bits, cashews. Drop small teaspoons of the mixture, well spaced, on to non-stick baking parchment.

     

    Three types of sugar used, dark brown, light brown and granulated white, you can replace dark with light if you can't find any at your local store.

    Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden around the edges. Cool on tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

    Happy Baking :) 

    You might also be interested in brown sugar and making your own 

    Monday
    Oct082012

    Dried Chicken Dog Treats

                                                           dried chicken treats

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    Oh my goodness, we have a naughty pug. A pug that grabs your mobile phone and runs like the wind, a pug that unrolls all the toilet paper, a pug that chews EVERYTHING.  According to the vet and the inhome dog trainer (yes, that's what stage we up to) it's the humans not Gallifrey the pug. And so we train Gallifrey, and train Gallifrey, and train Galifrey. 

    Gallifrey the naughty pug

    Pugs can quickly turn into piglets with too many treats, the vet suggested baking chicken treats and breaking them into small pieces for the times that we are training Gallifrey.... I bake a lot of these treats!!!

    If you have a dehydrator follow the manufacturers instructions, but those who don't (like me) here is how to bake them.

    Dried Chicken Dog Treats

    pre heat oven to 120c (250F)

    Ingredients

    chicken breasts

    Method

    Partially freeze your chicken breasts to make slicing easier. Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise as thinly as possible. 

    thinly sliced chicken breast

    Lay the chicken breast pieces out on a baking tray lined with baking paper or on a non stick baking mat. 

    Bake chicken pieces for 45 minutes, turn the pieces over and continue to bake until deep golden brown.

    Cool on baking rack.

    Break into small pieces for training treats. 

    Store in an airtight container for up to one month.

    Happy Baking and may your doggie be well trained :)

    Monday
    Oct012012

    Chocolate Scones

                                       chocolate chip hazelnut scones

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    I didn't go to high school, I went to a technical school which is a trade school. We had no english, literature, history, geography classes, learnt no languages, no grammar (you've just had that ahhh haaa moment haven't you?) instead we had the all encompassing "humanities class". Then there was shop classes, yes I learnt woodwork, sheet metal, electrical practice and so on... plus cooking. In cooking class we made preserves, fondant covered fruit cakes, choux pastry, doughs and everything in between including copious batches of scones.

    I made this scone cutter in sheetmetal class, I still use it to this day

    This is a tradional scone dough like I made at school, the type where the butter is rubbed in, with the addition of dark cocoa powder and Nestle choc bits that my step son Daniel liked to add to every single thing we baked when he was little. 

    Chocolate Scones 

    rich and chocolately but not over sweet, top with nutella or cherry jam and whipped cream... don't forgot an expresso or a cup of strong tea 

    Pre heat oven to 180c (360F) 

    line a baking tray with a non stick baking paper

    Ingredients

    2 1/2 cups self-raising flour (self rising flour)

    1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

    pinch of salt

    1/2 cup castor sugar (superfine sugar)

    80g of chilled butter cubed (2.8oz) 

    1 cup of milk ... plus a little more if needed

    250g bag Nestle dark choc bits (8.8oz dark choc chips)

    1/2 cup of toasted skinned and roughly chopped hazelnuts *you can leave them out if you don't like nuts

    Plus a little cocoa sifted through flour to sprinkle on bench top

    Method

    Sift together the flour, cocoa, castor sugar and salt into a bowl. Add the chilled butter and rub through with your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs. 

    Make a well in the centre and add milk, choc bits and nuts. Use a butter knife or flat bladed metal spatula to lightly mix the ingredients into a soft dough. If it seems a little dry, add another tablespoon of milk.

    Turn out the dough onto bench top that you first sprinkled with flour/cocoa. Don't knead the dough, but rather softly pat together. Pat or lightly roll the dough until it is 2cm (a little under 1 inch) thick. 

    Using a 5 cm (2 inch) round cutter, cut scones and transfer to lined baking tray. Lightly pat or roll together extra dough between batches. 

    Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with topping of choice.

    Happy Baking :) 

     you might also be interested in quick chocolate dessert 

    Wednesday
    Sep262012

    Liquorice Lovers Ice-Cream Recipe

                          liquorice lovers ice-cream

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    Sad to hear that Darrell Lea is closing it's remaining 27 stores this month. The iconic Australian Chocolate and lolly maker has been producing much loved treats such as Soft Eating Liquorice and Rocklea Road® since 1927. However, all is not lost, under the new ownership Darrell Lea stands in local supermarkets and the like will continue to stock your favourites. 

    For my Dad it's the original soft eating liquorice, soft sweet, rich with molasses and just a touch of salt. This ice-cream recipe today is for you Dad. 

    Darrell Lea soft eating liquorice 

    Liquorice Lovers Ice-Cream

    you'll need an ice-cream machine for this recipe

    Ingredients

    200g good quality soft eating liquorice, cut into pieces

    5 large egg yolks

    1 cup milk

    2 cups of thickened cream (in Australia this is whipping cream with a 35% milk fat content)

    3/4 cup sugar

    black food colour

    *a prepared ice-bath... which consists of a bowl (or it could be your kitchen sink) with ice cubes in it. This is to speed even cooling of the custard mixture... you don't want to end up with scrambled eggs!!

    cut liquorice

    In a medium saucepan warm the milk, half the cream, sugar and the liquorice pieces. Bring to a simmer, remove pan from heat, cover and let cool.

    strain mixture and discard liquorice pieces

    Once cool, strain liquorice/cream mixture into a clean saucepan. Discard liquorice pieces.

    In a medium bowl whisk egg yolks together. In a seperate bowl pour in the remaining one cup of chilled cream.

    Gently heat the strained liquorice/cream mixture until it is just warm. Pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan over a medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

    the second straining step picks up any egg residue left in the mix

    Strain the custard through a fine seive into the chilled cream. Add black food colour if desired.

    adding black food colour

    after food colour is added

    Stir constantly over the ice bath until mixture starts to cool, place bowl in refrigerator or freezer to chill completely. 

    Once chilled churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturers instructions. Let the the ice-cream "ripen" by storage in the freezer overnight before eating.

    *Note... I haven't added salt to the recipe as the liquorice released enough salt, however if the liquorice you are using is particularly sweet add a pinch of salt to the cream mixture at the start.

    Happy Baking :) 

    you might also be interested in baci chocolate ice-cream

    or what about combed chocolate curls

    Wednesday
    May232012

    Nutella Chocolate Dust

    bailey's chocolate truffle cheesecake, raspberry sorbet and nutella dust

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    "The sorbet was melting, the truffle cheesecake momentarily pushed to one side... all were distracted by the Nutella dust."  the lone baker 

    A little bit of fun today with Nutella chocolate dust. Nutella chocolate dust is a touch of molecular gastronomy magic in the form of maltodextrin powder mixed with Nutella chocolate spread.

    What I love about the Nutella dust (or dirt/sand) is the smile it brings to peoples faces when they taste it. The powder melts in your mouth and you have "Nutella".

    You can do this with peanut butter too, just make sure it's the old fashioned natural kind of peanut butter that needs a mix to bring the oil/paste back together.  Also works with any fat, such as cream based caramel dust or say a flavoured olive oil dust with steak etc.

    Maltodextrin

    Maltodextrin is starch derived from either corn, wheat or tapioca.

    Maltodextrin comes in different grades;

    Maltodextrin (DE18) this is one you will most likely see around, it's cost effective and available in many sizes including bulk amounts. 

    Tapioca Maltodextrin (N-Zorbit M) top of the range in quality and price. With a very low bulk density N-Zorbit M will give you a lighter and fluffier result than other Maltodextrins on the market.

    Tapioca Maltodextrin (DE10) this one falls in-between the (D18) and (N-Zorbit M), one to consider when N-Zorbit M is out of your price range. 

    I used a tapioca derived Maltrodextrin (DE18)  today to create the Nutella Chocolate Dust. Want to give it a try?? 

    Ingredients

    80g (2.8oz) Maltodextrin 

    120g (4.2oz) Nutella chocolate spread

    formula from MolecularRecipes.com

    Method

    With a metal spoon mix the Nutella and Maltodextrin together in small bowl. Transfer mix to a blender and process for a few seconds, stop the blender and shake to make sure ingredients are evenly distributed (you can turn the blender off at the power point and scrape bottom of blender rather than "shaking" if preferred). Repeat a few seconds at a time until you have a fluffy Nutella chocolate dust. Pass through a fine seive for an even lighter result. 

    Storage

    Stores in a sealed air tight container until ready to use. The dust darkens a little on storage (see top photo) to bring it back to a lighter colour re-sift. 

    The dust dissolves with moisture so add it to your plated dessert at the last minute or serve in small seperate bowls to sprinkle over sundaes etc. All my guests took home a small container of Nutella chocolate dust. 

    Happy Baking :) 

    Stockists: Where to get maltodextrin.... 

    in Australia DE18, DE10, and N-Zorbit M all available from The Melbourne Food Ingredient Depot

    also in Australia tapioca maltodextrin and N-Zorbit M also available from The Red Spoon Company

    Elsewhere... Amazon has the N-Zorbit and searching maltodextrin whilst there will give you a range of types and sizes

     

    Love your choc hazelnut, then how about Baci ice-cream... recipe here

    Thursday
    Apr262012

    Raspberry and Orange Gluten Free Friands

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    Goodness me, is $5.50 each too much to pay for a small gluten free friand? That's what our local department store cafe was charging when I was there with friends recently. 

    The poor little plain orange friands looked a bit on the dry side; it got me thinking about why are gluten free cafe cakes always so dry, hard and often lacking in flavour? 

    With only 1/3 to 1/2 cup of flour per recipe friands must be one of the easiest recipes to convert to gluten free. I tested the following gluten free friand conversion out on friends and family this week, concentrating on "moistness" and packing with flavour. Everyone loved them... hope you do too :)

    Raspberry and Orange Gluten Free Friands

    greased oval friand tin or muffin tin (1/2 cup 125ml capacity)

    preheat oven to 200c (392F) or 180c (356F) fan forced

    Ingredients

    6 egg whites

    185g butter melted and cooled

    1 tbl orange juice

    1 cup almond meal (almond flour) 

    1 1/2 cups (240g) sifted pure icing sugar (confectioners, make sure it's pure with no flour added)

    1/2 cup gluten free plain flour (gluten free all purpose) 

    4 teaspoons fine orange zest

    1 cup of raspberries, fresh or frozen

    Topping

    1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

    optional .... 1/4 cup freeze dried raspberry pieces

    1 cup of sifted pure icing sugar 

    1 to 2 tablespoons of orange juice

    Method

    Put the egg whites in a medium bowl in a medium bowl, use a fork to lightly whisk and break up the whites. Add the butter, zest, almond meal, sifted icing sugar, juice and *berries; stir until the mixture is combined. 

    Divide the mix between the 12 hole pan. Bake 18-22 minutes, don't over bake. Allow to cool 5 minutes in pan before removing cakes and transferring to a cooling rack. 

    adapted from AWW lemon and cranberry friands

    Icing

    In a small bowl, add one tablespoon of orange juice to sifted icing sugar. Stir until smooth, add more juice if needed to created a drizzle over consistency. 

    Drizzle over icing and top with toasted almond slivers and freeze dried raspberry pieces.

                             moist and flavourful 

    Notes:

    *if using frozen berries don't defrost first, stir through in their frozen state

    *if you can source freeze dried raspberry pieces they do add a natural flavour punch; the pieces will loose their crispness after a short while however they still will taste wonderful.

    *undecorated friands freeze well wrapped for three weeks, defrost in the refrigerator before decorating.

    *friand tins are easily available in Australia, mine is a Wiltshire tin from the supermarket. Cute Mini friands  silicone moulds are available on Amazon..they really are "mini" about 3 teaspoons of batter per hole.

     Happy Baking :)

    Need to use your left over egg yolks? How about a batch of pastry cream to fill tarts, pastries and cakes.

    Or an easy Hollandaise sauce.

    Saturday
    Dec242011

    White Chocolate Cranberry and Pistachio Rocky Road

    Join me on facebook... 2012 is going to be a great year!!

    Busy, busy, busy in the lead up to Christmas? I know I have, with barely the time to bake it's time for a super quick idea!! This rocky road recipe is easily doubled... and if you need more make seperate batches. There is a splash of liqueur in it, but if making for the kids just leave it out. 

    White Chocolate Cranberry and Pistachio Rocky Road with Grand Marnier 

    makes 12 to 16 pieces

    Ingredients

    300g (10oz) white chocolate 

    25g (0.90oz) unsalted butter

    100g (3.5oz) pistachios

    100g (3.5oz) dried cranberries 

    50g (1.75oz) pink and white marshmallows cut in half with oiled scissors

    1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier (optional) 

    Method

    Line a brownie or slice tin with plastic wrap or non stick baking paper. If using Grand Marnier, mix the Grand Marnier and dried cranberries in a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium low 10 seconds at a time until cranberries begin to plump. Set aside.

    In a mixing bowl melt chocolate and butter over a pan of simmering water until just melted. Be careful not to overheat. Stir in pistachios, marshmallows and cranberries. Pour into lined tin and smooth top with spatula. Chill for 2 hours in the fridge. Turn out and cut into squares. Package in cellophane treat bags.

    Merry Christmas!!!

    Back second week of the New Year, safe and happy festive season to everyone... and happy baking :)