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    Two Ingredient Chocolate Water Truffles

                     mini chocolate cupcake topped with a water truffle

    Two ingredient chocolate water truffles today...

    Water Truffles; 

    You've heard chocolate and water don't mix, but think "Like water for Chocolate" the South American saying that means the temperature of the water... or boiling mad/angry. Adding boiling water to melted chocolate results in truffles with far less fat than there butter and cream laden brothers. 

    If your a truffle lover why not give the water truffles a try! Either go with two ingredient dark chocolate and water or here I've used dark, milk and water. I've used easliy accessible eating chocolate, but if your pantry is full of couverture go for it!  

    You'll need 190 grams (6.7 oz) of *dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70%) and *60 grams (2 oz) of good eating milk chocolate chopped.

    100 ml (3.3 US fluid oz) of boiling water (plus a bit extra)

    Melt your chocolate in a medium bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, once melted add a 100ml of boiling water.... whisk, whisk, whisk by hand for a minute or two! You need to whisk in some air into your truffle mix, but without over mixing (over mixing will result in a grainy truffle).. If you feel like it's a little too thick add a little more more a teaspoon at a time... continue to whisk. 

    Refrigerate for one hour, roll small balls and toss in dutch process cocoa or dip in tempered chocolate if preferred. 

    Flavours; Truffles can be flavoured with liqueurs (1 or 2 teaspoons at the whisking stage) or dry ingredients i.e. instant coffee, cinnamon, ginger or zest added with the boiling water. 

    * Swap milk and dark quantities around if your prefer a more milky truffle. An all dark truffle is also nice if you have a good quality couverture, the extra cocoa butter content gives you the needed "mouth feel". Make vegan gifts but do make sure the dark chocolate you use is suitable for vegans.  

    Happy Baking :)

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    Cupcake Cases, Liners, Papers, Wrappers & Butterfly Cakes

    mother & child lemon butterfly cakes with pure cream and blueberries

    Cupcake liners can match your theme, just be pretty or act as an inspiration like these gorgeous vintage damask cupcake cases in tea cake size and mini.

    Adore these vintage damask patterned cupcake cases!! Perfect for afternoon teas, garden weddings and try using the two sizes for a lovely baby shower or mothers day theme.

    Buying them can be a bit confusing as the cases are sold under different names, either "vintage damask" or "high tea". The larger case is on the small side, what I would call a "tea cake" size, the mini is a standard mini size.... but the "tea cake" size is often marketed as 'mini' so check the dimensions before purchasing. Bake it Pretty (US) carries both sizes, standard and mini. 

    Most Australian kids would have made butterfly cakes with their mums at some stage. They are the first cakes I ever made with my mum, I miss mum terribly but I found baking these little cakes comforting & they brought back so many memories :)  To make lemon butterfly cakes either use the one bowl batter below or make a batch of your favourite lemon or vanilla cup cake batter, if using vanilla add a teaspoon of grated lemon zest to the batter.

    When the cakes are cool, cut a circle from the top, half the circle to create the "wings". Dust with icing sugar, fill with pure cream, clotted cream or whipped cream and fruit or jam of choice.

    Quick one bowl cake batter with a hint of lemon that makes small plain cakes that carry the topping well. 

    Preheat oven to 180C/350F 

    Line one 12 cup trays with paper liners (the small patty/fairy cake size) & one mini muffin tray with mini paper liners. 

    Cake batter

    125g butter (4.4oz) well softened

    1 teaspoon lemon zest

    1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract/essence

    2/3 cup (150g) castor sugar (superfine)

    3 eggs

    1½ cups (225g) self-raising flour

    ¼ cup milk (60ml)

    Beat butter, lemon zest, extract, sugar, eggs, sifted flour & milk on low speed with an electric mixer until ingredients are just combined. Increase speed to medium & beat for 3 minutes until smooth and pale in colour.

    Drop spoonfuls of mixture into the paper liners. Bake about 20 minutes for tea cake size & 15 minutes for the minis. Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes removing to a wire rack to cool.

    Happy Mothers Day!! 


    Chinese Chicken Wings

                                                                               Chinese chicken wings

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    Thinking I should create something with the leftover balls of coloured fondant that were building up, I was happily "playing" with fondant when my husband Mark rang sounding like he was coming down with a cold. I thought something tasty & comforting was in order for dinner, setting aside the fondant I started to prepare a family favourite 'Chinese Chicken Wings'.

    The list of ingredients might sound daunting, but these chicken wings are easy to prepare, extremely tasty & when served with stir fry veg or a vegetable rice dish become a complete meal. Also can be served as finger food, make sure you don't forget the finger bowls & the napkins!

    Serves 4-6


    2 kilos (4.4lb) chicken wings (tips removed.. freeze tips to make stock at a later date)

    4 tbls of peanut oil

    4 tbls of light soy

    4 tbls shaohsing wine (Chinese rice wine)

    4 tbls tomato sauce (ketchup)

    4 tbls sweet chilli sauce

    2 cloves crushed garlic

    2 tsps grated ginger

    2 tbls honey

    2 tsp salt

    1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

    1 tsp of five spice powder


    Put the chicken in large bowl or container, combine all the other ingredients, mix to coat all the wings. Cover and refrigerate for one hour (you can marinate them overnight if preferred).  

    Pre heat your oven to 180c/350F  (160c/320F fan forced) lay your chicken wings out on cookies trays/baking sheets. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes and serve. 


    Matcha White Chocolate Cupcakes

    matcha white chocolate cupcake with gold leaf white chocolate fish topper

    Goodness, good to see the price of fish quadruple this week with the lead up to Good Friday, I've been told by Daniel "I better get fish!", wonder if he will accept a gold leaf white chocolate fish??

    I like white chocolate with matcha, the sweet creaminess of the white chocolate plays off against the bitterness of the green tea. I hope you enjoy it too.

    Matcha White Chocolate Cupcakes


    125 grams (4.4oz) softened butter

    110 grams (1/2 cup) caster sugar (superfine)

    3 eggs

    80 grams (2.82oz) white eating chocolate melted 

    110 grams (3/4 cup) plain flour (all purpose)

    1 tsp baking powder

    *3 tsp matcha (fine Japanese green tea powder) dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling water


    Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each,  add white chocolate and stir to combine, then add the green tea paste and stir until no streaks can be seen. Sift flour and baking powder over cake batter and fold in until combined. Line a 24 cup mini muffin tin with paper cases, then divide mixture among cases and bake at 180C for 12 to 15 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool completely.


    100 grams white eating chocolate

    2 tablespoons of cream

    Melt chopped white chocolate and cream in a medium bowl over a 1/2 full saucepan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Careful not to overheat or your ganache will be grainy. Set aside stirring occasionally until thick enough to hold it's shape. Spoon onto centre of cupakes, decorate as desired.

    Cakes keep up to 2 days in an airtight container.

    If you want to make the fish toppers, use a fish chocolate or hard candy shaped mould sheet.

    Fill cavities with melted white chocolate, once set pop out the fish and join two flat sides together or leave flat backed depending on whether you want your fish to stand up or lay down.  Apply gold leaf directly onto the chocolates one by one by using a small artists brush to lift and shape to gold onto the fish. You can save on gold leaf by making flat fish or by leaving every second fish plain white chocolate.

    *matcha is available from some supermarkets and Japanese Grocery Stores.


    Raspberry Jam

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    I need jam for upcoming recipes this week, raspberry jam to be exact. If you haven't made jam before, raspberry jam is the easiest jam to make, as raspberry seeds are packed with pectin that sets the jam for you without having to add any setting agents.

    It tastes divine, keeps for one year in sterilised jars (though I think it's better when it's fresher), & can be made with fresh or frozen raspberries. 

    Raspberry Jam ( makes 2-3 jars depending on jar size)

    450g (1lb) raspberries (fresh or frozen)

    450g (1lb) sugar

    1 small plate refrigerated (to test for setting point)

    Put the berries and sugar in a large saucepan. Over low heat bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

    Once the sugar has dissolved, increase heat and bring to the boil, boil 5-9 minutes until *setting point is reached. Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.

    *recipe can be halved if you only need enough jam for one cake, reduce your pan size but do use a pan big enough to allow for the fruit to rise once boiling.  


    Bit of tricky shot pushing jam with one finger and holding the camera with other hand, but hopefully you can see the "wrinkle" of jam for the testing stage. 

    Testing for setting point

    Although traditionally raspberry jam has a looser set (a little bit runny) for filling cakes and cookies I like a firmer set. Starting testing for setting point from the 5 minute mark, by putting a small spoon of hot jam on your refrigerated plate. Wait 30 seconds and gently push the edge of the jam with your finger, if the jam wrinkles it's ready. 

    Of course you could use a sugar thermometer if you prefer --- 105C (221F)

    Sterilising Jars

    For larger quantities of jam you can use a dishwasher to sterilise jars, but since we only have a couple of jars here we will use the oven.

    Place your 2 clean jam jars on an oven tray in the oven, heat at 180C (350F) for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven with oven gloves to a heatproof surface when you are ready to fill your jars. 

    Add in's 

    You can a tablespoon of liqueur if you like at the end of cooking the jam, Grand Marnier is nice with raspberries as is Chambord. 

    Spices are a nice addition, cinnamon, star anise, pink peppcorn all pair well with raspberries. Fine orange zest can be added too, or scrape a vanilla pod of it's seeds and add that for raspberry vanilla jam.  

    Too sweet? Prefer your jam tarter? Add the juice of lemon at the start of the cooking process.

    *You can use your jam straight away but with any add ins at least 24 hours to mature the jam allowing the flavours to meld/soften is a good idea.  

    Here it fills Butterfly cakes; bake simple small vanilla cupcakes like the ones I used for tiramisu cupcakes, cut circle from the top of the cooled cake, cut that circle in half to form "wings". Fill the cakes with pure or clotted cream and freshly made raspberry jam, position the "wings", dust with icing sugar. Pretty cakes for afternoon tea or children's parties. 


    Chocolate Black Forest Pavlovas

             Chocolate Black Forest Pavlova with chocolate sauce

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    Love the "retro" of a black forest cake, ditto these chocolate mini pavlovas with the hidden chocolate centre and morello cherry top.  Hope you enjoy them too :) 

    Morello cherries make a lovely addition to the batter of dark chocolate cupcakes, studding a sweet focaccia or as in today's posting topping a chocolate pavlova. If you are in fresh cherry season, fresh pitted cherries poached in a little sugar syrup can substitute for the Morello cherries if desired.

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    2 eggwhites

    pinch cream of tartar

    1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine)

    1 tablespoon dark dutch process cocoa powder (sifted)

    1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

    Chocolate Sauce

    125g (5.3oz) chopped good quality dark chocolate

    125 ml (half cup) of thickened cream

    2 tsp Kirsch (optional)


    1 jar *morello cherries in syrup

    2 tsp kirsch (optional)

    125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream 

    Dark chocolate grated or curls to decorate

    . Preheat oven to 120C. Draw four 7cm (2.75 inch) circles on non stick baking paper, reverse paper so ink lines will be facing downwards when you use it to line your baking tray. 
    . Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until meringue is thick and glossy. Add cocoa & vanilla. Beat until just combined.
    . Spoon meringue onto lined baking tray, using circles as a guide.  Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven to 120C. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until meringue is dry and crisp. Turn off oven and jar door open a little with the handle of a wooden spoon. Allow to cool completely in oven.

    Place chocolate in a bowl. Place cream in a small pan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Pour over chocolate, then stir until smooth. Stir is kirsch if using.  Let cool until it thickens slighty, break hole in the top center of each pavlova and put a spoonful of chocolate sauce.  

    Whip cream with an electric beater until medium stiff peaks.

    In a separate small bowl, add the Kirsch to 2 tablespoons of syrup from the jarred Morello cherries. Swirl of little of syrup through the cream, spoon onto the  tops of pavlovas (you may have some leftover), top with whole Morello cherries and decorate with chocolate curls and serve with any leftover cream, syrup and chocolate sauce.

    Inside the pavlova, chocolate sauce with chocolatey marshmallow with crisp sugary shell.

    Meringue base recipe adapted from SuperFood Ideas magazines Chocolate Pavlova Nests Nov 2005

    Happy Baking :)

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    Yummy Soup! Recipe management software for Mac.

    Tried many, own several, but I love this recipe management software from Hungry Seacow Software most of all for it's easy, fast, complete drop & drag import of recipes from all the major food sites. A host of other features including full screen view for those of us (me!) that can't read a recipe off the screen to bake unless it is LARGE. 

    At only $20 USD for a family pack I highly recommend  it.  

    System requirements; Mac OSX Tiger 10.4, Leopard 10.5, Snow Leopard 10.6 15 day free trial

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