Monthly Archives: May 2012

Easy Chocolate Fudge



Ever since I’ve known Kylie Gellert, she’s been making this delicious and very easy fudge. I’ve enjoyed many of Kylie’s variations on many an occasion and I’m so thrilled she emailed this recipe for me to share with you. Recently I’ve discovered the delights of Aldi chocolate – especially White Crisp (white chocolate with hazelnuts and rice crisp throughout) so I had a go at making Kylie’s oh so easy fudge with these feature ingredients and it worked really well. All I did was add 60g roughly chopped hazelnuts and 3/4 cup rice bubbles. This recipe is a great one to make into little gifts for Christmas or for affordable birthday gifts for friends, although this fudge is just as good for Bible study suppers or church morning tea. Thanks for sharing, Kylie!

  • 450g Dark or Milk Chocolate bits (easier) or block (cheaper) cooking chocolate
  • 1 tin Condensed Milk

1. Put the chocolate into a glass bowl, and pour the condensed milk over the chocolate. Don’t stir.
2. Microwave on high for 2mins, and stir until smooth. If not able to be stirred to smooth, put back into the microwave for 1 min, stir (repeat if necessary).
3. Pour into a plastic wrap-lined loaf tin or container of similar size.
4. Set in the fridge for at least 20 min, preferably for 2+ hours.
5. Cut into squares approximately 1cm x 1cm (or whatever size you like).

• If wanting to use white chocolate instead of milk or dark, you will require 550g to make it set.
• Don’t use a wooden spoon to stir the chocolate as the moisture in the timber will upset the consistency. A metal spoon or silicon spatula will work best.

• Add sultanas and crushed nuts to dark or milk for fruit & nut fudge.
• Add coconut to dark or milk for golden rough fudge.
• Add raspberry essence (a little bit!) to white choc for raspberry & white choc fudge. (Hint: raspberry lollies really don’t work well to add in.)
• Add caramel essence to white choc for a yummy caramel fudge that isn’t too rich.
• Add crushed peppermint chocolate bar to dark choc for a refreshing choc mint fudge.
• Make a dark or milk base and let set before adding a white chocolate top for a top deck fudge (rather rich).

Also really good over ice-cream when it is still in a pouring consistency, but is incredibly rich. It kind of sets as it hits the ice cream.

• Nestlé white chocolate buds $11.40/kg (Home brand works just as well if you can find it – I couldn’t on Woolies or Coles online, but have used it in the past)
• Home brand dark chocolate bits (easier) $6.70/kg
• Home brand dark chocolate block (cheaper) $6/kg – it does need to be broken into squares.
• Home brand condensed milk $2/tin


Farmhouse Chicken Pie


I just love this delicious recipe! It’s a regular in our house because it’s full of healthy vegetables and due to the chicken and pastry involved, the kids happily demolish it. Originally a Woman’s Weekly recipe, I adapt it a little to include carrots and whatever vegetables happen to be rapidly going off in my fridge. Feel free to use any cut of chicken you like. We tend to buy a barbecue chicken for lunch after church on Sundays, and then use what remains of it for chicken pie on Monday night. This recipe is not at all difficult and it’s a good one to give away because it’s all in just the one dish. It takes quite well to being frozen (if you freeze it before cooking the pastry), and so makes for an easy dinner after a big day. These pies can also be made in ramekins for good portion control and a dainty look or, at the other end of the spectrum, in disposable foil oven trays for camps or giveaway meals.

  • olive oil, enough to cook chicken in
  • 60g butter
  • 3 cups/400g chicken thigh or breast fillets, diced or a whole shredded BBQ chook
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 onions, diced
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red or green capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 head broccoli, cut into tiny florets
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (if you have it)
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1-2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1/3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken stock or white wine
  • 1/4 cup milk or 1 egg for wash on top of pastry

Heat butter in a large saucepan until melted, add the chicken pieces and saute for 2-3 minutes and remove from pan. Add to empty pan: garlic, onions, broccoli, and carrot and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until vegetables have just started to soften. Add drained corn and diced capsicum, then quickly remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside in a bowl until required.

To make the sauce that binds it all together: Return pan to the heat, add the butter and flour and mix to form a paste.  Pour in the chicken stock gradually, whisking constantly to incorporate the roux. When sauce has thickened, add the chicken and vegetables to combine. Place this pie filling in the bottom of an oven proof dish big enough for 6.

Top the pie filling with puff pastry and brush the top with an egg or milk wash. Bake in a preheated 220°C oven for 10 minutes, or until pastry has risen and is golden in colour. Serve in the centre of the table with crusty fresh bread.

White Chocolate Mudcake – any size you need!


Originally given to me by my mother in law, I can’t tell you how much I love this handy recipe! The white chocolate mud cake that results is moist, not too rich and stores well for ages even if you don’t freeze it – though it does freeze very well. Here you’ll find the quantities for almost every kind of cake tin you might need to use, which is just terrific. Finally, the other great thing about this recipe is that it is just a melt and mix cake – no creaming butter and sugar. Even though white chocolate adds to the cost of the cake, the cost of this recipe is still quite reasonable, especially compared to store-bought cakes (and this one is much, much nicer). Today I’m using this versatile recipe for my daughter’s birthday cake – she’s turning 3 tomorrow!

  12 cmround 15 cmround 17 cm round

15 cm


17 cm


20 cm round 22 cm round

19 cm


15 cm round

23 cm


28 cm round

30 cm



30 cm round

28 cm


30 cm square


85g 125g 165g 250g 335g 375g 500g 625g 750g



45g 75g 100g 150g 200g 225g 300g 375g 450g



2/3 cup 1 cup 1 1/3 cups 2 cups 2 2/3 cups 3 cups 4 cups 5 cups 6 cups


1/3 cup 1/2 cup 1 cup 1 1/2 cups 2 cups 2 1/4 cups 3 cups 3 3/4 cups 4 1/2 cups



1/2 cup 3/4 cup 1 cup 1 1/2 cups 2 cups 2 1/4 cups 3 cups 3 3/4 cups 4 1/2 cups



2 tbs 1/3 cup 1/3 cup 1/2 cup 2/3 cups 3/4 cups 1 cup 1 1/4 cups 1 1/2 cups


1/4 tsp 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp 1 1/2 tsp 2 tsp 2 1/2 tsp 3 tsp
Eggs 1 1 1 2 3 3 4 5 6



1 hour 1 1/2 hours 1 3/4 hours 1 3/4 hours 2 hours 2 1/2 hours 3 hours 3 1/2 hours 4 hours
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (160 degrees fan forced)
  2. Grease and line base and sides of cake tin with baking paper, bringing paper up 5cm above the side of the tin.
  3.  Combine chopped butter, chopped chocolate, sugar and milk in saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and cool for 15 mins.
  4. Stir in sifted flours, vanilla and lightly beaten eggs. Pour mixture into prepared tin.
  5. Bake for time given on chart. Cover cake with foil half-way through cooking time if over-browning.
  6. Cake will develop a thick sugary crust during baking. Test with a skewer close to end of cooking time. Cool the cake in the tin. 

White Chocolate Ganache Icing

  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 300g white chocolate
  1. Bring cream to the boil in a small saucepan, pour cream over white chocolate in a small bowl, stirring until chocolate melts.
  2. Cover, refrigerate, stirring occasionally about 30 mins or until mixture is spreadable.

Nigella’s Chocolate Pavlova


My friend Amy put me onto this recipe about 8 years ago and since then it’s become one of my favourite dessert options for catering. It literally only takes a couple of minutes measuring and mixing and then it’s into a low oven for an hour and a quarter – allowing me to get other things done. I generally make it in the morning and leave it to cool in the switched off oven for the rest of the day. From there it’s ridiculously easy to whip cream and top it with whatever you like. Nigella suggests fresh raspberries on top but I’ve often used frozen ones and actually we all like it best with bananas, strawberries and a handful of maltesers dumped on top. Also, when cooking other desserts that call for egg yolks only, I keep the whites and freeze them in zip lock bags. They thaw out beautifully and this often means I don’t have to use new eggs – another money saver. This low fuss dessert will set you back about $8 and serves 10.

  • 6 egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sieved
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 300-500ml double cream
  • 500g raspberries
  • 2-3 tablespoons coarsely grated dark chocolate
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar, and the chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound on to a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 23cm in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 150°C/gas mark 2 and cook for about one to one and a quarter hours. When it’s ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on top, but when you prod the centre you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue disc cool completely.3.
  3. When you’re ready to serve, invert on to a big, flat-bottomed plate. Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the raspberries. Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get curls rather than rubble, as you don’t want the raspberries’ luscious colour and form to be obscured, and sprinkle haphazardly over the top, letting some fall, as it will, on the plate’s rim.

Donna Hay’s Simmered Tomato & Basil Chicken


I first tried this recipe when a lovely friend provided us with this meal after the birth of our daughter. I’ve adapted it a little and added beans for a little extra nutrition. This is a quick recipe to make and costs around $7. Serves 4+ and is really easy to adapt for bigger groups by allocating 100g of chicken per person (thanks for this maths tip, Cynth!). This recipe is also dairy, egg and gluten free if you go with white wine instead of stock.

  • 2 chicken thigh fillets or 1 large breast fillet (total 400g), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 400ml can crushed tomatoes
  • 60ml white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • handful fresh green beans, head and tailed
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • shaved parmesan cheese (to serve on top)
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 mins until soft.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until brown in colour. Add the tomatoes, wine/stock and sugar. Simmer over low heat for around 10 mins so chicken cooks all the way through.
  3. Add a handful of green beans and simmer a further 5 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, throw in the basil and olives. Season with salt & pepper.
  5. Serve on rice or mashed potato.

Anzac Slice


I’ve recently decided that as much as I love baking biscuits, I just can’t pull them off without stress in my current stage of life. Steve loves Anzac biscuits, but the thought of rolling little balls, arranging them on trays and then rotating them around the oven is enough to stress me out before I start. This terrific recipe from my childhood solves the problem for less than $2. Makes 32 slices.

  • 140 grams butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl

3. Melt butter in a heatproof jug in the microwave, stir in golden syrup and milk.

4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the butter mixture. Mix well.

5. Press into a lined 16 x 26 cm slice tin and cook for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Grandma Fragar’s Scones


A few years ago my Mum gave me her mother’s scone recipe, and now it’s the only one I ever use. These scones are just so simple and easy to get right. There’s no rubbing butter and flour together and no surprising secret ingredient. The only thing I would say is your oven has to be nice and hot, so if yours tends to be on the cool side, maybe consider putting it up 5-10 degrees for this recipe. Scones are a wonderful option for large group catering because they make people feel special but aren’t too labour intensive. These ones won’t cost you more than a couple of dollars or much energy in the kitchen. This recipe makes 20.

  • 4 cups self raising flour
  • 2 dessertspoons icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 heaped dessertspoons butter
  • 2 cups of milk

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees

2. Place flour, sifted icing sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

3. Melt butter in a heatproof jug in the microwave, top up the butter with milk to the 2 cups mark on the jug.

4. Make a well in the flour mixture, add the milk/butter mixture and gently combine using a butter knife. Combine using cutting actions through the middle and scraping the outside mixture to the centre. Don’t over mix, you want everything only just combined.

5. Tip the mixture onto a floured bench top and put more flour on the top of the mound of mixture. Pat the whole thing down until it’s about 4cm thick and evenly spread out.

6. Cut rounds using a floured scone cutter or an appropriate sized glass. Place each one on a biscuit tray lined with baking powder so that they are close together but not touching. Brush the top of each scone with a little milk.

7. Bake for around 10 mins until they’ve risen and are golden brown.

8. Serve with jam and cream.

Homestyle Quiche


I love quiche, but am not such a fan of the really fancy ones (you know the ones with artichoke hearts, asparagus and marinated eggplant etc…). I just like homestyle ingredients in my quiche, which is good I suppose, because it keeps the cost down. When I make the following quiche for my family, it gets totally demolished. This recipe is easy to do in large quantities using rectangular pie tins (see discussion in Serving Up) and makes 5 dinner sized portions. Total cost less than $6.

  • 5 eggs
  • 200 grams bacon, diced finely
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 red or green capsicum
  • 1 1/2 pieces ready rolled puff pastry
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley (if you have it)

1. Get pastry out of freezer to thaw on the bench while you make the quiche filling. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Combine diced onion, bacon, capsicum, grated cheese and parsley in a medium sized mixing bowl.

3. In another smaller bowl, lightly beat the eggs, add milk and mix.

4. Grease the inside of the tart tin (I use olive oil or canola spray) and fit the pastry into the tin tightly, making sure all the pastry joins up.

5. Fill the tart tin evenly with the filling mixture and then pour egg and milk mixture gently over the top. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Cook in the oven at 180 degrees for 25 mins (though I would start checking earlier).

Nigella’s Chocolate Brownies


This is the best recipe for Brownies I’ve ever found. Unlike so many brownie recipes, the whole thing cooks evenly with no drying out of the edges. It makes a whole large roasting dish worth of Brownie which makes 25 dessert sized pieces or 40+ slice sized serves. Originally from How to be a Domestic Goddess, I think this is one of Nigella’s best. Total cost is about $9, but it makes LOTS. To decrease the cost, I pretty much always leave out the walnuts.

  • 375 g soft unsalted butter
  • 375 g dark chocolate
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 500 g caster sugar
  • 225 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 300 g chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line your approximately 33 x 23 x 5 1/2cm roasting dish with foil or baking paper.
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large heavy based saucepan.
  4. In a bowl beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla.
  5. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.
  6. When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar mixture, and then the nuts and flour.
  7. Beat to combine and then scrape out of the saucepan into the lined brownie pan.
  8. Bake for about 25 minutes.
  9. When its’s ready, the top should be dried to a paler brown speckle, but the middle still dark and dense and gooey.
  10. Keep checking the brownies as they cook; remember that they will continue to cook as they cool.

Quick Fruit Slice


My precious friend Debra made this slice to help out with catering during the busy start to university year and it was an absolute hit. Steve was totally into it and so I asked her for the recipe. It’s so simple and fast to make. Makes 24 small slices and costs less than $2.50 to make. Thanks for sharing, Deb!

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup mixed fruit
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 120g butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (170 degrees fan-forced)

2. Mix dry ingredients in medium sized mixing bowl, add butter and beaten egg. Mix well.

3. Press into 16 x 26cm slice tin. Bake for 20 mins or until light brown.