Category Archives: Sweets

Peanut Butter and Choc-chip Slice

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Peanut Butter Slice

Often my dislike of baking biscuits sees me attempting to turn a biscuit recipe into one for a slice, and yesterday my friend Charmaine’s Facebook photo of her Peanut Butter Biscuits had me once again starting down this path. And yay – I think it worked! What follows is a slight variation (I added choc-chips) on the original recipe by Paula Deen, which results in a mouth-watering and chewy slice. It took me all of 5 minutes to mix up and whack this gluten free dessert option into a tin and then into the oven – just in time for a friend popping in for afternoon tea. Using the quantities below, this slice makes 24 pieces and costs under $6 to make, less if you prefer to leave out the chocolate. Thanks for the recipe, Charmaine. 

  • 500g good quality peanut butter
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g choc chips (homebrand are fine)
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients except raw sugar in a bowl and box well. Press into a lined 20 x 30cm slice tin using clean, wet hands. Sprinkle raw sugar evenly across the top of slice.
  3. Bake for 35-40 minutes (slice should be brown on top, firm around the edges and fudgey in the middle. If slice browns quickly, cover in foil for remainder of cook time. and allow to cool before cutting. Boil the kettle for tea and enjoy. 
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Homestyle Apple Slice

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In the town I live there’s a terrific little fresh fruit and veggie shop that sources second quality, locally grown produce and I love it for many reasons: first, it’s cheap (if you shop there you can feed a family of four their fruit and veg for a week for around $10) and second, for the most part, the money you pay for the produce stays local. As a mum of two constantly hungry, growing kids, I’m so grateful for their everyday price of $1.50 per kg for red and green apples – this alone is worth the second trip to another store when doing the shopping! So when I saw this recipe floating around on Facebook a few months ago, the thought of making it didn’t make me panic at the price. It was such a simple slice to make, the result being a warm, fudgey, heart-warming offering – versatile enough to be morning or afternoon tea, or an easy dessert when served with cream or ice-cream. Using apples from Woolworth’s at $6/kg this recipe costs around $8 to make, though it works fine replacing the fresh apples with tinned ones too, making the cost $7. The quantities below fill a large roasting dish and yields 30-40 pieces of slice or enough dessert for a crowd of 30.

  • 4 cups self raising flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 6 apples, peeled, cored and diced (I use the slinky apple machine) or 1.5 tins pie apple
  • 250g butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tabs sugar extra
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a large roasting dish with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, toss apples with self raising flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Melt butter in a small saucepan on the stovetop or in a small bowl in the microwave, and allow to cool a little. Stir in egg.

4. Pour butter and egg into the apple mixture and mix until combined.

5. Spoon into baking dish and evenly sprinkle extra sugar and cinnamon on top.

6. Bake at 180c for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If it goes brown very quickly, cover with foil and return to oven for remainder of the cook time. Eat while still warm with a scoop of icecream for dessert or store for snacking on with a cup of tea or coffee.

Apple & Peach Crumble

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I feel almost as silly blogging about Apple Crumble as I did blogging about Honey Joys. It’s such a simple dessert to make, and there are tonnes of terrific recipes for it out there already. But for what it’s worth, here’s mine. When it comes to Apple Crumble, I’m a big believer in there needing to be as much crumble as there is fruit, that it should be crunchy and chewy all at once, and served with a spoonful of icecream. And in the middle of winter, how lovely is any dessert that has hot and cold elements in the same bowl? I can’t come at any recipes that call for butter to be rubbed into flour, so this one simply asks you to mix melted butter with the dry ingredients. Apple Crumble is so fast to make, and all the ingredients are easily stocked in the pantry, ready to go when needed. The recipe below serves 8-10 people, is quite fast to make, and costs around $9. Enjoy!

  • 1 x 800g can peaches, drained
  • 1 x 800g can pie apple
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 250g butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and place peaches and pie apple in a medium sized baking dish.
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and mix together until combined, but mixture should still consist of lots of little lumps.
  3. Spread lumpy mixture evenly over the apple and peaches in the roasting dish and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Serve with icecream, cream or custard.  

 

Big Batch Triple Chocolate Muffins

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Sometimes you just need recipe for a big batch of something sweet – church morning teas, a terms worth of kids’ little lunches in the freezer or munchies for a group weekend away. These fudgey muffins hit the spot in many ways are super easy to make. You’ll notice this recipe deliberately calls for home brand choc-chips – this is because they are much smaller than the more expensive ones and go much further through the batter. Which results in much more chocolatey muffins overall – and they just happen to be the cheapest option! Using the quantities below, this recipe makes 70+ muffins and costs $17 to make, which is under 25c per muffin. Enjoy!

  • 7 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa
  • 2 cups brown sugar 
  • 3 x 250g packets home brand dark choc chips
  • 1 x 375g packets white choc melts
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs 
  • 3 cups milk 
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (170 degrees if fan-forced) and distribute muffin cases among two 12 hole muffin trays.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl or a large, plastic all-purpose basin.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil and milk with a whisk and pour into the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, but don’t over-mix – everything should be only just combined.
  5. Use two dessert spoons to half fill each muffin hole and place trays in oven for 20 minutes – although if you, like I do, prefer them a bit uncooked in the middle, start checking earlier.

Coconut Poached Pears

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I love a dessert recipe that can be whipped up on the spot when having people over – the sort that take only a little time to make and for which the components need not be prepared beforehand at all. This recipe for delicate and tasty poached pears was given to me by my friend Emma and it was a lovely light finish to dinner – the short cooking time having allowed for mains to settle a little. For a large group of people, Emma suggests doubling the recipe and making them ahead of time, so they can be quickly warmed in the microwave and served whenever you need them. You’ll notice I didn’t bother trying to keep my pears whole, but of course if you’d like them so, use a deeper saucepan than the stovetop roasting dish I opted for, so that the pears sit deeply in the liquid when cooking. The quantities below serve 4 and costs less than $5 to make. Thanks for this wonderful recipe, Em!

  • 2 cups Coconut Milk
  • 1/3 C Caster Sugar
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick 
  • 4 Ripe Pears, peeled, halved
  1. Place coconut milk, sugar and cinnamon into a saucepan over med-low heat until sugar dissolves. Do not let the milk boil as it will separate. 
  2. Add the pears and cook 15 mins, or until soft, but not falling apart. Turn once.
  3. To serve, place pears in bowls and serve with the liquid and vanilla ice-cream. Delish!

Belinda Jeffery’s Most Fabulous Banana Cake

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When I was growing up, my mum’s favourite sweet was Banana Cake, so for as long as I can remember, it’s been my favourite too. To this day, I still prefer a carrot, apple or banana cake over the richness of their various chocolate counterparts (but hey – they’re all good, cause they’re all cake). So when I first started working my way through Belinda Jeffery’s Mix & Bake, this amazing recipe was the first cab off the rank, and I found it well-deserving of its name. Apart from the actual baking, every part of this recipe is made in the food processor which makes everything easy. And if you don’t already know this, I’ll share with you a tip my sister-in-law Jo taught me years ago: when bananas go off, you can throw them in the freezer whole – skins and all. When you want to use them, defrost them in the sink and stick the insides straight into whatever you’re baking. The freezing and thawing process causes the still edible insides to go to mush which means you don’t need to do any mashing. And over-ripe bananas make the best choice for banana cake anyway. This lovely big cake serves between 10 and 12 people and costs around $7.  

Cake Mixture

  • 1 1/2 (225g) cups plain flour 
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 2-3 large very ripe bananas 
  • 1 2/3 (370g) cups caster sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 125g butter, at room temperature, cut into smallish chunks 
  • 100ml butter milk (or a 100ml mixture of half yoghurt and half milk – I do this all the time) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 125g cream cheese, at room temperature, cut into smallish chunks (homebrand is fine)
  • 75g butter, at room temperature, cut into smallish chunks 
  • 250g icing mixture 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (170 for fan forced) and line or grease and flour a deep 26 cm ring tin. Because this is a quite a large cake, if your round or ring tin isn’t very deep, you might like to cook the leftover mixture in a loaf tin – if so you’ll need to line/grease that too. 

2. Put the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarb soda in the food processor and blitz briefly. Tip the mixture into a spare bowl and set aside.

3. Stick the bananas in the food processor and blitz until smooth. Add in sugar and eggs and process again for one minute. Add the butter and process again until mixture is thick and creamy. Add buttermilk or yoghurt and milk mixture and vanilla extract and blitz in quick spurts until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue this process until just combined – don’t overdo it.

4. Pour mixture into the ring tin and smooth out the mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a fine skewer comes out clean. The cake won’t have risen much as its quite a dense and moist cake. Cool the cake in the tine for 7 or so minutes and then loosen the inside and outside circles of the cake from the tin using a sharp knife. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5. For the cream cheese icing blitz the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add all the other ingredients and process again until you have a smooth, thick but spreadable icing. Ice the cake according to your preference once it’s completely cooled.

Honey Joys

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I can’t really believe I’m blogging about Honey Joys. They’re such an Australian baking classic, yet I often forget about them as an option when needing to make a quick sweet something. My 7 year old son reminded me about them the other day, when he came home from a party asking if we could make them at home and I found myself wondering why I don’t make them more often.The recipe that follows is straight off the back of the Kellogg’s Cornflakes box and it really is dead easy and very cheap to do. If you need to make these gluten free, just exchange the cornflakes for the gluten free variety in the health food section of the supermarket, and do feel free to use homebrand flakes when making these as you really cannot tell the difference. The quantities below make 24 patty cake sized Honey Joys and costs around $2.

  • 90g butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 cups cornflakes or gluten free cornflakes
  • 24 patty papers
  • sprinkles on top (if desired)

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius/130 degrees if fan forced. Distribute patty papers among the patty cake tins.

2. In a microwaveable bowl or small saucepan melt together all the ingredients except cornflakes.

3. Put cornflakes in a larger bowl and pour over sticky butter syrup, combining gently but well.

4. Distribute mixture with 2 dessert spoons among the patty papers. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.