These are the best!! Out of everything I make, I think this is what people love the most. I can’t tell you how easy they are. I have been so happy since Coles makes gluten free mint slice, so now those with severe dietary needs are catered for.
- Arnott’s Mint Slice or Coles I’m Free From Choc Mint for Gluten Free Version – 2 x whole packets
- 250g full cream cheese, softened
- 180g milk chocolate
- 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil (optional for melted chocolate)
- Red/Green M&M’s or for gluten free I use slivered almonds and cranberries to decorate
Another really easy Christmas recipe, although it doesn’t have to be just for this time of year.
Incredibly easy and I’m sure you can add any dried fruit or nuts to the mixture.
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond essence
- 1 1/3 cups plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat over to 180C/160C fan-forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg, egg yolk and essence in a large bowl until pale and thick.
Finally, stand on trays for about 5 mins. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
It’s been an incredibly long time since I’ve posted and I felt I had to share my recipes for Christmas. Every year I get incredibly excited for Christmas, and it has become a yearly tradition to bake and give these as gifts. Then I remember the massive process involved with having to buy specific ingredients, deal with the crowds and the worst part…the heat and humidity and everything melting and nothing setting – ah Aussie Summer. But…I still absolutely love it!
This Rocky Road has to be the best in my opinion. Why? The colours are everything you can ask for. Aaand you can’t fail!
- 2 x 180g packets of white chocolate (chopped)
- 1/2 cup natural pistachios (out of shell)
- 1 cup mini marshmallows (large are ok, I would chop in half)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- ** optional – add slivered almonds, use 1 packet of milk or dark chocolate on top.
- Line a square baking tray (I use foil).
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I do this in bursts of 20 seconds.
- Add all the other ingredients and stir so everything is covered.
- Put in the fridge to set, ideally overnight.
- Lift foil and then chop into desired pieces – I usually do small squares.
And to finish as gifts – (I have more recipes, Choc Mint Christmas Balls and Biscotti)
I do not have a sweet tooth, but I have limited to zero control around chocolate…I’ve heard it’s medically proven it’s good for you – enough said
When it comes to some easy, but indulgent desserts, who doesn’t love a quick but delicious chocolate mousse? This recipe literally takes about 10 minutes to prepare.
- 200g dark cooking chocolate
- 50g butter
- 250ml thickened cream
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
To decorate I added some white and milk chocolate drops, but you can also add raspberries.
When it comes to baking, the easier the better! I like recipes that are quick and can be adapted to create something new. When I went shopping I saw blueberries were on sale and changed this original recipe which calls for bananas and added the blueberries instead. I think quite easily the fruit could be adjusted for anything from raisins to raspberries, even walnuts.
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup oats
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 90g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease muffin tray – I used the mini-muffin tray to make 24, but a regular tray may make about 12.
“Mum, I’m going to make Cheoreg”.
My mother’s reaction to this was not really a surprise – she blankly stared at me and responded with “why, when you can buy it?”
My family story can be viewed as a complicated one, and for a very long time I felt quite lost with my identity. It is only now, in my mid-thirties, that I can embrace my cultural background.
My parents are Armenian, yet I was born in Switzerland, and have spent a majority of my life living in Australia. A close friend of mine described me as being 70% European, 30% Aussie…I’d say that changes back and forth on a daily basis.
Growing up, I always felt out of place in my social circle and even in my family. It was
only when I met two of my Great-Aunts that I finally felt I made sense. My Grandmother (Nana) was the matriarch. She rarely smiled. She rarely hugged us. Nana was a tough lady that we all truly believed would outlive us all. To this day we do not actually know how old she was when she passed away as she had no papers when leaving Iran and created some ‘younger’ birthdate.
But Nana was the one who followed the Armenian traditions, and when she passed away in 2012 so did the Armenian family gatherings. 6 months later, my wonderful Uncle passed and my already very small family was halved.
This year I wanted to bring back these traditions and so hence why I decided to make Cheoreg. What’s Cheoreg? Armenian Easter Bread.
The traditions we celebrate are not about religion. Two things I love about Easter is the decorating of the eggs and the pilaf with crispy potatoes. We also eat kuku sabzi and smoked cod.
This year I also decided to make Cheoreg, which I have never made before. The recipe itself is easy to follow, however it’s a lengthy process, and to be honest it tasted amazing, but I’m not sure I got the texture right, and I think I didn’t bake it long enough. But then my family & friends polished it off pretty quickly! I hope my Nana would have been proud. The fragrance while baking filled the home, so overall I am really happy I made it – will attempt again next year 🙂
One of the ingredients is Mahleb which I purchased from the Lebanese/Armenian deli in Willoughby – but I think is available at most Middle Eastern supermarkets.
* This recipe will make 3 loaves.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast or 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast from a jar
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 5 large eggs (+ 1 yolk for the egg wash)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1½ tablespoons ground mahleb
- 6 cups all purpose flour + ½ cup for kneading
Then eat with some butter or jam – cherry is my favourite!
Heading closer to Easter and while bakeries and supermarkets have been selling hot cross buns since the 26th December, I’m not complaining, it’s probably the only time I really eat bread…and the chocolate chip ones are a little bit amazing…did I mention I have a weak spot for chocolate 🙂
So considering cooking with children, anything that encourages children to work together, be creative thinkers, build on their literacy & numeracy skills, can only be beneficial for their development, cognition, and social and emotional well-being…if they can get their hands dirty…that’s a considerable bonus!!
Here is a very simple recipe for making Hot Cross Buns.
- 27 g sachet Dry Yeast (or 30g fresh yeast)
- 300 ml Milk, warmed
- 4 cups Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 90 g Butter, chopped
- 1 ½ cups Mixed Dried Fruit
- 1/4 cup Caster Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 4–5 tbsp Water
- 1/2 cup Plain Flour
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp Mixed Spice