Autumn is here! I love this time of year – the crimson and gold trees and crunchy carpets of leaves on the streets. It also means it’s dark when the alarm clock goes off in the mornings, which can make it a bit of an effort to get out of bed. So why not reward yourself with this delicious Apple Crumble granola?
We have our Aussie and Kiwi friends to thank for these absolutely scrumptious biscuits! Let me explain why. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance which is celebrated every year on 25 April – the anniversary of the Anzac’s landing at Gallipoli, in Turkey during World War I.
Anzac biscuits contain no eggs, as these Read More
I have a sister who loves to bake, just like I do. When I stayed with her recently, I tasted her latest creation – this totally addictive chocolate granola. She worked hard at perfecting the recipe, and then kindly shared it with me. I promised that I’d send her a shout-out for that. So thanks Sandra!
Considering how delicious this chocolate granola tastes, I was quite surprised to find that is Read More
I know, I know. Easter is all about chocolate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up a little and try something completely different! This triple-layered coconut cake is the perfect show-stopper to end your Easter meal. It’s made with light and fluffy coconut flavoured sponge cake, and iced with a coconut cream buttercream. Phyllo pastry works fabulously as a nest to hold the pretty speckled eggs that decorate the cake (so you will get some chocolate after all!).
The fun part of course is the speckling. A little head’s up – things are gonna get messy! So be well prepared and cover yourself and all work surfaces before starting, and give yourself a practice round before starting.
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
250g butter, softened
450g white sugar
9 large egg whites, at room temperature
280ml full cream milk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut flavour
230g butter, softened
125ml coconut cream
800g icing sugar, sifted
2tsp coconut flavour
A few drops of sky blue gel colouring
1tbs cocoa powder
4tsp vanilla essence
6 sheets of phyllo dough
Small speckled eggs, to decorate
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease 3 x 20cm cake pans and line the base of the pans with greaseproof paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Cream together the butter and sugar well (approx 5 minutes) until very soft and light. Beat in the vanilla and coconut flavour.
- In a third bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk by hand until just combined.
- Add about a quarter of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat well with your mixer on low speed. Add some of the milk mixture, and mix until well combined. Repeat this process, alternating the addition of the flour and milk mixtures, until all the ingredients have been added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between each addition to ensure the batter is evenly mixed.
- Divide the batter between the 3 prepared cake pans and smooth the tops.
- Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, until they are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then invert and cool completely on wire cooling racks.
- To make the icing, beat the butter very well until smooth and creamy. Gradually add half the sifted icing sugar, beating well after each addition.
- Mix in the coconut cream and coconut flavour, then gradually add in the remaining icing sugar.
- Beat the mixture until smooth, then add the food colouring a drop at a time, until the desired duck egg colour is achieved. You want it to be pastel coloured, not too bright!
- To make the phyllo nests, tightly roll all 6 sheets of pastry lengthwise. Slice the rolled up pastry very thinly.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and separate the layers loosely. Spray with cooking spray then bake at 180°C for 8-10minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Once the cakes have cooled, ice each layer with the coconut icing, then do a crumb coat (as discussed on my Mirror Glaze post) n the outside of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Use the rest of the icing to ice a generous layer on the top and sides of the cake. Smooth it out as neatly as you can.
- Mix together the cocoa and vanilla in a small bowl. Cover your work surface with wax/greaseproof paper.
- Dip a clean stiff paintbrush lightly into the cocoa mixture. Holding it in one hand, use the index finger of your other hand to flick the bristles and splatter the “paint” onto your iced cake. I suggest practicing this on the wax paper first and wearing an apron!
- Continue splattering until your whole cake is speckled. You may need to rinse your brush with water if it seems to be getting clogged. You don’t need much of the “paint” so dip lightly.
- When you are ready to serve your cake, spread your phyllo nest on top of and around the base of the cake. Use your speckled eggs to fill the nests.
Warming spices and a touch of citrus, then a burst of fruitiness – nothing says “Easter” like freshly baked Hot Cross Buns. Let’s be honest though, they take a fair bit of time to make. These Hot Cross Cookies have all the spicy, fruity flavour of a hot cross bun, but can be made in a fraction of the time. Read More
Any Brit will tell you that Custard Creams are their favorite biscuit. It’s not hard to see why. Two delicious crunchy vanilla biscuits sandwiched together with a creamy custard filling. The crunchy/creamy combo is always a winner in my books, but it’s that rich custard flavour that keeps me going back for more.
Oreo truffles – the original cookie truffles! I couldn’t exactly post the other two varieties (Lemon Cheesecake Truffles and 3 Ingredient Strawberry Cheesecake Truffles) without posting the original, and in my opinion best. A wonderfully simple treat composed of a soft Oreo centre wrapped in creamy, sweet chocolate.
Just like the other cookie truffles, these are wonderfully easy to make.
1 x 176g box Original Oreo’s
100g full fat cream cheese eg Philadelphia block, softened
200g white or milk chocolate
- Blitz the cookies in a food processor until you have quite fine crumbs. Remove a tablespoon of the crumbs and set aside for later.
- Add the softened cream cheese and process again until combined.
- Take heaped teaspoons of the mixture and roll into balls. You can make them a little bigger or smaller if you like. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Using a fork, dip each truffle into the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off.
- Place on a wire cooling rack above a tray and decorate with the cookie crumbs you set aside earlier, before the chocolate sets.
The tray will catch any excess chocolate or sprinkles.
- Once all the truffles are coated, refrigerate again for at least an hour.
For the lemon cheesecake lovers out there, here’s quick way to get your fix. These truffles are a cute and compact version of that much-loved classic dessert. You may have seen my 3 Ingredient Strawberry Cheesecake Truffles post a few weeks ago, and these are just as easy and tasty but with a zesty, lemon tang. Read More