chocolate caramel anzac day slice

28 Apr 2014

Last Friday, April 25, was ANZAC Day which is Australia and New Zealand's version of Remembrance Day. I was up really early so I listened to the dawn service from Canberra. I had a full day of chores planned which included making this slice, finishing off an album and putting together the IKEA PS cabinet that's been sitting in the sunroom for close to 3 months now. My only excuse - I've been really busy and didn't have 3 hours at my disposal, because that's how long it took me to finally make the left side door stop falling off. Long story short, by the time I'd put the cabinet together, I'd run out of time to make these on Friday.

I made these on Sunday and it's a slight riff on my usual caramel slice recipe. So what makes this version of caramel slice into an ANZAC Day version? 

The base. Classic ANZAC biscuits are made from butter, sugar, flour, coconut and rolled oats flavoured with golden syrup. I made the base using all those ingredients bar the golden syrup which I used in the caramel layer.

I found a recipe which simplified the chocolate layer so I gave that a go. These are really popular at work, which is why I used a bigger tin than usual. It meant the chocolate layer was a bit meagre so next time I use this size tin, I think I'll use another 100g of chocolate. 

Here's the recipe for you.

⅓ cup caster sugar
½ cup plain flour
½ cup rolled oats
⅓ cup shredded coconut
90 gm unsalted butter, melted

2 x 375 gm tins condensed milk
60 gm melted unsalted butter
⅓ cup golden syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

250 gm dark chocolate, grated or finely chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Line the base and sides of a 21 x 32 cm (8 x 12 inch) tin with baking paper.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix in the butter and gently press the mix into the prepared tin.
Place in the 180°C oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until lightly coloured.

Place the condensed milk in a saucepan and stir over a low heat for 7-8 minutes or until slightly thickened and lightly coloured. You can also microwave the condensed milk in a large bowl on high for about 7 minutes, stirring every minute. Add the remaining ingredients to the condensed milk and stir thoroughly until well combined.

Pour the caramel over the cooked base and using a knife, spread it evenly over the base. Return the slice to the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes or until the caramel is golden brown and set. Remove the slice from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes.

Scatter the chopped chocolate over the top of the hot caramel slice and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove the caramel slice from the oven and using a knife or the back of a spoon, gently smooth the melted chocolate over the slice.

Allow the topping to set before marking the chocolate into bars or squares. Place in the fridge and allow the slice to completely set before cutting into pieces. I used a hot knife to cut the slice, wiping the blade with kitchen paper between each cut.

Store the slice in a sealed container in the fridge but bring the slice to room temperature before serving. Makes 24 1½ inch squares

Less than 2 weeks now until I fly out. I can't believe it!!!! I still have heaps of things that need doing so I might not have time to bake anything for you next weekend. If not, I'll drop by to say goodbye.

See you all then,


crabapple jelly

21 Apr 2014

Hi Every-one,

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter break. I've just returned from a 4 day visit to Brisbane to find the modem had died in my absence. It's taken me 3 hours to buy a new modem and finally get it up and running and I decided to post this ASAP in case my luck (and internet) ran out. The ironing will just have to wait.

I don't know what's come over me. I've become Ms. Pioneer Woman. I'm baking my own bread; making my own ricotta cheese and my own jam as well. Next I'll be chopping down trees for firewood which would not go down well in Sydney's Eastern suburbs! 

Have you ever tried or made crab-apple jelly? When I was in Dungog last month, Farmer Andrew's crab-apple tree was full to bursting with fruit. I picked about a kilo of crabapples, searched online for a recipe and set about making the jelly. It's a 2 day process as you have to boil the fruit first, then strain the mixture to make the juice from which the jelly is made. That sentence was a bit of a mouthful, wasn't it?

Otherwise, it's a straight forward process. The jelly itself is very tasty and I now have 2 very large jars of the stuff stored in the fridge.

Here's the recipe for you straight from
the Waitrose website. Use the recipe as a guide because you have to measure the juice to get the correct juice/sugar ratio. Makes: 6 x 500ml jars

Crab-Apple Jelly
4 kg crab apples
1 kg caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced

Wash the apples, remove the blossom heads and cut out any bruised bits. Put in a saucepan, fill with water to cover the apples and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes until the fruit is soft. Pour the pulp into a jelly bag or several layers of muslin and let drip overnight into a pan beneath. Don’t squeeze the bag as the residue will cloud the jelly.

The next day, measure the juice, and combine with sugar at the ratio of 10 parts juice to 7 sugar. Add the lemon, then bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar. Keep at a rolling boil for 35–40 minutes, skimming off the froth regularly. To test, chill a dessertspoon in the fridge. When the jelly is set, it will solidify on the back of the spoon. Pour into warm, sterilised preserving jars and tightly seal while still slightly warm. Store in a cool dark place. 
By the way, the cute 'handmade' tag is from my friend Kylie at Paperboat Press.

It's short work week here in Sydney as Monday was a public holiday and on Friday we have public holiday to commemorate ANZAC Day. I'm planning to make an ANZAC Day inspired treat to share with you next week. 

P.S It's hard to believe but in 3 short weeks, I'll be in Amsterdam! Keep those suggestions for things to see and do rolling in.

See you all again next week,


Passover week - Passover apple blintzes

15 Apr 2014

I was invited out for dinner the other night and I brought along the dessert. I decided to renovate this recipe for Apple blintzes to make it Passover friendly. 

I made 2 batches of blintzes, one using flour and the other using the Passover mix so I could compare them. The Passover batter is a little thicker than the flour batter so I had to thin the mixture out quite a bit to make 8 blintzes. The apple filling is in one of my cute kilner jars.

Here's the recipe for you,

Passover Apple Blintzes
½ cup Passover baking mix (equal quantities superfine matzo meal and potato flour)
2 eggs
¾ cup milk
Oil and butter for frying

Apple Cinnamon filling
400 g cooked apples
½ tablespoons caster sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

To serve
Additional sugar and cinnamon

To make the filling, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set to one side.

To make the pancakes, sift the baking mix into a small bowl then add the eggs stirring to ensure there are no lumps. Gradually add the milk to form a smooth batter. Transfer the mixture to a small jug and rest for 30 minutes.

Heat a small pan and grease it well. Pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of batter into the heated pan. Cook over a medium heat until the underside of the pancake is light golden brown, then turn out onto a wire rack. Leave the top side of the pancake uncooked. Continue with the remaining batter to make 8 pancakes. Don’t wash out the jug as in a moment you’ll need the leftovers.

With the cooked side uppermost, spread 2 tablespoons of the filling into the centre of the pancake spreading it out a little with a small spatula.

Brush the edges of the pancake with a little of the uncooked batter; this helps the edges hold together when cooked. Fold in the 2 sides of the pancake, overlapping slightly. Brush the remaining ends with a little of the batter and fold the ends into the centre overlapping a little to make a small parcel.

Heat a little oil and a teaspoon of butter in a small pan. Place the blintzes seam side down and gently fry for a few minutes until golden then flip and cook for a further 2 minutes until both sides are browned. Drain on absorbent paper if necessary. To serve, sprinkle with sugar and a little cinnamon topped with some cream.

Serves 4

That's my last Passover week recipe and I hope you've enjoyed them. I'm now looking forward to my 4 day Easter break and then I'll start counting the days until I fly out to Amsterdam.

Happy Easter and I'll see you all again next week,


Passover week - chocolate, orange and hazelnut biscotti

14 Apr 2014

I thought I'd finished with Passover week, until I realised I had nothing in the cookie jar. I looked through my recipes and thought I'd try making some biscotti. I adapted an old Bill Granger recipe using ingredients I already had in the cupboards.

I'd run out of my usual superfine matzo meal and had to buy a different brand. It was much more coarse than the Solomon's superfine matzo and absorbed much more liquid so I found the dough very dry.

I added some orange juice to make the dough workable but you could try making the biscotti using half the baking mix and seeing how you go, then adding more of the baking mix if the mixture is too damp.

Chocolate, orange and hazelnut biscotti - makes 20
(adapted from this Bill Granger recipe)

⅓ cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 tsp grated orange rind
1 cup Passover baking mix (equal quantities superfine matzo meal and potato flour)
¼ cup cocoa
50 g coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
50g coarsely chopped dark chocolate
3 tbl orange juice (if required)

Preheat oven to 180°C. 
Line a tray with baking paper.
In a stand mixer, beat together the egg, sugar and rind for a few minutes, until thick and pale. 
Sift over the baking mix and cocoa and stir through with a wooden spoon.
Add the nuts and mix well using a clean hand. If the mixture is too thick, add a few tablespoons orange juice to form a dough.
Form the dough into a flattish logs and bake for 20 minutes or until firm. 
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Lower the oven to 120°C.  Using a serrated bread knife, cut the log into slices about 7mm thick.  Spread the slices out on the baking tray in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes, turning over halfway.
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. These will keep for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container

These are tasty but as there is no raising agent, they're pretty crunchy so you'll definitely need to dunk these to avoid some expensive dental work.

I hope you enjoy tonight's Seder,



passover week - flourless chocolate prune cake

11 Apr 2014

There are no shortage of flourless chocolate cake recipes out there but I was looking for something a little different. When I found this recipe on Sunday Suppers for a chocolate prune armagnac cake I knew I'd found what I was looking for.

As you can't use armagnac during Passover I needed to find a more prosaic substitute. I remembered seeing a recipe for tea soaked prunes somewhere in the past so I used tea instead. 

This is one of those cakes that rises terrifyingly, then sinks as it cools. Don't worry as it's all about the flavour with this cake. Here's the renovated recipe for you.

Flourless Chocolate Prune Cake
To prepare the tin
1 tbs each cocoa powder and potato flour (starch) mixed together and sieved.

300 g dark chocolate,coarsely chopped
200 g unsalted butter,
coarsely chopped
6 eggs, separated
125 g caster sugar
150 g prunes
150 mls freshly brewed tea
pinch salt

To decorate
cocoa powder

Grease and line the base of a 9 inch round tin. Flour the tin with the cocoa powder mixture.

Soak the prunes in the tea until softened, about 1 - 2 hours. Drain the prunes and using a stick blender or food processor, puree with 1 - 2 tbs of the tea. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C (conventional oven).

Melt the dark chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. Let cool slightly, then fold in the prune mixture. Set to one side.

Combine the yolks with 100 g of the sugar. Whisk until the mixture triples in size. Gently fold the yolks into the chocolate prune mixture.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Add the the remaining caster sugar one spoon at a time until a soft meringue forms.

Gently fold the the egg whites into the chocolate mixture then pour into the prepared tin.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the cake comes away from the tin. Leave the oven door slightly ajar and leave the cake in the oven for 15 minutes. 

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to completely cool on a wire rack. Gently remove the lining paper from the cake.

Sprinkle with cocoa powder before serving.

I served the cake with some tart
oven baked plums and pears and a dollop of cream to balance out the richness of the cake. It went down a treat!

Have a great weekend,


Passover week - meringues with lemon curd

10 Apr 2014

Hi Every-one,

I had an epic fail trying to make passover profiteroles during the weekend. The passover choux pastry was a disaster but the curd was a triumph and too good not to share with you. I looked through the archives to find a passover friendly recipe that featured my lemon curd and found this recipe for meringues I photographed last year.

Where would we be without eggs during passover?

Here's the recipe for you.

Meringues with lemon curd
Lemon curd
2 large egg yolks
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
80 ml (⅓ cup) strained lemon juice
⅓ cup caster sugar
40 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped

Place the egg yolks, the lemon rind, juice and sugar into a small bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until smooth and keep whisking until thickened. Remove the curd from the heat and s
train the curd through a fine sieve. Add the butter in small batches and mix until incorporated. Set aside to cool. When cool, place in a sealed container in the the fridge and allow to set. 

This makes more curd than you need but it will keep in the fridge for a week stored in an airtight container.

2 egg whites (from 60 gm eggs)
1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar

To serve
cream/berries/lemon curd 

Preheat oven to 120°C/250°F

Lightly grease an oven tray and dust with potato flour or line with baking paper. 

In a medium size bowl using an electric whisk, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until the sugar dissolves and the meringue turns very glossy. 

Using a large spoon, drop dollops of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. You should get 8 - 10 medium size meringues from this mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes for Pavlova like meringues or 1 1/4 hours for crisp meringues. You can leave the meringues to cool in the switched off oven. Carefully remove the meringues from the baking tray and place on a wire rack. When completely cooled, store the meringues in an airtight container until ready to serve. 

You can eat them as they are or serve them like mini pavlovas topped with homemade lemon curd, cream and berries, fresh from the garden.

If you want to go dairy free I guess you could use margarine in the curd, though I've never done that myself and serve the meringues with the curd and the berries. 

I'll be back again tomorrow with the last of this week's Passover recipes, so see you all then.


Passover week - chocolate date and almond cake

9 Apr 2014

Hi Every-one,

I was given this recipe many years ago by a workmate called Jackie and it's handwritten in my notebook as Jackie's Date cake. It's quite simple to make as it's just a meringue with lots of chopped nuts, chocolate and dried dates folded through. One of my colleagues mentioned her Mum made the same cake but with hazelnuts and I've made a version using different dried fruits so it's pretty versatile recipe. 

I didn't have to renovate this meringue cake recipe as it was always flourless.

Here's the recipe for you -

Chocolate, Date and Almond Cake
250g dates, pitted and finely chopped
250g good quality dark chocolate
250g unblanched almonds
½ cup caster sugar
6 egg whites

Line the base and sides of a 23 cm/9 inch spring form tin with baking paper.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

In a food processor, process the almonds and chocolate until finely chopped. Combine with the chopped dates.

In a large bowl beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and continue beating until the mixture forms a meringue. Gently fold in the date and nut mixture then spoon into the prepared tin.

Bake for 45 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow the cake to cool completely in the switched off oven, with the door slightly ajar. Refrigerate the cake overnight.

To serve:
300 mls cream, lightly whipped

To serve, remove the baking paper from the cake. Transfer the cake to a serving plate, top with whipped cream and berries.

It looks pretty impressive topped with whipped cream and berries. If you're looking for a dairy free option, I'm sure you could top the cake with a classic dark chocolate mousse but don't skip the berries as you need something fresh to balance out all the nuts, chocolate and dates.

I hope you're enjoying Passover Week 2014,

See you all again tomorrow with another recipe,


raspberry thumbprint cookies - passover week

8 Apr 2014

When I looked back through my recipes, this recipe for thumbprint cookies was prime for passover renovation. I looked in my cupboards, rifled through the freezer where I'd stored the superfine matzo meal and I had everything I needed. After I assembled the ingredients, it literally took me 3 minutes to make the dough in the food processor before running out the door to get to the gym.

Rather than raspberry jam I used the homemade summer berry jam I made a few months ago. The original recipe used marmalade so just use whatever jam you prefer. The recipe also calls for vanilla extract. The regular kind can't be used during Passover so if you can't find a Passover version in the supermarket, you could omit the vanilla or use home made vanilla sugar instead (vanilla pod stored in jar of sugar). Similarly there is no Passover friendly icing sugar so you can make it at home by blitzing regular sugar in the food processor.

Here's the recipe for you -

Passover Raspberry Thumb Print Cookies - makes 16
125 gm unsalted butter
50 gm caster sugar
½ tsp Passover vanilla extract 
1 cup Passover baking mix (equal quantities superfine matzo meal and potato flour)
⅓ cup hazelnut meal
Raspberry jam
Optional - homemade icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF (conventional). Line 2 oven trays with baking paper.

In a food processor combine the butter and sugar and vanilla. Add the baking mix then the hazelnut meal and process until a soft dough forms. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Roll into walnut size balls (20 gm) between floured palms. Flatten the biscuit with your palm then press your thumb into the centre of each biscuit to form an indent. Place on the tray leaving space for biscuits to spread and bake for 5 minutes.

Reinforce the indent with the handle of a wooden spoon, and then spoon ½ teaspoon of jam into the indent. Return the jam filled cookies to the oven and baked until they’re golden, another 10-15 minutes. 

Cool on tray, then dust with home made icing sugar if desired and serve.

I took the cookies into work and the girls really loved them because they were both delicate, not too sweet and 'just right' as one colleague declared. You know sometimes, the passover version is better than the original.

I hope you get the chance to make these,

See you tomorrow,


olive oil orange cake - passover week

7 Apr 2014

Hi Every-one,

welcome to Passover week on the blog. Now trying to work your way around what can and can't be eaten during Passover is tricky so I've used these 2 websites as references. This site is from the US and you enter the name of the item you wish to check. It reveals all kinds of things that we can't get on our shelves in Australia, which is kind of frustrating. I'd have loved to have brought you a cheesecake recipe but there is no local Passover cream cheese supplier. I was going to try and make some mascarpone cheese at home and give that a go but simply ran out of time. This second site is an Antipodean one and reflects what's available on the shelf at my local supermarket. 

Now onto some recipes. This Chez Pannise Olive Oil Sauternes Cake recipe has been around for a long time. I looked at the recipe and decided with a few tweaks I'd be able to make it Passover friendly.

The first thing that had to go was the Sauternes and I replaced it with orange juice. The flour was changed to my Passover baking mix, which is equal quantities of superfine matzo meal and potato flour and the rest pretty much stayed the same.

The first thing that had to go was the Sauternes and I replaced it with orange juice. The flour was changed to my Passover baking mix, which is equal quantities of superfine matzo meal and potato flour and the rest pretty much stayed the same.

I topped the cake with a dusting of homemade icing sugar (caster sugar that was blitzed in the food processor) and decided to pair it with some old fashioned oranges in caramel which were absolutely delicious and should be resurrected from the vault. 

I made the cake in my little bundt tin but it was a struggle getting it out of the tin so if/when I make it again I'll use a regular tin thoroughly lined with baking paper. I think this recipe would make a 6 -7 inch round cake. I you want to make the larger version, you'll need to use the quantities mentioned in the LA Times recipe. Here's the scaled down recipe for you. 

Olive Oil Orange Cake 
3 egg yolks 
 cup caster sugar 
3 egg whites 
½ tsp grated orange rind 
½ tsp grated lemon rind 
½ cup Passover baking mix
¼ cup orange juice 
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
Optional - home made icing sugar/oranges in caramel
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form then gently fold through the cake batter. 

Using an electric mixer beat the egg yolks with half the amount of sugar, until pale and creamy. Add orange and lemon rind, along with the orange juice and olive oil and mix to combine. Gently fold through the Passover baking mix.

Pour cake batter into a lined 16 cm round cake tin, and bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 160°C/300°F and bake for a further 20 minutes. Turn the oven off, and cover the cake with parchment paper. Allow to cool in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. Once cake has cooled, remove from the tin and invert on a clean surface. Dust with icing sugar.


I'll be back again tomorrow with another Passover friendly blog post. if you're looking for some more of my recipes, here's my latest Delicious Bites post for decor8.

Bye for now,

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