Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cherry Berry Rocky Road

Well, its really warming up here in Queensland, and having the oven on for a few hours is looking less and less desirable. To top it off, I'm carrying an extra 14 kg and that adds a few extra degrees to the body, and definitely makes cooking all the more tiring. I cant even get close to the bench anymore with this protuberance at the front of me!
Hopefully baby Massey #2 will be here before long and I wont be so heavy for when Summer really hits us.
So with the warming weather, I've been dreaming up ways of "baking" without baking, filling up the uncomfortable void of oven strike. Fortunately there are tonnes of recipes that are deliciously unbaked, and call for no additional heating of the house. I'm thinking jellies, mousses, ice cream cakes, sorbets, frozen delights, refrigerator slices, truffles. Let's add rocky road to the list, because its simple, delicious and is a winner at just about any occasion.
Speaking of good food, I'd like to share a rather exciting event that's coming up here for those of you who live in the Brisbane area. It's the Good Food and Wine Show, and it's being held over a few days in early November. If you're interested in going, I recommend checking out this link
It sounds totally awesome, and although I've never been, I'm hoping to make it this year! Finger's crossed, the unborn lets me. Bon Appetit!


100g paschal swirl berry marshmallows
250g dark chocolate
1/4 cup peanuts or cashews
6 mini cherry ripe bars (about 100g), roughly broken
4 chocolate ripple biscuits, roughly broken

Line a 20x20cm square dish with baking paper.
Arrange the nuts, marshmallows, broken biscuit and cherry ripe pieces on the base. Pour melted chocolate over the top, ensuring all the other ingredients are well covered.
Refrigerate until firm, cut into squares and serve.

Monday, October 24, 2011

SRC Mocha Frappuchino

Just about anyone who has ever visited my page will know that I'm not the world's healthiest cook. That is, I love my sweets and I'm not afraid to eat them. When you have the metabolism I have, this isn't a problem. Just wait until it catches up with me in a few years!
Mind you, its not like I live off the stuff, most of what I post here goes to various mouths that are not my's how I like it...I cook for others. I enjoy seeing the joy in others who are eating what I have made. Its thrilling.
When I joined The Secret Recipe Club I never expected I would find it such a challenge. The Secret Recipe Club is a group that designates a food blog to its members every month. As a member, you choose one recipe from you assigned blog, cook it and blog about it. I have such a hard time choosing what to make!  This month I was assigned a great cooking blog Amy's Cooking Adventures. She's a sweet mum of two gorgeous boys from North Dakota, and she has a great list of recipes to choose from. She likes to "sneak in extra vegies" and that's something I admire her for. Still, I found myself opting for the less healthy side of her blog with this delicious Mocha Chip Frappuchino. I even ended up adding more sweet things to it and making it unhealthier. But don't worry, I'm sure there's a warm day coming up where you deserve to indulge! They're perfect for the warmer months and are so inviting when you've had a busy weekend morning out in the hot sun. Slurp it down and enjoy this baby! It rocks.
And don't forget to check out the original recipe at Amy's Cooking Adventures!

MOCHA FRAPPUCHINO (adapted from Amy's Cooking Adventures)

1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup vanilla ice cream
2 cups ice
1/4 cup chocolate topping
2 heaped tbsp. chocolate powder or milo
1 heaped tbsp. instant coffee granules
1/4 cup hot water
2 tbsp. mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup vanilla ice cream, extra
sprinkling of extra milo to decorate

Combine the coffee granules with the hot water and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate until cooled.
Place the coffee, milk, ice, milo, ice cream and chocolate topping to the blender and process until the ice has broken down.
Serve in tall glasses, topping with the extra ice cream and extra milo, and a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips or shavings.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Have You Tried to Get on Foodgawker?

Every so often I have a little rant. Faithful followers will know.
Well today is one of those days...I need a little loving.
Have any of you culinary bloggers ever tried to get a food photo published online with foodgawker?
I thought it might be a nice way to get some of my recipes shared and just a little ego kick to boot. Well, that's why I am ranting. The past two weeks I have been submitting pictures left right and centre and every single one of them has been rejected. I tell you, it's left me very bruised in that baby ego and spitting and hissing at the thought my photos are rubbish.
For those of you who don't know, foodgawker is a site of unbelievably delicious recipes and beautiful photography. I don't claim to have the best photography but did I submit my best. Here is the outcome, with "feedback".

Peppermint Ganache Cups "Photo/food composition"

Home Style Sausage Rolls "Photo/food composition"

Strawberry Coconut Swirl Biscuits "Photo/food composition"

Pesto and Cashew Damper Scrolls "Composition - too tight"

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups "Photo/food composition" 

Chocolate Jaffa Cornets "Photo/food composition"

Flourless Chocolate Cake "Dull/Unclear Image"

So, are they really that terrible? I've submitted over 12 photos and every single one has been rejected. Sometimes it makes me want to scream. Just saying.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cherryripe

First of all, I would like to announce, we have a winner of our great cookbook give away! Frances from WA has won herself a lovely cookbook that will be posted out to her within the week. Congratulations Frances!
Now for the sticky business of the kitchen.
I've always wanted to make one of those super moist flourless chocolate cakes everyone raves about. I was a bit nervous to be baking without flour, and to be honest it reminded me (with a certain sinking dread) of making souffles. Yes, the cake did sink like my souffles, but didn't affect the taste or the look of the cake (I think it just cooled down too quickly).
Well, I can assure you, I thought this recipe ticked all the right boxes. As expected, it was deliciously fudgy and the rich and utterly satisfying chocolate smell lingered in the house until the cake was "removed" and ingested. One word: delicious.
I can no longer possibly feel sorry for gluten intolerant souls. The question is, does chocolate contain gluten? Someone will have to fill me in there. Meanwhile, enjoy a piece of this heavenly flourless chocolate cake topped with cherry ripe and chocolate sauce!

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHERRY RIPE (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine Oct 2011)

250g butter, chopped
400g dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup cocoa powder
5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup almond meal
100g cherry ripe bar, crumbled
extra cocoa powder and melted chocolate to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C, and line and grease a 8cm x 22cm springform cake tin.
Melt the butter and the chocolate  either in the microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring to ensure it is well combined and melted thoroughly.
Add cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, out the yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a bowl and beat until thick. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture, then stir in the almond meal.
Beat the egg whites in a separate large, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until well incorporated. Add a large spoonful of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and fold to combine. Carefully fold in the remaining mixture until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Place the tin on an oven tray and bake for 20 minutes. Then loosely cover the cake with aluminium foil and bake for a further 35-40 minutes until a skewer, when inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out with moist crumbs attached. Set aside to cool before removing from the pan. Liberally dust with the extra cocoa powder and cut into 8-10 pieces. Decorate each piece with crumbled cherry ripe bar and a drizzling of melted chocolate.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

My kitchen, after my bed, is my favourite niche in the house.
There are things in my kitchen I am very attached to...ingredients and objects alike. I have to have them always at hand and would not know what to do without them. Of course there are the other things I must always have stock of...flour, sugar, milk, eggs and real butter. I would go into panic without those. What cant you live without in your kitchen? Here are a few of my kitchen addictions.

One of them makes this delicious pizza!

Vanilla Essence--I put this stuff in just about everything. You cant go wrong with vanilla in baking!

Cookbook Stands-- I hate having to lean over a kitchen bench to read a recipe, I want my cookbook looking at me at all times! Besides, when you can buy shabby chic ones like this, who wouldn't have one in their kitchen?

Lemon Pepper--here's the vanilla essence of savory cooking. Adds a salt-free zing to anything and tastes amazing.

Chocolate Chips--do I need to explain? these little dudes are irresistible in anything.

Chef's Toolbox Saute Pan--This baby rocks my world. It's a stove-top oven, and you can also use it inside the oven if you want. It makes the most incredible pizzas, just sitting on the stove.

Its this last, but certainly not least, addictive appliance I mean to speak about. I have never tasted such amazing pizzas, and they are created with such little effort. You don't even have to wait for the dough to rise, and there's absolutely no kneading or bowl-use involved. It is the simplest, quickest and yummiest home made pizza you will ever have. And there's no fancy ingredients to buy! (unless you want gourmet topping).
The pan itself is excellent quality non-stick, and contains no bad chemicals like so many other non-stick pans.

Because of the excellent quality non-stick surface, the pizza simply slides out! and there is minimal cleanup in the saute pan...simply wipe it clean with a cloth!
Because it is like an oven itself, you can simply have it sitting on the stove top cooking anything you would usually have in the oven...without heating up the whole house! I cook everything in this saute pan and it has never once failed me. If you want to know more about it, head over to Pauline Phillip's Toolbox Tastings Facebook page and give her a holler. She sells them!


1 cup plain flour
1 cup SR flour
1 cup luke-warm water
1 tsp. dry yeast
1 tsp. honey
Pinch of salt
Topping of your choice

We used:
200g roast beef, sliced
good squirt mayonnaise
splash of hoi sin sauce
1 large tomato, sliced
1/2 cup cheese
3 mushrooms, sliced
handful of spinach, finely chopped
1/4 cup pasta sauce

In your Chef's Toolbox Saute Pan, add all ingredients. Using a silicone spoon, combine thoroughly to form a dough.
Press into the edges of the saute pan to cover the base evenly. You can use the silicone spoon or your fingers, as preferred. A little flour sprinkled on the dough may aid against sticking to hands or utensils.

Spread with your favourite toppings. (We spread the base with a combination of hoi sin and mayo, then added all the other ingredients to the top, lastly drizzling the pasta sauce, and then the cheese. So Yummy!)

Place on the stove top. Place the lid on with the vent closed for the first 5 minutes and have on a medium heat. Turn the lid to open the vents and cook a little lower for a further 15-20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

NOTES: you can make a thin base by halving the mixture. Cooking time may also be reduced.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Strawberry Fruit Leather

I love strawberry season. We have a lot of strawberry farms in Queensland, and at this time of the year they are plentiful and sweet. Yesterday I bought 700g of strawberries for 69 cents at the local fruit market! Mind you, most of them needed to be used within the next day or two, but they're perfect to chop up and freeze for smoothies and the likes. It's awesome news for me, considering my son eats a punnet of strawberries a day (who could stop him when they re so good for you?)
I recently stumbled across a recipe for fruit leather and thought this was the perfect opportunity to use the strawberries. We have some cooler weather at the moment, so having the oven on for the whole day wasn't a problem for me, although you probably wouldn't want to make this leathery goodness on any day over 20C, because it does warm the house up somewhat. The good news is, if you have a nice sunny day you can sun bake the strawberry puree to cook it instead. Now how good does that sound!
There are so many wonderful things about this recipe. Firstly if you're baking it in the house, you will have a day of strawberry scented everything, and its divine. Secondly, you wont be able to stop eating this stuff its so delicious, so you'll have a belly full of it too. Anyone for a strawberry roll-up? Brings me back to when I was a kid! Scroll down, I'll have you strawberry lovers drooling in no time...

STRAWBERRY FRUIT LEATHER (adapted from Georgia Pellegrini)

2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
1 tbsp oil to grease

Preheat the oven to 70C.
Cut up the strawberries and stew for a few minutes in the water over a low heat until mushy. Place with the lemon juice in a food processor and blend until thoroughly pureed. Add sugar to sweeten as desired.
Grease and line a 22 x 33 inch tray with greaseproof paper or plastic wrap (the temperature of the oven will be too low to affect the plastic). Grease the top with oil.
Pour the puree into the tray, smoothing with a spatula until evenly distributed.
Cook for 5-6 hours in the oven or the sun, making sure there is regular air flow if using an oven so as to avoid scorching.
Remove and cool and then cut into strips. Enjoy!

NOTES: You can use any type of fruit for this recipe. Stewing the fruit first keeps the colour vibrant and easier to puree. Some fruits may need a little longer in the oven. Depending on the sweetness of the fruit, you may not want to add the sugar to the recipe. A pizza wheel is a great way to cut the leather, or a pair of kitchen scissors.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

When it comes to chocolate combinations, I don't think there are many ways of failing.
It's a little bit like salt. Chocolate is one of those universally good all rounders. You can put it with just about anything and it's bound to taste amazing.
I know there would be plenty of people disagreeing with that statement. People who would retch at the thought of orange and chocolate together for instance. I cant think of much that would be more delicious!
Here in Australia, there hasn't been much of the peanut butter and chocolate combination floating around. I know in America Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are popular and you can even buy peanut butter flavoured chocolate melts. I've recently seen Reese's Peanut Butter cups hit the shelves in some stores here but am yet to try one. The other day I was tempted by the thought and just had to try them out. But heavily pregnant and car-less little me was house bound...with all the ingredients.
Anyway, these tiny little peanut butter cups delighted the sock off me. So tasty!


1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
4 chocolate ripple biscuits, crushed
1/4 cup brown sugar
 3 tbsp. crushed peanuts to decorate

Gently melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter over a gentle heat, stirring regularly so as not to burn. When melted and well combined, spread the mixture into 25 mini chocolate pans, ensuring the bottoms and the sides are well coated. Set aside to harden. There should be enough chocolate mixture remaining to later seal the tops of the peanut butter cups.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining peanut butter with the brown sugar and crushed biscuits. Scoop 1/2 teaspoons of this mixture into each set chocolate cup, gently pressing each to ensure the mixture sits on the bottom. Do not overfill the cups, the peanut butter mixture should sit below the cup rim.
Reheat the remaining chocolate mixture and gently ladle over each cup, covering the peanut butter mixture completely. While still wet, sprinkle crushed peanuts on the top of each to decorate.
Leave to set. Refrigerate before serving.

Makes 25-28

NOTES: I used foil chocolate cups that were approximately 2 cm x 2.5cm. You could also use any type of sweet biscuit crumbs in this recipe, or omit them if desired.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

100th Post Giveaway!

Today marks Lick The Spoon's 100th post! Happily it has been a year of growing success for the blog, thanks to my sturdy little team of supporters. Many thanks go out to all, and as a little sign of appreciation, there's to be a celebratory giveaway.

There are two ways to go about entering. You can enter both ways for a double opportunity to win this amazing cookbook that might just be in your eager little hands within the next month!

What's your caption?

1- "Like" and "Share" Lick The Spoon's page with your friends on Facebook, linking it to your post.  Then leave a comment below on this page with a caption for this photo above, with your facebook profile link.
2- If you don't have facebook and want to join in on the giveaway, "Follow" this blog (at the right hand side of the page you will find the button) and leave a comment below with your email address attached, with a caption for this photo above.

Contest ends on October 16th 2011 at 12pm EST.  The winner will be chosen by and will be notified via email (with 48 hours to respond).  Please make sure you put your email address in your comment/s!