Tag Archives: sugar

Paleo macadamia Salted caramel

24 Dec

 

 

 

 

One of the most vivid memories of my childhood is sitting on the concrete out the front of my grandma’s house with a hammer and a bag of macadamias, balancing the nuts precariously on the cracks in the concrete then hitting them with the hammer. Trying to put just the right amount of pressure to crack the shell without smashing the nut is an art form.

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Macadamias are such a summer treat here in Australia so when I found this recipe I knew I just had to make it and amidst all the naughty Christmas treats that are laden with gluten and refined sugar it is something a little more Paleo friendly.

I came across this recipe via Pinterest (where else?) .

It comes from Kitsa’s Kitchen and she called it Macadamia Christmas Crunch.

 

 

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This recipe is so simple it’s silly.

1 cup of raw honey

250g butter or ghee

1 cup macadamias

salt

Place the honey and butter in a saucepan together and boil. According to the recipe it should reach toffee stage, however I found the honey just did not heat the same way sugar does and mine never made it to that stage. If yours does great, if not don’t worry.

Now add macadamias, I used plain macadamias, I think they might have been ever so slightly roasted as they didn’t have the waxiness fresh out of the shell nuts have. Also add some sea salt, a teaspoon or two, whatever your taste is.

Pour it into a lined tray. I added more nuts to mine as I didn’t think there was enough and I sprinkled some more salt on top

Then pop it in the fridge until set.

DSC_1133Mine was more like caramel than toffee and melted easily out of the fridge. They were completely unsuitable for taking to work to share with my workmates as they melted and stuck to the plate during the drive and then needed to be pried off the plate with a knife.

They are much better suited to a little soirée at home where they can be served directly from the fridge.

Now let me tell you about how they taste.

Pure, buttery, melt in your mouth bliss, with a kick of salt and the delightful creaminess of the nuts. I dare you to try and stop at one, I couldn’t.

These could possibly be the best caramels I have ever tasted, honey makes a far superior caramel to sugar. I am disappointed though that I could not get it to boil hotter so that it was more of a cruchier texture more like peanut brittle, that would have been perfection.

 

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Little Stacks of Heaven

11 Nov

Despite pavlova being a traditional Australian/New Zealand dessert I had never actually tried it until a few years ago. It is a favourite of my husband’s and he often has me whip one up for him.DSC_0972

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with pav it is basically one big pile of meringue which is crunchy on the outside and fluffy and soft on the inside, topped with whipped cream and seasonal fruit. We are not too fussed on the fluffy middle, to me it has a slight raw egg flavour so I make a variation on the traditional pav by making several thin rounds of meringue and layer them with cream and strawberries to make a pavlova stack.  These thin layers are mostly crunchy with a bit of chewy gooiness in the middle and no raw egg flavour.DSC_0968

As it is my husbands birthday this week (and this happens to be my 100th post)  I thought I would make these cute individual Mini Pavlova Stacks.

The recipe I use is simple and super easy.

6 egg whites, (I can’t bear the waste of throwing away the yolks so they are in the freezer and there may be some ice cream in my near future)

1 1/2  cups of caster sugar

3 tsp cornflourDSC_0949

Whip whites and sugar in an electric mixer on high until thick and glossy, I did it for about 5 minutes.DSC_0952

Line several baking trays with baking paper and sprinkle with cornflour. I also draw circles on the paper to use as a guide when spreading the meringue.
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Spoon or pipe equal amounts of meringue onto the paper and spread it out using the circles to ensure they are all an equal size and shape.

Pop them in an oven preheated to 120 degrees Celsius for roughly an hour, they should sound hollow when tapped. Turn the oven off but don’t remove them just yet, leave the oven door ajar and let them sit in the oven for another hour or so to dry out.DSC_0964

If they don’t readily come away from the paper then they haven’t dried out enough, I just put mine back in the oven for a little longer. However, it is my experience that some meringues just don’t want to play nicely. Out of the 18 rounds I made 2 were not interested in behaving correctly and consequently were smashed.DSC_0963

Now it is time to put the stack together!

Whip up some cream layer one meringue, cream, fruit of your choice, berries, tropical fruits like mango, kiwi and passionfruit or stone fruits like peaches or nectarines are definitely the best, repeat layers twice.DSC_0971

You should definitely serve this fresh and with a scoop of very good quality vanilla ice cream!

Now go and enjoy this heavenly little treat!DSC_0973

I felt a bit like one of those over achieving supermums yesterday…..

28 Aug

DSC_0901It is strawberry season here at the moment, unfortunately we don’t grow our own, nor have I had time to go to a farm to pick our own, but they are incredibly cheap at the supermarkets and fruit stores and so delicious! I have bought many punnets lately.DSC_0888

Yesterday morning, while making Mr Minx’s green smoothie (yesterdays was almond milk, strawberry, kiwi and silverbeet) I noticed a recipe for Strawberry ricotta muffins on the inside lid of the strawberry punnet, and of course the logical thought when I have to myself ready for work and the Minimen fed, clothed and ready to leave the house in an hour was “I might whip up a batch of those now”

While the Minimen slept I raced around and got myself presentable then in super human speed I made the muffin batter and put them in the oven. Here’s the recipe courtesy of Coolhaven Farms, Beerwah.

250g strawberries, hulled and chopped roughly

2 1/2 cups of S.R flour

I tsp of ground cinnamon

2/3 cup of castor sugar (I used 1/3 stevia 1/3 castor sugar)

2 eggs

3 tbs of melted butter

1 cup of milk

1 cup of ricotta ( I used low-fat ricotta)

Mix dry (flour, sugar, cinnamon) ingredients in a large bowl and wet (butter, milk, eggs) ingredients in another bowl or jug.

Pour wet into dry and mix until just combined add ricotta and strawberries, spoon into muffin pan I like to use patty papers to make cleaning up easier. The recipe said to put a dollop of ricotta on top and sprinkle with demerara sugar, however I didn’t think the other members of my house would eat anything dolloped with ricotta and I do not have demerara sugar, nor do I really know what it is, so instead I sprinkled some brown sugar, I would have liked to put some oats on top too but once again I need them to be appealing to all members of my house.

Then I popped them in the oven, preheated to 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.

While they were cooking I was able to feed the Minimen, who had woken up while I was making the batter, they wanted spaghetti on toast and there was a mini meltdown from Rooster as he didn’t want his brother having the same breakfast as him, crisis averted by sprinkling some cheese on Duckman’s spaghetti.DSC_0894

Then with the promise of fresh muffins, they got dressed without complaint, even happily put shoes on!

Then the muffins were ready!DSC_0898

They were delicious! Rooster, who usually is not fussed on home-made devoured two, and two more when he got home in the afternoon.

The Minimen went to daycare without even a hint of a melt down and I even made it to work on time, if only every morning could be like this!

Milo Cupcakes with Condensed Milk Buttercream

2 May


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Have you seen This is 40?, The movie with Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann. Since we have no regular babysitter, Mr Minx and I always jump at the opportunity for the elusive date night when one of our Mums is in town. Earlier this year we were able to get to the cinema to see this movie when Mr Minx’s mum was visiting from New Zealand. We always have a laugh that this couple is us, in particular the cupcake addiction of Paul Rudd’s character.

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When I make cupcakes, I usually ice them the following day, due to being time poor and a little lazy. Often only half the cupcakes make it through the night. Unfortunately, for Mr Minx, but lucky for the cupcakes he has the flu, so most of them survived to be iced this morning.

Now lets get to the cupcakes….

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I found these Milo cupcakes with Condensed Milk Buttercream at The Bubbly Baker,

To make these delectable little morsels you will need

200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
100g Milo (I added about 130 grams of milo)
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g sour cream
170g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs

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Combine all of this into a food processor and pulse until mixed well and smooth. I had to do this in two batches since my processor was not large enough, also I tend to be somewhat gung-ho in my approach to most things so pulsing is not in my nature and I just wizzed away and the processor was not happy. If you have a large and powerful processor this method might be for you, but in future I think I will stick to creaming the butter and sugar before adding other ingredients.

The Bubbly Baker advised that these were very rich, so I made mini cupcakes, I put a tablespoon of batter into each patty paper and baked them for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius.

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For the butter cream you need

150g unsalted butter

250g icing sugar

6tbsp condensed milk

milk for consistency

Beat the butter until light and fluffy, add the icing sugar, mix well, add the condensed milk, if needed add a small amount of milk.

I like my buttercream thick and decadent, so I added more icing sugar and no milk.

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This made so much icing, normally I just throw out the left over, but there was so much it seemed a waste. So I have bagged it up and put it in the freezer. I will let you know how that turns out. at a later date.

These cupcakes are delicious! In future I would put a little less sugar and add much more milo. The icing is like heaven! Sweet and divinely sinful!

These would be the perfect little sweet treat in the afternoon or an excellent  accompaniment to a girlie morning tea catch up.

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