Anzac caramel slice

ANZAC-Caramel-Slice_4
What comes to mind when you think of Anzac Day? Chances are Anzac biscuits are one of the first things you think of, along with dawn services and remembrance. And there’s a good reason for that – those sweet, chewy, oaty biscuits are an absolute Anzac Day staple.

While Anzac biscuits are beautiful as they are, it’s always fun to put a bit of a spin on a classic – which is where this Anzac caramel slice comes in.

With a classic Anzac biscuit base, this decadent slice takes things up a level (literally) with a thick layer of gooey caramel topped with a mandatory layer of chocolate. It’s rich and gooey with a beautifully chewy base – I’m sure you’ll love it!

ANZAC-Caramel-Slice_3

A tin of Chelsea Golden Syrup is a pantry staple at the best of times, let alone when it comes to Anzac baking. The sweet, rich flavour of this slice is all thanks to a generous helping of Golden Syrup in both the biscuit base and caramel. I’m all about getting as much flavour as possible into my baking, so used Chelsea Raw Caster Sugar to bring in a bit more depth to the slice.

Feeling inspired and ready to bake? Then give this slice a try or pop over to Chelsea Sugar’s website for more recipes to get you started. Remember to share your creations using #chelseasugar – I’d love to see what you come up with!

ANZAC-Caramel-Slice_2

Anzac caramel slice
Makes approx. 24 pieces

Ingredients

Base

  • 125g butter, cubed
  • 4 Tbsp Chelsea Golden Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  • ¼ Tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup Chelsea Raw Caster Sugar
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut

Caramel

  • 395g can condensed milk
  • 125g butter, cubed
  • ⅓ cup Chelsea Raw Caster Sugar
  • ⅓ cup Chelsea Golden Syrup

 

Chocolate topping

  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Method

Base

  1. Grease and line a 20x30cm slice tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place butter and Chelsea Golden Syrup in a small pot and stir over low heat until melted. Combine baking soda and boiling water in a mug, stirring until dissolved, and add to butter mixture. Stir until foamy and well combined. Remove from heat.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter mixture and mix well. Scoop into a prepared slice tin, pressing well until tin is evenly covered. Place in oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool while preparing the caramel.

Caramel

  1. Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir continuously over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. If you prefer a rich caramel flavour, continue stirring for a little longer.
  2. Allow caramel to cool slightly, before pouring over ANZAC biscuit base. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until set.

Chocolate topping

  1. Place chocolate in a small bowl and melt in the microwave in 30-second burst, mixing between each.
  2. Once melted, add vegetable oil and stir until fully incorporated. Pour over prepared slice and return to fridge for 1 hour or until set.
  3. Slice using a warm knife. Store in an airtight container – and enjoy!

This post was made possible thanks to Chelsea Sugar. All opinions are, and always will be, my own.

Zesty date squares

date_squares_1

How long has it been since you sat down with a date square and a cup of tea? Chances are, it’s been awhile – they’ve dropped off the radar a little. Well, I’m here to get these delicious little squares back onto your baking list and give them another 30 seconds or so in the sun.

Whether you’re a date lover or not, chances are you’ll love this slice. The sweet, smooth and juicy date filling is sandwiched between two layers of beautifully buttery oat crumble with just a slight zesty tang of lemon.

The star of this recipe is obviously the filling and to get it perfect you need to use the right dates – Californian Medjool Dates to be exact. Californian Medjool Dates are known for being the highest quality dates around, with these sweet, juicy little treats bringing a beautiful caramel flavour through into your baking. So when you’re hitting the supermarket to grab the ingredients for this slice, be sure to pick up Californian Medjool Dates in the fresh fruit and veg section – you can seriously taste the difference.

If you want to try before you buy, you can pop into Auckland Huckleberry stores from 11am to 2pm between 7 – 18 February to sample some Californian Medjool Dates for yourself. All the details about when are where are below – considering how many the hubby tried to pinch while I was making this slice, you can be sure he’ll be there with bells on.

Store Date
Huckleberry Harvest Wednesday 7 February
Huckleberry New Lynn Thursday 8 February
Huckleberry Glen Innes Friday 9 February
Huckleberry Royal Oak Sunday 11 February
Huckleberry The Strand Parnell Wednesday 14 February
Huckleberry Herne Bay Thursday 15 February
Huckleberry Glen Innes Friday 16 February
Huckleberry Milford Sunday 18 February

While you do need to turn the oven on to make this slice (I know that seems almost unbearable in this heat!) it’s well worth doing. Top tip? Bake the slice first thing in the morning, so the heat’s out of your house before the day really gets started.

date_squares_2

Zesty date squares
Recipe adapted from Ricardo Cuisine

Ingredients

Filling

  • 2  cups (approx. 22) Californian Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Base and topping

  • 1 ¾ cups oats
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 170g butter, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

Method

Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a slice pan with baking paper (I used a 20 x 30cm pan).
  2. Place Californian Medjool Dates, water, brown sugar and lemon zest in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and add baking soda. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until Californian Medjool Dates have seperated and filling looks thick and creamy. Set aside to cool.

Base and Topping

  1. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined. Add lemon zest, butter and vanilla essence and mix until well combined and dough sticks together when pressed.
  2. Scoop half the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly. Spread filling over base and top with remaining crumble mixture.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 45-50 min or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.

This post was made possible thanks to Californian Medjool Dates. All words, images and opinions are my own. 

 

Best summer desserts (without using the oven!)

best-summer-dessers_wrap

Hasn’t this summer been the best? The long days, sunny weather and never-ending heat have certainly made this summer one to remember.

The only trouble is it’s been way too hot to actually bake. As much as I’ve wanted something sweet in the house, the thought of turning on the oven has put me off almost* every time.

I can’t be the only one struggling, so thought I’d pull together a quick wrap-up of my favourite summer desserts that you can make without turning on the oven. Enjoy!

*I have a recipe to share with you next week that was a worthy exception – you’ll love it!

best-summer-dessers_wrap-2

Jelly Tip ice cream bowl – because you can’t beat ice cream in summer! This recipe takes the classic Jelly Tip ice cream to the next level with plenty of raspberry and chocolate goodness.

Simple strawberry & rhubarb cheesecake – flavoured with a little cold brew tea, this cheesecake is sure to be an instant favourite. It’s on high-rotation at our place every summer!

Lighter no-bake cheesecake – looking for something a little lighter? Then try this cheesecake made with unsweetened yoghurt instead of cream. Don’t worry – there’s still cream cheese though!

Strawberry champagne Tim Tam slice – decadent, sweet and perfectly chilled? Tick, tick, tick!

No-bake lemon slice – think crushed biscuits and plenty of lemon! This tangy slice is the perfect afternoon treat during the summer months.

Lemon bundt cake

Feat-lemon-bundt-cake

Sometimes you just need a cake in the house, right?

That’s exactly how this cake came to be – the baby was sleeping and I just needed something tangy and sweet to go along with my cup of tea.

First up: you’ll need a bundt pan. I only recently picked one up and while you can find all kinds of gorgeous ones around I ended up getting this one from Marks & Spencer. Yip, it’s a UK shop BUT the prices are really reasonable, shipping is cheap and products are great quality – it’s seriously worth having a dig around.

Now, on to the cake itself! The batter is really quick and simple to whip up (chances are you’ll already have all the ingredients!) and the finished cake is well worth delaying your afternoon tea for – it’s light, fluffy, moist and (of course!) nice and tangy. The perfect lemon cake!

Enjoy.

lemon-bundt-2

Lemon bundt cake

Ingredients

  • 140g butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a bundt pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one by one, mixing well between each. Add vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix.
  3. Add flour and baking powder and mix until just combined. Add milk and greek yoghurt and mix well.
  4. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in pan, then carefully turn onto a wire rack. Leave for 10-15 minutes.
  5. When cake is still slightly warm, combine icing sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Spoon over warm cake to glaze. Finish with lemon zest, if desired.

 

 

Zesty lemon melting moments

zesty-lemon-melting-moments_1

It’s that time of year again – lemon season! The branches of our lemon tree are literally sagging under the weight of all the lemons, so it seemed like the perfect time to do a little lemony baking while the baby snoozed.

These zesty lemon melting moments live up to their name: they’re zesty, tangy and absolutely delicious. They’re also super quick to make and you only need really basic ingredients – chances are you already have everything you need sitting in the cupboard already.

While the biscuits themselves are delightful (who doesn’t love a melting moment?), all the lemon flavour comes from the icing – that’s why it’s so important! I like my biscuits nice and tangy, but if you’d like a lighter flavour simply reduce the amount of lemon zest… or increase it if you’re totally lemon crazy.

Enjoy!

zesty-lemon-melting-moments_2

Zesty lemon melting moments
Makes 10 sandwiched biscuits
Recipe adapted from Chelsea 

Ingredients 

Biscuits

  • 125g butter, at room temperture
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cornflour or arrowroot

Zesty lemon icing

  • 20g butter, softened
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Method

Biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Add flour and cornflour and mix well.
  3. Lightly flour your hands, then roll mixture into small balls (approx. 1 tsp each). Place on baking tray and flatten with a fork dusted in icing sugar.
  4. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden on the base. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

Zesty lemon icing

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat until pale, creamy and smooth.
  2. Pair up cooled biscuits, matching up sizes as best you can.
  3. Scoop icing into a piping bag, snip off the end and pipe a generous circle onto base of one biscuit of each pair. Place other biscuit on top and allow to set at room temperature before storing in an airtight container.

 

Jelly Tip ice cream bowl

Jelly-Tip-bowl_1a

As much as I love making decadent treats, some of my favourite things to make are based around the desserts of Kiwi childhoods – jelly and ice cream. After all, the best desserts don’t need to be complicated – all you really need are good quality ingredients and great flavour combinations.

Now you’ve all seen smoothie bowls right? Well this Jelly Tip ice cream bowl is my dessert version – a glammed up take on one of my favourite Tip Top flavours. And it is totally worth trying.

Forget a smoothie base, this tasty dessert begins by whipping up a batch of raspberry jelly. The trick? Slipping a smaller bowl inside your bowl to create a little nook for the Jelly Tip ice cream to sit within.

But really, this dessert is all about the ice cream – after all, it’s in the name! What’s great about Tip Top’s range of flavours is that they’re all made with only natural flavours and colours, along with fresh Kiwi milk and cream. So while you may not be eating smoothie bowl, you can still feel good about what you’re treating yourself with.

A Jelly Tip ice cream bowl wouldn’t be complete without an extra hit of raspberry and chocolate, which is why I finished mine with some freeze-dried raspberries and raspberry powder, and a milk chocolate disc. Not only does it look pretty gorgeous, but it tastes even better.

Find out how to make your own Jelly Tip ice cream bowl below or pick up one of Tip Tops awesome tub flavours and create one for yourself.

Jelly-Tip-bowl_3

Jelly Tip ice cream bowl
Creates two generous serves

Ingredients

  • 1 packet raspberry jelly
  • 1 tub Tip Top Jelly Tip ice cream (don’t worry, you won’t use it all!)
  • 1 tsp freeze-dried raspberry powder
  • 12 freeze-dried raspberries, whole
  • 35g milk chocolate, melted and spooned into a piping bag

Method

  1. Choose two medium bowls to serve your ice cream bowl in and two small bowls or glasses that sit neatly within them while still leave plenty of space – I used an espresso cup. Wrap the small bowls or glasses in cling film and spray with cooking spray. Fill with rice and sit within medium serving bowls.
  2. Mix jelly according to the packet instructions and divide into two medium serving bowls. Pop any bubbles that settle around the smaller bowl or glass with a teaspoon, then place in the fridge until set.
  3. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and spoon into a piping bag. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Snip the end and pipe chocolate onto prepared tray in a disc shape. Make a couple, just in case one breaks. Place in fridge to set.
  4. Once jelly has set, carefully twist the small bowls or glasses out of the jelly. Scrape off any residual oil using a sharp knife.
  5. Spoon ½ tsp of freeze-dried raspberry powder onto the edge of the jelly and carefully smooth along the length of the bowl. Place freeze-dried raspberries in a line along the edge of the freeze-dried raspberry powder. Repeat for both bowls.
  6. Warm remaining chocolate in the microwave until warm but not hot. Drizzle over the jelly, beside the freeze-dried raspberries. Repeat for both bowls.
  7. Roll 2-3 scoops of Tip Top Jelly Tip ice cream and pop within the prepared nook within the jelly. Repeat for both bowls.
  8. Carefully peel milk chocolate discs from baking paper and sit behind ice cream in each bowl. Enjoy!

This post was made possible thanks to Tip Top. All words, images and opinions are, and always will be, my own. 

This is Thea

This-is-Thea

While I’m sure you’ve already heard the news on Facebook and Instagram, it’s time to make it ‘blog official’ and introduce the newest member of our little family – the delightful Thea.

The past couple of months have been an absolute blur of all kinds of weird, wonderful and (above all) memorable moments for our little family. Here are some highlights that spring to mind:

  • Finding out that we had a daughter after nine long months of wondering. My husband was absolutely mind blown – he was convinced we were having a little boy!
  • Bringing her home and spending a couple of weeks finding our feet together as a new family of three (well, five including the fur-babies!). Those first weeks at home were exhausting, but so special.
  • Watching as her personality develops and she learns new things every single day.  Thea’s such a happy little critter who loves music, watching lights move and the cats. She started rolling a couple of weeks ago too – such a proud Mama moment!
  • All those baby smiles. They make my heart burst every single time.

The lovely Laura and Grant from L&G Images popped over when Thea was just one week old and took some beautiful snaps for us – here’s a peek at some of my favourites.

This is Thea.

Meet-Thea

All the beautiful photos in this post were taken by Laura and Grant Images

Apple and berry crumble slice

apple-berry-crumble-slice_1

Apple and berry is one of those combinations that are almost guaranteed to please pretty much everyone – particularly during these cooler winter months. There’s just something about it that makes you want to snuggle up on the couch, right?

While apple and berry crumble is a ‘go-to’ for lots of people over winter, crumble doesn’t need to be reserved solely for enjoying as a warm winter dessert – that’s where this apple and berry crumble slice comes in.

Yip, you get all the beautiful flavours and textures of an apple and berry crumble with all the convenience of a slice. Win!

What makes this recipe even better is that despite having three distinct layers, you only need to whip up one mixture. Simply throw together the base ingredients, give it a quick mix and you’re all set for both the base and topping. And there’s no need to cook the beautiful apple and berry filling before hand either. Easy huh?

The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s made using a ‘secret’ ingredient that gives the slice just the right amount of sweetness with fewer calories – Equal Spoonful. It’s all about bringing those beautiful apple and berry flavours out and making sure the base has a little sweetness to it. And if you didn’t know there wasn’t sugar in this slice, you truly wouldn’t have guessed – it’s seriously that good.

Judging by how quickly this slice is disappearing at our house, I’m sure you will love it.

apple-berry-crumble-slice_3

Apple and berry crumble slice
Adapted from Healthy Food Guide

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups wholemeal flour
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup wheat bran
  • ¾ cup Equal Spoonful
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup vanilla yoghurt
  • 2 apples, finely diced
  • 2 heaped cups frozen berries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line slice tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together yoghurt and oil until well combined. Pour into dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Scoop ¾ of the mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly to create a flat base. Top with diced apples and frozen berries, then sprinkle remaining oat mixture on top.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

This post was made possible thanks to Equal Spoonful. All words, photos and opinions are, and always will be, my own.