Warming ice cream sandwiches

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Winter is officially here, and I’m pumped – there’s so much to love about the season! Think rain on the roof, lighting up the fireplace, pulling out all your warm winter clothes, and lazy mornings snuggled up in bed… winter’s actually pretty great.

The cold winter evenings we’ve been having are the perfect setting for a wonderful date night. I can’t think of much better than snuggling up in front of the fire with a good movie, a glass of your favourite wine and deliciously decadent dessert. Sounds the perfect date night, right?

One of my favourite desserts to whip up in winter is ice cream sandwiches. I know what you’re thinking – ice cream in winter? But forget about ice cream being a ‘summer thing’, it makes the perfect winter treat too. Imagine rich, creamy ice cream sandwiched between two warm, gooey chocolate chunk biscuits… hot and cold, creamy and delicious, they really are the perfect winter treat!

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Sugar-free zesty lemon biscuits

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As wife to a CrossFit mad man with an insatiable appetite and very little self-control when it comes to indulging his sweet tooth, I often struggle to strike a balance between filling the cupboard with baking and not filling his bloodstream with copious amounts of sugar.

It’s simple – I love baking and he loves eating it. Every weekend we have new sweet treats tucked away in the cupboard. But just because it’s sweet doesn’t mean it has to be sugary – in fact, it doesn’t necessarily need to have any sugar at all to taste amazing.

Just look at these delicious zesty lemon biscuits. They’re soft, packed with lemony punch and are topped with just the right amount of creamy lemon icing – and are totally sugar-free. Yip – they are topped with icing but don’t have a single grain of refined sugar in sight. Pretty magic, right?

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Pink grapefruit cupcakes

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Regardless of the time of year I’m a huge grapefruit fan – I nearly die with excitement when I spot a grapefruit Fuju in summer and always have a bottle of fresh grapefruit juice on hand during the winter months. And baked pink grapefruit for dessert? Always a good idea.

But despite being a big grapefruit eater I’ve never actually baked with the stuff, which when you think about it is pretty silly. After all, lemon cake, cupcakes and slice are all totally delicious, right? So armed with a couple of fresh pink grapefruits I decided to set things right and bake a tangy, citrus cupcake packed with all the beautiful flavour of pink grapefruit.

And just like that, these pink grapefruit cupcakes with tangy Swiss meringue buttercream were born.

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caramel apple cider doughnuts

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I don’t know about you, but one of my absolute favourite things to do in winter is snuggle up in front of the fire with a nice big glass of cider to while away those evenings when it’s just too wet and miserable to venture outside. Bliss.

While we’re not quite in winter yet (though, tell that to the weather!) I’ve done a bit of forward planning and found my new favourite cider. Well, not just one – there’s a whole range that I’ve fallen head over heels in love with thanks to the very clever people at Mac’s.

Mac’s has branched out from beers and introduced a range of delicious ciders that are a little bit different and taste distinctively apple-y even when there are other flavours in the mix. Forget all those super sweet berry combos, Mac’s ciders are much more tempting – think Cloudy Apple, Cranberry & Ginger, Blood Orange & Cardamon and (my personal favourite) Chilli & Lime.

I decided to make the most of their hard work and use Mac’s cider to bring a little extra punch into some autumnal baking – and that’s who these caramel apple cider doughnuts were born.

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Tim Tam salted caramel cheesecake

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Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love sitting down and enjoying a Tim Tam (or three) every now and again? Whether you’re relaxing at home after a long day or having friends or family over for a bit of a celebration, enjoying a delicious Tim Tam moment is always a good idea.

Luckily for fellow Tim Tam fans, Tim Tam has teamed up with Adriano Zumbo to release a range of super indulgent new flavours that you will fall head-over-heels in love with – think Coconut Cream, Choc Raspberry, Red Velvet and Salted Caramel. Good, huh?

After a lot of rigorous taste-testing and deliberation, I can honestly say that every one of these Tim Tam flavours is an absolute delight. But there was one that had my mind spiralling with decadent dessert ideas from the very first bite – and that’s when this Tim Tam salted caramel cheesecake was born.

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Sugar-free raspberry & lemon crumble slice (+GIVEAWAY)

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While decadent sweet treats are undeniably delicious, sometimes what you really need stashed away in the cupboard is a treat that still feels like a treat, but isn’t going to put you into a sugar coma. Something that’s a healthier option, tastes amazing, and is easy to make without needing to buy countless hard-to-find speciality ingredients.

Sounds a bit like an impossible brief, right? Wrong – this delish raspberry and lemon crumble slice ticks every single one of those boxes. Imagine a crumbly biscuit base slathered in a thick coating of baked raspberries and topped with a crumble of biscuit.

Oh, and it’s totally free of refined sugar. Good, huh?

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Honey and lemon cupcakes

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We are very lucky to have a beautiful, big lemon tree in our garden that’s literally been bursting with fresh lemons every day since we moved in last year – there are so many that the branches hang low under the weight of them all!

It’s so handy having dozens of fresh lemons at your fingertips – especially when you’re baking! As I was looking out at the fruit-laden tree this morning I decided it was time to pluck a couple and do a bit of lemon baking – combine that with the delicious honey toast I was enjoying at the time, and you can see where the idea for these cupcakes came from!

These fresh and flavoursome honey and lemon cupcakes are a real delight to enjoy on the crisp, misty days we’ve been having lately – they’re the perfect ‘pick me up’. Packed with the deliciously light flavours of fresh honey and lemon from the cake to the icing, these cupcakes are truly special – and still really simple to make!

Last week was National Honey Week, so now’s a great time to pick up your favourite variety of Kiwi honey and get baking – plus let’s be honest, honey is always a good idea! The delicious flavours of your favourite honey really shine through in these cupcakes, while a dash of lemon in the cake and a generous dollop of lemon curd filling help add a little tang to cut through the sweetness. It’s the perfect combo.

I hope you enjoy this National Honey Week recipe – happy baking!

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Ingredients

Honey and lemon cupcakes

  • 112g butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup buttermilk (½ cup milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup lemon curd, for filling

Honey buttercream

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Method

Honey and lemon cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and fill a 12-hole cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Place butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Alternate between adding flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix well between each addition.
  4. Add honey and lemon juice and mix until well combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into cupcake cases until ¾ full. Place in oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.
  6. Once cool, cut a small wedge out of the centre of each cupcake and set aside. Fill with 1 tsp of lemon curd. Trim the wedges you’ve set aside to thin discs, and place on top of lemon curd to fill the gap.

Honey buttercream

  1. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until very pale and creamy. Add honey and mix until well combined.
  2. Add icing sugar and milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Pipe onto prepared cupcakes.

Creme Egg fudge

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Easter is without a doubt one of my favourite times of year – what’s not to love about four days off work and mountains of delicious chocolate eggs packing the shelves (and let’s be honest, filling my tummy).

One of my favourite things to do at this time of year is come up with deliciously decadent treats that are perfect for enjoying as part of your annual Easter-chocolate-coma, or giving to loved ones as gifts instead of the standard store-bought bits of pieces. And luckily, this delicious Creme Egg fudge ticks both boxes.

You might remember that I shared a recipe for pretty delish Pineapple Lump Fudge late last year (if not, click here to check it out). Well, this Creme Egg fudge is based on the same recipe and is equally as delicious.

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