Banana and caramel cake

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One of the undeniable things about baking is that you get out what you put in – the better the ingredients you use, the better the results. While there are a few tips and tricks that can help improve your baking, the difference between a nice cake and a delicious cake all comes down to one thing – the ingredients.

Luckily there are lots of high quality ingredients hitting the shelves that won’t set you back a fortune while still taking your baking to the next level – and that’s where Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar comes in.

Not only does it make a delicious alternative to sugar in your morning coffee, Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar is a perfect alternative to cane sugar to use in baking. You can easily switch it into recipes that call for white or brown sugar – without any complicated conversions. Need a cup of sugar? Then use a cup of Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar instead. Too easy!

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Caramel & chocolate chunk biscuits

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Everyone needs a fail-proof, sure-to-please recipe in their arsenal perfect for those last minute events you need home baking for – which is where these biscuits come in. Whether it’s a shared lunch or unexpected guests, these chocolate and caramel biscuits are guaranteed to please.

Soft and chewy, decadent and moorish, these biscuits are my absolute go-to when you need delicious baking in a pinch. Not only is the dough deliciously soft and chocolatey, but they’re packed with chunks of real milk chocolate – no baking chocolate in sight!

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Coconut sugar caramel sauce

caramel-sauce

Recipe adapted from Chez Les Meron

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 25ml water
  • 50g butter, cubed
  • 150ml cream, room temperature

Method

  1. Place the coconut sugar and water into a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Increase the heat to medium and bring sugar to the boil. Do not stir. Boil for approx.. 2 minutes until sugar syrup reaches a deep amber colour. Remember – it will be dark from the outset due to the hue of the coconut sugar, so keep a careful eye on it to avoid it burning.
  3. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until melted and combined. Add cream and stir, taking care as the mixture will bubble and spit.
  4. Place pan back over low heat and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon when dipped.
  5. Allow caramel to cool to lukewarm before pouring into sterilised jars.

Salted Caramel Sauce

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Recipe adapted from Chez Les Meron

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 300ml cream, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp salt

Method

  1. Place the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, brushing down the sides with water to ensure no sugar sticks to the sides
  2. Increase the heat to medium and bring sugar to the boil. Do not stir. Boil without stirring until sugar syrup turns a deep amber colour (approx 175 degrees Celsius on a sugar thermometer).
  3. Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until melted and combined. Add cream and stir, taking care as the mixture will bubble and spit.
  4. Place pan back over low heat and add salt. Stir until the mixture comes together and coats the back of a spoon when dipped.
  5. Allow salted caramel to cool to lukewarm before pouring into sterilised jars.

Salted caramel & chocolate tartlets

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In case you couldn’t tell from all the pink, hearts and roses popping up in shops, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – only two sleeps away in fact!

I must admit, Valentine’s Day kind of crept up on me this year – blame it on our wedding – so my window for making themed treats was pretty short. So short in fact, that I decided not to bake anything pink or heart shaped at all!

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do some Valentine’s baking. Instead of going down the themed route, I decided I would be better off spending my time making an absolutely decadent treat that Kevin would absolutely love. That means a treat made from caramel and chocolate – that’s where these salted caramel and chocolate tartlets come in.

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Caramel Slice

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With less than two weeks left till the big day, Saturday saw Kevin ‘kidnapped’ and whisked off on his stag-do – which kicked off with some rather haphazard chest waxing in our lounge! Filled with sympathy for him – and knowing he wouldn’t be feeling too good in the morning – I decided to be super nice and bake him one of his favourite treats, caramel slice.

Caramel slice is one of Kevin’s all-time favourite treats, right up there with lemon meringue pie. Both are things I don’t make too often, which causes a bit of grumbling on Kevin’s part every couple of months.

So I burrowed through my recipe books until I came across a recipe that looked different enough to keep me interested, caramelly enough to keep Kevin happy and with a bit of room for interpretation. I found the perfect recipe tucked inside the Bluebells Cakery recipe book and got cracking.

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Millionaire’s slice

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To help break through my mind blank of what to bake this weekend I dug out some of my favourite recipe books to pour through for inspiration. As fate would have it, I came across something in the very first one I picked up that kicked my brain into action and helped me come up with the rest of the day’s baking. What was this magical, inspiring recipe? Millionaire’s Slice.

Millionaire’s Slice is a soft shortbread topped with a thick layer of rich, fudgey caramel and finished with a smear of chocolate. While caramel isn’t my favourite thing in the world, I absolutely adored the look of the layers, each sitting beautifully defined in the photographs. I passed the recipe to Kevin to see what he though and he nearly jumped out of his seat with excitement – as it turns out Millionaire’s Slice is one of his favourite treats from his childhood . No pressure to get it right then, huh?

While the making of this slice is a little steppy, it’s really very simple – the shortbread dough takes less than five minutes to pull together, mix and pop in the tin, then just 20 minutes in the oven to bake.

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Chocolate & caramel Easter egg cheesecake

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I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t really feel like autumn at the moment – we still have a fan going all night long, the days are still boiling and our house still gets so hot that it feels like we’re in the tropics (less the sandy beaches and cocktails). Some days it feels like autumn might be making an appearance, but then it vanishes as quickly as it came.

In this kind of weather, cheesecakes are the perfect sweet treat. Not only do you not have to touch the oven (assuming you make a bake-less variety), but the finished dessert is cool and refreshing – exactly what you want on a warm evening. Perfection.

With Easter on the horizon I decided to make an Easter-y version of a chocolate cheesecake, packing it with some of Kevin’s favourite eggs – mini caramel ones! Imagine a chocolate base (good enough to eat by itself) topped with a rich and fluffy cheesecake stuffed with caramel egg pieces, finished with a layer of dark chocolate ganache and garnished with a halo of caramel eggs. Sounds good, right?

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