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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Salted caramel buttercream

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Some people celebrate life events with champagne, but around here we celebrate with cake. For each of our big life moment celebrations there was a special cake perched on a stand somewhere just waiting to be enjoyed – like this ombré rose cake for our engagement, and of course, our fabulous wedding cake.

So when it came to marking the milestone of buying our first home, a cake was at the top of the list of things to organise for our house warming. As I unpacked my baking supplies last week my mind was abuzz with ideas of what to make – what size, how many layers, what flavours, and (of course) how to decorate it.

After realising just how little free time we had ahead of having friends over on Saturday, I decided to keep it simple and layer together a couple of chocolate cakes. The interesting part came with the icing – my favourite vanilla bean buttercream went out the window in favour of a beautifully creamy salted caramel buttercream which was used both as a filling and a topping. Yum.

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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.

Mondayitis

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a wonderful Easter and long weekend – I know we have! After a fabulous 10 day Easter holiday, Kevin and I are feeling refreshed and ready to tackle some new adventures – and there are some pretty big ones on the cards! Can’t wait to share them with you as they begin to take shape.

Whether it was extra long or just a long weekend, I hope you enjoyed your break. Here are five things to help get your week off to a great start…

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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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Salted caramel cupcakes

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While I find caramel alone to simply be a little too intensely sweet for my liking, salted caramel ticks all the boxes. When made correctly, salted caramel treats are a perfect balance of sweet and salty negating the need to pick one or the other – perfect for people like me who love a bit of both!

Awhile ago I made chocolate and salted caramel sandwich biscuits, which went down an absolute treat both at home and with my lovely readers. So this week I decided to crank the salted caramel up a notch and make an absolutely decadent salted caramel cupcake, with the flavour incorporated in three ways – the cake, the filling and the icing.

Beginning with a fluffy and flavoursome brown sugar cupcake, I cored each one and filled them with about two teaspoons of homemade caramel sauce. Once the tops were safely tucked back on I topped each cupcake with a swirl of the most delicious salted caramel buttercream and finished them with a light sprinkling of light brown sugar, a little rock salt and a sugar pearl or two.

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