Category Archives: Biscuits

Retro

Some of the first recipes I learnt to perfect were from my mum’s Australian Women’s Weekly recipe card collection. It seems many Aussies have a soft spot for the Australian Women’s Weekly recipe card collection, and many of the recipes have stood the test of time. This caramel slice is always popular.

Caramel slice

To create a gluten free version of the slice and ensure none of my guests had to miss out, I used a biscuit crumb base instead of the details prescribed in the original recipe. I blitzed a 200g packet of gluten free biscuits with 100g of softened butter in a food processor, pressed this into the bottom of the lined baking tray and put in the fridge to chill before adding the caramel and chocolate layers.

In Australia, condensed milk currently comes in 400ml cans, I’ve included the 440ml can below as specified in the original recipe, but when I make the slice I just use the readily available 400ml can. Following the current trend for salted caramel, I added a generous pinch of salt to my caramel as it was cooking. The coconut specified refers to desiccated coconut. I also added extra chocolate, increasing to 200g of dark chocolate and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil instead of vegetable shortening for the topping. If you are using cooking oil, I recommend you select a neutral flavoured oil, I used rice bran oil. If you feel so inclined, you could scatter crumbled salt fakes over the top of the chocolate topping as extra decoration.

I recommend you bring your finished slice to room temperature before slicing if you have refrigerated it, otherwise the chocolate topping will be prone to cracking as you chop. The slice is quite rich, I suggest you cut into dainty portions – you can always go back for seconds or thirds if you still have room.

Australian Women's Weekly Recipe Card Collection

What I was cooking this time last year: Choc Malt Brownies

Carmel Chocolate Slice

* This recipe is the original Caramel Chocolate Slice recipe published by The Australian Women’s Weekly recipe cards.

Biscuit Base

  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

Biscuit Base

  • Sift flour into bowl, add sugar and coconut, stir until combined.
  • Melt butter in pan, add to dry ingredients; mix well.
  • Press into greased 28cm x 18cm (11 in x 7 in) lamington tin.
  • Bake in moderate oven 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, spread with prepared Caramel.
  • Return to oven for further 10 minutes.
  • When cold, spread with Topping.
  • Cut into squares when set.

Caramel

  • 440g (14 oz) can condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 30g (1 oz) butter

Caramel ingredients

  • Place all ingredients into saucepan, stir over low heat until caramel has thickened, bringing slowly to boil, remove from heat.

Topping

  • Place 125g (4 oz) chopped dark chocolate and 30g (1 oz) solid white vegetable shortening in saucepan over hot water, stir until melted.

Chocolate topping

What is your favourite retro recipe? Has this post inspired any new (or old) ideas?

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Filed under Baking, Biscuits, Caramel, Chocolate, Coconut, Pudding, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian

Zesty

One of my all time favourite flavours is lemon. When I was making the Australian Women’s Weekly classic, Caramel Chocolate Slice recently, I was inspired to try a citrusy version. This slice is my Lemon and White Chocolate Slice.

I like to use the zest and well as the juice of lemons to give an extra citrus boost when I am cooking. Cooking the lemon filling is more to cook out the egg yolks than to actually thicken the curd, the reaction between the lemon juice and condensed milk when mixing without any heat produces a thick filling. With the cooking oil you use, I recommend you select a neutral flavoured oil, I used rice bran oil.

I recommend you bring your finished slice to room temperature before slicing if you have refridgerated it, otherwise the chocolate topping will be prone to cracking as you chop (I learnt this the hard way, and the firm chocolate caused the lemon filling to ooze out a little). The slice is quite rich, you I recommend you cut into dainty portions – you can always go back for seconds or thirds if you still have room.

What I was cooking this time last year: Banoffee Pie

Lemon and White Chocolate Slide

* This recipe was adapted from a Caramel Chocolate Slice recipe by The Australian Women’s Weekly recipe cards. I have modified and adapted it to come up with the below reincarnation.

Ingredients:

Biscuit Base

  • 120g butter
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

Filling

  • 400g can condensed milk
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Generous pinch of salt

Chocolate topping

  • 22og white chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Method

  • Turn the oven on to 180°C. to pre-heat.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat.
  • Add the oats, flours, brown sugar and melted butter to a food processor bowl. Mix the biscuit base mixture until combined.
  • Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
  • Tip the biscuit base mixture into the lined baking tray, and press out evenly over the base of the tray.

Biscuit base slice mixture

  • Cook the biscuit base in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the biscuit base from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Add the condensed milk to the saucepan used to melt the butter.
  • Zest and juice the lemons and add to the condensed milk in the saucepan.
  • Add the 2 egg yolks and salt to the saucepan and mix everything to combine.

Lemon curd ingredients

  • Cook the lemon filling over a medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is hot. Continue cooking for a further two minutes to ensure the egg yolks are cooked.

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  • Pour the hot lemon filling over the biscuit base, spread out to create an even layer. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the white chocolate and cooking oil to a large bowl.

White chocolate melting

  • Suspend the bowl over a saucepan of hot water and gently heat until the chocolate is melted and everything is combined.
  • Pour the white chocolate over the lemon filling layer, spread out to create an even layer. Set aside to cool.
  • Remove the lemon slice from the baking tray and cut into serving size pieces. Enjoy.

Lemon White Chocolate Slice

What is your favourite lemon recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Baking, Biscuits, Chocolate, Lemon, Pudding, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian

Cheat chocolate tarts

It is my nephew’s first birthday party tomorrow, and my brother put in an order for macaroons. I ran out of time and energy this week, so I will have to politely decline his request (for now). Instead, I opted for a quick and easy, kid-friendly recipe. The tart base is something I learnt about on the Arnott’s website, and can easily be adapted to include whichever fillings you like or have available, banoffee pies, curd (lemon, peach or passionfruit) or chocolate. You could also experiment with different biscuits, and I also used a gluten-free ginger snap to make sure my sister-in-law didn’t miss out. The chocolate tarts could be topped with berries instead of sprinkles for a more grown-up version.

You will need 2 round bottomed tins, one to re-heat the biscuits, one to weigh them down once they are soft.

Arnott's Butternut Snap Cookies

What I was cooking this time last year: Pumpkin cannelloni

Chocolate tarts

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet Arnott’s Butternut Snap Cookies
  • 300mls cream
  • 220g chocolate
  • 100g condensed milk
  • Chocolate sprinkles to decorate

Method:

  • Turn the oven on to 150°C.
  • Add a biscuit over each hole of a round based tartlet tin (you may need to do this in 2 batches).

Biscuit tart cases

  • Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until the biscuits soften.
  • Place another round based tartlet tin over the biscuits and push down to encourage the biscuits to form into a tart shape.
  • Weigh down the top tray with a couple of tins until the biscuit tart cases have cooled.

Tart tin

  • Remove the cooled biscuit tart cases from the tin.
  • Repeat the biscuit moulding process until you have used all the biscuits.
  • To make the chocolate ganache filling, add the chocolate, cream and condensed milk to a large bowl.

Chocolate and cream

  • Suspend the bowl over a saucepan of hot water and gently heat until the chocolate is melted and everything is combined. Allow the chocolate ganache to cool slightly.
  • Fill the biscuit tart cases with chocolate ganache and refrigerate until the filling sets.

Chocolate tarts being filled

  • Sprinkle the top of your chocolate tarts with sprinkles.
  • Your tarts are ready to serve. Enjoy.

Chocolate sprinkle tarts

What is your favourite kids party food? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Sliced up

This is a recipe that I have that was scribbled on a piece of paper many years ago. I’m not sure who the original author is or where it came from, but I have adapted and modified the original to come up with the below details.

I love dried apricots, and this slice showcases them beautifully. I also added dates to give a sticky depth of flavour (an idea borrowed from sticky date pudding). The bi-carb soda encourages the dried fruits to re-hydrate and break down, helping to enhance the texture. I used pecans, but you could use walnuts, almonds, your favourite nut or if you are someone with nut allergies go without (the nuts do provide a contrast however). If you are gluten free you could use gluten free flour and substitute rolled quinoa flakes for the oats.

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What I was cooking this time last year: Raspberry & Wattle Seed Muffins

Apricot and Date Slice

Ingredients:

Base

  • 1 ¼ cups of plain flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 125g butter

Filling

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup golden syrup
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ¼ cup chopped dried dates
  • 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour

Method:

  • Turn the oven on to 180°C.
  • Add the chopped dried apricots, chopped dried dates and bi-carb soda to a bowl.

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  • Pour boiling water over the dried fruits and set aside to soak, stirring occasionally.
  • To make the base, add the flour, oats, sugar and butter to your food processor bowl and blitz until combined (or rub the butter into the rest of the ingredients if mixing by hand).
  • Press the base mixture into a greased and lined tin.

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  • Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, golden syrup, sugar, pecans, vanilla and flour to the soaked dried fruit and stir to combine.

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  • Pour the filling mixture on top of the cooked base and return to the oven for a further 20 – 30 minutes, or until the middle of the filling no longer wobbles when you give the tray a gentle shake.
  • Remove the slice from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Cut into serving size pieces. Enjoy.

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What is your favourite way to use dried fruits? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

 

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Filed under Apricots, Baking, Biscuits, Oats, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian

Anzac inspiration

Anzac day is recognised on the 25th of April in Australia and New Zealand. Anzac stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and marks one of the defining moments in the forming of Australia’s national identity. A recipe that is associated with this day of remembrance is the Anzac biscuit. Anzac biscuits are traditionally made from rolled oats, flour, desiccated coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup and baking soda. It is claimed they gained popularity because the biscuits would last the time and distance it took for them to travel from kitchens in Australia and New Zealand to loved ones dispatched far from home.

I played with the traditional recipe and used condensed milk instead of sugar and golden syrup. If you want to stick to the traditional recipe, follow the details below but leave out the chocolate chips, and replace the condensed milk with 1 cup of sugar and 1 dessert spoon of golden syrup. Even though my recipe uses condensed milk the end result was not an overly sweet biscuit, the condensed milk having less sugar than the sugar and golden syrup that would have normally been used. I added chocolate chips, purely because I love chocolate chip biscuits. If you want chewy biscuits, leave the mixture in heaped spoonfuls on your baking tray. If you prefer a crispy biscuit, flatten out your spoonfuls of biscuit mixture.

Chocolate chip oat biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 100g butter
  • 1 x 395g tin condensed milk
  • 200g dark chocolate

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, grease 4 baking trays with a generous coating of butter or oil (or use non-stick baking trays).
  • Measure out the oats, flour, coconut and baking soda into a bowl.

Oats flour

  • Chop the dark chocolate into the size you would like your chocolate chips to be (chunky or finely chopped – it’s up to you) and add to the bowl.

Chopped chocolate

  • Add the butter to a saucepan and gently heat until just melted.
  • Add the melted butter, egg and condensed milk to the dry ingredients in the bowl.

Biscuit mixture

  • Stir to combine.
  • Place tablespoonfuls of your biscuit mixture onto your baking trays (I spaced 6 biscuits per tray).

Biscuit mixture on trays

  • Bake your biscuits in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown (you may need to do this in batches depending on how much room there is in your oven).
  • Remove cooked biscuits from the oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the baking trays. You can sample one or two biscuits now for quality control purposes.

Chocolate Chip Oat Biscuits

  • Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and allow to totally cool. Your biscuits are ready to serve or store in an air-tight container. Enjoy.

What is your favourite biscuit? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Baking, Biscuits, Chocolate, Oats, Recipes, Sweet, Vegetarian

Mint slice

Mint slice biscuits made by Arnott’s are a popular chocolate biscuit here in Australia. A mint slice biscuit consists of a round chocolate biscuit topped with mint flavoured cream and coated in dark chocolate. Arnott’s are no longer an Australian company, but their biscuit’s popularity lives on in the hearts of many Australians. My recipe for this post has been inspired by and uses mint slice biscuits to create a chocolate mint cheesecake.

A friend made a cheesecake recently that used Oreo biscuits in the base of a cheesecake. I had never thought of using cream filled biscuits in a biscuit base, but it was delicious so I decided to steal the idea. I wanted to balance the ratio of biscuits to chocolate and cream filling in the base, and tried to track down a plain chocolate biscuit to add to the mint slice biscuits. The only thing I was able to find was chocolate flavoured tiny teddy biscuits.

Arnott's biscuits

I wanted to inject some real mint flavour into this recipe, so used fresh mint. When chopping the mint to infuse in the cream, you can either chop with a knife, bruise with a pestle and mortar or use a food processor. I do not recommend you use a blender as this pulverises the mint too finely and you end up with a cream tasting of green grass (not that I’ve ever eaten grass, but I think you get the point I’m trying to make – you will end up with an unpleasant concoction). Or you could do away with the mint infusing process altogether add simply add a couple of drops of peppermint essence to the cream.

If you don’t have a food processor to blitz your biscuits, you can put them into a plastic bag and whack them with a rolling pin or any other heavy implement you may have available to create biscuit crumbs. This is always good stress release but can be noisy.

Chocolate Mint Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 200g mint slice chocolate coated biscuits
  • 100g chocolate flavoured biscuits (I used tiny teddy biscuits)
  • 50g butter
  • 600ml cream
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 100g grated dark chocolate to garnish

Method

  • Pick the mint leaves from their stalks and chop the leaves.

Mint Leaves

  • Add the chopped mint leaves and cream to a saucepan and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the cream is steaming (don’t allow to boil).

Mint infused cream

  • Transfer the cream to a bowl or container and cool in the fridge to allow the mint flavours to infuse.
  • Strain the cream into a bowl to remove the mint leaves, add the dark chocolate and icing sugar.
  • Heat the cream, icing sugar and chocolate over a saucepan of hot water until the chocolate melts.

Chocolate Mint Cream

  • Cool the chocolate cream mixture again.
  • Blitz the mint slice and chocolate flavoured biscuits in a food processor into crumbs.
  • Melt the butter and add to the biscuit crumbs, blitz again to combine.
  • Press the biscuit crumbs into a pie dish to line the dish and create a base.
  • refrigerate until firm.

Chocolate Biscuit Base

  • Beat the cooled chocolate cream mixture, add the cream cheese and add to the biscuit base.
  • refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving garnish with grated chocolate and slice. Enjoy.

Chocolate mint cheesecake

What is your favourite biscuit? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Biscuits, Cake, Cheese, Chocolate, Mint, Recipes, Sweet

Happy Australia Day

Australia Day is a national holiday celebrated in Australia on the 26th of January. It could also be referred to as Invasion Day by the indigenous Aboriginal community, as it marks the claiming of the country by Captain Cook and the British Empire. It is a day where we celebrate all things Australian (or things that we claim as Australian but actually originated in New Zealand like the Pavlova).

For my recipe this week I wanted to use a native Australian spice, and decided upon strawberry gum. According to its description, strawberry gum is a ground native Australian herb,  with a flavour profile of berries, passionfruit and sweet spices (and I can attest this is a fairly accurate description). You can order ground strawberry gum via Herbie’s Spices online, or it is stocked in many delis and gourmet food stores.

I used store-bought Anzac biscuits for my cheesecake base. I will share a home-made recipe for Anzac biscuits in April closer to Anzac day. If you can’t track down Anzac biscuits, feel free to use any sweet store-bought biscuit you like. I used Green and Black’s white chocolate because it is organic, fair trade and has lovely flecks of real vanilla pod seeds through it.

Strawberry Gum, Passionfruit and White Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 300mls cream
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons ground strawberry gum
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 250g Anzac biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • 6 passionfruit

Method

  • Add the biscuits to your food processor and blitz into crumbs
  • Add the butter and blitz again to combine, the mixture should look like wet sand
  • Press the biscuit base into your tin

Biscuit base

  • Refrigerate until firm
  • Add the cream to a saucepan and gently heat until steaming but not boiling
  • Add the white chocolate and strawberry gum to the hot cream, the heat from the cream should be enough to melt the chocolate and infuse the strawberry gum (if the chocolate doesn’t melt, return to a very low heat and stir continuously until melted)

White chocolate cream melting

  • Cool your white chocolate and cream mixture in the refrigerator until it firms and becomes a ganache
  • Whip the ganache with beaters to make it light and fluffy
  • Add the cream cheese and the fruit and pulp from 3 passionfruit to the ganache mixture

Passionfruit cheesecake mix

  • Whip the cream cheese and passionfruit until incorporated into the ganache
  • Spoon the cream cheese ganache mixture on top of your biscuit base and spread to create a smooth, even top
  • Refrigerate until you are ready to serve
  • Top with the pulp from your remaining 3 passionfruit, remove your cheesecake from its tin and it is ready to serve. Enjoy.

Strawberry gum, passionfruit white chocolate cheesecake

What is your favourite Australian inspired recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?

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Filed under Biscuits, Cake, Cheese, Chocolate, Herbs, Passionfruit, Recipes, Spices, Sweet