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baking

Flourless Christmas Brownies

Recipes November 20, 2012

Flourless Christmas Brownie

I can’t believe Christmas is just around the corner. Scary, right? I swear it was New Year’s Day for 2012 just a few seconds ago… It is absolutely amazing how time seems to be moving right now. I’ve had a busy week – I’ve turned 25 (today, actually!) and finally upgraded to a full drivers licence (goodbye, P plates!)

This year I was hoping to get ridiculously organised with Christmas super early – taking a bit of the stress off during the mad December last-minute shopping (which usually occurs on Christmas Eve. Haha… but seriously, not joking). I’ve (as usual) been trying to become more organised to help save time and money wherever possible by planning ahead. One of my ideas this year is to make some homemade Christmas hampers for family and friends packed with plenty of homemade goodies. One of these recipes I plan to include are these Christmas brownies!

How lucky was I, then, to be sent a package of Lucky Nuts from Nuffnang to review? It also gave me a chance to completely stuff a brownie recipe full of nutty goodness – as if I needed a reason. While I haven’t used Lucky Nuts in the past for baking, I certainly have used them for everyday uses: sprinkling them in cereals, adding them to pestos and dips and, of course, snacking on at work! Aside from being a good quality product, I like that they’re so conveniently accessible from Coles and Woolies, which is a big plus in my books. All in all, they definitely turned out well in this recipe!

Lucky Nuts Californian Walnuts and Almond Meal

Flourless Brownie

These brownies are based off Nigella Lawson’s Flourless Brownies, but packed with extra goodies – more nuts, cherries and chocolate chips, and topped with a layer of fondant. I had never tried baking flourless brownies before but was pleasantly surprised with the result – a dense, incredibly moist and chocolatey brownie, stuffed with extra nutty goodness. It reminded me of a chocolatey version of a Christmas cake – you could add some liquor, extra nuts and dried fruit to emulate this if you wish but I think they’re pretty good the way they are!

Since this recipe uses almond meal instead of flour, these brownies are also perfect for gifting to your gluten intolerent friends and family! This recipe is also great for cleaning up as it is all made in the one pan.

Flourless Christmas Brownies

Ingredients To make about 20 brownies

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup baking dark chocolate
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (I store my vanilla beans in my caster sugar, so skipped this step)
  • 3 eggs, whisked (I used organic)
  • 200g Lucky almond meal
  • 150g Lucky walnuts
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 250 g (or 1 cup) dark chocolate chips You can also use white or milk choc chips to mix things up a bit!
  • 250 grams of white fondant

Ingredients at a glance.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C and butter / line a brownie tin with baking paper to prevent sticking.
  2. Melt butter over a low heat in a saucepan with high sides.
  3. Add baking dark chocolate and stir until butter and chocolate melt together.
  4. Take off the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla essence (if using).
  5. Temper eggs by adding a little of the warm chocolate mixture to your beaten eggs and mix together. Add eggs to saucepan and stir until mixed in.
  6. Add almond meal and stir until fully combined.
  7. Add walnuts, cherries and chocolate chips. If you wish to add any other dried fruit/nuts, etc. do so now.
  8. Pour brownie mix from pan into lined tin and bake at 150 degrees, or until a thin blade comes out of the brownie with moist crumbs sticking to it.
  9. Roll fondant out until at 2cm thickness. Moisten the top of your brownie with water and top with fondant. Brownie slices best after being refrigerated overnight. Serve and enjoy!

Melting chocolate, butter, sugar together
Mixing in the rest of the ingredients
View pics left to right, top to bottom.

Final result

Hope you are all having a great week and aren’t getting too stressed out by impending Christmas shopping!

With lots of love from the freshly-turned 25 me!
xox
C

Disclaimer: Cooking Crusade was sent Lucky Nuts to review by Nuffnang (Product Talk by Nuffnang), however the opinions in this post are my own.

Wanna keep in touch? Why not like me on Facebook by clicking here, or follow me on Twitter by clicking here ๐Ÿ™‚

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Crispy Moroccan Chicken

Uncategorized March 26, 2011

I love throwing together easy, simple ingredients to make a delicious dinner for myself and my fiance.

On this particular night, I wanted to make something Moroccan spiced to go with my new cous cous craze and this is kind of what I came up with and Mike and I were pretty pleased with the results. Definitely going to keep this one around for time to come! I love throwing things in the oven and then coming back later and dinner is pretty much done. It also gives you an opportunity to clean up all of the mess that you created (which I tend to do quite a lot) in the process.

Ok! Lets get started.

Ingredients: Serves 2.
4 chicken thighs (this makes a big dinner! if you are a girl, like me, you may just want 1 chicken thigh for yourself. keep the remaining in the fridge to slice for a sanger. brill!)
2 teaspoons of moroccan spice
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (optional)
1/2 a cup of plain flour
some olive oil.

Line a baking tray with some baking paper and preheat the oven to about 180 deg C. In a small bowl, blend together flour and spices.

Rub your chicken thighs with about a teaspoon of oil or less per thigh.

Dip each thigh into flour/spice mixture until thoroughly coated and place on baking tray.

Repeat until all chicken is coated.

Chicken after abou 1 hour – golden brown.

Bake in a hot oven for about 1 hour, or until golden and crispy. Occasionally turn then about every 20-30 minutes to evenly brown them.

You could take them out at 1 hour and they would be fine, but if you have some extra time, 1.5 hours turns the thigh meat into a dark golden, lovely colour and the meat literally falls apart.


Chicken after 1.5 hours – dark golden brown and.. amazing.

Serve with cous cous and steamed greens and most of all.. Enjoy!

xx

Christine

 

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Bulldogs cake

A Bulldogs Cake.

Uncategorized November 26, 2010

I’ve finally put a bit of time aside to blog about that Bulldogs cake I was talking about in my previous post (A Fight with Fondant.)

The stats:
The cake was a Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake (can’t go wrong there), sandwiched with a whipped hazelnut and chocolate ganache (cream cheese + a lot of nutella, blended together… cooled in the fridge until quite solid and then whipped again, quite airy) covered with home-made marshmallow fondant (melted marshmallows and icing sugar) and coconut (well, that was the grass decorations).

The cake topper and the edible NRL image I got from Little Dance Decorations online. The only problem I had with the little bulldog guy was where to stick him in the cake. He wouldn’t stand upright… So I made him a little fondant pedestal to stand on in front of the cake..lol.

This was the first time I had ever used fondant, so my results were a bit wonky. I also did not have a fondant smoother which apparently, complicates things. In addition to the fact that I used a somewhat slippery ganache did not help matters.

But hey, a first’s a first.

To be honest most of this cake was a mistake. I hadn’t actually planned any of it, but I was inspired to make goal posts out of long skewers (which also helped stop the cake layers from sliding away, again, slippery ganache!) The dyed coconut grass was actually to hide a multitude of sins (i.e. messy fondant.. lol). Everyone seemed to be quite surprised when I mentioned these were all mistake-hiders,.. so I guess some mistakes are a good thing sometimes? I tend not to plan out my cake decorating (usually when I do, I almost always forget something and get disappointed when I remember it later.) So generally now, I kind of decorate out of instinct (by which of course I actually mean, what’s in the cupboard.)

Have a great weekend!

๐Ÿ™‚

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Rustic Apple Cake

Uncategorized April 12, 2010

This lovely apple cake is great for dessert, or having friends round as a tea cake. It’s also good for picnics or as something to take along to a BBQ. It’s incredibly simple and very delicious.

Usually with this apple cake, you fill your cake tin halfway with your cake mix, then layer your sliced apples in the middle and add in the rest of your cake mix, so the apples bake in the middle of the cake which is quite good, but for this version, I layered the apple slices on top of the cake and drizzled it with a caramel sauce, which resulted in a crispy top with caramel apples.

Ingredients:
100 grams of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of self raising flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (I like to use mixed spice)
1 large granny smith apple

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Melt butter. Cool (to avoid cooking the eggs), then mix with eggs. Sift flour and add in sugar/spices. Add egg/butter mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Cake mixture should be quite thick. Peel, core and slice apple. Line a cake tin and pour in half of your cake mix and smooth, layer apple slices. Add the rest of your cake mix and bake in hot oven for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and top of cake springs back at touch.

Alternatively:
Pour all of cake mixture into cake tin. Layer apple slices on top of cake.

Drizzle over a caramel sauce (1/2 cup of cream, 3 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar, heated in a saucepan until thickened) on the apples

Bake until top is golden and crisp (bottom of cake will still be moist.)

Enjoy with friends and a cup of tea! ๐Ÿ™‚ This cake is also lovely, slightly warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

xox

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