Posts Tagged ‘almonds’

Butterscotch Sojee

Who likes butterscotch? I do! In fact I just made a yummy Date, Walnut and Buttescotch cheesecake recently. With it’s silky sweet, deep toffee flavour, what’s not to like. Well I’ve got something a little different for you today, butterscotch sojee.

Butterscotch Sojee

For those of you that don’t know, sojee is an Indian sweet dish, made with semolina which is traditionally served at the beginning of a meal, yes, Indians eat dessert first.

Indians stay calm

My mum makes the best sojee, seriously the BEST. Recently I was making her recipe when I tipped in the brown sugar in instead of the normal stuff. What? I know, total mistake, but lets keep that between us. When butterscotch sojee becomes a thang I totally want to be able to claim it was me who invented it.

This sojee has a much deeper flavour than the traditional obviously, and also a deeper, richer colour.

Butterscotch Sojee with almonds

This recipe is purely altered by the use of brown sugar instead of white sugar. If you want a great sojee recipe, just try this with normal sugar, if you’d like to try this butterscotch version, follow the recipe below.

Butterscotch Sojee

Serving Size: 6-8

Butterscotch Sojee


  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 75g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon pwder
  • a few strands if saffron
  • 1 tblsp chopped almonds and some strands of saffron to serve (optional)


Add butter and semolina to a small saucepan on the stove on medium heat.Cook the semolina in the butter until it starts to lightly colour (almost pinkish), at this point take the semolina off the stove and set aside to cool a bit. In a measuring jug (or measure into a bowl) mix the eggs, milk, sugar, saffron and cardamon powder. Pour the milk mixture in a slow stream into the semolina while whisking briskly until all the milk is absorbed (your mixture will be runny). Put this back on the stove for a few minutes on a medium heat to begin to absorb. Once the liquid starts to absorb, put the stove on the lowest heat possible and cover, let it steam for about 15+ minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the sojee is fluffy. Sprinkle on some saffron threads and chopped almonds to serve.


Espresso Meringue Cookies with Choc Almond Bottoms


espresso meringue cookies with chocolate almond bottoms

I participated in ‘The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap‘ again this year. Despite the fact that it isn’t Australian based, I still think it’s such a great cause and also so much fun to give and receive cookies. You can read about my experience last year, here.

This year I needed to bake gluten free cookies. Instead of trying to alter recipes and re invent the wheel so to speak I decided to go with something that was naturally gluten free, meringues. I made little meringue cookies with my own twist. These have a strong hit of coffee (hence the espresso title) and their bottoms are dipped in chocolate and almonds. The coffee, chocolate and almonds make the perfect combination.

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Chocolate Almond Bottoms

Yield: 44 small cookies

Espresso Meringue Cookies with Chocolate Almond Bottoms


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tblsp ground instant coffee
  • 120g milk chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1 cup crushed slivered almonds (toasted)


Pre heat oven to 140c. Place the egg whites and sugar into a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water(be sure your water isn’t too hot or it ill cook the egg whites). Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, once dissolved place into a bowl of a mixer and whip for about 5 minutes until egg white mixture is thick, firm and glossy. Add in coffee and whip till combined. Place into a piping bag and pipe onto baking paper lined trays.

Place in the oven for 1.5 hours. After this, turn the oven off but leave them in the oven to cool, for best results, make this recipe in the evening and leave the meringues in the oven overnight to dry out. Meringues will be ready when they feel feel hard, lift away from the paper easily and sound hollow when tapped.

Once ready melt chocolate in a microwave, check and stir every 30 seconds. Add in the oil to the melted chocolate and mix. Dip the bottom of each meringue into the chocolate and then the almonds, place on a baking sheet to set.

Recipe adapted from The Cupcake Project

These Espresso Meringue Cookies were sent to Erika Rax, The Little Blue Bicycle and The Aussie Kitchen.  I received delicious Peanut Butter Choc Chip cookies from Erika Rax, spicy Ginger cookies from The Little Blue Bicycle (I can’t believe you’re only 14) and Triple Chocolate gluten free cookies from Fati’s Recipes. I have to admit, this cookie swap makes you feel like a little child again. I was constantly checking the mailbox and the door to see if I had received more cookies. Once the last one arrived I was so disappointed that I wasn’t going to be receiving any more. So, if you’re baking cookies, please post some to me.

meringue dipped in chocolate


Ferrero Rocher Macarons

Don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I have to say, these are amazing! I’ve been wanting to make these for such a long time, and I finally did. There isn’t actually any ferrero rocher in these, but the flavours have been inspired by those yummy hazelnut chocolates.

Ferrero Rocher Macarons

35g egg white

15g sugar

45g almond meal

65g icing sugar

2 tsp cocoa powder

Ferrero Filling

1/4 cup nutella

12 whole roasted hazelnuts

2 tblsp crushed roasted hazelnuts

Measure out your almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, grind these to a fine powder and sift into a bowl. Weigh your egg white and sugar separately. Whip whites until frothy, begin to add your sugar in a slow stream until the egg whites turn stiff and glossy. Sift almond meal icing sugar mixture into egg whites then fold gently until it just combine. Fill mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto baking paper lined baking trays. Leave the macarons to set for half an hour or more. Pre heat oven to 150C and bake for 15 mins. For a more detailed explanation, check out this post.

Fill nutella into piping bag and pipe into half the macarons shells. Place 1 whole hazelnut in the centre of the piped nutella, top with the other shell and roll the nutella edge in crushed hazelnuts.

If you love Ferroros or nutella for that matter, you’ll love these Ferroro Rocher inspired macarons.

Strawberries ‘n Cream Macarons

It’s the Wimbledon finals this weekend, and if you follow the tennis you’ll know that strawberries and cream is a big Wimbledon tradition. My sister in law is staying with us at the moment and she is a huge Federer fan, needless to say she is ecstatic that he is in the finals tomorrow. We’ve therefore decided to get all decked out and have strawberries and cream while watching, any excuse for a treat I say. Since I like to get creative with flavours and love macarons I figured I would just slap some strawberries and cream into a macaron. The flavour is subtle, light and fresh. So yummy!


I used the recipe in this post, with the addition of a tiny hint of red food colouring instead of the green.

Strawberries ‘n Cream filling

1/2 cup whipping cream

3 strawberries

1 tsp icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Place sugar, cream and vanilla essence in a bowl and whip till stiff, be careful not to over beat or your cream will curdle and turn into butter. Remove leafy end of strawberry. Finely chop strawberries and fold into cream. Use a piping bag or just spoon the cream filling into half the macaron shells, top with the other halves.

Make sure to add these to the menu for the finals tomorrow, it’ll take the ordinary strawberries ‘n cream to the extreme!

Salted Brown Sugar Buttercream Macarons and a Confession

Confession time:
Is there such a thing as a salted brown sugar macaron? Probably not. It was something I had to come up with because I made a big booboo. I was meant to make salted caramel buttercream to sandwich my macarons, but it all went horribly wrong when I decided to go with the flow off the caramel instead of following the recipe. My caramel turned rock hard! What a disaster. Here’s some advice, if you’re making caramel FOLLOW THE RECIPE! Having to think quickly, I decided that since the brown sugar was out (used it in the caramel) I may as well use it in the macarons. Brown sugar is sweet and moist and has a toffee like flavour. Closest substitute I was going to get for caramel at that moment. And to my surprise they turned out quite well.

This was a new macaron recipe that I tried. I must warn you: TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK.  This batch turned out well, but the 3 batches I tried after this flopped miserably. It was really disheartening for me, I haven’t flopped macarons since I started making them and I’ve made so many batches since then. I’ll admit my macarons are never 100% perfect, but I’ve never had them completely fail on me like those 3 batches did. Here you go, hope they work better for you, if you do try them, please let me know how they turn out. (EDIT: It wasn’t the recipe, it was my oven (they can be so temperamental), I’ve now learnt how to best use my oven for macarons, so please give this recipe a go) Or you could try my pistachio macarons.

makes 10-12 sandwiched macarons

35 g egg white (the whites from 1 large egg)

60 g icing sugar

35 almond meal

20 g sugar

Ideally you want to age your egg whites for a few days, but if you don’t have the time, try to use eggs that have been lying around for a while instead of fresh and make sure they are at room temperature. Measure out your almond meal and icing sugar, grind these to a fine powder and sift into a bowl. Measure out your sugar and keep aside. Weigh your egg white and whip with a stand or hand mixer. Once the egg white becomes frothy, begin to add your sugar in a slow stream until the egg whites turn stiff and glossy.

Gently fold 1/3 of your egg whipped egg whites into your almond meal and icing sugar mixture. Fold until nearly combined, fold in the rest of the egg whites until it’s just combined, once combined there’e no need to mix/fold any more, this can cause the batter to be over mixed and this may cause issues for the final product.

Fill mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto baking paper lined baking trays. You want the mixture to be piped into 2/2.5cm diameter rounds. Gently but firmly knock the tray against the table to remove any air bubbles. Leave the macarons for half an hour or more on the counter to form a skin.You know the skin is formed,  when you are able to touch the macaron without it sticking to your finger. Pre heat oven to 150C and bake for 15 mins.

Salted Brown Sugar Buttercream

1/4 cup salted butter

1 cup sifted icing sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 tsp fine salt (be careful with the salt, taste as you go, you really don’t want to end up with an over salty macaron filling)

Cream butter, icing sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Add salt and brown sugar and beat until combined. I didn’t over beat the mixture at this point as I liked the speckled brown sugar effect. But if you prefer you can continue to beat the mixture which will cause the brown sugar to dissolve into the buttercream.

Enjoy my brown sugar macarons, I guess good things can come out of kitchen disasters after all!

Modest Macaron… I think not!

It seems lately that macarons have shot into popularity with them being featured frequently on TV cooking shows like Masterchef & Zumbo. My first taste of a macaron was in Singapore with my husband. I had no idea what to expect, I bought a chocolate macaron. I bit into it’s crisp shell and soft, luscious inside just melted into my mouth with the creamy ganache filling. YUM!

I have been determined ever since to recreate these little treasures. After a lot of research, I realised it wasn’t going to be an easy task. Macarons are notorious for being temperamental and hard to master. That shattered my spirits a little but hey, why not give it a go. Well, I did, my first 3 attempts were complete failures. But I kept going. Plucked up the courage to try once more and finally achieved my first decent macaron. Pistachio!

Here’s my recipe (taken from various sources, cookbooks & websites)

Ingredients (this has to be precise and measured as accurately as possible)

35 g Egg whites (approx 1 egg white)

55g Pure icing sugar (pure icing sugar without any corn flour/starch)

45g Almond meal (blanched-skins removed)

30g castor sugar

This recipe makes about 10 macarons once sandwiched (20 halves)


Combine almond meal and icing sugar, grind until it becomes a fine powder. Sieve the almond meal and sugar mixture and discard any big bits, set aside. In a clean stainless steel or glass bowl, with an electric whisk, whick the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly drop in castor sugar until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. If using food colouring add it into the egg whites now and give it a quick whisk once more (a gel colouring is recommended). I used a little blue and yellow colouring to make a green shell, next time I think I’ll go darker. Sieve the almond and sugar mixture onto the egg whites and fold it in. Keep folding until the mixture is just incorporated into the egg whites. The mixture needs to be firm but loose enough that it settles back into itself if you make a line through the centre.

Line a tray with baking paper, then fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe into 3cm rounds. Leave aside for 30 minutes to form a skin and pre-heat the oven to 150°C. The cooler weather in Australia at the moment is ideal for macarons, the humidity during summer can really affect the formation of a skin (Tip – You know the macaron is ready for the oven when you touch it with your finger and it does not stick)

Put it into the oven for 15 minutes. By definition a macaron must have that cracked, airy crease at the bottom (known as feet), you should see this after 5-10 minutes of baking. Let the macarons cool and remove them from the baking paper. If they’re having trouble lifting off, sprinkle some water under the paper. Set aside to cool, ideally leave the macarons for a day in the fridge in an airtight container. Fill macarons with buttercream or ganache filling. I filled my macarons with buttercream that I had added crushed roasted pistachios to.

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