Do you call it muesli or granola? I’ve always said muesli. I think granola is more of an American thing. Either way, it tastes so good! You can of course buy this from the supermarket, but homemade is just as great as store bought (if not better).
It’s also a great healthy snack to have on hand, a snack that fulfills your sweet craving whilst not being too bad for you. I decided to amp up my usual muesli recipe by making it chocolate! Yum!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup roughly chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup rice bubbles
- 1/3 cup cocoa/cacao
- 1/2 cup milk (best to use a non animal milk, I used oat milk)
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
Pre heat your oven to 160c. Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl. add in the wet ingredients and give it all a good mix. It’s best to mix it by hand, it’ll get messy but it’s worth it. Lay the mixture onto a baking paper lined tray (or 2 if you prefer) and bake. Check on the muesli every 5-10 minutes or so and give it a good toss to avoid any bits getting burnt. The muesli should be done after 30-40 minutes or until crispy. If you have the time, leave the muesli in the oven after turning it off, this will give the muesli more time to crisp up and dry.
I won a pair Bigmouth funnels in an Instagram competition. Aren’t they great? All that muesli going straight in the jar. Their new purple/pink colours inspired me to make matching food tags, pictured above. These food labels are in PDF format, all you have to do is click here and hit print.
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
- 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.
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.
I made this cake as an order for some friends. Was quite interesting how it all came together.
I don’t have a soccer ball mould, so I baked the bottom of the cake in a standard spring form pan and the top rounded ball part in a round metal bowl. After baking I realised the round bowl just wasn’t round enough. I cut of all the excess cake to even it out, I crumbed this and mixed it with chocolate buttercream to create a mixture that I could mould (great for cake pops as well). I took this mixture and moulded it into a very round bowl that I borrowed from my in laws, set it in the freezer and it was the perfect shape.
To make the soccer ball black and white shapes I used this template, which I found through Google images. I printed and cut it out, laid it on the cake and marked it by scoring the edges with a blunt knife, I then lined these markings with black buttercream and filled the spaces with white.
Here’s my tip for getting a really black buttercream. I made a big batch of plain buttercream and separated a small portion to be turned black. I kept adding black gel colouring until I achieved black, but lo and behold even after adding the whole bottle I still only had grey. I didn’t have any more black colouring so I panicked a little, then decided to add in some cocoa powder, this worked a treat, I had black buttercream in no time, and what’s even better it tasted really good!
In other news, my baby boy is 20 months today! I cannot believe it! Where has the time gone?
Hope this post helps anyone out there attempting to make a soccer ball cake, wasn’t so hard now that I think about it now!
It was my brother’s birthday a couple weeks ago, just a few days before Ramadhan in fact. His only request was chocolate brownies, so I decided to have a look at my favourite recipes and come up with one of my own. And here I present to you… Block Brownies. Why call them block brownies? I guess because they look like big chunky blocks, lol!
There’s a few different textures in brownies, fudgy, cakey or gooey. I’m a big fan of them all, these in particular happen to be the cakey type. They weren’t exactly what him or I had planned, but still great all the same.
Here’s the recipe with a few of my adjustments.
115g chocolate chopped (I’d do 150g next time)
300g brown sugar
1 1/4 cup plain flour
2 tblsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder (1/8 next time)
1/4 cup choc chips
1/4 cup white choc chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
In a saucepan over medium heat combine butter, chocolate and brown sugar. Once melted and smooth, remove from stove and set aside for 10 minutes. Pre heat oven to 180c. Once cool add in eggs one at a time. Mix in flour, cocoa and baking powder. Add in extras and mix through. Fill into a brownie pan and bake for 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Ideally you want the skewer to have a slight moist crumb, it will continue to cook after removed, and that will make for a moister brownie.
If you try these Block Brownies out with my recipe adjustments let me know how they turn out. Happy Birthday again Muhammed!
Peanut butter and nutella is an amazing combination. The best thing since sliced bread, or the best thing on sliced bread rather! Apart from putting together the frosting I also experimented with my own chocolate cupcake recipe. It turned out pretty well, I do think it would work better as a cake or mini cake recipe though. The recipe turned out light, moist fluffy cakes, so light and fluffy in fact that they came away from the cupcake liners, still tasty though so I’m not complaining, and definitely a good attempt for a first try at complete recipe development.
Also, you’ll notice the title of this post is nutella, peanut butter ‘frosting’. We call it icing here, but I think ‘frosting’ sounds so much better.
To get the 2 tone frosting effect I put each frosting in separate disposable bags and then into a cotton piping bag. You can of course put both frostings in 1 bag on 2 different sides, I didn’t do this for 2 reasons, I wanted the 2 frostings fairly defined and I wanted to be able to store each of the left over frostings separately. You’ll notice the nozzle above is round, I did end up changing it as I wanted something frillier.
Chocolate Cupcake recipe
125 g butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk (1/4 cup milk + 1/4 cup yogurt)
Pre heat oven to 180C. In a mixer beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence. Add flour, baking and cocoa powder. While combining, slowly add buttermilk till completely combined. Using a spoon fill into a cupcake pan 3/4 of the way up. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
Peanut Butter Nutella Frosting
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup nutella
Beat butter sugar and vanilla on a low speed at first so you don’t have any flying icing sugar. Then move to a high speed until light and fluffy. If your buttercream feels a little stiff, add in 1-2 tblsp hot water. Separate into 2 equal batches. Mix in peanut butter to 1 batch and nutella into the other. Fill a piping bag and decorate as you wish.
One of my favourite flavour combinations, peanut butter and nutella works so well together, if you’re a fan too, give this frosting a try!
PS. I was meant to post this a while ago but haven’t had a chance, so just wanted to say sorry to all those people fasting at the moment.
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
45g almond meal
65g icing sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder
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.