Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stickydate Biscuits

What can I say. My mum's favourite dessert in biscuit form. I was wary, but these taste absolutely AWESOME!!.

Original recipe came from:

I made some changes after the first batch as I felt they weren't really stickydate biscuits without butterscotch.

Stickydate Biscuits
makes approx. 50

125 grams butter
1 1/2 cups chopped dates
1/2 cup butterscotch schnapps
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 1/2 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 bag jersey caramels, each quartered.

night before - chop dates, pour over schnapps and let 'marinate'.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius, fan-forced.

In a saucepan on low heat, melt butter. Add sugar and date/schnapps mixture. Bring to the boil and then remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Let cool for around 10 minutes so the mixture hardens a little. Place teaspoon sized amounts on a baking tray. Flatten and squish a quarter of a jersey caramel into each.
Bake at 150 degrees for 15 minutes. Then turn up heat to 200 degrees for five minutes (so jersey caramel melts ontop).
I found that if you bake at 200 degrees from the start, the biscuits are not hard enough to deal with the melted caramel and you end up with a pile of melted caramel next to your biscuit. If this happens, while caramel is still warm, place it back ontop of your biscuit. It will harden ontop.
Enjoy :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Potato gnocchi

This recipe came from:


I have never made gnocchi before, I think I did okay though. Not quite as light and fluffy as Babcia used to make (my Dad's mum), but my mum seemed to approve.

Potato gnocchi

350g floury potatoes (I used some that were called ruby?)

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/3 cup plain flour

1 egg yolk

Add potatoes to boiling water, whole. Cook until they are soft when a skewer pokes through. Allow to cool slightly then peel. Push through a potato ricer into a bowl. Add other ingredients, mix until starting to combine. Tip dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until it creates a smooth dough (around one minute). Take small amounts of dough, roll into a thin sausage and, using a sharp knife, cut into small pieces (approx 2cm long).

In a saucepan, bring some salted water to the boil. Add gnocchi in small batches - it is cooked when it rises to the surface.

Add your choice of sauce and eat :)

Ricotta and spinach gnocchi

This recipe I adapted from:


Note: if you are not really a fan of spinach (like my big sis) then these probably aren't for you. If you LOVE spinach (like my mum) then these are awesome.

Ricotta and spinach gnocchi

250g spinach (I used the frozen box coles brand)

75g low-fat ricotta

1 egg yolk

50g grated parmesan


25g plain flour + extra for your hands

Defrost spinach and squeeze out as much water as possible (I put it in a microfibre cloth and just squeezed it out over the sink). In a bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan, nutmeg and spinach until just combined (make sure ricotta is spread throughout and not in lumps). Add flour and egg yolk, mix until just combined. Flour your hands. Take small amount out of bowl at a time, roll into little rectangles (about 2cm long) and put on lightly floured board.

In a large saucepan, boil some salted water. Add gnocchi - it is cooked when it rises to the surface.

Homemade pasta sauce

My first ever go at making pasta sauce from scratch. Loved it. Tasted AMAZING!!

4 large tomatoes, quartered
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, in rings
1/2 can cannelini beans, rinsed
4-5 bay leaves
olive oil
Basil (I used the pureed creative garden stuff)

Place tomatoes, zucchini, carrot and onion in an oven tray. Coat in olive oil (as much/little as you like). Add bay leaves. Roast in oven until cooked through. Puree all but from the tray but the onions. Puree cannelini beans, add to other. Cut onion into small pieces, add to other vegies. Add as much basil/pepper as you like.
I left mine in the fridge overnight and reheated it the following day - tasted very nice!!
Hope you enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Aussie tiramisu

As usual, I was on foodgawker and saw an amazing looking recipe:

So, I changed it a little, and thus dessert for Leah P's dinner party was created.

Tiramisu (four people)
6 lamington fingers (the small ones you buy in a packet of 18 at Woolies)
4 Anzac biscuits, smashed
2 tablespoons baileys
2 tablespoons kahlua
1 egg
40g caster sugar
100g marscapone
1/4 cup cream (its all I had left...)
1/2 cup vanilla yoghurt

Using an electric beater, whisk egg and caster sugar until light and thick (it goes a very pale yellow, almost triples in size) - you are creating a zabaligione. Place marscapone, cream and yoghurt in a bowl, mix together with a spatula. Add 2 tablespoons egg mixture, mix in. Fold in remaining egg mixture.

Put kahlua and baileys in a cup, mix together.

Slice lamington fingers in half lengthways, then in half again (to create squares). Place two of these in the bottom of each glass. Spoon over some of the alcohol. Spoon over some of the egg mixture. Sprinkle some Anzac crumbs. Continue layering until glasses filled.

Place in refrigerator to chill.

Neopolitan melting moments

I saw these on foodgawker and just HAD to make them

Here are mine:

Result? Mum even liked the chocolate layers!! I will be making these again. They did melt in my mouth.
125g butter
40g icing sugar
35g cornflour
110g self-raising flour
vanilla essence
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon jam (strawberry would be good - I used 'black forest' as I didn't have strawberry)
red food colouring
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius (fan forced). Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add flours and mix until combined (I found it easier to use clean hands). Separate dough into three bowls. Add vanilla essence to one, jam and red food colouring to one and cocoa to the other. You may need to add some extra flour to the one with jam. Combine ingredients.
Take small amounts of dough, roll into a ball. Place onto lined baking trays. Squish down with a fork (makes the pretty lines). Bake for 10 minutes (may need longer if you make bigger biscuits). Cool on baking racks.
icing sugar
vanilla essence
Mix icing sugar with vanilla essence and a little water until combined and thick. Use to join together strawberry and chocolate biscuits.
Add nutella to icing mixture (add more icing sugar and water as necessary). Use to join together strawberry and vanilla biscuits.
In a new bowl, add icing sugar and jam (you may not need water for this one). Use to join together vanilla and chocolate biscuits.
Leave for icing to harden.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Minted pea pesto pasta

So, im currently going through a stage where my body isnt really enjoying dairy or pasta (sad face!). However, thanks to the trusty women's weekly (after work healthy, page 48) I found a pasta recipe that I changed a bit so I could enjoy it. Plus side - the first time I made it, mum actually commented that she wanted more vegies in it!! (Awesome, anything with lots of vegies gets extra ticks from me!)

Minted pea pesto

2 cups frozen peas
1 tablespoon mint paste (I used the gourmet garden one you get near the lettuce, I worked out it was cheaper than getting a bunch of mint and wasting most of it)
30 grams shaved parmesan
30 grams pine nuts

Put all in a blender (I had a stick wizz) and go for gold. Most pesto recipes have oil - I found that it didnt really need it, but if you like the shiny pesto, the original recipe said to add 2 tablespoons olive oil as well.

250 grams pasta (cooked)

Add pesto to cooked pasta. Add a pile of vegies (I had roasted pumpkin and beetroot, mushrooms, beans, cabbage, spring onions) and some meat (kangaroo sausages were on sale at coles this week - yay for 66% off stickers!!).

With the extra meat + vegies, this served 6.