This pumpkin choc chip slice is a beautiful healthy option for the kids. I was thinking of making chocolate brownies but I was hoping to make something a bit healthier! As I was roasting some pumpkin for dinner I thought why not make something with some of the extra pumpkin. And I can't skip the chocolate so I came up with this and added choc chips. This is quite yummy and not too sweet!

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Ingredients

  • 500g pumpkin raw (300g cooked)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar (200g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plain flour (130g)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ground
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg ground

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius fan forced.
  2. Cut up pumpkin into around 3cm chunks and roast in the oven for around 40 minutes until cooked and soft. (Make sure it doesn't burn!) Note I did this the night before and just kept in the fridge until I was ready to make the slice the next morning.
  3. Line a brownie baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Melt butter and sugar for 1 minute in the microwave and stir to combine. (Lazy i know as this should probably be done on the stove!)
  5. Blend pumpkin, butter and sugar, eggs and vanilla in a stick blender until smooth.
  6. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add sifted flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  7. Stir gently until just combined.
  8. Fold in chocolate chips until just mixed through.
  9. Transfer to baking tray and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until testing stick comes out clean.
  10. Cool in tray for 10 minutes.
  11. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
  12. Cut into small squares and serve. Enjoy!

Ombre Roses Cake. Roses, beautiful roses! I made this cake for my mums 60th birthday. This is relatively easy and not too complicated for the novice baker. It just takes a bit of time! Yes a bit of time haha!

Ombre Roses Cake
Ombre Roses Cake

Searching for a beautiful cake I came across an amazing ombre cake and was inspired.

This was quite a sweet cake with the white chocolate buttercream. The lemon curd helps to cut through the sweetness. Overall a yummy cake!

Method

  1. Make the lemon curd.
  2. Bake the cakes and colour them as appropriate. I baked 4 x 8inch cakes to give a good height to the cake. I coloured them using 'Wilton Creamy Peach' gel colour. Remember less is more when colouring as they will darken.
  3. Make the buttercream. I made white chocolate buttercream as per the below link.
  4. Colour the buttercreams as appropriate and place in 4 separate piping bags with Wilton 1M piping tip.
    I only had 2 piping tips so just coloured them all and placed 2 colours in the piping bags at a time.
  5. Start to assemble the cake by placing a dollop of buttercream underneath the bottom cake.
  6. Stack the cakes by piping a buttercream edge around the rims of each layer to contain the lemon curd in between.
  7. Crumb coat with a thin layer of icing around the entire cake. Place the cake in the fridge as required to stop the icing melting too much.
  8. When ready, start at the bottom of the cake and pipe roses up the cake and on the top.
  9. If there are any gaps pipe long swirls to cover them up.

Reference: http://www.countrycleaver.com/2012/02/a-bouquet-of-roses-just-for-you.html

So this is a super easy chocolate mousse recipe. Perfect for when you have some cream in the fridge that needs to be used up. It also doesn't have the egg whites to mess around with. Too easy!

Ingredients

  • 300ml carton cream
  • 180 grams chocolate melts or good quality chocolate chopped finely

Method

  1. Chop the chocolate if required.
  2. Add the cream to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  3. Once the cream has boiled for a minute or so then add to the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted completely.
  4. Place the creamy chocolate mixture in the fridge to cool. (for around an hour)
  5. When the mixture has cooled place into a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment and whisk until light and creamy. The mixture will change colour.
  6. Divide into serving ramekins and serve. Or place in fridge until ready to eat :)

This is a yummy loaf cake with some few extra goodies to add a bit more nutrition. The zucchini makes it beautiful and moist so it will keep for around 4-5 days in the fridge. Great idea for a picnic or just a lovely afternoon tea.

Ingredients

  • 500g zucchini (if don't have enough thats fine or can add some grated carrot if you like)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen is fine)
  • 200 g walnuts or pecans (roughly chopped)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250 ml of olive oil (or vegetable oil is fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sugar (or a bit less is fine)
  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour (alternatively mix of 1 cup wholemeal and 1 1/2 cups plain self raising flour makes it a bit healthier)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon ground
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg ground

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius fan forced.
  2. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and lightly grease with spray oil on the sides.
  3. Grate the zucchini and drain out the excess water by squeezing it out. Too much water will make the mixture too wet.
  4. To a large bowl add the eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini and whisk together.
  5. Add the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir lightly until just mixed. Do not over mix.
  6. Then add the walnuts or pecans, blueberries and fold in gently.
  7. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Check if it has cooked in the centre. Otherwise cover with alfoil to avoid the top getting too brown and cook for another 10-15 minutes at a time until a tester stick comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from tin and leave on a wire rack to cool
  10. Cut, serve and enjoy!

These chickpea brownies are delicious and very easy to make. These days everyone seems to be using some fancy sugar or oil that I don't have in the pantry. Unfortunately I can't be bothered buying the latest go to item. So when looking for something healthy but still easy to cook with the basic ingredients in my pantry, I created the following. A bit of this and that and what comes out of the oven is gorgeous and chocolatey! Who would have known that it was healthy too, well almost!

Ingredients

  • 400g tin chickpeas - drained and rinsed
  • 2 large eggs or 3 medium eggs
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (I like to use some dutch cocoa too)
  • 2/3 cup raw sugar (whatever you have around is fine, caster sugar or raw sugar or a mix of both!)
  • 2 Tbsp of milk (plus a bit more if required)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate melts or chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius fan forced.
  2. Line a rectangular brownie baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and continue in microwave in 30 sec bursts until melted.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to a stick mixer bowl and blend together until smooth.
  5. Add dark chocolate to blended ingredients and mix together until smooth.
  6. Add extra milk as required if its too thick. It should be easy to stir but not too liquidy!
  7. Pour mixture into tray and cook for 25 minutes or until a tester stick comes out clean.
  8. Allow brownies to cool in tin for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from tin and leave on a wire rack to cool
  10. Cut, serve and enjoy! Delicious warm with a dollop of cream :)

This chicken barley slow cooker casserole is a very easy and yummy dish for babies and toddlers. I like to slice the carrots and zucchini so that my son can pick it up and eat it with his hands. This is the first time I have cooked anything with Pearl barley and it is delicious. Has a beautiful texture and nutty flavour. Just soak it in water for 6-8 hours and then cook in boiling water for half an hour. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Thyme (dried)
  • 1 tsp Rosemary (dried)
  • 2 tsp Parsley (dried)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cup Chicken Stock (salt reduced)
  • 1 Cup water
  • 500g Chicken Thighs
  • 1 medium onion diced finely
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 Carrots diced or sliced as you prefer
  • 1 small Zucchini diced or sliced as you prefer
  • Pearl Barley to serve

Method

  1. Brown chicken in frying pan and place in slow cooker
  2. Brown onions in frying pan, add garlic and stir.
  3. Add onions and remaining ingredients in slow cooker
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours
  5. Serve with Pearl Barley