Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Spencer was given a book called Christmas Cooking for Kids by Fiona Hammond, as a Christmas present and the first recipe in the book is for Chocolate Peppermint Fudge. It looked good and is easy and from what I could tell was very much enjoyed, I certainly like it.


50g unsalted butter
395g tin condensed milk
250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Coles dark cooking chocolate)
100g peppermint flavoured dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Lindt's Mint Intense)
35g peppermint crisp chocolate bar finely chopped (optional)

It said to use an 18cm square cake tin (lined with baking paper), but I just used my Tupperware slice form, no need for baking paper.

Put the butter and condensed milk in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Stir until the butter melts, then keep stirring for another minute. Remove the saucepan from heat.

Add the dark and peppermint flavoured chocolate to the saucepan and stir until they melt.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

Sprinkle the surface with the peppermint crisp pieces, if using. Place in the fridge to set for 3 hours until firm.

Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Shortbread

It's getting to that time of year where lots of little gifts are given, so as Spencer was having his last speech appointment for the year, I thought it would be a good idea to make shortbread for Angela, his therapist, Donna, the receptionist and for his two little friends George and Yianni that have the appointment after Spencer. It would have helped if I had decided to make it earlier in the day, as it was I finished a bit after 11 last night!


  • 250g Western Star butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup pure icing sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup rice flour


Process all ingredients together in a food processor until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (Or if you are me, do it by hand!)

Press mixture together until it forms a dough. Divide dough in two.

Roll out dough between 2 sheets of baking paper

until 5mm thick.

Using a star-shaped cutter, cut shapes from dough. Transfer to prepared trays. Sprinkle with caster sugar if desired. Bake at 160 degrees for 30

minutes or until dry and firm but still pale. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar. Serve.

I didn't leave them in the oven for 30 minutes, they would have burned, 10 -12 minutes was plenty of time.

Chicken, Leek & Tarragon Pot Pie

I have made this a few times, but it is definitely 'new' for this year and is quite popular in this house. I certainly didn't expect to be making it within the first couple of weeks of summer, being such a winter meal, but I thought I may as well take advantage, may be the last time before dinner becomes salads! The last time I made this Spencer wasn't interested, but he certainly enjoyed it last night and makes lunch the next day easy too. I always forget to buy fresh tarragon, so just use dried tarragon, still provides plenty of flavour.

3 tablespoons butter

750g chicken thigh fillets cut into bite size pieces

4 medium leeks (white parts only, thickly sliced)

3 tablesppons plain flour

250ml chicken stock

125ml single cream

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablesppons roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pie Pastry185g plain flour

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 egg, lightly beaten

1.5 litre pie dish

To make pastry, process the flour, butter, and a pinch of salt for a few seconds. With the motor running, add the sour cream, half the beaten egg and I-2 tablespoons of cold water until the dough comes together. Roll into a ball wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°. Heat half of the butter in a frying pan over high heat. Whe sizzling, brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes, turning often. Transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining butter to the pan and cook the leeks over medium heat for 2 minutes. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes until really softened.

Return the chicken to the pan and increase the heat to high. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly so the flour thickly coats the chicken and leeks. Gradually add the stock, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil, then stir in the cream tarragon and parsley. Season well. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool. Spoon into the pie dish.

Place the dough between 2 pieces of greasproof paper and roll out to a thickness of 0.5cm, making sure the dough is more than big enough to cover the pie dish. Place the dough over the top of the pie leaving the edges to overhang. Cut several slits in the top of the pieand gently press around the edges with a fork. Brush the remaining beaten egg over the top. Put the pie dish on a baking tray and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until pastry is golden.

Ready for the oven.


Ready to eat.

This recipe comes from the book, Easy Comfort Food.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Low Fat Banana Bread

This is actually an old favourite as opposed to 'new', however I never had photographic eveidence of it, which I now do. This recipe is from the magazine Australian Table February 2002. They had listed a classic banana bread recipe as well as the lower fat one. I made both one day to see if Philip could tell them apart, he couldn't and he also thought that the low fat one was the better of the two.


2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1 egg

250ml buttermilk

125ml low fat milk

110g caster sugar

300g self raising flour, sifted

1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 180°

Lightly grease a 21 x 11cm capacity loaf pan and line bottom with baking paper.

Combine bananas, egg, buttermilk and milk in a blender and process until well combined and smooth. Add sugar and mix again. Pour liquid mixture into a bowl and add flour, bicarbonate soda and cinnamon until flour has been incorporated into mixture. Do not over mix.

Pour into prepared pan and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in pan before turning out. I usually sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top before it goes in the oven.

This was made in my Tupperware silicone loaf form, it's great, no need to grease at all and it just slips straight out.