Tag Archives: sweet

Blueberry muffins

Nothing beats a blueberry muffin for an on-the-go breakfast or a quick and tasty snack.

Blueberry muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup (79 ml) macadamia oil (or your preferred nut/seed oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsps vanilla essence
  • 1 1/3 cups (200 grams) fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp extra sugar for muffin tops, to decorate (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 190° C. Line 10 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Fill any empty muffin cups with 1 tablespoon of water to ensure the muffins bake evenly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour and salt with the 3/4 cup of sugar until evenly combined.
  3. Add the oil and the egg to a 500 ml measuring jug. Fill the jug with milk only until it reaches the 1 cup line marking. Add vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  4. Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients, then stir with a fork until just combined.
  5. Use a spatula to gently fold the blueberries into the mixture.
  6. Divide the muffin mixture between the 10 muffin cups. If desired, sprinkle a little of the extra sugar on each of the muffin tops (for a little crunch).
  7. Bake blueberry muffins for 10 minutes, then test with a skewer inserted into one of the muffins. The skewer should come out clean or crumb-covered, not sticky. If the tops are cooked but the insides are not, cover the muffin pan with foil (being careful not to burn yourself!) and return it to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.
  8. Turn muffins out onto to a cooling rack and allow to cool.

Tip:  These muffins can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 3 months.

Blueberry muffins

Chocolate chilli cheesecake (no-bake)

Chocolate chilli cheesecake


  • 1¼ cups chocolate biscuit crumbs
  • 80g butter, melted
  • 500g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
  • 400g can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 tabs instant coffee
  • 1 tsp powdered gelatine
  • 100g milk chocolate melts, melted and cooled slightly
  • 100g milk Lindt Excellence dark chocolate with chilli, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup thickened cream, softly whipped
  • Extra chocolate or cocoa powder, to decorate


  1. Grease a 20cm springform pan.
  2. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter; then press mixture into the base of the pan and refrigerate.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, condensed milk and spices with an electric mixer until just combined.
  4. Dissolve the coffee in the water, followed by the gelatine powder. Stir until completely dissolved.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and gelatine/coffee to the cream cheese mixture; beat until smooth.
  6. Gently fold through the cream.
  7. Pour the mixture over the prepared base. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
  8. Grate chocolate over the top to decorate, or dust with cocoa powder. Slice and serve.

Heart-shaped strawberry hand pies

Heart-shaped strawberry hand pies


  • Perfect pastry dough (see the recipe)
  • 3 cups strawberries, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 6 tabs raw sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tabs Chambord, or other berry liqueur (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tab water
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, to decorate
  • Freshly whipped cream, to serve

Fresh strawberries


  1. Preheat your oven to 200° C. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, berry liqueur and vanilla until sugar dissolves and strawberries disintegrate.
  3. Drain some excess juice (approximately 1/4 cup) from the saucepan to a small bowl; return the saucepan to the heat.
  4. Add cornflour to the separated juice; stir until completely mixed. Add cornflour mix to the saucepan and stir until strawberry mixture is thick; remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the prepared pastry dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
  6. Use a 6 inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut heart shapes in the pastry. Roll out the remaining half of the dough and repeat. Form any excess dough back into a ball, roll out and cut again until dough is used up.
  7. Whisk egg and water together in a small bowl; lightly brush around each heart.
  8. On half of the hearts only, place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cooled strawberry filling.
  9. Cover each ‘filled’ heart with one of the remaining hearts; use a fork to gently press the edges together to seal. Pierce the top of each pie with a sharp skewer to allow steam to escape.
  10. Brush the tops of each pie with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown.
  11. Cool the pies on a wire rack, then use a sieve to dust them with icing sugar.
  12. Serve with freshly whipped cream.

Mini hamburger cupcakes

Mini hamburger cupcakes

For these cupcakes I like to use mini whoopie pie tins as they are the perfect shape for burger buns and beef patties. For larger cakes you could use regular whoopie pie tins.

Ingredients for the burger buns (vanilla butter cake):

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 150g butter, cubed
  • 55ml (2/3 cup) milk
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • Butter for greasing

Ingredients for the beef patties (chocolate cake):

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 75g butter, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • Butter for greasing

Ingredients (for decoration):

  • 6 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 100g butter, softened
  • Red, yellow and green food colouring
  • Yellow fondant
  • Sesame seeds

Method for the burger buns (vanilla butter cake):

  1. Position a rack on the second lowest shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease the whoopie pie tins.
  3. Place the self-raising flour, plain flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix on low speed with an electric beater for 30 seconds or until just combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is thick and the butter is combined.
  5. Using a spoon or a piping bag, drop small amounts into each of the whoopie pie sections. Spread if necessary so the filling fills the space and is slightly hollow/sunken.
  6. Bake until the little cakes are just golden (approx. 5 minutes).
  7. Remove from oven and turn the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

Method for the beef patties (chocolate cake):

  1. Position a rack on the second lowest shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease the whoopie pie tins.
  3. Combine sugar, butter, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes or until mixture doubles. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Add flour and eggs. Using an electric mixer, beat mixture until pale and smooth.
  5. Using a spoon or a piping bag, drop small amounts into each of the whoopie pie sections (make half as many chocolate cakes as you did vanilla). Spread if necessary so the filling fills the space and is slightly hollow/sunken.
  6. Bake until the little cakes have risen slightly (approx. 5 minutes).
  7. Remove from oven and turn the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.

Method (to assemble the burger and decorate):

  1. Mix 2 cups of the sifted icing sugar with 50g of the softened butter and, if necessary, just enough water to make a thick icing. You want a dark bright green colour, so add at least 6 drops of green food colouring. Add more if necessary, until you have reached a ‘lettuce’ colour.
  2. Use a ruffle, basket-weave or specialty tip when piping the lettuce. Fill the piping bag with the icing, take half the cooled vanilla whoopie pies, and ice them just around the edge using jagged motions to achieve the ruffled edge appearance of lettuce. After each one, while the icing is still wet, quickly add one of the chocolate whoopie pies on top to sandwich the ‘lettuce’ between the ‘bun’ and the ‘beef patty’.
  3. Roll out the yellow fondant to a few millimetres thick, and cut out tiny right-angled triangles, to make four points of ‘cheese’. On four sides of the chocolate whoopie pie, add a drop of icing (to serve as glue) and stick one of the fondant triangles to each drop (right-angle corner point out).
  4. Mix 2 cups of the sifted icing sugar with the remaining softened butter, and if necessary, just enough water to make a thick icing. You want a bright red colour, so add at least 4 drops of red food colouring. Add more if necessary, until you have reached a vibrant ‘tomato’ colour.
  5. Using another clean piping bag with a round tip, pipe the red icing between the yellow points to look like tomato slices. It doesn’t matter if the icing dribbles a little bit (it will look like tomato sauce), as long as you cover any consistencies with the yellow fondant and icing that may be visible after the top ‘bun’ is added.
  6. After each one, while the icing is still wet, quickly add the final vanilla whoopie pies on top to sandwich the ‘cheese’ and ‘tomato’ between the ‘beef patty’ and the ‘bun’.
  7. Take a small amount of sesame seeds, and press them onto the top of each bun.

Here is a diagram to help you assemble the cupcakes:

Assembling the hamburger cupcakes

Voilà! Beautiful mini hamburger cupcakes!

Chocolate and coconut slice (no-bake)

Chocolate and coconut slice

Ingredients (base):
  • 400g of plain chocolate biscuits
  • 75ml coconut oil
Ingredients (filling):
  • 2 cups pure icing sugar
  • 50g copha
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/4 desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut essence
Ingredients (topping):
  • 180g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 25ml coconut oil
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped
  1. Grease a slice pan (approx 20cm x 25cm). Line pan with baking paper, allowing 3cm overhang on all sides.
  2. Process biscuits until they are finely chopped. Add butter and process until just combined. Spread mixture over the base of the pan, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. To make the filling, place icing sugar, copha and coconut milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Stir in essence and desiccated coconut. Using a spatula, spread mixture over the prepared base. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
  4. To make the topping, place milk chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until smooth. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, or until smooth.
  5. Spread the milk chocolate mixture over the filling. Spoon the white chocolate into a snap-lock bag and snip off one corner. Pipe lines vertically over the milk chocolate. Drag a skewer horizontally through the lines, approximately 2 inches apart. Now horizontally drag the skewer between those lines, this time in the opposite direction, to create a marbled effect.
  6. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
  7. Remove from the fridge, cut into squares and enjoy!

Baileys coffee and white chocolate fudge

  • 150ml Baileys with a Hint of Coffee
  • 50ml milk
  • 30g butter
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 300g white chocolate, chopped
  • Butter for greasing
  1. Grease a square cake tin or baking pan with butter.
  2. Measure out 125ml of Baileys and pour into a medium saucepan. Add the milk, butter and caster sugar and put the pan over a low heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted — this will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium and let the mixture gently simmer while stirring constantly. The bubbles should calmly break the surface for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in chopped-up chocolate and last 25ml of Baileys. Keep stirring until the chocolate has melted and you have a beautifully smooth consistency.
  5. If the chocolate is being slow to melt, put the pan back over a low heat and stir until silky smooth.
  6. Pour the mixture into the cake tin or baking pan and chill in the fridge for at least two hours, or until it has set completely.
  7. Remove from the fridge, cut into squares and enjoy!
Note:  Each piece is worth approximately 0.126 standard drinks, depending on how large you cut your squares.

Rum and raisin fudge

Makes approx. 30 squares
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsps rum
  • 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 125g butter, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps golden syrup
  • 150g milk chocolate melts
  1. Lightly grease a 20cm square cake pan. Line base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Place raisins and rum in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine condensed milk, butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. Stir over a low heat until combined. Bring to the boil on high; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir chocolate melts and raisin mixture through, until combined and smooth.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Cool at room temperature for 5-6 hours, until firm. Cut into squares to serve.
Tip:  Fudge can be placed in the fridge after 3 hours for 15-20 minutes to firm up before slicing. Store in fridge.

Mars bar cheesecake (no-bake)

Serves 8


  • 250g plain chocolate biscuits
  • 150g butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 20g butter, extra
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 50g milk chocolate, chopped finely
  • 3 tsps gelatin
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 2 x 250g packets cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 3 x 60g Mars bars, chopped finely


  1. Process/crush biscuits until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add butter, process/mix until just combined. Using one hand, press crumb mixture evenly over base and side of 21cm springform tin. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.
  2. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, extra butter and 2 tbsps of the cream in a small saucepan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, to make butterscotch sauce.
  3. Combine chocolate and another 2 tbsps of cream in another small saucepan; stir over low heat until chocolate melts.
  4. Sprinkle gelatine over the water in a small heatproof jug; stand jug in small saucepan of simmering water. Stir until gelatine dissolves; then let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Beat cheese and caster sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat remaining cream in small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stir slightly warm gelatine mixture into cream cheese mixture; stir in Mars bars; fold in cream.
  6. Pour half of the cream cheese mixture into prepared tin; drizzle half of the butterscotch and chocolate sauces over the mixture. Pull skewer backwards and forward through the mixture several times go create a marbled effect. Repeat process with remaining mixture and sauces.
  7. Cover cheesecake and refrigerate 3 hours or until set.

Note:  You can also melt the milk chocolate and cream in a microwave oven; cook on HIGH (100%) for about 1 minute, stirring twice during cooking time.

Caramel mud cake

This caramel mud cake is rich, dense and delicious. If you love caramel, then this cake is for you!

Caramel mud cake Ingredients:

  • 125g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 225g brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (50g) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs, beaten lightly (use only 2 eggs for a denser cake)

Ingredients (caramel frosting):

  • 185g butter, chopped
  • 1.5 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100ml) milk
  • 2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted

Ingredients (chocolate ganache):

  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tabs double cream


  1. Preheat oven to slow. Grease 22cm-round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper, extending paper 5cm above edge of pan.
  2. Combine the butter, chocolate, sugar and water in medium saucepan; stir over low heat until mixture is smooth. Transfer mixture to large bowl; cool 15 minutes. Whisk in both flours, then essence and eggs.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan; bake in a slow oven for about 1 hour (see tip below). Stand in pan 10 minutes; turn onto wire rack to cool.
  4. Place cake, top side up, on serving plate; allow to cool.
  5. Slice cake in half sideways to form a base and a lid.  Spread the base with a third of the caramel frosting; cover with the top half of the cake. Spread the remaining frosting over the the cake.

Method (caramel frosting):

  1. Melt butter in small saucepan.
  2. Stir in brown sugar and milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat then simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Gradually stir in icing sugar until frosting is of spreadable consistency.

Method (chocolate ganache):

  1. Place dark chocolate and double cream in a small microwavable bowl.
  2. Heat on high for 15 second intervals, checking if the chocolate can be stirred.
  3. Once, the chocolate has melted enough to stir, stir until it is a smooth and shiny consistency.
  4. Allow the ganache to cool slightly, then place it in a piping bag. Using the piping bag, add a dot of ganache to the middle of the cake, then draw rings around it (like a target). Then, using a skewer, draw alternating lines back and forth through the rings to create a chevron appearance.

Tip:  If the cake starts to rise above the tin but is not quite cooked, cover it loosely with foil.

(photo credit: afeitar via photopin cc)

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