Sunday, 19 February 2012

Toffee Apples

I have been one busy bee this morning!! My cousin and my sister are organising a fete full of local produce, crafts, food, face painting and all that jazz. I was asked to set up a toffee apple stand. Sticky, sweet goodness, that makes you feel like you're eating something healthy. An apple a day keeps the doctor away...right?


INGREDIENTS
  • 15 small Red Delicious or Pink Lady apples, washed, dried
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsps red liquid food colouring

Wash and dry the apples and pull off any storks, and of course, remove the stickers. I actually used Royal Gala apples, but get whatever is cheapest or the flavour you prefer


To make the Toffee...
  1. Place sugar and water into a heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Stop stirring. Bring to the boil. Using a wet pastry brush, brush away sugar crystals on sides of saucepan above syrup. Stir in cream of tartar and food colouring.


Reduce heat to low. Simmer toffee for 20 minutes or until it reaches hard crack stage. To check if it has reached this stage, add 1 teaspoon of toffee to a glass of ice-cold water. Remove solidified toffee from water and bend it. The toffee should crack easily and not feel sticky.
OR
Reduce heat to low. Using a candy thermometer, simmer until the toffee as reached about 150 degrees celsius.   

This candy thermometer is fantastic has it has the different stages toffee goes through written next to the corresponding temperature
 While your waiting for the toffee, push a stick into each apple. You can buy these larger paddle pop sticks at The Reject Shop for $2 per 50 sticks
Wait until toffee stops bubbling before dipping the apples into the toffee. Tip pan on an angle to coat apple in toffee, especially around stick. Place onto baking paper on the bench or a tray and repeat with remaining apples. Allow to set at room temperature.

Two-toned Chocolate Chip Ice cream Sandwiches

Everyone loves chocolate chip biscuits, especially homemade ones. Personally, I enjoy making them just so I can eat half the mixture in the process. Anyway, I thought I'd show you how easy they are to make and how they can be turned into a scrumptious dessert. 

INGREDIENTS
125g Butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups Self-raising flour
As many, or as little chocolate chips as you like (I used both white and dark)
1/4 cup cocoa
Ice-cream

To make the biscuits...
Cream together butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on high speed until fluffy. On a much lower speed (ensures flour doesn't fly out everywhere), mix in the flour until combined. 

When making the chocolate choc-chip biscuits substitute 1/4 cup of the flour for the 1/4 cup of cocoa and combined. 

Stir in the chocolate chips. Put spoonfuls (make them as big as you like) onto a tray lined with baking paper and press down slightly. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 8-12 minutes, depending on how crunchy or soft you like them. 

 Vanilla Choc-chip 

 Chocolate choc-chip

Enjoy as is with a nice cup of tea, or...

To make ice-cream sandwiches...
When biscuits are cool, sandwich with any flavour ice-cream you like, I used vanilla but chocolate or strawberry would be nice. Put in the freezer and allow to set...or eat straight away if you can't wait. 

Sandwich with ice-cream for a yummy dessert.


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake

My beautiful boyfriend celebrated his birthday last week and no birthday is complete without a birthday cake. However, instead of a traditional cake I've gone for a more decadent baked chocolate cheesecake (because lets face it everyone LOVES cheesecake) and I guarantee you guys will love this one.


INGREDIENTS

100g Butter, melted
250g chocolate ripple biscuits
500g carton low-fat cottage cheese
250g cream cheese
185g castor sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
50g dark chocolate, melted
Chocolate Ganche
175g dark chocolate
150ml cream



To make the cheesecake...
Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius.
Crush the biscuits until they are like coarse bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and press into a 23cm spring form tin (I lined the bottom of the tin with baking paper and greased the edge (just to make it easier to remove later). Set aside in the fridge.

Melt the chocolate and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Put the cottage cheese through a sieve, pushing it with the back of a spoon (this gets rid of the lumps). Cream together the cheeses and sugar until combined. Add eggs one at a time, along with vanilla, beat until smooth.

Pour half the mixture on top of the biscuit base. With the other half, fold in the melted chocolate. Spoon over the vanilla mixture then once all of the chocolate mixture is in, use a knife to gently swirl the two flavours together (make sure not to do too much of this, otherwise they will mix together).

Bake in oven for 1hr or until the cheesecake feels set.


To make the Ganche...
Heat the cream until just before boiling point. Pour over the chocolate and mix together until smooth. You'll need to allow this to cool before putting it on the cheesecake. This quantity will be enough for the top and edge of the circle, but you may need to make extra to decorate further