Monday, 29 July 2013

Nutz Dark Chocolate Peanut Spread Cookies

I caught the creative baking bug this morning and made this recipe using  Nutz Chocolate Peanut spread which is a clever combination of  peanut butter and Donovan's NZ made dark chocolate.
I rolled the dough into walnut sized balls so that it made 2 dozen small cookies. They were light, crisp and yummy.
Indulge in a few of these with some coffee.
So easy that kids can easily make them as well.
although the dough is so fingerlicking good some of it may disappear along the way.


1 cup of Nutz Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter spread
1 cup of brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
4 tablespoons of dessicated coconut
1 cup of cornflakes


Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with your hands to form a dough.
Roll into walnut sized balls.
Put a little distance apart to allow for spreading on a baking paper lined oven tray.
Bake at 170 degrees C for 15-20 minutes

Makes 2 dozen

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Spicy Indian Roasted Vegetables


A large dish of these spicy roasted  vegetables is a great family dish. If you crave more heat  add a whole rather than half a teaspoon of Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Sauce.


1 teaspoon of coriander seeds ( toasted and ground)
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional)
1 clove of garlic (peeled and smashed)
2 tablespoon of olive oil/rice bran oil/coconut oil
1 kilogram of mixed kumara, pumpkin and potato (chopped into pieces)
1 onion (diced)
1 red pepper (seeded and chopped into chunky pieces)
1/2 teaspoon of Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Sauce
salt and freshly grated black pepper to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish


Stir all the ingredients except the red pepper and coriander leaves together.
Put in a large baking dish.
Bake at 200 degrees C for 15 minutes.
Add the red pepper and continue to bake for about 20 minutes until the kumara, pumpkin and potato have started to brown and are tender.
Before serving sprinkle with coriander leaves as a garnish.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Royal Gingerbread Babies

Little kids are just as excited about Prince George as the rest of us. So why not have fun baking with them and creating these royal gingerbread babies with red, white and blue Smarties buttons.
Older kids may like to add more detail with royal icing.
Susie baked this batch and then spent the rest of the afternoon helping the littlies make theirs.
The dough is not too sweet and it is sturdy. Brushing the gingerbread babies with a sweetened condensed glaze not only made them shiny and brown but also helped the Smarties and Choc bits to stick.
I found the basic gingerbread recipe in a supermarket leaflet and have given it a  royal twist.


125 gm unsalted butter

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of Highlander Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 egg

1 tsp of grated ginger/ or 1 teaspoon of ground ginger

2 tsp of ground cinnamon

2 1/2 cups of plain flour

1 tsp. of baking powder

Red, white and blue Smarties and Nestlé's Milk Chocolate bits for decorating

For the glaze:

1 tablespoon of water

2 tbsp. Highlander Sweetened condensed milk


1.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C

2.  Melt the butter, brown sugar and Highlander Sweetened Condensed milk in a saucepan.

3.  Whisk in egg and spices.

4.  Sift flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Stir into the mixture.

5.  Divide in half. Wrap both pieces in plastic wrap.

6.  Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

7.  Roll out each piece to 5mm in thickness between 2 sheets of glad wrap. Peel off the top sheet of glad wrap.

8.  Using a biscuit cutter cut out the gingerbread shapes and place on baking paper lined oven trays.

9. Mix the extra Highlander Sweetened Condensed Milk with the water. Use a pastry brush to spread this over the top of the biscuits.

10.  Decorate them with red, white and blue Smarties and Choc bits. Press these down firmly into the dough to help them to stick on.

11. Bake in preheated oven, one tray at a time, for 12-15 minutes or until the royal gingerbread babies are golden brown.

12.  Leave them on a tray for 5 minutes, and then lay gently on a rack to cool.

I posted this recipe on The Breeze Radio Website


Monday, 22 July 2013

Earth Gems and Chorizo salad with a Spicy Dressiing

When my daughter Kate brought home a bag of earth gems which she spotted at Moore Wilson in Wellington I just had to create a salad to show these decorative little root vegetables off . She's vegetarian so I made one little meatless platter for her and added some spicy chorizo to ours. Either way the mustard and lemon/lime dressing added a citrussy tang. To turn up the heat add a dash of Hot Samoan Boys Chili Sauce


(For one large meat eaters platter and a small vegetarian one)

1 bag of earth gems (500 gm)
1 bag of watercress
2 spicy chorizo sausages
5  eggs
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon of lime/lemon juice
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
A dash of hot chilli sauce ( I used Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Sauce)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Gently boil the earth gems in salted water until they are tender (about 10-15 minutes)
Slice and fry the chorizo
Hard boil the eggs and quarter them
Shake the oil, lime/lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper together to make the dressing. Add a dash of Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Sauce.
Toss the watercress in half of the dressing and arrange on a large platter.
Scatter the other ingredients decoratively over the top.
Dribble over the remaining dressing.
Serve warm.

For the vegetarian version:

Omit the chorizo


Friday, 19 July 2013

Pear Tarts from Little and Friday

This very decorative dessert was baked by my sister in law Alison for a dinner last night at our house. The recipe made 8  individual tarts and looked amazing. It came from the Little and Friday recipe book in which there is a superb collection of treats.

Each sweet short pastry base was filled  with 3 tablespoon of frangipane.
The bottoms were sliced from each pear before poaching so they would sit flat. Keeping the tops intact vertical slices were cut from the stalk of each pear, making each one a few millimetres apart.
Then each pear was gently spread apart to make a circular fan.
A pear fan was put on top of the frangipane filling in each tart . The pear was twisting slightly so it extended to the edges. The tarts were baked for 30 minutes in a moderate oven.

It sounds rather complicated but the end result was well worth it.

In the original recipe the tarts were served with mascarpone but some of us ate them plain and some added a dollop of whipped cream.

Mulled Plums

The spicy juices in which these plums are roasted is reminiscent of mulled wine. Delicious served warm for dessert with thick Greek yoghurt. If there are any leftovers refrigerate them and serve the next morning with muesli.


6-8 large plums
3/4 cup of pinot noir
1  teaspoon cinnamon/ 1 cinnamon quill
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (I used Heilala)
3-4  tablespoons of brown sugar
A few drops of Hot Samoan Boys Chilli sauce
The rind of an orange cut into strips ( use the outer layer only, without the pith)


Cut the plums in half and remove the stones.
Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish,
Mix all the other ingredients together and pour over the plums.
Bake for about 25 minutes in a moderate oven  (basting from time to time)  until the plums are soft and the juices are sticky and caramelised

Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Chocolate Orange Mousse


This is a very special dessert. The Hot Samoan Boys Chilli Sauce really brings out the chocolate and orange flavours. 

Serves 6


250 gm bar of dark chocolate  I used Whittaker's 50% cocoa)
125 ml water
3 eggs separated
3 tablespoons of castor sugar
1 tablespoon of finely grated orange rind
1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier/Cointreau/orange juice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Hot Samoan Boys Chilli sauce


Break the chocolate bar into small pieces.
Heat the chocolate with the water in a saucepan.
Stir until it is melted.
Keep on simmering the mixture for about 2 minutes until it thickens slightly.
Take it off the heat and let it cool slightly for a minute.
Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. The hot chocolate mixture will cook them slightly.
Beat in one tablespoon of Grand Marnier/Cointreau/orange juice
Beat the egg whites until stiff.
Gradually beat  the sugar into the egg whites until the mixture is glossy.
Fold the egg whites lightly into the chocolate mixture.
Put the mousse into small bowls or glasses.

Leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.



Friday, 12 July 2013

French Apple Tart ( Tarte aux Pommes) for Bastille Day


French Apple Tart for Bastille Day

For an impromptu Bastille Day brunch serve this easy, rustic French Apple Tart alongside a platter of ham and cheese croissants.
It will serve four people,


1 Butter Puff pastry square ( I used Edmonds)
2 large eating apples (I used Braeburn)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of cold butter (grated)
2 tablespoons of castor sugar
4 tablespoons of apricot jam/ apricot conserve 
1-2 teaspoons water/rum/drambuie

Heat the oven to 200 degrees C
Take the pastry out of the freezer and let it defrost until it is slightly pliable.
Using a 22 1/2 cm plate/bottom of a cake tin as a template cut a circle out of it.
Place the circle of pastry on a baking paper lined oven tray.
Turn up the edges all around to contain any juices as it bakes.
Core and thinly slice the apples (no need to peel)
Put in a bowl, add the lemon juice and toss them around.
Then arrange them in an overlapping circle on top of the pastry.
Sprinkle with castor sugar.
Take some butter out of the fridge (it must be cold )and grate two tablespoons.
Dot the grated butter over the apples.
Put the tart in the oven and bake at 200 degrees C for about 20-25 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden and the apples are tender.
Put 4 tablespoons of apricot jam/apricot conserves in the microwave to soften for a few seconds.
Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of rum/ drambuie/ water to thin it a little.
Use a silicone pastry brush to spread it evenly over the apple tart.
Serve the tart as soon as it has cooled a little with yoghurt/whipped cream.
Bon Appetit!
I  created this recipe for The Breeze website