Category Archives: Make and freeze

Brownie Cakes

We have an ongoing argument in the family as to what to call these, bruffins is the boys choice but they really are just a brownie.

As they are a brownie, they come out of the oven puffed in the middle and rapidly fall as they cool, the icing then fills the gap but be warned, these are rich!

Makes 16.

Ingredients

120g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

120g butter

70g smooth peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

300g caster sugar

120g ground almonds, almond meal

3/4 tablespoon baking powder

3 eggs

ICING

130g butter, at room temperature

225g icing sugar

25g cocoa powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade.

Take two muffin tins and line 16 holes with muffin cases.

Either over hot water or carefully in the microwave, melt the butter and chocolate gently, stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.

In another bowl, measure out the sugar, ground almonds and baking powder.

In a third bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy.

Pour the chocolate into the dry ingredients and then fold in the eggs gently.

Spoon into the prepared cases and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

Once the cakes are cool, make the icing.

In a food processor, blitz the icing sugar to get any lumps out or sieve it.

Add the cocoa powder and then beat in the butter.

Spread a little icing into the middle of each cake and then grate over some white chocolate.

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Pesto Meatballs

I love that you don’t need to make a sauce for these meatballs, the pan juices, passata and balsamic make a lovely sauce.

The quantity of pesto is a bit vague, I made a big batch of fresh pesto today and just used up the last little bit in these meatballs.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

1kg minced pork

80-100g pesto

Salt and pepper

36-40 bocconcini, drained

750mls passata

30mls balsamic vinegar

20g finely grated Parmesan

Method

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Centigrade.

In a large bowl, combine the pork, pesto, salt and pepper.

Divide the meat into 36-40 balls, flatten the meat, pop a mozzarella ball on top and gently bring the meat together to enclose completely. Repeat with all of the meat and cheese.

Place the meatballs in a roasting tin, a little spread out if you can.

Bake for 20 minutes until beginning to colour.

Turn the oven down to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven, pour the passata over the meatballs and then dribble over the balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle over the parmesan and then return to the oven, bake for 25-30minutes.

Cheese and Chorizo Puffs

These little Brazilian breads are an absolute delight and so easy to make.

The batter also keeps for a couple of days on the fridge so you can make them fresh as you need them.

Makes 60-70 mini muffin sized puffs.

Ingredients

100g chorizo

170g cheddar, finely grated

350g tapioca flour

350mls milk

150mls oil

2 eggs

Method

Cook the chorizo over a high heat until crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove from the pan and place on some kitchen paper to remove excess fat. Allow to cool completely.

Grease 3 x 24 mini muffin tins if you are using all of the batter.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Once the chorizo is cool, place in a food processor and pulse until it creates a chorizo crumb.

Now add all of the other ingredients and whizz to form a batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins, no more than two thirds full.

Place the trays in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Brisket

This photo really doesn’t do this recipe justice but to be honest the beef was eaten so quickly I only got the one shot!

I’ve taken the principles of using a rub with herbs and spices to coat the meat and then allowing it to sit for 12-24 hours in the fridge. Then, instead of using the BBQ, the slow cooker has stepped in and worked its magic! Finally, I take the meat out and pop it in a hot oven just to crisp up the fatty bits for a fab tortilla filling or serve with lots of salads to cut through the richness of the meat.

Serves 8-10. Leftovers keep well in the fridge, freeze well and are very popular in wraps for school with my boys.

Ingredients

2.2kg beef brisket, cut into 8-10 large pieces

5 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

1 teaspoon ground all spice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons salt

Pepper

375mls passata

100mls gluten free Worcestershire sauce

100g brown sugar

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Method

I leave the fat on the top of the brisket, cut it into large chunks, around 5-8cm square. Take a sharp knife and score the fat to create a crisscross pattern.

Combine the spice rub in a bowl.

Tip the meat into the rub and cover completely.

Place the meat and any excess rub into a zip lock bag and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. 24 hours is better if you can!

Tip the meat into your slow cooker, I use a 6.5l Cooker.

Add the wet ingredients and sugar and using your hands massage the sauce all over the meat.

Turn the cooker on and set to nine hours on low.

After nine hours the meat should be falling apart a little if you push it with the back of a spoon.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Gently spoon the meat into a roasting tray, scored fat side up, and slide it into the oven, roast for 30-45 minutes to let the fat crisp up.

Pull the meat apart with forks to serve so everyone gets a little of the crispy fat as well as the delicious, sticky sauce covered meat.

Almond And Cherry Mini Cakes

With the start of cricket season here in Western Australia it is time to get back to baking for the shared morning teas when the boys play matches at their home ground.

These are lovely sweet treats that disappear quickly. Any leftovers freeze very well and are perfect for school lunch boxes.

Makes 48 mini cakes.

Ingredients

150g ground almonds, almond meal

140g gluten free plain flour

80g caster sugar

1 tablespoon gluten free baking powder

100g butter, melted

140g Greek yogurt

1 egg, beaten

125mls milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

140g cherry conserve

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Centigrade. Line 2 x 24 hole mini muffin trays.

In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, sugar and baking powder. Give it a whisk to get rid of any lumps.

In another bowl combine the butter, yogurt, egg, milk and vanilla extract.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and begin to fold in, don’t over mix it.

Spoon the conserve into the batter in dollops and then fold in gently.

Spoon into the prepared cake tins.

Bake for 17-20minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Warm Cheese Dip

The magical combination of cheese and chilli in a dip.

This is one of those fab dips that you can make ahead of time and just pop it into the oven to warm up again. It freezes well and if you want to make it a bit more substantial add some cooked chopped meat, this one has some cooked chicken stirred through. Pulled pork, chorizo and slow cooked beef work well too.

Ingredients

50g butter

1 large onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

3 tablespoons gluten free plain flour

375mls milk

1x400g tin crushed tomatoes

200-300g cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

Method

In a large pan, melt the butter, add the onion, cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the flour, smoked paprika, chipotle chilli and oregano to the pan and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.

Add the milk and tinned tomatoes and stir constantly until thickened.

Turn off the heat, add most of the grated cheese and stir until the cheese has melted.

Serve now or pour into oven proof dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake in a 200 degree oven until the cheese has melted and is golden.

Slow Cooker Spice Rack Pork


At the beginning of winter I bought a slow cooker and a few months later I am a complete convert on nights when we are all coming and going.

The seasoning for the pork is very simple but don’t be tempted to add more liquid, it really doesn’t need any.

I love chimichurri and it goes so well here, cutting through the rich meat and adding a gorgeous splash of colour.

Serves 8. Any leftover meat freezes well with the pan juices and the boys have wraps with salad, pork and chimichurri for school in the days after we have this.

Ingredients

2kg boned pork shoulder/pork butt cut into 5-7cm dice

1 large orange, juiced

3 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons dried oregano

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Chimichurri Ingredients

20g parsley leaves

80g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

1 green chilli, deseeded

1 lime juiced

2 garlic cloves

75mls olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine all of the pork ingredients in the slow cooker.

Cook on high for six hours.

To make the chimichurri…….

Process all of the ingredients, add a little more oil if you need to.