Category Archives: Party food

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.

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Salted Chocolate Caramels

The start of the school hols here in Western Australia calls for a sweet treat in our house.

Ingredients

130g salted butter

395mls condensed milk

200g brown sugar

2 tablespoons golden syrup

2 tablespoons glucose syrup

100g 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate

Salt flakes

Method

Line a small tin, 15x25cm, with baking parchment.

In a heavy based pan, heat the butter, condensed milk, sugar and syrups very gently over a low heat.

Once the sugar has dissolved, slowly bring up to the boil and simmer very gently for five minutes until thickened.

Take off the heat, stir in the chocolate and stir until combined and lump free.

As soon as the chocolate has dissolved, pour the caramel mix into the prepared tin and smooth out.

Sprinkle over a few salt flakes and pop into the fridge until cold. Once completely set, using a sharp knife, cut into squares.

Chicken Nibbles

This is my gluten and egg free version of every child’s favourite, popcorn chicken.

Serves 4-6 depending on appetites!

Ingredients

WET INGREDIENTS

1kg chicken breast, diced 1cm

50mls buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

DRY INGREDIENTS

230g chickpea flour

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

Method

Get out two large bowls, measure the ingredients out at the same time, it saves you measuring out the spices again later.

So, all the wet ingredients in one bowl and all the dry ingredients in the other.

Combine the wet ingredients well and pop them into the fridge for 2-4 hours.

Heat your deep fat fryer to 170 degrees.

Take handfuls of the chicken and tumble the chicken pieces through the dry spice and chickpea mix.

Fry in batches for 4-5 minutes until cooked through and golden.

Drain on kitchen towel roll and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Mocha Roulade

A sweet treat today, one for the coffee lovers!

The boys devoured this so it isn’t too strongly flavoured with coffee and it is gluten and nut free.

Cuts into 8 very generous slices.

Ingredients

6 eggs 

150g caster sugar

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

50g cocoa powder

ICING

250g icing sugar

125g salted butter

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

15mls boiling water

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade. Line a baking tray, 38x25cm, with baking parchment, folding it right into the corners as the cake batter is too light to weigh it down.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk to stiff peaks, add 50g of the caster sugar and whisk in until the whites are shiny.

In another large bowl, using the whisk that you used for the whites, whisk the egg yolks, remaining sugar and coffee powder until really thick, creamy and the powder has dissolved. Sieve the cocoa over the bowl and fold in.

Now, fold a third of the whites into the yolk very gently. Once combined repeat with another third and then with the remaining third.

Spoon the batter, spreading it evenly up to the edges, onto the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.

While the cake is baking boil the kettle.

In a food processor, whizz the icing sugar to remove any lumps, add the butter and whizz until creamy in the processor.

Measure out the coffee powder into a small cup, add the boiled water and stir to combine.

Slowly pour this coffee into the processor with it on to combine. Scrape down the sides and process again. You may neeed to do this a few times to get all of the coffee incorporated.

Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and let it sit for five minutes.

Cover the cake with a clean tea towel and invert so you have the parchment up. Peel the parchment off.

Now, roll the cake, including the tea towel, skinny end to skinny end. Allow to sit and cool with the tea towel still in situ.

Once the cake has cooled, unroll gently, remove the tea towel, spread the inside of the roll with the icing and roll back up.

Sift a little icing sugar over and serve.

Chickpea Pizza Base

Another pizza base!

I love how quickly these can be made and then personalised and the base only has three ingredients, chickpea flour/besan which I always have a box of,water and salt, too easy!

This pizza is topped with passata, chorizo, Parmesan and spring onions.

To make this vegan, just use oil in your pan and select your usual toppings.

Makes 5-6 pizza bases.

Ingredients

275g chickpea flour

750mls water

Pinch of salt

Butter and or oil

Method

Measure the flour into a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and slowly whisk the water into the flour to form a very runny batter. Set aside for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, heat your grill or broiler to high.

Take a non stick, oven proof, 22/24cm frying pan and heat over medium to high heat with 10g butter and 10mls oil.

Whisk the batter, season and whisk again.

Once the butter has melted, swirl around the pan and add 200mls of batter.

Swirl the pan and pop back on the heat.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until the surface appears to dry a little.

Now slide the pan under the grill, my pan doesn’t have an oven proof handle so I have it sticking out away from the heat!

Grill for 3-4 minutes until colouring.

Now you can choose to top the pizza and grill again to melt your toppings or as I do, make all the bases and then bake them in a 210 degree Centigrade oven until the toppings have melted, less than a minute for the pizza in the picture.

Coconut and Cranberry Balls


In the days before healthy bliss balls, I can remember my Mum making a version of these, raisins instead of cranberries and dipped in chocolate. 

This recipe makes 25 balls. They are small but trust me, you don’t want them too big, these are rich sweeties!

Ingredients

110g butter

150g icing sugar

80g desiccated coconut

130g cranberries

25g 70% coco solids chocolate

Method

In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar.

Add the cranberries and coconut and pulse until combined.

Form into balls and place, spaced out, on a piece of baking parchment.

Now melt the chocolate, I cheat and melt it carefully in the microwave.

Take teaspoons of the chocolate and drizzle over the balls.

Allow to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Gluten Free Donuts

Unfortunately, these don’t last long in our house!

Quick to make, baked not fried and leftovers, if you have any, freeze well.

Makes 18 donuts.

Ingredients

75g Greek yogurt

3 eggs, beaten

125mls oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

110g gluten free plain flour

80g ground almonds/ almond meal

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

200g caster sugar

Icing sugar to dust

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Centigrade.

Butter the donut tins very well.

Combine the yogurt, eggs, oil and vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder and sugar.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold in.

Pour the batter into an icing bag or a large plastic bag. If using a bag, cut the corner off to create a piping bag.

Squeeze the batter out into each individual ring, no more than a third filled.

Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes.

Allow to cool a little in the tin before tipping out onto a baking rack.

Dust with a little icing sugar and serve.