Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies


CheeseCakeBrownies-8Have you noticed the amazing array of cakes, biscuits, brownies and slices that are available all over Brisbane? There was a time when everything was sourced from the same commercial bakery, but not anymore. I find it inspiring to see what creativity there is in kitchens all over Australia.

One morning I was out at Milk Bar Cafe in Ashgrove enjoying my coffee, when I peered into the cabinet and saw these amazing delights. Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies! What more could you want than the combination of two decadent treats! I ordered one on the premise I needed to try some for research reasons! Mmmmmm so delicious. When I returned home with what I guessed would be the right ingredients, I did a bit of research and started baking. I changed the recipe so that the top and bottom should work out to be of equal proportions now. This one I photographed was a bit thin on top.

CheeseCakeBrownies-6So here is the recipe… enjoy!

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

(as high percent cocoa as possible)

500g castor sugar

(free range)

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 25 x 25cm tin.

Place the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Cream the butter and 350g of the caster sugar until pale, then add 3 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate, then fold in the flour. Spread all of the mixture into the lined pan. Bash down on the counter top a few times to make it as flat as possible.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining sugar and eggs and the vanilla extract until smooth, then spread over the chocolate base.

Poke the raspberries into the top and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

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Place in fridge overnight and cut into squares in the morning.

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Gluten Free Muesli Cookies with Dark Chocolate


IMG_4085I have just had the most wonderful time on Stradbroke Island. A little Island just off the coast of Brisbane that has been a holiday destination for years. This little piece of paradise is only accessible by ferry or water taxi and somehow in the hour it takes between mainland and the island your life changes for the better.

Stradbroke is a nature lovers paradise with kangaroos, birds of all types, dolphins, koalas and of course whales rolling by in the distance. The kangaroos really do hop down the main streets, so if you want to experience a true Australian adventure try and fit a trip to Stradbroke Island into your itinerary.

IMG_4274Strange things happen to me when I arrive at the beach. Suddenly I am ravenous and need to eat ALL the time. Not a great way to start a holiday where I am likely to be parading around in a swimsuit! Anyway I eventually gave into the need to eat and baked some muesli cookies. Being made of muesli and gluten free muesli at that, they would have to be good for you wouldn’t they?

I dipped them in dark chocolate as everything tastes better with chocolate. On the first day I think I ate four! I tried to slow it down a little after that. I’m sure the kangaroos that hopped into the back yard of the holiday house were attracted by the smell.

IMG_1088Recipe

If you don’t need these to be gluten free just replace ingredients with non gluten free ones.

Ingredients

2 cups of gluten free muesli

1 cup of toasted almond flakes

1 cup of gluten free flour

250ml of cream

1/2 cup of honey

1/2 cup of light muscovado sugar. (Billingtons does a great one).

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Preheat oven to 170°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Combine muesli and flour in a bowl. Simmer cream, sugar and honey together, until sugar is melted.

Add cream, sugar and honey mixture to gluten free muesli and flaked almonds and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes. Roll spoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on trays, 3cm apart. Flatten.

Bake for 10 minutes. Swap trays halfway through. Cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining mixture.

When cool dip in dark chocolate or dribble over.

Dark chocolate is just dark chocolate melted in a bowl over boiling water. When it’s runny it’s ready.

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Frittata and Fried Moroccan Cauliflower


  

It might surprise you to know that in Australia we throw away around $10 Billion dollars worth of food! Most of this is fruit and vegetables that are rejected before reaching retail shelves due to the fact that they don’t look perfect. However family throw out around 1/5 of the food they buy too.  I would like to encourage everyone to think about trying to reduce these numbers.  One of the ways we can do this is by cooking more with the produce we buy. Simple dishes like soup, casseroles and frittatas don’t need perfect looking vegetables to go into making them. They will still taste great with less than perfect produce.

With Autumn on it’s way, a Frittata is a great choice for a healthy dinner, lunch of lunch box alternative. It is also a a great snack anytime and can be eaten cold or hot. In our home, vegetables have always been popular but then again we never serve just a bowl of boiled beans. Every time I prepare them differently. Sometimes in a tomato sauce like the Italians would , sometimes roasted in the oven with rosemary and lemon. This time I prepared the cauliflower in a fry pan and fried it up with Moroccan spices and pistachios. However you can just as easily roast the cauliflower and other ingredients in the oven. I posted a photo on my facebook page and there was a big response! Everyone wanted to eat it or cook it. So here is the recipe for both.

If you prefer you can buy a sachet of Tagine Spices from Herbies. This way you don’t have to use all the other herbs and spices.

Enjoy!

Recipe for Fried Moroccan Cauliflower

Ingredients

1 whole cauliflower cut into small florets.

1 leek

1 onion

1 garlic clove

1 cup of roasted pistachios

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon of grated ginger

1 teaspoon of dried coriander

olive oil

Method

Place olive oil, garlic, onion, leek ginger and spices in a hot fry pan and cook until onion is translucent.

Then add all the other ingredients and fry until the cauliflower is cooked to your liking.

Serve as a side dish or just enjoy a big bowl for lunch.

Recipe for Frittata

Ingredients

3 medium potatoes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1  onion, chopped

2 zucchini sliced

100g baby spinach

200g red grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup of chopped parsley

5 eggs

1/2 cup cream

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup grated tasty cheese

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a 5cm-deep, 26cm x 16.5cm (base) ovenproof dish. Pierce each potato 4 times with a bamboo skewer. Place in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high (100%) for 4 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool. Thinly slice.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add zucchini Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is tender and zucchini cooked. Add spinach. Cook for 1 minute or until spinach is just wilted.
  3. Combine onion mixture, tomatoes and capsicum in a bowl. Arrange half the potato, in a single layer, over prepared dish. Top with half the onion mixture. Repeat with remaining potato and onion mixture.
  4. Whisk eggs and cream in a bowl. Gently pour egg mixture over vegetable mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 mins

 

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