Thursday, June 27, 2013

honey and walnut winter brownie

A promise to Mr 5 that we will enjoy afternoon tea on a picnic mat at the front of the house because finally the sun had come out and he'd spent almost 3 days in doors with a bit of croup. But I had to work quickly and prep tonight's dinner - Pork and vegetable pie with a simple homemade pastry - before those few rays of sunshine disappeared.

Honey and Walnut Brownie
1 cup organic flour, 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon natural salt, 180g 70% dark chocolate, 125g butter, 1/2 cup organic rapadura sugar, 1/2 cup raw honey, 2 large free-range eggs, 1 cup finely chopped walnuts.

Preheat oven 180ºC. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Set aside to cool. Beat the sugar and honey in to the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs until just blended. Mix in the dry ingredients and Walnuts. Pour in to a 9 inch (23 cm) square pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. Do not over bake! Always under bake brownies just a little so they are nice and gooey in the middle.

As usual we all had two servings (not smiley baby of course) including Rob when he arrived home from work. As I packed away the leftover brownies I could tell that we'll be in desperate need of a delicious sweet fix in only a couple of days.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

rainy day almond and jam kisses

One of my (self-imposed) duties as a stay-at-home mum is baking delicious sweet treats for my little family. Keeping them away as much as possible from the store bought variety which are mostly full of additives and leaves you feeling quite unsatisfied.

The plan is to have my sweet treats last almost a week and I say this to them as I am eating my second consecutive serving, unbeknown to them. They never last that long, no matter how much I make they disappear in 3 days! But that's a good thing, hey.

On this rainy day, I was inspired to make sweet treats with almond meal (flour) and some leftover jam we won at a local fair.

My cooking thing is to find traditional recipes and tweak them with some better wholefood ingredients. I find this gives the baked sweets more depth and texture and leaves you feeling really satisfied and happy.

Almond and Jam Kisses
3/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup of icing sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 cup plain organic flour, 1 cup almond meal (flour), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup real jam of choice.

I know, icing sugar! I usually cook with better quality sweeteners but I had two failed attempts at tweaking refined sugars to better ones last week. Today I needed a sure thing, my intense cravings depended on it. My family's intense cravings depended on it.

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until creamy. Mix in the almond meal, plain flour and salt. Drop tablespoon of the dough on to trays spacing them out 5 cm and flatten them slightly with a fork. Bake 15-20 minutes or until just golden on the edges. Warm the jam in a saucepan over low heat until liquid. Stick the biscuits together in pairs with the liquid jam. I used apricot jam and fig jam.

Recipe tweaked from this cookbook.

Enjoy and I'll probably see you in about three days:)