Friday, August 20, 2010

Caramel White Chocolate Blondies

This recipe is one my mum used to bake for us as kids....and still does.  She used to make it for my primary school tuckshop and the kids used to love it.  Her recipe was a little different from mine below as she used to put sultanas and chopped up dried apricots in it and she called it 'Fruit Slice'.  I'm afraid it was time to reinvent the recipe as we got a little tired of the fruit in it and as some of my boys don't seem to like sultanas in cakes any more, so we replaced them with white chocolate buds.  This brings out the caramel flavour of the mixture.  Although you can try it with sultanas and dried apricots or some macadamia nuts for a different flavour and texture.  Play around with your add in's to find your favourites!!

Caramel White Chocolate Blondies

                                     250g butter
                                     2 cups brown sugar
                                     2 eggs
                                     2 cups flour
                                     4 teaspoons baking powder
                                     2 teaspoon vanilla
                                     1 cup white chocolate buds

Turn oven on to 180°C/ 350°F.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over the stove.  Add the brown sugar and mix well until mostly combined.

Take off the stove and let it cool a little while before adding eggs, you don't want the eggs to cook as you add it to the mixture.  Mix thoroughly while adding eggs.  Add vanilla, flour and baking powder and combine.

Pour into a lined lamington tin or 33 x 23 cm rectangle pan.  Sprinkle white chocolate buds over top and push a few in or alternatively you can add them in the mixture before pouring into the tin.

Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes.  Do not over bake otherwise it becomes too crispy, you want it to be moist and soft.  Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before slicing into squares.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sausage and Bean Hotpot

This recipe is basically a concoction of recipes I have followed, improved upon, now it is just in my head and at last I have written it down.  This recipe uses a lot of staple canned vegetables that I keep a good stock of on the shelves.  Four bean mix, tinned tomatoes and tomato soup, the fresh vegies are pretty basic too.  The sausages I used were extra lean pork sausages with ginger and shallots, you can use whatever sausages you like, so long as they are flavoursome and preferably not your cheapest variety of pigs bits and pieces (sorry).  My slow cooker is 6 litres, if yours is smaller just halve the ingredients.  When cooking I always make a big batch so we can spread it across for two meals.  You can also cook this on the stove top in a large pan which is what I used to do, at least with the slow cooker you can leave it all day.  Enjoy!!

Sausage and Bean Hotpot

                                     4 potatoes diced
                                     1/2 orange sweet potato diced
                                     1 red onion sliced
                                     2 sticks celery diced
                                     4 cloves of garlic cut in half
                                     2 500g packets of sausages
                                     2 800g cans of diced tomatoes
                                     1 420g can tomato soup
                                     1 750g can of 4 bean mix drained and rinsed
                                     2 1/2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
                                     1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
                                     1 tablespoon brown sugar
                                     salt/pepper to taste
                                     2 teaspoons chicken stock dissolved in the water
                                     2 cups water
                                     1 cup chopped green beans (optional)

Brown the sausages in a pan and then add to slow cooker. 

Dice and slice vegetables and add to slow cooker along with the garlic.

Add the canned ingredients, the worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, water and stock.  If you're like me who left it until midday to get the pot ready, keep slow cooker on high for a few hours first.  Otherwise just slow cook on low for at least 6 to 7 hrs.

One hour before serving take the sausages out of the pot and slice into bite sized pieces and then put them back in the pot.  I also like to cut up some green beans at this stage and put them in the pot too, so they don't get too soggy for the first serving and stay a little crunchy.

Serve with some toast or a crusty loaf of bread.