Chocolate Cherry Biscuits

cherry

These Chocolate Cherry Biscuits smell like Christmas pudding. I just love them, but Miss S and He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers don’t really go for them because of the raisins, so I end up giving them away or eating them all myself.

3/4 Cup plain flour
1/3 Cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
125g butter
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 Cup chocolate chips
1/2 Cup glace cherries, chopped
1/2 Cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice

Cream the butter, sugar and the vanilla extract, then beat in the egg.

Stir in the flour, cocoa and bi-carb soda then mix in the chocolate chips, raisins and cherries.

Roll teaspoon sized balls of mixture and place on a lined baking tray.

Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 14 minutes. Take them out of the oven even if they don’t look cooked enough, because there is so much cocoa in these biscuits they won’t look cooked even when they are.

Let the biscuits cool on the tray for a few minutes before moving them to a dry rack.

Peanut Brittle

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When I was a child, a neighbour asked Dad to teach her daughter to drive.

All of us kids piled into the back of the Holden, which Dad used as a paddock bomb and went with him to help out. We picked up the learner driver and Dad drove down to the caravan park, which was completely vacant all winter, where she drove around and around the little streets under Dad’s instructions. We sat silently in the back seat, having been warned by Dad that learning to drive was a serious business.

A few more lessons and she passed her test. She gave Dad a packet of Peanut Brittle to say thank you. Dad and Mum ate the Peanut Brittle all by themselves, because, Mum says, she was afraid we would break our teeth on it. It is probably time to let this injustice go, but I’m not quite ready yet.

2 Cups sugar

150gm butter

1/4 Cup water

250gm roast peanuts (I used raw peanuts, but roasted would have been much nicer).

Combine the sugar, butter and water in a heavy saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil hard for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. If the mixture starts to crystalise, put a tablespoon of water in and stir until it goes runny again.

When the mixture is the right colour, take it off the heat and quickly mix in the nuts. (I ground some salt in at this stage too, to give the toffee a more interesting flavour).

Pour the mixture into a tray covered with baking paper and spread thinly. Leave the mixture to set then crack it into pieces.

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Sticky Date Pudding

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Okay, I admit it is easier to buy a frozen Sticky Date Pudding at the supermarket and put it in the microwave than it is to make your own from scratch, but truly, home made Sticky Date Pudding is even nicer than bought.

1 Cup chopped dates

1 teaspoon bi-carb soda

300ml boiling water

60gm butter

3/4 Cup caster sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 Cup Self Raising flour

1 over ripe banana

Butterscotch Sauce

1 Cup brown sugar

150ml cream

60gm butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the dates, bi-carb soda in a small bowl, cover and leave to cool.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time and beat.

Fold in the flour, then the dates and banana. Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin.

dateBake at 160 degrees Celsius for 55 minutes.

Butterscotch Sauce

Place the brown sugar, butter, cream and vanilla extract into a saucepan and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring.

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Leave to simmer without stirring for five minutes. Serve over the pudding with cream or ice cream.

Crema Catalan

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I didn’t do a very good job of Crema Catalan, which is a lemon flavoured custard with a crisp toffee topping. I didn’t sieve the cornflour, which contributed to the lumps and then I mixed the eggs into the milk mixture, rather than the other way around, which made the eggs go sort of stringy. I didn’t have lemons either, so I used a splash of Limoncello instead. (I made the Limoncello a couple of years ago and it is delicious). Still, learn from my mistakes and give Crema Catalan a whirl, because it is yummy.

395gm tin of sweetened condensed milk
1 lemon rind (or splash of Limoncello)
2 C boiling water
3 Tblpns cornflour, sifted
2 eggs
4 Tblspns sugar

Combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon and water.

Whisk the eggs and cornflour until smooth, then whisk in the condensed milk mixture.

Pour the whole lot into a saucepan and continue stirring (or whisking if the mixture goes lumpy) over a low heat until thickened. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see yolky lumps in mine, which could have been avoided had I mixed the ingredients the way I’ve told you, instead of the way I did.

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Pour into ramekins and refrigerate for an hour.

Sprinkle the tops with sugar and put the blow torch to good use. He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers has warned the younger members of the household to stay out of the kitchen while I am wielding the blow torch, I’m not sure why. I haven’t singed anything yet.

Banana Biscuits #2

banana

The bananas I used to make these biscuits were so bad there was mould growing on one of the skins, but as it turns out, almost mouldy bananas are perfect for Banana Biscuits.

This is a very healthy recipe, even with the white chocolate, but if you wanted to make these biscuits even healthier you could replace the chocolate with sultanas or raisins and a sprinkle of cinnamon or ginger. (Personally, I like the chocolate!)

Three mushy bananas

1 1/2 Cups rolled oats

1/2 Cup white chocolate chips

Mash the bananas then mix in the rolled oats and chocolate.

Drop teaspoons of mixture onto the tray (use baking paper, as the bananas weep) and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

Let the biscuits harden for a while on the tray before removing to a wire rack.