Traditional Hot Cross Buns

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Hi all,

Today I bring you a delicious hot cross bun recipe from The Cook and Baker just in time for Easter – lucky you!!

Hot cross buns are definitely one of my favourite things about this time of the year and as a kid I would always look forward to tucking into some warm buns after school.

I’ve always thought that they would be so hard to make, until last year when I actually tried making some dark chocolate cranberry ones and to my surprise they weren’t actually as difficult as I had always imagined! The only downfall is that they just take a little longer to prepare than most things with all the resting of the dough but all the wait is definitely worth it when you finally eat them fresh out of the oven – so good!! And they are definitely so much better than the store bought ones so it’s not that bad after all!

This year my mum made the more traditional variety of buns laced with spices and dried fruit rather than the chocolatey version I made last year. I’m sure even those who fall into the choc chip hot cross bun lover’s club will also like these. They are perfect warm and slathered in melting butter or however else you may like them.

Just remember that because these are made fresh and don’t contain any preservatives etc. they do go stale very quickly. So try to eat as many as you can in the first day you make them (I’m sure you’ll have no trouble with this)!! Or if you think you aren’t up to the challenge just freeze some for later.

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Recipe

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Makes about 18

Ingredients:

  • 200g sultanas
  • 250 ml Earl Grey tea, strong and hot
  • 250 ml skim milk
  • 10g dried yeast
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 860g strong (bread) flour
  • 2 tablespoons mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 85g butter, softened
  • 130g dried apricots, diced
  • 4 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour & 1 tablespoon caster sugar – for piping paste
  • 110g caster sugar – for glaze
  • Butter, to serve

Method:

  1. Soak the sultanas in the tea from 30 mins, then drain thoroughly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  3. In a medium saucepan, warm the skim milk and 200 ml water to 30 degrees C on a thermometer, then remove from heat. Add the yeast, sugar and egg and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside.
  4. Sift together the flour, mixed spice and salt into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add the softened butter and the yeast mix. Knead on a low speed until just incorporated. Turn the speed to medium and mix for 8 mins. Add the fruit and knead until all fruit is evenly distributed through the dough, approximately 1 – 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Form a ball, and place the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl, then cover with a plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to prove for approximately 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Divide into 18 equal pieces and roll into taut balls. Place on the prepared tray, allowing room for spreading. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, leave in a warm place to prove for 45 minutes until doubled in size.
  7. For the piping paste: in a small bowl, mix the flour with the sugar and 60 ml water until smooth. Fill a piping (icing) bag with the paste and pipe crosses on top of the buns.
  8. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and the buns sound hollow when tapped on the base.
  9. To glaze: in a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar and 50ml water and bring to the boil. Brush this glaze over the buns.

Notes:

  • Best eaten on the day or can be toasted up to 2 days later.
  • Eat with lashings of butter!
  • Original recipe from here.

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Happy Easter! I hope you all enjoy the day whether you celebrate it or not. It is a holiday so remember to relax and treat yourself a little. All your hardwork will not be undone from one day of bad eating or whatever it may be that concerns you.

Tanisha xx

 

 

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bliss Balls

IMG_2053Wowee it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. What can I say? Life just got in the way!

But first, hold your horses fam.

These are yum. Like, really yum.

I mean it does consist of the deadly combination of peanut butter and chocolate so there’s really minimal room for non-yumminess but I’m being 100% trueful when I say they’re good. If you like peanut butter and chocolate then you will no doubt like these. (By the way, I’m really sorry if you don’t like peanut butter, because nearly all my meals involve it. Whoops.)

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These are great for an afternoon pick-me-up or after dinner sweet and they’re also great for your health too so it’s a win-win!

Of course I did not come up with this surprisingly easy recipe, as much as I would have loved to. I actually got it from Wholefood Simply. So all creds to you! What a star!

Anyways here’s the recipe because that’s really what you guys all came here for.

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Recipe

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bliss Balls

 Makes ~ 7

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups almond meal
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey (or rice malt syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt*
  • 40 grams dark choc chips

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients except the choc chips into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the choc chips and mix to combine.
  3. Using hands, roll mixture into balls and place in the fridge or freezer to set.

Notes:

  • Try to choose a peanut butter that is quite runny – I recommend Mayver’s – as this will help with the consistency.
  • If you find the batter is not wet enough just add a little bit of water until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • *If the peanut butter already contains salt omit the salt altogether.
  • Recipe from here.

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That’s all folks!

 

Tanisha xx

Trail Mix Granola

img_1743Yum. Yum. Yum, with a capital Y.

This is the kind of granola that you eat out of the jar because it’s that good. Until you realise that there’s none left and you only made it yesterday…..oops (story of my life).

I love this granola especially because I’m going through a sort of phase where I’ll eat anything with cashews in it. For some unknown reason I hadn’t eaten them in ages and then the other day I decided to buy them and by golly, they’re good! (Also, because it has chocolate chips and craisins in it, and it’s really clusterific and you all know I love clustery granola) – sorry that was a really long sentence.

img_1708If you scrolled down to see the recipe, you’re probably wondering why there’s egg white in it. What a random ingredient to have in granola, right?! Wrong! Along with the nut butter, the egg white works to create those perfect little clusters that make this granola so good. Without it the granola would be, well…muesli.

Also, I almost forgot to tell you guys – over the next two months I am on exchange in Italy so I sincerely apologise in advance if I am a bit slack in posting recipes. Hopefully when I get back I will have some authentic Italian recipes up my sleeve!

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Something I will miss a lot over the next two months will definitely have to be my homemade granola. I make one or two batches every weekend when I am home so it will definitely be quite weird for me without it.

Anyways, here’s the recipe so you guys can make it for me

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Recipe

Trail Mix Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • ¾ cup whole unsalted almonds
  • ½ cup whole cashews
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup almond or peanut butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150C (300F) degrees. Line one large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Toss the oats, almonds, cashews, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium heat-proof bowl, microwave the maple syrup, coconut oil, and almond butter together for about 30 seconds. Alternatively, you may melt these ingredients together in a small pan on the stovetop. Remove from the microwave and using a fork or rubber spatula, stir until everything is melted together and smooth. You may need to microwave it for 10 more seconds or so. Allow to cool down for about 5 minutes (you don’t want to cook the egg white!). Once slightly cooled, whisk in the egg white and vanilla.
  4. Pour over the oats and toss to coat. Make sure all of the oats are moistened.
  5. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet (it usually always fits onto just one– if too crowded, use two baking sheets and bake at the same time on different racks) and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely – the air will help the granola obtain a crunchy texture. Once cooled, toss in the dried cranberries/raisins and chocolate chips.

Notes:

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Until next time,

 

Tanisha xx

 

Super Simple Tomato Soup

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Creds to Jamie Oliver for this recipe.

Unfortunately I can’t claim it given that it was purely all his genius but this one’s a keeper – not no Jamie, the soup.

Oh and please don’t be fooled by the title (oh it is simple btw) but just because it is ‘super simple’ doesn’t mean it is not delicious, infact it is quite tasty if I do say so myself.

This is one of those recipes that is literally just all derived from vegetables, yet still tastes yum (although I am biased because that I am quite the veggie lover), but I guess you could put it in the same ‘delicious veggie derived recipe’ category as fritters and sweet potato chips. Personally, I could live either of them.

Anyway, I digress.

What I really wanted to say is that this recipe is perfect for those winter nights when you really want something warm and comforting but also good for you. Well my friends, this soup has got your back! After all, it does contain four different types of vegetables and is (according to the Jamie Oliver website) great as a base sauce for popular winter dishes such as cannelloni or lasagne.

So with the upcoming winter approaching the Northern Hemisphere and the weather being a bit bi-polar over here in Western Australia I think this one’ll be a keeper!

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Recipe

Tomato soup

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 x 400g tins of quality plum tomatoes
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil or other fresh herb
  • A little bit of grated parmesan, to serve

Method:

  1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots, slice the celery, and peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add all the prepped ingredients, then cook with lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Crumble the stock cubes into a jug, cover with1.5 litres of boiling water, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add the stock to the veg pan with tinned and fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of them (these give an amazing flavour – trust me!).
  5. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the basil leaves.
  7. Using a stick blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Taste and check the seasoning, then serve.

Notes:

  • Best served with sourdough or other good quality bread.
  • Recipe from here.

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Tanisha xx

Sausage Rolls

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Let’s talk about sausage rolls.

No, not the sad excuse for a sausage roll you find at most Aussie kid’s birthday party BUT the delicious homemade ones that make you water at your mouth at the mere sight of them (that may be a slight exaggeration).

So what’s so good about homemade sausage rolls you’re probably wondering?

Well, first of all, they’re like definitely 10x healthier than the usual store bought ones because they actually contain veggies and all that other good stuff!

But don’t worry, they are still tasty. I actually think they’re a whole lot tastier than the normal ones, as well.

And they’re also one of the easiest snacks to make for lunch. Pretty much the hardest thing to do is grating the veggies but you can just get the kids to do that!

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Recipe

Homemade Sausage Rolls

Ingredients:

  • ½ onion, grated
  • ½ carrot, grated
  • ¼ zucchini, grated
  • ½ celery stick, finely chopped
  • 400g sausage meat
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Grate onion, carrot and zucchini, and finely chop celery.
  3. Place vegetables, sausage meat, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Cut the pastry sheets in half down the centre.
  5. Evenly place a quarter of the sausage mixture along the edge of the long side of the pastry.
  6. Roll up with join on the bottom.
  7. Cut in pieces or halves for a longer sausage roll.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the pastry and mixture.
  9. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  10. Whisk the egg and brush the tops of all the sausage rolls – this creates the golden crunchy tops (which I forgot to do on the batch I photographed for this blog)!
  11. Place into the oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes:

  • This recipe is pretty flexible so you can pretty much sub in (or out) whatever vegetables you want, and also double, triple or even halve the recipe. It’s basically fool proof!
  • Make sure that the pastry sheets are completely defrosted before starting this recipe.

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I’d just like to do a shout out to my year 5 teacher who gave me this recipe. My family and I have been using it ever since and it never fails.

 

Tanisha xx

Cacao and Coconut Bliss Balls

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These are my fail-safe bliss balls.

I make them all the time because they’re so bloody easy to make that you really cannot go wrong (and they also taste good too)!

Plus they’re good for you.

What more could you want?!

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These are best eaten when they’re refrigerated and are perfect for snacking on when you’ve got the munchies!

Enjoy!

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Recipe

Bliss Balls

Makes approx. 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 medjool dates, torn

Method:

  1. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients. If the mixture is too dry you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water.
  2. Roll the mixture into balls using your hands, then roll in the extra desiccated coconut.
  3. Refrigerate the balls.

Notes:

  • This recipe can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.

Recipe based on Raw Chocolate Almond Balls

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Tanisha xx

 

Jaffa Pancakes

IMG_7144Hollaaaa people! It’s been a while but I’m back with a fab recipe to boot!

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while now but you know, life just gets in the way sometimes. After all, it’s a breakfast item (and we all know I love them), it’s pancakes, it’s got chocolate in it, it’s healthy and it’s just damn delicious.

These are the perfect pancakes for a Sunday morning (or just whenever) if you’re feeling indulgent but still want to be healthy. They might even be a good breakfast for Father’s Day coming up (hint, hint)!

Hope you enjoy!

Recipe

Jaffa Pancakes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup orange, juiced
  • ½ orange, zest (plus extra to serve)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (plus extra to serve)

Dark Chocolate Sauce (optional)*:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together the greek yogurt, milk, egg, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, and orange zest and juice.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix the batter. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Heat a large frypan with butter or coconut oil to low heat.
  5. Using a large spoon or small cup, scoop the batter from the bowl and drop onto the frypan. Once the top of the pancake begins to bubble and the edges look set, flip and cook for another 2-5 minutes. Repeat with remaining
  6. Serve with extra chocolate chips, oranges and chocolate sauce or maple syrup!

Notes:

  • If you want an extra chocolatey batter you could add 2 tablespoons of cacao powder to the batter. Add it in at step 2.
  • For the chocolate sauce I used http://www.forkandbeans.com/2012/09/11/raw-chocolate-sauce/, except I halved the recipe so that it would serve only 2 people.
  • * Instead of the chocolate sauce you could just melt some dark chocolate chips for a much easier recipe.

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I warn you: the dark chocolate sauce is certainly not for the faint hearted. It has a very strong, almost bitter taste so if you are not a big fan of dark chocolate I would recommend you leave it out. But never fear, these pancakes go great with maple syrup so you’re not missing out on anything by leaving it out.

 

Tanisha xx