Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nanaimo Slice

I have been wanting to make this slice for some time now, ever since I tasted it at a local cafe. It is a canadian treat and I had never even heard about it until recently. This no-bake slice is made up of three layers. The first is a chocolatey, nutty, coconut, biscuit crumb base not dissimilar to chocolate slice or a cheesecake base. The middle layer is a custard flavoured buttercream filling and the final layer is a chocolate ganache. 

Richness overload! It is very sweet and indulgent. I probably could have halved the filling in the middle to make it less of a heart-attack-inducing treat. So I ticked this off my bucket list of baked goods (well technically no-bake) and put it on my "stuff to try for realsies list". Now that I have made them myself, I look forward to trying these treats IN Nanaimo, day.

Nanaimo Slice

Adapted from I Wash You Dry

What you will need

For the base
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups plain biscuits processed to crumbs (you can use gluten free biscuits)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup desiccated coconut

For the filling
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbs custard powder
3 tbsp cream
2 cups icing sugar

For the topping
115g milk or dark chocolate
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream

What you will need to do

Prepare a slice tin by lining it with baking paper and set aside. Set up a  heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water making sure not to let the bowl touch the water. Place the butter, cocoa, sugar and vanilla in the bowl and whisk until melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and quickly add the egg and whisk until combined. Return the bowl to above the saucepan and stir cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the crushed biscuits, walnuts and coconut. Mix until all combined then press into the prepared tin. Place in the fridge to set.

To make the filling, beat the butter, custard powder and cream in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar until light and fluffy and sugar has dissolved. Spread out over the base and return to the fridge.

To make the topping, place the chocolate butter and cream in a heatproof bowl and place over the saucepan of simmering water just like for the base. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from the saucepan and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Pour chocolate mixture over the top of the slice and spread out. Return to the fridge until the chocolate has set. Remove from fridge and slice into pieces.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Melting Moments with Strawberry Jam

I donate plasma as often as I can, it's such a wonderful thing to do and because I don't really make enough money to donate to charities I donate my time and my plasma instead. And the best part of donating blood or plasma is the food the lovely ladies feed you afterwards! There is always such a delicious selection of biscuits, cakes and savouries you always leave with a full tummy.

My favourite by far is the melting moments biscuits they serve. I cannot remember the brand, but they are large and individually wrapped. They literally melt in our mouth and are just what you expect the perfect melting moment to be. So naturally I had to try and recreate them for myself. I added a strawberry jam to these ones because of the abundance of strawberries that were around at the time so they are a bit of a melting moment / monte carlo hybrid. I have tried a couple of recipes to get the best one and this recipe was given to me by D's mum, it's just a recipe from a magazine but unfortunately I don't know which one :(

Melting Moments with Strawberry Jam

Adapted from Barb Northwood

What you will need

250g butter, room temperature
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cornflour 

For the icing
100g butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

For the jam
100g strawberries, green leaves chopped off
100g sugar
1tsp gelatine

What you will need to do

Preheat the oven to 180*C and prepare a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside. Beat the butter and icing sugar in a small bowl until pale and creamy. Stir in sifted flour and cornflour until combined. Roll spoonfuls of mixture into balls and place onto the baking tray and flatten with a fork dusted in flour. Cook for about 12 minutes or until just starting to brown. Cool on the trays then transfer to a wire rack.

Meanwhile to make the jam, chop the strawberries into small pieces and place in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring all the time. Let mixture simmer until it thickens slightly. Dissolve the gelatine in one tablespoon of warm water then add to the jam mixture. Remove from heat and stir. Pour the jam into a heat proof container and place in the fridge to cool and thicken.

To make the icing, beat the butter  until light and creamy. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat until thick and pale. Spoon or pipe icing onto half the biscuits. Spread jam on the other half and then sandwich together.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chocolate and Pomegranate Brownie Slice

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel the Christmas spirit already. I know it's only October and Christmas is still ages away, but there's just something screaming Christmas at me lately. I think it has to do with the weather, it's getting hotter and certain trees are flowering and the distinct smell of Christmas is just starting to come about here and there. Don't worry I'm not posting a Christmas recipe this week...but just be aware that they might start popping up soon.

This brownie slice is so decadent. I thought I would try something a little different by making pomegranate cream and it might need a little tweaking still but it is still very delicious and goes well with the chocolate brownie. I found the pomegranate cream recipe on Pinterest from a blog called A Spicy Perspective in a recipe for Chocolate and Pomegranate Petit Fours. I would like to try the whole recipe one day.

Chocolate and Pomegranate Brownie Slice

Adapted from A Spicy Perspective

What you will need

For the brownie
130g butter
340g dark chocolate
1 1/4 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour

For the pomegranate cream
230g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup pomegranate juice
¼ cup flour

For the chocolate ganache
100g chocolate
50ml cream

What you will need to do

Preheat oven to 175*C and line a large rectangle tin with baking paper.
In a small saucepan melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. Stir until melted. Take off the heat and add the sugar and vanilla, stir until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the flour and mix rigorously for a whole minute until it becomes smooth and glossy and pulls away from the side of the pan a bit. Apparently this step is crucial to getting the right texture at the end. Pour batter into prepared tin. Bake for 30 minutes or until the centre feels almost set. You do not want to over cook them. Take out of oven and cool in the tin. Place in the fridge to cool.

For the pomegranate cream, place the pomegranate juice and flour in a small saucepan and whisk so there are no lumps. Place over medium heat and whisk until the mixture boils. Whisk until the mixtures becomes a thick paste. Place in the fridge to cool. Meanwhile beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and glossy. Add the cooled pomegranate mixture and beat for 5 minutes until fluffy.

Take the brownie out of the tin and cut in half to produce two identical slabs. Spread the pomegranate cream over one slab and then place the other one on top. Press down slightly.

To make the ganache. Place the cream and chocolate in a small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Leave to cool and thicken slightly and then spread over the tops of the brownie slice. Cut into small squares to serve.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cookies and Cream Fudge and Facebook

I did it. I went back. I rejoined the world of Facebook and this time I brought my blog along for the ride! So if you're a fan of Sugabuttacream head on over to my page and 'like' away!

Now this recipe was bittersweet for me, trust me it is super delicious and seriously sweet in every way, but it just depends what your definition of 'fudge' is. To me, fudge should be solid at room temp, kind of crumble a bit when you bite it and just melt in your mouth, you get that kind of fudge from boiling sugar to just the right temperature.

This fudge is soft, and if you left it at room temperature I'm sure it would melt even softer. Don't get me wrong it is crazy good! But I'm going to go ahead and classify it as 'soft fudge' just so there is no future confusion. Cookies and cream is a classic flavour that I love, but you could add just about anything to this and it would be just as good.

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Adapted from Sugar For the Brain

What you will need

1 tin Condensed milk (395ml)
510g White chocolate
2 packets Oreos, crushed

What you will need to do

Prepare a slice tin by lining it with baking paper, set aside. In a heatproof bowl place the condensed milk and chocolate. Place over a small saucepan of barely simmering water (don't let the water touch the bowl) and let the chocolate melt. Stir to remove any lumps. Add the Oreos and mix to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread to fill the tin and level out the top. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.