Chocolate Muffins with a Gooey Caramel Surprise

ImageLately I’ve been watching a lot of Masterchef so I decided to give myself an invention test challenge! My sister needed something sweet to take to a friends house and I knew that mum had bought an extra tin of condensed milk (it was on sale this week) so with that i decided something with caramel had to be done. My sisters friend also loves chocolate so I came up with Chocolate Muffins with a caramel centre. Now normally when I cook I tend to look at a variety of recipes and then put together the best components to make my own recipe, but on this occasion I decided to go completely blind just to challenge myself! And it turned out a treat! Beautiful light and fluffy muffins, filled with a rich sweet caramel centre! What more could you want!

I used what I knew about muffins as the basis for my chocolate cake mix (essentially; flour, milk, eggs, sugar, butter & cocao powder) and then used the recipe for caramel that I would normally make for caramel slice! Simple! I also wanted to give my bake a bit of trendy finesse, so instead of using paper muffin tins I decided to use baking paper squares pressed into my muffin tin.

Once the muffins were cooked and cooled I then cut a little hole in the centre, into which I then spooned my caramel mixture! Wow what a combination! I also re topped the hole with the cake that I had removed earlier and then put a nice big blob on top of the whole thing! Overall, I was really pleased and impressed with my bake, especially as it was one of the first times I really went without any guidance on my cooking (even though it was just muffins). I would highly recommend giving this recipe a go, and maybe even adding some salt to the caramel if your a fan of salted caramel like me. Another great reccomendation would be to heat the muffins slightly before eating them so that the caramel melts a little! mmm yum!

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!

What you’ll need:

2Tbs Cocoa Powder

1 Cup self raising flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

80g melted butter

1 cup milk

1 tin condensed milk

1Tbs butter

2Tbs golden syrup

What I did:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Sift your flour and cocoa powder, then add your sugar, egg, melted butter and milk. Mix on a low speed with an electric mixer until combined then turn up the speed for about 2mins until the mixture is light a fluffy.

Image

2. Lightly spray your muffin tin with non-stick spray then line with squares of baking paper (you could use pre-bought muffin cases). Divide the mixture between 6 muffins and then pop into the oven. They should take about 15mins but test with a skewer to ensure that they are fully cooked. Leave to cool completely.

Image

3. Meanwhile, add your condensed milk, butter and golden syrup to a saucepan and cook over a low heat. Remember to stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn or get stuck to the bottom. Continue until the caramel turns to a nice dark rick colour.

4. Allow the caramel to cool.

5. Using a sharp knife, cut a small hole into the top of each muffin, keeping the cut out piece of cake. Spoon or pipe your caramel into the hole and then re-top with the cake piece. Add a nice dollop of caramel to top the whole thing off!

Image

Image

Image

Enjoy and Happy Baking!!

Advertisements

Caramel Slice…its just too Nice!!

Image

Caramel Slice would definitely have to be a family favourite in my household. Actually, come to think of it, anything caramel is a favourite! So when my sister asked me to bake something for her works Biggest Morning Tea it was the first thing that came to mind. Here in Australia, families and business around the country host a Morning tea to raise funds for Cancer research, collecting donations for a great cause! I was so excited to be able to help contribute through something that I myself love to do.

I actually received this recipe off my best friend, who herself had got it off her grandma (grandma’s always know the secrets to great cooking!) and I’ve made it quite a few times! When I recieved a copy of it, it was handwritten in beautiful cursive writing, a perfect sign of a recipe that was certainly going to produce beautiful old fashioned baked goods! The last two times I’ve made it though, I have made a few slight changes and I think I’m finally happy with a recipe that is super easy and super tasty. What I love about this slice is that the base is soft and chewy while the caramel centre isn’t overly sweet. Using dark chocolate on top also helps to balance the whole thing out so I’d recommend staying away from milk chocolate. This recipe is also really great as its really quick to make and kids can get involved too. A perfect lunch box treat if I do say so myself..that is if any slices make it to your lunch box!!

So here it is, my version of a great classic, Caramel Slice (based on one I received from a beautiful friend and her wonderful family!!)

What you need:

1 Block Dark chocolate (200g)

For the Base:

1 Packet Arnotts Butter Snap Cookies

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

115g butter (melted)

For the Caramel:

1 tin condensed Milk

2 Tbs golden syrup

1 Tbs butter

What I did:

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Then use a food processor to turn your butternut snap cookies into a fine crumb (if you don’t have one you can always do this by hand by putting your biscuits into a bag and hitting it with a rolling pin. It may just take a little longer). Then add your coconut and melted butter and pulse until the mixture looks like wet sand.

2. Line your baking tin with greaseproof paper and tip your crumb mixture into it. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture firmly and evenly around the tin to form your base. Then pop it into the fridge (this part is very important as it prevents you getting biscuit crumbs in your caramel later! Trust me, don’t skip it!) 

 Image

2. While your base is setting in the fridge, pour your condensed milk, butter and golden syrup into a saucepan and put onto a medium-low heat. Stir it continuously until it turns into a nice golden caramel colour. Its really really important that you don’t stop stirring this mixture as it will burn so easily and leave you with a caramel that has burnt bits in it. Also make sure you stir right to the edges of the pot so it doesn’t stick. This bit can take a while as you need to work with a low heat but stick with it. 

Image

3. Pour the caramel over your base and pop the whole thing into the oven for 10minutes.

Image

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completly. Once cooled, melt your chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pot of water. Pour over the caramel and set the whole thing in the fridge (1hr) or freezer. Use a sharp knife to cut into squares before serving

Image

 

Image

Enjoy and Happy Baking!!

Bonkers for Banoffee

Image

A friend of mine is moving to Singapore later this week so naturally I wanted to make her something special for her farewell dinner. I’ve always wanted to make a Banoffee pie but I’ve never really mastered the whole home-made caramel thing, so I was always a bit worried to try a dessert where the main component was caramel. Here in Australia, Banoffee isn’t a very popular dessert so the first time I tried it was on holidays in Malta and I absolutely loved it! My sister is also a huge fan of it (probably a bit more then me) and to be honest I can’t blame her, I mean who could resist crumbly, buttery pastry filled with rich caramel, fresh banana and topped with meringue! I knew this was the perfect dessert to try out, especially after I read about a very interesting way to make caramel (involving condensed milk and boiling water!)

I decided to use the same pastry recipe that I used in my fruit mince pies but this time I halved the quantities. Alternatively you could also use crushed granita biscuits mixed with melted butter but I really like the texture and crumbly-ness of this recipe. If you’ve got the time then I’d recommend it. You’ll need to start the process early though as you’ll need 3 hours plus to make the caramel (trust me its so worth it! the caramel is a thick, rich, sweet consistency that I’ve never achieved before). I also decided to change the shape from a regular round pie shape to a tart shape, either way will still be delicious! Give this a go and enjoy, you wont be disappointed!!

What you’ll need:

Pastry:

1 1/4 cups plain flour

1/4 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup almond meal

1tsp baking powder

80g cold butter

1 egg

1/2tsp vanilla essence

1TBS cold water

Caramel:

1 tin condensed milk

Meringue:

2 Egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

Extra:

1 large banana

2 tsp cocoa powder

 

What I did:

1. Fill a large pot with water and place your tin of condensed milk inside (IMPORTANT: Make sure that the pot is deep enough for the tin to be completely submerged in water the entire time. If it comes uncovered, the tin will explode. You will need to keep checking on it and top up the water as it needs). Bring it to the boil and leave to boil for 3 hours

Image

 (yes thats right 3 hours). Once its done leave it to cool completely before you open it. It will look like this >

2. In a processor, combine the flour, icing sugar, almond meal, baking powder and butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add your vanilla, egg and water and process until it forms a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed lightly before wrapping in cling wrap and pop it into the fridge for 20mins.Image

3.  Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry on a well floured surface (to about 0.5cm thick) and lay into your prepared baking dish. Cover it with a piece of baking powder and fill with baking beans/rice. Bake for 15mins or until slightly golden in colour. Remove from the oven and cool completely. 

4. Once cooled, remove the beans from the tart shell and fill with the caramel. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the top and top with sliced banana.

5. Using an electric beater, beat your egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually add your sugar until it no longer feels grainy and makes stiff peaks when you lift the beaters out of it. Spread the meringue mixture over the top of your tart and then pop it back into the oven. Bake for about 10minutes but be sure to keep an eye on it as the meringue can colour quite quickly. If it starts to burn on top then turn the heat down to about 150 degrees.

6. Refrigerate for about 30mins before serving and enjoy!!

So rich, so yummy! You might want to cut it into slightly smaller pieces then you would normally as it is very sweet!!

Enjoy!