Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year 2012

Hope you’re New Year is filled with your hearts desire…I was thinking about resolutions for next year and then came across this very sweet video at my blogging friend Alison’s blog Green With Renvy..I’m going to try and do more of these things this year..

Love Catherine xxx

Cherry Farm & Coconut Cherry Slice

Last week I went cherry picking with some friends at Cherry Hill…it was a perfect day for it, quite warm.
The season for cherries in Australia is November, December and January which is lucky because we can make and decorate beautiful desserts for christmas with the cherries which make them look very festive.

The Yarra Valley is a very picturesque part of Victoria…beautiful picking cherries with views like this…

I never realised there were so many varieties of cherries, Cherry Hill grow over thirty different types.

My husband insisted we make him this Coconut Cherry Slice and was impatiently waiting for it to come out of the oven so he could have a slice (or two).

Coconut Cherry Slice

Melted butter to grease, 110g (1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar, 60g unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons coconut milk, 1 egg, 225g (1 1/2 cups) self raising flour, 65g desiccated coconut, 160g (1/2 cup) plum jam, 425g fresh cherries pitted and halved or 1 425g can stoneless black cherries, drained then cut in half, drained well on paper towel, 130g (2 cups) shredded coconut, 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar extra, 1 egg extra

Prehead oven to 180 degrees Celcius, brush a 3cm deep 16 x 26cm slab pan with melted butter to grease and line with baking paper, allowing it to overhang.

Use an electric beater to beat together sugar & butter in bowl until pale and creamy.  Add coconut milk and egg and beat until combined.  Stir in flour and desciccated coconut & stir with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a firm dough.  Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth surface with back of a spoon.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until it begins to brown.  Remove from oven.

Hold a knife under hot running water until heated.  Use the heated knife to spread jam evenly over the warm slice base.  Evenly scatter the cherries over the top.

Combine shredded coconut, extra sugar & extra egg in a bowl.  Spoon coconut mixture evenly over cherries.  Bak in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden and base is cooked through.  Set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly.  Use baking paper to lift slice out of the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

We hung our Christmas wreath a few days ago.

and are going to put some lights on the house and put the Christmas tree up in the next couple of days.
The holidays are off to a wonderful start, hope yours are too.

Love Catherine xxx

Sweet William & Pancakes

This weekend my daughter and I visited Magnolia Square with some friends, a beautiful market where Designers, Artists and Crafters sell their work.

My favourite stall was Sweet William’s, I love Paula’s beautiful detailed cup and saucer paintings and I love drinking tea.

A friend offering to put the kettle on and have a cup of tea and a chat makes you feel instantly better if you’re feeling a bit low.

Then home for some raspberry and strawberry pancakes.

 and of course here’s the recipe…

American Breakfast Pancakes

225g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
30g butter
300ml milk
A couple of tablespoons sugar (to taste)
pinch of salt

Put all ingredients (except raspberries)into a food processor or blender and blitz tip into a bowl and gently mix raspberries through.
Put flour, baking powder, salt & sugar into a bowl and beat in the eggs, melted butter and milk, mix through some raspberries. Transfer to a jug.  Pour rounds of pancake mixture into pan when bubbles start to appear flip and cook for about 1 minute further.

Keep warm in oven whilst cooking next batch.

When ready to eat sprinkle strawberries and raspberries over your pancake stack and drizzle with maple syrup.

Base Recipe:  Nigella Lawson

I wish you all a wonderful week.

Much Love Catherine xxx

Mini Chocolate Tarts with Sea Salt

Recently I had the opportunity to try some Fairtrade Chocolate from Heart of Chocolate, chocolate with a heart.  It was beautiful chocolate…smooth, snapped well when a piece was broken off and had a delicious chocolaty flavour. 

Have you heard of Fairtrade Chocolate?
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Fairtrade chocolate has the Fairtrade symbol pictured on the chocolate above.

Heart of Chocolate Melbourne will have a market stall in the foyer of 333 Collins Street, this Wednesday and Thursday 12-6pm if you’d like to try some chocolate and find out more about Fairtrade. 

All this talk of chocolate and a recipe I noticed this morning in Donna Hay’s new book Simple Dinners for Cheats Chocolate Tarts has inspired this recipe for Mini Chocolate Tarts with Sea Salt…

Mini Chocolate Tarts with Sea Salt

Packet of Arnotts Chocolate Ripple Biscuits (cookies) or any plain chocolate biscuits
200g dark chocolate
1/2 cup single (pouring) cream
sea salt

1.  Preheat oven to 140 degrees and grease a patty cake tin (like one shown in picture above)
     with butter.
2.  Pop a biscuit over each round and place in oven for 5 minutes.
3.  Press biscuit down gently to line patty pan mould, this is your tart case.
4.  Melt chocolate & cream together in a bowl over a pot of boiling water then place spoonfuls
     into tart case.
5.  Sprinkle a couple of flakes of sea salt on top (this enhances the flavour of the chocolate)

Have a lovely weekend.

Catherine xxx