Friday, July 25, 2014

Berry, Apple & Almond Muffins {Recipe}

"So what do you put in Olive's lunchbox?" my girlfriend asked me yesterday.

It's something I get asked a lot. Generally its a small bread roll with vegemite or jam, a piece of fruit, maybe a cheese stick and something baked.

Muffins make a regular appearance.  They're just so easy to whip up using whatever's lying around in the fruit bowl, pantry or freezer.

Today's flavour combination came about from having some leftover almond meal from making Kransekake last week, the last of the bag of frozen berries and a container of cooked apple in the fridge.

I've been cooking up apple a lot lately since Olive's teeth have gone wobbly. (The tooth fairy will be visiting again tonight.) Cooking it in the microwave is a breeze and means you have apple pieces as opposed to apple mush. Pop it in a container and throw in a spoon and your lunchbox is apple friendly again.

Once the muffins are cool, wrap them up  in small freezer bags and toss them in the freezer. They'll defrost in their lunchbox before morning recess and be as fresh as the day you made them.

Recipe: Berry, Apple & Almond Muffins
Makes 12 regular sized muffins

1 apple - peeled & chopped
1 3/4 cups Self Raising Flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup frozen berries (if using strawberries - cut them up a bit)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk


  • Place chopped apple in a microwave safe bowl / container and cover with a folded piece of paper towel.
  • Microwave on High for 3 - 4 minutes (depending on powerful your microwave is). Allow to cool slightly.
  • Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Line a 12 hole muffin pan with baking cups.
  • Put the flour, brown sugar and almond meal into a large mixing bowl and mix together using a whisk to get rid of any lumps.
  • Stir through the apple and berries and make sure they're well coated in flour. This will stop the fruit clumping together and help distribute them more evenly through your batter.
  • Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir through til just combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into the paper cups - almost filling the cups full. There will be slightly more mixture than you need. I know that's annoying but feel free to spoon into mini muffin tins if you feel inclined.
  • Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden and cooked through when tested with a skewer.
  • Leave in pan for five minutes before turning out to a cake rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Double Choc Raspberry Brownies {Recipe}

Every now and then you experiment in the kitchen and create something magical. This is one of those moments.

I first whipped up these brownies for a BBQ to thank mates for helping shift a very heavy steel workbench. After a lot of beer and wine you don’t want a fussy dessert. It’s much better to have something that satisfies the sweet craving and can be eaten with fingers.

I shared the recipe on the blog at the time and they were really popular. Then I accidently killed my blog and the recipe was lost... And then I lost the photos.....

This weekend I'm catching up with friends, one of whom has been begging me to re-share the recipe on the new Di-licious blog.

So Sandy, this one's for you.

This brownie is a bit different from regular brownies in that there’s no melted chocolate in the batter, just some chocolate chips. 

And raspberries.

I used white chocolate chips because that’s what I had in the pantry. You could easily substitute milk or dark chips but I kind of like white chocolate and raspberries together.

When you make these (& I know that you will), you have to promise me that you’ll resist the temptation to eat them straight away. They need to cool down completely in the pan before you lift out the whole brownie to slice it.

They’re perfect just as they are. No need for cream. Maybe a serviette to help wipe the crumbs off your face and fingers.

Best also to make the kids sit outside while they eat them...

I can’t advise how long they’ll last in an airtight container in the cupboard because they were all gobbled up. If you have a crowd over I can pretty much guarantee you wont need to solve that dilemma either.

These brownies are not a diet food. Enjoy in moderation. Take them to work and charm your boss – who knows, you might get a pay rise or employee of the year!

Recipe: Double Choc Raspberry Brownies
Author: Di Nolan
Serves: 24
Completely irresistible brownies studded with raspberries that are surprisingly light.

125g butter, melted and cooled
2 cups caster sugar
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
3/4 cup cocoa
¼ tsp salt
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup white chocolate chips

  • Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Grease and line a lamington pan (20cm x 30cm) with baking paper so that the paper overhangs.
  • Whip together the sugar, eggs and vanilla til thick and creamy. Add the cooled melted butter and mix til thoroughly combined.
  • Sift over the flour, cocoa and salt and mix through til combined.
  • Stir through the raspberries and chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and ensure fruit and chocolate chips are evenly distributed. Smooth top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Top should be cooked and a skewer inserted will have some sticky crumbs on it.
  • Allow to cool completely in pan on top of a wire rack.
  • Carefully lift out brownie using the overhanging baking paper.
  • Cut into 24 slices.

Don’t worry about defrosting the raspberries – just stir them through frozen.