Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chocolate beetroot brownies

A few weeks ago I was extremely happy for a number of reasons. I finally decided to make a beetroot and chocolate brownie. I’ve always wanted to make one but have put if off as I thought it would taste too much like beetroot and not enough like chocolate. Shamefully I will have to admit that I have rarely cooked with fresh beetroot so I thought it was going to difficult and messy but no it’s easy peasy (how old am I?)

The original recipe was delicious but I thought it was a little unhealthy, making the whole beetroot aspect almost worthless. So I made my changes and cooked another batch and would you believe that my brownie is better (even if I do say so myself!).

Please give this a try, it tastes just like a normal, moist chocolate brownie and the texture is just the same. I took this over to a friends house and none of the kids noticed anything, and I came home with an empty plate. I’m going to be making this again, it’s not hard and it tastes great.

Have there been any recipes that you have always wanted to make but have found them too daunting? I’d love to hear your comments on here or our facebook page. 

Chocolate beetroot brownies.

Preparation time
15 minutes

Cooking time
35 minutes

400g (2-3 medium beets) beetroot, chopped
150g Dark Cooking Chocolate
100g Butter
1tsp vanilla extract
200g brown sugar
3 eggs
100g wholemeal plain flour
30g cocoa powder

1. Top, tail and peel the beetroot. Roughly chop and place into a large bowl. Add a splash of water, cover with cling film – pierced with a few small holes – then microwave on High for 10 minutes, or until tender.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter then line a 20cm x 30cm tin. Roughly chop the chocolate and cut the butter into cubes. 
3. Drain the beetroot through a sieve, then put it into a food processor with the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Whizz until the mix has melted and is as smooth as you can get it.
4. Using an electric hand mix, whisk the sugar and eggs in a large bowl for about 2 minutes or until thick, pale and foamy.
5. Spoon the beetroot mixture into the bowl with the whisked eggs. Then, using a large metal spoon, gently fold the beetroot into the whisked eggs, keeping as much air in the mixture as you can. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and gently fold in to make a smooth batter.
6. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen all over. Try to keep it slightly moist on the inside. Cool completely in the tin, then cut into squares.

Serves 15-20 squares

Friday, April 13, 2012

Little quiche cups

Sometimes the simple dishes are the best. I’ve made a quiche a few months and had such high hopes, but these were dashed before the plate was even put onto the table. But I’ve seen these and I thought I’d be brave and give it another go. This recipe is a million times easier as you don’t need to worry about pastry. All you need is a piece of bread instead. Crazy, hey?!

I needn’t have tried again as these weren’t a massive hit with my girls. Quiche and my girls just don’t mix. Don’t let this turn you off making these, as my girls are very fussy. I liked these and will attempt them again in a few months time. My girls can be so surprising sometimes. Whilst making homemade pizza last night Miss F was eating the salami, parma ham, tomatoes and olives like there was no tomorrow. I was so impressed. 

What does your little one like that really surprises you? We have some great stories on our facebook page.

Little quiche cups

Preparation time
15 minutes

Cooking time
15-20 minutes

6 slices toasted brown bread, crusts removed
olive oil spray
2 Select eggs
1/2 cup Woolworths milk
50g sliced ham, finely chopped
2 tbs capsicum, finely diced
1/2 cup mozarella or cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 6-hole muffin pan. 
2. Use a rolling pin to flatten out each slice of bread until thin.
3. Spray both sides of the bread and the muffin tin with the oil. Place bread into muffin holders. Bake for 10 minutes. 
4. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 170°C.
5. Whisk the eggs and milk together. 
6. Divide the ham,capsicum and cheese among the bread cases. Pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set. Serves 6 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Homemade fish fingers

One of the most looked at items on this blog are the homemade chicken nuggets, I guess this isn’t surprising considering how popular they are with the littlies. Another all time fave with most families are fish fingers. I know it’s really easy to pull out some fish fingers out of the freezer, I admit to doing this all the time. Every time I do this I do feel a little guilty about the salt content and all of the additives. So I thought I would try to make my own. I promise that I’m not fibbing when I say that this was a lot easier than I was expecting. It didn’t take long at all. And the outcome was REALLY good. I don’t  really eat fish but I had these for dinner. They were so light and almost melted in my mouth (I bet you never thought you would hear those words when it comes to fish fingers!).

I was really worried that my girls would request for these to go straight into the bin but maybe it’s time to give them more credit. They loved these, they were all eaten, by all of us. 

Please give these a go, they aren’t as hard as you would think. Let me know how you go. 

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Homemade fish fingers

Preparation time
10 minutes

Cooking time
8-10 minutes

400g firm white fish (ling, hoki)
100g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
120g fresh breadcrumbs
rice brain oil, for frying

1. Cut the fish into fingers roughly 6cm x 2cm.
2. Place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs on their own plates. Coat the pieces of fish in the flour, then the egg and follow this with the breadcrumbs.
3. Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan and cook the fishfingers for about 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely golden. Drain on kitchen towel and serve. 

Serves 2 toddlers and 2 adults