Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots

According to my husband, I’m the only person who, when there’s a spare half bottle of cream in the fridge, says “Oh a half bottle of cream? I need to make salted caramel sauce”.  Except tonight, I had a craving for chocolate as well, and I’d had this recipe for Chocolate Pots on my to do list for ages so I combined the two and, well, here you go.

This dessert has only 4 ingredients (none of them healthy) but noone said this was a health  blog.  It’s a pretty quick and easy recipe to make in the morning and then have ready for dinner.  If you can avoid eating them for that long…


The key to the salted caramel not being too sweet is to take the caramel as far as you dare.   It will start to smoke and you’ll think “oh god it’s going to burn” and then it will start to foam a little and someone will say “what are you burning in there” and then just when you think it’s all over and you’ll spend the next half hour cleaning burnt sugar off the pots, drop in your butter and cream and it will be amazing.image

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pots (serves 4)

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
45g salted butter
60ml cream

Melt sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a medium heat until it starts to melt and then darken.  Swirl the pan (don’t stir it) to ensure it caramelises evenly.  The pan will start to smoke, when the caramel starts to foam and darkens to a dark amber colour, drop in the butter and then stir in the cream, taking care it doesn’t spit and foam on you.  I find I can turn off the heat at this point and the residual heat is enough to melt any hardened caramel into the sauce, but if you still have hard lumps, leave it on the heat and stir until it’s smooth. Taste the sauce, add a pinch more flaky sea salt if you think it’s required (I like my salted caramel on the saltier side). Leave to cool a little before you assemble the pots.  Any residual sauce can be kept in the fridge and served over icecream.  Or just eaten with a spoon.

Chocolate Pots
125ml cream
100g dark chocolate (I used Whittakers 62% which was nice and dark and not too sweet)
20g butter

Melt cream, chocolate and butter over a low heat and stir gently until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Let cool.

To assemble:
Spoon two tablespoons of caramel sauce into the bottom of 4 125ml ramekins. Chill until set.  Gently divide the chocolate between the ramekins.  They will be about 3/ 4 full.  Sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt on top, cover with gladwrap and refrigerate until set. Remove from fridge about 1/2 hour before serving.

These turned out super rich and decadent – the recipe would definitely work as 6 smaller desserts, especially if serving after a bigger meal.

Flu fighter

Recipes of chocolate cake and a smoky pulled pork have gone on hold today as I try and fight off the bugs that my kids have been spreading round.  At least the sun is shining and there’s a distinct feel in the air that spring may be on it’s way.

I love my NutriBullet to get a few more serves of veges into my day. This one is packed with greens and vitamin C with a hit of ginger to fend off the colds…


Flu Fighter Smoothie

1 cup spinach greens, washed
1 cup pineapple, fresh or frozen (about 1/6 of a whole pineapple)
1/4 lemon, skin on
knob of ginger, to taste
coconut water to fill

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and there are no big bits of spinach.  I find this takes about 30-40 seconds. If you are using fresh pineapple you might want to add a small handful of ice cubes to chill the drink down.

Drink, and rest.

Feel free to substitute kale for spinach, and regular water for coconut water. 

Lemon Yoghurt Syrup Cake

I’ve had this cake in my recipe book for so long I can’t remember where I ever found it.  I often make it when I need to bake something quick and easy, when I have excess lemons to use or a touch of leftover yoghurt.  It keeps well although in my house it normally doesn’t last long enough to find out.  

Over the years I’ve adjusted the recipe little, just reducing the sugar in the cake a touch as a reaction to modern trends, and you can use any kind of “cultured dairy”, plain unsweetened yoghurt, sour cream or creme fraiche. The tangier the better though, to go with the tangy lemons.

It’s best to pour hot syrup over a hot cake, otherwise it can go a little soggy.

Lemon Yoghurt Syrup Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup yoghurt (or sour cream) – (I love The Collective Straight Up plain unsweetened, its tangy but not bitter and nice and creamy)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use ricebran but something light with little flavour will do)
3 eggs
zest of 2 lemons

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons, how convienent!!)

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line the base of your tin (20cm round, 20x30cm sheet cake tin, or a loaf tin) with baking paper.

In a bowl sift the dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk together wet ingredients and lemon zest. Combine the two bowls, gently mixing to incorporate together. Don’t beat too much or you will end up with bubbles in the cake.

Pour into cake tin and bake in centre of oven for 40-45 mins until a skewer comes out clean. (If baking in a slice/sheet cake tin, this will be a shorter time, 25-30 minutes but just keep an eye on it.). 

While cake is cooking heat sugar and lemon juice to make a syrup.  If you have extra lemon zest or juice it won’t hurt to add them to the pan. 

Remove cake from the oven and poke holes with a skewer all over the cake. Place on a board or plate to catch any stray syrup, and pour hot lemon syrup over the cake trying to keep it even (but if you don’t manage to, the soggy syrupy bits are the best!). 

Lovely hot or cold, served with extra yoghurt or cream or if you’re being really extravagant, some cheeky marscapone. Or just eat by itself if there’s any left.

Peanut Brownies

It’s funny what can inspire you to cook something.  An open packet of roasted salted peanuts and a paint tin of M&Ms (a freebie from buying paint for our new kitchen!) inspired our baking this afternoon.

Peanut brownies are an old school NZ favourite – a classic from the Edmonds cookbook era.  I remember having the extra special treat of baking in my lunchbox, in the days before muesli bars and bought biscuits became the norm.

There’s a running joke in our family that chocolate baking only needs a tablespoon of cocoa, a hark back to our childhood days when nothing ever came out of the oven with the dense strong chocolately flavour that I search out in my baking these days.  So when I saw this recipe had only 2 tablespoons of cocoa it was a flag to me to increase it and modernise this old recipe.

I’ve reduced the sugar a little, amped up the cocoa, and used roasted salted peanuts.

 Peanut Brownies
adapted from Edmonds Cookbook

125g butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups standard plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt (omit if using roasted salted peanuts)
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts (or just plain roasted peanuts)

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy and light.  Add the egg and mix well, then add sifted dry ingredients and mix gently until a dough forms.  Add peanuts and mix.
Place tablespoon sized cookies onto baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked (be careful you don’t burn the bottoms!)


Seeing Purple

Have you ever had purple cauliflower?  I bought one the other day purely because it was cheaper than regular white cauliflower.  And I was wondering what it would look like pureed into babyfood.  Tastes pretty much the same as regular cauliflower to be honest.  Apparently full of antioxidants – bonus!

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Dipping my toes in

It’s been a very long time since I posted anything here.  Not even sure if anyone is reading.  I won’t bother to come up with some long lengthy explanation/excuse, only life got in the way and now the fog has cleared a little from my brain and I’ve got the passion for being in the kitchen back!

Last week I baked up a storm for one of my besties who married her love on a beautiful summers day.  I’ve made a wedding cake before but not such a traditional rolled white fondant one.  Let’s just say my fondant rolling and applying need a bit of work.  Onwards and upwards.  I still think it looked pretty awesome.  And was twice as big as it needed to be.  Noone ever complained about too much cake, right??  I’ll post the recipes soon.


Tuesdays with Dorie – Rugelach

Well, I’m not doing so well with this blogging business.  Seem to go in fits and starts.  And I always remember that it’s Tuesdays with Dorie week on the Sunday night before!!!  Last couple of weeks have been recipe and baking light – have fallen back on a couple of slow cook meals that I’ve done in one go and reheated every night, as the house DIY and baby growing take their toll.  Luckily, I remembered this week that the recipe was Rugelach and had handily scanned the recipe so I had it on my phone and could check the recipe in the supermarket.  Seems I didn’t read the whole recipe though, as you’ll see it made for a tasty but messy substitution!!!

Sooooo – I had no idea what Rugelach was before I read this recipe and had never tried them before.  Rugelach are a tasty pastry of Jewish origin – often made in a crescent shape (like a croissant).   This recipe was for more of a “cut” cookie – when rolled up they reminded me a little of a cinnamon bun. It’s made with a cream cheese pastry, spread with a fruity jam like paste, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (you had me from here alone!), then nuts and dried fruit, and rolled. From looking at a couple of the posts already up, seems you could bake them flat (like a sausage roll), or standing up like a cinnamon bun.

I’d never made a cream cheese pastry before, but this turned out really great, and I’ll definitely be looking out for more recipes that use it. The recipe said to have the butter and cream cheese at room temperature, but again due to lack of organisation (and impatience), I used cold butter and cream cheese. The dough was light and kind of flaky with that slight tang from the cream cheese.  Delish!  Turns out it’s also pretty great cold, as I’ve just eaten my second one from the leftovers in the fridge as I type this!!!

Chilled Pastry

My lack of organisation meant I didn’t really follow the rest of the recipe properly after the pastry.  I was too disorganised to make the lekvar (like a thick jam) myself, and I forgot to buy nuts.  So I used this really great plum jam we had, and instead of nuts…….  chopped chocolate.  It was actually delicious – the combination of jam, cinnamon and chocolate worked well.  Although it was VERY messy to bake (which might have somethign to do with the fact I didn’t chill it after rolling it up – again the impatience!!!).  The chocolate and jam and sugar kind of caramelised and spread over the baking tray, although when I took them out of the oven I just used a spatula to kind of push it all around the tray and back towards the pastries and they looked ok (well you can judge from the photos).  And tasted GREAT!!!!!

The rolled pastry with jam and cinnamon sugar

Ready to roll....

Cut and ready to bake

The hosts this week are The Urban Hiker and My Baking Heart – the recipe can be found at either of their sites….

The finished (sticky and messy!) product!

* PS – I’ve learnt early on that the recipes in this book make WAY too much for just the two of us in this house – so I made 1/3 of the recipe.  It made about 10 large-ish bun sized cookies/pastries.  (There are only 2 left).  And I was left with a heap of cinnamon sugar.  So I might have to make some more of the White Loaves and use it to make cinnamon bread or buns instead!!!!

**PPS – I promise I’m going to get my act into gear and start posting properly.  And taking some proper photos (that aren’t last minute in the middle of the night).  Promise.  Really.