Salted Caramel Cups

Salted Caramel Cup

You have to try these salted caramel cups. They are no-bake and taste amazing! We have morning tea every Friday at work, and each department has a turn providing the food. It’s the prefect place to try out new recipes, although I have no hesitation trying new recipes on unsuspecting dinner guests either (consider yourself warned!)

But you don’t need to be afraid of these, the base is a mix of oats, pecans and pretzels blended together in a food processor, with some dates and coconut oil added in to hold it all together.

Then make some salted caramel, which is not that hard, just make sure you stir constantly and don’t let it burn!

Salted Caramel

Press the base mixture into a mini cupcake pan, and pour the salted caramel on top.

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Top with chocolate, and there you have it. Yummy bite-size pieces of caramel.

No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups

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Ingredients:

Base

  • 1 ½ cups of oats
  • 1 ½ cups pecans
  • ½ cup pretzels
  • 8 dates (pitted)
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Caramel

  • 200g castor sugar
  • 90g salted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 120ml thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Chocolate

  • 2 cups of chocolate melts
  • ½ tablespoon of oil

Directions:

Base

  1. Grease a mini cup-cake pan (or use mini patty cases- these can be difficult to get out otherwise!)
  2. Pulse the oats, pecans and pretzels in a food processor until fine crumbs.
  3. Add the dates and coconut oil. Make sure you keep going until all the dates have disintegrated, and a soft dough forms.

Caramel

  1. Place a medium sauce-pan over medium heat
  2. Place all of the sugar in the pan, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until clumps start to form and the mixture melts to a dark amber liquid. Be careful not to burn.
  3. Once sugar is completely melted, add the butter and stir until completely it’s dissolved (the mixture will bubble at this stage, which is normal).
  4. Very slowly, drizzle in the cream, while still stirring.
  5. Then allow the mixture to boil for a minute.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the teaspoon of salt.
  7. Let the caramel cool slightly.

Assembly

  1. Place a heaped teaspoon of the base mixture into the mini- cupcake pan, and press with your thumb to create a hole in the middle, ensuring that the mixture is packed in tight, and goes the full way up the sides of the patty cases.
  2. Put the slightly warm caramel into a pouring jug (for less mess!), and pour until you have filled the hole in each base mixture (don’t overfill or you will have trouble putting the chocolate cap on!)
  3. Place the tray in the fridge so the caramel sets slightly (it’s easier to get the chocolate to form in a separate layer when the caramel is hard).

Chocolate

  1. Place the chocolate melts and the oil in a glass bowl and microwave in 30 second blocks, stirring with a metal spoon before putting on for another 30 seconds, until the chocolate is melted (be careful not get any water in the chocolate as it will seize).

Assembly

  1. Use a teaspoon to spread a small dollop of chocolate on top, and use it to cover the caramel cup like a lid.
  2. Place in the fridge to set, and after a couple of hours, remove from the fridge. If you didn’t use patty cases, you’ll need to place the bottom of the tray in hot water, to loosen the base.
  3. The use a knife or a spoon to dig down the side of each caramel cup and scoop out.
  4. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Recipe Source: the salted caramel recipe is from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and the cups are from Pinch of Yum (with a few modifications)

German Tea Cake

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This German Tea Cake is delicious. Whipped cream with raspberries, sandwiched between two layers of cake and meringue – sounds like a match made in heaven! It’s not overly sweet and the base is more custard-y than cake-y. Too complicated you say? It’s actually pretty simple- and on the plus side, it looks impressive! I cooked it with my Dad when he visited recently and I took the leftovers to bible study, where it received raving reviews.

Dad and Meg with the German Tea Cake

The original recipe calls for stewed gooseberries, but I hadn’t even heard of them. After some googling, I found out they are a tart fruit that is native to Europe, they look kind of like grapes.

So I swapped out the gooseberries and instead used raspberries, keeping the slightly tart flavour to balance out the sweetness of the meringue. But you could use strawberries or any other berries you prefer.

If you are looking for a fancy cake to make for a birthday, or just a lovely cake to have with some tea- make this. You won’t regret it!

German Tea Cake

German Tea Cake Ingredients

For the meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 80g flaked almonds

For the cake

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the filling

  • 300ml thickened cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp castor sugar
  • 1 punnet of raspberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Line the bottom of a 26cm spring form pan with baking paper.
  3. In a stand mixer or with electric beaters, (ensure the bowl is clean and dry), beat the egg whites until peaks form, then gradually add sugar until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.
  4. Scoop the meringue mixture into a clean bowl.
  5. In the bowl that you used to mix the meringue, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time until incorporated.
  6. Beat in the flour and baking powder until well combined.
  7. Spread half the cake batter into the lined pan (there might not look like a lot, but trust me, it rises). I found it easier to use another piece of baking paper and my hand to spread out a thin layer of the batter.
  8. Top with half the meringue mixture, and sprinkle with half the almond flakes.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
  11. Repeat steps 7-10 to bake the other half of the cake. (Of course if you have an oven bigger than mine, and two pans, then you can bake the cakes at the same time).
  12. While the cakes cool, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla essence until stiff.
  13. Once the cakes have cooled completely, arrange the raspberries on top of one half of the cake, then spread the whipped cream on top.
  14. Finally place the other half of the cake on top of the whipped cream.

And there you have it, a perfectly conservative but tasty, German Tea Cake. Enjoy!

Recipe Source:  my Dad emailed me this recipe for German Cake

Easy Zucchini Slice

You’ve probably tried Zucchini slice at some point in your life. Well, I’d like to re-introduce you. Easy-going, flexible and of course; bacon! Mum used to cook this, and I’ve just recently discovered how adaptable and quick it is to make.

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Now I’m going to point out two kitchen items that make this zucchini slice even easier (although they certainly aren’t necessary).

  1. My slow cooker- (I have this one). I’ve started cooking this in the slow cooker because it’s cheaper, and although it takes a little longer to cook, it doesn’t heat up the kitchen like turning on the whole oven does! And trust me, I really don’t need the extra heat in our non-insulated, non-air-conditioned house.
  2. My food processor- (The previous model to this one). I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it, owing to the fact that I badly sliced my thumb on the sharp blade. In retaliation, I broke the original grater attachment, whilst trying to grate hard parmesan. But needless to say, we have since resolved our differences, and if you have one, the food processor makes the zucchini slice super-quick. I use it to freshly grate tasty cheese and then grate the zucchinis.

As a bonus, it freezes well and it’s a healthy option for dinner.

Go ahead, give the humble Zucchini Slice a shot!  (and treat your food processor with respect!).

Easy Zucchini Slice

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Makes: 9 x 13 inch pan

Ingredients

  • 375g zucchini, finely grated
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 shortcut bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 eggs
  • salt, pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced), or alternatively set your slow-cooker to high.
  2. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese, sifted flour, oil, and lightly beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour into a well greased lamington tin (16cm x 26cm).
  4. Bake for about 30-40 minutes in the oven until well browned. Or 1.5 hours in the slow-cooker (with a tea towel under the lid)
  5. Cut into squares and serve.

Recipe Source: my friend Google gave me this recipe