Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Easter is rapidly approaching...I know that because I am seeing lots of food bloggers and food related Facebook groups posting an endless parade of Hot Cross Bun (HCB) recipes.  I must say that I am a huge fan of the HCB and I am not one of those who whinge about their appearance in supermarkets before the Christmas tree has even come down.  I know that it is wonderful to bake things at home but I am of the firm belief that just as there are many things that are better home made, there are also some things that are better bought from the shops. I think that HCBs are one such thing.  Often our reasoning for making things at home is to avoid the "nasties" in commercially produced food. Well a lot of producers these days don't put additives in their buns - Baker's Delight is one such place.  So, I am going to leave HCBs to the experts but I decided to create this little number that pays homage to these tasty treats.  I am really pleased with how this recipe has turned out.  I was particularly pleased that even when cool, the scrolls are still soft - something that I have had issues with with other scroll recipes.  Also, there are many ways that you can change things up in this recipe to suit your personal taste - I will give you options in the notes at the end of the recipe.


1 cup full cream milk
60g butter diced
4 cups bread flour
21g instant yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 lemon, rind finely grated (optional - if you don't like lemon use orange or omit)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (do NOT use essence - it is yucky)

1. Place the milk and butter in the bowl with the kneading blade.
2. Select Speed 3, Time 3.30 Temp 80 degrees
3. Add remaining ingredients in the order listed.
4. Select Pastry P1. Stop the machine after 30 seconds and scrape down the sides and scrape the dough away from the spindle.  (Note - this is a very sticky dough). Restart program.
5. Scrape dough out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle lightly with flour and knead gently into a ball.
6. Rinse out bowl or use your second bowl - remove the spindle, line with cling wrap and spray the cling wrap with cooking spray.
7. Place the dough in the bowl and select Temp 30 degrees for 1 hour, stopper in.  This dough rises really well so don't be surprised if it starts pushing the stopper out!
8. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out on to a floured surface and knead lightly until the dough halves in size.  Roll out dough into a rectangle approximately 25cm x 40cm.

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
2 Tbsp candied citrus peel (optional)
1 cup sultanas
40g softened butter

1. Mix all ingredients together well, except butter.
2. Spread butter over the dough rectangle.
3. Sprinkle the sugar and spice mix over the dough, right to the edges.
4. From the long side of the dough, roll up into a sausage, finishing with the seam side down.
5. Using a sharp knife and a gentle but firm pressure, slice the dough into 12 slices.

120g butter diced
3/4 cup of dark brown sugar
3/4 cup of thickened cream
1 Tbsp liquid glucose (optional but it stops the topping crystalising)
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla

1. Prepare a 23cm x 32cm baking dish or high sided tray by spraying with cooking spray.
2.  Place the butter in the bowl with the whisk. Select Speed 3, Temp 80, Tim 3.30.
3. Add the remaining ingredients.
4. Select Slow Cook P1 Temp 130 degrees Time 5 minutes.
5. Place 3/4 of the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan and swirl around to coat the base and a little way up the sides.
6. Place scrolls in the prepared tray.  Leave room for expansion during the rising.  If you have too many scrolls to fit with space, then use another smaller container like a cake tin and put some topping in the bottom and the rest of the scrolls.
7. Cover the scrolls with cling wrap or a tea towel and put in a warm place to rise for approximately 1 hour.
8. When the scrolls have risen, place in a 160 degree oven to bake for 30 minutes.  After 15 minutes, check and if the scrolls are getting dark, cover loosely with a sheet of foil.
8. Remove from the oven and using a brush, baste with the remaining topping until well coated.

Sour Cream Drizzle
2 tbsp icing sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. When the scrolls are cool, use a spoon to drizzle the drizzle mix over the scrolls.


1. You can put a cup of whatever filling you like in the scrolls - it doesn't have to be sultanas.  You could use 1/2 cup of sultanas and 1/2 cup of pecans.  Or all pecans. Or you could use chocolate chips.
2. As with many baked things, these taste best when still warm from the oven. You can always rehead them in the microwave the next day to enjoy that just baked taste.

Sunday, March 19, 2017


I love a good slice and this is one of my favourites.  Check out any CWA cookbook or fundraising cookbook for a school, Guides, Scouts or any other organisation and you will find a version of this slice.  I call it Jammy Slice because well, it is jammy.  Thumbing through some of my cookbooks today I discovered that another name for this slice is English Matrimonial Slice - what a mouthful!  Apparently it was so named because of the pressed based and the crumble top....which supposedly represent the fact that you are supposed to take the smooth with the rough in marriage.  Ok......  Anyway, whatever its name is it is delicious.  It is wonderful warm from the oven (wait 10 - 15 minutes or you will burn your mouth with lava like jam!) and it is nice at room temperature.  So easy to make and so tasty.


1 1/2 cups of self raising flour (1 1/2 cups plain flour and 3 tsps of baking powder)
180g chilled diced butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup of rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup jam of your choice (I use raspberry)

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Line a 18cm x 28cm slice tin with baking paper.
2. Place flour and butter in the bowl with the kneading blade. Pulse for 10 -20 seconds until the mixture resemble bread crumbs or sand.
3. Add brown sugar, oats and coconut.
4. Select Pastry P1 for 30 seconds.
5. When the program is complete, place half the mixture into the prepared tin and push down very firmly. Spread the jam over the base and sprinkle the other half of the mixture over the top and press down very lightly.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
7. When baked removed from the oven, allow to cook and then slice into squares.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Well our American friends across the ocean have given us many wonderful baked treats and brownies would have to be close to the top of the list for me.  There are so many recipes out there for brownies - some are cake like, some are fudgy and some are fluffy.  This recipe is one that I have tweaked and converted and that is apparently pretty much what most Americans regard as a traditional brownie.  It is very rich and it is very moist and dense. Be warned - you only need small slices...eat too much and you may find yourself falling into a chocolate coma!


200g dark chocolate broken into squares
175g unsalted butter diced
325g casster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs
icing sugar to dust (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Line a 20 or 22cm square baking tin with baking paper.
2. Place chocolate and butter in the bowl with the kneading blade. Set Speed 2 Temp 85 Time 4m 30sec.
3. Stop program after 1min and scrape down sides and blade.  Recommence program.
4. Once chocolate is melted, add ingredients (other than icing sugar) in the order specified.
5. Select Pastry P1 for 1min. Stop after 30 seconds and scrape down sides. Recommence program.
6. Place batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Do not over bake.
7. Remove from the oven.  If serving as a dessert, serve warm or allow the brownie to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar.

Note - if you like nuts in your brownie, add half a cup of the nuts of your choice.  Brownies and walnuts are both traditional and tasty.