Rocky Road Bark

For the Christmas just gone by, I tried to be a little smarter with my hamper making time, and so I chose to make Rocky Road Bark instead of plain old Rocky Road.  Bark is another simple yet effective gift food which lends itself to many variations. Another that I like is dark chocolate with roasted hazelnuts and craisins.

Rocky Road Bark


150 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150 g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 ½ cups pecans, toasted & roughly chopped
1 cup raspberry lollies, halved

 

Line a tray with baking paper and set aside. Melt the milk and dark chocolates together a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave.  Heat on high for 30 seconds bursts, stirring in between bursts until melted and smooth.

Stir in 1 & 1/2 cups of the marshmallows, 1 cup of the pecans and 3/4 of the raspberry lollies. Scrape the mixture onto the tray and spread out with a spatula to approx 2cm thickness. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows, pecans and raspberry lollies over the top, gently pressing them into the chocolate to adhere.

Refrigerate the bark until completely firm, which is about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks for serving.

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Chocolate Cherry Slice

This recipe is lifted straight from the December issue Good Food magazine, of which I have a subscription.  It’s basically a soft chocolatey brownie with a summery twist, the twist being the cherries and coconut.  Considering the pretty iffy weather we’ve been having so far this summer, why don’t you console yourself with this delicious treat?

Chocolate Cherry Slice

200 g dark eating chocolate, broken into pieces
150 g unsalted butter, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
⅔ cup dark choc bits
415 g can pitted cherries in syrup, drained

 

 

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 30x20cm slice pan.

Heat chocolate and butter in a saucepan on low heat, stirring for 3-4 minutes, until smooth and combined. Cool for 10 minutes.

Use a balloon whisk to whisk the egg into chocolate mixture, then stir in brown sugar, sifted plain flour and coconut. Fold through half of the choc bits.

Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Push cherries into batter and scatter over remaining choc bits.

Bake for 30 minutes, until firm. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto to wire rack to cool completely. Cut into pieces to serve.

Banana Bars

Here I go, starting another blog.  This time it’s going to be all about food which is so absolutely my passion.  I have always been into food, particularly baking, but it’s been an on again off again thing due to my various living arrangements.  A few years ago I read Elizabeth Wurtzel’s The Secret of Life: Commonsense Advice for the Uncommon Woman and one piece of advice that jumped out at me went something along the lines of: that to have an obsession is a beneficial healthy thing, something that occupies your time and makes you happy.  When I read this, I realised that my obsession, the something that makes me happiest, is obviously cooking.  After that I started cooking and baking again at any opportunity – birthdays, Christmas, housewarmings – and now I often bake “just because” and take the resulting slices, cookies, cakes and cupcakes to work or my best friend’s house just so I don’t have to eat the whole lot myself.

For my first post I feel as though it should have been of something much more impressive looking, but, these Banana Bars were just so soft and more-ish that I have to blog about them! I bought a $1 bag bananas at the Prahran Market the other week thinking to make banana bread, but instead I came across this recipe in one of my go to cookbooks for slices and cookies: Nestle Toll House: Best-Loved Cookies and I had to give it a go.

Banana Bars

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
190 g butter, chopped and at room temperature
⅔ cup caster sugar
⅔ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana
1 egg
2 cups dark choc chips

Prepare by preheating the oven to 180C and grease then line a 30x15cm slice tin.

Sift flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl. Add salt.

With an electric mixer, cream butter, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat in bananas and egg until just combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir through choc chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares to serve.