Category Archives: Biscuits and Slices

Sweet Treats – Nutella Weetbix Slice

I’m moving house. Again.

In the last four years I’ve moved 11 times and I have it down pat – I can pack up and box a two bedroom house in two days. Packing up everything in this house will take me three hours. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Nutella Weetbix Slice

Desserts – Blackberry and Apple Crumble Slice

I writing this on Valentine’s Day, and I’m struggling not to be drawn into a passive-aggressive smackdown of the day’s festivities by putting all my grief into this article, or into this recipe, which is baking while I write.

For those who are not in couples, it’s a day of purdah. The single must stay away, away from restaurants with reconfigured Tables-For-Two, lined end-to-end with barely any space to move between, each couple in their own loved-up bubble of perfection, their primal scent of fear – or of keeping up appearances, I’m never quite sure which –  barely contained. Poor bastards.  Continue reading Desserts – Blackberry and Apple Crumble Slice

Sweet Treats – Chocolate and Nutella Yoyos

They are Melting Moments (made with custard powder) to some, and Yoyos (made with cornflour) to others. Either version always disappears faster than you can make them.

I’ve opted for a chocolate version, because … actually I don’t need a reason, and I suspect you don’t either. Instead of custard powder which could affect both taste and colour, I used cornflour which still gives the lightest, flakiest texture to ensure it will melt on your tongue, so Yoyos they are. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Chocolate and Nutella Yoyos

Christmas – Alfajores

I can’t remember where I was, but somewhere in my online world I saw a mention of someone baking Alfajores and my curiosity got the better of me.  I’m forever grateful for that.

These lovely caramel sandwiches are found throughout South America with every country claiming their own version. Traditionally served after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, they feature that wonderful treat Dulce de Leche, the famed milky caramel that also has umpteen regional variations. Continue reading Christmas – Alfajores

Dessert – Chocolate Ripple Log

It’s an oldie but a goodie, and found in just about every western country who then claim this recipe as their own. This is an absurdly simple thing to make. Layer chocolate biscuits with cream and refrigerate.

Sooner or later, someone will bring this as their dessert offering to your next barbecue or party. It never goes out of fashion. It’s also a great dessert to make when you’re a teenager and learning dessert cookery – it’s a great boost to the ego as everyone loves it. Continue reading Dessert – Chocolate Ripple Log

Sweet Treats – Katharine Hepburn's Brownies

She was imperious, had a withering intelligence and to the end was her own person, independent, self-aware, unafraid.

I loved her very much.

Before Meryl and Cate, Katharine Hepburn amassed four Best Actress Oscars over a forty year period. What she would have made of today’s botoxed beauties with their social media accounts and entourages I don’t know. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Katharine Hepburn's Brownies

Lunchbox Treats – Apricot Bliss Balls

They are now twenty-one and nineteen, but still my children remember their days in primary school fondly. For some reason the conversation turned to their school days recently and they both rhapsodised about the once a month occasion when I would work in the school canteen.

I’m not sure if it was simply that their mum was there, or that she was a shoe-in to splurge a little more and buy them treats they normally wouldn’t have, but they loved seeing me there.

And for my part, I have fond memories of it as well, the straggly queues, helping the Kindy kids work out correct change, and my personal favourite, listening to a child say, “Can I have a Blith Ball please Mrs Reynoldth?” “Hello darling, did you lose your front tooth this weekend? You must be in Year 1.” Continue reading Lunchbox Treats – Apricot Bliss Balls

Lunchbox Treats – Choc Peanut Protein Balls

These golf-ball sized lunch box snacks are perfect fuel for energetic people and unlike some health foods, they are incredibly delicious.

Make a batch of them this weekend, ready to pop into lunches and child and adult alike will enjoy them. One or two are really quite filling and will keep your energy levels sustained until dinner time.

Continue reading Lunchbox Treats – Choc Peanut Protein Balls

Sweet Treats – Gingerbread Men

I love ginger, and I love Christmas baking, so you would think Gingerbread Men would be the first item on my annual to-do list.

I never make them.

To my mind – and taste-buds – there is only one way to enjoy ginger, and that’s in a mouthful that is soft and yielding, not crunchy. Hard gingerbread is really rather self-defeating. It is chewiness I want, every time. That, and a gingerbread man who decorates himself.

Because the reason I never make them is the intensely maddening prospect of icing the damn things. Continue reading Sweet Treats – Gingerbread Men

Sweet Treats – Digestive Biscuits

DigestiveBiscuits1No matter how long I have lived in Australia (it’s more than three decades) certain things pull me back to Britain, and never more than when I am eating.

Wherever we come from, and regardless of how far our transplanted roots push down into Australian soil, food is guaranteed to bring out all the cultural nuances we associate with our birthplace. Table manners, meal times, the order of food, place settings, how we prepare food, how we talk around a table – it is all so embedded in our DNA it rarely seems out of place. Until, that is, you find yourself in a new world, with different ways of doing things. Homesickness can often be felt most keenly when we experience a taste of home.

Without doubt, my favourite biscuit of all is a digestive biscuit, a food irredeemably British, a food I have sought out around the world from supermarkets in Singapore to Long Island, New York. In the days before they became readily available, packets of these biscuits were spirited back to Oz in luggage, with pleas sent to visiting relatives to bring some more.

Continue reading Sweet Treats – Digestive Biscuits