four ingredient spiced caramel fudge

This wickedly delicious and fattening fudge is an ideal recipe to make at this time of the year. Packed in attractive boxes or other imaginative containers, they make great gifts, to indulge your friends and loved ones.

This recipe is very quick and easy – just four ingredients and no sugar thermometers! The sugar might seem excessive, but it’s all good. In the end, the taste is just pure indulgence. I love fudge and making confectionery has also been a passion with me. The aroma of this fudge filled up the entire kitchen.

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Since Carnations Caramel is not available here, I made the caramel by immersing the can in water and boiling it for three hours. I made this on the previous day. Please refer to this link if you want to do the same – https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/caramel-sweetened-condensed-milk/9005d4ff-d063-43da-9fc6-509cc50ae771.

I know there are so many amazing fudge recipes without any cooking, but I love making it the old-fashioned way. I did try a peanut butter fudge recipe once which required no cooking and it was delicious. One of these days, I must try out the no-cook fudge recipes and I will be sure to blog them. I hope that you enjoy making this fudge as much as I did.  This recipe makes around 20-25 pieces of fudge.

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PREP:  10 minutes  COOK TIME:  20 minutes 

Ingredients

400 gms condensed milk can

100 gms butter

500 gms sugar

2 tsp pumpkin spice

! tsp vanilla essence (optional)

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment.

Place the butter, caramelized condensed milk and sugar in a large heavy bottomed pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for about five to ten minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pan and a little dropped into a pan of cold water forms a soft ball. Remove the fudge from the heat and add the spice and vanilla essence (if using) and beat with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until the fudge becomes grainy and starts to set. Pour into the prepared tin and mark into squares when the mixture has cooled slightly. cut into squares when it is completely cold.

Cabbage rolls

I’m sure that anyone who is serious about cooking will have made this recipe at some time. I have been wanting to make these Polish Golabki rolls for quite some time. Cabbage rolls are delicious. Instead of the meat, I used mushrooms and soy (TVP), with some spices to make the filling. This filling goes very well with naan, flatbreads etc.

The core of the cabbage has to be carefully removed, so that the leaves easily come apart after it has been steamed. A large sized cabbage weighing around 3 pounds is best which makes it easier to work with, though you can use a smaller one as well. Another trick is to trim the veins of the cabbage leaf if they are too thick. Just use a sharp knife to trim it slightly. That makes it easier to fold over the filling.

It really doesn’t take too long to make this recipe and the cabbage leaves are quite easy to roll. It’s best to leave the rolls overnight in the fridge and then fry them the next day just before serving. You have to be careful not to add too much liquid before baking as that makes the rolls soggy.

This recipe makes around 16-20 rolls.

PREP: 40 minutes COOK TIME: 25 minutes

Ingredients

1 large cabbage, core removed

2 cups soy chunks (TVP)

1 cup fresh button mushrooms, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup long grain rice

2 tbsp olive oil

3-4 tbsp tomato puree

Salt to taste

Instructions

Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.

Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil and immerse the cabbage, core side down in it and simmer for 10 minutes. Using two large flat ladles, take the cabbage out of the water and place it on a baking tray core side on top. Using two forks, separate the leaves near the top so that it cools off. Keep the water in which the cabbage was cooked. If the core is not soft enough, you might need to cook it for a few more minutes.

Soak the TVP in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Drain and squeeze well. Process briefly to a flaky consistency.

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and onions. Saute for 4-5 minutes until they just start to brown. Add the ginger and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are slightly softened. Add all the spices with about 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix well. Add salt and the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are mushy. Add the soy meal and keep it covered until it is cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Add the rice and mix well.

At this point, preheat the oven to 180C.

Separate the cabbage leaves reserving the outermost ones to use as a topping. As you get toward the centre, you may want to use a sharp knife to cut the core to separate the leaves. If you find the leaves at the centre too firm to roll, just pop them into the boiling water for another 5 minutes and let it simmer gently. Meanwhile, lay the cabbage leaf on a marble slab and place about 3 tablespoons of the filling toward the edge of the leaf, roll once and fold in the sides and roll once more (like a burrito). Make all the rolls this way and place them seam side down in the baking pan in a row.

Take about half a cup of the cabbage water and mix the tomato puree in it. Pour this over the rolls and cover with the broken cabbage leaves. Cover with foil and bake for about 11/2 hours. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove the cabbage leaves and brown them in a little olive oil just before serving. Serve with sour cream.

yoghurt and matcha swirl with mango

This modern and elegant dessert shows how well matcha goes with yogurt, chocolate and fruit. I was surprised when I tasted this lovely dish. It was wonderful to taste the silky combination of mango with the white chocolate and yogurt and I could get the subtle flavour of matcha too. It’s the perfect ending to a special party! Keep your guests wondering  what actually goes into making this super easy and delicious dessert.

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This superb dessert recipe is from http://www.epicurious.com and was created by Meryl Rothstein.

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PREP: 30 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into small cubes

4 tsp sugar divided

31/2 oz high-quality white chocolate

11/2 cups Greek yogurt

1 tsp matcha powder

Instructions

Mix the mango with two teaspoons of the sugar and macerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the white chocolate in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Cool slightly and gradually whisk in the yogurt. Divide the mixture between two small bowls.

Whisk the remaining two teaspoons sugar and matcha powder in another small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon hot water and whisk to form a smooth paste. Add the paste to one bowl containing the white chocolate-yogurt mixture. Whisk to blend well.

Divide the mango into four and place them in attractive glasses. Make a well in the green yogurt mixture and pour the white yogurt mixture into the centre. Fold gently once or twice just enough to create swirls. Spoon over the mango, dividing equally. Chill until you are ready to serve.

Potato Pizza with Pumpkin Pesto

This pizza is for potato lovers’ – that includes everyone, I think! I haven’t yet come across anyone who doesn’t like potatoes. The wafer thin slices of potato is such a sensation to eat with the pumpkin pesto. Even people who don’t like pumpkin much will absolutely love this pizza. It’s a refreshing change from the usual tomato sauce.

Just as I skipped the tomato sauce, you can also experiment with a variety of shapes. It’s fun to try different pizza shapes and I chose to go with a rectangle shape. Pizzas are so versatile and you can try so many different variations on them.

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I made the pizza dough from scratch as I always do. Please refer to my earlier post Paneer Tikka Pizza for the recipe. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can always use a refrigerated dough or a readymade base.  I also made the pumpkin puree by steaming the pumpkin and then pureeing it. Whipping up the pesto just takes a few minutes and it tastes so good. I also used a mandoline to slice the potatoes wafer thin.

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I layered the cheese under the potatoes and the result was a lovely, creamy mouthful of pumpkin pesto, cheese and potatoes in every bite. I hope you try this out – it’s perfect for family get togethers. This recipe is suitable for one 12 inch pizza.

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PREP:  30 minutes  COOK TIME:  30-40 minutes 

Ingredients

1 pre-baked pizza crust

500 gms potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly

200 gms mozzarella cheese, grated

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp salt

For the pumpkin pesto

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup cashewnuts

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

Instructions

Place a pizza brick, unglazed terracota tile or baking sheet in the oven. Preheat the oven to 220C.

Place all the ingredients for the pesto in a blender or food processor and process until thick, about 30 seconds.

Place the pizza base on the heated brick or pan. Brush the base with a little oil and then spread the pumpkin pesto on it. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top and season with a little pepper. Place the potato slices on top and garnish with the thyme. Drizzle some olive oil on top and bake for 30 minutes until the pizza is cooked (if the dough has not been pre-baked). If it’s pre-baked, then 15-20 minutes should suffice.

Brioche buns with Sweet Corn, cheddar and cilantro

 

These cheesy pull-apart buns are bursting with flavour. Soft and buttery, the kernels of corn provide bursts of sweetness along with the rich taste of cheddar cheese and herby cilantro. They are perfect for breakfast or dinner. Or you can just pack them for a quick snack if you’re rushed for time. They are quite delicious eaten on their own and perfect for sharing.

You could of course try various combinations of cheese and herbs with whatever you have on hand. These buns can be shaped and frozen for up to three weeks wrapped tightly in cling film. Be sure to thaw them in the refrigerator the night before baking them. You also need to proof them before baking at room temperature.

Refrigerating the dough overnight increases the flavour of the bread and also gives it a darker colour when baked. I used instant yeast instead of the fresh yeast in the recipe. The results were very satisfying.

This recipe is from Saveur. This recipe makes about 16 small buns.

PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 35-40 minutes TOTAL TIME: 10 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

1/3 cup milk

3 large eggs, divided

12/3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting

2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp instant yeast

13/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup+1 tbsp butter

1 cup corn kernels

1 cup cheddar, grated

1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped finely

Non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil

Instructions

Lightly grease a 11×9 inch baking pan.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, place the milk, 2 eggs, flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl until the dough is glossy and pulls away from the sides. Scrape the dough, add the butter and mix on low speed for one minute. Increase the speed and continue mixing until the butter is incorporated, and the mixture is very silky, shiny and completely homogenous. Add the corn, cheddar and cilantro and mix well until they are completely incorporated.

Lightly grease a large bowl and transfer the dough to it. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a tight ball and place them in the baking pan (their sides will be touching). Cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until puffed up and slightly more than doubled in size, about 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 160C. Whisk the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush the buns with the egg wash and transfer the pan to the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the buns are evenly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool for about 2-3 minutes. Unmould the buns and serve warm or you can cool them completely on a wire rack. They refrigerate quite well – you can gently reheat them in the microwave.

 

 

 

 

Coconut Cheesecake with Mango Caramel

 This rich and luxurious cheesecake, which is perfect for a special occasion, is particularly hard to resist.  The delicious moist filling is topped with a heavenly mango caramel.  I love making cheesecake because it’s so versatile. It can take on so many different types of flavours. It’s much better than store bought ones definitely!

I have used Greek yoghurt instead of cream cheese, which makes it much lighter. Coconut and mango is a great flavour combination and the sweetness of the mango caramel is offset by the coconut filling which is not too sweet. 

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This cheesecake is extra special. I used vanilla wafers for the base and it’s a cheesecake lover’s dream! The crumbly base with the velvety coconut filling and the luscious mango caramel makes it phenomenal. I used some mixed candied fruits for the decoration.

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This cheesecake can stay for up to a week in the fridge. I’m sure that you and your family are going to love it. This recipe makes a 10 inch cheesecake. It’s best to make the filling and topping the day before and refrigerate overnight. I got the recipe for the mango caramel from here – cacao-barry.com.

PREP:  25 minutes  COOK TIME:  75 minutes

Ingredients

11/2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed in a food processor

3 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp butter, melted

Filling

700 gms Greek yoghurt

1 cup sugar

15 gms cornflour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp coconut extract

Mango caramel

250 gms sugar

170 ml mango puree

50 ml whipping cream

1/2 tsp mixed spice

15 gms butter

1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare a 10 inchspringform pan by lining it with aluminium foil on the outside of the pan bottom and up the sides. 

Combine the vanilla wafer crumbs and sugar together. Stir in the melted butter and mix well. Press the mixture against the bottom and the sides of the pan by using your hands. Bake the crust for 10 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.

Reduce the heat to 160 C. For the filling, place the yoghurt in a large mixing bowl and beat well. Add the sugar, cornflour, vanilla extract and salt. Beat until smooth and add the eggs slowly, beating continuously. Add the coconut milk and extract and beat until well combined.

Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan and scoop the cheesecake mixture into it. Add hot water to the roasting pan until it is halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for about 60 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the roasting pan and allow to cool thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight.

For the mango caramel, place the sugar in a small heavy bottomed pan and heat until the sugar starts to caramelise. Add the mango puree and whipping cream. Bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the mixed spice, butter and salt. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until use. 

Carefully, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan on to a serving plate. Spread the mango caramel on top of the filling and return to the fridge for a few hours before slicing and serving.