Tag Archives: Caramel

Short Bread with Dulce De Leche – Alfajores

Alfajores

Happy Sunday! Aren’t we all glad it’s finally the weekend? :) What do you normally doing during the weekend? I love baking and being in the kitchen on weekends! Last weekend Mr Bao got very sick with gastro poor thing he was literally best friends with the toilet for 30 hours straight! So we had to cancel all our plans and stay home…which is fine I guess because it meant I got to bake these Alfajores.

Alfajores2

When I posted these Alfajores on my Instagram and Facebook I got a lot of comments asking what they were exactly. Now for starters I wouldn’t have a clue how to pronounce ‘Alfajores’ correctly but that doesn’t matter because they are delicious! To put it simply Alfajores are South American short bread cookies with dulce de leche which is a caramel made from cooking condense milk in either a water bath in the oven or in the can in a saucepan.

Dulce De Leche

Dulce De Leche

I chose to make the dulce de leche in the over, because I found that to be the most authentic and easiest you just tip the condense milk into a baking dish and into baking tray filled with water and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours.

Alfajores2

 

 

This recipe is for Julie because she’s been asking me for the recipe and what these Alfajores taste like :D Hope you will make these caramel short bread cookies soon because I promise you they will disappear in seconds!

Recipe – Alfajores (Short Bread with Dulce De Leche) adapted from Taste.com and SBS.com
Dulce De Leche
Yield – 
Approximately 500ml

Ingredients
2 x 395g sweetened condensed milk

Method
1) Preheat oven to 220°C. Pour condense milk into a baking dish. Place dish into a baking tray or roasting pan. Pour water into pan until halfway up to the side of the dish.
2) Cover dish with foil and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes or more until it turns into a dark golden colour. Check on the dulce de leche every half and hour and refill pan with water if necessary. Once it turns into a golden colour whisk mixture until smooth and glossy.

Notes
– Depending on your oven it may take longer or a shorter time to make your dulce de leche.
– Store dulce de leche in sterilised jars and in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
– Set dulce de leche aside and prepare to make shortbread cookie

Alfajores – Short bread cookies
Ingredients

300g (2 cups) plain flour, sifted
50g pure icing sugar, sifted
200g cold unsalted butter, chopped
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
275g dulce de leche
50g desiccated coconut for rolling

Method
1) Process flour, icing sugar, unsalted butter and pinch of salt in a food processor until mixture resembles crumbs. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and process again until mixtures comes together. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or overnight.
2) On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 5mm thick. Using a 6cm round cooker cutter cut out 20 discs, re-rollling pastry if necessary. Place on oven tray with baking paper and refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes or more.
3) Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake biscuits for 15 minutes or until light golden. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Pipe dulce de leche over half the biscuits, then sandwich with remaining biscuits. Roll in desiccated coconut and serve immediately or place in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes
– Because the dough has a high butter content you need to work quickly when cutting out discs as dough can stick on rolling pin
– You can replace the desiccated coconut by sprinkling icing sugar over the biscuits

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Share a Churros Week support Beyond Blue – San Churros

San Churros

Today’s post is a little different, of course it’s all about churros those delectable fried Spanish Donuts that San Churros specialising in making but more importantly it’s about their campaign to support beyondbluean independent non-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety disorders and related mental illnesses.

SC1504017_Share_a_Churros_Poster_ForWeb

San Churros has launched ‘Share A Churros Week’ and from the 15th-21st of June (this week) every churros sold $1 will be donated to beyondblue. When I was asked if I would like to help promote this campaign I couldn’t have said any quicker. Unfortunately, a few people very close to me suffer from depression and anxiety, I have seen first hand how it affects them. Therefore, if there’s anything I can do to support and help the charity I will definitely do it.

I wanted to share with some facts about depression and anxiety:
– 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime
– On average, 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some stage of their lives
– Anxiety is the most common mental condition in Australia
– On average, 1 in 4 people will experience anxiety
– At least six Australians take their own lives every day

For more information please visit the beyondblue website :)

San Churros 1

I know it’s very important for people who suffer depression and anxiety to have the support from family and friends. Therefore, it’s a great concept of ‘Share A Churros’ because I honestly believe food can bring people together and because there’s endorphins in chocolate hehe that’s why I asked a dear friend of mine Catherine from Sweet Empire to go to San Churros and have a churros feast with me.

San Churros Knox

The are quite a few San Churros outlets in Melbourne, we found the one in Westfield Knox in Wantirna to be the closest to us both. We met at the newly renovated store it is much bigger and spacious compared to the kiosk they use to have inside the shopping centre.

San Churros Knox1

With plenty of seating inside and sunlight shining through it is a great place for business meeting, afternoon tea and dessert after dinner. They also have comfy black leather sofas which is where to settled down and ordered our drinks.

Azteca Chilli Spanish Hot Chocolate $5.95

Azteca Chilli Spanish Hot Chocolate $5.95

I can never leave without ordering the Azteca Spanish Hot chocolate which is chilli flavoured. If you haven’t had a Spanish hot chocolate before, I am warning you now it is VERY VERY thick haha and not everyone will like it! I personally love it! It is so thick it’s more like a pudding especially when it’s a little colder and thickens up. The subtle chilli taste gives it some more heat and perfect for a cold winter night. They have other flavours for the hot chocolate which I like too such as the peanut butter!

Churros For Two $14.95

Churros For Two $14.95

We then ordered a Churros For Two because it’s the perfect amount churros for us. Instead of milk and dark chocolate we decided to try something different and order the white chocolate which tasted a little like condense milk and dulce de leche (which is cooked condense milk to make a caramel).

Churros

Thanks Catherine for being the hand model :) Just look at that creamy dulce de leche! I’ve had the churros so many times haha my old office use to be walking distance to San Churros so yes I was a regular. They are made to order and freshly baked, never too oily and always crispy on the outside and soft inside with cinnamon sugar sprinkled over.

Fondue for Two $24.95

Fondue for Two $24.95

I would’ve loved to invite more people, but they were all working and hey who said two can’t be a party :P We didn’t have breakfast so this made up for it, we ordered the Fondue For Two which had a great range of condiments. Firstly a big pot of melted dark chocolate that is a must for a fondue. Then for dipping you had churros (of course!), fresh strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, brownies, macarons (pistachio & NY Cheesecake), pretzels and chocolate truffles! WOW!

San Churros 5

 

Just looking at this platter makes me smile and want to share it with all my friends. I swear I have collected at least 3 fondue sets over the years, but I’ve never gotten around to using them. When I really should because it is such a great idea for dinner parties and so fun to eat using these little skewers.

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Catherine as the hand model again ~ why is it always so hard to pick up the strawberries hurry up I want to eat you :P

Chocolate fondue

There we go the money shot! Fresh strawberries dipped in melted chocolate my favourite! What’s your favourite? We had such a great time chatting and fully indulging ourselves in churros and chocolate.

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San Churros will be donating an extra $1 if you share your photos on Instagram and tag #shareachurros

So please do me a favour and visit San Churros if you can this week, order some churros, share with your friends and help raise money for beyondblue!

San Churros Knox
Number 3110a
Knox City Shopping Centre
425 Burward Hwy
Please visit the San Churros website for the closest outlet near you.

Daisy@Nevertoosweet and Catherine dined at San Churros as their guest and Haystac all opinions are true and honest. 

 

Annual Mr Bao Day – Happy Birthday

I here by pronounce the 4th of September of each year to be Mr Bao Day because it is my Mr Bao’s amazing birthday :D He is turning the BIG 25 today ~ and I’m giving him a hard time saying he’s going to have a quarter of a life crisis soon hahaha I’m so mean!

Happy Birthday Mr Bao :)

Celebrations started on Saturday when we went over to a friends place and I bought the cake :) I finally got the chance to make the epic Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cake I saw in the Jamie Oliver magazine a while ago. I will be sharing the recipe at the end of this post, but let me tell you ~ this was by far one of the best cakes I’ve made to date YAY! It was moist, soft and light :) and surprisingly not overly sweet because I was worried that Mr Bao was going to find it too sweet hehe

Mini 3 layer chocolate ganache cake

The next day at 7pm Mr Bao told me oh-so-casually “Oh yeah by the way, it’s my manager’s birthday tomorrow, maybe it would be nice if I bought a cake”. I was immediately shocked! “WHAT and you’re telling me now?!?” we were going out for dinner that night with the amazing bloggers, so we weren’t going to get home till later! ARGH! So as soon as we got home, I quickly made my favourite and most reliable chocolate fudge cake, halved the recipe and put them into two mini cake tins. 45 minutes later, I had two mini cakes, quickly sliced it up, made some chocolate ganache put it between the layers, and finally sprinkled some shaved chocolate to make it look nicer :D It was a made rush! Thank gosh Mr Bao’s manager and colleagues liked it YAY!

Chocolate Mug Cake with Coffee Ice-cream

Then last night just before Mr Bao went to bed, poor guy works at 6am so he went to bed before midnight, I made him a chocolate mug cake and topped it with coffee ice-cream because it’s his favourite :) and because I felt bad because I wont have the time to make him another proper cake tonight ~ Thank you Lorraine (Not Quite Nigella) for the amazing recipe!

Celebrations will continue today and all the way through tonight :D and I just wanted to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dearest Mr Bao! I can’t believe this is the 4th birthday I’ve celebrated with you! I’m losing out of ideas and you are always outdoing me :P But I still wish you an amazing birthday and may all your wishes come trueeeeeeee xox

Recipe – Chocolate and Salted Caramel Cake from Jamie Oliver Magazine 


 Yield – A double layer 23cm cake (serves 10 to 12) or for one (ME)

Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
250 grams Unsalted butter, cubed
250 grams 70% cocoa chocolate, broken to small pieces
150 grams Espresso
225 grams Self-raising flower
250 grams Raw caster Sugar
250 grams Light Brown Sugar
2 tablespoon (15ml) Cocoa powder
100 ml Buttermilk
4 eggs, beaten
White chocolate and Milk chocolate for shavings

Salted Caramel
200 grams Sugar
75ml Thickened cream
50 grams butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
50ml Water

Chocolate Ganache
100 grams 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into small pieces
100 ml thickened cream

Method
1) Start with the salted caramel. Place the sugar in a large saucepan with 50ml water. Gently heat on low, swirling the pan but don’t stir, until just melted. Be careful it is very hot! Turn up the heat a little and simmer gently, swirling regularly, until you have a clear, very dark golden caramel. *Warning* very easy to burn your caramel so watch it carefully ~ I burnt mine and had to redo it :(
2) Remove the pan from the heat then carefully and quickly whisk in the cream and butter. It will splutter a bit, but don’t worry about that. Keep whisking and beating until smooth, then beat in the salt. Let cool. It may set a little so reheat before spreading over the cake.
3) For the cake, preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease and line the bases of 23 cm cake tins. Plan the chocolate in a saucepan with the butter, coffee and a pinch of fine salt. Melt until combined.

4) In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugars and cocoa (I sifted mine) until well combined.
5) Beat the buttermilk into the melted chocolate mixture, then mix in the beaten eggs.

6) Pour this mixture into the flour-sugar mixture and mix well. Spoon into cake tins and bake for 45 minutes, and check if cooked if not return to the oven checking every 5 minutes. Cool cakes in the tins for 10 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7) Meanwhile make the ganache. Place chocolate into a bowl. Pour thickened cream into a small saucepan and gently heat. Just before it starts bubbling, remove the cream from the heat and pout it over the chocolate (Never add chocolate to the cream it will seize up). Leave the ganache to sit for a minute, then stir with a wooden spoon until completely combined.
8) Place the cool unfrosted cake on a board or plate, you may need to trim the top a little to make it flat and then drizzle with a 1/3 of the chocolate ganache and then drizzle with salted caramel.

9) Top with the other layer of chocolate cake and repeat with the chocolate ganache and then salted caramel and finish with chocolate shaving or any other decorations.
* You can make your own chocolate shavings by grating a block of chocolate with a cookie cutter.

This cake was actually easier to make than I anticipated, it was mainly melting and mixing one ingredient with the other. And the best thing is, you don’t need to wait for the butter to soften and cream it with the sugar :)

Who Wins – Caramel Chip Cookies

To all my Readers in Australia, HAPPY LONG WEEKEND :) Woo Hoo! We get tomorrow off because it’s Queen’s Birthday, it’s a little annoying though that we don’t get an extra day off like my friends in the UK do because it’s the Queen’s Jubilee celebration :D

Even though, I’ve only gone to the UK, I’ve always had a strong connection with the Queen hehe I’ve always liked her and the whole royal family ~ I was quite young when Princess Diane passed away but I still remember it was such a shock and have since read so many autobiographies of her :)

They’re both invincible and incredible together :)

I’m totally in love with this picture and just really wanted to share with everyone, Queen Elizabeth and her Prince Phillip are surely invincible and incredible together after so many years, they are still very much in love! Sooooo Sweet :)

Anyway,  I always get side-tracked lol like most couples… Mr Bao and I bicker a lot… and we always have stupid bets and challenges…and these caramel chip cookies are one of them.

Nestle recently released their new caramel bits for baking, which are the same as the chocolate chips but their caramel ones YAY :) I LOVE anything caramel hehe ~ so I immediately picked them up. I got quite busy so just left them lying at the back of my pantry, but then fellow blogger The Suz Chef Instagrammed a photo of these chips and jolted my memory.

So I made these last night, and while I was scooping them out onto the baking trays, Mr Bao decided my cookies were ‘ugly’ and that I should be using my hands and rolling them into little BALLS before I bake them… so he decided to come and ‘show’ me…

*Rolls Eyes*

*COUGH COUGH* Excuse me! Who’s the baker in the house? LOL

Anyway so we got into a pretty heated argument and we can’t decide who’s cookies look better?!? They taste exactly the same, but I must say mine are crunchier on the outside and oh so chewy on the inside.

So my dear lovely Readers, please vote who’s Caramel Chip Cookies look the best :D Just be honest and place a vote ~ I wont be made if you only voted for me hahaha.

If I win I wont need to do the washing for the next two weeks! But if I lose…I’ll have to do the washing and ironing…so PLEASE cast your vote :)

Mine – The Left
Mr Bao – The Right

Back to the recipe, these Caramel Chip Cookies were SO easy to make and SO good :) I think I’m gonna make another batch for work next week ~ They’re seriously sweet and delicious and very ‘Mrs Field’ like which is the type of cookies I like hehe ~


Recipe – Caramel Chip Cookies from Nestle (the package) 

Ingredients (Makes 15 large or 30 small) 
125 grams butter, soften
165 grams, brown sugar
1 egg
255grams, self raising flour
250 grams, Nestle Caramel Bits

Method
1) Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Grease and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2) Place, butter, brown sugar and egg in a bowl of a stand mixer or use a handheld electric mixer, beat until mixture is plate and creamy.

3) Stir in flour.

4) Add Caramel Bits. Mix until well combined

5) Roll level tablespoon of mixture, place on prepared trays of about 4cm apart. Flatten slightly.

6) Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Set aside on trays for 5 minutes to cool; transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

If you haven’t seen these Caramel Bits, you can get them from most Coles and Woolworths in Australia :) As for other places I’m not too sure ~ But if you do see them, pick some up and try making these yummy cookies!

Before I head off ~ Please please PLEASE cast your vote!

Thanks xoxo

PS. I’m the one on the LEFT :D

Sugar High – Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome :) Even though I miss NYC  it’s lovely to be back and continue blogging! I was getting an itch and wanted to blog so much when I was there ~

Now to my second post, once again I was really torn between all the fabulous places we visited and I know Mr Bao isn’t going to agree with this, but I decided to my second post will be about the AMAZING caramel apple I bought at – Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in the Jersey Garden Outlets. Very briefly Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is an all American and old-fashioned candy and chocolate store with locations all around America :) good news for those who aren’t in New York ~

Conveniently located near the entrance :)

We got to the Jersey Garden Outlet pretty early, at around 10:15am (they opened at 10am), we didn’t want to waste any shopping time ~ But Rocky Mountain wasn’t open then, so we did our shopping and just before we were going to leave…I quickly dashed into the store to check it out and that was probably one of the best decisions I made throughout the whole trip.

Why? Well prepare yourself! Because I am now going to take you to my heaven :)

Variety of candy and caramel apples!

Sorry if that sounds a little exaggerated, but I’m still reminiscing over the candy apples! Just look at them! All the different types of candy and caramel apples you can think of! There was one covered in mini M&Ms, a Rocky Road one and even an Apple Pie candy apple!

S'mores Caramel Apple $6.95USD

I regret not trying this caramel apple :( just in case you can’t read the description – this was a Granny Smith apple dipped in caramel , then rolled in white confection (I assume icing sugar) then rolled in chocolate chips, mini marshmallows then finished with graham crackers. My mouth is watering SO SO SO badly right now!

Ultimate Apple $6.95USD and Candy Apple $3USD

We were all pretty tired from shopping so I quickly asked the shop assistant (who wasn’t very nice) what their signature apple was and she suggested that ‘Ultimate Apple’ oh boy it was so delectable! It’s basically a Granny Smith apple dipped in caramel sauce, rolled in crushed pecans, then rolled in crushed Oreos and finished off with icing sugar drizzled all over it! It was one of the most PLEASURABLE things I have eaten in such a long time!

I know most of you must think this is sickeningly sweet… but honestly it wasn’t that bad because the tartness of the Granny Smith really balanced it out ~ but then…don’t take my word for it I’m immune to sugar ~

WARNING - Very hard to bite into it ~

I also got the traditional candy apple, be warned though the toffee was really hard and it took me a good minute or two to bite into it :) It was much easier to eat the Ultimate apple because the caramel dipping was still soft when I ate it.

Mr Bao didn’t even try the Ultimate! He said it just too sweet and that it made him sick just looking and thinking about the caramel sauce hahaha

They also have an array of chocolate, barks, chocolate dipped marshmallows in their cabinets ~

Chocolate cabinet

I bought Mr Bao a dark chocolate dipped marshmallow, but unfortunately he said there wasn’t anything special to it. Doesn’t matter, as long as I have my Ultimate Apple I’m happy :) I went a little crazy and had the candy apple for breakfast, hence, I was on a sugar high all day long ~

I very politely demand you find a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory when you go to America next time! You’ll be in heaven like me! And for anyone going to New York definitely go to the Jersey Garden outlets! Mr Bao and I shopped so much, everything was on sale and a bargain to buy!

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Jersey Gardens
651 Kapkowski Road
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Ph: +1 (908) 352-2460 

For other locations please visit their website.

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