Baileys brownies and chocolate

I’m attempting to make healthier food choices to balance out my baking. How is it going, you ask?

Interestingly.

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-8-13-20-pm

Day one: the earth conspired against me and my delicious berry smoothie to ensure that I didn’t get the clean start I was looking for. And there’s that box of chocolate that Nestle sent me, just sitting there, packed to the brim with tempting goodies.

Mint Chocolate St Patrick’s Day Slice and greenery

I can’t overstate the love that I have for Ireland. The people, the dramatic landscapes, the green, green greenness of every single plant. To say that I love Ireland would simply not do it justice. I visited Ireland in 2010 because I had a cousin there (and because I had always wanted an excuse to go) and it was indescribably lush.

St Patrick's day mint chocolate slice (5 of 9)

And those gorgeous Irish accents, don’t even get me started!

I totally understand why green is associated with St Patrick’s Day, because I had never seen so many shades of green in my life! Which is why I went full cliche with this choc-mint slice and made it a vibrant shade of green. It pained me slightly because I’m so fond of pastel hues, but I’m super happy with the result, so I’m glad I powered through!

Do you celebrate St Patrick’s Day? Maybe you like things a little less hulk-coloured? If that’s the case, check out my Guinness Cake, Baileys Bundt or Baileys Buttercream Biscuits.

St Patrick's day mint chocolate slice (3 of 9)

Base

  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 200g butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut

Mint filling

  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 160g butter
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 4-5 tsp peppermint essence
  • 1/2 tsp green food colouring

Chocolate topping

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 275g dark chocolate
Start with your filling. Put the milk and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Remove from the heat and sift in the icing sugar. Return to the heat for 3-4 minutes, allowing it to simmer slightly. Make sure you’re mixing continuously so that the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom. Pour this mixture into a bowl and pop into the fridge to cool for 30 minutes. While the filling cools, make a start on your base.

 

Preheat oven to 180°C fan and grease a 20cm fluted tart tin with a removable bottom.

 

Sift together your flour, cocoa and icing sugar into a large bowl. Mix in your melted butter and your coconut until it’s well combined. The mixture should be in large clumps, rather than a giant ball – don’t worry, you’ll flatten them out later. Scoop your mixture into your greased pan and press down with your fists (or a spatula) until you have a smooth, even base. Pop into the oven for 15-18 minutes.

 

Remove from the oven when the top of the base looks dry – don’t leave it any longer than the 18 minutes, you don’t want it drying out. Plus, it’s actually better when it’s a little underdone. Set it to one side until it is cool enough that you can touch it comfortably.

 

Remove your green filling from the fridge, pour it out onto the base and smooth it out with a spatula. You shouldn’t need to help it fill out the sides too much, it will spread by itself. Return to the the fridge for another half hour.

 

While the slice is chilling in the fridge, melt your chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and scoop the coconut oil into it – the heat in the chocolate should melt the coconut oil. Mix until you’ve got a lovely, glossy mixture. Set to one side to cool for 15 minutes.

 

Remove your base from the fridge and pour the chocolate mixture over the top. If you’ve got any chocolate left over, reserve for drizzling over the edges before serving. Return to the fridge for at least 2.5 hours.

 

(If you choose to drizzle the extra chocolate over the edges, remove it from the fridge 30 minutes before serving, put the chocolate mixture in a snap lock bag and snip off a small section of the corner and pipe onto each flute indentation, making little wave movements around the circumference of the slice and then return to the fridge.)

 

St Patrick's day mint chocolate slice (2 of 9)

 

 

Allow the slice to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

Want to know the trick to stopping your chocolate from cracking when you cut it?

 

Take an extra sharp, thin knife and point the tip into the centre of the slice, then place your hand on the top of the blade and push down gently.  Repeat with each slice to get perfectly straight slices without cracking the chocolate.

 

St Patrick's day mint chocolate slice (7 of 9)

 

St Patrick's day mint chocolate slice (6 of 9)

 

St Patrick's day mint chocolate slice (4 of 9)

 

St Patrick's day mint chocolate slice (9 of 9)
Are you making this dish of a dessert? Tag me on Instagram and use #bakingwithgab so I can see your bright green creations!

Healthy veggie bites and back to school lunch ideas

The Reject Shop asked me to come up with some back to school ideas for them recently. It really got me thinking.

 

About how my eating habits have changed since I was at school. And to be honest, they’ve pretty much stayed the same. I still LOVE food, I don’t think I’ve ever been a fussy eater.

 

It helped that my mum always made the best lunches. I was the girl at school with lunches that other people envied – leftover schnitzel wraps, salad sandwiches piled high with delicious fresh vegetables, spag bol… she set such a high precedent that I worry that I’ll disappoint my future children! My own mother set the lunch bar so high that it makes me evaluate my work lunch choices much more harshly than most.

Caramello brownies and Australian desserts

I dreamed these brownies up in the middle of the night. I literally woke up, like a mad genius, and thought “brownies and Caramellos – who wouldn’t love that?!”Caramello brownie

When I lived in England I took any opportunity to tell people about how great Australia was – I ADORE England and I love travelling to different countries, but I’ve inherited this goofy patriotism from my mama. Jacarandas are out at the moment and I love being reminded of how stunning a place can be. I just love Australia.

Chocolate orange oreo milkshake and Halloween creations

I’m not usually the type to buy cookies. Ninety per cent of the time, I can pretty much guarantee that there are enough baked goods in my house/belly that I have no need for store-bought ones. But when I saw the Oreos chocolate orange Halloween creations, I couldn’t resist. Having just drooled over Terry’s Chocolate Orange, I figured it was only appropriate to continue the chocolate orange Halloween recipes. chocolate orange oreos halloween milkshake

Can I just say, this little beverage is DANGEROUS. It’s not overpoweringly sweet, and it has a subtle jaffa-like taste, which means you could easily drink the whole serving instead of sharing. And it’s quick to make.

It seriously is witchcraft.

If you’re not in the mood for Halloween, just use regular oreos, it’s equally as good.

chocolate orange oreo milkshake halloween scene above

Chocolate orange oreo milkshake

Serves 1-2

  • 8 Oreos
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 70g dark chocolate, melted

Blend together your oreos and ½ cup of milk together until you have a smoothish paste. Pour in your melted chocolate and mix well. Add in the ice cream and remaining milk, then blend until drinkable.

That’s it! Go forth and make milkshakes.

close up glass shot halloween chocolate orange milkshake

props skull oreo chocolate orange milkshake halloween

Terry’s Chocolate Orange cake and English chocolate

I have only had Terry’s Chocolate Oranges in my life for a few years. I didn’t know they existed until I was 19.

NINETEEN!

All of those years, wasted!

It was The Boy who introduced me to them. I had moved to England, met him, and was working in a fairly average job. He opened my eyes to the delights of English chocolate!


Terry’s chocolate oranges happen to be one of his favourite chocolates, so for his birthday over the weekend I knew that chocolate oranges would fit into the equation somewhere.

Chocolate brownie pie and cause for celebration

slice aboveThe last couple of weeks have been crazy and tumultuous and completely out of the norm for me. How out of the norm, you ask?

Pretty abnormal.

I tried out for reality television (and almost made it!), I got made redundant, and I struggled to motivate myself to bake.

BUT there is no time for wallowing, because fabulous things are in the pipeline. As much as I hate to revert to cliches, I truly feel that doors are opening. There is cause for celebration!

Marshmallow bunnies and Easter excitement

huddleGuys. I’m so excited about Easter. I ate a Crème Egg last night and I can’t contain the excitement any longer. As soon as I cave and eat an Easter egg, I can’t help but get excited. The Easter flood gates have officially opened!

This year’s Easter is going to be quieter than years gone by; we don’t have much planned. My cousins usually bring their kids over, which results in much cuteness (see instagram for exhibit A)

Baileys bundt and St Patrick’s Day

sceneSt Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays which brings people together. Everybody loves it! People don silly hats and wear ridiculous amounts of green, and it’s just fun. For the past two years I’ve completely forgotten about St Patrick’s Day and inadvertently worn a green item of clothing and it’s like you’ve joined a club; people smile at you on the street, give you a little nod. I love it!

I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll wear green today…this cake is making me feel rather festive though.

Baileys buttercream sandwich biscuits and St Patrick’s day surprises

pileI started making these biscuits so that I’d have a St Patrick’s Day appropriate recipe. I don’t really like to go for the super cliched option when it comes to occasion baking, so I’ve stayed way from green desserts this year. Last year I made the delicious Guinness cake, but this year I opted for Baileys instead because I drink Baileys all year round. Now that I’ve made these delightful little morsels, I know that they’re far too delicious to only make once a year. This babies are going to be on high rotation because they’re addictive!

I also had lots of fun messing around with videos as I was making them. I was surprised at how fun playing with Instagram videos is – I’m going to be making lots more videos! My new, adorable baking paper and speedy baking are a match made in heaven!