Honey and Macadamia Crumble Cheesecakes

25 Jan

I’m a little late of the mark, I know, but I just had to get an Australia Day dessert in before the day was over. I wanted to steer clear of the stock standard lamingtons and pavlovas and do something different. These are macadamia crumble mini cheesecakes, using Australian honey and macadamias.

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In keeping with my blog resolutions for this year of creating more healthy desserts, this one uses light cream cheese, is wheat free (possibly gluten free, oats is a questionable ingredient when it comes to gluten) and sugar free as well. Trust me though, you won’t miss any of those ingredients in this dessert. The crumble almost tastes like ANZAC cookies, how much more Australian can you get?

Honey and Macadamia Crumble Cheescakes
(makes 8 mini cheesecakes)

Macadamia Crumble

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup coconut

1/4 cup macadamias (lightly chopped)

2 tblsp honey

Cheesecake filling

250g light cream cheese

4 tblsp honey

To make the crumble, combine all the dry ingredients with honey. Toast the mixture in a pan until lightly golden, set aside. Same goes for the cheesecake filling, just combine the cream cheese with the honey and mix well.

To assemble the dessert, pour half a tablespoon of crumble into little bowls, spoon or pipe cheesecake mixture and top with more crumble. It’s that simple, no need to turn the oven on, no special equipment, and the best part, you can do it all in 15 minutes.

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Happy Australia Day! I know what we’ll be having for dessert, what about you?

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Goodbye 2012… Hello 2013

7 Jan

Happy New Year. Hope you all had a great time. New Year’s is always a busy time for us, my son’s birthday falls on New Year’s day and our Wedding anniversary follows the day after. This year we celebrated the little man’s birthday and our anniversary in Melbourne, it was tiring to say the least. We visited the Melbourne Aquarium and Melbourne Museum, we also went on a tonne of tram rides and on a horse driven cart as well. We did a walk through of the Queen Victoria Market and a few other shopping spots. We also ate and ate and ate, hubby mainly ate food, I did too, plus cake, lots of cake, and then some more. Needless to say, my first resolution for 2013 is a detox, and hopefully some weight loss too.

For now, let’s have a look back into Modest Munchies year of food blogging, these are the top 5 posts for 2012.

Top 5 Posts on Modest Munchies in 2012

If you loved those posts or would like to check them out, click on a link below (clockwise, from top left):

Eid Dessert Table

Soccer Ball Cake

Burfee Frosting

Red Velvet no mixer Cupcakes

Ferrero Rocher Macarons

I hope to bring you much more this coming year, here are my food blog resolutions for 2013:

1. More food recipes.

2. Lighter dessert recipes.

3. Healthy/wholesome food recipes.

4. Shaped macarons.

5. Better photography.

6. A new improved site.

7. More interaction on Social Media.

8. To post more often and more consistently.

9. To host giveaways and competitions.

10. To blog more than just recipes (ie, product trials, reviews)

I’m sure there’s a few more that I can’t think of at the moment, but I think those 10 are good to work towards for the moment. To a new year and more food blogging, hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Two Ingredient Ice Cream

15 Dec

Yes, you read right, a 2 ingredient ice cream and the best part, you don’t even need a churner! 2 Ingredient no churn ice cream This recipe is super easy, and it can be used as a base for creating many other ice cream flavours (look out for future posts). This recipe is based on one I had seen on the back of a condensed milk can, it required a full can, but I’ve always found this too sweet, see my version below.

Two ingredient ice cream
(adapted from nestle)

1/2 a tin condensed milk

500ml cream

Whip the cream until thick and firm, but be careful not to overbeat. Fold condensed milk into the cream until it is well combined. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze for a few hours until set. Remove ice cream 5 minutes before serving to soften.

And if you want to get a bit fancy, you could throw in some vanilla bean paste, 2 tsp to be exact, add it before folding. After all, who doesn’t love a good vanilla bean ice cream?

vanilla bean ice cream

Have you ever heard that saying in film making “never work with animals or children”? I think the same goes for ice cream in food blogging, with our current summer heat the ice cream was melting and I had a very small window to get these shots.

This is the tastiest, easiest ice cream recipe ever, give it a go, buy some condensed milk and cream and make this ice cream! Two ingredient no churner ice cream, you really can’t go wrong.

2 Ingredient ice cream

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

13 Dec

Have you heard about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap? I hadn’t until a few months ago when I signed up. Basically, you sign up, make a donation, wait for your matches, bake your cookies, package your cookies, send your cookies, oh and let’s not forget, you receive cookies too. But it’s not all just about sending and receiving cookies, the donations are for Cookies for Kid’s Cancer, a not for profit organisation looking for the improved research into therapies for paediatric cancer, such a great cause that I’m delighted to be a part of!


the great food blogger cookie swap peanut butter pretzel cookies

Inspired by the American origin of the cookie swap and equipped with popular American ingredients in the pantry (ie, pretzels and peanut butter cups) I decided on these Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies. (Logo courtesy of fbcookieswap.com)

Here’s what you’ll need to make these cookies.

peanut butter cup pretzel cookies ingredients

Peanut Butter Cup, Pretzel Cookies
Makes 40 Cookies
(adapted from a previous recipe, White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies)

200g butter

2 cups dark brown sugar

2 tblsp smooth peanut butter

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

8 x 15g peanut butter cups (I recommend doubling or even tripling this as it really wasn’t enough)

1 1/2 cup pretzels

Pre heat oven on 180c. Cream butter, sugar and peanut butter, add in vanilla and eggs and combine well. Add flour, salt and baking powder. Mix until just combined, turn mixer off and scrape down the sides. Crush your pretzels and chop your peanut butter cups, throw these into your mixer and mix on a very low speed until it is spread throughout the cookie dough. Roll into 2.5cm balls (you should get about 40 cookies), lay on a cookie sheet leaving 2.5 cm gaps between each one, and flatten slightly. Bake for 12 minutes.

peanut butter cup pretzel cookies

Once these babies were baked, I let them cool, then placed 6 cookies into 6 ziplock sandwich bag (2 bags per blogger, 1 dozen each).

cookies for food blogger cookie swap

I sent the package with a little note from me, and I used these coookie swap printables from Love and Olive Oil. I bubbled wrapped them and placed them in a mailing box from AusPost, next time, I think I’ll wrap my cookies well and send them in a satchel instead, sending out 3 packages of cookies in boxes proved to be an expensive exercise. These cookies were sent to Erin of Cut the Cookie, Muppy of Muppys and Manuela of Manu’s Menu.

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As exciting as it was to make and send my cookies it was even more exciting receiving cookies in the mail. I received roasted almond honeycomb cookies from Amanda at Chewtown, white chocolate cranberry cookies from Daisy of Never Too Sweet and date and walnut cookies from Kate of Cooks Companion. Thank you ladies all so much, the cookies were delish!

delicious peanut butter cup pretzel cookies

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012, done and dusted, I look forward to participating next year.Thanks to Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for organising such a wonderful event.

Chai Macarons

30 Nov

Yes, I know, I haven’t blogged in a while, its been a busy time for me. I’ve been in the process of completing my teaching diploma and was on my first practical, a six week placement in a year one class. It’s hard to run a household, a marriage and look after a child while having to be out of the house for 7 hours a day, alhumdulillah, the experience was great and extremely fulfilling, although I am relieved that it’s over (for now anyway).

For those of you that read my blog and remember, I took part in a Dilmah competition a few months ago where I entered these Chai Macarons (if not, you can read about it here and here). These macaron shells were flavoured with tea, cardamon, cinnamon and sandwiched with a chai white chocolate ganache. I’ve finally gotten the chance to post the recipe. Yippee!!

Chai Macarons

I’ve attached the recipe in .pdf format because that’s how it’s saved on my computer as I needed to give a copy to the Dilmah officials and figured it would be the easiest way to share it with all of you. This recipe is made using the Italian meringue method (pouring a hot sugar syrup into egg whites) instead of my usual French meringue, if you have a handle on the French meringue method, feel free to use that, just remember to add the spices to the almond/icing sugar mixture.

Give these a go, and if you’re not too afraid (and have a thermometer lying around) try the Italian method. Chai macarons with a pot of tea, perfect late night snack, enjoy!

What Macaron?

16 Oct

Do any of you remember a time when red velvet cupcakes and macarons weren’t so unbelievably popular, I do, but those memories seem to be slowly fading into the distance. Red velvets were not a favourite of mine to begin with, I had tried it a few times and was never impressed, until this recipe of my own. I’ve been enjoying them ever since, I think I just had a few bad experiences in the beginning. Macarons on the other hand, I’ve loved ever since I tasted my first one while holidaying with my husband in Singapore, this was before they became trendy in Australia and I’ve pretty much been obsessed ever since. With that said, I thought I would combine these two ever so popular treats into one mega treat… Drum roll please… The Red Velvet Macaron! Yip, that’s right, a red macaron with a light hint of cocoa, sandwiched with a smooth cream cheese filling, what’s not to love?

Red Velvet Macarons

40g egg white (1 egg white at room temperature)

56g almond meal

72g icing sugar

1 tsp cocoa powder

20g castor sugar

1/4 tsp red gel food colouring

Measure out your ingredients. Combine almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, grind these till you achieve a fine powder. Whip egg whites till foamy, slowly stream in the sugar until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Add in gel colouring and give it a quick beat until it turns an even red. Sift almond meal, icing sugar and cocao mixture on top of egg whites and fold until just combined.

Pre heat oven to 150°c. Fill mixture into piping bag and pipe 3cm rounds onto baking paper lined trays. Let mixture sit for 15-30 minutes. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until tops don’t move when pushed with a finger.

Cream cheese filling

40g softened cream cheese

40g softened butter

3/4 cups icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

Beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla essence in a bowl until creamy and combined. Slowly add sugar till smooth and fluffy. Fill in a piping bag and pipe into macaron shells.

Love Red Velvet Cupcakes? Love Macarons? Then you’ll love these Red Velvet Macarons. Red with a delicate hint of cocoa, accompanied by a cream cheese filling, yum!

Sticky Date Brown Sugar Macarons

1 Oct

Ramadan is now far behind us, I know, but if you’re like us (we tend to stock up on dates, 7kgs worth), you might still have some left over. If you want to use up some dates or just want a datey (totally a word, right?) treat, try these!

These macarons are slightly different to the norm, brown sugar is used to make the meringue instead of the usual white sugar. The brown sugar gives a subtle taste difference as well as a slight creamy tinge.

Brown Sugar Macarons

40g egg white (1 egg white at room temperature)

56g almond meal

72g icing sugar

20g light brown sugar

Measure out your ingredients. Combine almond meal and icing sugar and grind till a fine powder. Whip egg whites till foamy, slowly stream in the brown sugar until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Sift almond meal and icing sugar mixture on top of egg whites and fold until just combined.

Pre heat oven to 150°c. Fill mixture into piping bag and pipe 3cm rounds onto baking paper lined trays. Let mixture sit for 15-30 minutes. Place in oven for 17 minutes (I found that the substitution of brown sugar required the macarons baking for a little longer then usual) or until tops don’t move when pushed with a finger.

Sticky Date Filling

1/2 cup pitted dates (I use medjool)

100g softened butter

3 tblsp cooled butterscotch sauce (recipe below, alternatively you could use 1/4 cup of brown sugar)

Pit dates and place in a bowl, fill with hot water until all the dates are immersed, leave to soak for 10 minutes. Cream butter till fluffy. Drain all excess water from the dates and process till smooth and pasty. Add date paste and butterscotch to butter, beat until combined. Fill a piping bag, ready to fill macarons.

Butterscotch sauce

1 tblsp dark brown sugar

1 tblsp butter

3 tblsp cream

Place sugar and butter on a medium heat on the stove. Mix till sugar dissolves. Add in cream and mix till combined, set aside to cool.

To assemble macarons, pipe sticky date filling into one macaron shell and sandwich with the other. Sticky, datey, yummy macarons!

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