Friday, May 31, 2013

No-bake Chocolate Slice

My friend is rather partial to Altezano’s chocolate fudge slice and on Sundays she often takes home a bite as her wicked chocolate treat for working Mondays.  I reckoned I could make something similar (although as a disclaimer I have to say I haven’t actually tasted Altezano’s, just gazed upon it at the counter) and found this recipe on the Women’s Weekly website

I’ve made it three times in about as many weeks and feedback has been most favourable, even when said friend compared it with Altezano’s.  I love the chewy raisins and the balance between the crumbly base and smooth chocolate topping.  A real cure for Mondayitis.

I did promise the recipe after making it for some participants of a photography workshop held here at our house last weekend, so here it is.  I should point out that the experienced photographers did not take the photo - that was left to amateur me – but thanks to Eva for some pointers.

No-bake chocolate slice

175g butter

3 tbsp golden syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1 250g packet digestive biscuits

½ cup desiccated coconut

½ cup raisins

250g dark chocolate melts* (or chopped chocolate) for topping
* I used Cadbury Melts

Line a 17cm x 27cm slice tin with nonstick baking paper.

Crush the biscuits in a food processor (or place in a plastic bag and beat with a rolling pin until crushed).

Place butter, golden syrup and vanilla in a saucepan and heat until butter has melted.  Stir to combine.

Add cocoa, crushed biscuits, coconut and raisins and stir to combine. Press firmly and evenly into the base of the prepared tin.  Set aside.


Place chocolate melts in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to melt. Stir until smooth.  Spread over the surface of the slice to coat evenly. Leave for an hour or so to set. Cut into bars or squares with a hot knife.

Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chocolate Banana Loaf

All I have to do is tell you that I made this chocolate banana loaf and it was easy and it is delicious and the chocolate definitely is an improvement on just a plain, old banana loaf, especially if you really like chocolate, which I do and if you are only mildly passionate about banana cakes, which I am.

And I have to remember to tell you to make all the icing and not be like me one time when I wrote a strange note on this recipe telling me that half the icing was more than enough.  I lied.  I don’t know why I lied back then as I haven’t made this loaf in a while.  So I made half the icing because I believed what I said back then.  I was wrong.

All you need to know then is that you really, really should slather it with the all the chocolate icing because if you are anything like me, you know that this is the best part and if you don’t, you will regret it.

That was all I had to say.

The loaf is my entry for this month's Sweet New Zealand hosted by After Taste.

Chocolate Banana Loaf

150g (5½oz) butter, at room temperature
150g (5½oz) muscovado sugar
150g (5½oz) dark chocolate (I used 72% Whittakers Dark Ghana)
2 bananas, mashed
3 eggs, beaten
200g (7oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder


100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
25g (1oz) butter
50g (1¾oz) icing sugar
1 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).

Grease and line the base and sides of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.

In a medium saucepan, gently heat the butter, sugar and chocolate until melted.  Stir well and remove from heat.

Add the banana and eggs, then sift in the flour and baking powder.  Mix until smooth.

Pour the mix into the loaf tin.   Bake for about 1 hour or so until the cake feels firm when pressed in the middle with your fingers.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Melt the chocolate and butter in a small non-stick pan.  Sift in the icing sugar then stir in the milk and beat well.  Spread over the top of the cake using a palette knife.  Leave to set.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Roasted Rhubarb Bircher Muesli

My last words on my very first blog post, aptly titled A Fine Start, were:

I also love Bircher muesli – but that’s another story…

So whilst it may be a bit late, I’ve finally gotten around to that other story, with a bit of a twist on the original.

It came about when I was swirling some just-cooked roasted rhubarb in its sticky, gingery-sweet syrup and I thought of scooping it into a creamy muesli instead of using the traditional grated apple.  

I could almost claim it’s a healthy food version of rhubarb fool (which was the original plan I had for the rhubarb) as rhubarb and cream do feature, but with wholesome oats, nuts, dried fruit and yoghurt.  Adding just a splash of cream balances the tartness of the rhubarb and gives a luxurious touch to breakfast time.  Hallelujah to that. 

There’s a touch of recipe here for the roasted rhubarb and Bircher muesli but the finished dish is more of a tailored assembly.  In other words you are free to change the amounts or ingredients to suit your own preferences. 

I stole a few toasted nuts from the jar of my homemade toasted muesli, but raw nuts would be fine too.  It’s a bit like standing in front of the selection of toppings for ice creams or frozen yoghurts in a food mall (not that I actually do this, you understand); the options are many, although in this case probably healthier.  I like to keep it fairly simple.  

If you are a fan of raw food, stick with the original and substitute the rhubarb with one green apple, grated (with skin on).  

And so my story, started so long ago, is finally complete.  I do like a sense of closure, don't you?

Roasted Rhubarb Bircher Muesli

Serves 2

Start this recipe the day before you want to eat it.  You will have enough rhubarb for the Bircher muesli and some left over.

Roasted rhubarb 

1 bunch (approx. 500g) rhubarb, washed & cut into 2.5cm chunks
¼ cup brown sugar
the juice and rind of 1 small orange
½ teaspoon ground ginger

Bircher muesli

60g (1/2 cup) porridge oats
1/2 cup milk* (use apple juice if you prefer)
½ tbsp single cream

* I used full cream milk

To serve: 

Greek yogurt
Roasted rhubarb
Juice of 1/2 a small orange
a drizzle of maple syrup or honey
almonds, chopped
brazil nuts, chopped
a few cranberries
some extra rhubarb for the topping

Roasted rhubarb

Preheat oven to 180 C. 

Place the rhubarb on a lined baking tray.  Add the sugar, orange juice, ginger and rind and mix thoroughly until the sugar and ginger dissolve in the juice and the rhubarb is coated. 

Place in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is tender.  Pour rhubarb and syrup into a covered container and leave to cool or refrigerate overnight.

Bircher Muesli

The evening before, place oats in a container and cover with the milk and a splash of single cream.  Mix well.  Cover with lid or cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning when you are ready to serve, add about a 1/3 cup of Greek yoghurt, 1/3 cup of the roasted rhubarb and the fresh orange juice.  Mix well – if it’s too dry, add more yoghurt or orange juice or both until you get the consistency and taste you want.

Drizzle with maple syrup or honey.  Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and some cranberries.

Top with the extra chunks of roasted rhubarb.

You might also like toasted muesli
from my very first blog post.