Dark Chocolate Banana Cake

banana and chocolate cake
INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 120 g softened butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 100 g dark baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 sml banana sliced for top of cake
  • 1 tblsp brown sugar for top of cake

METHOD

1. Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs , Mix. Mash bananas, apple sauce and milk and add to the bowl with the vanilla extract.

2. Stir in flour, cocoa and chocolate leaving some chocolate to sprinkle on top.

3. Pre -heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

4. Line the base of a 20 cm springform pan with baking paper. Spray sides of pan with oil.

5. Pour batter into tin and lightly tap tin onto the bench to get rid of any air bubbles. Decorate with sliced banana and and sprinkle remaining chocolate. Sprinkle with 1 tblsp brown sugar and bake. Insert skewer into the oven after 40 mins. Bake a further 5 if needed.

If you are making the YIAH – Your Inspiration at Home Chocolate raspberry Truffle powder version then simply add 1/3 cup in the mix when adding the cocoa. Reduce the caster sugar to 1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup. Instead of layering bananas on top simply sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons YIAH Choc Raspberry Truffle powder on top before baking.

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Better for You Fruit Tarts

Frantic Nativa Tarts

INGREDIENTS

PASTRY

  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup icing ( I used Natvia icing)
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds / almond meal
  • 150g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk

FILLING

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons icing ( I used Natvia)
  • 1/4 cup thickened cream
  • 3 tablespoons YIAH White Chocolate powder (optional)
  • HONEYED MACADAMIAS
  • 120 g Macadamia nuts halved
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon Natvia  (natural sugar alternative)

FRUIT

2 punnets of fresh fruit. I used strawberries and blueberries

EXTRA

80g Dark Chocolate melted ( I used Plaistowe 70% dark cocoa)

METHOD

1. To make the pastry add flour, icing and butter into a food processor. Pulse once. Add butter, pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs – do not over do it. Add yolk and milk and pulse a few more times until dough binds. Bring dough gently together with hands and form a disc. Cover in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In the meantime Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

3. To make the honeyed macadamias place the macadamia nuts  in a small shallow pan on low to medium heat tossing every now and again for 1 minute. Add natvia (sugar) and toss for 1 to 2 minutes. Add honey, stir and remove from pan when sticky and thick.  Pour onto baking paper and set aside.

4. Prepare your mini tartlet tins or 1/4 cup muffin trays by spraying lightly with oil and lightly sprinkle bases with flour shaking off excess.

5. Roll out the refrigerated dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to .5cm thick. The dough is soft so try to work quickly.  Cute out a circle (circumference slightly larger than the tins and press into the tins). Pierce base with fork a few times. Do not worry if it doesn’t look great and is soft. The cases harden when cooled. Place a piece of foil over each base covering the edges and pierce base once with a skewer.

6. Bake for 12 minutes or until starting to colour slightly  (keep an eye out). Remove foil and bake a further 3 minutes until a rich golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing them slowly from their tins by pushing the base up. Leave on a wired rack to completely cool down.

7. Apply the melted chocolate onto the cooled bases and sides inside the tart with a pastry brush. Apply 1 layer, wait 2 minutes then repeat 2 more times to form 3 layers of brushed melted chocolate. Refrigerate 5 minutes.

8. In the meantime add the vanilla extract, cream cheese, Natvia Icing, YIAH White chocolate powder and thickened cream in a bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are incorporated.

9. Take tartlets out of the fridge and fill with the cream cheese mixture. Decorate with fresh fruit and honeyed macadamia nuts. Refrigerate for an hour before serving and sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar (optional).

I hope you enjoy this treat as much as we did. I wanted to create a  tart without the sugar rush and these are great for a treat and a special occassion!

The YIAH – Your Inspiration at Home Chocolate powder is optional. 3 tablespoons is equivalent to 3 tablespoons of regular sugar. You do not have to add it if you do not want to, it works well without it but I love it as it adds another delicious layer to the filling.

All products pertaining to YIAH – Your Inspiration at Home can be purchased at my online store, click here.

All YIAH products are NO preservatives, NO added gluten, NO MSG and Low in salt.

Beetroot and Beef Patties

Beetroot and Beef Patties

There is something special about fresh beetroot. I love the brilliant colour that flows through as you peel, chop or grate it. I get excited at the thought that my food will be nourished and enhanced with such a beautiful, natural and nutritional product of nature.  Most of all I love the sweet juicy flavours.

These Beetroot and Beef patties are so simple to make. Yes, they area little messy (beetroot always is) but oh so worth it.

I wear gloves when preparing beetroot which prevents staining on the hands. My Mother thinks I am hilarious and cannot comprehend why a little colour on my hands from something beautiful like a beetroot should bother me. She is old school you see, get in there and get it done is her philosophy!

I strain the grated beetroot so my patties do not overflow with juices. After asking fellow foodies on facebook what to do with the juices their recommendations were to use it in a fresh juice, make a cake ( a chocolate and beetroot cake or red velvet cake sounds divine) or make a reduction out of it which is what I chose to do and used it instead of a sauce or chutney with some minted yoghurt! So hear is the recipe. I cooked my patties in my Philips Airfryer. Cook them in a shallow pan  with a drizzle of oil if you do not have one.

beetroot patties before cooking

INGREDIENTS

MINTED YOGHURT

  • 1/2 cup extra thick Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • season

METHOD

1. Prepare minted yoghurt, Set aside.

2. Reduce Beetroot juice on low heat in a small saucepan until half in capacity, set aside.

3. Place all ingredients for the Beef and Beetroot patties in a large bowl. Mix and knead thoroughly until everything is well combined.

4. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup portion your patties and shape, flattening slightly.

5. If you are using an airfryer. Spray the patties with a little olive oil and cook on 180 for 16 minutes.

6. If you are using a large frypan then spray the pan with a little oil and cook 4 patties at a time on low to medium heat, flattening slightly for about 3 -4 minutes on each side until cooked.

7. Serve with some salad, grilled pitta,  minted yoghurt and beetroot reduction.

Enjoy.

For all products pertaining to YIAH (Your Inspiration At Home): These products are NO added gluten, NO preservatives, NO MSG and LOW in Salt. For more info click here to visit my site.

beetroot patties with beetroot reduction

Maple Chocolate powder Biscuits

Maple Chocolate powder biscuits

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

2. Melt butter and honey in a small saucepan. Remove from heat to cool. Add YIAH salted Maple Chocolate powder and YIAH Maple Balsamic vinegar and combine. Once mixture has cooled slightly add egg, mix well then add the flour. Sit bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes.

3. Roll 1 tablespoon of  mixture into a ball and flatten slightly using palm of hand. Place on baking tray allowing 2 cm between each one and repeat until finished.

4. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden, swapping trays halfway. Cool for 10 minutes before placing on wire racks.

Enjoy!

All products pertaining to YIAH (Your Inspiration At Home) award winning gourmet products with NO added gluten, NO Preservatives, NO MSG and Low in salt, for more info click here to see my website.

Maple Choc Banana Muffins

Maple Choc Banana Muffins with Natvia

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4  NATVIA (natural sugar substitute)
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked with fork
  • 2 tablespoons YIAH maple salted chocolate powder
  • 2 tablespoons YIAH Maple Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Williams (nut free, dairy free, sugar free) chocolate spread, melted slightly 30 seconds in microwave
  • 1 small firm banana, sliced diagonally (for the top)
  • Extra YIAH Maple Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle on top

METHOD

1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celsius.

2. 12  x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tray lined with patty cases.

3. Lightly whisk all wet ingredients together. In another bowl mix the YIAH Maple salted chocolate powder with the flour. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

4. Pour the batter into muffin patties 3/4 way full. Place the sliced banana on top and drizzle lightly with a little of the YIAH Maple Balsamic Vinegar (about 2 tsps)

5. Bake for about 3o minutes. You want the top to be a bit springy.

6. This recipe can also be placed in the deep freeze and is great for kids lunchboxes.

Note: If you cannot find the Sweet William Chocolate spread , use your own choice or melt some dark chocolate to make 1/2 cup and add 1/4 cream to the melted chocolate.

NATVIA  is a natural sugar alternative made from the STEVIA plant.

All products pertaining to YIAH (Your Inspiration At Home) such as the YIAH Maple Chocolate Powder and Maple Balsamic Vinegar are award winning gourmet products with NO added gluten, NO Preservatives, NO MSG and Low in salt, for more information see my site here.

Upside Down Pear and Almond cake served with Lemon Myrtle Cream

Upside Down Pear and Almond cake  served with Lemon Myrtle Cream

I was very honoured to receive Tilly (Matilda) The Travelling Swirly Pan. This pan has travelled around Australia to the homes of home cooks like myself. We each tell a little story in a journal and share recipes that we have made using the tin. The recipes will then  be collated and made into and E-book with profits going to charity.

tilly pan with upside down pear and almond cake

2014-04-20 piece upside down cake w lemon myrtle cream s;liced with lemon myrtle cream

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tblsp brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/3 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons YIAH Lemon Myrtle Sugar
  • sml  410g can sliced tin pears, drained
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (for pan/tin)
  • 50g butter (for pan/tin)

METHOD

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Spread the butter generously covering all the base and sides of swirly pan or 23 cm spring form pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar generously on base of springform pan or all over every little inch of the swirly pan where you put the butter so the cake doesn’t stick when you take it out.

3. Line the pears on creases of swirly pan or in a design starting from the middle of the springform pan with the pointiest part of the pear meeting in the middle going round.

4. In a mixer, beat caster sugar, YIAH Lemon Myrtle Sugar and brown sugar until thick and pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract and fold in the flour and almond meal.

5. Pour batter over pears and bake for about 50 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before turning out.

6. Serve with whipped cream and YIAH Lemon Myrtle Sugar. For every 300ml whipped cream combine 2 tablespoons YIAH Lemon Myrtle Sugar.

Enjoy.

YIAH – Your Inspiration At Home Products are Award wining Gourmet products with NO added Gluten, NO preservatives, NO MSG and LOW in salt and can be purchased via my website by clicking here.

More details on the Travelling Swirly Pan can be found here

Tilly Swirly pan – Egg free, Dairy free, Chocolate cake with Natvia

Tilly Swirly pan - Egg free, dairy free, Chocolate cake

This cake is so  delicious. It is chocolately and dense and incredibly simple to make. It is hard to imagine that it is dairy and egg free.  I always make this cake during Holy Week of Greek Easter for Fasting. (Greek Orthodox fast for the lead up to Easter from all dairy, eggs and meat/poultry). Simple ingredients readily available in anyone’s pantry makes this cake a go to recipe anytime. I have used NATVIA (stevia) instead of caster sugar for obvious reasons. If you want to use caster sugar instead of Natvia* then substitute the 1 +1/2 cup Natvia* with 2 cups sugar. The original recipe comes from here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 Cups plain flour
  • 1+ 1/2 cups NATVIA* (stevia)
  • 2 tsp bi-carb of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tblsp quality cocoa or cacao
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tblsp vinegar

Icing: (optional. You can leave plain or sprinkle with the YIAH dukkah or both dukkah and icing)

  • 1 cup icing sugar sifted mixed with water to make as runny as you like (add a little water at a time)
  • 2 tblsp  YIAH Black Forest Dukkah

METHOD

1. Grease or lightly spray pan in all nooks and crannies if using a swirly pan. Dust lightly with flour as well so it doesn’t stick.

2. If using normal baking pan 20 cm, then line with baking paper. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

3. Stir dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a jug and add to dry ingredients, mix well. Bake for about 40- 45 mins depending on your oven. Skewer should come out clean.

4. Sit in pan till cooled down completely then turn out.

5. Dust with icing sugar or YIAH* Black forest Dukkah or drizzle with icing.

6. Store in airtight container for 3 days. Is freezer friendly.

You can also make this recipe into cup cakes and reduce cooking time to 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

YIAH – Your Inspiration At Home Products are Award wining Gourmet products with NO added Gluten, NO preservatives, NO MSG and LOW in salt. For more click here.

Easy Stroganoff meatballs with passata

Easy Stroganoff meatballs with passata

INGREDIENTS

Meatballs:

  • 500g Lean pork mince (or mince of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons YIAH Stroganoff spice Blend

Passata sauce:

METHOD

1. In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix well. Knead in bowl with fist until well combined for a couple of minutes.

2. Roll 1 tblsp of the mixture into balls with wet hands, repeat until finished.

3. In a large saucepan with lid add the passata ingredients with the YIAH Herb and garlic dip mix. Bring to the boil. Place the meatballs in the sauce and cover. Simmer on low heat for an hour occasionally stiring. Serve with pasta of your choice.

For products pertaining to YIAH (Your Inspiration at Home) NO added gluten, NO preservatives, NO MSG and LOW in salt award winning gourmet products, please head over to my website by clicking here.

Maple Chocolate Banana Bread with Natvia

Maple Chocolate Banana Bread with Natvia

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4  NATVIA (natural sugar substitute)
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked with fork
  • 2 tablespoons YIAH maple salted chocolate powder
  • 2 tablespoons YIAH Maple Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Williams (nut free, dairy free, sugar free) chocolate spread, melted slightly 30 seconds in microwave
  • 1 small firm banana, sliced diagonally (for the top)
  • Extra YIAH Maple Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle on top

METHOD

1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celsius.

2. Lightly grease a loaf pan approx 25cm x 10 cm (I used an average size loaf pan and 6  x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tray lined with patty cases.

3. Lightly whisk all wet ingredients together. In another bowl mix the YIAH Maple salted chocolate powder with the flour.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.

4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan 3/4 way full. Place the sliced banana on top and drizzle lightly with a little of the YIAH Maple Balsamic Vinegar (about 2 tsps)

5. With the remaining batter (if any) fill the patty cases with 1/4 cup capacity mix.

6. Bake the loaf pan for 1 hour, insert knife and if it comes clean remove from oven. If not, check at 5 minute intervals. The top should be a little springy. Over cooking will dry out the loaf.

7. The muffin size should be ready in around 3o minutes. You want the top to be a bit springy.

8. This recipe can also be placed in the deep freeze and is great for kids lunchboxes.

9. If you cannot find the Sweet William Chocolate spread , use your own choice or melt some dark chocolate to make 1/2 cup and add 1/4 cream to the melted chocolate.

NATVIA  is a natural sugar alternative made from the STEVIA plant

All products pertaining to YIAH (Your Inspiration At Home) award winning gourmet products with NO added gluten, NO Preservatives, NO MSG and Low in salt can be purchased via my website here

Christmas Rolled Chicken

Christmas Rolled Chicken

I created this dish with the inspiration of Christmas colors in mind. I also wanted a contrast in flavors hence the Maple Glazed prosciutto which is a little crispy piece of sweetish savoury heaven. I hope that you enjoy this meal any time of the year.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, pounded and flattened to about 1cm thickness
  • 2 cups baby spinach’
  • 2 red onions finely diced
  • 220g baby bocconcini cut in half or torn mozarella
  • 1/2 cup sweet dried cranberries for filling
  • 150g raw walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 large red capsicum, diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tblsp YIAH Roma Italian spice blend or YIAH Herb n Garlic Dip mix
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 100g prosciutto
  • 2 tblsp maple syrup

METHOD

1. Prepare the walnuts. set aside.

2. In a large frypan on medium heat, add oil. Sautee the red onions until soft and translucent. Add red capsicum and stir occasionally until soft. Season. Add YIAH Roma Italian Spice Blend or YIAH Herb and Garlic Dip Mix.

3. Stir in the spinach, cranberries and parsley until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in the walnuts and breadcrumbs and set aside.

5. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees celsius.

6. Lay a row of clingfilm approx 50 cm and place flattened chicken breasts horizontally in a row on the clingfilm, slightly overlapping each other. Place a piece of clingfilm on the chicken and flatten the overlapping pieces slightly being careful not to tear the chicken.

7. Place the filling along the middle of the chicken leaving a 2 cm border. Do not over crowd. You only need a thin layer about .5 cm high. The leftover filling can be frozen and used as stuffing on another occasion.

8. Place the bocconcini across the filling.

9. Starting with the horizontal side closest to you and fold the chicken over and roll until the horizontal seam is at the bottom. Use kitchen string to tie up the log to avoid any spillage.

10. In a frypan on medium heat, spray with olive oil and place the chicken in the hot pan to seal all sides until golden brown.

11. In a roasting pan place 2 cups chicken stock and put the rolled chicken in the oven for approximately 40 minutes until golden brown and juices run clear.

12. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and put the heat up to 200 degrees celsius.

13. Place the prosciutto slices on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush both sides with maple syrup.

14. Place in the oven and every 5 minutes brush the top side flip over then brush again with maple syrup. Repeat this process about 4 times (20 minutes) or until the prosciutto is  JUST starting to get crispy.

15. Remove from heat.

16. Allow the chicken  to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into 3cm thick slices and serve with maple glazed prosciutto.

Enjoy.

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